Harlem Shake 2.0

26 02 2013

You know what they say, “What goes around comes back around.” Or “History repeats itself.” Well, for some reason, dance history is repeating itself–well, kinda sorta–in this rash of Harlem Shake videos that have been circulating the ‘net as of late. One day I kept seeing these videos of people doing some weird kind of jerky dance with costumes pop up all over my newsfeed, and I couldn’t help think “This is strange, I thought the Harlem Shake came out years ago? Why are people doing videos about it now? And from what I remember, it didn’t look like that!”

It’s just so funny to me how the freedom of social media can allow for images, memes, and traditions to be rediscovered and reinvented, all with some editing and the click of a button. If I wanted to get all serious about it, I could look at this as yet another way in which street culture is hijacked, pimped by, and conformed to mainstream culture. It’s a C-O-N-Spiracy! But nah, I won’t.

I just listened to a short blurb on NPR about the origins of the Harlem Shake, in which they interviewed Jay Smooth, host of the hip-hop video blog “Ill Doctrine.” He says no harm, no foul, it’s all in good fun: “it’s sort of an example of how a cultural artifact can fly around in this sort of global game of telephone. And these questions of appropriation can rise up, but there isn’t really any intent to steal or make fun of. It’s jut the way that ideas propagate nowadays.” I agree with Jay…it’s all good. But I do agree with what he says at the end of the interview–can we have a compromise and just get at least one person in these videos to do the real Harlem Shake? LOL…

At any rate, I personally got excited about this video with some folks doing the Harlem Shake I’m more familiar with. I love to see young people dance, and I love the fact that social media has given them an outlet to in a sense reclaim their cultural artifact. You gotta love how sista’ girl in the green breaks it down, and then they put the impostor “Harlem Shake” in the garbage can…Have fun and dance on, chil’ren! 🙂



13 01 2013

Hey Convergence Peeps!

I’m gonna need some grace tonight with the 60-day movie challenge. I have family in town this weekend, plus I have a massive headache right now and I think I just need to take it down for the night. I will resume with the #60Movies next week.

In the meantime, subscribe to my blog so that you can get email alerts the next time I do post a blog. You can sign up over there on the right. Also, feel free to use this time to scroll through some of my previous posts and join the conversation!


Bountiful Beach Blessings

16 09 2012

Today was an interesting day. I woke up this morning feeling a little blue and a little homesick. It’s been hard getting in touch with my friends on the east coast because of the time difference, the Food Truck Festival was in Atlanta today, I was missing my family, AND it was HOT in my apartment and I have no air condition!

But later on in the day a bunch of Fuller students went down to Huntington Beach for a day of fun in the sun and later a bonfire to celebrate the beginning of a new school year. First of all, let me just say once again that the beach has become my new favorite hang-out. I seriously think I’m becoming a beach bum. I’ve been to about 7 different beaches just in the one month since I’ve been here. I love the sound of the water, I love the feeling of the sand, and overall it’s just a very peaceful place for me . I want to try and make it a point to get to the beach as often as I can if for no other reason than to just clear my head and spend some time with God. Ok but back to Huntington Beach…

We had lots of great food and fellowship. I got to meet some really cool people who are starting their second years and they gave me a lot of great insight into life at Fuller. At one point we found out that there was a Christian group from Biola University as well as a local church group sitting right next to us. We all joined voices and sang worship songs together there on the beach. It was an awesome experience, so much that I teared up a bit, just reflecting on the goodness of God.

Sometimes it seems surreal that I am here. Not only because I have been praying for this moment for years, but also the fact that I get to be here at Fuller with all these great people. And it’s surreal that Fuller just happens to be located in California, accessibly close to the beach. I still feel a bit homesick but what a blessing it is to be here during this time of my life! I hope to gain all I can from this experience and meet some really great people in the process.

If you all want to know how to pray for me, I am longing for community right now. I know that will come in time, but pray that God will give me patience to allow that process to run its course and to not try and force it. Please also pray that I find a church home. It’s hard out here!

Finding Where I Fit In

9 09 2012

Lemme start off by giving a shout out to LA for being the most confusing city to drive in, even worse than DC! YAY!! Ok I’m kidding. About the being worse than DC part, but not the part about LA being confusing. Every time I think I have this place figured out I manage to get myself lost and discover that I’m just as lost as I ever was. That’s what happened to me this morning as I tried to visit another church and ended up being a whole 30 minutes late in the process. Aw well, at least I made it.

Well, it has officially been one week since I have been here in Cali on my own. I have had friends and family in town since I got here so I haven’t really had a chance to take it all in on my own. I had my first night of feeling lonely in LA this past Wednesday. I looked around and realized that no one else was in my apartment but me and that I couldn’t call any of my friends back home because most of them live on the east coast and by that time it was already well after midnight. But it’s all good. Nothing that a little Netflix couldn’t temporarily fix. And I’m thankful that I do actually have some friends out here so yeah, that loneliness was short lived.

So now that I’m settling into life out here, not as a tourist but as a resident, I’m looking deeper into why I’m here and ways that God can use me in this town. As I sit here on the Santa Monica beach, I know that California has so many beautiful things about it–the mountains, the beaches, the flash. If we’re not careful we can get to the point where we start to glorify this place and elevate it to something that it’s not. Although the weather is beautiful in LA, it is not paradise. Far from it. Behind the fancy hotels and palm trees there are girls being prostituted. There is a LOT of homelessness. And there are tons of artists out here suffering from depression and disappointment from unreached dreams.

Today at the church I visited, the pastor talked about how we as Christians can go about bringing change to the culture. He asked four questions that I’ll be mulling over the rest of this week:

1) What story is your industry telling about what is wrong with the world and how to change it?

2) What is broken in that story?

3) How can you be used in a redemptive way in your industry?


4) What would it look like to be God’s agent for renewal?

These are great questions. My prayer today is that I will let these questions guide me during my time here to make sure I don’t get swept away by the palm trees and cool breeze. I want to figure out where I can serve here. Lord knows there are plenty of needs. What about you? How would you answer those questions?


Road Trip Day 4: Misleading Marketing & Little Graces

14 08 2012

I know, I know. I never posted a Road Trip Day 1-3…but some days it was hard to get an internet connection. Other days I was just too tired to post. So sue me…you try driving across the country. Anwho, I just wanted to give you all a little glimpse as to what has been going on the past few days…

  • So far the trip has been absolutely amazing! I think everybody should do a cross-country road trip at least once in their lives. Our country is beautiful!
  • Day 1 we stayed in Amarillo, TX. Whoever does Amarillo’s marketing cop should get an award. According to their website, there was so much to see and do there, which is why I thought it would be a great place to stop. Boy, was I wrong. The so-called Historic Route 66 that was supposed to have all these great eateries and antique shops was a #fail. It was only a couple blocks of old, run-down stores and less than a handful of restaurants. The infamous Cadillac Ranch which, according to the website, was this grand display of art along Route 66 when actually it was about 5 or 6 Cadillac halves lined up in the middle of a desolate field. Maybe it’s just me but I wasn’t that impressed. I guess I was just expecting more. The hotel we stayed at in Amarillo was wonderful though! 🙂 I highly recommend the Sleep Inn on Route I-40.
  • Day 2 we stayed in Albuqurque, NM. All I can say is Wow. Driving through New Mexico was gorgeous with all of the mountains and hills. Our hotel was right in the middle of the mountains and our room itself was great. It was also right across the street from a great mall and eatery so we couldn’t have asked for a better stay.
  • Day 3 we headed to Williams, AZ so that we could see the Grand Canyon. The drive through Arizona was less than exciting. It rained most of the time, and there was nothing but flat, dry grass a majority of the way up the road.
  • But things changed once we get around the Williams area. Here is where we really saw the glory of God in so many small and large ways. Our plan was to check in to the hotel and then take the hour drive up to see the canyon just before sunset. But as we drove through AZ it started raining so we decided that if it were raining when we got to the hotel, we would just drive to the canyon in the morning before we head to LA. We arrived in Williams — the cutest little town on Route 66 about 60 miles south of the canyon. Our hotel looked a little sketch from the outside but once we got inside, we fell in love with it’s charm! The people were so nice and as we settled in our room, the sun came out so we decided to stick with our original plan and drive to the canyon that day rather than wait until the morning.
  • When we got to the entrance of the canyon, we found out that lightning had struck their payment machines so they were only accepting cash to get in the park. We didn’t have a whole lot of cash on us, but between the two of us we were able to scrape and find $25 in cash and coins by the time we got up to the booth. We literally used every last dime we had just to get into the park! Haha! As soon as we drove through the entrance, it started raining. Great. But we had already paid our money so we were determined. We made our way to the parking lot and started walking toward the Visitor Center and Mather Point. Words cannot describe the beauty and magnitude of what we saw when we got to Mather Point. I’ll just post the pictures so you can see…The more we stood out there the more the sun began to peek out and before we knew it, we looked up and there was a giant rainbow spanning across the Grand Canyon. Whoa. Talk about seeing the glory of God.
  • It was starting to get dark so we made our way back down the hill toward our hotel. We found out that the little town of Williams, AZ is jumping after dark! Restaurants and bars and shops were open as people walked the streets enjoying the night air. It reminded me what I thought we would experience in Amarillo, TX. If you ever take a trip to the Grand Canyon, I highly recommend that you stay in Williams and stay at the Rodeway Inn & Suites.
  • And so now here we are. It’s Tuesday, the last leg of our trip. In just a few hours I will be at my new home in California. I tried to get a good night’s sleep last night but I kept waking up because my stomach is doing somersaults from all the excitement. From what I can see it looks like it’s a gorgeous day outside so hopefully this will be a nice drive. We’re getting ourselves together to go have breakfast and then head out.
  • I’m really worried that I won’t like my new apartment, so please pray that my new home will match the awesomeness that I have experienced on this road trip. 🙂 But most importantly, please pray for safe travels as we continue on our journey.
  • Homeward bound! Next stop–Pasadena, CA!

Here are some pics from our stay in Williams, AZ and the Grand Canyon:

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Random Thoughts on a Wednesday Morning

8 08 2012

Only 3 more days until I leave for Cali-for-ni-a! Ok, quick update:

  • Last night I thought I was going to have to jump through a wall, leaving a body imprint like they used to do in the cartoons, because I got so excited with anticipation. Saturday can’t get here fast enough!
  • I’m having fun picking out hotels for us to stay in along our journey out west. Looking forward to the road trip as much as I’m looking forward to the destination!
  • I got an email from the Public Affairs office last night asking me to write a blurb about coming to Fuller for them to put on their website. That just made me even more excited! Looking forward to sharing that with readers.
  • I’m enjoying this time in Texas with my sister and her family. My niece and nephew are a delight. It’s so nice to see them getting along these days, rather than fighting all the time. The flip side to that is that now they like to play around so much that when you ask them to do something, it takes them forever because they’re goofing off together. But I guess laughter together sure beat throwing things at each other in a violent fit of anger–lol.
  • As much as I am enjoying myself, I can’t wait to get in my own place again. In addition to getting tired of living out of suitcases, I can’t wait to buy my own groceries and decorate like I want to. Nothing feels like home like a place where you’ve taken the lead in putting it together.

Khalilah arrives here on Friday and then we’ll leave out the next morning. This all feels so surreal…

California Dreamin’

2 08 2012

Today part 2 of my epic cross-country journey begins. I love my family so much and I’ve had a great time here, but the anticipation is starting to build exponentially and I cannot wait to get to California! I’m also really looking forward to spending some time in Texas this next week with my sister and her family. My bro-in-law and I usually can spend hours talking about theology and church stuff, so this should be a good segue for me as I prepare to enter seminary life. 🙂

So in a previous post I listed some of the things I will miss about DC–and can I just say I’ve been craving some Georgetown Cupcakes and Frozen Yo as of late?…sigh…Well, today I’m listing all the things I’m looking forward to in California. For someone who was never really that thrilled about the west coast, I’m now at a point where I’m ready to dive in to this adventure! Ok, so…

Things I Look Forward to in California:

  1. The Beach – If there’s one thing I miss about growing up in NJ, it’s the easy accessibility to the beach. I look forward to being able to drive a few minutes down the road and find some water and sand. Of course, from what I see and hear, the weather in California is too cold for me to actually get in the water, but it’ll be nice to just be there.
  2. God & Film Talk – If there are two things I love to talk about endlessly it’s God and film.  I feel like I could talk about those for hours. I look forward to being able to have conversations about these two things on the regular with my fellow seminarians. A close third and fourth thing that I’m passionate about is race and the church and singleness, so I look forward to having those conversations as well. Hopefully, though, now my dialogue and thoughts will be a little more solid and not just me spouting off random opinions.
  3. Dots Cupcakes – So I mentioned Georgetown Cupcakes…well I found out that there’s a cupcake place in walking distance from my apartment in Pasadena. I looked at their menu and what got me amped was that they have strawberry cupcakes everyday, not just on Sundays like at Georgetown. Only time will tell if the cupcakes are actually any good but I can’t wait to do a little taste testing!
  4. New Church – I’m really looking forward to the process of trying to find a new church home. I think a part of me is just curious if worship on the west coast is any different from the east coast. I have a list of about 10 churches that I want to visit when I get out there, so I just pray that the Lord will lead me to a place where I can grow spiritually and be in community.
  5. Sunshine – Although I’m not so much looking forward to 50 and 60 degree nights every day of the year, and I also don’t know how I feel about it being 70 degrees all the time (I know to most of you that sounds like perfect weather but to  me it sounds Cold!), but I am really looking forward to it being sunny most of the time. Gotta make sure I get a pair of cute shades before I get to Cali! 🙂

Overall, I’m excited about meeting new people in a new space and beginning a new adventure in life. I’ve been a straight up east coast girl all my life so it’ll be fun to see what it’s like to be on the other side of the country. I’m looking forward to driving across the country too. Once I leave Dallas, I will officially be in completely unknown territory. Sounds good…and scary at the same time!

Well, ya’ll pray for a sister as I head to Mississippi today and Dallas tomorrow. Happy Road Trippin’!