Friday, July 31, 2009

Thought for the Night 7/31

Before the beginning there was darkness
But God was sad with His happiness
So He called me mourning/morning
Because He wanted me to raise His son/sun.

-Queen GodIs

She's Something Else. Really,

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thought for the Day 7/30

You feed a sucker, he'll just grow to be a bigger leech.

Checkin' Out His New CD,

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thought for the Day 7/29

"Life is too short to speak quietly at beaches."

This weekend while on the beach, this was something a friend said. Naturally... or not so naturally, there were all these different regulations on the beach. My southerness came through for real because I was so shocked we had to pay to get on the beach. Not to mention, the beach even "closed" at a certain time due to the amount of people.

I was mind blown. You have to pay for and are able to close a beach? What? Do people not know it's a public domain? Craziness. Either way, we were being way live on the beach and realized we should probably be a tad more quiet. Still, Ms. Lyrispect wasn't having it, and that is what she said. So, I opted to write it on a cup. It'd be cool if I made all my "Thought for the Day's" visual, huh?


p.s. I opened a savings account yesterday. I'm hype about it. And?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

They say the one's closest to you...

be the ones that'll run up behind you
And stick the knife through ya

...Lil' Kim didn't tell no lies when she said that line. I've had this thing sitting on my chest about toxic friendships. Spoke with someone about it, and just recently read someone else's blog about it. Guess the next (obvious) step would be to (finally) blog about it... put it on paper... or web.

The story is the same for everyone: you have people in your inner circle that don't truly mean you well. Either they're judgmental, manipulative, straight depressing as hell, or any other trait that doesn't contribute to your positivity and personal growth.

Whatever their problem, it's impeding on your "friend"ship, or lack there of. We all have strengths, weaknesses, and things we hope to improve on. Hell, I know I do. At the least though, I try to see to it that those things aren't affecting my friends. My personal problems should be just that, personal.

I recently heard some things about a friend of mine that were a hard pill to swallow. Truth be told, there's always some type of underlying issue with her. I've been told more than a time or two that I'm always making excuses for this person. You know the friend who always gets by when doing stuff that you normally wouldn't let anyone else get away with because "It's _____." Fill in the blank as fitting. Meaning: whoever's name applies to this should be there.

However, I'm coming to terms with the fact that things are indeed problematic if I feel the need to hold my tongue, watch my back, or monitor my actions when in their presence. If you're my friend, I shouldn't have to rest with one eye up or look at you sideways. Maybe it's just me, maybe my friend requirements are too high. But, I'm not built for it. Especially when I just did a blog about appreciating genuine company, life's too short to be around people who aren't there for your empowerment. I mean. Really.

And at first, I felt bad counting my losses when it comes to toxic friendships. Even though it's toxic, I considered it a friendship just the same. Not to mention, I am in the presence of and spend a considerable amount of time with random people, but not all those people are friends to me. I guess, "all that's dirty will come off in life's wash, and I haven't finished loading up yet." My sister says this is what happens in life and with friends: people grow up, grow apart and sometimes lose their connection.

I just feel like some things are worth fighting for, and I question if I should be putting up more of a fight to get us on the "good foot" or if this is my sign to finally let things go and be done with it. Usually, I let things slide off my back and don't even bother to mention it when it comes to certain friends and situations. It's just that this time, I haven't mentioned it because I'm not ready to address it calmly, not because it's easily overlooked. This time, it's too much to look past.

Truth be told, there probably a few more people I need to shake-off. Progress is a slow process, but I'm apart of it.

(said in my Jay-Z voice)
You See Me Stressed, Right?

(said in my Public Service Announcement voice)
p.s. If you think you may be in a friendship which deserves the title of "toxic", read up on it here. You might just be tripping. Then again, you might just be right. Click the link:
6 Types of Toxic Friends & How to Deal With Them

Thought for the Day 7/28

YOU are your own linking verb, holding hands with subjects and action words.
-Ariana Santiago

My Georgia Peach be On It,

Monday, July 27, 2009

Onto the Next

So, I finally finished reading Bebe Moore Campbell's Your Blues Aint Like Mine. That thing was real. Never before has a book stirred up so much emotion in that I had to stop reading it because it was affecting my mood on a daily basis. Either way, I just want to share a few lines I read in the book and liked.
"Life will give you what you deserve, even when people don't. You don't believe that, you just keep on living."

"The streets is killing more black boys than white folks ever could. We always had more than one enemy."

... there's another page that said something about "if you think you've been licked, then they already won", but cleary I didn't mark the page, and I can't find it.
The next book I'm reading is Basketball Jones by E. Lynn Harris. He's an author I spent a lot of time reading my freshman year, because someone had a lot of his books. Easy access is a sure way for me to read up on anything. If it's readily available and appears interesting, I'm with it. I actually got this book from my roommate who just finished reading it. Crazy thing is, he (E. Lynn Harris) died last week, and my first tattoo is a quote I took from one of his novels.

I guess, in a way, he's with me forever then. It says "She and Survival were long time friends". At this time (look below), the tattoo was still fresh.
Just Thinking & Reading,

Something for the One I Wake Up on the Right Side of the Pillow With

I told you you'd know when the post was for you right?
Well, here it is.
I gotta thank Ms. Hughes for passing me this one.

NATURAL GLORY by Kat Francois
Thick concentric rings regally sit on top of small Nubian heads, each strand, defiant in the face of continued rejection and mutilation, each coil an antenna creating a direct link to the heavens channeling special blessings which whisper affirmations of eternal beauty so all little black girls Who have naps, afros or braids know they are special regardless of what images of perfection are shoved down their young throats.

Their mothers are not at war with them but eagerly accept their natural glory, lovingly wash, caress, stroke and comb, until intricate designs, passed down through generations, criss cross-shiny scalps, enhancing thick lips, wide noses and complimenting an array of brown hues, they learn they are worthy regardless of the length, texture of hair or shade of skin, negative words bounce off sturdy backs, for they possess an armour which enables them to see and feel beauty where many only see and feel ugly causing them to stride around with super heroine confidence.

They walk tall and proud as peacocks, and do not care if their locks, fail to blow in the wind nor do they feel inadequate when white girls or straight haired sisters preen by. They do not spend hours, dying straightening, transforming, places jumpers or towels on heads so they too can flick endlessly. They do not grow into woman who refuse to allow men to massage their aching scalps, sensually, missing out on important, male female intimacy, they are not the kind of woman, who try and maintain exact sexual positions, which do not cause weaves, or wigs to be disturbed.

Neither are they afraid of rain, but graciously welcome the cool liquid, which sustains life. Thick concentric rings regally sit on grown Nubian heads, each strand, defiant in the face of continued rejection and mutilation these women banish images of perfection, shoved down the throats of daughters, nieces, aunts, mothers and grandmothers turn their back on Eurocentric ideals which prove unattainable and wholeheartedly accept their natural beauty, In all it's nappy, glory.
Text Me When You Read This,

p.s. The song playing is the one I told you to listen to. "Don't you let those little boys fool you. Gotta love that afro hair do."

Thought for the Day 7/27

"I am nothing I cannot handle."
-Stacey Ann Chin

Gotta Remember That,

Not Only Was the Time Well Spent, It Was Splendid

Let me start by saying that human interaction is everything. Things have been so random lately, but entirely enjoyable. The last few "major" gatherings I've been a part of were a beach trip I went on this weekend and a "Sister Girl Sleepover" during the last week of June. Not counting the many times I've been out with an assorted number of people.
Did I mention that all my company were Nubians in their own right?

Anywho, I've realized how much I adore good, genuine company. Like. Really. It's priceless. It's one thing to be bored while in the presence of other people... just for the sake of being bored together. It's a completely different thing to not be doing much at all, but be around people with a positive energy, and just enjoying the time you have for whatever it's worth.

A friend of mine was telling me how I take for granted the fact that people really do admire me and my work, more so she was telling me to be cognizant of the fact. I guess I do play things a bit casually. It's not even an issue of modesty, I just never believe the hype is what others make it out to be. However, a small reminder of the fact came in the mail today.

A friend of mine was going to perform poetry for an all boy's poetry/hip-hop class, and asked me and one other friend to come along with her to perform. I was down from the very beginning since I love kids, but I didn't know how inspired I'd be once I got there. While waiting on the boys to arrive, I felt so horrible upon realizing that I didn't have a piece specifically for male empowerment (*don't trip, I'm working on one now*).

So the boys basically inspired me to write before they even made it into the room. Once they get there, we're playing different games and doing different ice breakers just to boost group moral, since we were basically strangers to them. Then we just performed. Went nuts, no holds barred. Mind you, the content of the poems ranged from everything like wearing your crown, child molestation, good/bad fathers, and so forth. Every poem got such a reaction out of the kids. It was so moving.

I should mention that the group was full of 8th grade boys and 12th grade boys. The point of the camp is to help the 8th graders transition into high school via the 12th graders involved in the program. True to their boyish nature, a lot of them spent a good amount of time cracking jokes on one another. However, it was obvious that there was some type of camaraderie amongst them. When asking the group to share their talents versus sitting there listening to us the whole time, people were quick to point out who could sing, rap, etc. Though they were all kidding around in a serious capacity, but they didn't know that they were "secretly" supportive of each other.

Either way, they decided to share some of their poetry with us towards the end of class. You (probably wouldn't) be surprised at the things some of them had written about... being looked at as statistics, money, death, swag, etc. It's like... you really don't know what's going on in a person's mind until they tell you, and I had no idea. I mean, I could imagine (hence, the poem I started working on in effort to motivate them), but I'm not really there, and could never really know, because in the end- I'm not them.

Still, at the end we all went around and said the way the day made us feel. Two words the boys chose had an affect on me. Inspired and hopeful. I can't say which word worked on me more than the other, I can only say that they both stirred up something within me.

Ok. Wait. I was going somewhere with this, right? The day just reminded me of the power of words. Not to mention, it reminded me not to take my own presence/talent for granted. More so, I got a check in the mail for that today. Yeah... that's what I was saying. I got a reminder in the mail. I didn't even anticipate getting paid when I went to the class. I had the understanding that it was strictly volunteer work, but to receive a check for it just kind of reminded me... weeks later, that my time was appreciated by those who weren't even in the room. Yeah. Exactly.

Good Times & Good People,

p.s. Oh yeah, look at the picture from the beach. I dyed the blonde part of my hair purple. Hmph. Change is good.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thought for the Day 7/24

"If your only reason for living is breathing, then you're merely existing for no particular reason."
-Drew The Picture

Last night was wonderful.

Tell You Bout it Later,

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Aint No Love in the Heart of the City?

Ok, so I haven't done too bad keeping up with my "Thought for the Day", but enough is enough. I've been told one too many times that I'm slacking on my blogging. Quotes just left me an out, allowed me to feel like I was still contributing in some form or fashion. So.... here's a major update. Major. Meaning here are a few things that have been on my mind, but I didn't blog about. Let's do this in reverse chronological order.

1st off: Yesterday as I was walking up to my building (WAIT. I just decided I'm bout to do mad blogs, while at work-now, cause these topics are all so different)... as I was saying, I was walking up to the building I live/work in and there was a man laid across one of the benches/tables in the courtyard. There was a heavy odor, smelled like shit just to be honest. But I hadn't determined if it was coming from him or some random dog that had an owner too lazy to collect it's bowel movement.

Whatever the case, I had a plate of food left over from lunch with a friend. The plate was hers, not mine, but she didn't want it cause she had gotten full eating my french fries. Again- whatever the case, I was passing the man on the bench so I decided to ask him if he was hungry (thinking he was homeless). Upon closer inspection, I realized that he had pooped/peed on himself and was sitting there just laying in it. When asking him if he was hungry, he replied that he needed someone to call 911 for him. He had a tumor, ulcer, and hernea. I'm not sure which of the 3, but one of them popped, and he was throwing up/had defecated on himself.

So, I come inside and tell my coworkers there's a man outside who needs someone to call 911 for him. They tell me to call the police to transport him so that he won't get charged with an ambulance fee. I call the Temple Police, and they say they'll "assess the situation", which didn't sound like a definite means of transportation if you ask me. Needless to say, I was already bothered.

Most people in Philly (forgive me for this major generalization) seem so numb to what's happening around them. Death. Poverty. Ignorance. None of it bothers them, because they're used to the frequency at which it happens. Like, it becomes ok to them. Anywho, I decided to wait for the police to come because I didn't want them treating the man poorly since he was (assumed) homeless. Either way, he's still human and possibly in pain.

So, the police take their time (which bothers me more, cause God forbid I called because I was in danger-I would've been dead by then), and when they get there I'm slightly excited because it's a black female officer. I thought she might be a bit more compassionate.. or something.. I don't know. She asked the man very generic questions regarding his name, age, health, and home ownership (or lack thereof).. a polite way of figuring out if he was homeless. Though she seemed to be patient, I could just sense that she really could care less. Things were only solidified when she asked me what color toenail polish I was wearing. Unimportant, much?

Then, when the paramedics get there she lets them question him to death as well. The same questions she asked (supposedly) so "she could tell the paramedics once they arrived". Then the paramedics commented that the man was the same man who they picked up two days earlier for the same thing. Apparently, he's been passing out. Either way, they get him on the gurney and load him in the emergency vehicle. Did I mention they took forever to actually pull off? Furthermore, there are 3 hospitals in proximity to my building. He mentioned a preference for 2 of 3 because he was treated rudely at the other. I mentioned this to the police and paramedics, as did he. While they were walking off, I heard one of them say that they were taking him to the hospital he specifically said he didn't prefer.

I dead ass walked into the building, made it into the public bathrooms downstairs, and started crying. Blame my Southerness or my sensitivity, whatever you choose, but damn.. really? Like, I could care less if that man was homeless. Something was clearly wrong. He wasn't drunk or under any type of influence that would give you reason to treat him in a manner that would indicate he couldn't think for himself. Just, ugh. Stuff like that bothers me.

It's just like the time a few weeks back when there was a bunch of blood on the ground a block from my building, one of the people I was with thought the police should be informed. We walk up the street to tell a cop parked in their car, and they asked us "what we wanted them to do".

Ugh. Hello. Do something. You're parked in the middle of the street for no apparent reason. Be of good use. My friends point was that it was an exceptional amount of blood which could possibly be there from some violent act. And if that's the case, it needs to be taped off. At the least, the blood needs to be removed from the sidewalk. The cop didn't really get the point in either thought. Times like this make me so over Philadelphia and have me wishing I was in the South. Just makes the stereotype seem all too true.

Don't get it twisted. There are other things about North Philadelphia that remind me why I'm here... random cyphers on the sidewalk, murals placed throughout the city- ghettos and surburbia, alike, the poetry circle, etc. I just wish people weren't so numb to the problems in the city. Death, poverty and ignorance are everywhere. It's not like Philly is the only place experiencing these things. It just seems like Philly is one of the places where things like this can be overlooked.

Did I mention a few weeks back while at McDonalds, these people rode by and shot a dude standing in the middle of the street after a party? Like it was nothing.

Not Defeated Though,

p.s. With that being said, the thought for the day is the one posted at the top of my blog:

"I write to revive the heartbeat of a generation gone numb."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thought for the Night (Another Again) 7/21

I've learned to treat each tomorrow like it's my last supper.
-Shane Romero

Let's Eat,

Thought for (Yester) Day 7/20

Black Workers

The bees work.
Their work is taken from them.
We are like the bees-
But it won't last
(Langston Hughes)

Nice Analogy,

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Thought for the (Late) Night (Again) 7/19

Let me just say: Peace to you, if you're willing to fight for it.
-Fred Hampton

It's the quote on the back of this year's Brave New Voices t-shirt. Ugh!

Shoulda Been There,

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Thought for the Day 7/18

Don't let your dreams fall asleep.
-J. Banzai


Friday, July 17, 2009

Thought for the Night 7/17

I'm not perfect, but I got the desire to improve.

Pretty Much my Plight,

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thought for the Day 7/16

We owe it to ourselves to re-create ourselves
And find a different if not better way to live

-Nikki Giovanni

I'm Inspired,

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thought for the Day 7/15

"...kill all your insecurities violently and then be reborn as a new person who walks a bop confidently."
-Shawn Houston

Working on That,

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Thought for the Day 7/14

Cuz I'm doin better now, don't mean I never lost shit. I was married to a state of mind and I divorced it.
-Black Thought

Thanks Feather,

Monday, July 13, 2009

Thought for the Late Night 7/13

Sometimes it takes balls to be a woman.
-Elizabeth Cook

Indeed it Does,

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Thought for the Evening 7/12

Some are teethed on a silver spoon, with the stars strung for a rattle; I cut my teeth as the black raccoon for implements of battle.
-Countee Cullen

Great Debaters Anyone?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Thought for the Day 7/11

This world is like the wizard of oz and until you show some heart, you don't ever get shown no love.
-Taalam Acey


Thought for (Yester)Day 7/10

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
-Maya Angelou.

Lesson Learned,

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thought for the Evening 7/9

Most of us write with our right hands so we can right the wrongs our left mind has chosen.
-Speak Poet

Right Handed,

p.s. I actually have (had) loads more to say, but I'm exhausted. Pooped, even.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Thought for the Evening 7/8

Why do I need feet when I have wings to fly?
-Frida Kahlo

I Wish,

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Follow My Steps, That's the Road to Success

You Can Pay For School But You Can't Buy Class,

Thought for the Day 7/7

Eyes are blind. You must look with the heart. The things most important are invisible.
-Brook Shiels said this today at Michael's memorial, quoting "The Little Prince"

He's Really Gone :(

Monday, July 6, 2009

Thought for the Day 7/6 poets of prophecy
treat these microphones like the Sabbath
where speaking truth is a habit
because we are indeed vessels of god
our lungs are the church
our tongue is tattooed with a sermon
so hot it could melt hell and leave the devil homeless
in our soul is an oven full of blessings
but it feels more like a furnace
I have tasted failure just so I could swallow my purpose.

-An excerpt from Internal Surfaces, Gregory "Just Greg" Corbin

That Last Line Just Does it For Me,

Thought for the (Yester)Day 7/5

"...They are starving
How do you tell a woman that hasn't eaten in 5 days that she is
As she reaches out with empty hands like her belly
and the only alternative she has is devouring hope silently
cause she is too busy raising the next generation of hungry
the 5 secound rule doesn't count when your country has fallen to the
-Carvens Lissaint
Want the rest of the poem?
Click the picture.
Buy the book.

Need That in My Life,

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Thought for the Late Night 7/4

It takes a responsible mother to remember to pack sunshine in our ninja turtle bookbags so we can enjoy them during lunch time.
-Hasan Malik

Yes Indeed,

p.s. Forgive me for missing yesterdays thought, but I'm in Brooklyn for the weekend and its been hectic. You know the outside party is real when kids don't even notice the icecream truck sitting around :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Can't Quite Put My Finger On It

Maybe it's fatigue. It could just be that I don't want to be at work right now. Maybe it's the fact that I heard something I didn't care to hear or I heard a voice I choose to only hear "every now and then", but couldn't hear the sound of growth when they spoke. Whatever it is, for whatever reason, and at an extremely random time... I feel like the world is crashing in on me.

Maybe it's the book I'm reading, the racial controversy within it and the discomfort I feel reading it... even though I'm hell bent on reading it anyway. I can't call it right now, but it needs to leave my body.

Like... Now,

Thought for the Day 7/2

They say almost doesn't count, but I can count the times where almost amounted to something... damn near everything.
-Alisha, Germantown Youth Poet

Story of my Life,

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Thought for the Day 7/1

...rainbow hued children were absolute testimony that if colored women hadn't been honored, they'd certainly been desired. Although in practical terms that meant only that their children had been abandoned by men of every race.
-Bebe Moore Campbell

Your Blues Aint Like Mine,

p.s. Scroll down if you're confuzzled, it's an excerpt from the book I'm currently reading.