25 December, 2012

On Holiday...

Been spending time with the my loves, doing all that I love.

17 December, 2012

We'll Call This One...

The last laugh. For all those hopeless romantics and rotten bastards. We're destined to bump into each other at some point.

Walking Through Cleveland

I saw the best prerequisites for entry into a home (or someone's life):

16 December, 2012

Happy Belated Hanukkah!!

I experienced my first Hanukkah celebration this Friday. Everyone was warm and welcoming. It was such a relief from the usual formalities of most churches, and the synagogue experience was unusually comfortable. I can't wait to go back.

Within Walking Distance

11 December, 2012

Top Ten Reasons Why I Love Cleveland

1) You can wear your "boring" clothes to work and rock your "real" clothes out of town.

2) When it's cold you can gain weight and no one will notice (yourself included) under all the layers of clothes.

3) If an event is over twenty miles away, you can decline because its a 20-30 minute drive, and that's just way too far.

4) If there's one huge event going on in Cleveland, you know where everyone else won't be.

5) When you go to a house party, you will always find a parking spot. Always.

6) If you live on the West Side and work in the city, you will never, hardly ever -- hit traffic.

7) If your cell phone dies, there's always a pay phone.

8) Snow Days. Period.

9) No matter how weird you are, you're still normal compared to someone else.

10) No matter how average you look, you're always better looking than someone else.

Honorable mention: The Browns, nice homeless people, clean streets and BBQ.

09 December, 2012

Creative Collective

Over time I had completely forgotten how therapeutic creating new things could be for myself and others. Using my hands to manipulate and design a concept that my imagination envisions is enlightening and provides a sense of accomplishment that I cannot replicate or achieve otherwise.

I had the chance to create some things this weekend:

02 December, 2012

Just a Year Ago

This time last year, I was helping my aunt open her new restaurant, missing the east coast, and buying a car after taking subways and walking for 3 years. I was a PR and Marketing Practitioner at the time, looking for something that would pay more and give me the opportunity to work with someone who was uplifting and less critical. I eventually found that in myself.

I remember being hopeful that my aunt's restaurant would stay afloat for longer than a year (especially through the summer months), so I did everytghing in my power to make sure that people knew about us. I set up a facebook page, had the radio station do a grand opening remote broadcast, created a website, started relationships with local barber shops and salons, and made flyers for local businesses to retain monthly lunch specials. I was driven. Now, a year later, the restaurant is more successful than I could have imagined, and I don't have to do anything. Facebook is constantly sending me admin messages about new likes, customers are placing holiday orders, and my aunt isn't as dependent on me to balance her books or keep track of employee timesheets. All of the work on the front end paid off and for that I so so so grateful.

I even remember what I was listening to last year:


I spent my 29th birthday frontstage at a Wale concert at the Hard Rock. I got my life that night. I also bought a new dress that I busted out of that same night from dancing so hard.
I have to look back in order to look forward, to remind myself of all the things I've done and planned for. To make sure that I'm keeping promises, following through for myself and progressing -- becoming a better person each day and each year. I feel better about myself this year than I did last year, and I feel closer to where I will be and where I need to be, to get to where I'm going. I know it sounds complicated but it's simple. If I can find some pics from last year I will post them!

Pieces of Me

Each of us have strengths and weaknesses that are established (or unestablished) throughout our lives, and others that are intrinsic to who we are. We are socialized to work on our weaknesses and to make those parts of us that naturally weak, stronger -- in order to become more efficient, seemingly competent or just simply better. The concept of working on your natural strengths, those qualities that you are innately born with, is a concept that should be encouraged instead of discouraged. Mainly because we all have talents that are there, we just don't know what they are. I've learned a lot about others through finding out what my strengths are, and in doing so it has given me an understanding of why so many things went right, wrong and just hit a dead end. Of the 34 recognized strengths, according to Tom Rath, each of us has 5 top strengths that we operate out of throughout our lives. I honestly think that people use horoscopes to learn about who they are, but the true essence of who we are are what we are made of, and horoscopes are way too general for me. I wasn't shocked when I found out what mine were, it was more affirming than anything:

You live in the moment. You don't see the future as a fixed destination. Instead, you see it as a place that you create out of the choices that you make right now. And so you discover your future one choice at a time. Unlike some, you don't resent sudden requests or unforeseen detours. You expect them. You are, at heart, a very flexible person who can stay productive when the demands of work are pulling you in many different directions at once.

If you possess a strong Belief theme, you have certain core values that are enduring. Belief theme causes you to be family-oriented, altruistic, even spiritual, and to value responsibility and high ethics - both in yourself and others. Your values give your life meaning and satisfaction; in your view, success is more than money and prestige. They provide you with direction, guiding you through the temptations and distractions of life toward a consistent set of priorities. Your Belief makes you easy to trust. It also demands that you find work that meshes with your values.

You can sense the emotions of those around you. You can feel what they are feeling as though their feelings are your own. Intuitively, you are able to see the world through their eyes and share their perspective. This instinctive ability to understand is powerful. You hear unvoiced questions. You anticipate the need. You help people find the right phrases to express their feelings. You help them give voice to their emotional life. For all these reasons other people are drawn to you.

Relator describes your attitude toward your relationships. In simple terms, the Relator theme pulls you toward people you already know. You are comfortable with intimacy. Once the initial connection has been made, you deliberately encourage a deepening of the relationship. You want to understand their feelings, their goals, their fears, and their dreams; and you want them to understand yours. You know that this kind of closeness implies a certain amount of risk - you might be taken advantage of - but you are willing to accept that risk.

The strategic theme enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best route. It is not a skill that can be taught. It is a distinct way of thinking, a special perspective on the world at large. This perspective allows you to see patterns where others simply see complexity. Guided by where you see each path leading, you start to make selections.

Source: Strengths Finder 2.0, Tom Rath, Gallup Inc. 2007.

24 November, 2012

All the Wrong Places

One thing that I am beginning to realize, now more than ever, is that I expect more from people than they expect from themselves. This leaves me feeling disappointed, hurt and alone -- always. Usually, people represent themselves in one way (perhaps as they aspire to be) and often times they have no intentions of meeting or exceeding this represented version of themselves.

For the past 3 months, I've been committed to a vocational program with the expectation of finding clarity and understanding of myself, my career and my path. Unfortunately, this vocation means living without the material luxuries that success may offer. In other words, monetary remuneration does not come with my position that entails hard work, strategic thinking and constant tests of morality and faithfulness. In this,I am learning invaluable lessons about myself and others that I love, those whom I think that I love and people who I may or may not know after this full year culminates in July.

My sacrifices for the people that I care about has not been given in money, gifts or partying until 4am but instead with the only thing that I have to give -- my time and my love for them. Unfortunately, for most this is not enough. Sadly, I've come to learn that the most important things in my life are not my physical appearance or my personal belongings, but instead my health and my longing for a family and a purpose-filled life. Substance, faithfulness and loyalty are tried and tested. Tears are shed, love is lost and those without the palate for my perceived "simple life" fall by the way-side. These people include parents, friends, ex-lovers and others. I have to believe that it's all for the best to make room for the right people who will be by my side when this is all said and done. I have to believe there's a place for everyone and I hope that the right people find me in this crazy world. For now, I'm fine with being lost and finding my way with the ones who are still with me.

18 August, 2012

Words to the Wise

These words are not my own, however I do find that they are the perfect guide for the creative kind who wish to stay true to their muse without comprising their sanity! Take heed and proceed with caution my friends.

What words of wisdom keep you in check? If you have any that would be helpful let me know! I will try to make a new list of new "isms" soon, it's just taking a while...


Despite the horrendous VA traffic (that I slept through, of course) the drive to and from the DMV was pretty smooth with a little help from Pandora and my jimmy-rigged Youtube playlist.

Day two was filled with a nice work out along the monuments, lunch at The W with an awe-inspiring view, a low-key evening with coffee on the rocks in Dupont Circle,and a nice dinner and driving tour through my old stomping grounds in B'more. Here's a few pics that I snapped along the way.

This is my "not happy about heading back" look lol

I had a chance to hang out with my long lost homie Ja'Ron, my lovely family away from home -- Kay, Eddie and Deuce (and little Camelia who's still in the womb), Simone -- the dopest roommate ever, and my best friend and sis Marie-Alice. Special shout out to my lil sis Shayna and her boyfriend Laramie for lending their home and their liquor as always!

What are you getting into as the summer winds down?

11 August, 2012

What NOT To Spend Money On -- If You Like Having Money....

Online Dating Sites

Of course you can join for free, but there's always a catch. You can purchase the premium package and see a shit ton of profiles of the same people that you can see walking the streets every day. Why waste money "meeting" people online when you can walk outside and actually, well, meet people? If you are introverted, shy, or just socially awkward and use your pc as a security blanket to hide behind just take some friendly advice; pay for counseling and learn how to meet people the old fashioned way - face-to-face. Start by saying, "Hello, my name is _________, and yours?". That seems to get them every time, for me at least. Besides, people can always embellish or make themselves seem more interesting by editing out the bad and emphasizing the good, which is what online profiles are meant to do. Every dating site wants to appear to have the "pick of the litter", but nobody's perfect. Wouldn't you rather find this out by first impression? It's a whole lot easier and wastes less time and energy.

Pyramid Schemes/Home-Based Businesses/Networking Enterprises AKA Gimme-Yo-Paycheck

If the promise of building your income is draped in a $500 one-time membership fee with the benefit of easy money and networking opportunities, this is probably not an opportunity, but a come up for the seller. It's also too good to be true. If you were contacted by an acquaintance from middle school, who would be "so happy to see you" to discuss "business opportunities", don't walk, don't jog, but RUN in the other direction. The people who sully friendships and acquaintanship for a one-time profit have no integrity and no shame in the exploitative nature which pyramid schemes thrive on. Playing on desperation and naivete, these schemes and ploys to make more money by spending more money are the epitome of what this great country thrives on -- free will. Be careful and judge wisely.


I was up at 4am flipping through channels, and to my surprise the ONLY two options for my viewing pleasure were either televangelists selling oil blessed by "his holiness" with a promise of bringing "bountiful blessings upon thee", and QVC selling what I thought were some pretty high-end hangers. I actually considered buying some (the hangers, that is). I've always wondered if people actually call in to order a tiny capsule of baby oil bottled up and prayed over (allegedly) by someone with two last names. You know, Thomas Richard or Kenny James. Televangelists are so convincing it's like they actually believe every ounce of what they're saying. Almost so convincing that I want to send them all of my money and order a bottle of holy oil for everyone I know! That is, until they show video clips of hungry children from 1993 and I get to thinking, you haven't fed those kids YET? What are ya'll doing with all of the money? Hmmmmm....come to think of it I've never seen a skinny televangelist...makes you wonder--who's really starving...Not the televangelists! These are frauds as well. Real evangelists travel on foot.I think the last one's name was Jesus.

Weight-Loss Gimmicks

You are NOT going to lose weight by taking a pill. In fact, if anyone tells you that you will lose weight by putting anything IN your mouth, it's a lie! I actually took those pills that Anna Nicole Smith endorsed before she died. I stopped taking them -- when she died. I think they were called Xenadrine. They made me sleepy, and I started eating more because I was hungry every time I woke up from a nap. And Anna was so pretty. I was convinced that I would look like her -- blonde hair and all. Oh well. At least I tried. Don't be a fool like I was. Work out, eat more vegetables and don't drink pop. The best weight loss plan that I ever had came from being broke. I ate chicken and rice for a month and I looked like a cancer patient. Skinny ain't for everybody. Just don't get caught up into those shortcut easy diets -- they never work. Never.

Have you been tricked into spending money on something frivolous that, at the time, seemed like a really good idea or investment? If so don't be ashamed. In fact you should tell your friends and family about it because you may be helping someone out in the long-run.

05 August, 2012

The Scriptic Styler Strikes Again! BAM!

I can hardly contain myself....I have a HUGE opportunity to work with some talented and very cool artists in B'more -- one of my favorite cities in the WORLD.

I get my life every time I drive past the Mason Dixon line and into Baltimore, simply because this, my friends was the city that popped my cherry when I turned eighteen. It was in B'more that I experienced my first college experience, my first strip club, my first late-night bar hop and my first drunken fight -- all in the name of being young,reckless and not giving a ***** (you fill in the blank).

Hell yes! I will be interviewing and copy writing for a very cool friend of mine and his friends over at tobetriumphant.com. Everyone seems really cool and interesting so I'm really excited to have a hand in creating something that will blend well with their artistry and unique dynamic over at Triumphant.

Check them out here: http://www.tobetriumphant.com/

I can't wait to visit graffiti alley and bounce my ass to some club music!

Here's to B'more club music, chicken boxes, and catchin' hacks down MLK Blvd.

04 August, 2012

Cherries On Top

Soooo I was sittin' out in the barn (don't ask), and I decided to take a taste of some delicious liquor drenched cherries. All I remember was thinking,"OMG I was NOT prepared for this." And after a taste I said to myself, "OMG I was NOT prepared for this".

After a few tastes I decided that it was the best decision I had made that entire day. "Cherries on top" has a whole new meaning and I think I like it...A LOT -- Happy Vacay!!!

03 August, 2012

Prepping for Vacay!!!

On my way onto a 20 day vacay in North Carolina! Before I embark on this much needed break, I decided to give myself a mini-makeover by straightening my hair. I know it doesn't seem like a big deal, but it takes hours to straighten my locs so I usually only do this about two or three times a year.

I posted some pics before heading on the plane.

Here's the before shot...

And here's the after shot...

I was so happy! I didn't want to break a sweat at ALL -- that would be the end of life for me lol. Anyways, time to jet-set...so excited!!!

28 July, 2012

Fitting IN...

What does it mean to "fit in"? Does it mean going along with what others think, feel, wear; even if it goes against your innate yearning to go against the grain? Sometimes fitting in means standing out (sometimes). I've always felt counterculture; thinking and feeling differently than everyone else and often standing out in so many ways.

For instance, this natural hair phenomenon that's sweeping through is pretty substantial. From 8 years old to 18 I had a press and curl. There was no perm or as some call it, a relaxer, in my hair which is rare in Black American culture. I got teased and told that I needed to "get that shit done". Then, out of nowhere comes Jill Scott, Solange, and slew of others with "natural" hair and now it's acceptable and even fly. With the exception of a few bloggers who chronicled their experience with natural hair, it was a widely unaccepted notion to some. Now I get compliments on my virgin hair by the some of the same folks who had scathing remarks for me back in the day. Yes; it was called "virgin" hair at one time because it wasn't "fucked" with - I suppose.

Either way, I went through criticism, judgment and resentment for something that 20 years later is a popular trend. All this to say, if you don't always fit in just remember, sometimes it's GREAT to stand out. It means you're exquisite. You just have to wait for everyone else to catch up -- eventually.

25 July, 2012

Writing For A Reason....

A few months back, while working at a PR & Marketing Firm in Cleveland, I had the pleasure of working with a passionate client who was committed to improving the familial structures that are decreasing among American families day-by-day. I was so drawn to the client's purpose and mission, that I felt compelled to go beyond my daily tasks to ensure exposure for this meaningful message.

In doing so, a Cleveland paper published the article and the client was also booked for a television appearance on Kaleidoscope, a morning news magazine aimed at educating the public on movers-and-shakers in the Cleveland area.
To view the show, please copy the following link: http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/about_us/this-week-on-kaleidoscope---april-22-2012

I am so proud of the article, that I wanted to share it with you -- hope you find it interesting!

Chief Antonio Stitt chooses a pen & pad as his weapon of choice

“These parents have to take a look in the mirror, and be willing to first, examine themselves, and acknowledge their responsibility in preparing their children to be successful in life with or without their assistance!”


His training as a fighter would prove to be a real advantage to Antonio Stitt, growing up as a poor and defenseless kid in the tough city of Cleveland, Ohio. Surrounded by family members involved in the world of crime and street life, one has to wonder how Antonio Stitt came to choose a pen and paper over tight-fisted hands as his weapon of choice. In his new role as the Village of Highland Hills Chief of Police and co-author of his first work titled, Change the Parent Change the Child (CPCC), Chief Antonio Stitt has taken on the challenge to fight juvenile crime and the breakdown of the American family one page at a time.

Frustrated with processing and booking “children” “young babies from the neighborhood” Chief Stitt took action, producing a five week “Man Talk” program and positively impacted, encouraged and inspired over 600 young men at a Cleveland juvenile detention center. Chief Stitt discovered that his life’s passion was helping troubled juvenile delinquents overcome the same adversity and negative influences that once surrounded him as a young man. Upon seeing the success of some young men through the program and the unfortunate detriment of others, Chief Stitt began to question the real issue -- the root of the problem for the young men he was helping through this difficult phase of their lives.

Unquestionably the problem was the parent and the familial structure surrounding these young men, which ultimately affected the life choices and paths they chose to follow. The fighter in Chief Stitt took his mission one step further by co-authoring his passion project with Cleveland teacher Shalana Satterwhite, a parent who once sought his help for her own troubles with a delinquent teenage son.

“I am grateful for my childhood, but I am even more grateful for the difficulties and challenges I endured. Because of my hardships I can relate to these young men, and my advice and conversation is REAL to them.”

“These parents have to take a look in the mirror, and be willing to first, examine themselves, and acknowledge their responsibility in preparing their children to be successful in life with or without their assistance!”



The Call & Post, Cleveland, OH:

Providence Baptist Church, Cleveland, OH:

Why We Need Love & Hip Hop Atlanta

Why We Need Love & Hip Hop Atlanta

As of late, a hot topic in the world of social media and hair salon dialogue has been VH1's latest masterpiece of buffoonery - Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.
While most people are loving the drama-filled weekly episodes, there's another audience cringing at the "embarrassment" that they say this program puts black women through. Check out Dr. Nsenga K. Burton's article "Why Love & Hip Hop Atlanta Needs to Go" featured on The Root (www.theroot.com), explaining why the show should be taken off the air. I say leave LHHA on the air -- we need this program because the embarrassing situations played out by the characters are not a race issue -- they are however, a HUMAN issue.

All of us, no matter the race, class, religious belief or social ideology -- have been cheated on, lied to, taken someone back after heart ache and betrayal, had or know someone who's had an abortion, and been on the not so pretty side of the relationship coin. This show can easily teach the naive about discernment and deciphering between one's character and one's personality. As LHHA has often displayed, a man or woman can have an awesome personality and have a shitty character and/or set of values. That's why I love this show - it makes us watch and hopefully, learn from their mistakes and misadventures. So, why is this show so painful and embarrassing to watch? Because we can relate to it. We see ourselves in some capacity, or at least know someone who can relate to a person on LHHA. And yes, it is embarrassing to watch these things take place on national television, especially when you see yourself and your mistakes being played out by the players/characters on the show.

Life is but a stage, isn't it? I think that we need this show as a platform to show us how NOT to be, if anything. I can easily see elements of myself in some of the characters and also those of White friends, Asian friends, gay/straight, cute/ugly, wealthy/poor friends, who have all been through similar if not the same situations. They may look, speak, dance, eat and fight (or not) differently than these people, but the common denominator is sex, lies, character flaws and the ups and downs of life. We all go through it.

I personally think that this has nothing to do with the black community -- it goes way beyond that. Hip Hop is a culture that extends beyond race, political beliefs and social class. Hip Hop culture itself is fueled by the misogyny that gallivants its cheating, egotistical ways and rears its ugly head onto ANY media program that relates to the music that is Hip Hop. Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE Hip Hop. Metaphorically, Hip Hop represents the embarrassing relative who constantly promises to do something, but never actually follows through. You learn not to rely on them but to love them for who and what they are, even if they shit on you from time to time - they are fam.

If the viewers watching the show have such a limited world view as to recognize that ALL people who act like this don't necessarily look like the people one the show, then the show isn't the problem. It's the person watching the show that needs some work. Whether it be through education, self reflection, therapy or mentor-ship, it's time for people to start taking responsibility for the way they perceive themselves instead of blaming social problems on television and ENTERTAINMENT. Art imitates life and vice versa -- it's just one big spin cycle rotating with no one to blame but ourselves. LHHA is entertainment as shameless and trifling as it might be. This show is meant to cause higher ratings, not a revolution.