Monday, August 23, 2010

Unemployment: 1 Month After

Its really starting to settle in...the Unemployment crap that is. Its been a month today. No, actually, its been a month and a day today. I feel like I have taken my place with all the other struggling writers, journalists and authors who have a dream, a goal, a passion and haven't found the right company, business, individual that will take an interest in them.

As much as my family, friends, and associates try hard to give me advice and tell me what I should do, what I could do...its different once you actually have to put it into action...into fruition. The whole "Collect Unemployment" thing didn't work out like expected. I haven't gotten a dime. The whole "Call your former employer about your severance pay" thing also didn't work out as planned either. So I'm back to square one; still hopeful about the future, what's in store for me and not cracking under the pressure.

I'm too much of a "Prideful, Stubborn Capricorn" to admit when I need help. Bad, I know. But I cannot help it. That just who I am. I pride myself on being the person who always has things in the bed. Never in a clutch begging for money or a quick fix. I'd like to keep it that way...but can I really?

I've contemplated many things: moving back to Boston to live wit my Lady...get back on my feet. Take a random job anywhere just to get income circulating. Apply for regular office jobs to give me a break from journalism a while. I mean you name it, I thought of it. But...when you're the type of person I am, you have to think of many things.

There is an upside to being unemployed in my case. For the past 2yrs I busted my ASS working for the small newspaper I worked for. Staying late, working weekends, driving an hr everyday, working at home until wee-hours n the morning. But...that was my CAREER! It felt good to be fresh outta college and working as an Editor. Not many people can say that. But, when I was let go, there was this overwhelming feeling of FREEDOM. When most people would be panicking, I was rejoicing. I had TIME back. I didn't have time before. I could sleep in, I could enjoy my weekends without having to worry about working all night on Sunday to make Monday deadline, I could work on my children's book, I could read, I could cook...the list went on.

I still feel that way too...even tho, at this point in the month, panic mode is slowly creeping in, I'm still managing to find the positive in a shitty situation. The book is coming along well, I've found my inner poet again; performed at an open mic for the first time in 8yrs, I started back freelancing writing so I don't lose touch with my craft, spent some time with my brother, went to the movies a couple times. all, if I can keep this positivity up I don't imagine going crazy anytime soon.

I just keep in touch with my faith...asking God to take control and bring me something good and worth my while. That's all I can do really. I've emailed my resume to just about every business in Montgomery that was hiring. Some have called me back, others haven't. But, I'm still optimistic...

Something will happen...SOON
(Fingers crossed)

Until next time...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Personal Rant 1: Life Without a Laptop!

Oh! The sheer, utter, inhumane horror! I've been livivng without a laptop for months and the feeling is just now hitting me. Especially now since I am no longer working (which would allow me access to a computer) I am understanding how integral a computer is to life now.

I remember when I didn't have a computer at all. But then again, I was a child back then and my life didn't revolve around a computer. Now, as an adult, a writer and now a job seeker, that "Link" between me and the cyber world is broken. However, I have a temporary solution to my No PC world....MY CELLPHONE! Without my G1 (as dumb as it is sometimes) has kept me as much in the loop as I can be. I cannot be too picky...I still have access to all my emails and my social networking, but when I have to download things from one place to another or create documents I have to search for the nearest computer and guess where that search brought me....

The LIBRARY! Yes....I am now the proud recipent of a library card which gives me access to BOOKS and COMPUTERS! Its like heaven! (LOL) (sidenote: I was completely aware that libraries had books and computers. Please don't think I'm slow!)

Now though I have my all access pass at the library, I have found one flaw: I can only be on the computer for an HOUR! In computer talk that is like no time! I guess now I will just have to learn to rap everything up in an hour.
Until then, hopefully when I get a new first big purchase is going to be a laptop...I feel like a fish with no water...
Until next time...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Why are we so stuck on COLOURS...

I love that fact that we are an opinionated people because that allows for some very intelligent (or unintelligent) conversation. Me and my fellow blogger and bestest buddy Yasmin were having one of our daily Sisterly conversations when she sends me this link to a Slim Thug interview in Vibe Magazine.

Thugga...not one of my favorite rappers in the world, but still a popular act, has officially gone on my Shit List just for his shear audacity to say things such as:
"They have to understand that successful Black men are kind of extinct. We’re important. It’s hard to find us so Black women have to bow down and let it be known that they gotta start working hard; they gotta start cooking and being down for they man more..."
Really Mister Thug? Is that your opinion? I couldnt help it. I went semi-postal when I continued to read the article because it seemed as if it went from BAD to WORSE in an instant. The young lady who wrote the article I commend her. I am just a little bit too opinionated to have let his stupidity slide.

Though I officially hate his guts for throwing Black Women under the bus (ONCE AGAIN) I will not fault him because of the simple fact that he is obviously ignorant beyond belief. He goes on to rant and rave about having this intelligent, mixed breed girlfriend who is a Columbia University graduate and how his brother would clown him for NOT having a white girl because he "gotta do all that arguing and fighting and worry about all this other shit.” 

(Side Note: I am laughing my ass off by now. I simply have heard enough)

Mister Thug...I'd like to tell you one thing on behalf of us "Ungrateful Black Women," We do not settle for less, as well nobody of any race should. Point blank. I do not know why you Rappers and men of status think you can just come out writing off PLENTY of good Black Women simply because before you were a STAR you dated hoodrats. The DYNAMIC of a Black Woman is complex. Not all the time will you have a hot home cooked meal waiting for after you've finished screwing everything walking on tour, but that does not mean that a good Black Woman is not capable of "holding you down" or whatever the hell you want to call it. Oh, and might I cheated on your GORGEOUS Black girlfriend LaToya Luckett. (SHAME..u think I didnt know??) Anyway...ahem..back to my point. 

All of a sudden there is this notion that all women are supposed to be these submissive creatures of habit, only capable of cooking, cleaning and being demoralized. NOT HAPPENING Thugga. You should want a woman (not just because of her skin color) but because she has something going for HERSELF. This includes Black Women. In history, Black Women have stood alongside some powerful men and have made their own strides in this world. Leading slaves to freedom, running countries, breaking records, standing up for civil rights, traveling to the name it. I am still at a lost as to how you might have missed all that Thugga. Letting your ego get in the way of loving inside your own race just goes to show that (MOST) men really do only think about themselves and how they are going to feel in the long run. 

Black Men are being locked up everyday. They are killing each other on the street and tons of other Not-So-Good things. But you do not hear me calling every Black Man in America "Jailbait" because guess what Mister Thug...EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT! You cannot hold ALL Black Women accountable for somebody else, as well as women cannot say "All Men are dogs" because not ALL MEN are dogs...but there are a few. 
These females that you speak of: 
 "...girls that will buy a $3,000 bag and don’t know how to pay it off on their credit cards. They walk around in these Louis Vuittons and red bottoms but they’re riding around in raggedy cars, so it’s just getting your priorities right."
Unfortunately do exist. Yes, it is true..but are all of us the same? That's a real Uneducated assumption. You go on to say such things like:
"White women treat they man like a king and Black women feel like they ain’t gotta do that shit. Black women need to stand by their man more. Don’t always put the pressure of if I’m fucking with you, you gotta buy me this and that. Black men are the ones that motherfuckers need [but] I think a lot of them need to step it up too. A Black man who gets a little bread will go make it rain in the club and be broke the next day or instead of him going to invest in a business he gonna go buy new jewelry or a new car and still live in the hood. Black peoples’ mentality is real fucked up in general [and] it’s affecting everything..."
Yes it is Mister Thug..Including your rationale. You go from blaming Black Women to blaming Black People as a whole...Ummm, pretty good cop out. I just want you to know you just included yourself in that statement too. That is, unless you feel as though you belong to a different race all together? Your use of stereotyping and generalizations is preposterous (for lack of a better word) and speaks only to your lack of understanding and better judgment...or lack there of.

  I hope everything works out for you tho. Good luck with...ummm, that.

An Educated Black Women...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

As Buddy would say: "People r the worst folk in the World"

I have the pleasure of working with one of the world most prolific men. His name is Henry "Buddy" Thomas and I love him to death. He's a wise man, who has seen the world change many times, so when he talks, I usually listen intently.

During one of his daily "rants" (though, its not really a rant) he goes to say my newest, most favorite quote:
"You know what baby, People are the worst folk in the world,"
And he's actually right. 

Of course, he means that in a whole different sense, but when you think about it, most of the problems we have in our life are due to people. We have relationship issues, work issues, friendship issues; all due to people. A friend and I were having a conversation recently about "People," Wishy-washy people in particular. I made this statement about protecting your feelings from those who care nothing of them...and the conversation ensued!

See, my philosophy on people is this: People walk in and out of your life for a reason. Mostly to teach you a lesson, mostly because they cannot handle the caliber of person you are.

My way of thinking helps me understand what People really are and what they are capable of. I read People, (its a gift and a curse) so I can get a reading off of what I can rely on them for. If I read that you're a good person, cool the talk to, horrible at being reliable, THEN, chances are I will never call you for anything. If you're not one for hanging out, but GREAT at being a good listener, then I know when I am having a hard day I have someone to talk to. 

See, I'm not one for friends. Not saying that I don't have friends, I have a few. Everyone else is a "Homie." I put People in these categories because like all things, People need to be organized too. Its fcuked up that we just can't love everybody and befriend everybody. It just doesnt work. I've tried. Some People really want true love, true companionship, true friendship--others, NOT SO MUCH. But I do not blame them. I blame what they have been thru. 

So often in my life (in both school and college) I've had fairweather "friends." Ones that speak when its convenient vs. when its right. Ones that never call you at all unless they need something from you. That's fine too. My "People Organizational Skills" have allowed me to identify these People and live my life hurt-free when they go back to their actual ways.

Its completely messed up that I, in a sense, expect People to fail me. It's partly because they do it all the time and it never fails. And believe it or not, 2010 has been the year of "True Colors." I believe in Karma just as much as I believe in Murphy's Law (ya know: Anything that can go wrong, Will). I've never been anything less than Me! I dont know how to be another Person. I'm real with my "Homies" as I am with my "Friends." You can either love me or hate me. It doesnt matter. I'd be long dead before I'd achieve the status of "The World's Most Liked Person." If we're cool, then that's exactly what we are...there's no gray area to factor in. That is until I get the feeling that u take my friendship for granted, then--we're pretty much done! Done that several times.

If you stay true to yourself, your values, your morals, your philosophy, your belief--just look People in the eye, smile, and live your life like you've been unphased.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Body Image Blows

This is my cry for help!
I consider myself a pretty up front and accepting individual when it comes to things. I've never had issues with anything on my body. I've always been happy to be short, to my beautiful chocolate complexion, to be thick, to have my signature "Fox" nose, to have the hair that I have. Nothing ever bothered me. I never wanted to change anything. Never wanted to be anything less than what God created me as.
That was then. THIS is now.
I hate to be critical of myself because I don't like putting myself down. Reducing myself. Its not too healthy (mentally). Unfortunately, that has changed. Over the past year I've gained 45 pounds. 45 straight to the thighs and belly, permanently (or temporarily if your optimistic) disfiguring my curvy shape and hindering me from having a stress free morning when its time to get dressed for work!
I call it "Getting in a fight with my clothes," and most days I get my ass kicked! What gets me the most about my clothing fights is the sheer fact that most of the stuff that used to fit, FIT a couple of weeks to a month ago. Therefore meaning I am (and I have) gained weight at an excellerated rate.
When I finished college in 2008, I decided to change my life around. I joined a gym, stopped eating Pork and Beef, kept a food journal, drank water, controlled my portions, you name it. That all changed when my professions changed.
The harder and longer I worked. The less I ate. The less I ate, the MORE I ate when I ate. I went to the gym once a week if at all. It was a mess. I completely let my work and my life ruin my health and my body. Something I had worked so hard on in the first place.
When I was fit (not skinny per se, but in better physical condition and a bit smaller) I was running, without use of my Asthma inhaler. A HUGE feat for me. I was happy. People could tell the difference. I could tell the difference.
And now...I WANT IT BACK! I started back running. Little bits at a time. I try to work out 3 days a week at the gym and if I don't I run/walk my neighborhood and I do crunches at home. I'm back on my water regiment, I'm watching my portions, I'm making good food choices and I'm taking my vitamins (multivitamin, Flaxseed Oil and B-12 for a metabolism boost).
I'm tired of secretly hating the way I look and crying everytime I get dressed. I'm tired of wearing a body slimmer and not being able to breathe. I'm tired of wearing the same clothes (in different combinations) because nothing else will pull up past my knees. I'm tired of people thinking I'm with child (please don't jinx me). But, most importantly I'm tired of being tired!
I set a goal, to get back down to the 150 I've always been. If I can get back into my size 8 and size 10 clothes, I'll be fine. If I get to a 6 or 7-8, hey, that will be an added bonus, but that's where I'm drawing the line. There is nothing more I love than being thick and curvy. I wasn't called Chocolate Thunder for nothing. I jus want to be comfortable again. I want to go in a store and pick up a nice, slim fitting dress and wear the HELL out of it without a thought.
Jovani will be resurrected. I guarantee that!
Until next time... 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I'm Back-Happy Mother's Day

Back like I never left!

You have to excuse me for my absence blog-o-sphere. I've been going through some things in my life. Dealing with things going on with my job, the crashing of my computer, financial woes. You name it, i've battled it over the past few weeks, but like any strong woman..I RISE! (shout out to Maya Angelou)

Be it Mother's Day (still) I just wanted to convey some special messages that all good mothers need to know about all their hard work. And with that being said, I have written a cute little poem about Mothers... hope you enjoy it!

A Mother's special gift in life is the gift of life
A Mother's special gift in life is kissing away the pain
A Mother's special gift in life is teaching us how to love
A Mother's special gift in life is teaching us how to be strong
A Mother's special gift in life is not showing fear
A Mother's special gift in life is sometimes not a gift at all
A Mother's special gift in life is not practiced or learned
A Mother's special gift in life is knowing when you have to stand up and be heard
A Mother's special gift in life most importantly is caring.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Im such a daredevil!

For my friend Danielle's birthday, she, the natural daredevil and adventurer she is, convinced me to tag-along on a Zip Line Canopy Tour with her in the forests of Whitesburg, Georgia. Unbeknown to most people, Zip Lining is the act of attaching yourself via harness to a cable hundreds of feet in the air, then leaping off the platform to propel yourself, against gravity, through the skies.

As CRAZY as it sounds, it was the most EXHILARATING thing I had ever done. I am not afraid of heights, and i find there nothing more better than a roller coaster adrenaline rush, well...that was until I discovered Zip Lining.

It was awesome. We were in a large tour group of families, couples and teammates who all decided that Zip Lining was gonna be on the agenda for the day. For two hours, we soared through the trees and conquered high rope obstacle courses that connected us from one zip line to another. If I am not mistaken, I remember our instructor telling us that at one point in our tour we were 200+ ft above the ground!

Danielle and I taped our trip and combined all our clips together to make a little mini movie. Hope you like it!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Embracing your Beautiful self

While reading my Essence magazine, I came across a beautifully written article from Bishop T.D. Jakes about how beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I was truly moved by his words. I can only hope if I continue to write and read more thought provoking authors, that I too will write heartwarming articles as Jakes’.

What touched me was his constant call to all of us to believe in ourselves, love ourselves and teach our children to love themselves. He used Susan Boyle, who was a contestant on the show Britain’s Got Talent, as an example of how her unattractive appearance possibly cost her victory on the show. We, as a people, are so fixated on beauty and acceptance, Boyle’s singing career never blossomed.

By reading that article, it brought up a lot of issues that I experienced first hand growing up as a child. I remembered my most challenging years (all five years of elementary school) of being the outcast because I wore my natural kinky hair style and wore hand me down clothes. For a very long time, I wished to be invisible because being noticed got me nowhere but in a fight trying to defend myself or on the back of the school bus crying. Lady, my mom, can attest to how many days I would come home crying, begging and pleading to switch schools. But she told me to stick it out, and I did. I vowed to myself after what happened to me in elementary school to never tease or torment someone about their appearance.
Looks and clothes are fractions, if not nothing of who a person really is. Think about how many great people would or have gone unnoticed because they are the ugly duckling.

It hurts my heart deeply that we put so much emphasis on beauty that it overshadows a person’s true worth. We glorify buying new noses and other body parts to fit in. I believe in the saying “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” and I think Jakes does too. He quickly referenced that some times weight looks good on people, but they have to see the beauty in themselves in order to believe it.

I’ve never been smaller than a size eight. I’ve never been tall. I’ve never had long hair and I’ve never had exotic colored eyes. I wear a size 11. I’m 5’2. My hair falls to my shoulder and if I don’t perm it regularly, it will get unmanageably kinky, and my eyes are brown. I love the young woman that I am and the woman I will grow up to be.

If nobody told you they loved you today, I’d like to be the first to say so.
I love you.
Until next time

(Note: I submitted this to Essence to see if they wanted to print it...they didn't respond! Oh well...)

 Me at 3 years old

Yes...I am a Wannabe Traveling Foodie

On any given day when I am not working or on the go you can find me doing one of two things; making up something in the kitchen or watching the Food Network and the Travel channel. I am not a big TV person simply because I am never home, but when I do watch TV it is either to catch a movie on cable or to watch my favorite two channels.
One day I plan on being a jet-setter. I love traveling and the idea of going to new places, meeting new people, eating new foods and taking pictures. And to feed my traveling habit, I indulge in the Travel channel. On the Travel channel I get a heavy, but healthy balance of travel information and food destinations. I’ve learned about so many different, not talked about places that I cannot wait to see in person. I truly believe it when Andrew Zimmern, a Travel channel personality (host of Bizarre Foods) says “To fully learn about a culture, you have to eat their food…If it looks good, eat it.” You never know if you are going to like something unless you try it.
And when I’m feeling my inner Chef kick in, I watch the Food Network to grab ideas, though I would strongly advise not watching the Food Network when you are hungry. It is very teasing. I speak from experience.
My favorite shows on the Food Network are Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri, Good Eats with Alton Brown, Ace of Cakes, Down Home with the Neely’s and The Best Thing I Ever Ate. During my snow day off and all throughout the weekend I watched several marathons of all these shows. It was heaven to me as nerdy as it sounds.
I do not necessarily try to make everything I see on the Food Network, but I watch to see the skill, learn about new ingredients and cooking technique. Eventually I will get curious and I will try something out in the kitchen. To date, the only thing I have tried and completed successfully were some fresh fruit and yogurt smoothies.
Growing up, I was never kitchen-friendly. I would attempt to make stuff I saw Lady cooking or I would just play with food for the heck of it, just trying to cook but it was never too appetizing. My way of making sure things tasted well was giving it to my brother Joe. If Joe ate it, it had to be good. If he didn’t, try again. I have gotten better, now that I am on my own, older and a little bit wiser. Cooking is not as hard as some people think, but it does take patience and understanding.
If you are ever board at home and want to see something different, click over to the Food Network or the Travel channel. I am almost positive you will be intrigued by something or somewhere. You never know, you just may discover your inner traveling food critic.
Until next time…

The Bridge is OVER..Or is it?

And WE (meaning me!) are back! LIVE and in living color. I am proud to say that as of Monday, April 5, 2010 that I, Jovani Y. Fox has completed my Lenten feat. As previously mentioned in an earlier entry, for 40 days and 40 nights, I was giving up my "social life"...No Twitter, No Facebook, No Myspace and the hardest thing to give up; NO TEXT MESSAGING. It was hard at first and I almost slipped up a few times, but I held my ground and this is what I learned:

THE BEAUTY IN VOICES: The people that I texted the most were the ones I called often. I have never used the phone as much as I did the last month and a half, but I am glad that I did. Without texting, actual phone calls were my only way of communication. Gladly, I didnt go over my minutes.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BEEPING?: With no notifications going off and text messages coming in, my phone barely made any noises! When I was logged onto all of my networks on my phone, just about every 5 minutes something was buzzing, chirping or ringing. With all that ceased, I was at peace. I wasn't rushing to see what it was because...there was nothing there to check or rush to. I realized how annoying it actually was.

 I REALLY CAN SET GOALS: Now, I admit, I am not the world's more structured person. Often times I say i'm going to do one thing and I don't. Not because i'm careless or I don't care to live up to my word, its simply the fact that hell, I forget things alot! But this experience showed me that I can buckle down and make my goal my FIRST priority. Now if I can just remember to apply that theory to my diet I'll be in business!

When I felt like cheating or sending a harmless text, I thought about why I was doing this and what Lent means to my Catholic faith. For 40 days and nights Jesus gave up so many things in preparation for his death and resurrection. I thought about it. Long and hard, if my Savior could deny himself the very things that help him healthy and alive, how hard could it be to give up social networks and texting. The verdict--not very hard at all.

And in the end, I made it. All 40 days and nights.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Getting the hang of things

I just spent the last three hours playing graphic designer...a job I am not licensed to do.
Yet, I was inspired by the creativity of all my fellow bloggers and decided to design myself a "Customized Header" (See above. You like?). New to graphics, yet creative enough to get by, I used my skills in Photoshop and designed the new header.
That was the easy part.
The complicated part was trying to discover HOW to upload the damn image! I literally went through 6 different "Blog for Dummies" sites (which were not too 'Dummie' friendly) before I found a site that had clear, concise and up to date instructions I could follow. The other jargon-heavy "advice blogs" for lack of a better term of description, poorly give me instructions that led me to a brick wall more times than once.
Though, like a crackhead on a mission, I pressed on; stumbling many times. Now, here I am at 1:49 am, I have overcome the beast called "Customized Header." Not to mention, I was supposed to have help from a friend, who I later discovered fell asleep on me, left me to fend for myself.
But it is okay. We all struggle at some point in our life so we can learn lessons. Today's lesson: Hire a web designer!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bosco: The new Jazz songbird

I just want you all to listen to this voice. Powerful, sultry and hauntingly beautiful. I must admit, I slept on Bosco for quite awhile. I always got an email or event info about her performances and never paid them any attention. Finally, while cleaning out my email, I came across this video and it shut me up. Her voice is great. I guess I have found a new artist to watch.
Her debut album; Spectrum is available for free Download

Bosco: blues for blue/Black & White

The Veronicas: Untouched

There is something strangely familiar and catchy about this song. I first heard it in Charlotte Russe last year. I had no idea who it was by, I just knew it was something I wanted to listen to again. Like the handy-dandy chick that I am, I quickly whipped out my celly, went to my Shazaam application that reads music in an instant, and before I knew it, I had a name and title of the song. I downloaded it later on that night and I have been listening to it ever since.

Alas; the Veronica's-Untouched Video

Live Music: My Poison

One thing I can say about my taste in music is: No matter the genre, No matter if I like it or not, If you sound good live...I will enjoy it.

Still reveling off of my high of live music, I managed to collect all the thoughts and ideas I have and experiences I wanted to share after I sat through a OneRepublic concert. You know...OneRepublic. The newest Alternative/Rock group? Two years ago they came out with their hit debut single; Apologize...Timbaland did the remix?...ringing any bells? Well, anyways..(follow the link if you must) WOW! Great group! I mean, I already liked them before I saw them in I REALLY like them.

Now if you are asking how did I stumble across this opportunity,'s the story. I got an email last week from a mutual associate of mine asking around via email if anyone wanted to volunteer at the OneRepublic concert. Me of course, always looking for something new and interesting to do, I signed on. To make a long story short, met up with the event planner for the Montgomery Riverfront Facilities, was assigned my job duties (by the way, I was the legal ID checker for the Booze) and made my way in; All Access badge on, camera in hand.

A group called A Rocket Summer opened for OneRepublic. They were a good little band too.

But back to OneRepublic. Man, that lead singer of theirs, Ryan Tedder can sing his ASS off !(excuse my language) His sound is very soulful, powerful and melodic. He carries the beat well, adding his own style, flavor and this sexy type of crooner-esque bellow that leaves the crowd SCREAMING for more. He could sing to me any day...he's just that good.

But wait...there are more equally talented musicians there. The drummer.SICK, all the band members play guitar which is cool because each song they switched instruments. There's Cello and Violin's in just about every other song, adding a string quartet sound to their live shows; not to mention Tedder jumping between his Piano, the Tamborine and an Acoustic guitar.

Talented is an understatement for the band members. They truly embody all the characteristics of a successful LIVE group of musicians. They juxtaposed comedy, music and storytelling into their show with Tedder jumping into the audience every now and then.

Nonetheless, I very much enjoyed myself. If they come back to Montgomery I will be sure to go. From beginning to end I couldnt help but nod my head and yell the words to the songs I did know, a sure sign that OneRepublic gets the "Jovani Seal of Approval"

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lenten Update: Week Three!

Greetings...from the land of No Social Networks!

LOL..but seriously, as promised, I wanted to update you all on my Lenten Sacrifice...No Social Networking.
So far I have been doing well. As much as I want to get on Facebook and Twitter and Text Message...I have surprisingly stayed away from my personal evils. This goes to show that I really do have some discipline left in my body that is functional. Quite frankly, I was not exactly sure how well I was going to do, but I must not forget Lent is nowhere near being over. Its only the second week in March. I have until the Easter Sunday (April 3rd) until it is all over.

But seriously, with every bit of honesty I have in my body, I feel I am not really missing much. I have found ways to occupy my time, without aimlessly screwing my time up with useless twitter updates or talking to people I dont care to talk to on Facebook chat. Though, there are days when I am out and about that I really want to tweet something dumb I just saw, I quickly turn my attention to something else.

I have started back reading books in my spare time! A double plus for me because I love reading. I love writing and reading other people's styles of writing so getting back into reading (anything and everything) is putting me back into a place I havent been in a long time. I started talking to people on the phone! Can you believe that? I hate the phone, but I love having a phone. Weird...but true for a lot of people. Nobody has conversations anymore, we text; and its messing alot of my friends up because they will say..."when is Easter so you can text. We havent talked in a while!"...or "I started to text you but I remembered you ain't texting anyone anymore." like picking up the phone is so hard to do. 

Because of this, I am making an official apology to all my friends whom I have said those same things to as well. (Boy, what a tangled web we weave) With that, I have come to my first realization that verbal conversation is the sure-fire way of conversing. It just took me this long to figure it out.

My book has become another priority again. Started gathering ideas and getting some thoughts together as far as illustration and content. You will be amazed at how much you can get accomplished and discovered when you take something that encompassed you life so much out of the picture entirely. The proverbial Shackles have come off. I am no longer a slave to my internet habits.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Stop Looking for a Handout!

I CANNOT STAND PEOPLE WHO ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR A HANDOUT! That is exactly how I am going to approach this blog today!

In my line of work, I see a lot of people and hear a lot of Off-Brand request from some of my customers, always looking for the easy way out. Always wanting quality work, but for minimum quality price. The Math just isn't working out right.

It is evident and I am completely aware of the economy. Its no secret that money is sort of hard to come by, but in retrospect, I need to get paid also.

This goes back to a conversation I had with a lady yesterday about our people, meaning African-Americans, in the rural South, being complacent. When you are asking for a handout, you are asking someone to sacrifice their livelihood to help you out. I am all for helping out when I can, especially if its something small that wouldn't be missed, but you want me to give you a deal on something that is a couple hundred dollars..for the low low?? I have bills, I need gas money to get back and forth to work, but you want me to give you a damn near 100% discount?

Henry "Buddy" Thomas, my prolific co-worker says it best when he throws his hands up and says..."People are the worst folk in the world. Did you know that?" Yep Mr. Buddy..I do know.

Not only does it bug me that people want a handout, it bugs me that the people who always want the handout have two main characteristics: 1.) They are repeat "Handout" offenders and 2.) They're the ones with the most money.

Leave the handouts to those who really are struggling and cannot afford to run articles in my newspaper and are running low in their business advertising budget. Leave it for the little old ladies that come in and ask for help with their church announcements for their small, country, homegrown churches. Those are the people I am willing to help. Those are the people I feel the most joy in helping. Not the conglomerate business man.

I will help those who are trying to help themselves. Not help give them more profit or for free publicity and bragging rights. I leave that up to the politicians.

It is completely hilarious and sad in the same breath. How can any one entity profit when a community of movers and shakers continuously try to rob you blind. Nobody is going to rob me or my employees blind..not on my watch!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lenten Diary: Day 1 of my Sacrifice

Though I am totally 5 days late in participating in Lent, nonetheless I have figured out what I was sacrificing for my 40 days and 40 nights (well actually more like 36 days and 36 nights) and I have successfully completed my first day!

After Mass on Sunday (Yes, if you havent figured it out, I am Catholic) I sat in my car, responding to some text messages when a lightbulb went off. Like a inventor with a budding new idea, I was a Catholic looking to make my ultimate sacrifice. TECHNOLOGY!!

Life as we know it has become so self-less and impersonal. Conversations now consist of test messages, Facebook messages or IM messages, Twitter Updates and emails. That especially includes my life because I am one of those people who hates talking on the phone and is always in a meeting that I text 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Text messaging has become SO depended upon in my life that the buttons on my G1 have special finger indents in them.

There was nothing better for me to give up but my technology vices because my days are so encompassed by them. I text my boss, I text my co-workers, I text my grandma, I text my dad. If you have text messaging, then I am texting you. Simple as that.

At Mass we discussed the story of Jesus fasting from food and drink for 40 days and 40 nights in the desert in preparation of his public ministry. In the Book of Luke (Luke 4:1-13 to be exact) The Devil tried to trick him, bring him off task, telling Jesus "If you are the Son of God, turn this stone into Bread," but Jesus stayed focus and told the Devil "It was written: Man does not live on Bread alone," and continued to press on and conquer all the temptations the Devil set forth for his to succumb to.

Like Jesus was in the Desert, hungry and alone, I am hungry and alone (technologically), but I have the inner strength like him (Jesus) to make it through my Lenten promise. With this as my Lenten sacrifice I hope to learn that I am not as dependent on those things as I am today. The purpose of lent is to challenge self to self-denial, bringing you closer to Jesus and to God, praying for the strength, scrutinizing yourself and your life and re-evaluating your life from here on out.

Everyone of my friends and family members know I hate talking on the phone, but if they were on Facebook or Twitter (or had text messaging, I would talk to them everyday. This is something that I want to change about myself. I dont want to have to schedule phone calls to my family members on my calendar again. If I can routinely check facebook, tweet and text message, I can pick up my cell phone, call whomever I want to talk to and have a regular conversation.

Everyday (or every other day if I can remember) I will blog about my experiences throughout my Lenten journey...

Peace be with you always

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Schmalentine's Day

My bestest Homie in the whole wide world Yasmin (a fellow blogger Her blog!) told me I was anti-Valentine's Day. Now it may seem that way because I really dont give a damn about it personally..well, at least not anymore (Thank Goodness I grew up), and NO its not because i'm a bitter single woman. I very much have a boyfriend (who i've been dating for 5 years) and I STILL dont give a damn about it. Why? Because I am a realist.

I don't fancy Valentine's Day because of TWO distinct reasons:
1. I do not believe in beefing up on LOVE just because its Feb. 14th
2. It only benefits women

Yeah..I said it!

In my personal, realist, totally not single opinion, I feel there is no need to have valentine's day. If people are in they should be, Valentine's Day should be just another day on a calendar. LOVE is a 365 day long holiday. Not just 24hrs. LOVE is not red, its whatever color you want it to be. LOVE has nothing to do with teddy bears and balloons, its whatever items reminds people in love what their LOVE is about. Do not get me wrong... the IDEA of valentine's day was a stellar idea, just not properly thought out. Question! If there was no such thing as valentine's day...would our lives, marriages, relationships be any different? Would love just NOT exist because Feb. 14th wasnt Valentine's Day? Really..ask yourself that question and let me know what your answer is. I probably already know...

Secondly, Valentine's Day is a bit one sided. There is this stigma that Women are the receivers and Men are the givers. I believe in fairness. I havent met ONE guy that has admitted to me that he likes getting silk boxers, teddy bears and flowers for valentine's day. Not ONE! But i've met 100 females that can catalog the time, weather forecast and outfit they were wearing when they got their box of chocolates, giant teddy bear and special "I love you" card. Can you say CHEESY!! If we're going to by gifts for valentine's day just get regular presents that your significant other likes. if your girl or wife likes Kitchen appliances..POW! Baby..Happy's your new toaster! If your man/husband likes game consoles...BAM! Hey baby, here's that new Wii! Screw all the stereotypical Vday themed crap. Just admit it people...they market that shit towards females.

And to my single people this Valentine's Day...dont feel lonely! You're not missing anything you havent already done. Dont let the lovey-dovey people bring you down. Keep your head up and go on about your business. Get a group of your single friends together, Male and/or Female and just vibe out. Grab a bite to eat, go to a movie, just enjoy each others company. Add a bottle of wine too. Fun things always happen after a couple of cups of wine.

Guilty Pleasures

So I was browsing through Google images and INSTANTLY a lightbulb went off. GUILTY PLEASURES...all the things I google and look at on a daily or weekly basis came to mind and there you have it, a BLOG idea.

There are a few things that I go Ga-Ga over: Shoes, Makeup, Black & White photos and Greece. Random? Yes, I know, but what can I say? One way to my heart is to understand my indulgence of these things and helping to feed my habit.

Plus since i've been sick for the past couple of days, i've had plenty of time on my phone and my laptop...googling away!

So without further ado, I introduce to you...Jovani's Guilty Pleasures...

Guilty Pleasure 1: Christian Louboutin

 I am  a SHOE WHORE! Nobody knows this because I am a simple Journalist and my salary does not allow for such elaborate shoe purchases..BUT, do not underestimate me. I love shoes. Right now, I am a huge fan of Christian Louboutin. He is simply THE best shoe designer to me right now. What gets me about Christian of course is that signature Candy Red sole! (Shivers) It is magnificent! I love platform shoes, I love animal prints (especially Python) and I love boots. Christian gives me EVERYTHING I need. I can have a platform Python Boot (which he has) if I want. One day I tell ya...One day..

Guilty Pleasure 2: Mac Cosmetics

 In High School, you couldn't pay me to wear I swear by it! I do not wear it everyday because I never want to be the chick who is Gorgeous with makeup on and Horrendous without it. But when I DO wear makeup..You cannot tell me SHIT! I'm big on eye makeup. I've been told I have pretty eyes, so I accentuate them as often as I can and who best to use for glamorous eyes..MAC. Yes, it can be expensive, but Beauty is Pricey. I love the above photo because its their Barbie Mac campaign and what girl doesnt love Barbie? I love their high intensity pigments and their lipgloss is the BEST. Cheers to you MAC..every girl's best friend!

Guilty Pleasure 3: Black & White Photography
I love pictures (being in them and taking them). In college I took black and white photography and absolutely fell in LOVE! The essence of black and white photography is astounding. With color pictures you get soo caught up in color that you forget the story in the photo. By removing the color, you are allowing the picture to speak to you. You can capture the moment with black and white photography and tell a beautiful story without in using words! Ahhhhh...its just classic!

Guilty Pleasure 4: Greece
What is there NOT to love about this image above? This piece of heaven is a beach on one of Greece's islands--Santorini. I dont know what it is about Greece that I love. Maybe its the Superb turquoise waters, the beautiful people, the food (its GREAT) or the Black Sand beaches. Whatever it is, I know I must go here one day. I am a huge fan of beaches so I know I will find this beach (or one of Greece's many black sand beaches) and lay out, soak up some sun or bottle some up and bring back to the states with me. I mean, Black Sand..come on! How sexy is that?  


SNOW DAYS! Every school kids favorite day, and when your a workaholic journalist like me, I guess its my favorite day too! Tho I wish it snowed like it does in Boston (my hometown) it was still nice to see in Alabama. Too bad I spent my snow day sick as a dog wit tissue in my nose and tons of lemon tea and drugged up long naps. Yet, at Midnight I rise! Like a flower in the springtime.
It was a good quiet day tho. My house that is usually full of boys (my 3 male roommates) was EXTREMELY quiet and pleasant. My television stayed glued to my two favorite channels: Travel channel and Food Network. I made cheese grits and bacon for brunch, tea for breakfast, lunch and dinner and lots of vitamins and cold medicine tablets.
And while I slept thru most of my snow day, I couldn't help but think of HOME! I thought of all the days I wished were snow days, but to all of us Boston Public School kids, u know snow days were hard to come by. I guess the school system figured we were too dumb to appreciate a day off. So...when all the suburban kids in Swampscott and Agawam (actual towns in Massachusetts) got days off...we BPS kids were truckin it to school...snow suits

I also remembered making dirty snowmen, sledding, snowball fights and the trips to Northern New England. I am a natural when it comes to winter sports. I'm an avid ice skater, skiier and snowboarder. I'm what you call a cultured little black girl! What can I say? My parents let me and my brother Joe experience the finer things in life. I'm truly a winter baby. Probably because I was born in the dead of winter on a snowy day in Massachusetts.

But back to snow days...then, there was always the down side to no school snow days..the eminent doom so to speak...the MAKE UP THE SNOW DAYS AT THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR! Yes people, u didn't hear wrong. I'm talking about school in the summer time! Its bad enough the sch yr ends in June in Massachusetts, now u want me to sit in the classroom for half of the summer vacay? This shit sucks! It snowed soo bad on winter (thank goodness I was in college by then) that my poor little cousins were in school on Saturdays! Talk about total bummer!

In all, tho I didn't get to make my snow angel today, I still had a good snow day. I look forward to more snow days in Alabama if it means I get a day off! Wait...did the groundhog see its shadow?

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Sickness: Day THREE

Okay, so I am still sick! Its Day THREE and its getting old already. You jus don't know how I despise being sick. I've blown everything out of my nose and now I am coughing.
This CAN'T be good!
Aside from being sick, its a Weather Warning here in Alabama. Can you believe it, they says its gonna Snow. See, now I know snow and I know (yes, I rhymed) that this isn't gonna be as bad as they're making it out to be. I've come to the conclusion that as soon as the snow falls it will melt once hitting the ground. Sorry if I am ruining some peoples dreams, but I am jus being a realist. I have seen this happen b4 many a time.
Meanwhile, errybody in Montgomery has wiped Walmart and Winn Dixie, hoping we find you sale. Go figure fat boy

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sick Days...WTF?

Okay, so like always I am sick, which is my least favorite feeling in the world. To me, there is nothing worse than a sore throat, body aches and a runny nose. What the hell kinda grown up would I look like wiping my nose every three minutes on my sleeve? Its ridiculous!
Anywho, I keep trying to ignore my symptoms so I can focus on work and getting things done. Also because medicine is so expensive (and I am afraid of generic medicine) I try alternative methods, which only work for a few moment. Then I feel like doo doo all over again.
Now, I am sitting here in my bed bundled up under my reading lamp dozing off, but I am fighting the sleep for a little while. I want to finish up this last minute publication b4 I completely fall asleep. (Editor's Note: Jo has nodding off while typing atleat 2 days tonite)
Please pray I get well soon. This feeling is sucks

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Let Me Put You Up on Game

There are two people in the blogging game right now that have totally won me over: The Assimilated Negro aka TAN and TWiB (This Week in Blackness) spearheaded by front man Elon James White.

When I tell you, these two keep it sooo politically INCORRECT (which I LOVE) and sooo real, its hard to find a flaw. Each have their own way of responding to the Pundits, and what-have-you in the media and it is absolutely a joy to read.

(Links here: TWiB and TAN )

Elon and the TWiB team have the best Web Episodes out there. They're currently in their Third season of the webisodes and every single last one of them is HILARIOUS. Elon is great with words. Great punchlines, Deliverance, and most importantly KNOWLEDGE. He spits truth. What can I say?

TAN...he takes a subtle approach. He covers things about everyday life, shit he encounters on a daily basis, answers fan mail on his blog, hip-hop commentary, the list goes on.

In all, both are hilarious in their own way. Follow one of the links above to view their website/blogs.


Random Rant: Gloriifying Teenage Pregnancy

Me and Reality TV do not get along. I think people have become increasingly obsessed with other people's lives now or days that we're forgetting the whole thing about "PRIVACY" and the sanctity of personal space.

So I am watching MTV one day (something I RARELY do) and I see they're advertising the new season of "16 & Pregnant." Now, I understand that teen pregnancy has becoming increasingly common in today society, that is not my argument. My argument is that I feel MTV is exploiting these young women and their lives.

We do not need to know they're Baby Daddy drama, all their personal details of their pregnancy, nor the encouraging words they feel they need to offer other teen mothers out their. Situations like this I believe need to be dealt with in the family sect.

What I fear more importantly is that we will be giving young girls the wrong impression of teen pregnancy. I fear they will view pregnancy as this glorious event (which it is...when done in the correct manner of time) when in actually it is a very important, challenging event in life. At 16 years old, the only thing you should be worried about is Junior Prom, dating, school and summer jobs. Not diapers and hoping your child's father is still around.

I fear that they (young girls) will misconstrue one persons life with another. Just because one girl's pregnancy was accepted by her family, doesnt mean that it is like that for all teen moms.

I mean, I can keep going, but I wont because this is a very touchy subject. Do not get me wrong, I love children and I commend the young mothers who are dealing with raising their babies along with taking care of themselves. Mistakes do happen, yes I know, but something as personal as this, raising a child at such a young age, is already hard enough now you have to factor in millions of ppl seeing it.

I am, however, relieved that the young mothers chose Life (my Catholic religion kicks in when I say that) because as hard and out of pocket it seems raising a child, Kids are still the most precious gift God can give us.

Until next time...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jimi is a GOD

First let me say Happy Tuesday. Three more days until the weekend!

Anywho...I was on Facebook a day or two ago and my classmate Mike Bean posted some GREAT guitar videos of MY favorite Guitarist, Jimi Hendrix, along with The Roots guitarist "Captain" Kirk Douglas. MAN...what can I say! I am a sucker for the strings. LOL.

I dont know what to say about Jimi. The man is just genius when it comes to the guitar. He single-handedly PAVED the way for artists like Eric Clapton, Captain Kirk and other killer ass guitarists out there today. By the way, another guitarist you should look out for is Orianthi. She was the female guitarist in Michael Jackson's "This Is It" movie. The chick is NICE. seriously.
Here's her link: Orianthi RIPS "This is It"

But back to Jimi...

He knew what the people wanted, even when they tried to tell him to play it safe and that people wouldnt understand his music. He may have been a tad bit high on drugs back then, but his creativity was NEVER clouded. He spoke across the racial barrier and the political unrest of the 60's..might I add he was a style guru too. His jackets and headbands were fly!

Without further ado, thanks to my classmate go a couple guitar clips for your entertainment!


Saturday, January 23, 2010

For Colored Girls who have just had ENOUGH period

Whew! Third entry of the night! I am on a ROLL.

Thinking for content, I remembered a conversation I had with an old classmate of mine about Color Complexes, currently one of my favorite conversations to have with people now. Genuinely, I am just curious to see if anyone will honestly admit to having a Color Complex. 

We talked for a while, and you cannot have a conversation about Color Complexes without making reference to two to the countries most infamous and fabled color survey's: The Paperbag Test and the Doll Test. 

You know the tests! The one if your not the shade of a paperbag or lighter, you're considered too dark. Or the one studying which doll children are more likely to play with; a black doll or a white doll. 

But enough about that, google them if you want to know more.

Anyway, As you can see, I am a Chocolate girl, and my classmate, he is a Chocolate boy, who to my surprise (yes, I was shocked when he said...) he LOVES Dark-skinned women. In my lifetime, Chocolate/Chocolate relationships were HARD to come by. You almost didnt see them. Like it was taboo to bring home such a person...that is unless you are lighter!

I can honestly say that I never had a Color Complex, but if you look at my current relationship you would think I was lying because...Taa Daa, he is light-skinned. Hey, shit happens right? Right. And because of that damned Color Complex, every relationship I had was of the same result. Dark-skinned me...Light-skinned Boy. They were the only ones interested in me. Believe it or not, not many light-skinned men like light-skinned women. Why? I do not know. Not all of them though, just a few. 

A boy in high school told me, "I dont like dark-skinned girls, but your pretty." Gee, well Thank You!

But I am not bitter. I've had several great long-term relationships because of my one-sided situation. But you know what, I blame the institution of slavery from messing our minds up until this day.

The House Negro/Field Negro complex arises. Lighter blacks in the house doing lesser chores. Dark-skinned blacks doing all the strenuous work. That led to mama's wanting to have lighter children to save them from a early death in the field. And hundreds of years later, we've carried that notion onto our current relationships.

My argument is this: if you have a Color Complex, let it be an honest PREFERENCE, not a racially tinged decision based on years of negativity. Like/LOVE someone for what they are. Not a skin tone. Like/LOVE them because of how they make you feel, not because she/he has nice hair, or you'll make "pretty light-skinned babies." Like/LOVE someone because you like their nappy, kinky hair or because every time you see him/her you want a Hershey Chocolate bar. 

All I am saying is, know your preferences because if I ask you this question, and your answer starts with, "Ummm, I never thought about it like that," it means you have.

Friday, January 22, 2010

On Fridays I like to play with guns

See, I knew I'd get  your attention!
Sorry for the joke, but I had to bring you in some kind of way.

So, as I continue to ponder what my next big blog release is going to be about, I can cant help but be drawn to the notion of poetry (meaning: Writing in Metrical verse). Like music speaks volumes to the listeners who succumb to the 808's, Poetry is the poor man's freestyle. Poetry is Hip-Hop, it is RnB, it is Rock, it is EVERYTHING. Go to a good poetry slam at a coffee house and instantly the vibe sucks you in like your favorite song played on some good ass speakers.

No lie, I am dead serious.

If you dont know poetry like I KNOW poetry...go see for yourself. Its a wonderful thing. Do some research, ask all your TRUE hip-hop friends who Gil Scott Heron is, who Nikki Giovanni is, who Saul Williams is. REAL wordsmiths. True to self, True to verse, True to life.

I only hope that in my life I am able to hold a Candle (not a torch) to their legacy. Words are light, and light leads you to the truth.

Follow people...

The Wait is OVER

Alright, so after MUCH debate and soul searching...I finally decided to buckle down and create a blog! I figured, what the heck! I have so much to talk about, discuss, rant and rave about, its better if I opened my views to the world and put it on Frontstreet. I am not afraid anymore. More so excited! I spend so much time in the Newspaper realm, finding my opinion about things because of course, like any law abiding, ethical Journalist, I am programed to separate Opinion from NEWS.

Well, darn it...This is what happens when you let the Journalist free...ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE!

Spread the Word!
I'm trying to build a fan base here people...hope your willing to take a ride!

Until next time...