Sunday, December 28, 2008

Random Thoughts & Questions ...

1. What would it be like if arachnids had wings?

2. Why is the vocoder in every song lately? I think it needs to die an awful death ...

3. Why is Plies still rapping?

4. In Cambridge, MA, bicycles rule the streets so much that even thugs ride ...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

You're Hot Then You're Cold ...

I had a rollercoaster weekend, ranging from one extreme to the next, yet every rise and fall with The Voice only makes my feelings toward him that much stronger. I'd be naive to assume you can have an absolutely harmonious relationship. Life isn't a movie, a novel or a television show. Consequently, the more realistic our relationship is, the stronger we become.

Saturday: I arrived at The Voice's apartment per our usual arrangement. I was extremely tired because I had jury that afternoon (a prerequisite for all music majors in which we are obligated to play in front of several department faculty members and receive ratings for our performance) and then proceeded directly to work. We cuddled for a short while but eventually exhaustion overtook us. That morning, we headed to the barbershop and then stopped by my church so I could sit in on choir rehearsal. Several of my former choir members attended my jazz concert on Tuesday, so I wanted to thank them for their support. Furthermore, it gave me a chance to introduce The Voice to another facet of my life.

However, things didn't go smoothly. I noticed he was extraordinarily quiet most of the morning. Usually outspoken at the barbershop, he was demurred and silent. Upon our arrival at church, he was cordial but still subdued. Following rehearsal, we made a brief stop by my house to fill up my coolant tank. The Voice became animated for a short while, allowing my mom to speak with his mom via phone and even hung some candy canes on our Christmas tree.

Nevertheless, he reverted to his silent status after our departure. We patronized a restaurant in Roslindale named Delfino's which caters to a yuppie-type crowd. The cuisine is mainly Italian and the prices are fairly reasonable. However, I was unable to enjoy the meal because he was especially quiet throughout dinner.

At this point, I had just about enough!

As we departed the restaurant, I questioned him as to what was on his mind but he continued to brush me off as he previously done throughout the day. At this point, I was incredibly aggravated and cancelled our cinema plans. I decided to confront him point blank.

He remarked that he overheard my morning phone conversation in which I supposedly said,

"I'll be glad to have this break from him ..."

Now I know you guys only have my side of the story here however, I contend that was never said. Moreover, how could I say this when I used the infamous L word last week? Does that sound like a man who wants or needs time and space away from his boyfriend?

We went back and forth in the car, stressing our opinions and I continuously defended my words. Eventually the argument became pointless and futile. It was a draw. Too weary to continue, I told him to come to me with anything, anything that bothers him immediately; don't hold it in all day.

We eventually made up that night (hehe!) and watched The Family Stone on DVD (it's one of my favorite holiday movies of all time! If you haven't seen it, go rent it!)

Sunday: We lazed most of the morning in bed enjoying our own personal concert. We lay in bed, sharing the headphones and listening to songs on our MP3 players. As we each selected songs, we caressed our deep brown skin, enjoying the sensation, the lack of words between us and the beautiful music. Needless to say, we ended the concert on "The Way" by Jill Scott!

We spent the rest of the day shopping (well he did most of the shopping while I ran my mouth on the phone), a trip to Qdoba's and stopped by both J-Dub's house as well as my house. That night, The Voice got his locks twisted by his roommate (Lil' Hustla) and we all sat around watching Wanted (ugh! … see June post titled Wanted: Lazy Weekend for my opinion on that movie!).

While the weekend wasn't a total washout, we learned more about each other, our likes, dislikes, our attitudes, our limits and our expectations. This coming weekend, we are taking J-Dub's daughters to the Build-A-Bear Workshop and to see The Grinch Musical. We also have a Christmas party to attend on Sunday and I'm introducing Crazy to The Voice (that should be interesting!) There won't be much time spent together this and coming weekends as he is flying out for business just before New Years.

I hope everyone had enjoyable weekends and stayed warm, dry and got their Christmas shopping done! Only one more week! Have a great week!

Editor’s Note: This post was initially drafted two weeks ago.

School Update

As a quick addendum to the UMB concert update, I wanted to inform everyone that I achieved all A's across the board! This will probably bring my current GPA of 3.75 to a 3.80. Furthermore, I'm going to receive credit for a keyboard class that I was able to pass out of!

I believe (take note of the word “believe”) I'll be transitioning into my senior year this summer so things are moving along extremely quickly now. In addition to the excitement of graduation, I'm considering a summer internship. I've had my eye on an internship with Sony BMG for nearly a year however, I need to find out the requirements on either end (UMB and Sony). I'm still not completely certain what direction I want to take this degree. Still, an internship with such a prestigious corporation can't possibly hurt!

For the spring semester, I'm taking Psychology 270 (Statistics) as part of my Quantitative Reasoning Requirement. It's one of the last general education requirements left so the sooner I get it out of the way, the better. I'm taking jazz band again (provided another piano player doesn't audition better than me!) and continuing lessons with Professor Hand Killer (semester # 5 baby!)

Lastly, I received word from Prof. Hand Killer that my marks for my jury were exceptional. The scale rating is 1 through 5 (5 being the best) and I received a 4 from the head of the department, a 5 plus from my theory professor (he was a judge) and a 5 from the last judge. Not bad! I can’t wait to get started on my piece for next semester! She doesn’t waste time as she’s already sent me a new performance selection via the mail.

All in all, it should be an interesting semester!

K.C.'s Workout Plan (Pt. 8)

I'm going to give it you as straight as I can. I haven't worked out at the gym in a month (except for one trip on Thanksgiving with The Voice) yet I've miraculously kept the weight off. I'm hovering at 183 lbs. which makes my total weight loss since August a colossal 20 lbs.! Ironically, that was my goal when I began sessions with the nutritionist a few months back.

My health benefits commence in January so I've already made an appointment to see the doctor and I'm confident he'll be absolutely impressed.

If not, I know I am! My next goal is 180 or 175 but taken in baby steps.

My secret?

Having a boyfriend!

Nah, for real, the late nights at work, my hectic school schedule, the busy weekends and once-a-day meals are the most significant factors. However, I was enrolled in a nutrition course during the spring (2008) semester and currently concerned that I'm not getting the proper dietary supplements. While on winter break, I plan to return to the gym (starting Monday, Dec. 22nd) and endeavor to eat better.

So I'll keep you guys posted!

UPDATE: I initially wrote this entry a week ago and Monday, Dec. 22nd came and went. I’ve been exceedingly occupied with Christmas shopping and even endured some vehicular difficulties. I believe January might be a better time to return to the gym although it will be packed with New Year Resolution Makers.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

All That Jazz!

As promised, a clip from my jazz concert ...

This clip was taken by Java-Mama so don't go getting all critical about her video choregraphy skills or else I'll have to cut ya'll!

The video begins with me soloing on piano, followed by a sax solo and then a vocal solo (scatting). The song was "Nothing Personal" and does not feature lyrics; it was basically a jam song.
Oh, the hat I had on was borrowed from The Voice (was trying to be all cool and "hip"!)

It took forever to upload this to YouTube so hope you guys enjoy! :o)

At an awkwardly silent point during the concert, my barber yelled out, "GO K.C.!" Professor X responds on the mic, "Well, I guess, we know one student is getting an A!", to which everyone laughs. Man, it was nice to get that love and support!

After the concert, my family (Pops, Java-Mama, Rugrat), The Voice and his "tribe", former co-workers, Professor Hand Killer and friends presented me with flowers and a gift bag with a CD and a card they all signed! Talk about making my night!

Once again, thank you to everyone who attended and supported me! I appreciate this more than words can express ... :o)

Watch It, Bub!

I'm a huge X-Men fan so I'm obviously tremendously excited about the X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) movie due out in May. And it ONLY TOOK THREE MOVIES before they featured everyone's favorite Cajun, Gambit! Furthermore, I think I saw a young Storm (the little girl with blond hair) but I'm not sure ... anyway, check it out:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Reading Corner: In Love With A Thug

I finished reading In Love With A Thug by Reginald L. Hall about a two months ago so you'll have to pardon my memory when it comes to the characters and the storyline. I loaned my copy to The Voice so I'll double check my facts before the final post.

Well, well, after all the book reviews I've written, I have to say that I didn't really favor this particular African-American SGL novel. In retrospect, I extended the reading over an entire month and procrastinated even longer before writing this review. I think my subconscious was screaming something at me!

The basis of the story?

The main character, Julian Jiles (aka J.J) robs a bank with his lover, Darnell. His partner is killed in a police standoff and J.J. escapes with the money and forges a new life. He achieves his life-long dream of owning a hair salon named Ché Mystic and then meets a "swaggalicious" young thug named Bryant who seems just a bit too good to be true. Is Bryant the soul mate that J.J. wants and desires or is he hiding a more sinister agenda?

First things first: I am guilty of effemaphobia (took that word from an episode of Noah's Arc). I noticed a post on (click here: *Emerald Eye Entertainment*) regarding the treatment of feminine behaving men within the SGL community. The main character J.J. is extremely dynamic, shifting from masculine back to feminine in mere seconds. I've been getting over my distaste for fem men over the years so bear with me; I'm a work in progress. I have fem mannerism from time to time so who am I to criticize others? Furthermore, since I've come out and attended gay clubs and pride parades, my comfort level for the extreme (i.e. trannies, cross-dressing, etc.) has increased. Consequently, I've achieved maximum “comfortability” to the point I perform public displays of affection (PDA's).

Anyway, I'm digressing.

So after my initial distaste of the main character’s outward behavior, I eventually just found him shallow and stupid. I'm all for supporting the black SGL literary community however, they need to step their game up. Now, Lin, Fred (and E. Lynn), don't go getting your feathers ruffled up! Anyone who reads my blog knows I'm a martinet for grammar, spelling and all that jazz. In essence, the narration and grammar transported me back to my second grade classroom.

"Mrs. A?! Can I please go to the bathroom?? Pleeeeassee?!?!"

(Whoa, flashback!)

I think Hall is tremendously talented in crafting a storyline. Nevertheless, I maintain serious issue with the plot. For example, a major character was killed in front of J.J. and Hall neglected to expound on the personal impact upon him. If a really close friend of mine was murdered, I don't believe I'd contrive an evening date and act as if everything is perfectly normal. Furthermore, J.J. didn't even mention the murder to Bryant that night!

Conversely, I did enjoy Hall's use of famous characters peppered throughout the novel. Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys and Lil' Kim are only a handful of celebrities that appear in the story. The first time I encountered this phenomenon, I chuckled, thinking, "He really wants me to take this seriously?" However, the more I read, the more I became accustomed to his writing style and actually discovered that I enjoyed it. Kudos on the creativity and inclusion of celebs!

Moreover, he included himself in the storyline at the beginning of the novel:

“A fire erupted in a North Philadelphia home tonight, Osama Bin Laden is still on the loose, and author Reginald L. Hall is still continuing to sell millions of books all across the country.” (Ch. 3, p. 15)

Terribly self-centered yet creative!

Lastly, my significant problem with J.J. was his self-depreciating personality. He endured beatings at the hands of lovers and then justified it as love! Ridiculous! Hall describes J.J. as being fiercely independent and prideful at the beginning of the story yet he debases himself around the men he dates. Simply put, J.J.’s personality best compares to a rollercoaster. This turned me off about halfway through the book and I found it a struggle to continue to end.

The denouement was exceptionally rushed and I while I won’t give anything away, I’ll simply say it was clichéd. I applaud Reginald Hall for his valiant effort however, if you are seeking insightful characters and deep meaning, I’d search elsewhere. The story is a great afternoon read; extremely entertaining, adventurous and a nice break from reality.

I haven’t read much African-American SGL fiction lately. I’ve transitioned back to reading Star Trek novels (I need to change my reading style every few months to keep from getting stale). I’m planning to order several African-American SGL novels over my winter break so be on the lookout for more Reading Corner then!

Monday, December 15, 2008

To Trek Or Not To Trek ... That Is The Question

As you know, I'm a Star Trek fanatic however, I'm not terribly interested in the original series (i.e. Capt. Kirk, Spock, etc.) My initial reaction upon hearing the news that they were going to produce a contemporary movie based on TOS (The Original Series) was offense. I'm a conservative Trekker (if that makes any sense) and felt that remaking a classic pop culture icon such as Star Trek was disgraceful and insulting to the original series and actors.

However, I recently stumbled upon the new HD trailer for Star Trek XI (2009) and I have to say I'm quite impressed!

Nevertheless, I doubt I'll attend any screenings. I was going to boycott it but I have a feeling I'll be going solo. So I've decided to wait until it's on DVD and reserve judgement.

I'm aware that most of my readers are not ST fans but any thoughts on the trailer ... ?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Mr. Independent

I'm hoping that someone out there can help me out right quick with a situation.

Since I've been dating The Voice, my family has experienced an interesting reaction. While they have accepted him with open arms, I believe they're going through "empty nest" syndrome and I'm not sure exactly how to respond.

My mother and I are extremely close and I share a lot of information regarding my personal, academic and professional life with her. I often seek out her advice and we dialogue for hours on various topics ranging from our favorite television shows to relationship advice. However, I've been away nearly every weekend for the past three months. I usually reside at The Voice's place and while it is only one town over, I rarely come home.

When I do return home, both Java-Mama and Pops make comments such as,

"oh, it's nice to see you finally!"


"I think you live here but I'm not sure ..."

I neglect to respond to their commentary however, I'm finding that I'm becoming more annoyed. I enjoy my time away from home and it's allowing me an eagle-eyed perspective on my living situation. I am less constrained and more self-reliant when I'm away. I'm beginning to feel as though they want me to remain stifled and restricted.

Don't misunderstand me, I'm always free to come and go. Nevertheless, when you live at home with your parents, you're still bound to certain responsibilities. I haven't helped out as much around the house and since Rugrat began his job, he works odd hours and isn't around much either.

I'm more independent than ever since I began this crazy journey with The Voice. While I do depend on my parents for certain things, I feel a need to detach myself. When I'm leaving for a long day (back to back school and work) they act as though I'm leaving on a three week vacation. Furthermore, when I depart on a Sunday night to stay with The Voice, my mom proceeds to hug me as if she'll never see me again. I appreciate the love but I sense an impact on our relationship. I'm concerned that his uber-independent personality may lead him to attempt extrication from my family situation.

Now that I’ve explained the circumstance, I’d like to know your thoughts …

Should I leave it alone and let things run their course naturally (i.e. let my parents adapt on their own terms) or should I try to impose my order on the situation?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Merry Christmas ... To Me!

Last weekend, I got a new toy and who would've ever thought me, The Great K.C. (yes, thank you, thank you, yes, please hold your applause!), would break down and buy a (blah!) Apple product! I've been anti-iPod since day one and continue to utilize my Sony Walkman MP3 player. However, I've had my eye on the iPhone for the past few months. Furthermore, several of The Voice's friends possess iPhones and last Christmas, while shopping with Thai Guy, I toyed with one in the Apple store. Needless to say, it's been working on me for the past year!

So I got one! Trust, I'm in LOVE with my phone! My previous phones were bought as replacements (i.e. damaged, dropped, cracked, battery death, etc.) and I was coerced into getting something on the spot. This is the first phone I've owned that I can truly say:

"I wanted it just because!"

Plus, it's nice to be flashy and up with the latest trends. I'm utilizing nearly every feature and the sense of maturity I feel is amazing!

Nevertheless, if anyone out there has one, can you help a brotha out? There are some things about it that confuse me and I could use several pointers ...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The L Word

"Love slipped from my lips, dripped down my chin and landed in his lap ... and us became new."

-- Jill Scott (Love Rain, Who Is Jill Scott?: Words and Sounds Vol. 1)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

UMB Jazz Concert (12/9/08)

The University of Massachusetts Jazz Band presents:

End of the Semester Jazz Concert

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008 at 7:30 PM
Snowden Auditorium in Wheatley Hall

Selected performances of Duke Ellington, Jobim, Count Basie and more! Music so good, it'll have you toe tappin', finger snappin' and maybe even wanna smack your momma! (not really recommended!) So come on out and support us!

Refreshments will be served following the concert.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Weekend of Thanks

Has everyone had enough turkey yet?! I'm just about sick of it! Java-Mama carved up the remainder of the turkey and concocted soup. Nonetheless, a "rose by any other name is still a rose!" and turkey, no matter how it's prepared is still turkey!

How was your Thanksgiving? Relaxing, I hope ...

I departed work earlier on Thanksgiving Eve and went to my baby's crib. Thanksgiving morning, we proceeded to the gym and I ran about 6 miles. Afterwards, I chilled at home and managed to catch up on some personal items. Pops wasn’t feeling well so Java-Mama, Rugrat and myself finished preparing the meal. Nevertheless, we had an exceptional dinner. Later on, I dropped by J-Dub's house and hung out with The Voice and his close friends/family. We sat around laughing, joking and sipping on pumpkin martinis while watching Beauty Shop.

The Voice stayed over my house. I permitted him to sleep in my bed (I only have a twin) and I settled on an air mattress. The next morning, we made breakfast (grits, eggs, bacon, pancakes, biscuits, and toast) for my family. My man can really throw down in the kitchen and there ain’t nothing sexier than a guy who can cook!

Therewithal, we went mattress shopping (his mattress is in bad shape) and after several stops, we eventually settled on decent one for a reasonable price. Unfortunately, it will be delivered this coming weekend so we have to endure back pain for several more nights. It was truly pleasant to shop with him on such a significant purchase. Furthermore, we were in a furniture store browsing through sofas, bedroom and dining sets, discussing how our apartment would look and who would decorate which room.

I went to work Friday night but returned at 3 AM and snuggled with him until the first rays of Saturday light dawned. After a trip to the barbershop, I took him to one of my four alma maters (yeah, I’ve been to four schools - and?) We toured Nashua, New Hampshire and Daniel Webster College. I hadn't been back to my school in years and quite a few changes had taken place. Many memories flooded back and I cherished being able to share them with him.

He got one of his tattoos touched up over in Salem and then I drove like the wind to Boston to check out Eddie Griffin at the Wilbur Theater (Comedy Connection). Ole dude was CRAZY funny and we had moderately appropriate seats in the front, albeit somewhat smothering. Eddie spoke about Obama, starving kids in Africa, Richard Pryor, Bernie Mac, his family and a wide range of topics.

As we left the theater, The Voice was virtually run down by a car and I stood by, completely paralyzed. He cussed the driver out (who turned without using a signal) and when we finally reached the parking garage, I almost broke down. Essentially, I realize he means a lot to me but the possibility of death or serious injury was too great for me to bear. When we got back to the house, we lay in bed watching The Reaping until he drifted off to sleep in my arms. I came mere inches to losing my angel and I wasn't about to release him that night.

Sunday we attended a Thanksgiving buffet hosted by a motherly friend of The Voice. She absolutely adores me (as did most of her guests) and said we made a handsome couple. We brought her flowers and wine as a contribution to the meal and I had an amazing time. Afterward, we did laundry and then relaxed at my house. Java-Mama and Pops pulled out the family photo albums and took a trip down memory lane which included a picture of Baby K.C. with my a** caught in the bars of the crib!

And no! I'm not scanning it and putting it on my blog! LOL

All in all, I had a spectacular weekend. Some laughs, scares, memories and some really spectacular food! The Voice flies out of town this week and I'm focusing on my class presentation that is due Friday. Furthermore, my Jazz Concert is next Tuesday evening (12/9) and my jury is next Friday (12/12) so I've got a LOT of practicing to do this week/weekend. Seeing my baby this weekend will be a sweet reward for all this hard work!

Have a great week everyone!