Thursday, July 29, 2010

Soul Possessions

Hey Tippers,

The summer is dwindling down, and I'm trying to get those last minute trips and fun excursions in before I have to turn in my glass slippers. And while I still have four weeks to go, I'm going to live it up.

I recently went away to a conference that actually had live instruments and a full on band playing in between sessions. I consider myself a bit of a roadie because I love some of the members of the a let's vibe on some music-type tip.

These are the moments that I become in touch with my inner nerd, because I could sit and listen to the musical arrangements for hours and dance the night away.

Its so strange, this time being around the band, I got in touch with a side of myself that I never acknowledge and often downplay. But before I can go there with you, I'm gonna have to take you back a minute. As Shai would say, rock with me on this one.

Ever since I could remember I have loved music and dancing. I know what you're about to say, "T-Gyrl, we all do, what's so special that you have to write a blog about it?" No, no, have no idea, even at the early ages of four and five I have felt music and dance. The power of a great song, the driving force of a beat....all of it. I have been connected to it from an early age. I remember when I was around six and Mom Dukes would cut the radio on while I marinated in the bath tub. She would always give her, you got 10 minutes warning, while I listen and soaked. Almost every night without fail, "Endless Love" by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross would come on and I would just cry. I don't know why, but I would. I've always felt some kinda connection. I never had any musical talent to play an instrument but I considered myself a pseudo-musician.

When it came to dancing, let's just say I could actually go to a therapist about the emotions that come up with it. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I don't care what age I am, as long as I can blink I will always be dancing in some sort of way. Its funny, I got teased a lot for dancing. Actually, I was, no, AM, a great dancer, but people put their restimulations on you when you are of a certain size and dance really well. A bit of the Re-Run effect if you will. I got laughed at or some idiot would feel the need to point out that I danced well for a big girl. I guess bigger people just sit on their asses and eat, because thinking, dancing and any other action would be outside of their possibilities......Okay I digress.

Anyhoo, I can't explain, but there was a way I felt so in charge when I danced. Like I could command attention or I had this confidence that I knew I was better than you, you and yes, you. I would be in my own world dancing and I was an unstoppable beast, until someone felt the need to criticize or impose their sexual desires on me, which normally resulted in my retreating into my shell.

I'm not shy in the least bit, but there was a way in which the unwarranted attention would make me feel bashful, and almost, ashamed.

Well, thank goodness, for having the opportunity to teach dance and play music for people who feel limited in the world. I always remind people that dancing is nothing more than learning technique and feeling the rhythm and bringing the two together. I loved feeling like I was arming people with confidence and defiance against the world when I taught them. I dunno, maybe I believed that every time I empowered someone else, I was secretly building up my own army against the world of nay-sayers, predators and other negative forces.

Or maybe I was just trying to fight the demons and voices inside of me.

Fast forward back to the conference and the live music: There was a point where the band was getting hot and hyped. Between the electric keys and the drumming, that even the Motherland would be proud to dance to, I felt the spirit move me in unspeakable ways. At one point, I grabbed the person I was with and told them we had to go to the music because I couldn't focus any more. I made my way to the center of the action, where the music was the loudest and the crowd gathered around.

Almost in a trance-like state, I was singing (yelling) the words to the songs at the top of my lungs and the music had pulsed through my veins causing my body to flow with the rhythm. I knew the audience were watching me, but I didn't care. The music infused me in a way that I swear I had gone through a borderline religious experience. At that moment, I was in the zone!!

Funny thing happened though during that moment of enlightenment. He saw me. (Now, I know you want to know who "he" is, but y'all are too damn nosy sometimes. All you need to know is that yes, he's cute, no we're not dating and yes, I'm okay with this.) "He" saw me at my finest and sweatiest hour. I danced with reckless abandon and something about that felt powerful, and even a little sexy, but I could tell he took in all of me. My presence was big and he had no recourse but to root for it. The smallest, most arrogant part of me believes it may have been the moment he fell in too for that matter.

I guess the whole point of this is that I want more of this feeling. This power that overcame me at the center of the group. That sense of power and command without having to impose on other people. Actually, quite the opposite, maybe I will inspire others to dance and sing with the same reckless abandon that came over me. And just maybe, someone will fall in love with me at that instance of my power and become so overwhelmed with passion and pride, that he becomes enchanted. Maybe I will have Erykah Badu'd him and next thing you know he's drinking almond milk and wearing crocheted pants while basking in the glow of my love.

Okay, so maybe, he will just feel compelled to ask me out and get to know me.

Oh the places your mind will go, T-Gyrl!!

'Til Next Time,
~ T-Gyrl

Monday, July 26, 2010

Let Your Hair Down

Ebony & Ivory
Live together in perfect
harmony...side by side..

WTF ever! LOL. That one was just too easy. And I know, per my last post, some of you were thinking it. I'll be real...of all the Stevie greats, that one aint even on my iPod and I doubt it will ever make the cut. But alas, many of you have asked how did I meet the dude in my Monday posting. Well, I guess now is as good a time as any. I'm fresh off the date that started at 6 PM on Saturday...and didn't end until 7:30 am on Monday (today), so excuse me while I reach for a cup-o-Joe infused with coke. If you got a mind to, rock with me for a few...

3 lil birds sat on my window
and they told me, you don't have to worry
summer came like cinnamon, so sweet
lil girls double dutch on the concrete

We met as folks do...chillin! Minding my business, holding my own (plate) at a cook-out for a friend who happened to also be his co-worker. I'd decided, just that day, that I wasn't going to stress this particular weekend. I wanted to just enjoy the summer. Feel this breeze, in this moment, and honor God in this rhythm...for a few. No thoughts of earthly things. Only things on my mind were Gods & heavens & the smoke ring on my ribs (which I believe is a God & heaven combo if done properly) while sipping the juice of a mango mixed with my hard lemonade. I aint lyin either. That's not natural zen bullshit. I love a mango! Will eat them in an undignified fashion 7 ways from righteous with no regrets & believed I was currently doing so un-checked. As I watched the kiddies play in the fire hydrant & secretly made plans to join them, I tipped up my cup up and emptied. Fully plotting how the hell to blend in with the loud, 4'2" mammals in the hydrant, while aggressively kickin their asses out so I can immerse myself without seeming weird or creepy, I heard someone lean over and supply me with a re-fill. I said "thank you" without looking up. He said "anytime" and walked away. I turned to see who refilled me (cuz u can't just have anyone fillin ya glass) and saw this tall, muscular pale arm. Shrugging and thinking poor man must have caught his birth of the Albino...I went back to sippin and plotting..

maybe sometimes
we've got it wrong but it's all right
the more things seem to change
the more they stay the same
don't you hesitate

okay! So I know, now, he wasn't Albino. That boy went and caught his birth of the #nopigment4utribe. I caught that burst of reality right around the time I realized, he's a cop. Now fam, I don't know about you but cop+lack-o-pigment = not a good look for ya girl. I have history with those situations....but I digress..

I hadn't hesitated too long after my refill to jump in and kick the resident midgets to the curb. I'm laying in the water spray and happen to feel a shadow loom over me. I know it's one of the lollipop guild returning to tell or pee on me. So I roll over and peel open an eye, ready to jump bad, and who the hell is leaning against a tree?? Well, well, well, if it aint Protect&Serve. "WTF?", must have been accurately conveyed in my raised eyebrow because he smiled the smug "I have no pigment and so I'm entitled" smile. I bout spit on him. Instantly decided...I don't like him and he makes the hair on the back of my ass (which, still aint fully grown back) rise! In other words, I'm uncomfortable. Hmm....drumming my fingers on the ground and resting my chin on my forearm ...what to do. what to do? I , again, roll over on my back and close my eyes and let the water run over my toes. He doesn't go away. He stands like a cop. I've seen enough of them to know.


DC doesn't have squatters rights

Thicke Jr:

I assume you're posted up at my hydrant to make a stink on behalf of the wee mammals. You know... (he blinked) the previous pigmy squatters of said hydrant. I'm assuming they sent you out here cuz I kicked them out. Well, we don't have squatters rights in DC & their tax $$ aint put in on this. So tell ''s mine!

Thicke Jr: (I can hear his smile)
Nope. Though the 3 I'm watching did tell me you didn't have a bathing suit, you're hogging all the water and you don't have enough sense to know you should be worried about your hair getting messed up.


Ingrates! They could have sprouted a 3rd eye playin in this DC water. I saved 'em. I'm old. I've done all the developing and sprouting I'm going to do!

Thicke Jr:
Oh, trust, I noticed

(giving him the middle finger, not liking his laugh)
Why are you here Pinky? It's getting late. Aren't you and the Brain (indicating the other cop at the bbq who does have an extra large dome) scheduled to do what you do every night? Hmm? (peeling open an eye again to see his reaction) You know, attempting to take over the world by night-sticking the coloreds?? That is what you do isn't it? You're a cop? (no answer) Fine. I just hope you don't think you're incognito, you feel like a COP and, frankly, it's giving me a rash.

Thicke Jr:

You're not a nice girl


Nope. Left that for someone else the moment I decided to be a stellar grown ass woman... And I don't like you. (sticking out my tongue)

Thicke Jr:

Hmm. too bad. Anyway, I'd never be undercover as the only white guy at an all black cook-out. Now would I? And my mirrored sunglasses, which are an absolute must for when we cops promote race relations, are in my other jeans. So..why don't you and your mermaid show get from in front of my bike so I can go get them cuz, for a... what term did you use? colored woman... umm-hmm... you seem like you could use a good "night sticking" your self.

........I sat up and damn near choked....he just smiled. I rolled my eyes. Refusing to give him the satisfaction of confirming or denying. He just gestured his motorcylce and motioned for me to step aside. Of course, entitled cop would park his shit in front of a damn hydrant. Selfish ass.

Thicke Jr:

I'm going to get more mango.

Don't bother. (The host) doesn't like them. There were only a few so I used them but he doesn't like them

Thicke Jr: (putting on regular sunglasses and turning on the bike)
I know he doesn't. but you do. and you're all out. Don't drown while I'm gone. (helmet blasting some unfamiliar tune)

Girl put your records on
Tell me your favorite song
You go ahead let your hair down
Sapphire & faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams
Just go ahead let your hair down

... I just laid back down and let the water cool me off. Yep....I hate him. He made it back with the mangos. I'd made it out of the water by now and was sitting in the sun drying off, letting my locs drink the sun. As he passed by I stuck my tongue out at him. He tossed the mango my way and said, this time...I'll let you keep it. I asked the mangos? you bought them for ME. remember?? He grabbed a beer and said your tongue. This time, I'll let you keep your tongue. Stick it out at me again and it's mine. Beautiful hair by the way. You should keep it down. He walked back to the house and called out don't know if that's a blush or a burn but either way you might want to handle it.

Blue as the sky, sunburnt & lonely
Sipping tea in the bar by the road side
(just relax, just relax)
don't let those other boys fool you
Got to love that afro hair do

Ok, I don't like wtf moments. And dude was throwin too many my way for me to not have thoughts of just out right kicking his ass. He was argumentative and rubbed me the wrong damn way. As the night wound down, I borrowed aloe gel from the host for what turned out to be a blush sunburn combo. Meanwhile, all the greeks (as is customary) exchanged numbers & promises to keep in touch. He's in a frat. Interesting. I stayed behind to ask questions and found out, he had been asking questions about me. Mainly about my ex and if he and I were still together. Upon hearing that info, I realized we had met before. Before he was a cop and I was an ex. Before mangos and fire hydrants. Long ago, when he was pledging, we met on opposite sides of the sands. I had pledged him (just a bit) and was probably a tad mean and feeling entitled. It made sense...he was getting back at me. That smooth shit wasn't fooling me.

Maybe sometimes, we feel afraid
but it's alright
the more you stay the same, the more they seem to change
don't you think it's strange?

Months later and several text msgs and phone calls from him down the hits me...he's flirting. What the hell? Did he not check the pigment? Eventually I started to answer the calls and the texts. I wanted to see,what he wanted from me. A date. He wanted simply to ask me out. Hmmm...Interesting. I stayed me, throughout the conversations. Gave him a hard time the whole way. Now granted, we discovered we can talk for hours about anything and laugh like idiots at each other but the more I tell him to bite me, the more he seems inclined. I don't get it but the idea of him, my ever changing idea of him, makes me more uncomfortable the more comfortable I get with him. Ya dig?

Twas more than I could take, Pity for pity's sake
Some nights kept me awake, I thought that I was stronger
When you gonna realize, that you don't even have to try any longer?
do what you want to...

He's white - I don't do. & A frat boy - wish I never did. & a cop = u gotta be kidding. And during our date of asian fusion and a movie, finished off with going to his house and talking til 5 am, he tells me You deserve to feel good. I think you should just squash the fight and enjoy yourself. I'll think about it, but not too long or too hard. The next night he was at my house and we stayed up talking again until 5 am then drifted to sleep until startled awake by my alarm clock. I dragged myself into work this morning having to admit I'd had one of the best date night/weekends I'd had in a long while. Even though nothing major happened (physically) and it shouldn't this early in the "game", there are definite sparks there.

I've told him my reservations. He said it's his responsibility to convince me otherwise and my responsibility to be open to the possibility. I don't know woah-dies! Not sure I can trust myself in this space, this far away from everything I know to be real. As I laid on the porch with him and fell asleep to the sound of his breathig and the water that's right outside his door, the ease of being me, it all felt like being lost in a dream. To be continued...(putting on my earphones)

Girl put your records on
Sing me your favorite song
Just go ahead let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams
Just go ahead, let your hair down
You're gonna find yourself some day, some how...

Song by Corrine Bailey Rae: Put Your Records On

Monday, July 19, 2010

Scratch on the Record!

What up peeps! No songs today. In reading emails/talking to some of our readers, I realized I need to take time out and clarify some things. So I'm removing my earbuds for a sec. and just clearing up questions, etc. today. Hopefully this will be a short and sweet one so I can get back to the rockin and rollin of a situation.

The good doctor:
I see my June post about helping him through a rough time confused yall! LOL. Let's be clear...he and I are PLATONIC friends. My desire to help him through a close death is the same desire I would have for a female friend who was going through the same. My angst about it being the 1st time in "that place" with him is the same I'd have with a female friend with whom I'd never experienced her method of dealing with pain and loss. Didn't come from a romantic place at all. LOL. But so many of ya kept saying " what's up cuz I thought your interest was fizzling around May but then your June post you trying to be there for the cat". Of course I am. I don't just leave ya to fend for yourself. LOL. He hasn't hurt me. We just don't work romantically. I can dig it and still support you as a friend. As long as you aint overstep, I can separate the two and rock with ya if ya need me.

Per my May post, the interest, on my part, was fading. That was May 18th. Two glasses of wine and a night out with my girls a few days later...interest dead by May 21st. LMAO. He's still hot to look at though. Hhahahaha. But I have no romantic notion or feeling for the brother. Really want him to find someone though. Good guy. Just not my sho.

Work Life:
Some of you have asked about my new work direction, why I'm gone for weeks at a time, etc. First, thanks for checking on me. I've been studying for my certification program. Test is VERY SOON and I'm not ready for it. Scared to death I'm going to fail it! Arrrggghhh! Keep the prayers that I do well going for me please and thank you! It's important that I pass it.

Also on deck, joined the Peace Corps. I have a 18 months before I ship out. Why, Shai?? Whhyy in the midst of the certification courses, the regular 9-5 and just home life did you add something that big to your plate??? yeah, I dunno. LOL. I've wanted to serve since I was 16. One day I said, ball to the mutha-fuckin walls, let's getter done. Still wondering how much of T-Gyrl's wine I had that damn day! But either way, I'm in it river deep and mountain high. Have to pass the medical check first. Ha! We'll see how that goes before I give myself permission to panic.

So, now that I've cleared up/caught yall up about those two things, on to the dating scene. In the midst of it all (and believe me, life lately has been CRAZY) I have a date this weekend! Yeah...not sure how I feel about that. Not even sure how to approach it. Its been a LONG time since a man has officially asked me out in a "Would you allow me to take you to dinner" way. I didn't even think they made those dudes anymore. Sounds odd. I know. However, most of my adult dating experiences were in hindsight! LOL. i.e. We were such tough friends and went to dinner so often that, by the time we owned up to mutual interest, I'd look back and realize "oh...these were dates??" LOL. More of the, we're chillin at the crib and (as always) I'm hungry so he says "let's go grab some food", scenario. I tend to realize a bit too late that it was that brother's "plan" to keep me well fed, liquored up and camped out at his crib for a few weeks. To those brothers, that's a date.

But this dude is different. He believes in formality. Even when I did say let's hang out (honestly, on some "I'm bored" vibe) he researched places to hang out based on what he observed as my likes and dislikes. word?? I didn't even know he was paying attention.

But this dude is different. He calls just to hear how my day went. Honestly, even if he only has 5 minutes in his day, he wants to spend it hearing how mine went.

But this dude is different. He tells me constantly how beautiful or sexy I am. Makes clear statements about his thoughts and intentions.

But this dude is different. He doesn't mind when I'm in a mood and itching for a fight. In fact, I think it turns him on. LOL.

But this dude is different. He doesn't want me to just chill at his crib. He is big on taking me out.

But this dude is different. When I do just want to chill at the crib, cuz I'm having a bad day, he invites me to his house on the lake. He'll tell me where the spare key is and to come over when I'm ready. He won't be there invading my space. He's at work. He'll leave a tray of strawberries (or summer fruit) and a glass of wine for me on the back patio. I sit with my iPod & my glass and just zone out looking at the water. He then calls HIS OWN DAMN HOUSE to tell me he's on his way home so I can wrap up my zen session and he asks if I need him to bring me anything.

But this dude is different. When I want him there with me, he'll sit and read with me on the porch. Like me, he doesn't need crowds and attention. He's candid and full of laughter. But when I tell his blunt ass he needs to back down and just hold me a bit, he doesn't mind showing the sensitive side of himself.

He's a friend and that may be all it ever is because he's too familiar.
We have too many of the same connections.
But...this dude is different....
and I don't just mean because... he's white.

*slipping on my earbuds. ready to rock with this thing *
Que the music...


Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Hey Tappers,

It's been a while....let me mess wit it for a minute.

So I been through some emotional roller-coaster, Donnell Jones "Where I Wanna Be"-type shit. Most of it probably self-inflicted like a bullet wound. I have to admit to y'all as much as my DNT sisters and I spew self-worth and empowerment, I don't always take my own advice at times. That admission wasn't to make you think I'm a hypocrite, but just know, sometimes I get lax. Its true, my shit stinks too.

I'm making the choice to not feel bad about myself. Allowing myself room for mistakes and room to learn.

Aww, who am I kidding. I HATE messin' up. I CAN'T STAND IT!! Perfectionist isn't the word I would use. More like a restrictist.

I restrict myself from behaviors and emotions that I constantly support my girlfriends on. Why? I dunno....maybe fear. Or maybe its that grade school mentality, that if I just behave myself and do my work then somehow I will get rewarded. I guess life don't really fuck with you like that.

As open as I am to trying new and potentially life-shaping things, there is a way I've never truly sustained feeling free. Free to the point where I'm completely in control of my mind, body and spirit enough to release the false concept of what it means to be "in control".

The constant and impending fear of "nothingness" seems to follow me along my life decisions.

Recently, a close friend of mine sent me a link to a blog by Courtney Martin. Sister Courtney relayed a message that spoke volumes to my heart and forced my brain to go through the gluttony of toxic and self-deprecating messages that I have internalize.

"....women often feel most beautiful and happy when they are doing what they love, when they are operating at that sweet spot where their passions, gifts and well-being intersect, where they are able to give the world the best of themselves really enjoy the fruits of that giving."

I had to marinate on this for a minute. There was a point in my life about three years ago where I can say that I felt this same sort of beauty she refers to in her blog. Life wasn't perfect by no stretch of the imagination, but I could tell that I gave of myself and were a part of things that made me feel great. Its funny that sometimes you can't tell how good things are for you until its no longer present in your life.

But I was truly sold on Sister Courtney's words when she said, "My...sense of my own beauty didn't come from a number on the scale or a new outfit. It wasn't the result of a makeover or a bevy of suitors. It came from my sense of abundance - that there is enough time for me to do great work, to see my gifts realized. It came from the outer beauty all around me, the natural world reminding me that my organic beauty is the most potent. And most fundamentally, it came straight from the center of me, radiating out."

Given my mental right now, how do I get back to my sense of abundance in the world? Clearly, I can't go back to three years ago, but my goal is to find out what gives me abundance now. How can I give the most of myself to the universe and feel full and satisfied from what I receive in return?

I'm full of good questions right now, but now its time to figure out great answers.....

(Man, this green tea and whole grain is messing with my head. Oh how I miss the box!)

'Til Next Time,
~ T-Gyrl