Thursday, December 18, 2008

I've Been Tagged...The Countdown Tag

I came out of holiday hiding because I was tagged with The Countdown Tag by two of my blogworld friends, KiayaPhd and MsKnowitall. This one made me dig deep for the answers, but it was enlightening.

Link back to the person who tagged you.
Answer the questions
Tag 7 other bloggers (I don’t send chain letters, but hit me up if you choose to participate.)
Let them know in the comments they were tagged (see the answer above :)

10 random things about me:
I love the rain, especially when I can stay home
I am an avid reader
I make jewelry
My “child” has fur and four legs :)
I wanted to be the next Spike Lee in college
I would have settled on being the next Millicent Shelton after college if I couldn’t be Spike
I love to dance Salsa
I want to own a beach house/condo or a mountain cabin
I have never had a “best” friend but have plenty of “good friends”
I love outdoor things like taking my dog for a hike

9 ways to win my heart: (see my love list)
Make time for me
Do what you say you will do
Be honest
Know that chivalry is not dead
Don’t take me for granted
Take the time to plan great dates
Send me a text message “just because”
Be comfortable in your own skin
Ask about my favorite flower then send them to me "just because"

8 things I want to do before I die:
Travel the world
Be sexually free with the person I love
Know unconditional love
Become a parent
Have a great family holiday with my immediate family
Learn to ride a motorcycle...well
Have a bestseller that becomes a blockbuster movie
Retire early and enjoy the view from my beach condo/mountain cabin

7 ways to annoy me:
Asking me to be considerate of you when you are not considerate of me
Taking my time for granted
Taking my love for granted
Standing me up when we made plans
Being late
Thinking that people or tasks are “beneath you”
Making excuses

6 things I believe in:
Good friends
Staying true to your word

5 things I am afraid of:
Dying without knowing true love
Never having children
Not getting the chance to know my little sister and brother
Not knowing when to let go and move on
Not knowing when to hold on

4 of my favorite things:
The Holidays
Great movies
Being kissed by a man who knows what he is doing
A great slow dance

3 things I do daily:
Walk the dog
Feed the pets

2 things I want to do within the hour:
Get a text message that makes me smile
Know that everything will work out fine

1 person I want to see right now:
My grandmother (I miss her dearly)

Thank you to my fellow bloggers for showing me love. I was having a hard week and needed the distraction.

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

After much consideration, this is what I desire for Christmas. I have learned that your heart must be open to receive love. This year, can you please bring me love, kindness and reciprocal consideration? You see, I have learn that I give too much, love too hard and get hurt much too easy. Is it possible that you could also bring me tougher skin? It would help the next time an unexpected blow comes my way.

Can you watch over my new niece Ellie as she embarks on a life with fearless eyes and a heart that does not know disappointment or hurt. Please keep her naive to life as long as possible. Help to keep her dreams alive and bring her determination and drive that she will need along the way.

Drop peace and love at my sister's door. You are never too old to receive peace and love and you can never have too much of it. Deliver self-love and self-assurance to my mother.

Bring understanding to my youngest siblings. I know they are much to young to understand the dynamics of our family, but one day they will need all the understanding that you can bring for the truth they will hear.

If you could bring these things to my family on Christmas I would greatly appreciate it.


KayC, The Quiet Storm

*Enjoy the Holidays! I will keep myself busy with visiting friends and projects around the house. You may find a new post here as the mood hits, but if not have a safe season and a joyous New Year!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Nature, Nurture and Everything Between (Picture Added)

Have you ever had that eye opening experience that makes you take stock of your life? It can be a moment, something someone says to you or even something you catch yourself saying? This weekend was full of those for me. It made me realize a few things about myself.

1. I hate being mean, but I will get gully if you push me.

It is not in my nature to be mean to people, even if you deserve it. I will avoid you at all cost to keep from being mean to you. In the past I have gone out of my way to avoid people that I know will cause me to act ugly. Which brings me too...

2. I give too much of myself and except too many damn excuses.

In realtionships, in my professional life and my family life people will treat me like crap because they know I will forgive them. They know if they give me an excuse that remotely sounds okay that KayC will take a deep breathe and give them another chance. I realized this recently when someone gave me a bogus excuse for blowing me off.

3. I clean up quite well and can become the envy of women when I put my mind to it.

This weekend I put on a little black dress, some heels that showed off my dancer-toned legs, fixed my hair, expertly applied makeup and strutted myself to the scholarship fundraiser. know you look good when women look you up and down as you pass by. The ultimate compliment is when I put gas in my car and the guy across from me was frozen in admiration. Yes, that felt wonderful and even more so when I stopped a few more at the banquet ;)

Now, if only I can get the conversation right with the man I am interested in instead of settling for the one who asks for my number? What's up with that?

The question is what am I going to do with this newfound knowledge?

Edited to add- Thanks to my Soror who was gracious enough to email me her pictures, here is a picture (with her) from my fun-filled night. I had so much fun laughing with her, I think I will find a reason to dress up more often :) Sorry, I don't have any full length shots with the killer Tina Turner shoes.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Random Thunderstorms...(I Wonder)

I love December! Scratch that, I love the end of the year, starting with November. It is all one big holiday for me:) It starts with my birthday, rolls into Thanksgiving and then Christmas and New Year's Eve. There is nothing like the end of the year, it sometimes makes even the ugliest acting people a little civilized.

I wonder why people say they don't "celebrate Christmas" but they want those days off of work, don't they?

I wonder if it was mandatory to celebrate the reason for the season, how many people would celebrate and how many people would REALLY go to work?

I wonder why two great people can never hook up? It always seems to be one giver and a selfish person or a saver and a spender. I guess opposites really do attract, or does that change with age?

I wonder why expensive bags and shoes are status symbols? Why can't we brag about credit scores and the digits in our savings accounts?

I wonder why first homes are called starter homes? I have no desire to keep moving around for the rest of my life.

I wonder why you seem to meet the perfect person for you after some other man/woman has taken them through hell?

I wonder why people try to be nicest to you after they show you their real personality?

I wonder why love feels so good in the beginning?

I wonder how loves feels after 2 good decades of wallowing in it?

I wonder how a vacation in the Caribbean feels with the one you love?

I wonder...

Monday, December 1, 2008

WOW! I Am Uber Amazing ?!?

The wonderful and amazing Lovebabz has given me the Uber Amazing Award. Her journey to choose love in a world of chaos is always inspiring to me. She inspires many people and was given a couple of awards that she generously passed along to a very deserving group. I was given this award last week while I celebrated my birthday and Thanksgiving with a wonderful group of family and friends but I do not want Lovebabz to think her award was not appreciated.

Indeed, it is quite the opposite. I love gifts, thoughtful gifts that are out of the ordinary and I received wonderful gifts this past week.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by The Storm to wish me well on my birthday. Your wishes are greatly appreciated and cherished. This past week has made me realize that my life is quite full of love and people with good hearts. In fact, a small group of Fam had so much fun at a local restaurant and Krispy Kreme that people kept stopping by our tables saying they were "Sorry we didn't have a good time," or "You are having such a good time, I do that with my group as well." It was wonderful to see my Fam laugh as much as we did.

We stayed out so late that the spouses and sitters were calling by the time we shut down Krispy Kreme. We had to transfer there after the restaurant closed, the Fresh and Hot sign was on ;) Man, those donuts are addictive and we do not know how to say good-bye to each other once we get together. It is amazing any of us graduated from college ;)

I love each and every one of you!

I realized that my life is headed exactly were it needs to go. Each day is taking me to another level of awareness that I am not sure I would have gained if this road had been easier. Each obstacle is preparing me for the next blessing, and that is pretty Uber Amazing.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Birthday Reflections 2008


This year was particularly hard for me, but I made it.

I sit back and reflect on an extremely difficult year and realize that I am a lot stronger than I think I am. I have come through this year with a clearer vision and focus on the woman that I am and the one that I desire to be. Although painful, my struggles have not broken me and I have not allowed them to break my spirit.

I wonder with amazement about my future and ponder with excited anticipation about the many directions my life can take. Every day is a struggle not to dwell on the past but to live in the moment. Enjoy the now and continue to realize that I can handle what life throws my way.

Today I will celebrate overcoming my obstacles with the friends and allies I have gained along the way. The people who helped me to realize my potential, who pushed me when I needed it and helped me up when I fell. I thank each and every one of you.

I celebrate this day with you. Thank you!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Oh, My Nappy Hair

I was featured by Curly Nikki as a Natural Glam Hair Idol. Her blog is dedicated to natural hair. I have been natural for almost 12 years and it surprised me that I have never posted about my hair here.

Since she thought my hair was a good enough topic for one her posts, it must be good enough for one of my own ;)

I have a short bio on my transition and the products I use in the interview. There is also a short section on how I style my natural hair. I love that my hair can go from a big, curly, kinky, coily, afro to a straight sleek style and everything in between with just a wash and some styling.

I wear my hair proudly, it is part of my growing knowledge that what God gave is me is enough. I hope you wear yours (no matter the texture) just as well.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Random Thunderstorms...(I Appreciate)

Creating a more upbeat vibe on this blog, I decided to share the little things in life I appreciate. Even with the stumbles along the way I can take a few moments to smell the roses.

I appreciate the compliment I got from a stranger (his name was Gregory) that told me my curly, kinky, mass of hair was gorgeous. Thank you Gregory, I appreciate it.

I appreciate my furbaby and how he greets me every afternoon after a day of work with a wagging tail, loud barks and usually a destroyed toy.

I appreciate the love of family and good friends.

I appreciate good memories.

I appreciate the love I see between my sister and my brother-in-law. Good pick, Sis.

I appreciate the invitations to Thanksgiving dinner by various people in my life.

I appreciate my ability to dance and perform (next show in March).

I appreciate eye candy, especially him:

Lenny Kravitz

I appreciate a man who wears hats well.

I appreciate my Crush for his honesty. He has a good heart. I truly appreciate him and yes, he wears hats well ;)

I appreciate knowing my neighbor's first names and the names of their children and pets. It makes me feel a little safer.

I appreciate the different colors of the leaves this time of year.

I appreciate my birthday which is coming up in about a week (check out the countdown at the top right). This birthday is special to me, it symbolizes my strength to get through tough times and come out of them appreciating little things.

Peace and Blessings,

Friday, November 7, 2008

Facing Fear

Thanks to my fellow blogger and "sisterfriend" Lovebabz for this post. It was exactly what has taken my thoughts lately. For some strange reason my ex-husband wants to make sure I am aware of his rekindled friendships with the ex-girlfriends he cheated on me with.

I thought I was over my emotional baggage. Seeing his emails made me angry, and then they reminded me of the many reasons he now has "ex" in front of husband. I worked hard, scratch that, I worked DAMN hard to get through the emotional wreckage my so-called marriage left for me. I stayed in a 8 year marriage out of fear.

Yes, I can admit it. It was fear.

Fear kept me in a relationship with a man who was incapable of being emotional faithful to me. Fear had me wondering about what everyone else would think. Fear had me thinking no one else would love me. Fear had me begging this man to pick me. Now I can't imagine begging my own husband to pick me...after five years of marriage!

And now I guess he finds joy in sending me forwards with his ex-girlfriends' email addresses on them. Don't you just love technology?

I am not afraid anymore.

Now I know what kind of man he really is. He never deserved my love, and he never deserved the devotion that I gave him. Why is he sending me emails anyway? We are not friends and we do not have any children. I will not give him the satisfaction of blocking his emails. I will not give in to anger and fear.

I know my worth. I know that I am someone who deserves better. I am a woman who deserves to be given the same type of love that I offer. I will no longer be under the spell of someone who takes satisfaction in emotionally abusing me. I no longer share your name and I will no longer share your misery.

I am moving on. In fact, that is the poem from my last performance in March. I love how art imitates life. And the funny part is I didn't pick this poem, it was given to me and I rocked the HELL out of it:

Moving On

I am moving on
reaching toward my hopes and dreams
It has taken me far too long
to reach this place, it seems

My fears may try to hold me back
To try and block my way
But with courage and faith in my heart
I will get there come what may

The road will be a long one,
And it may be rocky, too
But when I reach this place in time,
My dreams could all shine through

I am coming nearer to my goals
And my excitement grows
The plans I have made will soon be real
Along with the destiny I chose

Though I have been tossed and turned in life's storms
I will surely see a brighter dawn
I'm no longer held back by my fears
I'm finally....Moving On

by Alan Murray

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Love List...Learning to "Breathe"

I am showing so many signs of being open to love again. The most obvious is the smile on my face and the music I listen to. A couple of years ago after a community service event, I was walking through a local mall and my Soror and I were literally "drawn" to the HP cart because of a song that was playing. After learning the speakers were over $250, we decided to purchase the CD instead :) After my initial introduction to Raheem DeVaughn, his song Breathe has kept me captivated since that day:

The ultimate pleasure's giving pleasure
Yeah, I'm a Taurus
they say that we're patient lovers
Are you a Scorpio, Cancer, Capricorn?
On the cusp?

Yes, I am a Scorpio and we are known for our sexual energy. Something I never quite knew until recently. After soul-searching and discovering so much about myself in 2008, I realized how much of an emotional and sexual creature I truly am. It took me a while to realize this because I didn't know how to slow down and enjoy the little things in life. Having my world torn apart in 2007 made me realize I had to enjoy what I had. It made me learn to breathe.

If you should feel thirsty,
I'll be sure to bring you water
Yes, girl I got candles that
will slow burn longer
And I know your favorite love song
and how you like it on repeat
Me, I was born a patient lover
so I'll start with your feet

I have learned that I must be patient, enjoy every day for what it is. It will not be perfect and will probably bring me blows and make me stumble, but I must take each blow as it comes and continue to breathe. Take baby steps in the darkness until I reach the light. Know that not everyone deserves my time and my love. My love is a gift that is to be respected and earned. It is not to be given away freely to people who take it without appreciation. For it is a precious gift that needs to be reciprocated.

I'll do my best to inspire you
To dream of us til we meet again
You may even be encouraged
To take a walk so we can love again
The Most High outdid herself when
She created you
And girl I am thankful
For how our love has bloomed

I have learned that I am a loyal person who gives my everything in a relationship. If I trust you I will trust you to the end, even if I have made a fool of myself along the way. I listen to Breathe thinking that there are other people out there who feel the same, and that thought truly makes me breathe a little easier.

It would be like when hearts beat as one
It would feel like no ordinary kiss
You and I
Now close your eyes
and picture us
Breathing life...into love

Those lyrics are fire, aren't they?

KayC's Love List:

41. Does not take advantage of my loyalty
42. Keeps his promises
43. Doesn't feel the need to brag about what he has or has accomplished
44. Knows how to enjoy a good kiss
45. Understands that foreplay starts long before you hit the sheets
46. Makes an effort to get to know my friends, family and relatives
47. Is comfortable merging our lives and friends
48. Can be described like this by me because he is the truth, no facades
49. Knows when to leave "well-enough" alone
50. Can enjoy a good glass of wine and great music after a long day

KayC's Love List # 1-20
KayC's Love List # 21-30
KayC's Love List # 31-40

Friday, October 24, 2008

What Does Good Love Feel Like?

I have been awarded by MsKnowitall.

I am deeply honored to be on her Brilliante 5 list.

I started blogging as an outlet. An outlet for my fears, emotional abuse, and loneliness that I suffered in a not-so-easy marriage. I have met wonderful people while going through this journey. They have shared my struggles, pain and evenutally joy as we set out on a path of healing. It is amazing how someone can encourage you and give you strength when they don't know your real name, while the people who see you everyday trip you up.

Makes me think of the Anita Baker song, Good Love. Yes, I want to know what it feels like...

I wanna know what good love feels like
good love, good love
I want a love that's sure to stand the test of time
I wanna know what good love feels like
good love, good love
Morning, noon and night
Forever all my life...

It's coming. God has not brought me this far to leave me.

I give my Brilliante acknowledgement to the bloggers who help me with my journey. I don't have to list them, they know who they are. They encourage me on my difficult path when I take 2 steps forward only to find myself stumbling 3 steps back. They celebrate with me on the highs and poke me to get up from the lows.

They help me to celebrate my brillance.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I Ain't Had a Crush in Years

I wanna' hold you in my arms and ease your fears
I can't believe it, I ain't had a crush in years... - Hey Lover, L.L. Cool J

Well, more like a decade and I find myself in wonderful uncharted territory. I am ready to admit that I have a crush. After years of nursing a broken heart, I am finally ready to have someone in my life. My heart has started to experience emotions that I have not felt in quite some time. Funny how your physical and emotional being can jump right back in nothing happened. Like riding a bike.

We spend so much time nursing the insecurities and feelings of I don't want to be hurt again or let me protect my heart that we forget as human beings we need interaction. We crave it and we thrive on it.

I have fought this crush for a little while now, but am giving in to it. I am surrendering, falling out of my comfort zone to see what happens. Excited about the possibilities, the infinite probabilities of love returning to my life.

It feels wonderful.

I do have moments of fear, of wondering what if. What if this man hurts me? What if this man treats me like the others? What if...

But I pack those thoughts away. I try to squash them as soon as they surface and revel in the fact that he is NOT the ex, he is a different being in a different time. And has come into my life for a reason. Right now, I am enjoying the companionship. And for me, that is the first step.

One GIANT step.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Backsliding, It's Not Easy Being Green

I confess. I hit a slick patch on my journey of happiness and I slid. Backslid, actually. I realize I not immune to backsliding but thought I had finally found myself on sure footing. My slip was not a slight slip of the foot, it was more like a tumble down a flight a stairs. Now I find myself thinking about my decisions and if they truly are good, solid decisions.

I know this post will sound vague and that makes sense because I meant for it to be vague. In my present state of mind I am not ready to make heads or tails of it. What I do know, what I thought I knew, slipped out from underneath me yesterday in a few long conversations that made no sense. Well, actually they did make sense but gave no clear resolutions.

The conversations left me feeling a little blue today, well maybe it was better stated that It's Not Easy Being Green. If you have been following me long enough you remember my fondness for great children's music and soundtracks. He says it better than I ever could...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Beautiful Brown Brothers...Part III

I have bragged on the men in my life a few times this week. I wanted to post every day but the germs I was fighting made it a little difficult.

The men in my life must have felt the positive vibes flowing their way because they kicked it up a notch, much to my good fortune. The DD without children called on Wednesday to check on me. No one knew I was home sick, but he called to see how I was settling in at the new place. Gotta' love him. He is married to my self-proclaimed "road dog, ride or die, sister-girl, line-sister, do we need to go ride out? let me put my boots on, friend." It has been wonderful getting to know him and he is very good for her.

This week I reflected on the men in my life and the purpose they serve. They are each vastly different, not only in their occupations, but in their personalities. A few are creative, a couple are analytical and one is just...himself. Don't get me wrong they have their faults, they choose the wrong women, make huge mistakes and dumb choices just like everyone else.

They know they are dead wrong when they call for advice and I simply tell them what they already know. But I appreciate that they are good men, strong men, men that keep my hope alive that one day I will share my life with someone similar to one of them. For various reasons each one came into my life, and even though they are not the man for me (well, maybe one is still vying for the title) they will make any woman a great life-partner...eventually ;)

For JC, RB, FC, DD and the other DD, this is for you.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Beautiful Brown Brothers...Part II

I am back today to continue bragging and celebrating men. I missed posting yesterday due to fighting off germ nastiness (and medicating and rest). Today I want to focus on the men who give so much of themselves to their children. They are not fathers, for fathers can be anyone who makes a child. Some of the men in my life have children and JC, FC and one of the DDs can truly be defined as dads.

I watch them with their children and hear them talk about spending time with them, sending them text messages to let them know they love them (I know, wonderful right?) and combing hair every day. I hear FC tired after working twelve hour shifts and making two stops before heading home because "my son called and asked if I could..." Part of me wished that I had experienced some of what they offer their children, while the other part makes me feel wonderful that there are men like them in the world.

I saw this clip and instantly thought that any of my dad friends would fit into this clip (expect for FC since he has sons). But I loved how cute this clip was. Enjoy this bit of daddy hood on TV if you are lucky enough to catch it on the tube. And big ups to my daddy friends who made it possible for me to believe that dads still existed.

P.S. you can find this clip on who helps to promote responsible fatherhood and healthy marriages.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Beautiful Brown Brothers...Part I

This week is for the men in my life who helped to restore my faith in men when it crumbled to almost nothing. I am celebrating men who do things that pleasantly shock and surprise. This is not totally based on looks, even though I am sure I will throw some eye candy in here somewhere. I am not sure how often I will celebrate our shades of beautiful brown brothers, but they get beat up enough. I shout out the men in my life, JC, RB, FC, DD, and the other DD, this is dedicated to you...

I appreciate you...
if you think no one cares
know that I do

I will lift you
like you lifted me

give you the shoulder
when you need it

take you for a drink
to help drown it

keep you
on the straight on narrow

give you advice
only when you seek it

...for i appreciate you

I see the images of black men changing in the media. The Gillete commercial with the brother who rocks the fierce afro. The sales papers with black men sporting locks down their backs, have you noticed the subtle changes? Do you enjoy them like I do? Now we are shown different looks, heights, skin tones, muscular sizes and the new mixed race ambiguous brothers.

Black, African-American or Brown (whatever you may call them) they are a diverse group and I fully appreciate all the diversity offers ;) I am not one to discriminate on the basis of hue, class or job title.

In keeping with my theme of the week I couldn't say it better than this man. Let's start with old school this week. A man who made our mothers (and some of us) swoon like nobody's business. This time he is not singing, but he does a good job anyway.

The one and only...Mr. Smokey Robinson

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Random Thunderstorms....(Why?)

Taking a hint from the Off the Dome posts that I like so much, here are the random thoughts (or random thunderstorms, I like the storm theme) that are swirling around this week.

Why can't you just say "I am proud of you" or "Congratulations" to me? Why is everything just "Okay" or "A good start" with you? WTF?

Why do I love the new crib and wonder why it took me so long to move on with my life and away from you?

Why has life been so good to me for the past year? Maybe the 30s are indeed the new 20s? Maybe the 40s will be even better?

Why is my new neighbor such a sweet lady, but after moving and the massive cleaning job of disinfecting the new crib I just want to relax.
- Am I old school, do people still call them "cribs"

Just because you call me, does NOT mean I have to answer the phone.

And NO, I didn't return your call because I didn't FEEL LIKE IT (whew, had to get that one off my chest. I'm better now :)

Why am I very happy that I looked your way. Like Prince said, "In a word, you were SEXY!"

WHY oh WHY am I the happiest and most content that I have been in an extremely long time? And it has nothing to do with a man, money, place or thing?

Why the first time I opened my back door onto my very first backyard, my furbaby took off to explore his new surroundings? So much for the thought of having to coax him outside :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Love is NOT an Emotion...It is a Choice

I was talking with my sister the other day and we had an in-depth conversation on love. The emotion of it, the ins and outs of it, we pretty much tore love apart and put it back together. Why? Just because we can :)

No really, she had a conversation with a friend (lets call her Julie) who could not understand why my sister wanted to spend her extra time with her husband. Granted Julie is also married to a contractor who works in Iraq and only comes home for one month twice a year. Julie complains the she needs a vacation from him while he provides a very nice roof over her head, money to go to school (she does not work) and a new car. I would imagine they would stay in a constant honeymoon state because of the limited time they have together but she has problems spending two months out of the year with him.

Which brings us back to love.

Most people marry for love. They are in undeniable, no-holes-bared love when they walk down the aisle and profess this love to God, family and friends, right? So what happens after the vows?

People do not realize love is a choice. You can chose to love someone just like you can chose to stop loving someone. If love is not a choice, than you could never move on from a broken heart and you could never love another person after that first love broke your heart. Let's break this down...

People often confuse that butterfly in the gut, want to jump their bones feeling with love. That is not love, many people describe it as lust or infatuation. I call it the Cloud Nine Stage (more on that later). I think it was best explained by Carrie Bradshaw in Sex in the City as the Zsa Zsa Zsu. Some unexpainable feeling (or chemical reaction if you read this previous post) that makes you want to be around that person every chance you get.

But, after we get used to the Zsa Zsa Zsu (and we always do) we began to see the other person's flaws, those habits that tick us off. And then we chose rather we want to continue with them. We chose to love them (or not) through it all.

The choice of love is what makes you want to continue to work at the relationship, but the Zsa Zsa Zsu often keeps there. Chosing love makes you nourish a relationship when it is dying, make time for that person in a busy world, ask yourself if your partner would be ticked off if I did X, Y or Z. Love is a careful, honest and sometimes brutal choice.

I love plenty of people I would never be in a relationship with, but the Zsa Zsa Zsu is what I want to have with my life companion.

I know some of you have thoughts on this one. What do you think? Is love a choice?

*Photo is Cherishing.The.Moment by Fred. Matthews*

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Love List...Quality Time

Quality time (or QT as my sister refers to it) is a term that is tossed around quite a bit. What exactly does it mean? It reminds me of the Hi-Five song:

I'll spend quality time with you
I'll be right there for you...

Is quality time simply being in the presence of the other person? Is it spending time doing something together that bonds the two of you? Can it only be face-to-face time or is it possible to do over the phone?

I have made a conscience effort to do several things to get back out in the world. One is to be more social. I have my performance group that I often mention here (and it is source of a lot of my pictures) I also take Salsa lessons during the week and go to at least one activity a week.

So, why the post on quality time? Hmmm...I am not yet ready to reveal that, but I will reveal that I know I need it. For me, it is face-to-face time that allows you to get to know someone's demeanor. How they smile, laugh, gesture with their hands, or simply interact with the world. It allows you to experience the world as they see it and do things the other person likes. Quality time allows you to get to know the representative and see if you want to get to know the real person.

If that Hi-Five reference was a little before your time:
(I loved this group growing up...)

KayC's Love List:

31. Makes time for me and us in this busy world
32. Demonstrates patience when needed
33. Is not afraid to be emotionally open to me
34. Knows that you must nourish a relationship for it to grow
35. Will enjoy wasting time with me at the beach watching the waves
36. Has a good heart
37. Works on leaving his legacy here on earth
38. Can make me smile with a smile of his own
39. Helps me to fulfill my fantasies
40. Respect my time with my girls while I respect his time with the fellas

KayC's Love List # 1-20
KayC's Love List # 21-30

Friday, September 5, 2008

Thank You (The Poem to the Ex)

Thank you for...
Cheating on me, it made me stronger

Thank you for...
Breaking me down emotionally, it made my skin tougher

Thank you for...
Verbally abusing me, it made me realize I can make myself happy

Thank you for...
Treating me poorly, now I can appreciate being treated well

Thank you for...
The hate you showed me, I learned I can not love a person past their pain

Thank you for...
The wounds you inflicted, the scars make for good stories

Thank you for...
Isolating me from my family and friends, it forced me to work on myself

Thank you for...
The money struggles, I now appreciate my good finances

Thank you for...
Making me feel inferior, I revel in my nearly drama-free existence

Thank you for...
Forcing me through all of it, because now…

I am a whole person and I am healed.

© 2008 KayC, The Quiet Storm

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Craving Chemistry

Growing up not many of us (myself included) were excited about Chemistry class. The formulas that you had to balance and the equations that needed to be solved. You could hear the groans from the hallway.

Slowly, the dislike toward chemistry changed after graduation.

People spoke about the same word with different meaning. It still referred to two things (or people) and how they reacted with each other. But as we got older, people started to look forward to chemistry. They wanted to feel the reaction between themselves and another person. Each day they looked forward to the chemical reactions in their brain that made their stomachs do flip-flops when they saw that special someone. That unexplainable feeling when the person takes your hand for the first time or that never-will-have-again first kiss.

The emotion of knowing someone else so well, that you can tell in an instant when they are having a bad day from the sound of their voice. That special feeling that only that certain someone can give you when they put their arms around you and take away the pain from that difficult day. Yes, I am talking about that kind of chemistry.

Chemistry can not be faked or forced. What it can be is electric, so much so that people around you can pick up on it.

Not long ago I saw a lady out with her husband and son watching another couple at the coffee shop. I wondered to myself why she was watching this couple who seemed to be simply enjoying each other's company. After the woman in the couple found the lady watching her, they simply smiled at each other and it hit me. The couple's chemistry was magnetic as they stole sly smiles at each other and laughed easily.

Ahhh yes, chemistry is a b*tch! But give me that kind of chemistry any day!!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Compliments are Contagious

"You are a joy to know."

"You are glowing, what's his name?" (HA! Not answering that one)

"You are a wonderful person."

"You can take those negative vibes and spit them back out positive. I know you can handle it."

"Your office is peaceful, I can feel it walking through the door." (Yep, you can't walk through my door with negative vibes)

In the last month or so, I have received these wonderful compliments listed above. Granted, I did not receive them all in the same day (I don't think my ego could've taken that) but I received them in the matter of a few weeks.

Receiving a great compliment is a wonderous thing. It surprises you and gives you an unexpected lift to your day. It just makes you feel good. When I received these compliments it made me aware that I needed to spread more positivity and keep the compliments going. They made me feel wonderful, like I finally got it. I am finally becoming the person I always knew I could be. How do I know? Because not only do I feel it but other people can see it, and they are complimenting me on it.

Positivity births more positivity.

Make sure to spread some positive energy today...let me know how it goes.

Oh yeah, when someone compliments you...simply smile and say "Thank you!"

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Love List...Sweep Me Off My Feet

I love to dance, and this is a picture of one of my favorite dances. It is a couples dance to Jill Scott's He Loves Me. Of course, the picture tells nothing of the actual performance with three couples and the keyboardist who sped up the song to make it sound like the house version. Or, the vocalist who did everything she could except stop singing to get him to slow down. But, the picture captured this one moment in time for eternity.

It is the same way in life. We get so caught up in the wrongs that we forget what went right. We refuse to live and enjoy that moment in time. I am learning to enjoy each good moment.

Although it was a performance, I want a man to look at me with this kind of intensity. Sweep me off my feet with a love that makes me feel special. I want to have great memories that last a lifetime. I want to think about him and smell his cologne in my fantasies.

Apparently, God has been hearing me. In an effort to be a little more specific with God, here are my additions to the Love List:

KayC's Love List:

21. Preferably has no children
22. Is articulate and can express himself.
23. Does not make marrying a hobby ( I do not want to be wife #4 or #5, etc.)
24. Mature and acts his age, but can easily let his hair down
25. Spontaneous
26. Is not ashamed of showing love
27. Romantic, likes to cuddle and show affection
28. Takes care of home before he takes care of other people's homes.
29. Believes in me and encourages me
30. Knows how to say "no" with tact and respect

KayC's Love List # 1-20

Thursday, August 14, 2008

One Helluva Day

I often wondered about films and other types of media that portrayed one day as a life changing event. Surely, one day can make that much of a difference in a person's life, and I believed that until now.

One day changed almost everything in my life, and it changed for the better. My soon-to-be-ex is now officially my ex and I do not have any real feelings about the subject. I watched the person I planned to spend the rest of my life with tell a judge about our 8 year marriage and split with a feelng of detachment. I could not stop thinking the person on that witness stand is someone I really don't know. He looked the same, and sounded the same but he was a totally different person.

I even found myself falling back into the person I was around him and I didn't like it. It took me a couple of hours to shake off the stifling feeling and return to person I now know and love. Funny how people have a hard time breaking old habits.

On the same day I placed my very first home under contract. It is something I did totally on my own, and it is a big deal for me. I can't describe the feeling as I know I would not come close to doing it justice.

As I look back on one of the most important days of my life, I once again have the feeling that life is playing out as it should.

It was one helluva day.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Love First Sight?

I saw you and instantly felt you
your swagger captivated me
the tilt of your hat
broadness of your smile
while I danced
my spirit felt you watching me

Appreciating the closeness of you
thoughts of getting to know you
no longer thinking of any pain
enjoying all of this
until it begin to rain....

I have thought about my Love List for a long time and now I know that I am ready for love to enter my life. Real love, like the MJB song. I have experienced enough of the fake stuff. First, I had to figure out what I did NOT want in order to know what I want. I am putting out my positive vibes while I continue to enjoy life. Soon, the person who perfectly compliments me will embark on this wonderful thing called life with me.

KayC's Love List:

1. Believes in God
2. Loves family and wants one of his own
3. Secure in his manhood
4. Does not put others down to make himself feel better
5. Comfortable in his own skin
6. Can relax and chill with me and watch the game in sweats, then put on a flyy suit and hang out in Corporate America
7. Sees my spirit as who I am and accepts it
8. Loves me without trying to change me
9. Believe my words as truth, knowing that I would never deliberately hurt him
10. Honest and Trustworthy
11. Healed from his old relationships before he creates one with me
12. Good with children and pets
13. Understands that sometimes your word is all you have
14. Has a good relationship with his family
15. Enjoys dancing and different types of music
16. Open to new experiences
17. Wants to see the world...with me
18. Enjoys sports
19. Will fight for me like this, knowing I would do the same
20. Values my morals

I want to know, that I know, that I know when someone loves me like I deserve to be loved. There will be no pretense, it will make both of us glow. He will glow enough that his boys will want to meet me just to see the lady that has their boy floating like a parade entry. Yes, I was a hopeless romantic for a long time...and the hopeless romantic is back. It is more than time she made an appearance.

I am sure this list will be grow and change with time. For now, this is the beginning...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Learning the Lesson

I need more positive thoughts and positive people in my life. In college, after a horrific year with the death of a few close friends and the cancer diagnosis of my Grandmother, I took a long look at my life. Then I started to fix it.

I removed people from my life who were draining me, the people who make you physically tired after a phone conversation. We all know them, the people who can walk into a room and suck the life right out of it. Yes, we know them well but we continue to keep them around anyway.

Fast forward more than a decade and I find myself staring into the mirror once again. This time it is different. I stare into the mirror as a woman who knows who she is and what she can and can not tolerate. A woman who knows what she enjoys and what she is not willing to compromise.

My happiness and self-assurance has come with a price. Although I am still young, it has taken me far too long to get here, but I will wallow in a great feeling so many people do not know.

I am healed from the wounds of the past decade and I am excited about my next steps in life. The possibilities and choices that I have are endless. After a great weekend of hanging with some really cool people from my Blue and White fam, I can say with confidence I am ready for the next step and starting to have a great time.

Thanks to a couple of Frat who are cool peeps in my book. Let's start with Frat who gave me the great stepping lesson Chicago-style, Frat who danced with everyone and got silly with us without worrying about the blackmail pictures that I am sure will show up on the Web, Frat and Sorors who did the New Edition dances with us on If It Isn't Love (love you for that :) and for the great laughs as I enjoyed the time with old friends and met new people.

I can now start my Love List with a bang but this post is about burying old habits and leaving the hurt and pain behind while learning the lesson. Finally, I am in love with me and it sure feels good.

Yes, I will continue to concentrate on learning the lesson.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Vacationing in Your Own City...(Week in Review)

I had to take vacation time last week before my employer took some of it back. With gas prices over $4 a gallon and plane tickets almost doubling, I decided to take a vacation in my own city and do some things I always wanted to do but never seemed to find the time.

During the early part of the week I had brunch with a friend from high school at a quaint coffeehouse cafe. I think my brunch totaled about 10,000 calories, but it was well worth it. I Indulged with a chocolate-whipped cream-concoction masking itself as coffee along with a to-die-for croissant sandwich followed by an extremely rich piece of Oreo cheesecake. Sounds fantastic, doesn't it? It was good laughing and catching up with my friend. We sat in the covered patio while it rained, then the sun came out and it rained again before we called it a day.

Gotta take time to do that again.

I finally made it to the aquarium and it slipped my mind that it's summer and everyone is fitting in their last vacation before school starts. Many times I was almost run over by kids saying "excuse me" in various languages. The only two I understood were in French and Russian(I think). At least most of the patrons were friendly (especially when I almost walked through a family photo) and I took some great pictures. The two above are a few of the best.

The baseball game was my next stop in the week as I love, love, LOVE baseball!!! There are a variety of reasons to go to the stadium but the most important is the great hot dogs! They cost an arm and a leg, but I swear they are the best dogs I have ever had and they are huge. Top that off with cotton candy (the kid in me :) and a great game that came down to the last out in ninth inning. My friend (pictured with me, it was extremely hot until the sun went down) is not really into baseball, so I gave her a crash course. We really enjoyed the variety of theme-music for each player as they came up to bat, and we REALLY enjoyed the pitcher's mini-video as he made his appearance. (We both have degrees in Film & Television so it's in our blood) We were still singing "one, two, three, you out" when he was pitching, that song was definitely catchy.

To top that off, along with the drunk college kids that decided to battle it out by shouting their college at each other after the beers kicked in (we had great seats, BTW), it was Fireworks Friday. We got a free fireworks show after the game. Gotta love this city!

The Black Arts Festival is in town so my week ended with a tribute to Judith Jamison dance performance. There were three groups performing (picture to the left is of the second group, I forgot my camera so I missed a great photo op at the end) and the first two were okay, but everyone seems just okay when you are followed by anything with Ailey in the title. The third piece was a duet danced to A Case of You. Let's just say I would be grateful to drink a case full of that male dancer. Even Ms. Jamison gave props to that great specimen of a male (her words, but I agree :) at the interview with the three Artistic Directors after the show.

The female lead was wonderful as she executed lifts that had the audience gasping. Yep, they had me ready for my own performance group to start back up. As usual, women were flocking the male dancers outside. When will we learn to appreciate without having to have it? My people, my people...

It was a great week. I highly recommend anyone to take a vacation in your own city. I did all of that and still found time to be lazy on at least three days. The next time I will bring my camera with me everywhere, since I missed a LOT of great photos.

Oh well....back to work.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

I've Been Tagged

Once again I have been tagged by my blog world friends. Msknowitall tagged me this time about something I love, music. Here goes...

"List seven songs that you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they're not any good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying now, shaping your spring/summer. Post these instructions in your blog along with your seven songs."

1. Alright, by Ledisi
Life can bring loss through any changes, it's alright, just don’t give up know that it’s gonna be alright, People come and may go, that’s just the way that it goes, Everything is everything, and it's alright.
Ledisi has a sultry voice that is simply enjoyable and calming. This jazzy, blues-like song fits right into my new favorite playlist.

2. No Woman No Cry, by Bob Marley
No lyrics needed, the live version is on my playlist. I can listen to Marley all day.

3. Be With You, by Elizabeth Withers
I just want to be with you, turn the down lights low, pull my shirt up slow. Open my buttons one by one, and watch them come undone.
Another sultry singer, she became popular playing Shug Avery in The Color Purple on Broadway.

4. Suffocate, by J. Holiday
Got me fiening for her love can't lie, Man you should see how she got me, Spending all this time with her, And I couldn't leave her if I wanted to, Her love turns men into fools, Tell me what a man is to do.
This song's vibe is nice. One day, I want someone to feel this way about me again.

5. My Joy, Leela James (Be sure to also check out her track Music)
See previous post here to hear this one and see the lyrics. The live version I posted includes a brief description of how the song came to be as well as a brief tribute to the blues. This song is my new anthem. I put it on when things get too heavy.

6. Soul Searchin', by Me'Shell Ndegecello
Come caress my saddened heart, My sunrise and my darkest dreams, All my hostility's tamed, When you kiss me.
MeShell has a way with lyrics that is unmatched by most. This one is old, from the Higher Learning Soundtrack and includes a wicked breakdown in the end that makes you want to grab your SO and... ;)

7. Satisfied, by Prince
Eye'm just trying 2 get U satisfied, Eye'm sure U had another lover, Let me tell U baby, all tricks aside, Eye can get U out of Ur body, Have U ever felt like U were dyin' and felt satisfied?
I LOVE Prince and love the blues. This song combines both...Prince singing the blues? Oh baby, the only downfall to this song is that it is too short.

My new summer playlist is one I can play from start to finish without any major breaks in the flow of music. All of the music is sultry and relaxing. Some of it is new with artists like J. Holiday, Goapele (Closer) and Reuben Studdard (Make U Feel Beautiful) but others are classic like Prince and Bob Marley.

My entire list has a running theme of overcoming obstacles and finding love. Maybe my healing is almost complete, I find myself listening to these songs and thinking of the infinate possiblities of great love.

This one is dedicated to the hopeless romantic in me that is being reborn. I didn't tag anyone, as always let me know if you participate.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Peace...Be Still

After a very emotional week, I received this simple title to an email and it made me sit back and take note of my life in its current state.

Last week two of my friends and sorority sisters (one of them my line sister) were dealt the blow of the death of their mothers and one of my uncles was admitted to the hospital. The death of a mother is something I believe no one can comfort you through. You grieve in your own time, and in your own way. Friends and family members can only listen and try to be there for you.

My uncle had to practically be threatened to go to the hospital were he found out his blood sugar level was 400. (BTW, your blood sugar level should only be 70-80)I have 5 uncles on my mother's side and each of them are special to me in their own way. This uncle however, is special because our personalities are very similar.

We are both loners to a certain point. At family gatherings it is not unusual to find us both in my aunt's den watching a game on the big screen while the rest of the family is chatting away (rather loudly) in other rooms. Although we do mix and mingle (and join in the noise level at times) we take our mingling in short doses ;-) In short, we understand each other.

His hospitalization shook me.

It made me look at my life and were I am in relative to were I want to be. I am starting over in almost every sense of the word. And to be honest, most of it frightens me. Even though I have "more options than I can shake a stick at" it still makes me wonder if I am staying on the path GOD has placed for me. Or, if I am so wrapped up in what I want that I am trying to create my own path?

Either way, I am fighting to keep that joy and peace of mind that I found earlier this year. No one can say it much better than this:

'Cause if I thought you were the end all
and my be all
I would've never left you alone
and I wouldn't be on my own
and I never, never would've grown

no, no, no ain't no way
you gone take away
My joy, and my peace, and my strength

Sing it Ms. Leela James.
Enjoy! (I know I did)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Books, Heat and Drums

I decided to lighten the mood of this blog and post something upbeat and happy. It was bright and hot outside this weekend and I decided to venture out before dance practice to give one of my line sisters some support.

The book signing was held downtown and I forgot how much it costs to park, but it was good to get out and walk around. I had not been a pedestrian in the downtown area since college some 10+ years ago and the landscape has changed drastically. I loved seeing the families and couples of all colors walking around to various locals enjoying the hot summer weather.

And to top it off, I got a chance to support my line sister and buy a copy of her book (which was edited by another LS of ours, gotta love networking :). So, if you get a chance to stop by your nearest bookstore or library make sure to pick up a copy. She’s a good writer.

After dance practice I attended a West African Drum Show. One of the drummers is a part of my performance group so a few dancers went to the show. They had a guest master drummer that gave me a few Azucar Negra moments. It was a fun outing for Saturday night, nothing like seeing people get up and move to live drum beats.

Hmmm…we should go to another performance when we are not tired from dance practice. I bet we could wear that dance floor out! (Not that we didn’t give it a good shot this time :-)

Peace and Blessings,

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Foreign Concept of Father's Day

I realized how few people I have to call on Father's Day. On Mother's Day I had an entire list that would have taken me all day if it had not been for text messages and email. I had exactly three people to call and none of them was my biological father.

My father was anticipating his 20th birthday when I was born. He had no idea of what being a father was because he was barely a man himself. He did not have the opportunity to find comfort in his own skin before he was tasked to help me find comfort in mine.

I appreciate the posts about fathers who told their daughters they were beautiful and helped them feel loved. Fathers that showed up on time and have great memories with their daughters.

Not my father.

He never told me I was beautiful or even pretty. My father was absent from my high school graduation and absent from my college graduation. He was nowhere to be found when my heart was broken for the first time or when I was picked on by my classmates when my mother and I moved to a new state. He was absent when I found my first love, absent from the track meets, basketball games and when I crossed the burning sands of time.

He has no clue of the woman I have become.

But as much anger as I had for him, I do not have it anymore. I feel sorry for him. He is now trying to regain the time he lost with me by giving it to his wife, son and daughter. I listen to him on our rare phone conversations talk about my youngest sister refusing to be a daddy's girl anymore and how he coaches little league football with my younger brother.

I listen to him talk about his house and the things I never had growing up because he "never had to worry about me" as I was always an "old soul".

I feel bad that nothing in me wants to celebrate father's day with him. I have only four pictures of the two of us growing up and I remember not wanting to take two of them. As time goes on I pray that I learn more about forgiveness. I pray that I learn how to tell when people are simply incapable of showing love.

I have forgiven my father...maybe one day he can forgive himself.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Fifty and Fantabulous

I have one extremely bad and long running celebrity crush. It is the purple one himself in all of his sexually ambiguous glory. This man must have one great skin care and hair regime. He is one of the few people who look better as the years go by.

Anyway, he is 50 today. Yep, I said the big 5-0. I can only hope to look this good at fifty...Happy Birthday to the royal one. (Shaking my head in admiration...with a smile on my face)

Sadly, I have not seen him in concert. That is definitely on my things-to-do list. He recently played an outdoor festival that included surprise jam sessions with Wendy and Lisa, Sheila E, and Morris Day.

That is a concert I would have promised my first-born to see! :)

My list of favorite Prince music is long. As I enjoy the weekend celebration of Prince and Prince Protégé videos playing on VH1 Soul, I ask you...what is your favorite Prince song?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Real Love

I have fallen in love.

I finally know straight-forward, no holes barred, no pretense, unconditional love. This person finds comfort with me, looks me in my eyes and shows genuine joy. Their smile makes me smile and they share warmth and contentment with me in a world of pain and misery. Finds happiness and contentment in my arms that can last hours.

Let me tell you there is nothing like real love.

I didn't realize how much I was starved for love until I received it again. To find it after not having for so long is like overdosing on chocolate after being on a year-long diet. This person can smile at me and make me forget all of the pain, sorrow and weariness that has seeped deep into my soul. I am just sorry it took me so long to meet you.

I know by now you must be curious of the identity of my love. The identity of my inspiration that has me thinking there is some good left in this world. That has my thinking things do turn out "right in the end". Here is the object of my affection:

I call her Ellie and she is my new niece. (Who did you think it was?) She is a couple of months now and I recently had my first visit with her. We bonded over a few days (her parents called it spoiling) and I can not wait to see her again before she grows and changes. She is my new inspiration to be the best person I can be...

A role model for her.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Power of a Pen

With the stroke of my pen
I erased a decade from my life

With the stroke of my pen
I am no longer called "wife"

With the stroke of my pen...
I embark on a new life.

I never realized how powerful a couple of strokes from a pen could be. Funny, how you have to decide your future, what you want, what you are willing to let go, the name you want to go by, all in a few days.

You spend over a year planning to join your life with someone and invite family and friends to enjoy the festivities. But, when it goes wrong (as it sometimes does) you wait in the shadows until some Judge sends you papers telling you that your life is now yours again.

Not telling anyone, you just nod and say "he's fine" whenever anyone asks about him. You shouldn't feel shame because you did nothing wrong. You didn't cheat, lie or treat him wrong. Things were not what you thought they were, but life isn't perfect.

He told you he was leaving because "life was too short not to be happy" and you wonder when did the woman of his dreams (his words) began to make his life "unhappy" and "too short" to live with you?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Rhythms from a Drum

Slow, sweet rhythms
You start to play
I step out of the shadows
As you look at me slyly

You beat a sweet rhythm
Never danced before
But you take me
To another place, space, time

The rhythm speaks to me
Sweet, methodical and erotic
I see you look at me
Sideways, as you beat that drum

Everyone is gone
It is just me, you and her
As you beat that drum
Playing us into sweet ecstasy

The drum speaks sweet things
Beyond my body to my soul
I catch your eye
And you look at me

A slow smile crosses your lips
As the rhythm picks up
My soul, mind and body forgets the crowd
And dips, sways and swings

To the rhythms you beat
Out of that thing called a drum
Make it talk to me
By the end everyone wants some

You work me into frenzy
As you beat that drum
My body feels it
My soul feels it
As our eyes lock

...As you beat rhythms on the drum

Thursday, April 24, 2008

TAG! 6 Things about the Quiet Storm

I've been tagged so I get to play. I guess that means I am an official blogger now ;-) In case you have not seen this before, I have been tagged by Verbal Vixon, who has great stories and art on her site.

The rules:

1. Link the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules in your blog.
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.

Here is the list of things unknown to my fellow bloggers...

1. I have a major pet peeve about people being inconsiderate. Especially when you want me to be considerate of you. That goes for all of the gum popping, cutting-me-off-in-traffic driving, smokers in the hallway, answering your cell phone in the movie, playing your music loud in the middle of the night people. Yeah, YOU!

2. I know the words to most of the songs in the Animated Disney Classics. My favorite being Bear Necessities in the The Jungle Book.

3. I wanted to be a performer like Janet Jackson when I grew up. She was killin' Control at the time. (Don't hate, don't hate)

4. Thanks to a person I dated, I now like all forms of music. If you ride with me you could hear everything from Daughtry, Creed, Carrie Underwood, Sweet Honey in the Rock, MeShell, Goo Goo Dolls, TuPac and Miles Davis. Interesting list, huh?

5. I know how to crochet and knit. My Grandmother taught my mother and my mother taught me. Someday, I hope to have a daughter to teach her. Gotta keep the tradition going.

6. My father's name is Adolph. Yes, just like Hitler. Oh yeah, get this...he is a junior. So there are TWO men in my family blessed with that name. Try living with that as a black girl growing up in the South!

BONUS- Since #6 is not really about me, here is another one. I am a certified Pet Stylist. Which means I am basically a certified barber for dogs and can do things like take this face:

And make it look like this:

So there you have it.

EXTRA CREDIT*** I HATE chain letters, so although this was fun and I appreciate being loved by the blog tag. I did not tag anyone.

But hit me up if you decide to participate.

Peace and Blessings,
KayC, The Quiet Storm

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"Big" ...Big Boi and the Ballet

In my effort to broaden my cultural experiences I attended the collaboration of the Ballet and Antwan "Big Boi" Patton. With dance lessons coming more frequently for an upcoming show in July, I thought the meeting of two opposites (rap/hip-hop and ballet) would be a great experience.

I was wrong.

First, let me say that I have always wanted to attend the ballet, but have found it difficult to attend for a variety of reasons. I have also never attended a Outkast or Big Boi concert.

Our seats were fantastic for a show that may have gained a few more followers for Big Boi and/or the ballet, but probably succeeded in losing more. I was expecting a compilation of greats. Great music accompanied by great dance delivered by even greater dancers. What I got was a great concert with flashy backdrops and dancers who looked more like deer caught in headlights than dancers. Three separate entities (concert, dancers, backdrops) on stage that never quite meshed together.

I attended the closing show thinking they would "go all out" as most performers do at their last show. The choreography seemed to just miss something and never really interpret or showcase the songs. In fact, the dancers were dancing a slow ballet to Bombs Over Baghdad.

There is nothing slow or delicate about that song.

Let me not forget the singer (can't remember her name) who decided that coming out in a tutu and dancing with the very talented prima ballerina was a good idea. When she broke into the robot I thought she was joking. I remember being really confused when Big Boi shouted "Throw you hands up" to the audience. The audience was kind of taken by surprise on that one and I heard someone ask "Do we throw our hands up at the ballet?" Could not stop the laughter at that one.

At the end of the night it was like everything else in the world. Some people raved about it and huddled in groups talking about how wonderful the meeting of the two opposites were.

Others of us wondered how this great idea of merging two opposites just seemed to not quite meet in the middle.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Meeting Pearl Cleage

Pearl Cleage is one of my favorite authors. I discovered her first book What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day in 1998 after asking an employee in Books-A-Million for a title that was not in stock. I do not remember the employee's name, but she suggested Ms. Cleage.

I devoured that book in a couple of hours and went searching for more of her titles. I have since been a devout fan of hers and seemed to always miss her book signings and appearances.

Until last week.

With a leisure stroll through the local newspaper, I stumbled upon Ms. Cleage's next book signing and eagerly drove into downtown only to find her appearance rescheduled. Bummer.

Disappointed, I put the new date on my calendar and almost stayed home. The book addict in me took over and I am elated that I ventured back into the mangled asphalt of downtown. Ms. Cleage is an inviting, honest and sincere warm-spirit that can be described as nothing short of simply a joy to be around.

She read from her new novel Seen it All and Done the Rest. With a small crowd, it was delightfully easy to have a great question and answer section and even have my first purchased Cleage novel signed.

Thank you Ms. Cleage for the open and honest discussion. I enjoyed myself tremendously, and the writer in me is soaring with inspiration and new ideas ;-) Can't wait until the next book signing. (I have a few friends who are peeping my book, but this one is not being loaned out!)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Me'Shell...the experience continues

"You want me to go see who?" I asked.

"Me'Shell. Me'Shell Ndegéocello." He looked at me like I had lost my mind for asking him to pronounce her name again.

"You should come with me, just look at her name on this ticket," He said as he quickly pulled two tickets from his wallet.

"Anyone whose name can use up an entire ticket like this deserves a couple of hours of your time."

That was 12 years ago.

It was my introduction to the neo-soul, funk, jazz infusion, bass guitar playing, openly bi-sexual woman who rocked the 14th Street Playhouse and my idea of live music.

I was not ready then for the Me'Shell experience and being one of the few heterosexual couples in the joint. But, she converted me to a fan for life and I always have her music in my CD player or on my jump drive at work.

She doesn't seem to tour often, similar to Prince with his hit and run style tour dates, so after 12 years I had the chance to see Me'Shell again live at Apache. None of my friends wanted to go, not wanting to miss her again I flew solo. After all, it might be another three years before she returns.

I got there early and claimed my spot on the floor mere feet from the stage and enjoyed every minute of the 1 1/2 hour set. Being on time had it's advantages since there were only two people separating me from the musical genius and I could hear her whisper to the musicians when she pulled away from the mic.

A little disappointing that she only did new songs, but they got into a groove that included seeing her play the hell out a bass guitar. I really missed some of the older stuff, but she opened the set by saying she was "40 years old now and her music is changing." Very few people seemed to mind the new sound.

It was a great night.

Check out one of my favorite songs from her old music.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

My First Ailey Experience

I had the fortunate luck to attend a student show of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The best part was that I went as a chaperone with a group of high school ladies and attended the show for free.

I am happy I waited until now to see Ailey for the first time because I appreciated it so much more after beginning to study dance. The control of some of the dancers was outstanding! I can only dream that I will be able to become half as good. Maybe one day I will be able to do the leap pictured above :) (Ha!)

The student show took place during the day and was only about an hour long. I look forward to next year's calendar, when I will make sure to attend a regular show. (and probably attend the student show as well ;-)

I was completely mesmerized watching them, and they were wonderful inspiration for my own show later this weekend.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Smashing Stereotypes

My dance troupe recently performed with a Master Chorale. It was extremely interesting and liberating.

Let's set the scene, our very eclectic, colorful and very African-American troupe performed at a Jewish temple with an all Caucasian chorus.

Not amused yet? Hold on.

The chorus performed Brahms' Liebeslieder Waltzes and Mack Wilberg’s Dances to Life complete with two Steinway pianists as we danced very lyrical and ballet heavy numbers complete with high lifts and throws. Mesh all of that together for a very entertaining Sunday afternoon.

Now, if we can only get a copy of the DVD. Judging from the conversations of the patrons after the show, I am more than positive there are some hilarious looks on the faces of the crowd ;-)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love…Liberating or Limiting?

This was the timely topic of interest for Valentine's Day on a natural hair board I frequent. I had tossed around a few subjects for my next post and settled on this one since it has been weighing on me a lot lately.

Love and relationships should never be just flat out hard. Love is a choice that is made and given freely without expectations. You can love someone and not spend your life with them as a spouse or significant other. You can also love someone and not have them love you in return. I know plenty of people who say that their relationship is hard and trying all the time. I can’t help but ask why? I had a teacher in high school whose favorite quote was “Love should make you happy 90% of the time.” When complaining to a friend about my own relationship, this quote came back to me in a light bulb moment.

Maybe we do force ourselves to be in relationships that are not healthy. Often we get caught up in looks, the feeling of loneliness and the “I’m ready to be married/have a family because I’m _____ years old” mentality.

Love should come easily and should not be limiting. I was in a relationship that mirrored who I was and I did not like what I saw. Anger, emotional abuse, jealousy, trust issues and neediness that surpassed all traits of love. Imagine tensing up every time your spouse walks in the door? Crazy, right? Ironically, I receive the best kind of love from my friends. We have many conversations on the fact that you may pick your friends with greater sincerity than you pick your partner/spouse. Let me explain.

One of my friends is a man who I have known for almost 20 years. We made the decision to remain “just friends” about 4 years into our friendship. I love my friend tremendously and he has become a family member to me. We do not have to talk everyday or even once a month, but we always seem to find each other when one of us needs emotional support. We have no expectations on the other person; we are free to be the person we are rather it be weak, strong, hurtful or prideful. I was asked if we became friends because we wanted to have the other person in our lives for a lifetime and I had to think about it.

We have been friends through failed relationships, marriages, separations, deaths, births and career changes. I am sure we will continue to be friends for a long to come, so the answer would be yes. Yes, I picked him as a friend so I would have him in my life forever.

If friendships can be so liberating why can’t relationships? Do we really make a bigger investment in choosing our friends than we do our mates?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Used, Abused and Rescued

This is my Shiba Inu doing what he does best, relaxing. He is happy, spoiled in fact. He has his own room (his crate which hardly ever has the door closed), he has a toy box overflowing with toys that I constantly replenish (more on that later) and he goes for long walks and hikes with me regularly. I even participate with a Shiba Inu group of owners who get together to let their dogs play. When I look at him I sometimes think of everything he encountered before he came to live with me.

He is a rescue, meaning he went to a home as a young puppy. His original owner decided he would not fit into the life they envisioned and returned him to his breeder. He stayed with his breeder for four months until he came to live with me. I can’t imagine anyone not wanting him, he is a beautiful dog. Even though he can be a handful at times, he makes it bearable to enter an empty home after a long day of work.

This is my Guinea Pig who is also a rescue (in his upside down house he's chewed on ;-). He was supposed to be a pet for a friend’s daughter, but somehow ended up with me as well. He is my first guinea pig and is a learning experience. Like my Shiba, he first went to a home and after fathering a litter was returned to the pet store unwanted. He is also spoiled and has trained me to give him carrots when he bites at his cage and squeals (which brings my Shiba like he called his name).

I look around my house and realize that all of the living creatures that dwell there have been rescued. We are an interesting group, often misunderstood and returned because we were not what the original owners expected. How was I returned? I have separated from the person I thought I would spend my life with. Now, I understand that some people think that I have been returned and deem me used or unworthy.

Often people say that divorce or separation means that you are forever the spouse of the person you originally married. I am not sure I agree for a variety of reasons. Mainly because many of us enter into relationships knowing that we should not be there. We see the warning signs before we walk down the aisle but in an effort to save face and get what we desire, we make that walk anyway and spend countless years wondering why it just does not work out.

A friend of a friend once said “When it is wrong there is nothing you can do to make it right.” That is the only thing she says that I totally agree with. So now that I have been returned, I wonder how long it will take me to entertain the possibility of sharing my life again.

Right now I am happy with building my friendships and strengthening the other relationships I have neglected while trying to make my failing marriage work. But, God heals all and forgives all, right?