Convergence Lives Again

19 12 2010

Guess what everybody? I'm writing a book! Well, actually, the book is already written. Can you believe I've just been sitting on it for the last 5 years? I finally dug it out of the archives and I'm in the process of putting the finishing touches and proofreading it…What's it about, you ask? Well it's actually based on this blog. It's called "Convergence" and it's a memoir of sorts where I take a lot of the poetry/journal entries that I wrote during my college years on topics such as love, faith, fear, death, family, and friendship, and then contrast them with my feelings on those same topics now that I'm older and (supposedly) wiser. 🙂

The idea behind the book is that as I look back over my adult life (especially my college years), I went through several changes, all in efforts to find my identity. I've been through a relatively "loose" phase where I partied and drank and had 2-3 different "male friends", then I went through a pseudo "thug" phase where I wore baggy clothes and skullies and only listed to "gangsta" rap. I went through an angry militant phase and a women's lib phase where I was very vocal about everything in life being racist and sexist–all in efforts to find my own voice. Then I became a Christian. And all of that went out the window. I let my faith, and moreso what I had been told about my faith, define who I was and the way I thought. As I got older, I started to realize that yes, my faith does define a lot of who I am. However, I am still a whole person that has thoughts and experiences, feelings and opinions that are valid. In other words, just like the tag says on this blog yes, I am a Christian, but I am also black. I am also a woman. I am also single. I am also an artist. I am also young-"ish" (I'm thinking I may need to change that part of my tag. I'm not sure if people with arthritis can be classified as young 🙂 Being a woman of faith doesn't mean that I have to throw those aspects of who I am away. It just means that it is a major force that informs those aspects of who I am.

And thus, I started writing the book…and then I started writing the blog to get me ready for the book. But for some reason the book never materialized. Well 2011 is going to be the year that I let my creative juices flow, so get ready! Convergence–the book is on its way!

Advertisements




My Birthday Weekend

27 04 2009

So I ended up having a decent birthday/weekend. Wednesday I had to work late but when I got home, Khalilah had a gift waiting for me. It was a can opener with some Twix and Fun Dip (my two favorite candies). It was great because Ive been wanting a new can opener to replace my old school one. And, well, as far as I'm concerned you can never go wrong with Twix and Fun Dip. 

Thursday I went to the Global Night of Worship at Buckhead Church which was AMAZING! I had a great time. Praise and Worship is my favorite part of the service so an hour and a half of it is like heaven to me! Friday I tried a new Indian restaurant with my friend Shandra and it was AMAZING! I'll definitely be back there again. We then went to check out the Tyson documentary. It was very interesting. Disturbing, but interesting. Overall a very good film.

Saturday I had Tea Time with Tony, which is always a blessing. What was funny was that I ran into Michael Wynne while I was there so he joined us and we had some really good conversation. It's always nice to hear the male perspective on some things. And it's always a blessing to hear Tony's ideas and wisdom on things. Tony's one of those people that always wants to know what God is doing in my life and what He's teaching me in this season. It's good to have someone like that in your life so that you can always be aware of how God is moving. Because sometimes we get so busy or frustrated with the things that aren't happening that we forget to see the forest for the trees. After that I hung out for a little while with Jon. He said he had a birthday surprise but we ran out of time so we'll have to do that some other time.

Sunday morning I went to church — fantastic message. Andy just concluded a series called "God and Country" talking about the moral conscience of America. It was really really good. Sunday afternoon my family and I went to the Green Manor for dinner. If you've never been to the Green Manor you OWE it to yourself to get down there if you like southern cooking. Fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, turnip greens, string beans, dressing, rice, yams….it was all so good!!! I'm still thinking about the chicken even this morning! After that I went to my parents house and then hung out a little while there. Shari had to drop me off at the airport because I left my car there at her job so that we could ride to Green Manor together. Well, while we were in the car we realized that we had gotten hungry again so we stopped at Malone's Bar and Grill and had the BEST crab legs I have ever had in my life! So well seasoned and tender! OMG…I'm still thinking about those too.

Overall it was a good weekend. People say you don't have to celebrate your birthday on just one day. I guess that's true. Tonight I will be celebrating it at my friend Shandra's house. And I still want to celebrate somehow with all my friends and I still want to do karaoke. Looks like I might be celebrating my birthday for the next few weeks!





Day 2 in NYC – Things I Learned Today

19 03 2009

100_1623
Boy am I one tired soul. I forgot that NYC requires so much walking! The good thing, though, is that I've gotten plenty of exercise and it's actually helped my back. It doesn't hurt as much as it has been.

Today I woke up and went for brunch at a place called Sarabeth's. I had a salmon scramble and it was good but it was no Flying Biscuit. After my brunch was when I realized that I was so exhausted from yesterday that I had to go back to my hotel room and take a nap. After resting up a bit I set out to go to the Met.

100_1632

Since it was such a nice day out and my hotel is so close to Central Park, I got the bright idea to walk through the park to the east side. Huge mistake 
— well kind of. It took a really long time and I got really tired halfway through but once you get that far, there's no turning back. I started to get a little frustrated because I was losing time to spend at the Met. But then I decided to really take in the scenery surrounding me and the day suddenly got a whole lot better. I slowed down my walk, took a seat on a bench, and learned a lot of things during my time in Central Park:

  • It's perfectly possible for me to entertain myself. Here I am in NYC with no set agenda and I am having a great time. How's that for an independent woman?
  • NY is a place where you have to take risks. Even just getting around on a daily basis requires risk. Hanging out with my friend Rich last night and Priscilla today, I had no idea where I was going. But I had to just take the risk and get on the train and figure it out as I went along. Reading the signs. Such is life. Sometimes we gotta be willing to take risks and figure it out as we go.
  • Living in the moment means focusing on and enjoying what's in front of you now instead of always waiting for the destination. For example, taking the time to enjoy Central Park rather than getting frustrated about getting to the Met. I was missing out on the beauty right in front of my face. Also, I'll admit that being here in NY has made me want to move back here. But then I realized that I've got great things going on in Atlanta that I still have yet to take advantage of. The grass always looks greener on the other side. Sometimes it's worth it to sow the seeds in your own yard first.
  • The whole time I was here in NY I missed out on a lot. For one thing, I rarely ever went to the east side of town. So today's journey was quite an adventure in and of itself. It's different over there in those parts. For some reason it seems a little cleaner over there. I don't know. Maybe it's just me. 
  • Throughout all these years, God has never let go of me. I've had ups and downs before and He's gotten me through. Why should I believe He'd stop now?
  • I have to get back to TRUSTING God, not just believing in Him.
  • I think me and Jon could have a great friendship if we both tried a teeny bit harder, and if we actually took the time to be friends (whether as boyfriend and girlfriend or not). I'm willing to try.
  • 100_1628
    Love means reaching out
    . I was watching this couple in Central Park and watchiing how they interacted with each other. She would put her head on his shoulder. They would read a book together. She would read his text messages on his phone. They would flirt with each other. All from this position. It was very sweet. 

100_1637

So yeah, I did eventually make it to the Met but they were about to close so I just sat on the steps for a few minutes after trudging all that way through the park. I continued on my journey and went to Starbucks on Lexington & 78th. Then I went to Brooklyn to hang out with my friend Priscilla and her beautiful daughter Sophia. She made dinner and I had such a great time! It took me a long time to get home because I unknowingly got on an express train that skipped my stop. But after a lot of back and forth I finally made it back to my hotel.

Another great day in NY. I know I said it before but I am exhausted!! And, I am ready to go back home to the ATL. I think I got what I came here for. A renewed sense of purpose and drive. As I sat in Central Park, one of my favorite songs came on my iPod and I had to repeat it several times because it gave me great peace. The song is "You Never Let Go" by Matt Redman. I'll leave you with the lyrics as a reminder that no matter where you are in life, God's always got your back and He always has something to say to you.

You Never Let Go

by Matt Redman

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back
I know You are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Chorus:
Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We’ll live to know You here on the earth

Chorus:

Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You





Day 1 in NYC – DO YOU!!

18 03 2009

So today is my first day in NYC and so far I'm having a blast!

As soon as I stepped foot off the plane I felt the charge….ok, well maybe I'm being a bit dramatic. But getting on the NE Corridor to Penn Station just brought back all kinds of memories and took me back to a time in my life where I did my thang…

Which is why I wanted to come to NY this week. I'm starting to feel like I'm losing my mojo…like I'm getting to comfortable with things the way they are. I'm comfortable with getting in my car and driving around time. Not having to think, not having to figure things out. Not having to hustle. I just wanted to go someplace where I had to think on my toes again.

When I got to NY I could feel the energy. Everything felt the same as if I had never left it. All of Penn Station was in the same place, it smelled the same, it looked the same. My first stop in NY was my Ben's Pizza on Spring & Thompson. They have the best pizza around imo. They hadn't changed a bit either. Although they do lose one cool point because they no longer having fountain drinks (grape drink and coupon). That place used to be my hangout spot for lunch when I used to work at AIVF on Houston, so it felt good to be back there. For all you NJ/NY'ers who are longing for that REAL NY pizza, here's a picture:
100_1608

There it is…

100_1609

And there it went….

I tried to get a picture of the slice before I started eating it but I couldn't help myself. I just had to dig in. The white stuff on the plate is the powdered sugar from my two zeppoles, which were also always part of my routine. 🙂

After my lunch, I went ahead and checked in my hotel. Boy is it TINY! Here are some pictures but I don't think the pictures even do justice of showing just how small this room is…

100_1611

100_1612

100_1613

100_1614

I wish I could've taken a pic of the shower but the bathroom is so small I can't get a good shot of the shower withiut stepping into the toilet. But aw well, I'm not complaining too much. It's a place to lay my head. And it's just for me so it works.

100_1610
So after resting for a little while, I caught up with a friend of mine named Rich Chew. Rich was an actor in one of my first short films, Soul Connection. He invited me to come with him to a bible study for models. It was really good. I'm glad I went. Maybe I'll have to share more insight on it later because I'm getting increaingly sleepy.

All in all, I'm having  a good time. And what I love most about this trip is that I have wing me to do no agenda. I go wherever the wind takes me and in the meantime it's allowing me to DO ME! I get to set my own pace and chart my own life–not my schedule. Tomorrow I'm supposed to be having dinner with my friend Priscilla. I also make walk through Central Park, pay a visit to the MET  and take in the day.

I"ll keep you posted. Bur right now I'm pooped! I'll give you another recap tomorrow. Peace and G'night!





Showing Your Age

8 02 2009

100_1582
So I’ve got this complex about my age. It started back in the 7th grade when me and some friends went to the grocery store. All of my friends developed way before I did so once we all became interested in boys there would always be these instances where they would be mistaken for high schoolers and not me. So as each of my friends went through the check out line, the goofy little teenage boy (who, at the time, some of us thought was kinda cute), checked each one of us out as well. “How old are you? 16?” he would ask one of the girls as they would giggle. “How old are you? 15” he asked the next one. So then I go through the line. “How old are you? 9?” he asks me with a stupid laugh. I’ll never forget that day. It was very embarrassing because truth be told, I was actually the oldest out of all of them.

And the pattern has continued ever since. I always know that when a woman calls me “honey” or “sweetie” that they see me as just another college student. Or when people say things like "I'm sure that was before your time," in most cases they don't even know what my "time" was to even make such a statement. Sometimes it's hard being a college professor because there's always somebody who mistakes me for a student. Most of my students are pretty used to me by now and know that I'm old. But the admissions reps and administrative people don't get it. And it pisses me off when people suggest that it’s because of the way I dress. That argument would hold water if it only happened when I’m in my everyday street wear. But last week I had on business attire and makeup and one of the registrars told me (as I was walking to the faculty parking lot, mind you) that I needed to come see her to early register for Quarter 2.

Sometimes it gets pretty annoying. It’s gotten to the point where I am counting every gray hair and every wrinkle, waiting for them to come in fully. Which brings me to the point of this post.

I can’t understand our society’s fear of aging. Whenever you talk to people about getting older they start talking gloom and doom. They don’t want to tell people their age. They’ve got to find the latest cream or tonic to reverse the aging process. Or better yet, there’s botox. I just read an article that Jennifer Aniston cried when she realized she had a gray hair. Whenever I tell people about my age complex they always tell me that I’ll appreciate my youthful looks when I get older. While that may be true, I really look forward to going gray. I truly think gray is beautiful. There was actually a time when I thought about dying my hair gray.

While I don’t so much look forward to the aches and pains usually associated with getting older, I have a lot of admiration and respect for “seasoned” adults. That was very PC of me, wasn’t it? But it’s a very appropriate term. Seasoned adults have wisdom that no one else has. They have experiences that no one else has. Even though we often don’t want to hear it, they often have the best advice because they’ve lived it.

Every now and then I try to do things to make me look older, but then I realize that I just have a young face. I can’t help it. So I might as well just accept it. It makes no sense to be dress uncomfortably just to make other people see me a certain way. It’s kinda become a little game to me because it’s priceless to see the look of shock on people's face when I tell them after a long conversation that I graduated from grad school almost 10 years ago.

Along the same lines, I can’t understand why people feel a need to dye their hair or get facelifts when they get older in order to make themselves look younger. It’s not like people can’t tell the difference. I have an aunt who is over 80 years old and has a head full of jet black hair. It’s pretty ridiculous if you ask me. You’ve earned every gray hair, why not flaunt it? So many people don’t even live long enough to be “seasoned adults.” Shouldn’t it be considered a blessing to be old?

100_1549
Yesterday I attended a banquet for my grandmother called Women of Wisdom, where they honored the senior women from several local churches in the community. My grandmother is 93 years old. As she walked down the aisle with her full head of gray hair, she walked with honor and I saw how beautiful she is. Everybody marveled at how good she looked and I could hear people saying that she doesn’t look 93. So I guess I get it honest. But I’m so glad she has the guts to be who she is, gray hair, wrinkles and all.  If the Bible says that wisdom is the principle thing, why would you hide all evidence of your wisdom away?





Hello 2009!! I Hope I LIKE You

4 01 2009

100_1504
So this is it! My first blog post of 2009! You would have gotten this on January 1 but the battery on my camera died and I didn’t want to put up a post without my NYE pictures. I gotta say, this past New Year’s Eve may have been one of the best NYEs I have every had. It’s not like I did anything super major. I just spent the evening chillin’ with some dear friends that I like.

I’m starting to realize how important it is to have people in your life that you like. Not people that you tolerate. Maybe not even people you love. Sometimes we love people because we feel obligated, because we feel like we should, or because they have certain qualities that we are attracted to. But how many people do you have in your life that you actually LIKE? People that you actually want to hang around if for no other reason than to share a laugh or two or to share some good conversation.  There’s some people in my life that I find myself clamoring to spend time with because I LIKE them. I like being around them. Do you have people in your life like that?

So yeah, nice time. I cooked a lot of food, including these yummy raspberry parfaits…
100_1522
 

So New Year's is a time when most people make resolutions. I do believe in resolutions and goals, even though some of them I do not always keep. One of my goals for 2009 is to stay current with my blog and to post pictures as I take them. I kind of slacked off in that area as you can see from my Facebook page, where I just posted all of my pictures from 2008. I'll do better this year.

My other goal is to get back into the groove with movie-watching. I was a total slacker in this area in '08. I didn't stay very up-to-date with the latest indie flicks so I missed a lot of good ones last year. Now that my friend Angela is back in town I've got more motivation to get back into the swing of things. Already she and I have gone to see Doubt and we're going to see Last Chance Harvey on Monday.

Career-wise, in 2008 I kind of allowed myself to sink into some kind of cocoon. I spent most of my time editing projects, I didn’t direct a whole lot this year. I also didn’t socialize in the film community very much in ’08. It was a year that I stayed locked up behind a computer and a spinning wheel. So this year, I’m going to make it a point to step out of my cocoon and get myself active again in the
Atlanta film community. I also want to make it a point to direct more projects this year. I’d like to direct some more music videos and a couple of shorts too.

Other goals include:

  • getting into a consistent workout routine
  • actually finishing my screenplay, "Something Worth Waiting For"
  • travelling
  • starting to make the film about my mother's life
  • spending time with the people I love (and like)

I guess that's a lot for one year. But one thing I did learn during this break is that there are actually enough hours in the day. I just have to do a better job at managing them. I learned that because I did get a lot accomplished over the 3-week break. Only 1 more day and my break is over. 😦 Time to go back and teach the chi'ren. I dread going back because I have really enjoyed the rest and I wish I could have just one more week. Ah well, such is life. Back to the grind…

So long, 2008! Hello 2009! Hopefully I will like you!

100_1507
   100_1513
100_1512
100_1511
100_1510
100_1509
100_1516
100_1508





Chattanoogie!!!

29 10 2008

Khalilah and I went to Chattanooga last weekend. What a great time! Who would've thought that Chattanooga could turn us out, but we had such a good time that we didn't want to come back home. I mean, don't get me wrong, we wouldn't move there or anything, but we definitely had a fantastic time and it's definitely a place we plan on visiting again. I really don't feel like telling the story of our trip twice so you'll just have to click here and here to get pictures and read the details. Enjoy!