Wednesday, October 27, 2010


All I ever wanted... I love the Go-Go's. Who doesn't?!?! But do you want to know what's so awesome about mini-vacas besides getting a free-ish trip from my boss, scoring some of the best hotel soap, and enjoying awesome weather/views in Scottsdale? Getting in an awesome workout. I am in LOVE with the Hotel Valley Ho's gym, especially at 4am MT. Funny how I could get my rear up at 4am (couldn't sleep thanks to my mom who sleeps with the TV on) and head to the gym all bright-eyed and bushy tail while on a mini break. Ha! Let that happen during my normal daily life...ummm, no thanks. I'll choose sleep. I did, however, do Week 3, Days 1 and 2 of C25K on Friday (before heading out of town) and Saturday morning at 4am!

The other thing I love about mini-breaks is eating great food!!! ZuZu on the hotel has AWESOME breakfast but consider yourself warned.  If you go and order grits - you're getting polenta, not traditional southern grits.  They are yummy just the same.

Globe Lights near gym
I can not rave enough about the Hotel Valley Ho. It's total Mad Men, 50s style. Reminds you of old Palm Springs, Vegas or LA. I was trying to figure out how to fit the globe lights into my suitcase. I settled on the soap instead (heavenly). But besides the soap, the best thing about the hotel is how super nice the staff was. Everyone, especially valet guy, Phil, were just high on life nice. I think it was the mountain air.

So now I am back in Houston where it is still 90 damn degrees in October.  It's OCTOBER. Actually, it's almost November. Where the heck is my Fall?

Oh well...I guess I better go back to looking at my photos of cotton growing along the highway (Yes, Cotton.  Who knew cotton grew outside Georgia?) and continue to sing along with Belinda...Vacation, all I ever wanted.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Drake is NOT a rapper

He's a signer who used to be on Degrassi - The Next Generation. That's not even the Degrassi Jr High or Degrassi High series that I used to watch.

After having a fabulous dinner with Miss Kim (she's so funny), I made it home to watch BET's Top 10 Rappers of the 21st Century.  Why?

Why did I subject myself to this waste of good TV time?

Looking at the panel, you'd think "Hey, these are some educated DJs on the cutting edge of music. They even have credible Hip Hop journalist and JD (that's Mr. Hit Maker, Jermaine Dupri). So it should be a good show with an all-star list."  Ha! Liars!!!

First, the overall list comprise of faux rappers, ie Drake, and crap rappers, ie Gucci Mane left off Jay-Z, Nas, Ice Cube, LL Cool J.

Second, the only female rapper was Eve and we haven't heard a single from her since she teamed up with Gwen Stefani.  What about Lil Kim, Missy Elliott, Foxy Brown or even (cringe) Nikki Minaj?

If this is supposed to be a listing of the top 10 rappers from the past 10 years based on flow, lyrics, money made, and cultural impact (with the additional of social media for extra nudging), then there are some HUGE omissions (see above). But what really worked my nerve was the argument that Drake was listed too low on the list. WTH? He's NOT a rapper. 

If I had to vote based on their top 5, it would definitely be reordered to look like this:

5. Lil Wayne
4. Kayne West
3. TI
2. 50-Cent
1. Eminem

I am positive that with the c-rap (pronounced CRAP) that is blasted on the airwaves of late, the next showdown will be between Waka Flaka Flame (what a dumb-ass name), Wiz Khalifa, Justin Bieber and Willow Smith.

I'm voting for Willow.

Do you listen to rap? How would you vote?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Are you down with the swirl?

You are joining this post mid-thought so I beg your forgiveness now.

After dinner last night, a song hit the radio (I can't remember the title) and on the lyrics was about good love being hard to find. I made some smart-alec comment to The Fella about it being true which lead to a convo about our meeting/dating/etc. He said something to me that I've been chewing on ever since.  Before we met, he swore off Black women.

What? Really?  Yes.

But he's not the only one to say this to me in the recent past.  A girlfriend of mine said the same - she's done with Black men. Cool, more for me! But...

Yo, yo, yo - what's up with dissing your own folks. Like Rodney King said - can't we all just get along?

I understand when relationships go sour or folks just aint giving you the time of day, you may take a break, regroup or reflect.  But is that cause for you to swear off that entire race of women/men?  I can see that if you aren't being fulfilled in your opposite relationship, regardless of skin tone, that you wake up one day and swear off men (or women) and move towards a same-sex relationship. If that's rewarding - booyah! You hit the love jackpot.

Love knows no boundaries, skin tone, eye color, hair color, shoe size or dress size. So saying you won't date someone based solely on their race because you had a bad experience once, twice, a bajillon times only hampers you from finding the romance of a lifetime.

Funny thing is that The Fella checked out my online profile first. So I guess Black women weren't totally off his radar. Lucky for him, I thought he was Italian as I was going through an international men phase! I'm the EEOC of love affairs!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Consider yourself confused

Yesterday I had the suckiest of sucky workouts - or so I thought:

1. I didn't bring the correct sneakers so my feet were burning during C25K. I quit 15 minutes into the run.

2. The weight area is tiny and big beefy was trying to intimidate everyone near him by dropping the weights. I wasn't scurred. I started my big bad bicep challenge (you really should join me) off with 21s.  But wait, there's no room for me to get on the floor and do situps.  Then the constant thudding of weights hitting the floor was beginning to break through my noise-canceling headphones and I couldn't keep my mind-muscle connection. I quit after the 2nd rotation.

3. I tried to take an ab class. I generally skip these because of my lower back issues. But something in me said: Since you've fueled up on crap and you're half-assing your workout, you may as well try the ab class.   OOOOOOO - wrong move. I think there was a fallout cloud floating around me. I know - gross, TMI!

The good thing that came of this half-assed workout is that I went home and cooked! I made these sweet potato/black enchiladas. There were half-assed too because I used what I had on hand (moz cheese instead of jack, pickled jalapenos, parsley over cilantro - you get the picture). Talk about yum (even better the second day for lunch!!!).

So getting to the point of this post...Tony Horton an those Fan-actics at Beachbody talk about muscle confusion all the time. Heck, that's the entire concept of P90X and ChaLean Extreme.  But what the heck does that mean?  It means not doing the same workout over and over again because your body adjusts to the same repetitive motion. Ya'll know I love me some TurboKick and do it 4 days/week, but I'm rarely sore following those workouts. Tada!!!! Even after my BS workout yesterday, my thighs and biceps are sore. Am I figuring out this concept of muscle confusion?  Probably.  Will I mix up my workouts more often? Definitely.

So even if you're workouts aren't 4 stars and leaving you drenched in sweat, all movement is good movement. As one of my instructors says on a daily basis "even mistakes burn calories".

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Back in Black

Trends come and go: skinny jeans, leg warmers, shoulder pads.  Even being ethnic has seen its trendy times: Lisa Bonet was more popular than Tempestt Bledsoe, Al B Sure got more girls than Keith Sweat. We moved to Tyson becoming the best dark chocolate on the scene. The black trend ceased when JLo, Mariah Carey and Salma Hyack rose to stardom or the introduction of Bollywood's popularity. 

Last night, I realized it is, yet again, trendy to be Black! I've been Black all my life, so I never realized when my skin tone was or wasn't popular.

Dinner last night was interesting.  It's always fun to dine with my girlfriend when she comes to town.  I covet her shoes and secretly plot to steal them off her feet. But that's a blog for another day.  Last night, her son declared he is no longer Caucasian and that he wished he was raised in a Black family. Um yeah, right kid. He even attempted to use the N-word referring to his bros.  This put me off guard.  After that exchange all I could think of is that this kid listens to too much Eminem. Here we go again with non-Blacks thinking it's cool as long as you come off as "down" to use the term. Hell-to-the-naw and if he uses it in the wrong presence, he will receive the brutal end of a nasty beat down. I asked his mom to have their good friend who is from a small town in East Texas where they probably just recently removed the segregation signs from public places to have a serious talk about what it really means to be Black.

We ended the night with her son insisting that he was Black. And I left it with "you are an honorary Black person".  Knowing this is just a trend, I am hopeful he will grow out of it and soon.  But this lead to me think what the constant distinction will do to his thinking.  I have a another very good friend that we jokingly said was Black on the inside.

I am used to being the token among my friends.  I was 1 of 2 Black kids (at least I think there was another) in my HS class. I was never in an all-Black situation (excluding my family) until the day my parents dropped me off at Tuskegee Institute. I have been accused of acting white, wanting to be white, sounding white - etc. etc. Although lately, I've been told I have a Texas accent (time to move). Sue me that I don't sound ignorant, country, uneducated. No, I'm not saying all Blacks sound ignorant the moment they open their mouths. I am saying that when I meet people face to face after having telephone conversations, their favorite line is "Oh, I didn't think you were Black".

I guess I will never understand why we have to lay claim to other ethnic backgrounds. I know that I am lucky to be Black, educated and employed - I'm not blind to that. But I don't wake up every day saying I wish I was Anglo or Latin or male.  I may wake up wishing I had curly hair - but that's what weave is for. Being a minority is never easy but I wouldn't trade it for another lifestyle.

Thank goodness for the few of us who are colorblind and see each other for who we are inside and not the tan we wear on the outside.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Yoga can get you in to Heaven

Or maybe not...

I'm not an expert on what will or wont get you closer to St. Peter in the afterlife, but personally, I think those who tell their parishioners that they shouldn't practice yoga because it diverges from Christian values are off-base.

There are plenty of totems that have been "normalized" from an Eastern culture - yoga being one of them. Heck modern-day Christianity stems from a multi-god religion. Yes, yoga is a Buddhist practice used to achieve a oneness with the universe and depending on your type of yogi - you may or may not chant.  So what! If you don't like chanting, turn it into Hail Mary's or other prayers.

Honestly, if you ask many Americans why they take yoga, it's for health benefits - it's a good work, it helps center Type A personalities after stressful days through the use of concentrated breathing and stretching movements. I don't think practicing yoga in the US negates your Christian values. If anything, a Christian may use their yoga time to meditate and say private prayers.

The day people stop spreading hate and start learning about the subtle differences among us - we will all be a better person for it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's the Gun Show

Ok, so Joise at Yum Yucky is one crazy, wacky chica...and her blog is super hilarious. Check her out if you haven't already. She has a Big Bad Bicep Challenge that just started and here's the schedule or you can do any combo at 5 days a week.  That's a lot of badass gun work.

Option A – You Have Gym (or gym equipment at home)
  • 21s – EZ curl bar, 7x halfway up, 7x halfway down, 7x all the way. Without pausing, 25 reps of situps on a decline bench. DO THIS SET 3x. BREAK.
  • Seated bicep curls (start with both arms at top – lower one, bring it back up, lower the next one – so one arm is always at the top) – 12 each arm (or more).
  • Without pausing, 25 reps of leg raises (lift both legs, but if you get tired alternate them). DO THIS SET 3x. BREAK.
  • Regular curls with a straight bar – 12 (or more).
  • Abdominals: Without pausing, do 25 reps of pull down crunches (behind the neck or an ab machine). DO THIS SET 3x.
OPTION B – You only have dumbbells
  • Seated bicep curls (as in 2nd stage of option A – alternating arms, starting at top bringing one arm down and then up, so that one arm is always at the top). Without pausing, 25 reps of situps. DO THIS SET 3x. BREAK.
  • Seated isolation curls (one arm with elbow against inner thigh, legs open, bring it up and down 12 times).
  • Without pausing do leg lifts (flat on back, legs in the air, hands under butt – push butt up) – do it 25 times or for 1 minute. BREAK.
  • Hammer curls (end of weights face forward and palms face into body or cross-over curls) – 12 (or more).
  • Planks: Hold the plank position for 60 seconds. DO THIS SET 3x. BREAK. Note: (I’ll be doing 90-second planks).
So are you down?  All the cool kids are doing it!