September 28, 2011

am I my Brother's keeper?

Yes, I am!

Allow me to introduce Shouty Mack T-Bone big brother. :-)

On this your 39th birthday, I take a moment to express my deepest gratitude for sharing life with someone like you:

1.  Thank you for being the cause of EVERY major beat-down (whoopin') I've endured in my life...due to following you into some doomed from the start scheme.  Thank you for being fearless enough to do dumb stuff to get US in trouble.
2. Thank you for never really beating me up, but instead shaking me til the room was spinning and my brains were scrambled.  You taught me to never give up...cause as soon as I could focus, I was coming after you swinging a broom, chair...something! 
3.  Thank you for being such a great dancer that I had to learn some moves myself  just to keep up with you.  Yo MTV raps BABY!!!  Remember our Kid n Play routine at the house parties?
4.  Thank you for coming to pick me up in your raggedy Subaru from cheerleading practice so I wouldn't have to take the bus.
5.  Thank you for letting me spend the night at your new apartment whenever I wanted after you moved out.  I missed you so much....and I was spoiled.  Pizza!  Donuts!  Nachos! lol
6.  Thank you for being so in tune with me that you knew something was wrong when the pervert (you know who...) was "teaching" me how to drive.  You stayed in the window the whole time we were in the parking lot, watching and ready.
7.  Thank you for breaking me off a few dollars from your fat stack of tips from the Fairmont every time you saw me....and for making a few deposits in my account during my broke college days.
8.  Thank you for finding my silver Barretta, making me buy it BEFORE I even knew how to drive it.  It was a stick.  You always made me feel like I could do anything, even if I didn't believe it.
9.  Thank you for dreaming out loud with me (...."what you gone eat for breakfast on the Amtrak train?").  Remember the full body umbrella that would fly us to school on rainy days...complete with a breakfast of bacon & eggs?
10.  Thank you for staying as long as you could during some tough summers...just so I wouldn't feel too alone.

In all, thank you for being the best big brother a girl could ever wish to have.  To have you as a best friend growing up and now...words cannot express. I'm glad you were born.  Without you, there would be no "manimaisha" word. lol! I love you deeper than the Atlantic, man.....happy birthday, Shouty Mack.  There BETTER be many more! :-)


September 26, 2011

proper planning prevents poor performance!..or something like that.

At one time, I was signed with 3 different talent agencies that had me running like a chicken in heat on my lunch breaks from my 9-5 to auditions.  I did that for about 2 years.  One day, I realized I hated when my cell phone rang, because it was usually an agent...not with a BOOKING, but with yet another audition!  I never felt quite comfortable with the whole audition process...and after a bunch of soul searching I realized it was because I knew I was supposed to be the one BEHIND the desk in the power position.  Someone else telling me I'm "right" or "good enough" or "great" or "perfect" or NOT for a particular role or commercial never sat well with me. So I slowly but surely stopped.  I decided to focus on creating for myself and others instead of chasing behind someone to give me an opportunity.  I'm going the way of Spike Lee & Tyler Perry & Robert Townsend...Ice Cube & Queen Latifah...The Wayans Brothers! Make your own stuff, put yourself in it and let the chips fall where they may.

So when a friend and comrade in the entertainment hustle game called me and said a director that had seen my work (and loved it) asked for my contact info because she wanted me to audition for a Boost Mobile commercial she's working on, my heart went piter pat for more than one reason.  First of all, I've already stated I HATE auditions...but I love to act.  Secondly, once I received the breakdown for the 3 ads, to my dismay, one of them had SWIMSUIT as the wardrobe.  This particular ad will be shot on a beach...2 lovers running toward each other style.  Ok.  Nervous excitement instantly turned to disappointment and even...dare I say, DREAD. 

I have never been a go-to-the-gym type girl.  I've stayed relatively the same size most of my life by being NATURALLY active (i.e. taking the stairs between floors @ work instead of the elevator, speed walking to and from the train...the speed part mainly because I'm usually running real close to late).  Besides a dance class here and there, the closest I've come to a disciplined workout is getting my behind on my living room floor and doing the same crunch/leg lift/straddle stretch routine I've been doing since my cheerleading days in high school.  But for the last few months, I've been slacking on even that.  And the large pepperoni pizza  that I devoured over the prior few days didn't help.  Hey....what can I say, I had a coupon. (BTW - Delish! Plug for Geppetto's Pizzeria!)

So the day before I get this call about the Boost commercial, I start getting real antsy about my laziness and my cheese and dough stuffed belly.  I got back to it...the crunch/leg lift/straddle stretch routine.  Even pulled out my trusty 5 lb weights.  But one day of working out would not be sufficient for me to switch myself into an audition wearing a two piece!  A friend of mine said I should still go...that I have a nice body etc.  But I know I'm not in the best shape that I could be.  My confidence would be shot.  Couple that with the natural actor's nerves....recipe for disaster!  I'd rather leave the positive image the director currently has of me firmly cemented....til the next opportunity.

One thing's for sure, I now know the meaning of  "Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance".  Oh well, lesson learned.  Sigh.

bite of the day ~  You never know when opportunity will come knocking. Stay ready.



September 8, 2011

note to self

If I haven't mentioned it before, I am IN LOVE with books.  The real things...filled with pages that actually have to be turned with your fingers, not scrolled through.  Needless to say, I am going through serious withdrawal with the closing of most of the major brick & mortar bookstores.  So last week, I hit yet another Border's that was plastered with big yellow and black discounted signs.  Problem is prices are still not rock bottom but the pickings are already getting slim.  So when I came across Note to Self by Andrea Buchanan, it didn't take long for me to snap it up as the title screamed at me, especially in my present state.  Plus it was 40% off. :-)

The stories are inspirational, as should be expected, but they also reiterated something I've known for a while now.  A good majority of the pain that we as women endure is due to our love of a man...or more than one...perhaps even at the same time .  Many of us pour ourselves all into a man or our relationships for the love of that man....and the need of that love in return.  And my God, if we actually do or at least believe that we are loved deeply, there is almost nothing that we would not endure for that man.  Problem is, there are men out there that do not know what to do with that level of love and commitment.  And if given to this "unready" and, dare I say, "undeserving" man...hardship, humiliation and heartbreak is sure to follow.  One story in particular really made me think about my choices for my life and relationships. 

A woman, who is now 70 years old, married the love of her life at the age of 50, after being in what turned out to be a dead-end marriage for over a decade.  This new love that she found opened up her world to so many positive things, places and people.  Experiences she had only dreamed of.  I mean, she was simply brimming over with the MUTUAL love of this man.  Neither of them was perfect....but IT was perfect.  One day, she received a letter from an insurance company, as her husband was in the process of purchasing additional life insurance.  She opened it to find out that he had been denied because he was HIV positive.  Sigh.

Shock on all ends followed, with an explanation from him that he must have contracted it from a prostitute that he regularly had sex with on his frequent business trips to the West Coast.  She decided not to address the infidelity as it was futile at that moment...apparently.  Long story short, she was found to be infected too... but instead of becoming angry and bitter towards her man, she showered him with unconditional love, and while battling the disease herself, took care of him AND kept his secret, per his request.  Shortly after he died, she discovered he had been in a long term HOMOSEXUAL relationship with a man who had died in 1986.  So her precious love, who she had thought would never PURPOSELY put her at risk...who she never blamed for her infection, had in fact lied and deceived her in the worst way.  Gay sex.  Unprotected gay sex.  Then home to the waiting loving wife for more....unprotected sex.  There wasn't even a deathbed confession. Sigh again.

bite of the day ~ LOVE HARD, with all the passion and openness your dear heart can muster.  But please love and protect yourself just as hard...and with eyes wide open.  God help us.


September 7, 2011

dear GOD.

the days are getting darker and cloudier....and rainy.  the storms are coming.  the wind is blowing.  i feel chilly already.  please help me keep the sun shining in my heart.  let the inner light keep me bright and hopeful...even as my outer world changes. joy. happiness.  peace.


dear YOU.

as i get older, i understand why "the old folks" used to say "just keep on living".  this was usually in response to trying to share some wisdom or calm a young & dumb moment down.  i understand the preciousness of that

 i came across the raw footage of my wedding last night, and for some reason, decided to watch a bit of it.  i wanted to see if i was really as calm as i sure of my decision as i remember.  i was.  but i also saw so many out of order things that was a foreshadowing of the storms ahead.  my father-in-law (r.i.p.) who, when asked to say something to us on camera, was really the only one who seriously alluded to darker days ahead.  in the midst of the laughter, joy (for some) and light....he looked into the camera with gleaming eyes and said "I just hope they have a good life....".  he paused for a thoughtful moment and then went into how we will have to fight through the storms that were sure to come.  little did i know, the tsunami, tornado & hurricane were already at the door...knocking steadily and hard.  SELAH.

bite of the day ~ sometimes looking back can take you forward.  move forward.