Wednesday, August 25, 2010


this angelic singer with a baggy b-girl style, had ladies across the land rocking their long black hair (real or purchased) over one eye… well i know i did… this slim lady with abs that were highly admired and enviable. she held the poise of someone who r. kelly sang about in his song homie, lover, friend.  she was pre-ciara, pre-alicia, pre-keri... pre-beyonce.

aaliyah transitioned from this life nine years ago today… i always remember where i was when i heard the news… laying in my bed, listening to the radio and hoping that hot97 was reporting a rumor… i remember how devastated my nephew felt.  he thought that everyone lived to be old, nobody died when they were young....

 * * * * * * * * * * * * *
give me the original of anything. i appreciate the real, not the duplicated... i just find that the redone is usually sub-par... but i have stumbled something that i feel is a gem.

aaliyah revisited is a collaboration album released by soul culture this time last year to commemorate aaliyah… with artists like jesse boykins III, marsha ambrosius and sy smith… a few not so mainstream artists…  they have redone some of aaliyah’s hits. jesse boykins III has a voice like butter… as my mother would say… his voice is smooth and wispy-like… and when he sings I care 4 u my insides melt like butter… 

if it was possible to "neo-soul" aaliyah, it has been done with this project... and it can be downloaded for free! just by clicking here...

RIP Aaliyah Dana Haughton (January 16, 1979 - August 25, 2001)

Friday, August 13, 2010

through the seasons...

he played sade for me... he knows how i love sade... if i'm pissed i throw on sade and chill.  he knows my favorite song.  he said "if that didn't work i was gonna put on anita"...

he made the drive to new york. after months of let-downs and angry words, he appears at my door saturday afternoon with flowers, eyes filled with sincerity and a cd to play sade. i am quick to anger and slow to forgive. i am hardened by the months that we've been apart.

we talked face-to-face. it bothered me to end our relationship over text messages, email and telephone but i did it anyway. however after seeing him and being in his presence, i forgave him.  slowly the anger melted from me.  slowly love wrapped its way around my words and my facial expressions.  slowly, i forgave him, he forgave, we communicated straight from our hearts.

our loveship is different.  it's special.  we have known each other since we were teens.  we lost touch for a while but when we reconnected, we fell into a familiar rhythm, it felt so right, it felt complete. i love him, i have always loved him and he loves me.

this wasn't a kiss and make-up session - it was truth-telling, harsh but honest. at the end of our conversation we discovered that all we really want is to be happy. for months everything seemed so complicated, clouded and perplexed, yet in an instant, everything became clear again, light and revived... that's what truth-telling will do.

i'm not his lady, he's not my dude, we don't count the days, months or years, we just are...we are friends, we are mates, i don't own him and he doesn't own me... this could end next week or it could last a lifetime.

i love him with an open heart... i don't want to control him and he doesn't want to control me... as he was leaving i told him "let's not pretend"... our attraction and affection has always been effortless... if we cannot be genuine with each other, then we should allow nature to have its way... simple... i did find that when i allowed love to govern, when i surrendered my ego and allowed love to quietly reign, he reflected that love right back to me...

we're not over... but we didn't peddle backwards... we put our issues to bed... we moved forward...

*artwork: sweet magnola by jared small

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

random words i type...

~i had a great day yesterday.  i played hookie from work and i took my babies out to coney island.  someone gave us baseball tickets and after the game i took them over to the amusement park side so they could get on a few rides.

~yeah the brooklyn cyclones beat the connecticut tigers!!!

~it was hot!  and i believe that i am a shade darker... on top of my bermuda tan.

~i love and miss the coney island of my youth.  as a child, my parents and their peeps would gather us kids and we'd head out to coney island on the D-train.  it seemed like forever until we got there.

~ice cream, nathan's hot dogs, seafood for my parents, colorful lollipops and cotton candy... i can't forget my favorite rides and the spook house... some of the old rides and the spook house are still standing and still in service... not me. then we'd take D-train back home and i'd fall right asleep before we hit brooklyn bridge - oh the fun.

~i talk a lot... sometimes too much and sometimes i state some very profound sayings... the problem is, i don't remember none of it. 

~i see it, i can feel it, my hand sometimes grips it but i shall not open pandora's box.

~if i don't remember the words coming out of my mouth... does that mean i don't really mean them? hmmm

~i had this pain for many months - could have been for about a year.  knee pain.  disturbing, crippling, painful pain... and last week the pain went away. just like *snap* that.

~i love that my children have personality.  i had a permanent grin on my face all yesterday. they gave "evil words of encouragement" to the opposing team. we all danced (to this and i thought of your post KayC!)  and we did the cha-cha slide... all in the noon day sun.

~took me a whole week to stop favoring my right knee.  i had to realize that i can now stand without the stiffness, walk up the stairs without putting my weight on my left leg first and that i could run down the stairs again.  every time i move with some speed, pain free, i say THANK YOU.

~i am loving this season of true blood... alcide... alcide... if you're a true blood watcher then you'll know i am summoning the sexy were (as in werewolf).

~persistence overcomes resistance... that's the saying, right?  well persistence is turning into annoyance with this chick from work who is trying to hit on me...

~nope - that's not the pandora's box that i sometimes embrace. 

~i joined a book club with a friend from high school and we're reading "the other wes moore" very interesting.

~i need to finish this book by saturday night.  i am on page 16.

~i think it's a good book but my mind isn't clear....

~i saw wes moore when i went to the harlem book festival last month... where i also met blogger CapCity... and i saw and spoke with my one of my favorite authors Bernice McFadden... and i saw Terry McMillan and Sonia Sanchez. what an awesome day it was... as dc's aunt would say... "it was so intelligent".

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010


    her and her husband had been arguing.  "little things", "stupid things" she told me.  i understand bits of what she tells me due to her heavy russian accent.  "something's wrong with him, i'm taking him to the hospital, i don't know what it is but my husband is not my husband".  that's what she told me right before i went on vacation.  when i returned back to work, she was sitting shiva.  her husband of 33 years committed suicide.

    her cubby is diagonal from mine and i look over my right shoulder periodically just to make sure she's "here".  today she's not.  she tells me "i thought i was going to get better but i'm only getting worse".  i worry about her but i have yet to find words to console her.  it pains me that all i have offered her is a hug or a warm hand on her arm.

    when i came back to work, silly me, i kept giving her the sad face... the i-know-you're-going-through-and-so-i'm-going-to-show-you-my-miserable face.  i didn't realize why she kept avoiding me until i saw another co-worker giving her the same face. i quickly corrected myself.

    when she returned to work, i knew that she wanted to get back to normal.  she wanted to be around her friends, her co-workers and her work to prevent her from thinking about her grief... but her managers gave her even more grief by telling her that her performance was off, she was here but not here, not realizing that she needed time to cope.  they took 15 minutes away from her annual time because she left work at 9:45 on the morning her husband died.  some folks are incredibly insensitive... and that's putting it lightly.

    however, she has a strong support system.  plenty of children, grandchildren and her close friends.  one of our co-workers, who is a good friend of hers, bought her a cat.  she named the cat after her husband's nickname.

    it is my hope that she becomes stronger daily... that she and her entire family find peace.  at some point in our lives we've all sat on the front pew of a church or funeral home... some of us have sat shiva... all of us have mourned... and i pray that my fellow co-workers, her supervisors, find compassion and offer it to her...

    Monday, August 2, 2010

    dance... and other things...

    when i was in my teens, my parents separated.  my mother became depressed but it didn't last for long and i have marvin gaye to thank for that.  somehow, some way my mother either bought or was given the entire marvin gaye music collection.  on friday nights, my mother would throw on her cds, sip on some brown juice and relax.  eventually those friday nights became dance nights for us.  it started with her showing me how to do the "hitch hike".  after that, we had a new routine on fridays, she'd throw on the marvin and we'd move to "pride and joy", "stubborn kind of fellow", "hitch hike", and "grape vine".

    1st thing saturday morning my mother called.  she was frantic.  one of her locs popped and she was ready to cut off her hair, which is midway to her waist. she had no idea where the loc broke off from but she screamed in the phone "if you don't get here with a solution, i'm taking the scissors to my head, i swear". i knew she was lying, just peeved that her hair was breaking so i went over to her place.  after washing and treating her hair, she was happy again.  so with that, i threw on some marvin gaye, grabbed my mom and we hit the living room floor.

    it wasn't easy.  my mother didn't want to dance.  half way through the 1st song and she was done.  by the end of the 2nd song, she went to shut off the stereo.  i danced the 3rd song by myself and she joined me for the 4th and 5th songs.  we twirled and dipped.  i grabbed her around the waist and we joined hands for one number but then she pushed me away so she could dance solo.  it was great to see my mom move and laugh and have fun.

    when i was prompted by my sister KayC to dance on national day of dance (july 31st), i eagerly agreed, not really realizing that i ain't as young as my heart feels and my body is slightly stiff from inactivity. after dancing those 5 songs, all i wanted was a shower and two motrin.

    my homie CB is my party partner.  hip-hop, r&b, reggae, soca - i can count on her to be my dance companion.  it just so happens that my partner is home recovering from surgery.  we read KayC's baila! post together last monday and she touted her lips as she told me that i can't go dancing because she can't go dancing.  i laughed at her as i facebooked my homie from high school who wanted someone to join her at  club fantasy on saturday.

    as i finished errands on saturday and had a moment to rest my bones, i got a text from CB "urgh i'm bored".   as much as i'm cool with my high school friend, she's not my ace. CB also has the best soca music collection.  so i put on my black leggings, my hot pink shirt and my sensible sandals and headed to CB's.  i promised to bring her some walter mosley books, some sparkling moscato and i picked up some cod fish fritters and ginger beer to cheer her up.  as soon as i walked in the door, i asked her to throw on the soca cd with the song where the woman sings about deep sea diving... all CB could do was chair dance but me, her mom and her dad whine up and whine dung low all tru deh living room.  we danced and sweated, sipped some moscato and ate and then we danced and sweated some more.

    sundays are my usual dance days... and so the pahty continued last night with caribbean fever... i thank my sister KayC who double-dared me! i released a lot this weekend and dancing was my instrument!