Saturday, July 23, 2011

Amy Winehouse passes at 27

Amy Jade Winehouse: September 14th 1983 – July 23rd 2011

I am... so... so sad about this. I don't even know where to begin.

She was found dead in her London flat early this morning. She was 27.

I know that previous generations have gone through this before... many of their beloved yet tortured musical stars passed at the all too common, foreboding age of 27. And although the cause of her death is currently unknown, it's safe to say that she passed for largely the same reasons many of the legends of the 27 Club did. To say I didn't see this coming would be lying, but I still hoped for the best. I hoped that she would recover, and purge her soul of the demon that possessed it: drug addiction.

Amy Winehouse was an innately talented singer and an impeccable songwriter, I'll never forget the cool tone of her husky voice and the inflections of her effortless singing style. 'What it is about men' is one of my favorite songs of all time. She made some of the best music I have heard in my adult life.

Some called her life a slow suicide. I call her a legend gone too soon.
"The saddest thing in life is wasted talent..."- A Bronx Tale
May people allow her legacy to rest in peace. Amy, your fans will miss you.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Concept of a Broken Marriage

She understands on those nights that the snow falls soft
when he cannot give her reassurance that he’s still in love
the nights that he cannot bear to look at her and instead scoffs

And it is pain that always plagues the heart he once stole
it is hard when she is losing grip of the hand she longs to hold

She offers him her shoulder and gets nothing but his cold one
his hands barely ever touch her and it feels like she’s coming undone

It is evident she feels the lack of everything
that a true relationship is supposed to bring

He storms inside the house and gives her a look of earnest hate 
there is nothing she can offer him that will change his tragic state

And she promises this hurts worse than the punches and the putdowns
that her father used to give her when she was young and acted out

She cries on those evenings he pushes dinner away 
and rushes out of the room with nothing to say

She doesn’t want him to tell her he’s just not hungry, hell
it would be nice if for once he explained how he really felt

The truth may hurt but not more than the assumptions she makes 
she doesn’t even want him to put on a smile and pretend its not fake

In truth, she wishes she could silence his temper, temper his silence
make his evil actions disappear, help clear out all the nonsense

She knows that inside of her lies the girl he once loved without 
the perfection and expectations he constantly holds above her now

She wonders, and damn does she hope, and false hopes they will always be
thinking about what happened to the calm, collected man she knew at 18

Laying in bed cold and alone asking herself what else could possibly go wrong 
looking at him and her reflection in the mirror knowing she doesn’t belong

She is done pining for him, wanting him, and making excuses for him
one sunny morning she grabbed her things and left a note, all done on a whim

She turned the radio up as she rode on the highway and into the night 
started to cry when she realized he had never been about her, or her life

It had only been altercations, disappointments, a complete wreck
sadness in her eyes and an empty wish for change he hadn’t come to yet

She decided she would make up for all the time that her husband cost and stole 
All vows lost as her wedding ring was tossed into the speeding stretch of blurry road.

This poem is an original work by me, Lady Blue. If you would like to share this poem, please note that explicit permission from me and proper credit are required. Any attempt to reproduce or profit from this work will result in immediate legal action. Thank you.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Moment of Clarity


This weekend was wonderful. And I'm so glad that instead of gallivanting outside aimlessly in the warm summer weather, I committed myself to this career revamping session.

I'll tell you exactly what I did in a little bit* but right now, I wanna talk about how I feel.

I feel good. I feel clear, focused, centered. My ten minutes of meditation last night probably helped as well. Now I'm not all "cured", for example, I still felt the same claustrophobic wave of panic this morning on the uncomfortably sardine packed train... but I was able to talk myself out of the anxious feelings faster than I ever have before. I forced myself to breathe, not caring the least bit about how odd it may have looked to the other passengers. And that's the other thing, I felt really unaffected by other people. I mean we all say it, "I don't care what people think." Heck I've said it probably more times than I can count. But sometimes I'd walk down the street, and avert glances the whole way, blush when I felt eyes on my body, turn away when someone hollered something at me. And it made me feel self-conscious. It made me want to hide, and be invisible.

But not today. Today, I was unaffected by every single person I passed on the street. Because I realized that whatever these strangers think or do or say has nothing to do with me, and their actions are not in my control. All I can control is myself, my body - my vessel, and my mind and the thoughts that permeate it.

Once you let go of wanting control over things you'll never have control of, you can breathe easier. [Sidenote: This whole topic of "other people" brings me to something Lady Gaga may or may not have said, during her Howard Stern interview: "There's really a very big difference between what people say about you, and what people actually do about you." That was so powerful for me because it's so true. People can say that they don't think I should write [no one has said this], but what can they actually do to stop me? Nothing. I'm unstoppable.]

Anyway, immediately after watching maybe 10 of Marie's videos, my mind subconsciously switched into action mode, and I started doing [instead of what I usually do, which is thinking ad nauseam]. I grabbed a pen and paper and summarized three novel ideas I had, I created a detailed chapter by chapter outline for one novel in particular, I transcribed an interview that was supposed to be published in March, I wrote down ideas for a new business and the majority of a business plan for another, I read chapters of books I'd been putting off, I read my Oprah magazine cover to cover, I organized blog posts, I revamped my HIRE ME page; I got into serious action and focus mode.


I got out of my mind and got into the present moment, what's also known as reality. What's in our heads is really just fantastical chit chatter. Literally figments of our imaginations. And once we fully grasp that, we can be free.

I know it sounds crazy, and I know that I probably sound crazy right now, but I'm telling you, once you get it, you get it. [Heck, I saw Bridesmaids again! last night and one of the girls tells the main character "You're your own problem and you're your own solution." Even they get it!]

The inspiration brought out an intense focus in me that I hadn't seen in a long while. And it wasn't all work and no play either. I'd stop and chat on the phone or take a break to eat, and even that taught me that you can work your ass off and still have fun. Still have a life, still be human. It's all about balance and listening to yourself and what you truly want in that moment.

And by Sunday, a mere 24 hours later, it hit me that for once, I was truly focusing on all the possibilities of my life, instead of all the hurdles. I wasn't thinking about others or the negatives or even sabotaging myself...

I felt limitless!

I felt free.

If only I had always known that all I needed was: Meditation. Clarity. Being present. Focus. Action.

*All I did was sit through a few of Marie's videos in reverse chronological order and summarized the details onto a Word Document for reference later. I didn't actually sit and study the material, I was just transcribing her words and absorbing the information unconsciously, I guess.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Featured Talent: Drey Wingate

Drey Wingate
Professional Basketball Player
25 years of age
Atlanta, GA/Montgomery, AL

"I want to be known as a professional both on and off the court.”


Drey and I actually became friendly through the wonderful social device known as Twitter. I liked his positive attitude and grew fond of his inspirational quotes, and once I found out he was a basketball player I was further intrigued. He's a very kind soul and although we have yet to meet in the "real world", we consider each other a friend. This interview is long overdue, as it was supposed to be posted this past Spring, so many thanks to Drey for his patience and for allowing me the opportunity to interview him and feature him here.

Describe your style:
For those who have seen me play often, I'm known as a scorer. I'm small for my position, I play shooting guard and I'm only 6'3 but the average height for my position starts at about 6'5 and above but, I have a crazy work ethic. I'm doing something everyday to try and get better because if I'm not practicing another underdog out there is. [My workout starts at 5am, I do a 2-3 mile run, after that I hit the weight room, it's not about getting as big as I can be, it's about developing the proper endurance. Most of my workout consists of pull-ups, push-ups, yoga, resistance bands.] And that’s what motivates me to try and get better. So other than being a prolific scorer I’m very coachable, I've always been known as a team player and I've always been known as the guy who makes the players around him better. So basically whatever is needed to get done, I'm willing to do it. I think my attitude separates me from a lot of other guys that are in my situation because I’m never content with my skill level, I always feel there's room for improvement.

What do you like most about your craft?
Honestly, I like getting the crowd involved, I also like the competitiveness of the sport. Basketball is one of those sports... I wouldn’t say it's America's favorite sport because everybody knows baseball is America's favorite sport, but I would say it's America's most entertaining sport because when you go to a basketball game you are seeing guys who have speed, you are seeing guys who have athleticism and creativity and charisma. You go to a football game, you're seeing guys get hit hard, you go to a baseball game and no one really gets excited until somebody hits a ball out of the park. So I think the entertainment value of basketball is what I love the most, being able to make a move on the court or making a good pass or making an incredible shot, being able to hear the crowds response, that can really get a player going and that can lead to bigger and better things, it leads to the expansion of the game as well.

How did you get your start?
My father was a well known player back in his day and being a military brat, you don’t stay in one place too lon,g so I had to find something to occupy my time with, so I started playing when I was about 6-7 yrs old, it was something that kept me out of trouble and it was something that was actually fun for me to do. I started playing seriously when I was about 15. You know when you're young you play in the YMCA leagues, and the church leagues, and certain neighborhood tournaments, but by the time you get to High School that's when it becomes somewhat of a job because you have to balance school, you have to balance your social life, and that's around the time where you start thinking about playing at the next level which is college. I'm known as a late bloomer, everybody knew that I loved to play basketball, but I really didn’t begin to stand out until probably my junior year.
The summer following my junior year going into my senior year, I attended a very prestigious and well-known camp out in Arizona [a summer camp hosted by Lute Olsen, a hall of fame basketball coach] and some of the top players in the nation were there. I graduated in 2004 and for people that are basketball junkies they know that we had 13 NBA draft picks that went straight from High School into the NBA in 2004, so to be amongst guys like Dwight Howard and Josh Smith and Rajon Rondo [the guys playing games on ESPN, known as the top players, not just in their cities but in the country], to actually be around those guys it kinda put things in perspective for me and that’s when I decided that playing basketball was something that I actually wanted to do. I don’t think I knew I could make a living from it until probably my senior year in college. Once my coach told me that he thought it would be a good idea for me to try to pursue it as my career after college is over with, to hear those words coming from him kind of ignited a fire in me that I could actually do it.
Basketball was my whole premise of starting college right away. If I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to play college basketball, I never would have went right away. I graduated college with two bachelors degrees, with that being said, basketball became a road that I took to accomplish what was really important in life, and that was being able to walk away and actually have specialized in a certain area of study. I played for 3 different teams, in 2009 that was my rookie year and I played for the Dallas Wranglers out in Dallas TX, and then the summer of 2010 I played for the Jacksonville Bluewaves and then my third team was the Georgia Lions of the UBA, and toward the end of season I got traded to the Tennessee Dragons.

What are you doing presently?
Well with the NBA lockout going on, it's having an effect on all basketball players. It's tougher for guys who are not in the league to get jobs. Especially when guys from the league are going overseas to play. It's somewhat of a domino. When the top dogs suffer we all suffer. Since my season ended, I've been working hard every day staying prepared for my next opportunity. But I am also involved with a lot of other projects away from the court as well. Expanding my horizons and learning as many new things as I can. At the same time while I'm learning to do new things, I'm continuing to master the things I have already been taught.

What are your plans for the future?
I have so much that I want to do and so many places I want to see. I may not get to do and see everything I want but I'm going to continue to move in the right direction to do as much as possible. Other than continuing to be the best basketball player I can be, I want to help as many kids as I can. I wouldn't wish the path I had to take to get here on anyone. There are way too many people talking about doing things for the youth but very few are putting those discussions into action. So my mentality is, instead of continuing to listen to people talk strategy, I'm going to be that individual that actually executes one. Even if I'm not the one that makes it happen, I'm going to definitely be the one that plants the seed for it to happen. I've learned so much from being a basketball player and I want to spread the knowledge that I didn't receive when I needed it the most to the upcoming generation.

What a fantastic idea! You can learn more about Drey at his blog: http://prostateofmind-prostatus.blogspot.com

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fan Mail

"her ability to convey imagery via mere text... I can really see what she's describing.  and her name is just soooo money"

This message is so awesome.

Higher Heights

Life is sweet
when I’m imagining
our tangled bodies
kissing hugging loving
in the kitchen or
in between our sheets

How do I feel
when I feel
like I’m falling
deeper and you’re seeping
into my pores and my being
and my life and every second
of every day that I might
contemplate
taking this to higher heights

Where you and I
can unify
and I can show you
everything
amidst feeling so high

You’re my heart and my soul
but will you ever know?

So it’s time
to express the stir in my heart
and my mind
Whenever you’re close
my surroundings shine
into something divine

Can I feel you?
hard knocks heart stops
all that you’ve got
to throw at me

You’re all in me
when I sleep
and when I sigh
and when I blink
I can’t get my mind right
to think about proper things
concerning you and me
drowning in ecstasy
moaning and groaning
uncontrollably

And I have gratitude
because you know exactly
what you’re doing
but that’s just in my dreams
give me some reality.

This poem is an original work by me, Lady Blue. If you would like to share this poem, please note that explicit permission from me and proper credit are required. Any attempt to reproduce or profit from this work will result in immediate legal action. Thank you.

Movement

Photo by Pnina Evental

So there's been a lot of movement in my brain cavity this week. Penelope Trunk says you know you're an entrepreneur when you can't stop the ideas from coming.

Well ta-da then.

I have two book ideas - one a short story collaboration with another talented writer and one inspired by Penelope Trunk's posts here and here. I've also got some marketing plans, and other ideas I can't even remember right now. I have ideas out the ass basically.

But insight [and ideas] without action are worthless, as Marie Forleo says.
So in order to cash in on my talents/ideas and hone my skills, I'm putting myself through an all day career counseling/internal cleansing session on Saturday through the use of Marie Forleo's video guides. I'm a little apprehensive to complete the task because I know that it will be mentally and emotionally intense, but it's time I commit to this shit.

Because I'll be honest, nothing has really held me back all these years other than my internal, nonsensical and pessimistic mental chatter. So I'm hoping that after Saturday's revamping session and a few weeks of practice, I can bloom and win this shit already!

Because we all know how impatient I am.

Speaking of impatience: Did you hear Lady Blue is looking for man? I'm accepting applications as of yesterday. I'm serious. Send me emails [with your name, number, race, blood type, genealogy, credit score and qualifications]... and save me the $25 a month I'd otherwise begrudgingly spend on eHarmony. My beef with eHarmony is that I can't do the picking [which I feel puts me at a disadvantage] and there aren't enough men of color Black men on there. I mean I'm open to all types of men but c'mon... let's be real here. You know what I like. I may just stick around for the potential networking opportunities, and numerous crazies I'll inevitably be forced to threaten and blog about though.

Anyways back to the important stuff. Money. I loved this post by Danielle LaPorte about her 20 money "rules" and agreed with many of them. There's also a part two.

These are straight links to the women I mentioned in this post - aka the women I'm loving lately for motivation, self-help and career advice:
  • Penelope Trunk for her unconventional yet reliable wisdom.
  • Marie Forleo for her spunkiness, "multi-passions" and truly educational videos.
  • White Hot Truth by Danielle LaPorte for her varied topics and refreshing, no bullshit writing.
And adding to all things spiritual and internal, I just bought Oprah's latest magazine about Intuition. Something is speaking to me this week! I believe it!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Peace

It’s this simple thing
an intangible essence
only seen in the still
waters of the sea and
soft light that gleams
in the dawn
in the dusk and
through twilight serene.
It’s in the eyes of the hopeful
and souls of the young
and carefree.

It’s a desire of
the righteous
the lovely
the suppressed
and the ugly
It’s in budding rosebuds
and sunny powdered skies
It’s in the breeze
In acts of sanction
and in sighs of relief
of those in need.

None in restless sleep
rare in the everyday
Absent in the worries we keep and
insignificant to those in power today
None in the red white and blue
sweet land of liberty
that’s NOTHING
when across the Atlantic sea
there’s bombings and infantries
slaughtering the unsuspecting
and full of sunken armies.

It’s felt in calm embraces
and for saddened faces
It shines throughout years of
everlasting love
It’s in silence and in truth and
amidst soaring doves.
It is somewhere lost in time
irrefutably divine
It’s in the heavens and hearts of the deceased
And when that time arrives
may one forever rest in peace.

This poem is an original work by me, Lady Blue. If you would like to share this poem, please note that explicit permission from me and proper credit are required. Any attempt to reproduce or profit from this work will result in immediate legal action. Thank you.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Shake Shack


What I learned tonight is that the task of finding a seat at Shake Shack shows you what kind of person you are in tough situations. The Shake Shack near Times Square is always jam packed, and the key is to go with someone else, so one of you can do the ordering while the other scouts for an empty table. Today I was the scouter, and as I walked through the narrow aisles; screening all the smiling, chewing, drinking faces - I thought to myself, "This is no biggie." All the tables were full at the moment, but I knew that in a few minutes someone would have to get up and leave. And as I predicted, an older German couple was evacuating the second I passed their table. I blurted out  "Are you guys leaving?!" but swooped in and sat my ass down before they could even answer.

That's called lightning speed.

As I waited for my food to come out, I took a look at all the other people who were scouting. I observed many furrowed brows, worried faces, crossed arms and aggressive encounters ["Were you waiting for a table before her?!" and my favorite "You look like you're done"]. A few people even took the punk route and chose to eat their burgers while silently standing up. Although I admired their pacifist stance, it wasn't one I could personally rock with. You're telling me I just paid 3 times too much for this burger and milkshake and now I have to stand to eat it?! Naw.

I'm good.

So I found my ass a seat. And then I oohed and aahed all throughout the consumption of my Great White Way custard/shake. It. Was. Un. Believable. Okay?! And then I sent my friend back up to the register to get seconds [those shackburgers hit the spot].

After I ate enough to feed 3 small families, I decided to cab it home foregoing a screening of Midnight in Paris because... well, I caught a serious case of the itis.

*Shrug*

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Riding the Emotional Wave


I envy the way that men are able to put love and relationships on the back burner while they take care of school or work whatever they deem necessary in the meantime. I envy that skill because although I compartmentalize rather well, I know I can't fully do that. While I don't consider myself the typical love/marriage obsessed young lady, the fact remains that I'm human, and I'm a woman. And what I mean by "woman", is that yes, I'm an emotional creature [once a month usually, between the odd hours of 6 and 9].

Just a few days ago, I found myself in the pathetic vulnerable position of sobbing, terribly, in front of a beau - and there's little I can do to eloquently capture how I felt at that moment. As a matter of fact, all I could do was think in curse words and terrible threats and disastrous decisions. All I wanted to do was hurt him, the way I was hurt by him, although it wasn't intentional or in malice. I wanted him, for just one second, to feel the fire that I felt in my chest when he spoke his defense, I wanted him to feel the tremors that took over my limbs as tears gathered in my sparkling eyes. I wanted him to feel the fury that I felt at just about the same time I felt despair. It's not his fault that he impressed me, and it's not his fault that I eventually and unknowingly rested all my aspirations of love upon his shoulders. But I wondered about his intentions in pursuing me, a woman who ultimately desired things he seemed unready for and unsure of. So I felt anger, and sadness and frustration. And although things ended on a high note, I was still thinking in black and white terms of vengeance.

And then I got my period and realized that all my malicious thoughts and uncontrollable tears were due to the demon called PMS, not any actual slight. [I had overreacted, you see.] And around the same time I received my monthly reminder of health and fertility, I forced myself to get a grip on my life*. Those couple of days in emotional purgatory [on top of spending the weekend with someone I adore who maintains a pretty good outlook] made me realize that my real life was real good, and the main reason it felt so boring and dreary lately was due to my poor attitude and passive way of dealing with things I was unhappy about. [Now I'm being hard on myself, as usual, but for the sake of the story...] I fell into this groove, this shitty groove of focusing on all the "negatives", ruminating over them, rolling around in them, complaining to anyone who would listen, procrastinating ["I'm tired" or "Another time" were common thoughts], and then making endless excuses as to why things couldn't change, thereby continuing the same cycle well into another day. The cycle being, rush to work, spend 10 hours there, rush back home exhausted only to hit the sack, meanwhile putting myself last on my list all. fucking. day. long. Those days turned into weeks and those weeks turned into exasperation, exasperation due to restlessness. Many times I've felt trapped by this cycle, but the truth is that at this point in time, I am freer than I will ever be. I don't have kids, I'm not slammed with debt and bills, I'm not held down by a significant other. And although I'm not looking to change my circumstances just yet, I can surely change my attitude surrounding them. Because life is truly good and there's so much I can still do while doing what I'm already doing. 

*How did I do it?
  • I read positive and inspirational blogs at The Daily Love [a lot of them are corny, but I forced myself to read them because they do challenge your thinking patterns and make you wonder about your life and how you handle situations.] This article was especially helpful, and afterward I found myself repeating "It has nothing to do with me" in my head, which really worked.
  • I watched Lady Gaga interviews which is one of my favorite pick me ups, and lucky for me, she's always interviewing. I like her as a person more than I like her as an artist, and the interviews are a great way to get to know the woman behind the music. Plus she is ambitious as fuck, sincere and very intelligent - always a winning a combo and motivator for me.
  • I focused on all the positives in my life [I'm smart, have a nice handful of true friends, I'm drama and baggage-free, making money, gorgeous, young, vibrant, talented etc etc etc] and realized that they totally outnumbered the perceived negatives.
  • I got to work! I jotted down things I have been wanting to do, from the cool to the mundane: learn how to drive and get my license, go to the beach this summer!, see more of the city, go to Luam's dance class [oh and marry the guy in the white tank -fucking Dominicans man!!!], get my French language skills up to par, eat balanced meals and eat more often, blog more often, travel, build my brand all the while envisioning a bigger a one... you know. All of that. Next up will be doing the work needed to accomplish these things.
I'll leave you with two things:
Where there's a will, there's a way and What you think, manifests. Or better yet, you reap what you sow. You sow bad seeds and you're gonna get rotten fruit, ya dig?