Monday, August 23, 2010

Diggin' Calle Real

Dancing in the Salsa scene has introduced me to a variety of music and people. I have learned so much about Salsa, Timba, Guaguancó and dancing on 1, 2 and Cuban style that my head spins sometimes.

Ironically I have only scraped the tip of the iceburg in studying Afro-Cuban and Cuban music. It amazes me where music has roots and what types of music gives birth to something different. My latest introduction is ironically a Swedish band (yes, I said Swedish) that is in my Salsa rotation constantly. They go by the name Calle Real (Cal-lay Ray-al) and technically they are a Timba band.

My Salsa performance group is currently performing to a remixed version of this song:

This band is BAD baby! They have breakdowns that would normally be found in R&B music and the lead singer's voice has a great tone. My performance group Director loves this group, so much in fact that our next routine is also to one of their songs.

I am adding them to the list of bands I want to see in person. The clips on the web are really good. Funny how few bands today can perform live. Looking forward to seeing them rock it like this in person:

Now that you are a little familiar with Calle Real, if you heard this band was coming to your city. Would you buy a ticket and go? Would you let the rhythm make you move and have a great night or would you pass on this maybe once in a lifetime opportunity and stay home doing the same things you have always done? Would you jam in the crowd even if you could not understand the words?

Come on blog fam, give me some feedback!

P.S. - Their music can be downloaded from their web site, Amazon or iTunes. Expand your music database and your playlists.

Until Next Time,
Peace & Blessings...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Storm Breaker...The Lawyer VS The Blonde

First I would like to say WELCOME to the new followers! Hope you settle in, stay awhile and comment until your heart is content. Now, back to business...This Storm Breaker was brought to yours truly by none other than my supervisor. Yep, that was a first...Enjoy!

The Lawyer VS The Blonde

A lawyer boarded a plane in New Orleans bound for Los Angeles with a small box of frozen crabs. Upon entering the plane he gives the box to the blonde flight attendant and says, "These crabs are frozen. When we get to LA they better remain frozen or I will have your job!"

The flight attendant takes the box and replies nicely, "I will place them in the compartment next to the pilot. They will be fine, Sir."

After an uneventful flight, landing at the LA airport and taxing to the gate the flight attendant announces over the intercom, "Will the man who gave me crabs in New Orleans please report to the front of the cabin so I can return them. Thank you and welcome to Los Angeles!"

Guess the blonde won that battle! Have a great weekend ;-)

Until Next Time,
Peace & Blessings...

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Right Person AND The Right Time

"I have wanted to be married. It just has to be the right time and the right person. I have met plenty of 'right' people at the wrong time and have had the 'right time' with the wrong people. I am hoping to have both."

This was a statement made by someone during a dinner date. He is older by a number of years and was explaining to me why/how a successful man in his forties has never been married, has no children and has only come close to being engaged once. Especially in a city where it is beat into our brains that black women outnumber black men by a million fifty-eleven to one (my southern girl creeps in sporadically :-)

I started thinking about the right time and the right person. Has there been a right time and a wrong person or a right person and the wrong time? I have been told on a few occasions that I am great catch but there is so much going on in their life they can not commit right now. I always took that as a man's way of letting me down easy. Then I would become confused because I could not remember asking them to settle down or commit to me outside of a dinner or a few drinks.

Sometimes a woman just wants to entertain the thought of a man's company. There are times when a woman would like nothing better than to sit across from someone she considers really easy on the eyes and have a good conversation over a great meal. Is it possible for a man to understand that?

If I know your finances are tight and I want your company, I will offer to pay for it. I am not expecting anything in return outside of your company, vertically. Why? Because I enjoy you. I enjoy you not because I am trying to wait on you, trap you, make you commit to me and start a relationship with you but because I simply enjoy your company, conversation and presence!

There are times when I want to enjoy the right person until the right time comes along. Then maybe my right time will become your right time (a la Darius in 'Love Jones'). Ha!

If our right times never come at the same time? It is fine with me and guess what? We will have great memories and good conversations to hold onto and take with us as our journey continues. Those two things I know for sure.

(P.S. - In case you're wondering that photo above is of the quintessential couple who could never find the right time with the right person. Handing out cool points if you can name the couple made timeless by this classic film. MAD cool poins if you know their real names :)

Until Next Time,
Peace & Blessings...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fall Cleaning, No Longer Addicted

I was asked by email if I could ever give up my Addiction. Without thinking about it I answered "YES!" He is not the man I need to be with, he is not the man who will give me the unconditional love I seek, he is not the man...for me. Period.

I know this. I have known this since month 3 and continued to have him in my life for over a year and a half. Why? Honestly, because having him in my life for a few nights a month was better than being alone. Having him for a few nights allowed me to pretend that he was mine. Allowed me to pretend there was a man who loved me, stroked my hair and cuddled with me while we slept. Even if it was not true. We were using each other, and I have stopped it. Permanently, for good. Period.

I have walked away from my Addiction. On my own accord, without the advice from friends or the push from anyone. I have cut all ties with no explanation because by the time he realizes I am gone I will be strong enough to keep walking when he calls me to return. There is no one else, no one who will fill the empty nights left by him or fill the empty spot on my sofa the few nights he handed out when he felt ready. Somehow, I will get through them.

I am taking great care to clear out the imperfections in my life. My personal life was first, now I am working on my finances and somewhere in all of that I am continuing to find this woman. She is phenomenal, sweet, compassionate, loving, a great dancer who gives her all and deserves the same in return.

Until Next Time,
Peace & Blessings...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Learning The Lesson...Do You Remember?

I was listening to the radio one morning as they awarded a single mother with a gift certificate to do some back to school shopping for her son. Her finances were tight and her son got into a fight at school when someone recognized his shirt from the second hand store. The radio personalities tried to make light of the situation but it struck a nerve with me because it made me remember.

I remember growing up in a large metro area after my mother moved me from a small city where I attended a private Christian school with a strict dress code. I remember moving into the 'hood and thinking how much I just wanted to go 'back home' with my family and friends. I remember being made fun of because school started 3 weeks prior to my arrival and the 'cliques' and 'friend circles' had already been established. Today it is considered 'bullying.'

I remember going into Junior High and being bused across town to help with the racial disparities and my shock when my friends spoke of back to school shopping. I was lucky to get a new backpack, and went without one for a few years. I remember my wardrobe and the few items it consisted of and my cousins who had recently moved into the area cleaning out their closets and giving me clothing.

I remember the feeling of my first job and the freedom of a paycheck. I remember getting a car at a buy here, pay here lot and paying my car payment, insurance and a few bills around the house. I remember working full time my junior and senior year of high school and getting a second 'part-time job' during the summer to save up for school. All of this before the age of 17.

I remembered all of this as I contemplate the little I have against what I perceive others to have. I remember thinking how I catapulted into the so-called middle class when my mother's generation was working class poor with little education.

I need to remember my upper middle-class and lower upper-class associates come from college educated parents and grandparents while my family grew up poor with holes in the ceiling, the roof and one kerosene heater to heat the house. I need to remember that my mother owned her first home in her 40s while I purchased mine in my 30s. I need to remember that this piece of paper hanging on my wall in a fabulous frame with four signatures and a seal means so much more than I think it does, even if I will pay on student loans until I'm 50.

Although many times I forget, and it takes my cousins to help me remember, I do remember. The humble beginnings and hopefully the fruitful endings.

I you remember?

Throwing in the video for an encore presentation as I continue to tackle my trees. Remember not to become so involved in running your race that you forget the purpose, what you have already accomplished and how far you have traveled. Today, I remember.

I still LOVE this video. It will never get old to me.

Until Next Time,
Peace & Blessings...

Monday, August 2, 2010

I Moved...Did you? Baila!

National Day of Dance has come and gone. Did you move? I DID!

Part of my movement was cut short when I had to meet a fellow performer to get my top to wear to the National Day of Dance Festival. But I more than made up for it later :)

I made my debut with my Salsa performance dance team. We participated at a festival in one of the more popular areas of town. It was sponsored by a local television station and they had many performances and dance schools present.

It was blazin' hot and by the time our time slot came around I was soaked! Since we did not have enough ladies to perform our routine, we had our Salsa dance school Director come out with us and conduct a Salsa lesson. The crowd seemed to love the first song but by song two...let's just say the 100 degrees in the shade was too much for them.

I don't know if you watch the show that started the MOVE movement but the guys who performed the robot pop lock routine went on stage after we did. Let's just say they were even more phenomenal in person than on television. As I stated before, the temperature was hovering around 100 in the shade and they had on complete gear and performed for the entire 15 minutes. My group wore tanks and shorts and my tank was soaked by the middle of our first song! I give them major props for that one! The crowd really enjoyed them.

After sweating off about 5 pounds of water weight I made it home in time to walk the furry one, relax a little and drive to my next engagement. It was the birthday party of one of my Salseros. Let me preface this by saying, their parties are good old fashioned house parties and they are invite only. I am not sure how I got on this coveted list but after attending my first party, these are a must!

They are invite only because they feed you, supply the adults 'spirits' and beverages and then move the tables out and party! When I say they feed you, they fire up the grill and put on steak, tortillas and shrimp kabobs. You wrap it up with this freshly made salsa, slap on some beans and eat until your heart is content! That is the BEST cook out I have been to and not only is the food flowing, but we could not help with anything! The Southern girl in me kept asking him to sit down and let us help, his response was "No, I like doing this. Did you have enough to eat? EAT! EAT!"

After the tables are moved out of the house, the lights are turned off, the disco ball is cranked up (yes, I said disco ball) and the DJ hits the tunes. My people of color may have invented the house party, but my Latino family perfected it! After the traditional Birthday rueda, there was a really large Tres Leches cake. Tres leches cake is the most delightfully rich and moist cake I have ever tried. After all of the eating at the beginning of the night, everyone has cake, more to drink and dances until....well, the last person drops! I have always called it quits early and never witnessed 'the end' myself. Their parties are better than any club I have stepped foot into.

In case you need proof, here is a short clip when the 'dance floor' was relatively empty. The dj was playing a merengue song (Salseros rest on merengue songs :) and the dance floor is considered empty at this point...

Yes, that is a Merengue version of In Da' Club and they were jammin to it! You know it's a good party when they give up on the air conditioning and just open the back door and hook up the fans. We danced, laughed, drank and sweat up a storm until the early hours of the day. I had wonderful Mojitos and on my way home I could not stop the smile that had found its place on my face as I celebrated with wonderful people on my National Day of Dance.

So, enough about my day. What did you do?

Until Next Time,
Peace & Blessings...