#MusicIsLife: @Zo3hree5ive & @Syberspace at @TheShrineChi in #Chicago

so almost two five months ago now, i went to see two members of the foreign exchange fam: zo! & sy smith. the show was amazing, as one would expect from these two (and it was FREE!) they performed a mix of songs from zo!’s latest projects, sunstorm & …just visiting, three as well as some of sy’s classics and highlights from her new project fast and curious.

hey, girls, hey!

also, @elledub_1920 was in town visiting, so i got to hang out with her & a couple other friends, so a great night was had by all!

there were several openers… but i apparently chose to reserve my photos for later.

1) we won’t talk about the extremely short guy (no shade) who was rapping over himself – well, when he wasn’t rapping over classic hip hop songs (shade).

2) but i don’t mind talking about the nerdy cute host, @GY312! he’s so bubbly & nerdy & cute. (hey, boy, hey!)

3) there was also this hip hop duo whose name i don’t remember because the show was forever ago (i know, i’m pitiful; blame school & surgery). they were definitely on point (and also cute!)

wait for it…

4) my fave opener was this jawn named obi soulstar. let me tell you… this man did a cover of me’shell’s love you down that was fantastic! he performed barefoot, showing off his fancy black nail polish. i fully supported this, despite my hatred for feet.

bwah yew luk gud won’tcha back dat azz up!

i gotta admit: he was cute, but a lil scary. like, he’d fuck yo’ mental AWLAWAY up. no sir!

but his sounds were nice & i enjoyed the view!

and i appreciate that he took us ‘home’ w/ a song dedicated to nigeria.

 

 

 

 

 

and then the main show started! let me just tell y’all:

I. LOVE. ZO!

this man’s production skills & talent on [insert ridiculous number of instruments] are one of a kind. i can spot a zo! project almost immediately as the song begins. and then he’s just the kindest, most humble person, so what’s not to love?* the show was about a week after i got hit by that truck, so yeah, i was hella glad to be there.

</gushing>

yeah, sheFAHN, too.**

#confession: i had been sleeping on sy smith until late 2011. i’d seen her w/ FE+ when they came to baltimore for the authenticity tour. and i saw her when she opened for n’dambi at uhall in dc. and i was like, “oh, she’s hot!” i’m not entirely sure what the hell happened (i was probably broke & then caught up in a bout of senility), but after my trusty FE+ pandora station called me out, i finally got with the program, lol. at any rate, i feel so rude for missing out on sy’s music for so long! Of course now, she stays in heavy rotation. ^_^

anyhoo, when zo & sy took the stage they promptly took me to another place (the telltale sign of great music). naturally, i took a ton of photos. i also took a few videos, but i used the evo & that just turned out terribly. so, since i’ve been writing this post for a few months now, i’ll just let y’all enjoy the gallery. :)

before you go, please support good music (and an impoverished grad student): buy zo! & sy’s music using the links provided here: zo! ♦ sy smith ♦ the foreign exchange. of course, they’re also available on iTunes: zo! ♦ sy smith ♦ the foreign exchange.

*okay, yes, heFAHN, too. but he’s married, so i’m team smack-a-ho, if need be.
**sy is also wed. see above.

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intro to #cancer by @sfreynolds

so this is my first time using storify. i like that you can add commentary betwixt the tweets; makes it easy for me to heckle without having to be up at the buttcrack of dawn!

 

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so long, #gemini season…

i’m very sad. between surgery & school, i missed my entire birthday season. sure, i had an awesome cookout with my cohort & a couple friends, but yeah… at any rate, i decided that, with this new blog, i’d include my astrologer’s monthly lessons on the signs. think of it as a new year, according to my life cycle. ^_^ consider this post marks the first month of the year. enjoy!

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for the love of bey…

so i was playin’ around on tumblr for a few minutes at work today (instead of workin’ on my lit review) & ran across a piece peebz shared. reading that, of course, led to me clicking on another article on her site. it’s about beyoncé stans &  i just had to share this with y’all, ‘cuz i agree with it oh so very much.*

original image source: http://ow.ly/bDFL6

i have to admit, i didn’t always like beyoncé, but over the years, i’ve come to appreciate her work. and damnit, if she ain’t the hardest workin’ woman in showbiz. but her stans? they’re scary as fuck. these people take pride in spending their life defending someone who, quite frankly, needs no defending. they threaten -literally threaten– people for saying they’re not fawning over the most asinine of beythings. remember how they pounced on lalah hathaway for this?


(this is when lalah complimented bey on her work with the beat for girls). and most recently, their attack on dream hampton’s daughter cost twitter one of our great blessings?

while bey is certainly not the only celeb with such a following, i’m 99.9987% sure hers is the most intense. anyhoo, peebz did a much better job at addressing this & the point of me writing this post was to share it with you. here’s my fave part:

You need to put a stop to this. I think if YOU spoke out against this, they would listen. They claim to be a “hive”. You are the Queen. The Queen Bey. They have to listen to you or else they contradict their entire movement. Make them prove their TRUE loyalty to you, Beyonce. Maybe you could make a YouTube video to your overly aggressive fans telling them to behave better that includes some role playing as to demonstrate what exactly you would do if someone made disparaging remarks to you. If you do that, be sure to use your Serious Voice or else they’ll think you’re just kidding when I think you both can agree that this is NO LAUGHING MATTER. I think that would work. I know for a fact that all your Stans enjoy videos. Another option for spreading this message of representing you well could be writing a letter and have bloggers post it for you.

i’d totally post that letter if bey wrote one. anyhoo, peebz’ full post is an oldie, but a goodie click yourself on over to read.

*i started writing this jawn at like, 4:30pm. all hell promptly broke loose just as i started searching for an image to wrap up the post. smh…

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eric roberson (6/22) & lalah hathaway (6/29) in #chicago!

 

you know what’s lame? i *still* have never seen eric roberson live. except when he sang his verse at zo!’s album release party. and i’m about to miss him again (unless i get a sponsor!). but you shouldn’t! click the flyer to buy tix ($20 general admission).

 

 

 

you know who else i’ve never seen live? lalah hathaway & all her fineness. don’t be like me; click her face & gitchoself a ticket to the house of blues – $30 in advance, $35 day of.

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glad to be born during #blackmusicmonth

welcome to the inaugural post on musings of a gemini! i turned 31 at 9:51am (savannah time), so i thought it only fitting to launch on this day. you’re welcome!*

i don’t have anything really deep to say here, but i think it’s kismet that the universe saw fit to bring me here during this month – 2 years & 3 days after president carter christened it (warning: autoplay – somebody please tell black enterprise to stop that.) it may be hard to tell sometimes, as of late (stupid school!), but i really do love music so very much. that said,  i’m sharing my favorite sites for black music to help you gain insight into how my heart beats:

  • soul sanctuary – “where the spirit dwells.” 
    • note: i’m a lil biased because my mentor/rock, stef renee, is the founder. but she taught teaches me most of what i know. stay close to stef; she’s always putting people on to great stuff with her weekly podcasts! plus, stef is always crafting some awesome “vidjo” focusing on an aspect of music, music history, concerts, etc.
  • this is real music – free. downloads. 
    • do i really need to say anything more? go on, get lost for a few weeks; i’ll still be here. (note: their listen, watch, & download pages do have autoplay, but it makes sense here.)
  • soulbounce – never miss what you’re looking for. no, seriously.soulbounce
    • talk about getting put on to the best artists you never heard of! not to ignore mainstream folks, either, this crew is always on point with daily reviews, show updates (including ticket giveaways), hot downloads, and witty conversation.
  • okayplayer – these are the folks who bring you events like the roots picnic, etc. 
    • i’ve been hooked in with them since i punked out of applying for an internship while i was in college. great reviews, latest info on your favorite artists, deets on upcoming shows, clues to the mystery that is d’angelo, & ?uestlove’s afro.
  • the foreign exchange music – music fo’ yo’ lahf. (english: music for your life.)+fe music
    • yes, that’s what i said. this duo (and extended fam) gets a special mention on here because they have had the most drastic impact on my spirit. it was totally unexpected & i don’t joke about these things. yes, i’m playing all KINDS of favorites here. i admittedly just learned about them a couple of years ago, but it’s really that deep. buy direct from them (most often for less than traditional sites) & help these amazing artists get more of their earnings. and the site has select music available for free.

so, that’s my meager, introductory ode to black music month. i’m hoping to make it out to the eric roberson & lalah hathaway shows later in the month so that i can write some reviews. i’m a student without rent money for july, so sponsors are welcome & will definitely get much love here & on twitter. :)

 

*yes, i know there are previous posts on here; i decided to move my old wordpress.com blog to this site. and i rambled a bit pre-launch. i will discuss much more than music here; check out the menu for topics.

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another blog?

yes, damnit, another blog. my ‘about’ page is forthcoming, but suffice it to say for now that i needed a safe space to express myself outside of academia. i originally took the stance that my main blog existed to share all of my pursuits, but i found that i was holding a lot back because i felt that the mix was either inappropriate or too confusing.

i’ve long admired people’s ability to maintain social lives, full-time jobs, and/or families while they pursue full-time graduate studies, but could not fathom that for myself. at. all. blame it on my upcoming birthday (june 10th!), but i felt like it was time for me to at least take a stab at it. and then today i met someone who’s doing school (albeit part-time), working, and getting started on her acting career. at the same time. O_O i know i’m not these other people, but i’m also not as uncoordinated as i let on. in short, since i’m so easily distracted, i #minuswell be distracted by the things that matter most to me.

welcome to my experiment!

stay tuned, fam…

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hey, boo, hey…

so yeah, i’ll be movin’ thangs from http://timam.wordpress.com over to this url soon enough. in the meantime, hang wit meh on teh twittuh. ~> @musingsofgemini.

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Long Time No Write!

I didn’t realize I had neglected my personal blog for this long (let’s not talk about how I have three draft posts dating back to the end of March, lol)! School and health issues have really been kicking my ass. But since I have people in my #menchins asking wtf I’m talmbout, I figured it’s time for a bulleted update, followed my a revelation I had a couple of weeks ago.

  • Rock the Red Pump was hella fun (see photos here & here)! My bff & I got free drinks from a guy who I think was named Chris (maybe?). It wasnothing lascivious; he was just genuinely being nice! That has NEVER happened to me before… it really does make a girl feel good. :)
    OH! and my bff met Kim Coles in the bathroom. She *literally* jumped & hollered, LMAO!!! And you know Kim, she was all, “woo, woo, woo!” We got pics with her later (yeah, I’m behind on posting things; backed up since Feb). And one of my girls from DC was here for the event, so we got to hang with her, too! Anyhoo, this is what I ended up wearing ~>
  • I ended up back in the ER on April 12th, thinking my cyst was bursting. I sat in the lobby for 4 hours, high on vicodin, only to be told the hospital wasn’t going to be able to help me b/c the ultrasound folks had gone home already. At 4:30 in the afternoon on a Thursday (apparently they leave at 3 or so). So basically, it’s a great thing the cyst *wasn’t* bursting, ‘cuz I woulda died. But I didn’t, so there’s that, lol.
    Fortunately, I already had an ultrasound scheduled for the following Monday, so they argued w/ me about a pregnancy test, threatening not to give me a vicodin Rx if I didn’t take it (their urine dips are almost $250). I told them I had plenty of vicodin at home to get through the weekend and then some. It took another hour to get released. Utter BS.
    I got to my doc & learned that the cyst had increased to the same size it was back in November, so she officially diagnosed me with endometriosis & ordered surgery. I had figured as much by then. I wanted to wait until after classes ended in June, but after a two weeks of being unable to poop, I got worried & decided to bump things up. (My grandmother died of a “bowel obstruction” at age 33. This is not normal. We now think it was endometriosis.)
  • Ph.D. advising drama ensued throughout much of May. smh… Upon review of the post, I realized it needs some editing that I don’t have time for, so I made it private for the time being. Let’s suffice it to say that my advisor was not very helpful (apparently this is common in doctoral programs), so I did my entire plan by myself. While I do appreciate that it forced me to think about what exactly it is I’m doing, it really would have been nice to have had a) a reminder – many of us missed the mass email that came out months earlier; b) known that half of it was due in March – no notices were given about that one; & c) help with the planning. With that last bit, I might have perhaps completed the in a few days, rather than a few weeks. Right before surgery. While I was trying to keep up with classes & not keel over. Yeah, I’m bitching a lil bit, lol.
  • In the midst of all that, I decided to take incompletes in all my classes so that I could have time to heal & write some decent papers. That was like, the most awesomest decision ever. My advisor was really smart in telling me to go for July 1, instead of June 15 (I bitch, but it’s not like he’s a total idiot or anything, lol). Of course, since I technically have the whole summer, I wish I’d given myself more time. At the same time, I wanna be done already. Yet I sit here blogging at 1:30am. I need to do better about planning my self-care time (blogging counts as part of that).
  • Surgery was May 17th and it was successful! The doctor got the cyst out with no problems & cleaned up everything she could. The trouble is that endometriosis is plastered all over my abdomen – every organ, even my diaphragm! (LAWD don’t take mah sangkin’ muskull!) Doc says I have stage IV endeometriosis & that the scarring is so bad my colon is fused to my uterus & cul-de-sac. Yay! (I do have pics, but they’re kind of gross & I realize some of you barely put up with my swearing, lol. I’m glad you stick around, so I won’t post ’em. Anyone who really wants to know can google images.) There is also a new cyst forming on my actual uterus. Moar yay! This doc isn’t comfortable operating on organs (it’s really risky) & she says I’m probably not a good candidate for colon surgery, but admits that she’s not an expert in that area. Fortunately, Mama J is more of a nerd than I am, so by the time I woke up in post-op, she had already found this guy who seems really awesome.

(This post is getting hella long, isn’t it? I promise y’all, I do keep trying to be short.)

  • I also decided to downsize my living arrangement so that I can rid my life of excess and save money to pay all these bills that are piling up. I looked the only place available. It’s above a restaurant, so there are mice. And the restaurant would be moving out as I moved in, thus shaking up the mouse situation. 

source: tbs screenshot (lol & thank you to whoever uploaded this!)

  •  A week after surgery, I gave two lectures (in the same day – rescheduling was a no-go). My 1st class had been bumped up by an hour (8am is such an evil time of day). I had ordered private transport (we get that free via the disability office!) Mama J said I missed it; I say it never came. Either way, I ended up on the illegally crowded regular bus. Fortunately, two of my classmates were also on it & one gave me his seat. I rocked both lectures. o/ I was also reminded that talking forces you to swallow lots of air. Not fun when you’re still trying to get rid of all the air they pumped into your belly to operate on you, lol! But again, I kicked ass, so I treated myself to doing nothing for the rest of the night. It was awesome. :)
  • I had a job interview for an awesome opportunity to mentor high school students apprenticing as research assistants. I might have to give up my summer writing class, but it’s offered every term, so I might just tack it on to Fall quarter if I can’t take it this summer. That’s not the ideal situation but a) I want to do research & b) I need to pay rent. I find out whether I’ve been hired next week & will start in two weeks if I am! (See why I should’ve given myself more time on finishing those incompletes?)
  • That guy who seemed awesome? I finally reached out to him tonight (Friday, June 1). At 10:08pm, asking if he’d take a look at my pics & records. He wrote me back at 12:10am (11pm Utah time) saying yes, he would. And then he recommended two doctors in Milwaukee ‘cuz they’re closer. He’s already won me over.

So, this was more epic than I thought it would be. Lemme make this last part as concise as possible…

Prepping for surgery got me to thinking about my mortality. Not that I haven’t thought about it before – I think about it quite a lot, actually. [insert rambling about the precarious nature of the cyst, risks of surgery, and things of that nature.] I’ve never been afraid of dying – at least not as far back as I can remember. I’ve always figured, if the afterlife is supposed to be so much better than life here on Earth, why should I be afraid to pass on? However, I do have two concerns about death:

(1) I don’t want to die tragically or painfully

(2) I don’t wanna leave a mess for other people to deal with while I’m gone

[insert rant about having to juggle school & surgery prep, including legal considerations.] 

[insert rambling about what Freudians would say about me starting window box gardens just as thinking about death becomes a bigger concern in my life.]

After surgery, I came to a new understanding of (my) life:

the purpose is to have fun & help other people also have fun.

None of this is really any different from what I’ve declared in the past, but I think it’s a broader perspective on it.

And no, I wouldn’t say that pursuing a Ph.D. is anyone’s definition of “fun” (although I’m sure there is someone out there who thinks it is). However, this educational struggle is a means to the end of helping young people advocate for the support that will allow them to enjoy this life they’ve been given. So basically, if I’m gonna be here, I’m gonna make the most of my life & work to enjoy doing so as much as possible.* Of course, this does mean I need to stop taking myself so damned seriously…

*h/t Detavio

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What to Wear?

so i’m attending the #rocktheredpump fashion show on saturday. i’m über-excited and rather nervous.

I CAN’T DECIDE WHAT TO WEAR!!!

(once upon a time i had AMAZING fashion sense. now, not so much.)

i had this really cute idea to find some skinny jeans & rock the philly cuff (which apparently isn’t just a philly thing and is also very much still in style). sadly, a) skinny jeans, LOLOLOL!!! & b) i couldn’t find any. no, i didn’t look extensively; i wasn’t about to pay a shit ton of money for this look.

so i decided to go with a classic black & white + red shoe look. i was all fine with that, until i got bored with it. then i decided to wear my tahari “too-dressy-to-actually-BE-denim” skirtsuit w/ a tan shirt. i was cool with that, until i realized it was a suit. i mean, i LOVE suits, but i felt the occasion called for something else (i honestly have no idea and may end up wearing a suit anyway).

i had a storm of ideas while i was out running errands today. (some of) this is what came of it. some of these outfits are the product of me just playing in my closet. as you can see, i seriously need help. i may just end up in a suit or that black & white outfit, at the end of it all, but suggestions are welcome. (sn: i know some of you get paid to dress people. that’s awesome. no disrespect to your hustle; if i had it, i’d hire you!)

a few important things:

  1. i know my hair is on some superduper sahara-dry struggle right now & i’m not sure why. i eventually got sick of trying to make it look presentable. given its current thirst level, i’m probably gonna end up doing some sort of protective cornrow/twist style instead of the fro.
  2. no, i’m not smiling in any of the pics. trying on clothes is exhausting!
  3. i’m not sure why i’m stuck on wearing red clothing to go w/ the shoes. however, i do realize that red tank top is not the same color as my shoes. i’m not sure what to do about that, ‘cuz i’m not really interested in shopping for a new one. i do have black, white, purple, gray, & navy as other options.
  4. now that i’ve finally finished this post, i’m not so sure any of these is a good option. but i’m tired & it’s written now. and my blog is missing updates. so there we are.

without further ado…

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