About that dream… how The Roots, a rapper I don’t know and a Facebook friend sent me a message

I typically avoid eating late because they always bring about bad or crazy dreams. Last week I didn’t heed my own rules of eating and went to sleep on a full stomach. For once, the dream wasn’t a nightmare. I want to share with you that prior to eating, I had conversed with my Facebook and high school friend India (about Zumba), watched Jimpire (a parody of tv show Empire featuring Jimmy Fallon and members of The Roots) and listened to a song by Tink (more on this latJimpire_photocred_CDANEWSer).

It surprised me when they ALL showed up in my dream that night (well, Jimmy didn’t come).

Here’s what happened:
Somehow I ended up landing a poetry/rap gig opening for The Roots. We were on tour and it was going to be my first time out. India was there and while I was not sure of her role- it appeared she was the show host and/or show runner.

On opening night, India was getting everyone in place and she asked me was I ready. The last thing I was feeling was… ready. Quite the contrary I was felt stage fright (I always do when I’m about to do anything!). India had no time for my insecurities and told me I needed to put all that aside be ready when I was called. I kept asking her about rehearsals. People who work with, perform alongside me know that I’m a stickler for rehearsals. I find them incredibly necessary and moving forward on the fly makes my nerves bad. Like I said, India wasn’t having it. She told me I’d better rehearse in my head, my own time, whatever I needed to do and to do it quickly because the show was starting soon. The only problem was she kept calling me Tink. The only Tink I know is an upcoming singer and rapper produced by Timbaland. She has a song out now which samples One In A Million by Aaliyah.

Chicago rapper Tink (photo cred CDANEWS)

In the dream, I have the sense to know that I’m not Tink. Yet, the headlines and promotions for the show stated it was The Roots featuring Tink. I never tell India that I’m not Tink but I DO tell her I don’t know what songs I’m supposed to do. She tells me (I have no recollection). I tell her I’m not prepared. She still doesn’t care. She tells me to get the words written, put them somewhere and be ready to GO when it’s my turn. I somehow get a typed copy of the words and review them but I have ZERO sense of the melody. Zero. I continue to panic and decide that based on the music I’ll just go with the flow. However, I then worry that the audience (I can see them waiting; there are hundreds) will see and know that I’m a fraud. They call my name… Tink’s name. India asks me if I’m ready. I’m not but I go anyway. Thank God I woke up!

Perhaps you pray, perhaps you don’t but I do. In my prayers, I asked God to tell me the meaning of this dream. There had to be more to this than the fact that I had eaten Bibibop too late. I got two answers. Let me back up. First, a couple weeks ago I heard God’s voice tell me that I need to write. That I should write every single day. I said, “yeah, okay” and went on with my life. So when I asked, I received two answers:

  1. The first answer was a gentle reminder that I was supposed to write EVERY day. It didn’t matter if no one read it. It mattered that I did it. It was further explained that I keep saying I want to be a writer and yet I’m not exercising my pen or keyboard in the way that I should, practicing the way that I should… And I was asked- how, without preparation, would I ever be ready when my turn came? Whoa.
  2. If you are always ready, you never have to prepare! Ummm, ok. I knew that but I gotta figure out how this works with my creativity style of “go-with-the-flow”
  3. The final response was that no matter how often people try to push me to be like others, I can only be myself. I don’t have to follow the styles of others, the format of others or anything else “of others” in order to have success. I’ll never be Tink. I don’t need to emulate her or anyone else. The best person I can ever be and the one I know most personally is myself.  I need to stay in my lane and it’s always better if I let folks know- that ain’t me, bro!

These answers were so incredibly timely as I’m always on a path of self discovery. Sometimes though, I forget to just be me. Some can’t really handle me (and that’s ok). This was just the reminder that I needed- that I’m in the right place but there are things I need to do to stay in the right place. It’s taken me a long time to figure out who I am and this is just one more lesson on the journey. I’m just going to go with it. So practice, practice, practice it is! You guys may get tired of my posts. But if you don’t and you actually enjoy them- please SUBSCRIBE! 😀

My New Lunch Hideaway: Fox in the Snow Cafe

As someone who works on the outskirts of downtown, I am always looking for a new place to escape and find lunch. Today I just wanted to enjoy what is likely one of the final remnants of sunshine and lukewarm days in Columbus, Ohio until spring returns. I planned to head to Chipotle but discovered some markers I need for a class were sold at Blick in the Short North. Let’s see (I thought)… markers or Chipotle in the opposite direction? Well, I decided on the markers and headed to Blick. On the way back I remembered that the last time I traveled 4th Street, I discovered the whereabouts of a cafe I’d read about on Columbus Underground. They gave it a write up that was just interesting enough that I’d want to check it out (find it here: http://www.columbusunderground.com/first-look-fox-in-the-snow-cafe-in-italian-village). The main thing I remembered about the review was that it was located in Italian Village (where the heck is that?) and that the pic made it look cool. So on the way back to work, I took 2nd Avenue over to 4th and turned right.

So, I found it and entered in what seemed like the back door (where there is off street parking) and made my way to the front. I’ll be honest- that part is awkward as you do something I absolutely hate: walk physically past food that is sitting out to be served. TherFISCPastriese was an array of pastries- cinnamon rolls, biscuits with jelly, muffins and a host of other options. I thought about all the hair and skin particles floating in the air and tried not to be grossed out enough to turn back. At the counter were friendly staff who helped me decide on a drink (a mocha) and convinced me to try a pastry despite my previously mentioned concerns. I observed that they serve slow drip coffees. While I was being rung up, I asked the cashier if they were “pretty much a coffee and pastry shop?” and he answered affirmative. But suddenly, a member of the kitchen staff comes out with a BEAUTIFUL breakfast sandwich served on a cutting board instead of a plate. I said- WAIT! We promptly changed my order (thanks for understanding bro!). By the time I finished ordering (interpret – holding up the line) my coffee was ready. It turned out my barista is a latte artiste and fashioned a beautiful feather from the frothed milk just for me. Ok- he does it for everyone. Dang it! Anywho- I danced a happy dance all the way to my table admiring my latte and took its picture.

Lynne’s Latte – a beauty right?
The bar facing the kitchen

So, let’s talk about the overall place and atmosphere. I was probably the only non-local person in the place. Fox in the Snow is like the Cheers of coffee houses and folks were familiar and chatting. I’d forgotten that it boasted large windows as it was previously a garage. The wood work is beautiful and there are plants EVERY WHERE! I’m a such a sucker for succulents, hanging and other green plants (I found out some were fake, but that didn’t change my enthusiasm)! I chatted it up with a lady who sat next to me about the plants, particularly since she had some in a bag (she recommended my next field trip http://rosebredl.com/). The kitchen is open (like Northstar) with a glass pane through which you can see the cooks working if you desire.

My sandwich came out hot and delicious (I ate it all). The egg was fluffy and light, the bread fresh with a crunch on the outside and the spinach inside was flavorful. I was not disappointed.FISCSandwich

Oh! And I did drink my coffee. It was a different experience, minus all the extras from Starbucks. It was pretty and I will need to reflect later on if I really liked it. I like my milk with coffee if you know what I’m saying.

Overall- great experience. The food was good (Far above most of my daily options one of which is Wendys). The plants, sun-inviting windows and warm wood tones are incredibly inviting. I can see myself going there to hide out from my work peers, enjoy a sandwich from the kitchen and maybe, maybe- one of those beautiful pastries.

**One more thing- while traveling up 4th strFISClogoeet, the cafe is actually rather nondescript but you’ll know it by the fox on the wall. >>>>

First Listen: Jordin Sparks is Right Here, Right Now

I’ll be honest… I don’t support many mainstream R&B artists. They just don’t have much to say these days about anything beyond sex, sex, money, cars and oh… sex. Don’t get me wrong. This kind of music does have a purpose and place… Think pulsating and still twerking bodies in the flickering lights of a night club and on long car rides. Yes- the right playlist will get you down the road in a jiffy! Former American Idol winner Jordan Sparks has decided to throw her hat in the ring with a switch from a largely pop sound to one that is decidedly more R&B. If the fact that she has a song titled Boyz In the Hood doesn’t convince you, perhaps it is her crooning that her guy shouldn’t “double tap that hoe”. I actually laughed at that song and the accompanying lyrics. The promise ring wearing Jordin was a mere 17 when she joined American Idol and its safe to assume that she is looking toward a promise with a different focus and outcome.

Let’s get to the music! At 25 and with current project Right Here, Right Now, Jordin is attempting to prove that she is now grown and sexy and can R&B vixen with the best of them. Don’t get me wrong, she still has a couple of pop-like tracks for long time fans. This project however ventures into other waters. Songs like They Don’t Give remind me of the liberation of Janet Jackson via Rhythm Nation. On this track she is telling her love that we need not care about what others think- we got this.Yeah, Janet. There is also a reggae joint via Casual Love featuring Shaggy where Miss Sparks is telling her love interest that she’s not the casual lover type (Sidebar: Shaggy is a smart dude. He reminds me of Snoop hopping on the proper wagons to keep his name in the limelight). The song has just enough reggae swag to have you pointing your imaginary guns with a quick body whine. Jordin also features R&B newcomer (for some), Elijah Blake on Unhappy. Unhappy appears to be in response to her break up with Jason Derulo who claimed in interviews that he was never really happy with Jordin who saw him through a broken neck injury and beyond. You couldn’t tell he was unhappy publicly (I saw the interviews of you espousing your happiness Jason!), as even she missed the signs but apparently he was faking it. I digress. Tell Him That I Love Him takes a step deeper look into losing your mate to another. By the time this song, followed by 11:11 appear, I’m hoping she’s almost over him. Heart break is a mutha and I wasn’t in the mood. The project rounds out with 100 Years, a slow groove about a new love (yay for Sage the Gemini) and a head bobb’n It Ain’t You (which sounds like Tinashe’s 2 On AND All Hands on Deck).

12 tracks and all are worth a listen unless you’re like me and uninterested in break-up songs. I went on the ride with Jordin and while we were re-routed for a few minutes, we found our way to the main roads again. She’s got it all- dance beats, dope beats, reggae and slow grooves to help you get over your broken heart. All she’s missing is a diss record! Where’s the diss track Jordin?!! Anyway- Jordin is doing music her way and it’s refreshing. Go get this.

Review: Tyrese’s Black Rose

Tyrese’s 2015 release, Black Rose had me at liner notes, complete with vocal information, lyrics and a cover reminiscent of Marvin Gaye concert footage. I purchased the regular edition (the deluxe includes some stuff I don’t care about lol) and immediately popped It in for the ride home. Some folks (Tyrese included) have stated that he is bringing back real R&B. As a true fan of music I would say that R&B has never gone anywhere but what has changed are the faces of those being propped up by mainstream as current representation. This has been going on for years as somehow boy bands with mediocre voices replaced in popularity the voices of existing male groups like Boys II Men. But I digress (til another day my friends)… Tyrese does have a winner if you enjoy R&B music with smooth grooves and is of the sort where the singer can actually sing, without help from the studio gadgetry. Think of the rawness in The Five Heartbeats when Eddie King, Jr grabbed the mic and sang a capella during their first performance.  Tyrese has the grit and ability to star in a remake for sure!

So, let’s get into music. Black Rose is comprised of 14 tracks including the stellar lead song, Shame (matching the ever powerful vocalist Jennifer Hudson who shines on bgvs), features from  Chrisette Michelle (Don’t Wanna Look Back), Brandy (The Rest of Our Lives), Marsha Ambrosius (though not credited for bgvs on Picture Perfect) and his TGT homie Tank (Prior to You).  I don’t know about you but I like to be wooed by music. A good beat is great (Tyrese has them) but add some appeal by giving me some poetry and intellect in the midst of your pursuit.  That said, I’m not here for the ratchet, unnecessarily explicit lyrics that are highly over played by mainstream radio today. Tyrese brings us some balance. One thing that surprised me was that he had writing credit on every song. In fact, the Black Rose Tyrese reminds me NOT of the persona he displays via his social media accounts, but of the Lately, on-the-bus-singing-about-Coca-Cola-drinking-Tyrese of yesterday! I mean, I know he’s from the hood but he tricked me back in the day into thinking he was just a nice guy who liked to write lyrics and sing aloud on the bus like me! Black Rose is a love letter and this Tyrese is eloquently pursuing with words a love he has injured perhaps irreparably. This is evidenced on Leave where he croons- ‘if you ever leave, I would be helpless, you would be hopeless, like a sea without a beach, what would life mean?’ I don’t know about you, but I’d go back at least one more time!

This cd certainly deserves some major spin. You may find that it reminds you of some of the tone and angst experienced on a Marvin Gaye cd without stealing Marvin to make it happen (Cough! Robin Thicke!). Tyrese certainly has vocal chops and here he uses them well. On Without My Heart, he went so low and deep in tone that my passenger and I looked at each other and exclaimed “daaaaamn!” Other stand out tracks are-  Waiting On You, I Still Do and the sensual Gonna Give You What You Want. The only expendable is the song Dumb Sh-t which began as a diss song toward comedian Spanky Hayes (google it). Minus that one song, this entire project could be played during any radio station’s “quiet storm” show. It covers the entire gamut of a relationship from good to bad to “oh crap, I might have messed up for good this time”. Overall, this project makes me forgive Ty for becoming Black Ty and later his horrid, relationship advice. But isn’t that what music is supposed to do- Make you forgive and forget past transgressions, dance and bob your head until you forget everything becoming putty in his hands?

Change is good… when you know how to make a dollar out of 15 cents

After months of being in a rut with my natural hair (no desire to style it or anything!), I went into a local salon and asked an old friend and sister to cut my hair like a picture I’d found on Facebook. She used to keep my hair tight when I wore it short years ago. I’d sent her a pic a week prior asking if she would cut it. She asked if I was sure and told me I should think about it. She promptly stopped communicating with me for several days! Haha!! I knew that she really wanted me to think about it and so I pondered over it heavily for several days before we spoke again. I had limited availability so when during our next text message, she said I could come on Wednesday on my lunch hour, I said “yes”. Yet, on Wednesday, I almost backed out. My son pleaded with me to keep my long hair. He shared that my journey inspired him to have a love for natural hair (that’s great, I did my job!). At some point I phoned a friend expressing my hesitation and she called me a “punk”. Thanks a lot Rhonda!

I thought theleast I could do was show up at the salon and chat with my old friend. I sat in the chair and after asking if I was sure- she shaved the left side. I used my iPhone to glance at myself having reached the ultimate, point of no return. As she rinsed color from the hair of another client, I thought about changing my mind and leaving with my undercut. In the end, she and I got through the ordeal which seemed more painful to her than to me. Ultimately, I left a happy camper experiencing ZERO regret. I did not allow negative thoughts to talk me out of my plan. I allowed change to happen and I felt better for it.

See… you probably thought this post was about hair. Perhaps you even experienced some anxiety on my behalf, or negative feelings toward a change I wanted to make within myself. If you had encountered me during the process, you might have talked me out of it. I might have allowed your opinion to change mine. Or- you might have applauded my efforts. Either way, the important thing is this- CHANGE CAN BE GOOD. WITHOUT IT- WE ARE STILL THE SAME OLD DOLLAR BILL. We have to be willing to change parts of ourselves without hesitation or dependent on the opinions of others. This one is for my good. Today, I’m walking around feeling like a shiny, new quarter ready to be spent! I feel very capable of making decisions for myself after having given my ideas lots of thought. I have long fashioned my processing after the sculpted “Thinker” figure my mother kept atop the mantle of my childhood. The key is to allow change to happen gracefully, moving yourself and others out of the way. Take time to understand the associated risk and the pay off! That’s what I did with a simple decision about a haircut. I weighed the pros and cons. The cons were minimal. The worst that could happen didn’t outweigh the best that could replace them. I can’t stop smiling at myself in the mirror. I feel bold and as my girl Kisha said, I have “balls” for just doing it on a whim before I could change my own, or allow others to change my mind. I’ve begun to see things around me mIMG_0971 (1)ore clearly since I let go of that old hair; allowing the journey of others to inspire change in me… to get ME moving in a myriad of ways I’ll share later. I got to thinking about the things I’ve been neglecting, the loss of my time due to work and other obligations and how my true passions have been neglected.Just like my hair, I needed to change… to figure out how to make a dollar out of 15 cents (as I sang in my childhood. I now know what that means!). I’m working on that and have made an effort to change the way I go about spending my time. I am wearing my physical and mental change in thought on the inside and it is reflecting on the outside. That brings me to exactly how we should see change- as something to review, ACCEPT but DON’T DWELL on the hard parts (ex: for me- I will need to go to the barber/salon  more!), FIND the good (no more long styling sessions!), and EMBRACE only the good aspects. That’s a good revelation for me. And to think it all started with a simple haircut.  But this… today.. ain’t about hair. 😀

~Peace and Love Always


Photo cred: CNN
Photo cred: CNN
I realized a couple months ago that I haven’t been writing… Not because I had nothing to say, or hadn’t heard any good music or been inspired by a soft breeze while lying in the sun (all the cliches). I just hadn’t. But today… Today, I’m overcome with emotion for the group of folks who were minding their own business during a church bible study in Charleston, SC. A group of strangers who welcomed in a young man who later gunned them down simply because of the color of their skin per his own words. A young man (his name I will not speak and whose photo I will not share) who then went about his day of escaping, driving away from life. I imagined him calling his relatives, the people who loved him most or perhaps ignoring their calls because he didn’t want to hear what they had to say when they saw his picture flash across their tv or social media networks. The nine who were shot yesterday will never again have the chance to do any of that. They can’t escape. They can’t go about their day. They will never again be able to receive or dismiss a call. As I have watched all the debates occur surrounding this incident regarding race, faith, gun control and other issues it is the latter facts that strike me most deeply. I have tried to lose myself in the music that I usually like to critique. I’ve intentionally ignored related posts and refrained from commenting all while banishing all the thoughts and a keen desire to weep into my now cool mug of hot tea for all who were lost and the loves they unexpectedly left behind. I’m not winning today. I’ll try again tomorrow.

Let’s Play in the Mud (Clay, that is)

Thanks to my farm-raised mother, as a kid I always loved to run thru rainy puddles with my bare feet. I developed a special appreciation for pressing my toes into the squishy, coolness of mud and would later enjoy pulling night crawlers from their muddy holes during late nights in my neighborhood. My siblings and I earned money doing the latter from local fishermen and bait stores! While I still don’t mind walking into cool wet grass with my bare toes, I’d given up playing in the mud for more girly things like clay. Crafting ash trays and vases from clay was a favorite activity in art class and I always thought I’d pick it up later. While on the back to natural journey, I learned that many naturals wash their hair with mud/clay! If you didn’t know there are popular brands such as the one by Terressentials which can be ordered online. But you can also make your own, saving big $$$ just as I did last weekend. I already owned some clay which I use for homemade facials. In preparation, I wet my hair with a spray bottle:

You can buy Aztec brand clay at many local health stowethairwithspraybottleres, including Vitamin Shoppe, Raisin Rack and Whole Foods. Looking around on the internet I found some recipes. When determining a recipe, I sort of pick and choose the ingredients that I know my hair likes or NEEDS. I create my mix based on that information. This time, in the following order and in a plastic bowl (do not use metal as it changes the properties of the mix), I mixed:
2 tbsp Aztec Secret Healing Indian Clay (about $5)
1 tbsp Olive oil
1Tbsp of honey
Essential oils (depends on my hair needs – this time I used peppermint and basil)
1/3 c. of water or aloe vera juice (you can warm it a little for easier mixing). You may use more or less as it should be the consistency of pancake batter.

I then poured it into a bottle (must get a funnel for next time!). I applied the mixture to my dampened hair and scalp. I saturated my hair with the clay wash and rubbed it into my scalp. The basil and tea tree oils are stimulators, so it felt tingly! After applying, I put a plastic baggy on my hair and allowed the wash to perform magic on my strands! You can see from the picture that when I finished, I pinned the sections with bobby pins.mudappliedLetMudSit20Minutes

20 minutes later I washed it all out in the shower. Remember- this is actually for washing your hair so you don’t need to shampoo afterward. Don’t allow the clay to dry on your hair as it will become more difficult to rinse. Thoroughly rinse the clay from your hair with a cheap conditioner. I just took care of it in the shower which is how I lost my eye shadow and lipstick! LOLMudRinsed_ahhShrinkage

Afterward, I applied my leave-in and styled per usual. Now… this “shampoo” really does remove any product build up from your hair. You may not even know that you had any especially if you’re using products with silicones. For me, the wash encouraged my shrinkage (see the pic above) but left my hair clean, soft and shiny. I loved it and will do it once a week as I long ago abandoned shampoos. They leave my hair feeling stripped and dry which is why I mostly co-wash. Below is the twistout I got after styling. It’s full of shine, body and bounce!

That’s it folks! Will you or have you given mud washes a try? Share what were, or are your results!

Peace and love, naturally! AfterMudStyle

If you don’t know Missy Elliott…

Last night, singer/songwriter/rapper Missy Elliott performed with Katy Perry during the Super Bowl halftime show. Dare I say that Missy stole the show from Katy? Yes. I dare. From my Facebook feed, I encouraged Missy to “turn up” as she performed a medley of her hits including Lose Control. While I briefly wondered where was Ciara, I bounced around on my couch and sang- “I got a cute face, chubby waist, thick legs, in shape, rump shakin, both ways, make you do a double take!”

Not long after my post, a friend said that she’d never heard of Missy Elliott. Later, Buzzfeed revealed that my friend was not alone. I looked in disbelief at a post that shared the tweets of a bunch of folks who questioned Missy’s existence and suggested that Katy Perry was going to blow up the career of Missy just like Paul McCartney. Whaaat??!!! Who are these people?  Is there a music rock that people hid under during the early 2000s and beyond? Today I found out that if said rock exists, my CEO and CFO were under it also. Have they also never heard of Aaliyah, Timbaland and Ginuwine? I mean, I know boy bands were all the rage then, but this is tew much.

All this brings to mind a current music trend that has been bothering me a great deal. When I was growing up in the 80’s and 90s, my entire family could enjoy local radio stations. Deejays played artists enjoyed by my parents as well as those enjoyed by us youngsters. This means that adult artists like (to name a few) Natalie Cole, Chaka Khan, Barry White, Aretha Franklin, Luther Vandross, Hall & Oates, Phil Collins, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and James Ingram would get just as much radio play as artists enjoyed by those of us in the youth category, i.e. New Edition, Madonna,  Hi-Five, Bell Biv Devoe, Tevin Campbell, Whodini and LL Cool J. As one of those youth, I learned to love them all. There was diversity in music long before diversity became a subject in the workplace and in schools. It was a lifestyle. Hence, my confusion. Why did Missy’s appearance occur as a stumbling block for some viewers during the Super Bowl? There is no reason why any of the popular artists from the last 15-20 years should appear on a show and have a multitude of persons express oblivion to their very existence. It’s not like she’s even retirement age.  Herein is one of my complaints. Music doesn’t have an age, nor retirement date and neither should those who make the music. Yet that assumed expiration date is revealed when musicians like Missy reappear after even a brief hiatus.

One of my friends posted that Missy should return to the 2000s. I was further confused. This frame of thought around music is exactly what is killing the industry. It is part of what forces us to listen on radio to the same artists and their songs on repeat. As an adult, I should still be able to expect that my favorite artists are getting radio play. I am speaking of their new music, not those songs deemed good enough to be on the oldies but goodies stations. My generation loves music, has tremendous buying power and yet the music powers-that-be largely ignore us. We just KNOW there are some deranged 60-year old men (and women likely) determining what is cool enough to make radio. Like a dream killing Wizard of music, they pull the strings, tell US what is cool and what isn’t by simply paying the stations with the most access to repeat a handful of artists. They force us to like even the worst songs of Beyonce, Katy Perry (she’s cool), Rihana, Trey Songz, Chris Brown (whom I actually love) and a plethora of artists under 30. Meanwhile amazing artists like Tank, Goapele, Amel Larrieux , Raheem Devaughn, Slakah the Beatchild, Eric Roberson, Kindred and a host of other artists go ignored. So, heaven forbid an artist like Missy comes out of retirement so that the soup du jour can “make her career”. No people. Aaliyah sang it best- Age ain’t nothing but a number. Give all artists an opportunity to be heard beyond the pay-to-play schemes so that people can see there is more to music than top 40 and under 30! Additionally, mix up these radio stations. It’s nothing to hear Sam Smith on an urban station, but Top 40 stations will never play say… Mary J. Blige. Yet another reason, why artists aren’t know across genres. But I digress… It’s time for us (the consumers) to stop drinking the kool-aid. There is plenty of room in the pitcher but the big industry folks only wants us to stir in one flavor. We’ll call it cherry, but it tastes like a travesty. Now go- get your freak on!

P.S. If you dare follow her on Twitter, then you will see that Missy too was baffled and amused:

the new kids think I’m a new artist &I’m bout 2blow up like Paul McCartney Lord ha mercy chile I love me sum y’all

We’ll save the numerous other problems with radio and the music for another post.

Fall is here and pumpkin soup is back!

I have to confess. I’m on an eating plan called Whole30 (whole30.com if interested) and it prevents me from eating many things that I normally enjoy this time of year (fall) but especially my favorite pumpkin soup. Until about 6 years ago, I had only experienced the flavor of pumpkin in baked goods and sweets. Now it is everywhere, including in the ever popular Pumpkin Spice lattes at Starbucks (artificial flavorings and not nearly as good as this here!). Well, I can’t have those either. LOL! No shade to Starbucks by the way- I’m a gold member! 😀 Continue reading Fall is here and pumpkin soup is back!

Listen up: Integrity and The Sidepiece Agreement


Circulating the web this week, thanks to Huffington Post and Facebook were the rules to being an effective side chick. They termed it, The Sidepiece Agreement. One male friend however, (who clearly does not watch Scandal) referenced them as the Olivia Pope Agreement. This fun little slice of policy (perhaps written for fun) included a list of wonderful rules like (and these aren’t verbatim):
1. You are the other woman. Act Accordingly.
2. Maintain a positive vibe while we are in each other’s company
3. Don’t ask where this “situationship” is going and don’t tell anyone
4. Oh, and by the way, I’m still sleeping with my wife who I tell I love
As I explained on my friend’s feed, said rules did not apply to Olivia Pope because the person to whom she reports for duty is in love with her. He actually wanted to abandon his position and run off to Vermont toward a new life WITH her. Also, there is the point that his wife knew and encouraged the relationship as long as she did her duties and kept the boss in shape for election. Finally there is the most interesting point about Olivia Pope- she IS NOT REAL.

So, let’s talk about what IS real. First, some people really believe this crap. The second, ZERO INTEGRITY, applies whether the sidepiece is a male or female but for sake of time, and since the agreement focuses on the female, we shall focus on the male who drives said relationship/situationship. There is a serious lack of INTEGRITY in any male who carries on such a relationship but its often the female who is downgraded to a piece or pawn (as if she isn’t human) who gets shamed for it. Really? The truth is that it is a very passive aggressive situation in which the male doesn’t have the guts to tell his spouse/significant other that he wants to leave, nor to just leave without notice. Instead he boo hoos and pretends to the sidepiece that he is doing this because he is SO miserable that his legs won’t allow him to walk out. Sounds like bullsh-t, doesn’t it? That’s because it is and he (you if you’re one of them) is a PUNK. Today on the news there is a story of a man who left his child to die from heat exhaustion in the back of his car. After feigning shock, it has been found that he was sexting with other women the entire time AND he had told them that he was unhappy in his marriage. He told them… Up until now, his wife has defended him. She has gone so far as to say that she was the one who searched the level of heat required to kill a child in a vehicle. Apparently, that is something they just both wanted to know. I wonder if that charade will continue now that the truth has come to light. The truth is such a slippery slope these days. It’s so slippery that people no longer feel they should be honest with someone they call their spouse/significant other in the face of the public. It’s so watered down that they can have an excuse for being deceitful and only become sorry when they are caught. It has become such a water slide that they will invite stranger danger into their lives all for the sake of having a little excitement via the rules and agreement listed above. And yet, they could get the same exact freedom and excitement by simply… leaving.

I was thinking about NFL player Steve McNair who was also carrying on a sidepiece agreement with a woman who would later kill him at the secret apartment he shared with a “good friend”. He had gone on exotic vacations with this young girl. Obviously she hadn’t seen the agreement because she was waiting on him to leave his spouse who knew nothing of her (at least specifically). That’s a scary situation for anyone when you think about it. I see similar stories on murder/mystery documentaries and it never ends pretty. Further, its certainly unfair to the person with whom you formed the original agreement that is certainly not deemed null and void just because you don’t have the guts to be honest and have some integrity about yourself. This isn’t the 50s people. You can get divorced, you can leave, you can simply walk away. You don’t have to hurt or risk the lives of people you love just to escape from the pit of hell you have made for yourself. Go find some integrity in your personal relationships. It exists and your spouse/significant other will thank you for it after the pain of your departure. They don’t have to find out you’re a piece of crap once the truth of who you really are comes to light, nor should you wish that revelation on them. Your reflection in the mirror alone should cause you to want otherwise. Have some integrity. Deceit never begets anything positive. Man or woman up people.

P.S. And as for the sidepiece agreement- only an idiot believes that someone with whom you have a relationship built upon lies and deceit would abide happily forever after by rules you’ve made up in your head to suit your ego and dress up your lies. Maybe to your face, but during the 164 hours per week (give or take a few) you’re not around she has likely broken all of them. Yeah, I said it. Know your audience.