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Showing posts from 2014

Marriage: Two Truths And A Lie

Today is my parents' wedding anniversary.  I'm a really bad daughter, so I'm not exactly sure if they've been married 35 or 36 years. Either way that's a long time!
That's 35+ years of dealing with another person's funny habits and idiosyncrasies. Of learning how to handle their mood swings, figuring out what things you like to do together and things you'd rather do apart. Learning when to give each other space and when to hold on tight. Figuring out how to keep things "exciting" and "interesting". That's a long time. 
Growing up I asked my parents why they got married several times. I got different answers. Here are the top three reasons why my parents got married (from what I remember as a kid): 
1) For a ride to work. My parents worked at the same place when they met. Once Mama told me that the reason she married my dad was to get a ride to work. Now, back when we lived in Oklahoma this didn't seem like a good reason. But …

Boyfriend Shaming

I'm so guilty. 

I've always been a bit of a boyfriend shamer. I shame people for having cute relationships and loving their boyfriends a little too much. I shame myself for loving my boyfriend even a little bit. I shame my boyfriend for being amazing. 
All of these things are wrong and I am so disgusted with myself. It makes no sense. 
I do not trust men. I've had this problem all of my life and I'm not sure where it came from. I have an incredible, loving father and grandfather. I had spectacular male role models growing up and today. But somehow I've been taught to never, ever, under any circumstances trust a man. In an effort to always keep my distance I shame. 
I'm constantly team break-up. Did he cheat on you? Break up with him. Did he lie? Break up with him. Oh he got you carnations instead of roses? Break up with him. I honestly consider breaking up with my boyfriend for the tiniest infractions. Sometimes even for what I think he might do someday. That&…

All Of My Plants Are Dead

Mama always tells me I have a green thumb. Her plants would die one after the other during Oklahoma summers, but mine would thrive. They would just grow and grow... so she decided I had a green thumb and that I was good at growing things. And I believed her, like a dummy. 
Fast forward to college when I killed my birth plant. My mother was given an ivy the day I was born (that's why it's my "birth plant"). I'd managed to keep it alive for 21 years and then it just died, one leaf at a time withered away until it was nothing but a brown stalk. I had no idea why this had happened. I'd left it in my dorm room for just one week, healthy as ever. When I returned it started to die. This was the beginning of the end. 
Since then I haven't been able to keep any plant alive longer than a season. I've killed more green babies than I'd care to mention. And I don't understand why. Why have I failed my mother's prophecy? When did my green thumb turn bl…

How The New Prince Album(s) Wrecked My Life – In The Best Possible Way

If you don't know, now you know: Prince dropped an album yesterday called ART OFFICIAL AGE, and also brought us the debut album from his chick trio 3RDEYEGIRL titled PLECTRUMELECTRUM. 
 The Almighty Prince has been teasing us with new music for quite awhile now, dropping singles like "Breakfast Can Wait" long before the new album was announced. But then came the catchy and sexy "U Know" and the news that Prince would give us the first breath of new music since 20Ten in 2010. 
I've spent all of yesterday and today listening to these albums and I'm still not done. No surprise: Prince is blowing my mind. I'm a sucker for an album that tells a story, and this one tells a tale that's futuristic and retrospective at the same damn time. How? Prince, that's how. There's a wondering feeling that the protagonist is trying to find his place in life and love, only to discover (with the help of a guiding being) that he is everything, everything is h…

How To Make (Impostor) Ice Cream

I love ice cream. I love its sugary, creamy, cold goodness.  To me, there is no better ice cream than the ice cream they have at Braums. Unfortunately I'm hundreds and hundreds of miles from the nearest Braums, so I make due with things like Baskin Robbins and Haagen Dazs. It's a hard life. 
Even the substitute ice creams have fallen by the wayside, as I am smack in the middle of month two of drastically cutting down my sugar intake. I'm not crazy: I still eat fruits that are full of natural sugar. Occasionally I'll drink juice (though I try not to, pressed juices exempt). I still use honey and sometimes raw sugar when I cook/bake, but never more than two teaspoons of sugar. I'm not going to pass up a Nature Valley crunchy granola bar, which is loaded with sugar. Like I said: not crazy. But I have stopped drinking my normal two hot chocolates per day. In fact, I haven't had a hot chocolate since June. 
I know you've picked up the phone to report a pod pers…

Live Indie Tunes at Echo Park Rising

To be honest ,there really isn't a time that I don't crave live music. I'm always down to see a show. But last week I realized that it had been quite some time since I had seen small-time, indie-type bands play. Little-known bands are my heart and really, what are we without our hearts? What are we without hyphens?
When I caught wind of a (read: FREE) music festival happening in Echo Park, I was all the way down.

It was simple enough to rope my tune-lovin' Jersey boy into coming with me because he knows the lead singer/guitar player of The Streetwalkin' Cheetahs, one of the bands playing the event. 
We got to Echo Park in time to hear the end of the set preceding The Streetwalkin' Cheetahs.
The band: The Groms.
The sound: Loud.
Think surf party music but darker and with more yelling. This makes sense because apparently a Grom is a young surfer. Thanks, Urban Dictionary. The venue was a gallery – as Echo Park Rising was also an art festival – so the sound wasn&…

White Children Are Not Taught The Same Lessons About The Police As Black Children

Since the Mike Brown tragedy, I've been riddled with grief.  Every few minutes I need to disconnect myself from whatever I'm trying to do and breathe deeply in order to bring myself away from the verge of tears. 
All week (white) people have been asking me what's wrong. How do I answer that?  It occurred to me that, to them, this situation is unfathomable. How could an officer of the law allegedly shoot a young man who was unarmed seven times? In what world does something like that happen? I understand that, even though my Twitter feed looks like notes from a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee meeting (or sometimes a Black Panther meeting), while their feeds are business as usual. I realized this when a coworker shared Refinery29's coverage of #IfTheyGunnedMeDown with me on Thursday, and asked me if it had anything to do with the rally I was rushing to. 
In our world, far too often. The kicker is that we, as minorities, know we are not on a level playing field.…

7 Steps To Being The Best Best Friend Ever -or- Happy Birthday, Jenna!

Today is a very special day because today is Jenna's 30th Birthday.  That means that she and I have been best friends for half of our lifetime, approximately 15 years.  I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure that makes us professional besties. 
So, with about a decade and a half under our belts, I feel we are more than capable of sharing with you the secrets of a long-lasting friendship. Not just a friendship, but a bond worthy of a preceding "best." 
1. Always be honest

Life isn't always perfect. Everyone knows this. So why do we walk around pretending it is? Why do we perpetrate on our Facebook and Instagram profiles so that everyone thinks we got it goin' on? Someone has to know the real us. It helps if that someone isn't afraid to tell us when we're wrong. Be honest with your best friend and listen when they're honest with you. Knowing you've always got each other's best interest at heart makes it a lot easy to swallow their co…

New Music From King Tuff - A Little Band You Need To Know About

King Tuff is a band I never would have discovered on my own. That actually bugs the shit out of me because I pride myself on finding quality bands first so that I can share them with my friends and they'll be all like "I know about this cool band because Doriean told me about them!" "Doriean introduced me to this awesome band and now I can't stop listening to them!" "Doriean is so beautiful and intelligent with an incredible taste in music!" You know, normal responses.

King Tuff is a band you need to know about that I wish I had found first, but I gotta credit Jersey Mike for this one.  Their sound is different from anything in the mainstream - plus. They tour in small venues opening for the likes of Dinosaur, Jr. - another plus.

Kyle Thomas, the King Tuff, has one of those voices you either love or hate. That is at first. Once you hear the amazing talent Thomas has on a guitar, you'll get it. This kid from Vermont is the real deal. King Tuff&#…

Pearl Jam Covered "Let It Go," Proving The Song Officially Unavoidable

I'm not even going to ask you if you know "Let It Go," because children all over the world have completely forgotten about their Three Blind Mice and Twinkling Stars and now refuse to sing anything BUT "Let It Go" from Frozen on repeat, ad nauseam.
Honestly I've done a grand job of avoiding the tune and the movie so far. Though I realize I'm going to have to watch the movie to fully understand the new character on Once Upon A Time, I know I have several weeks before I have to suffer through the kids' phenomenon we call Frozen. I definitely thought I would be able to avoid the award-winning song for a bit longer. 
Until fucking Eddie Vedder covered it. 
Apparently at their show Friday in Milan, Vedder and his band, Pearl Jam - you may have heard of them - added the main refrain of "Let It Go" to their hit "Daughter." One of the greatest alternative songs of all time blended with probably one of the greatest Disney songs of all ti…

Black Music Month Continues - Artist Spotlight: Janelle Monae

I'm not even going to try to come up with a worthy introduction. 
Janelle Monáe.

In 2010, Monáe was hand selected by Prince to perform a song during a tribute to the legendary artist on BET. I don't know if you understand: Prince specifically requested that the then essentially unknown Monáe perform one of his classics. With that seal of approval, Monáe could do no wrong. 
And she hasn't. Backed by Big Boi (yup, of OutKast), Monáe has consistently brought quality music with a futuristic feel to the R&B game. On top of that, her astounding beauty has given hope to all of us naturalistas just trying to get by. 
 Monáe is one of the many gorgeous faces of COVERGIRL, the poster child for females donning masculine chic, and a constant inspiration for natural up-dos. Normally her curls are tucked and pinned to perfection. But just a few days ago Janelle let her twist-out fly free for the cameras. The result? Flawless of course: Beauty aside, the chick is talented. Here are …

Happy Black Music Month! Artist Highlight: Miguel

Welcome to June!
May was a long month for me. Most of the time months just zoom by, but I feel May took it's sweet time. Most likely because I was mostly unemployed for the month. I also spent some time with friends and family back home, so life slowed just a bit for a week in the middle of May. Learning the ropes at two new part time jobs has been grueling for me (I hate not knowing what I'm doing) so that made the days drag some as well. Needless to say, I'm happy June is here.
Another reason June is fantabulous? It's Black Music Month, or "African American Music Appreciation Month" according to Barack Obama. The observance started back in the early 70's when President Jimmy Carter decided we should celebrate black music. When you think of the 60's it's evident: black music ruled the airwaves those days.

Throughout the month I'm going to highlight artists who I feel are doing big things in black music. But first it's probably a good ide…

Words Never Die - Rest In Heaven Dr. Maya Angelou

Heaven gained an angel today. A woman who "flung" songs up at heaven, fought for equal rights for women and minorities, and inspired more than one generation. Maya Angelou was a "rainbow" in so many "clouds."  In high school we were asked to select a poem and recite it for our class.  Our task was to memorize it and really deliver. I choose "Phenomenal Woman" by Angelou. Memorization was never my strong point, and on d-day I flubbed words, got flustered, and felt like a failure. How could I have done such a disservice to a poem that lifted me so? "Phenomenal Woman" was my coming of age mantra and I discredited it in front of my entire English class. 
That was the same school year my teacher told me I was a really good writer. It was also the same year I completed my first published work, a poem. It was the year I realized writing was more than something I enjoyed, it was something I loved and could actually do well. Why? Because I was…

John Mayer Covered Beyoncé's "XO" And It's Everything You Wanted

Who needs another reason to love "XO?" Ok, me neither. But I've got one for you anyway. 

John Mayer has taken Beyoncé's sweet, synthy "XO" and covered it the only way he knows how: with near acoustic perfection. While Bey's version reminds us of a fun-filled celebration of love, Mayer takes us back to that same I-didn't-know-I-was-so-special-until-you-sang-to-me-John feeling reminiscent of "Your Body Is A Wonderland." 

So it's time to pull out those flashing "B" bow headbands again. Just set them to a slower, calmer pulse and check out Mayer's version of "XO" below. 

Robin Thicke Wants to "Get Her Back"

For all you lovers out there who ever created a mixtape for a crush. For all of you who have created a playlist, carefully selecting songs that lyrically defined every feeling you were going through. For those of you who lined up tracks speaking the intense words of your lovesick heart...
Take a back seat to Robin Thicke. 

Robin Thicke performed his single "Get You Back," at Sunday's Billboard Music Awards and released the song officially thereafter. The tune is an obvious plea for the return of his estranged wife and baby mama, Paula Patton. The song is sweet, simple, and down right catchy. 
As you well know, Robin and his so-gorgeous-how-dare-you-mess-this-up wife have been separated for several months. According to witness' alleged accounts, Patton still cares deeply for Thicke, but is extremely hurt by his actions following (and perhaps during?) last year's MTV Music Awards. 
Who's to know if this display of affection spread across the airwaves will work…

"New" Songs From Michael Jackson

If you don't understand the magic that is Michael Jackson, stop reading.  In fact, stop being my friend altogether. I'm so serious right now. 

When I was a little girl, I was going to marry Michael Jackson. In all of his leather-clad, wavy haired, light-skinded glory. That man was going to be my husband because he was (and is) EPIC. Women straight up passed out at his concerts BEFORE HE EVEN HIT THE STAGE. The pure anticipation that he would be on that stage sections and sections in front of them in fifteen to twenty-five minutes drove them so crazy that they fainted and were escorted out of the arena. 
Michael Jackson is the ultimate. Still. 
When the "This Is It" tour was announced, I prepared to sell everything I owned to buy a ticket. I have a fear of flying over oceans (don't ask) but I just knew he would announce some US shows. 
Then it happened, and so many dreams dissappeared.
So now, with a "new" album on the way out, I'm grabbing at anyth…

A Weekend Getaway In Solvang, California

For an unemployed gal, I sure do get around. 
I'm doing my best to enjoy this time. In the past when I've been without work or worried about the future, I've wasted so much energy worrying about what's coming next. This time I'm absorbing every bit of each day because soon I may be wishing I had more me time. Some days are so much harder than others. But this past weekend made appreciating the simple... simpler.

My first morning in Solvang, aka "Dutch Disneyland," started with a ridiculously yummy breakfast on a sun-filled and dog-friendly patio, complete with lemonade and mango/pineapple mimosas. 

Yeah, it's like that. 
Our first adventure was to visit the Ostrich and Emu farm near town. 
Jersey Mike had a friggin' blast feeding those beasts. He kept murmuring something about Jurassic Park feet and mentioned he had become "one with the Ostrich," whatever that means. 

 I gave it a shot feeding the emus. They were hungry little suckers. …