Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Year in Pictures

This year was one of the most memorable ones yet. There were many big moments in politics and things like that but the most important moments came from fam/friends. Here are the best pictures of the year. :-)

The Fraternity
Probably the biggest influences of my year. My brotherhood. :-)
Oxford Trip = Best time of the year

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Mr. B, before the haircut! hahaha

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Elicia's grad party
. Looshy and Stefanie! I love my chicks.

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Mollie Fontaine

B, the V, and Miss Petey (not pictured)
Wonderful night.

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Daddy

The last pic I took with dad.
Who knew he'd go into the hospital two weeks later?
Miss him mucho.

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All kinds of fierce. Too bad Swig isn't open anymore.
ASA and the V (Kort not pictured)

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Amy's Prom Themed Party

George as Hakeem the exchange student.

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Halloween '08
No elaborate costume this year.
Just came as "Fierce". Peep the single glove. hahaha
Kofi posed along with me.

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80s B'Day Party

G Money & Salt N Pepa
I love my cousins.
That was an interesting night. All questions anyone had were answered. haha

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Robin, Gavin & Porsha

Just before we stuffed our faces in Tunica.

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ATL Memorial Day Weekend
Sportyd2 and the Golden Wonder take the city by storm.
[don't stand too close to the gate, Kort...lol, sorry]

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Raheem DeVaughn and Chrisette Michelle Concert
Adrian smiled on a pic! That in itself is monumental. :-)
My buddy.

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OHS Reunion
Taping
Ooooooh Eliiiiiijaaaaah!

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Beth & Randy's Wedding
Because I was stupid fresh. And I hadn't seen Tesfa that much in years. :-)

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Little Aiden
Awwww, Taye's a mommy. :-)

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Thanksgiving Gathering
Shake it, shake it...memories...
Gavin and Shani :-)

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Funeral

Men of the family posing together.
My Brothers and me. :-)
[yes, my grammar is correct...look it up...hehe]

The nephew and the cousins.

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Twin!!!
Cord and I went to IHOP
I can't even remember what movie we saw...I'm getting old.

I'm ready for more memories in '09.
Happy New Year, everyone!!!!!!

The Daily Tea: Veritas

“To thine own self be true…
And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou can not then be false to any man.”
-William Shakespeare

Unless we can be true to ourselves first, we cannot be true to others.
Truth is also love. For those of us who find it hard to love ourselves, we will find it will come more easily when we walk in truth about who we are.

For you, Architect :-)


Etheridge Makes me happy

I missed this.
I heard about it but I have never watched it until now. Melissa Etheridge, the openly gay legendary singer/songwriter, was on The View promoting her new cd and got sidetracked talking about Prop 8 and other issues of gay rights.
I love how Elisabeth Hasselbeck dug her own grave once again. She is so delightfully _____. [insert your own demeaning adjective there]


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In other GLBT news, George W. Bush has signed law ensuring that partners who inherit 401(k) savings can protect them from unfair tax penalties.

Before 2007, partners who inherited retirement plan savings typically faced immediate taxation on inherited benefits, unlike different-sex spouses, who could roll savings over to an individual retirement account (IRA) with no tax penalty.

Read About it Here



Beyoncé: The Way We Were

The Kennedy Center Honors are always a treat for me. I love to see all of the performances each year. This year Beyoncé paid tribute to Barbra Streisand, singing The Way We Were. I love to hear her sing like this. It was beautiful and understated, as was her clothing of choice. I love how she can adapt. Anyway, enjoy!!

Beyoncé
The Way We Were



Also, I dug up another instance in which Beyoncé showed her more subdued performing style with a tribute to movie music.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow
at Movies Rock



Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Take a Message

Remy Shand
Take a Message
from The Way I Feel



One of the best songs from one of the best albums of all time IMO.
Yet we sleep on him. Come back Remy!

The Daily Tea: The Power of No

The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.
-Tony Blair

Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.
-Josh Billings

I have learned many lessons this year and one last lesson I need to learn is the power of no. The power of hanging up the phone, not answering the phone, or not feeling the need to fulfill everyone's needs.

I'm a pacifist. I always say yes as to not cause confusion.
The issue with that is that I always commit to 80 things and end up putting half of them off and someone gets disappointed. I don't like to seem mean by saying no to something I can't do or just don't want to do. However, one is only as good as one's word. If I promise something and don't follow through, even if I plan to get around to it, it ends up being worse than if I had just said no in the first place.

I waste time.
I misplace my priorities.
So, in order to stay sane, I've just got to say 'no' to everyone for a while. It may seem like I'm a bitch, but I'm more of a bitch if I break promises. I always stretch myself thin and I need to take the reins and just take a breather.
My family is typically who I can't say no to but it's spilling over to everyone.
Friendships, professional relationships, etc.

This has been a strange stretch in my life and I haven't operated on all cylinders.
I need to regroup and that means I need to focus solely on myself for a while.
If people need something I'm sure I will be there. But if people want something...not so much.

Monday, December 29, 2008

O Taste and See

How gracious is the Lord...

Chanel Iman
for Harpers Bazaar






Wendell Lissimore
Photographed by Duc Nguyen



Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!

Work That!

Teriyaki Boyz
Work That
Featuring Pharrell Williams and Chris Brown



Despite the strange arses in the background, why do I love this? lol
I guess it's a Japanese Baby Got Back. hehe

The Man In Me 1

The one. That insatiable urge and quest to find that one person, that one human being destined for me, had become an obsession for me. That search for the holy grail of relationships had consumed me. I had begun to treat it as work. The process was meticulous. And my insides burned with voracity. Every move was as calculated as if I was a chess master and any spontaneity, no matter how I tried, had been extinguished. My pragmatism had begun to destroy me as I questioned everything, picking apart every action of those around me as well as my own.

Everything had come crashing down around me but how did I get to that point? Left with no one to blame, I felt lost. I had driven him away and poisoned every other close relationship I had.

The wind from my cracked windows was cool and I barely remembered anything about the drive to my mother’s home. I sat in the car hesitating for minutes which seemed like hours. I slowly walked up the driveway, wringing my hands in anxiety. I ascended the stairs on the porch and lowered my head with a sigh as reached the door. As I rang the doorbell images of the past year flooded my thoughts and a lump formed in my throat. My mother answered the door promptly with a wide smile that quickly faded the minute her eyes met mine.

“What’s the matter, Ellis?” she asked. I had no reply. Instead I grabbed her and held her tightly. As she returned my embrace tears fell softly and soft whimpers turned into heavy sobs. She pulled from me and looked at me with worry in her eyes. “Can you tell me what’s wrong? Talk to me, son. I’m your mother.”

I lowered my head again as I wiped my eyes with the palms of my hands. My eyes met hers again and my voice quavered as I said to her, “I don’t even know where to begin.”

She replied, “Just start at the beginning. I’ve got time. Come on in.” I passed through the doorway and she closed the door behind me. I tottered toward the couch and sat down with my face buried in my hands. I then braced myself for a very long conversation. “Mama, I’ve lost everything.”

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Top Ten Albums of the Year

Okay, this was incredibly difficult. How do I narrow down the top ten albums of the year? This year everyone and their mama released an album. Some of my favorites got shut out because their albums were compared to previous albums of theirs and didn't measure up. My list is dominated by hip-hop artists. I don't know what that means. I did the unthinkable and left out Beyoncé. Had she trimmed a few tracks from her album it would have been the best. Less is more. Anyway, here goes.

10.
Fearless
Jazime Sullivan

Key Tracks
Bust Your Windows; In Love With Another Man; Switch

9.
Universal Mind Control

Common


Key Tracks
Sex 4 Suga; Punch Drunk Love; Changes

8.
We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things

Jason Mraz


Key Tracks
Live High; I'm Yours

7.
808s & Heartbreak

Kanye West


Key Tracks
Love Lockdown; Heartless; Robocop

6.
Metropolis: The Chase Suite
Janelle Monae


Key Track
Many Moons; Sincerely Jane; Smile

5.
Viva la Vida
Coldplay


Key Tracks
Viva la Vida

4.

Hard Candy
Madonna

Key Tracks
Heartbeat; Beat Goes On; Candy Shop

3.

The Cool
Lupe Fiasco

Key Tracks
The Coolest; Go Go Gadget Flow; Paris, Tokyo

2.
Shine
Estelle

Key Tracks
Substitute Love; American Boy; Come Over

1.
Untitled [NaS]
NaS

Key Tracks
America; N***ger (The Slave and the Master); Black President

These are in my opinion the best of the year. NaS changed my life!!! Hip-Hop ruled the year in my opinion. T.I.'s Paper Trail would have been number 11.

Honorable Mention
Danity Kane Welcome to the Dollhouse
Matt Pokora MP3
John Legend Evolver
John Legend Live from Philadelphia
Janet Jackson Discipline
Beyoncé I Am... (Disc One)
The Roots Rising Down
Solange Sol-Angel & the Hadley Street Dreams

Cover: Ciara's a Diva

Miss Ciara claims diva status on this version of Beyoncé's new single. The song appears on Ciara's mixtape. Enjoy!
Thanks vampydoesntstopthemusic.blogspot.com

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Daily Tea: Fists in the Air

Angie Stone
Brotha

Just listen...


Amen, Angie. Amen.

Top Ten: Captivating People

Ten Most Captivating of 2008
It's been a long and crazy year. We witnessed the most historical political process in history and the media blitz that accompanied it. The entertainment industry was also buzzing with controversy. Here are the top ten people (or groups of people) that captivated my attention.

1.
Sarah Palin

Palin power was in full effect in '08. Coming in at number one, the Alaskan sensation resurrected the McCain campaign before helping to crush it in the long run. The media was fascinated by her, her family, and her political experience (or lack thereof). She brought Joe the Plumber, moose hunting, and Wal-Mart moms to the forefront and gave Tina Fey quite the career boost. Will we remember the first Republican woman nominated to a major party's ticket for years to come? "You betcha!"

2.
Jeremiah
"God damn America!"
Those words set off a firestorm of media outrage and public outcry and threatened to derail the campaign of Obama. Wright's message was no different than many African-American ministers but it forced the nation to publicly deal with the issue of race once again. Wright fell from an honorable pillar of the church community to a narcissistic nuisance.

3.
The Obamas
No, not just Barack, but all of them. Michelle toned down her opinionated flair, but not before we got a taste of what a real woman should be. This newest First Family is set to break stereotypes of Black Americans and bring a new outlook to Washington. Black love is beautiful. I can't wait to see Sasha and Malia grow up.

4.
Sasha Fierce
Speaking of Sasha, Beyoncé didn't stand a chance against the entertainment machine known as Miss Fierce. Single Ladies, a gilded glove, and plenty of sexual prowess made Sasha one of the most talked about people in the year and sparked the most viral videos youtube.com has seen. Too bad she never leaves the stage.

5.
The Women of The View
Where would this political season be without Joy, Whoopi, Elizabeth, Barbara, and Sherri? I don't care to know. These fiesty women argue every five minutes and are the rare media outlet that can actually speak candidly about the news. The bickering is delightful to me. It's not personal, it's ratings!

6.
The Trinity
Wendell Lissimore, Chanel Iman, and Marcus Lloyd are the three fresh faces of the fashion industry that made me go gaga! Following in the footsteps of Tyra, Naomi, and Tyson, these chocolate sensations serve up phenomenal photos and are some of the most booked models in the industry. The empire is growing!

7.
Editors of the National Review publication
Who knew a conservative magazine would catch my eye? Starting with stories that were meant to tear apart Barack, they actually made me love him more. The magazine was a great alternative from the ultra libreal media such as Newsweek and Time. It was nice to have a different viewpoint as reference. Now if I can only stomach Fox News.

8.
Disney "Princesses"
Miley Cyrus and Vanessa Hudgens are the faces of High School Musical and Hannah Montana. They serve as the new cash cows of Disney after Olsen twins and Raven-Symoné. What was more intriguing than their overrated careers were the risque photos that surfaced of them. Britney, Paris and Lindsay toned it down while these Disney starlets heated things up. Their careers survived and they laughed all the way to the bank.

9.
Solange
Sol-Angel...
The latter half of her name is laughable considering the larger than life personailty of the potty mouthed sister of she-who-shall-not-be-named. Solange's Kanye-like media outbursts and a surprisingly stellar album helped to make her quite the conversation piece in '08. The more creative of the Knowles sisters, she may not have the voice of Beyoncé but she has the writing chops. Having signed a lucrative deal with BMI publishing, the Junior Knowles is not riding the coat tails of her family.

10.
The cast of Sex and the City
Carrie fever hit hard this summer as the cast of the popular TV series hit the silver screen. Not since Devil Wears Prada has there been such a fashionable film. Though the script wasn't the strongest and I didnt like the ending, Sex and the City was a delicious piece of entertainment and created a frenzy of girls at the midnight showing I attended. Feather boas at a movie theater? Really? What else did you expect from followers of this chic quartet?

I can't wait to see who shakes up '09!

Twas the Night after Christmas...

Christmas was more intimate this year.





It was strange not to have pops there but I got through it thanks to my amazing fam. To cakes and tea! And mama's dressing... It'll make you slap somebody in the left big toe! :-)
Time for the new year!