Usher.

I was in high school when Usher dropped the “Confessions” album. Of course I hadn’t been through any of the relationship mishaps that he was singing about, but I found them extremely entertaining and brutally honest. Love me some honesty. 

“Let It Burn” was one single from the album and dude really hit some valid points. I could relate to him burning inside, you know, when you really wanna hold on to something/somebody but it’s not healthy for you? Yeah. Yeah.

So here we are years later and “Climax” is at the top of the charts…no pun intended. Once again, my boy Ush is at the crucial point in a relationship where it’s not progressing. Sounds like a vicious cycle Mr. Raymond keeps getting himself into, but I’ll save elaborating on that for another day. Let talk about climaxing—

I found myself in a situation where I was giving WAY more than I was taking. Get your minds out of the gutter, this isn’t referencing between-the-sheets. But literally, I was exhausting myself mentally trying to carry this person on my shoulders. Everyday, there was an issue with them: stress, work is overwhelming, car is malfunctioning, health is in jeopardy, mom is trippin…always something!   So when I would focus my undivided attention to them, it began to drain me. At no point in time did I stop to refill my own cup, but I definitely continued to pour out what I had. And this individual absolutely kept drinking. 

After a while, I broke down. There was no more of me left. And that needy bastard blew me off, made it seem like I was the one ackin’ fun (acting funny). I even felt guilty for a moment & criticized myself for not being there. At that point I was forced to focus my attention inwardly. I did a self-exam, which forced me to conclude that this person is just too damn needy. They had a hefty circle of great friends, but wasn’t really returning any friendship! Hot diggity dog I’m a genius. 

So what did I do? Chunked up my deuces, found some new shit. Chris Brown. No, but seriously, I had to let them go before I found myself in a mental rut & the point of no return. 

Sure, my feelings were hurt, but it felt good to drop that dead weight. Jennifer Hudson. 

Got A Lot Of Earrings? Easy Organizer

can never have too many

I’m all for practical solutions to everyday problems. And for ladies like myself who love to accessorize, finding efficient ways to organize all your jewelry becomes challenging. For me, earrings were a problem. I need them all (yes need) and I continue to buy more until one day…I’ll eventually end up with 365 pair. And then some.

Anyway, I saw this idea posted on another blog and decided to give it a try. I used these splatter screens from Target for about $5 per pair. I made sure to get the cheap ones because the wires move/adjust to the size of my earring part-that-goes-in-your-ear-hole. The $15 ones are a bit more sturdy, but have less holes. To secure it to the wall, I used white plastic hooks (like the ones to hang Christmas decor). And if you look closely, the little green bags have my earring-backs (on the left) and smaller studs and clip-ons in the other (on the right).

Not a bad idea! And in case you’re wondering, yes, I’ve bought a 3rd screen since then. Love my earrings.

Lollipop Music

When I was little, we would have huge family/friends’ gatherings in our backyard. Truth is it wasn’t a ‘real’ backyard, but rather an extensive lot where a neighbor’s house used to be (this happened waaayyy before my time, like the 60’s. By the early 90’s it was just a huge field of grass). To add to these parties, Grand-daddy got a volleyball net and loads of sand (as a kid, I swore the beach was like 20 minutes away when I saw all that sand!) right next to the house. Then my Granny installed a patio and put like 5 picnic tables and chairs plus a BBQ barrell on it. Finally, Grand-daddy got a 10-foot pool for us kids. And the games began. On top of this, there was a corner store directly across the street; proves our house was the The Spot.

And we all know that no party is complete without music, right? So he would put the stereo speakers—the BIG ones—in two of the windows facing this lot. Voila. Backyard boogie-oogie-oogie. I can recall his selection of songs from Marvin Gaye and Betty Wright to Salt-n-Pepa and MC Hammer. Man, these were the days.

Now as a grown-up, when I hear these songs on the radio or where ever, I have vivid flashbacks of all these great family moments. Fast forward to a few days ago and I’m driving around in Burbank. Drake’s “Practicing” comes on, and my first memory was of the back-that-ass-up times I had dancing to Juvenile at middle school dances. My, how things haven’t changed.

Before I dive in and basically roast every song on Billboard’s top 100 hip-hop chart, let me show some gratitude. I LOVE ratchet ass hood music. I live for it. I swear I was the second person (next to the guy I got it from) with Young Jeezy’s Thug Motivation leaked album. I get excited when I hear Gucci Mane is performing in my city. Yo Gotti will always take my listening preference over Maroon 5. Anything T.I. does in the studio sounds spectacular. Three-6-Mafia deserved that Oscar. Wacka Flocka and Roscoe Dash make sure I have a “good night.” And 2 Chainz will remain Tity Boi anytime I refer to him. “Do you love this shit?”

But I’m afraid none of that music will actually mean anything, say, 20 years from now. Well yes, President Obama made a slick Young Jeezy reference that gained a bunch of attention, but I come on; how many people at that dinner even know who Jeezy is? Exactly.

And what the hell is a thun thun thun, and why shouldn’t I drop it, FiNaTTicZ? I’m so disappointed.

When Lil Wayne came out with “Lollipop,” I got excited. This is something I can dance to in the club, crank in the car, and no one will judge me *insert ‘girl please’ side eye*. But by listening to the words, I’ve concluded that it was some pretty basic shit. Elementary. Is this the future of rap? Or is it just popular rap? In either case, folks, we’re all doomed. We’re also doomed because Bow Wow is signed to YMCMB, Twista hasn’t dropped an album in forever, Tyga is invited to sweet 16 birthday bashes, and Kanye is backing Big Sean.

Since I’m not a big fan of east coast or west coast hip-hop artists, I lean on midwest and southern rappers to give me my fix. And I guess I’m happy. But if I had a lot next to my house and 4-foot tall speakers to put in the windows, I most definitely wouldn’t be crankin’ that Soulja Boy or looking for a ‘Supafreak’. I’ll just wobble wobble and drop it like it’s hot (AND bring it back up) when no one’s looking…or maybe in the middle of the dance floor on a nice day.

*turns up the volume on Boyz N Da Hood’s “Dem Boyz”*

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