Monday, February 9, 2015

I am not a STAN, I am a well informed supporter of a smart business woman

Most of my friends incorrectly assume that because I have been a fan of Beyonce since she burst onto the scene almost 2 decades ago, that I am blind follower. That I activate my BeyHive senses whenever her name is brought up in conversation...okay, wait, that is partly correct. I'd like to point out that I don't always comment on hateful comments about her. So many people hate Beyonce for the sake of hating Beyonce. When people say I'm a STAN, what they are misinterpreting is my ability to challenge their unfounded statements, with actual facts. Beyonce is a talented force who is hard working and smart. Yes, she's smart. No way you get to her status and make the calculated moves she makes without being a smart business woman. Did I say she was intellectual or educated, no. I said she was smart. Since there are varying levels of smart, she deserves to be put in the same sentence as that word. If you want to challenge me, I dare you. 

Now while I love my girl, I must say, a few of her choices over the past year have left me annoyed and disappointed. First there was Elevatorgate. Sigh. I had a short conversation with my sisters about this incident that went something like this.

Me: Did you hear about Beyonce, Jay Z and Solange in the elevator?!!!
Them: Yeah!
Me: If you ever...
Them: (cuts me off) We know. We would never.
Me: Cool
Them: And you would never..
Me: (cuts them off) Girl bye, no. 

When I watched the video of Solange going ham on JayZ in the elevator and Beyonce just watching, I just couldn't comprehend. After about 5 minutes of physical abuse and spitting from Solange, Beyonce finally stepped in. 
My sisters know me very well. Kicking and spitting any grown ass man especially their spouses and father of their child(ren)?!!! Chile, if my sis did that to my spouse, I might black out. They know this. I know this. Feet stay on the ground. Spit stays in mouth. At all times. I've never raised my hand to a man. Barely have ever raised my voice. I choose to deal with arguments with men in an opposite way of what I saw growing up. Now while my sisters' partner thoroughly raises my blood pressure, I keep my hands at my side when addressing them. 

Then there was the tour with her husband. Since I loved her last album, there was no way I wasn't going to see her live. It was worth the flight from New York to Los Angeles for the weekend just to see her (oh and my little sis and fam too!). During the concert, I sang every lyric to every song. Including JayZ's and especially their duets.  [Insert Yaaaaaassssss getcho liiiiife huntttty!!!] However, I was a little tired of seeing every inch of her body during her performances. She's bad. She knows she's bad. Jay Z knows this. Shoot the President and first lady knows this. But boo I don't need to see your crotch throughout an entire concert. The pole dance/strip tease type session was just, yawn. I was over it. But overall, it was a good time.

Then there's the biggest movement of our time and her silence. I was again, disappointed. Another chance for her to take a public stand and nothing. But let's be clear here. Beyonce and her husband make several private and anonymous donations throughout the year.  They have donated to the Ferguson movement on the ground and send hundreds of high school students to college each year. JayZ quietly started an educational trust fund for the children of NYPD shooting victim Sean Bell.  While his meeting with Governor Cuomo to discuss criminal justice reform was more of a political move for Cuomo than anything else, Jay-Za philanthropist and we can't discredit that. Up until last night, Beyonce hadn't really said much except for fairytale, we are the world IG posts. I didn't find her actual performance and believe other artists could perform the song better, including Beyonce. She was just, off. I understood the politics behind choosing her. While people will argue (and looking at my Facebook timeline, plan on arguing all day for a while) that Ledisi should have performed, I can tell you why she did not. 

The Selma soundtrack performances were left for the end of the program for a reason. When you add Beyonce to anything, you are guaranteed ratings.  In addition to her loyal (BeyHive) fans sitting through the 4 hour show, ALL of her haters sat through it to just to hate. Not sure why people have that much time on their hands but okay you proved why the Grammy's liked the idea of Beyonce over Ledisi. Doesn't matter if Beyonce asked herself or was selected, the bottom line is she brings in ratings. Higher ratings, equal more advertiser dollars.  It's the production of the show that defines its value far more than quality. Even though her performance was a little off, it was a moving performance for one reason. If you blinked, you missed it. 

For 2.5 seconds, Beyonce used the biggest platform to bring awareness to the Black Lives Matter movement. While viewers were distracted by her inappropriate sheer white gown and flowing mermaid like hair, her background dancers/singers dressed in all white suits held their hands up in the 'Hands Up' gesture. The gesture is the same used that has recently been used demonstrates protesting the death of unarmed black men at the hands of police. While Pharrell's similar use of the gesture and Prince's black lives matter statement before giving out the award for album of the year, is getting loads of attention, let's not miss skip over Beyonce's gesture. This is musics' biggest awards show. She chose this platform to take a stand and for that, and only that, her performance was moving. 

Smart move Beyonce, smart move. 

FYI: You can support someone and disagree with some of their actions. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Things I Need to Finish...

House of Cards Season 2
Breaking Bad
Mad Men
Game of Throne books I was reading
Orange is The New Black Season 2

So many things to finish
so much time
so little motivation
to finish these things

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Let Me See Your Grill

Two years; that's the length of my sentence. I've run through the gamut from nostalgia to optimism. I'm going to miss what use to be but I'm excited to see what's in store. Everyone who has been in my shoes has talked about exactly what is in-store...pain. The first day wasn't the most painful. No, that would be day two and three. And from what I hear, every 4-6 weeks for the next two years.

As each day passes it becomes easier to live with this foreign object in my mouth. It's just a temporary part of who I am now. That is, until I get up in the morning and look in the mirror. Oh hey girl! You're 16 all over again. Well, some other 16 year old because this was not my life as a teenager. It wasn't in my parents plan. Actually, I don't think I ever made a fuss about how much it bothered me to anyone let alone my parents. If you pay close enough attention to my childhood school pictures, you will see how I felt about my smile. Around 2nd or 3rd grade, I began to master my smize. Chile, I learned how to smize long before Tyra Banks coined the term.  

Sometime during high school someone told me I had a beautiful smile. A few someone's actually and I started to believe it too. I started smiling ear to ear in school pictures. I didn't care about the gaps. My teeth were unique. They were cute. My undersized teeth were adorable. My smile was innocent and lovable. My smize was no longer necessary. Life was fun and I expressed my happiness with my teeth, so I smiled. A lot. 


Of course there's a but. Why else would there be a need for a blog post if there wasn't one. But, I still wasn't 100% happy with my smile. Yes my teeth were by definition perfectly straight. I had no overbite, no crowding, nothing that the average person who seeks an orthodontist is trying to correct. Nope my issue was quite the opposite. The spaces in between my teeth were wiiiiiiiiide. It made it hard to enjoy certain foods. My little chompers couldn't quite destroy an apple, instead the juicy small fruit would bruise my sensitive gums. Can you believe not even a damn apple could be trusted? Also, while I loved my view from straight forward, I hated my side profile. The spaces in between my little chiclets had a way of making a cameo when I didn't ask them to. I knew the solution to this situation and it was expensive. Although I surely had the money to pay for the procedure many years ago, I spent it on other things: clothing, traveling, and food. You know, more important things.

That was until this year. This year I had saved enough to pay for them upfront. There is no monthly payment plan for this Lil Jon grill. Nope, it all belongs to me. Although I haven't posted any social media pictures sharing them with the world, I don't mind them. I actually kind of like them. On one hand, lately I have been mistaken for being in my early twenties so this only adds to my fun. On the other hand, they're just cute. My sweet and charming appearance has just been amplified. In addition, this is only temporary. These braces are a means to an end. In two years, I plan on eating hard foods and smiling ear to ear without a second thought. 

No apples formed against me shall prosper!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Guest Post: Comfortable with Nothing by NotYourAllyKat

NotYourAllyKat is back with another post following her 3 part blog series

When I first moved to New York I was full of excitement, hope, and wonder. At the time I literally had like four dollars in my bank account, was sleeping on a couch smaller than me, and no job.  So it’s not strange to me that I was full of excitement, hope, and wonder because since everything else was lacking those feelings were all I had. To have everything you must be comfortable with nothing. As I sit here two years later, with everything I was missing two years ago, I realize it may be time for me to have nothing again.  I’m not talking about moving to some random country (although that, too, sounds appealing) or a reckless career change (I’m actually somewhat good at what I do) but nothing in terms of waste of time relationships.

I have a very generous, open, and free-loving spirit. Throughout the years it has been bruised as I have gave time and time again more than I received. Though that has caused a tough exterior, inside I am still just as soft as cotton candy. Being the tough “cool” girl, I’m the girl that always has someone. Maybe even perhaps a team of guys that all serve different purposes. There’s dinner guy, drinks guy, sex guy, guy I text when I’m bored, guy in a different city that boosts my ego..the list can actually get quite expansive when I allow it to.  My free loving spirit has granted me probably more than the average amount of sexual encounters but the people I have actually cared for can be counted on one hand.

Lately my feelings of excitement, hope, and wonder have been missing and I think it’s because I was wasting time with a guy who I really liked (number 4) but just wasn’t all the way with me. The absolute worse thing you can say to a girl is I really like you and could see myself with you, but I don’t want a relationship. What kind of fucked up mixed signals are those? Everyone knows girls hold on hope to the one little good thing they hear. Actions speak louder than words and in this case his actions were the kind you do when you want a relationship. I was trying to be the “cool” girl and hold on to the good feelings I had when I was around him, ignoring all the blatantly obvious signs of the rising tide that would eventually drown me. I don’t blame him necessarily but wished he could have been a bit more understanding when I was explaining my feelings instead of just saying I told you so.

I don’t want to be the “cool” girl anymore. Being that girl gets you nothing that you want.  Let’s face it although it is not my main priority in life I do want to settle down and be able to call one man my partner in life. Indie Arie says it best, “I am ready for love.” If I were writing this three years ago I would have followed that with a GEY. But it’s not GEY; it’s what I want, eventually. Not today, next month, or even next year but someday. So if you aren't aligned with my life goals then you don't belong in my life. So now I’m back in the desert of nothingness, a sad but smart choice. I guess I’d rather be hot all by myself then lost in the mirage of an oasis of some one else.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

So, when are you moving back?

Even before I boarded the plane to New York City, I had several people ask me the same question; "So, when are you moving back?"  I completely understand the reasoning behind the inquisition, I mean the most favorite person in the whole wide world, or in Culver City, California, was moving across the country.

There was no accident in me choosing New York City to start the next chapter of my life. The truth is I had only applied to three schools. One in California, one in Chicago and one in New York. Thank the lord I didn't get into the school in Chicago. There aren't enough sweaters and coats to get me through those winters. When I got the early admission into NYU, I ignored the request from another school I applied to for additional documents. I knew New York was where I wanted to be. I quickly submitted my handsome deposit to secure my spot before telling anyone my plans. I felt super bad about being so secretive for months but this wasn't about them, this was about me.

I was stuck in a job I didn't love and feeling like I would regret not doing something for myself for once, so New York City was the move. Not because I had always dreamed about moving there, I didn't actually do much research before selecting the city. I chose New York because it seemed like a challenge. Like the song says, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. My original answer to the question, "So, when are you moving back?" was  "Two years." Duh. My program was only going to last two years. What reason would I have to stay any longer?  So, that was my original response, two years. For the first year, my response was consistent. I really liked living in New York, but I could abandon my family for too much longer. I had a new nephew and a sister who needed me.

Two years.

Fast-forward to right before graduation in 2013. I had absolutely no job prospects but it made me sick to think about leaving. I had made so many new friends I was just beginning to get to know and some of my old friends had moved to the city. I couldn't leave just yet. I made a vow to myself, if I didn't find a job by December of that year, I would return back to Los Angeles. I looked at it as fate. I also looked at it as I would be flat broke and wasn't ready to live on the streets with old roommates I had kicked out, Mickey and Jerry. They are not as cute and furry as you may think,  I should know I've had these furry creatures as roommates at two out of the four of my New York apartments.

Well as fate had it, I wasn't destined to move back in 2013. I found a job right before my money well went dry. Well the well wasn't that dry, I had a fantastic temporary job at the same place that ended up hiring me into a permanent dream position in the middle of November 2013. It looked like it was not time just yet for me to return. But the question, "So, when are you moving back?" reappeared since my two years was up and I had just gotten a new position. So I thought practically, about my family and friends in LA and chose a year, 2016. At the time, I truly believed 2016 was going to be my time to return. It was far enough away to make me feel comfortable but close enough to make others happy. There I go again, trying to make others happen. I truly believed that in 2016, I would make my move back across the country.

Two years.

Today marks the beginning of 2015. It hit me that that makes 2016 just next year. Look I majored in math for 1 year at UCLA so yes I know basic math but I really didn't feel 2016 would creep up so quickly. What's not so surprising is my date has possibly changed. I love what I'm doing at NYU. I'm possibly up for great changes this year in my career. And yes, I still keep others in mind when deciding my current answer to the question. But my answer to the question "So, when are you moving back" has changed. My new answer:

I don't know.

There are so many things that have occurred over the past two, three, four years that I couldn't have predicted in a million years. Some good, some bad, and some just what they were. I have stopped trying to figure out every detail of my future. I could end up back in LA, it could be Chicago (no wait, we ruled out that cold ass city a few paragraphs ago), or it could be Timbuktu. I'm not sure when and where I'm moving from New York but it will happen when I'm ready. I will be sure to take others into account when I decide my future, because I don't live in a bubble and I know my actions affect others I truly care about. However, wherever and whenever it is, my move will ultimately be about me.

Monday, December 29, 2014

0 to 100 Real Quick

I can't sleep so I'm up thinking about my favorite topic; my dating. I had a good laugh thinking about men and how crazy they are. Fun but bat shit crazy. Just last week I ran into a guy I use to date and things (for him) went from 0 to 100 real quick. He wanted to rekindle what we had and I wanted to continue dancing my night away, alone. After we had a conversation about the ending of our little ship, he thought it was a good idea to call me the days following. Of course he was the kind of guy to pick up the phone and call, he's crazy remember.

A little background on this gentleman, I met him at an art event at the beginning of last year. We went out a few times, literally 3 times before he stopped calling. It was very clear to me that he stopped calling because I turned down his invitation for a home cooked meal.  I just wasn't ready to participate in a sleepover in the middle of a snow storm with some man I barely knew. I'm sure he wasn't use to hearing no from a woman and it was on to the next. Bye Felicia.

As he was hitting me up throughout the weekend, I was enjoying myself and being short through text. I didn't actually call him back but I would reply to text. He called me out on my evasiveness and I let him know we had some things to discuss before moving forward. After setting a time to discuss the issue I had, he was unreachable. I knew I wasn't really interested when I was relieved he didn't answer.

The events that followed showed me something I've been seeing repeatedly over the last several years, women aren't the only one's who create relationships in their head. It was clear that this man had planned out our entire relationship while failing to actually get to know who I was. Once he realized that I was not interested in anything further (he didn't realize this until after I explained it to him in three different ways) he became a complete asshole.

Here are a few highlights before and after reality set in for him:

"Morning beautiful, can't wait to wake up and roll over next to you and say that." I had kissed this man one time on our third date. He hadn't even gotten to first base and here he was talking about waking up after hitting a home run.  I didn't even respond to this part of his texting.

"You know the reason why you're hesitant to fall head over heels for me." We literally went out on 3 dates two years ago and had no communication since so yes I know the reason stranger.

"I felt like you knew I was slowing myself down so I wouldn't scare you away." Nope sir, I had no clue because you were actually too aggressive to begin with.

"I vowed to never be anybody but myself." Vowed? You vowed?!?!?

"I have no time for superficial games with women who cry wolf but don't get that wolf is a kids game!" Yeah he included the exclamation point for emphasis but I wish he would have included a guide to help me interpret his thought process. Cry wolf? Because I said I wasn't interested.

"#dropthemicimgone" Yes. He really used a hashtag in a textersation. What kind of world are we living in?

He was blocked immediately following his last message.

So glad I dodged that bullet! (Exclamation included for emphasis)

So I'm 30

I turned 30 last month and I've been trying to figure out what I could blog about in celebration of this milestone in my life. My original post was rather short so I decided to expand: Yes, I'm old and its freaking awesome. I figured that was a little too blunt and to the point, kind of like me but I knew I could say a little more.

Professionally I am exactly where I want to be.  I love what I'm doing and I see a long fulfilling career in higher education. Perks like getting 2 paid weeks off during the winter break and short Fridays in the summer are fabulous but working closely with students who are at the pinnacle of their lives is the most rewarding part.  While I was more than excited to be done with my program last year I can't say for sure I'm done with school. I'll just say for now I am taking an extended break.

Culturally I have been investing heavily in the economy by supporting jobs in the US and contributing to domestic tax revenue aka I travel a lot. I spend less money on things (although I still love a good sale) and more money on memories. This year alone I visited 5 different countries: Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Amsterdam, Belgium and France. The goal is to continue to expand my mind by traveling for as long as there is life in my body. Knowing of course that at some point I'll need to slow down but it will always be a hobby of mine. I'm happy to be in a place to enjoy the fruits of my hard labor.

In terms of health, I still run. Not as frequently as I would like sometimes but its still a part of my life. Instead of several races a year I now participate in a few throughout the year. I have a half-marathon coming up in January and I've kind of been training. It's definitely time for me to find a new health related hobby. I run, I know I can run, time to switch it up a bit. Whatever I choose will be a financial commitment so I just need to wrap my mind about that.

Also related to my health is cooking. I swear I'm getting really good. I would give my current skills a B-. I'm no chef but I can make more than spaghetti, burgers and fried chicken. During most weeks, I cook all my meals for work so I know exactly what's going into my body.

Now the good stuff, personally the end of this year has been the longest I haven't been working towards a relationship with a man. My phone is so silent since I spend less time entertaining men I don't mesh with.  My blogger name, 'Silent Scorpion' is starting to take on a new meaning. But after thinking about it, it just makes sense. I've done all the dating I need to do to know exactly who I am and what I do and don't want.  Sometimes it gets lonely having the most silent phone on the planet but I genuinely enjoy laying low and being alone. No I don't plan on having a ceremony to marry myself. It's not that serious.  I love being in a relationship, I love being the doting, caring, thoughtful partner. It's so nice to have someone who also wants the same for you but that's not where I am right now.

On the other hand, I've developed deeper relationships with some of my old friends but I've also added some new friends. Drake was wrong, new friends are great.

[Insert all encompassing ending paragraph...its midnight in LA and I'm going to bed]

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