October 15, 2016

R&B Playback|Playthat: Mario - Braid My Hair

2000 was the year I officially became a teenager. Those were some of the most confusing, yet fun moments of my life. Oh how I wish I could go back (while skipping out on high school and being around certain friends). During that time, [music] entertainment was heavy in introducing the world to stars that were around my age range.  The stage names began with Lil', groups were still a thing, 106 & Park was the place to see these teen talents highlighted on a regular, and your room was plastered with Word Up! Magazine posters. These are the times that girls go boy crazy by determining who had "to die for" looks. This was a make it or break it situation as many fawned over one boy and would have arguments over who belonged to who: "uh uh girl, HE'S MINE". I made sure to keep my "crushes" unconventional so I'd be the only one looking, as far as my circle was concerned.

 One of the male teen heartthrobs of the early 2000's was Mario. A Baltimore, Maryland native who came onto the scene serving up a little old school mixed with new school flava. His premiere single was  a song called Just A Friend 2000, originally popularized by Biz Markie, who you can hear saying "you ready for my man" before Mario starts to singing on the track.  This was an up tempo 'let me holla at'chu girl" kinda song.  His second single, Braid My Hair, was a much more intimate feel for that young love. Listening back on these songs always makes me chuckle sometimes because of the  cheesy love content disguised as knowing what is for sure . Cheers to the faux grown days!

September 15, 2016

R&B Playback|Playthat: THE BOX

Between the years of 1985 to 2001, music videos were chosen by the very people who watched them. THE BOX was a "viewer's choice" network that allowed people to decide which music video would be the next one shown. One major aspect THE BOX had over other music networks like MTV and VH1 is they played music videos all day, everyday. There were no commercials. The only time they took a "break" from showing music videos was to go behind the scenes with an artist, showing interviews, rehearsals etc.

Every listed music video available to be seen would scroll across the bottom of the television screen in white lettering. Any requested video that was next up would be highlighted in yellow. It was quite exciting. You'd get to see a wide range of music tastes and be introduced to artists you might not have known about. THE BOX really I had great run. I had dreams of getting old enough to start requesting videos. That didn't happen though because in about late summer of 2001, THE BOX turned into MTV2; that was initially put in place so MTV could have a hub to showcase more hip hop music.

Fun fact: 112's "Anywhere" was the last music video I watched before the channel/network change. So just as a bonus, for your viewing/listening pleasure:

September 10, 2016

How You Gon' Tell Me?

The year: 2008

I had gotten pretty tired of spending my summers back home from college in a lackluster mode.  So the semester before, I had searched for internships in the publishing/writing realm and finally came across one in a program called University of Dreams. The program is offered in many cities, one being Chicago, but I decided to veer away from home and try city life in NYC. The whole process was pretty quick. I applied then had a chat with one of the program coordinators.  I was selected as an editorial intern at GIANT Magazine and got a chance to speak with a someone who worked there. 

I arrived in  the big city and got into the swing of things. The program participants stayed in one of NYU's Manhattan dorms. I had three suite/room mates, and found three other people who were would also be working at GIANT. The day before work started, everyone took a trip to their designated place of "employment" to know how to travel back and forth. Getting used to a whole new public transit system is a task. I had so many touristy moments outside of visiting New York for the first time. That's a different story for another time. Moving along...

Interns were kinda just thrown anywhere. We sat against away apparently to close to the editorial team, and most time they didn't have anything for us to do. You had to ask around and find keep you occupied. I did A LOT for the fashion department, and wrote a blog for Hello Beautiful which is still posted (yet my name weird had been removed from shortly after my departure. How fun!) 

It came time to get ids so interns wouldn't have to continue to wave to the lady at the front desk to let you in. It was the end of the day, and everybody was at the front to receive their id. I was the last in line, and by the time I got to the desk, the receptionist had turned to handle something for another employee. It took longer than expected, and I was stuck just standing there, waiting. To not further be left behind by who I came with, I decided to leave. The next day, I got buzzed in and was greeted, with the question "Where is your id?". When I tried to explain that I hadn't gotten one, the response was, "yes you did, they were given out yesterday." So conveniently, the employee that interrupted the process for me to actually be able to have my own access to the doors walked up. When I further went into how 'that lady'  took the receptionist's attention away from handing out id's, She snootily told me "don't lose this one". Mcscuse me, bitch?! Ugh. That whole situation was so quick and I couldn't get a word in. 

One thing I can't stand is to be lied on. Don't tell me what I did, when I didn't and don't tell me what I didn't, when I did. That happens to me on way too many occasions, and I always hold my tongue.  

September 6, 2016


It is so important to say NO to you yourself sometimes.  Most times indulgence is referred to in terms of food and over eating, but it can really be anything that you have too much of at one time. Whether it be checking things off your to-do list with no time management, or doing to many exercises in one workout session, it is always best to know your limits. We want what we want when we want it, but those things aren't necessarily good for us all the time. That Pringles "once you pop, you can't stop" attitude will have you taking in too much and wearing yourself tired. Do a little at a time so that you can look forward to doing/having something. 

September 1, 2016

On The Salary Scale.

"Cash rules everything around me, C.R.E.A.M. get the money, dollla dolla bills y'all". At least for some. For others, it's a lot less. Money is the root of all evil but the means to survive.

Life is a process and once you get into the groove of it, the greater your responsibilities become. It come to the point where you're geared up to enter the work force (or convenient gigs that assist with livelihood) and make a living as an adult. What once was so common that opportunities were available in the most minimal chores, has grown to be a strenuous process that keeps people on edge and having to keep their options open just in case that hopeful opportunity doesn't work out. Corporate America is a viable part of the world and the means of optimizing necessary resources for everyone around the country. Everywhere you go, some service is being sold. You have to make money to spend it, but you have to get in somewhere to make that happen.

Finding work is the only the tip of the iceberg, it's the "who" and what they offer that is the real deciding factor. I'm pretty sure as a person with an unemployed status, onlookers will take my opinion as void, bus as a job seeker at this point, I most especially take  the pay rate of a job into consideration. I want my next job to match what I was making at my last job or in the least be a sufficient amount that will allow me to save and spend where needed. "Take what you can get" they say, and I understand, but you don't want to be out here settling and in the long run being miserable about your choice just to say I got something and this is what I'll deal with. Jobs are out there, but because of the employment process people always get overlooked based on qualifications and what they ask for money wise, which leads to the question how to decide what you're worth in business.

When jobs are posted, sometimes they offer what the pay will be and other times they'll ask you to share your salary requirements. Having that option can make or break you. If you go to high, you could possibly be too expensive for what the employer is willing to offer, and if you go to low you may talk yourself out of eventually having a decent pay raise. You don't want to sell yourself short. Before you can have a stamped figure on what the dollar sign will be, you have to take the many factors in of whatever particular company you are sitting in front of at that time. All companies are not equal. Is it a non profit? How long has this company been in business? What type of product/service do they provide? What are the job position skill requirements? How many employees does the company have? How often does the company hire? Part-time/ Full-time/Temporary? Benefits? These are all questions that should be considered when giving your own initial money offer. Knowing the company's history and success rate can definitely play a role in deciding if a company is the right fit for you (don't wait for the company to let you know that).

It's your money so get it how you want it. Going the hiring process route can leave little wiggle room of receiving your true money dreams, but if you're reasonable with what you ask for, there's always room to negotiate.  To leave you with further encouragement: make that money, don't let it make you. And most importantly, don't settle just to say you're getting the minimum.

August 15, 2016

R&B Playback|PlayThat: Mya - Movin' On

The rhythm and blues genre is usually for the grow folk who can delve into love and explore the workings of the concept of being in that type of relationship. When you're a child and only have those songs to listen to, well you're going to listen and more than likely sing along with words you're not supposed to say and topics you shouldn't know about.  I am a kid of the nineties, and when a song's music video came on, I use to envision myself in the video. So while in elementary school, I was imagining being in high school and/or being a full on twenty - something.

Introducing the light skinned beauty with  the curly wave of hair. Mya hit the music scene in 1997/98 and instantly came through with songs about young love. Her second single, Movin' On featured Silkk The Shocker. It pretty much discussed a girl who suspected and confirmed her boyfriend of spending his time with another girl. The setting of the music video was high school and they played out the typical high school cheer leader/jock relationship. Oh, and you gotta have the guy who will treat you better. It was cute. My favorite highlight of the video was Mya's moonwalk.

Go on and listen, watch, and play it back!


August 11, 2016

Standard Business Courtesy: Keep Your Sorry

Since the start of my after college job search, I have been directed to apply for jobs online. That in itself is frustrating. It's such a detached process with little to no communication, which makes it even more tedious. "NO CALLS PLEASE". We get encouraged to pound the pavement with no guarantee of a thumbs up. After a while it becomes  diss- like and you start to question the what and why. It ain't over 'til it's over.

Then there are those daunting, hold your breath waiting period moments when you find out if you were accepted or rejected. If it's not a phone call or letter in the mail, it an email. Most times that email is automated with no return address. The body reads, in the most kindly yet typical way: "Thank you for taking time to apply to our company. We are sorry to inform you that we have decided to move on with other applicants that better fit the description of this position. We'll keep your resume on file. Good luck on your job search". So routinely sent by numerous companies that it is literally "same script, different cast". As heartbreaking job hunting can be, and knowing that "Possibly" can turn into "No",  I always wonder why business says "Sorry". Because truth be told, you aren't sorry and have no reason to be.

When hiring managers are given the task of finding new employees, they have to use their best judgement in choosing the right person for the job. Because the job market stays on fire, there are always plenty of people that step up to audition.  Trying to match skill + credential + personality to be sure a new hire truly fits the role can be overwhelming, but it is something that has to be done. I need to be an insider on THAT hiring process.

With application after application I sometimes forget where I have applied, especially when I get that email.  So when i do receive"new mail" I get the feeling of "ehh okay".  After so many years I'm use to it. I do get into the moods where I feel super unaccomplished though.  Every "no" I get leaves me with the question of why even try when the effort isn't visible from the other side. I have experienced companies that put out job ads  even though hiring someone isn't a priority. I also have been in the midst of them halting the hiring process.  When they stop, it elongates my job journey. There was a time when I got an email sent to me twice from a company, as if I didn't get the message on the first send. The waiting game is annoying, and the lack of communication makes it worse.

I cannot be mad and employers need to stop being fake apologetic for making a necessary choice for the upkeep of their company.  Who's really sorry because those email rarely ever come from an actual person. To whom am I speaking? It's sort of like them sending an opposite message of what is sent. If that's the case (and if companies were really being honest) those emails would read: "We get a lot of applications and don't really go through them all, but it's gonna be a no from us, dawg." Say it like you mean it and keep it moving. Keep. It. Moving. Job seekers will do the same.