Let’s Ride Out: NYC Subway Edition

Now that I’m in New York by far my favorite part of living in this city is the transportation. I love being able to hop on the train and go where I need or want to and with the help of Hopstop and Googlemap I feel unstoppable.

Among being able to get where I need to go I can always count on a smile being brought to my face while on the train (no matter how hard I try to hold it in). I enjoy reading or may even just be lost in my thoughts, but there is always something worth laughing at whether appropriate or not.

As of right now, I live in the Bronx, off the 6 (yeah, like J.Lo), but I find myself on various other trains bouncing around the city always on an adventure or as somebody always tells me “being ms busybody.”

One of the funniest things on the subway to me are the little boys dancing. I don’t know their official name, but they all do the same little dance routine while old folks look so amazed by their flips, acrobats, and b-boy dance style. It never fails they come on the train (usually a group of three boys) and say “What time is it?” really loud and continue with this slogan that I for one don’t understand as they mumble it really fast.

After my first month here every time I hear and see them setting up for their show I can’t help but chuckle.  One day, literally every train I took a group of boys would come and dance. At the end of every show they always collect money aka donations from passengers.

I’m convinced the trains in New York are a fucking free for all because anything goes in the train station and on the train it seems. Straight ratchetness and fuckery take place on the subway. Everyone comes on there and ask for money.

Someone will randomly start singing a song and then walk back and forth asking for money after. Someone else will do a full stand up comedy skit and then ask for money. Just a bunch of unsolicited talent shows followed by people donating money.

Sadly, people do come on the train poor, homeless, and in need asking for money and food. I feel compassion for them, but the way they get on the train and as soon as the doors close go into their spill about why they need some money tickles me for some reason. The situation isn’t funny, but they all seem to have the same script and that’s what makes it kind of funny.

With all of these donations taking place on the train, the train has the nerve to have a message asking passengers not to give money to people on the train because its illegal. Clearly the passengers don’t listen.

I’ve observed that hispanic men will offer their seat to their women in a minute, but black men (not all but most) will just sit there unless they’re about to get off the train at the next stop. I love it! lol Seriously, like I said its a free for all unless you’re pregnant or disable. I’ve seen toddlers and children standing up holding the pole on the train with their parent. I’ve seen mothers hold their baby on their hip and grab the pole with the other hand. Its bananas.

I would fashion riding the train during rush hour (or when otherwise crowded) to WWE Royal Rumble when it comes to getting on, getting off, and sometimes even getting a seat. There is no ladies first or any of that nonsense, just get your ass on and rush to get a seat if possible. Best believe I caught on quickly(even though I might’ve been on the wrong train at times).

The train has brought me more entertainment than I could ever possibly ask for.  Anything from two strangers about to fight, a woman taking out her hair on the train, drunk “couples” making out, babies crying, blunts being rolled, a sexual escapade being told to the entire train, someone talking about the devil, and the list can go on happens on the New York City train.

Like literally everyday is something new! I get a good hearty laugh every single day its ridiculous.

Back in college we had to take Washington DC’s infamous 70 bus up and down Georgia Ave. and that was interesting. As far as I could remember nothing too crazy happened to me while on there, but my friends always had a crazy story. New York trains are now my 70 bus (for now).  

Am I the only one who finds riding the subway as a source of entertainment? Spill your thoughts, feelings, and stories in the comments.

-TheJournalist25 xoxo

 

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New Journey

Its been a very long time since I’ve posted anything and I miss you, my readers. The last four months have changed me immensely. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, living, and changing.

I’ve grown into who I am more than ever. Most of my life I’ve lived in a space of fear. Fear that I wouldn’t be perfect. Fear that I wouldn’t meet my family’s standards. Fear that I wasn’t good enough. Just fear of everything imaginable. Overall, I feared being myself and tried to be everything to everyone else.

In my life, I’ve shrunk myself to be safe and so others would be comfortable around me (as if being short, big, and black wasn’t enough). I wanted to be invisible in comparison to others. I never wanted too much attention on me and what I was doing.

I realized that what I’ve been trying not to be is exactly what God called me to be.

My birthday was at the end of August and I turned 26 years old. I definitely feel 30 vastly approaching. Its that time of year where I become introspective more than usual about my life and how I’m living it. I looked at where I am and where I want to be. I had to reflect on the past five years and knew I defnitely didn’t want to go down that path for the next five years of my life.

I had to pray to God that I would be true to myself and my dreams, not just this year but for years to come, because shrinking myself has gotten me nowhere near the life I want to live. I have to be responsible for my own happiness, peace, and love.

In the past, I talked a good game, but clearly the fruit I have tells a completely different story about the type of seeds that I’ve sown in my life. They reveal to me that they were sown with fear.

I will tell you that God is awesome and has held me to my prayer since. He has been working greatly in my life (like always). I’ve had my issues lately, but I know that they are just Him pruning me for the season to come. This in fact brings me much joy with every sudden change.

Living a life based on love doesn’t mean things are perfect, but what ever happens I know everything will be alright. When people see you changing for the better they’re not always happy for you or they no longer want you around, but that’s okay too. Fear is what makes you hold on, but truth and love allows you to let go and allow God to replace those rocks with rubies and diamonds.

Anyway, I hope that you are glad that I’m back because I’m glad to be back. I have plenty of things to share with you from the past few months, along with the things I have yet to experience.

Have you gone through a major change recently? Please share any new discoveries (or old) you’ve had about yourself  and life changing moments in the comments. 

-TheJournalist25 xoxo

The Stars Were Aligned For The BET Awards 2012

I truly enjoyed every aspect of the show this year.

I must say it was star studded and truly represented Black Entertainment minus a few people here and there. The event looked classy, despite the causal-ness that hip hop artist can sometimes bring.

Most of the artist who preformed brought their A game and I was very proud of them. Usually I feel like some artist don’t take the BET awards serious and do lack luster performances but Melanie Fiona performed like she would never perform again. This set the bar for the rest of the evening.

Nicki Minaj performed her face off too with 2 Chainz. Beyonce was rockin’ to Bees In The Trap, I had a flashback to the Soldier video watching Bey. lol #thuggin

Whew the BET staff were a fool for bringing back Chante Moore!!! My Gawd she did justice to Donna Summers. Where did she come from though? She looked very rejuvenated and youthful. You Go Girl!

It wouldn’t be right for me to forget D’Angelo showing us he still has it. I really enjoyed seeing him perform after reading that GQ article about a month ago.

The Whitney Houston tribute was phenomenal! Mariah looked great and I enjoyed her speaking about the memories she had with Whitney. She was fighting not to breakdown. The ladies from Waiting to Exhale was a nice bonus also, especially since I love that movie. Monica truly showed her skill in a tremendous way singing I Love The Lord, a song that meant more to Whitney than her biggest hit I Will Always Love You. Monica looked beyond beautiful too. I was on pins and needles unsure that Brandy would be able to deliver vocally, but she made me very proud with her vocals and dance moves. Now if only we can get that on her own music she might be able to sell some albums. Cissy, took me to church and back to the old school. I surprisingly didn’t shed a tear like Soulja Boy and Beyonce.

Speaking of Beyonce… the front row was like watching royalty with Solange and her man Alan Ferguson, Jay and Beyonce, and Kanye with his new addition Kim Kardashian (she looked very uncomfortable and unaware of black culture by the way). Nikki Minaj was next to Kim K. I enjoyed all the different interactions Beyonce had with her husband and sister. She was truly enjoying herself, comfortable being herself, and not just sitting there prim and proper. Afterall, its the BET awards which means family and when you’re around family there is no need to be frontin’.

We see hip hop passing the paton with new artist like Wale and Big Sean both winning an award.

The opening of the show really surprised me. I was not prepared for Mercy to be the opening performance, I love that song. Then, I was extra shocked to see Kanye West come out.

Samuel L. Jackson and Spike Lee rapping their own version of N**** In Paris to open the show was hilarious even though I really couldn’t understand what they were saying, but they clearly enjoyed themselves which made me laugh with them and not so much at them.

Surpise number three came for me when Jay Z came out during West acceptance speech on behalf of The Throne group.

I was a little annoyed by the official announcement that Lauren London will be on The Game, like who cares?! (Maybe its just me) I’d rather here continue to be Shelly on Single Ladies as a regular.

Lala Anthony, was looking a mess. That outfit wasn’t it and her hair looked jacked up. I assume there were some behind the scenes activity that may have played a part in her appearance.

Overall, I was satisfied by the various things that took place July 1, 2012 in the Shrine Auditorium. It was clever, funny, talented and most of all it was Family.

-TheJournalist25

Our Own Worst Enemy

I’m not sure who women are more loyal to, themselves or men. I must say that after reading Ladies and The Hip Hop That Loves To Hate Us by Amanda Seales on Clutch Magazine. I’m inspired to voice my feelings.

The fact is we as women don’t have to allow men to mistreat us but somehow I think we enjoy it. Hip hop music is made these days to cater to us. We buy the records and make artists platinum stars. Yet, we still dance and enjoy the songs that are not flattering to the limited image that media portrays women let alone women of color. Yes, I’m guilty of this too.

Back in 2005, David Banner came out with his song Play and spoke openly about how he needed a song for the ladies in order to so to speak get a hit song. It reached #7 on the Billboard Top 100. He has yet to have a bigger hit since then. There have been plenty of other male artists who didn’t have a hit until they made a female friendly song also. Even something as simple as adding a female vocal to a small part of a song can give it the edge it needs to be a hit.

Even, one of our favorite labels Maybach Music Group (MMG) is famous for its female vocals at the beginning of every song that simply says “Maybach Music.”

Strangely, I see why women get treated the way we do. After reading a few of the comments on Seales story many of the women actually blamed Amanda for her tweet. Wow! The audacity! Is that how you really feel? Women are raising their boys to be men that are bitches themselves. Real men wouldn’t have even acknowledged such a diss.

As someone who likes to tweet sarcastic things from time to time I would hate to think that its okay for a man to literally step to me because of it. I suppose this is why Chris Brown was so easily welcomed back to the scene by fans after beating Rihanna because she deserved it too?!

We rally together about every else, but will justify and make excuses for our men (brother,son, significant other, etc). Women, we are our own worse enemy when it comes to the opposite sex.

-TheJournalist25

Crispy Chicken Wraps In Post Racial America

“What’s in the new chicken wrap?!”

In early April everyone seemed to go crazy about the Burger King commercial with Mary J Blige singing about the new crispy chicken wrap. I actually enjoyed it and thought it was catchy, not to mention she was looking beat in that all black. The media and others went irate about it because they were offended that as a black woman she was singing about “fried chicken”. My girl, Mary, apologized and Burger King pulled the commercial.

As the weeks have gone by Burger King has been releasing more of their commercials promoting their new menu items featuring various other celebrities such as Steven Tyler, David Beckham, Jay Leno, and Salma Hayek (to name a few) and we see that the commercials are intended to be funny. I really, really wish that the African American community wouldn’t have made such a big deal about Mary J. Blige singing about their chicken wraps because now we have no representation of us, even though they are still promoting those wraps and other menu items. Like my mom always says, “you cut your nose to spite your face.”

Racism is just a lot to deal with in the “post-racial” society. I feel like we have to be on edge about everything that can be misconstrued as racism. Are we doing ourselves more harm than good as community this way? Let me know what you think.

-TheJournalist25 xoxo
*singing* “crsipy chicken, fresh lettuce, three cheeses, ranch dressing, wrapped up in a tasty flour tortilla…”

Lent Lessons

I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend.

Now that easter is over so is lent. Yay! I see a lot of people are excited to have completed the forty day fast from their various vices… and so am I. Those last two weeks were a struggle for me. *wipes forehead*

I wanted to share with you what I learned from my particular lent commitment. No, I’m not catholic and although I knew the basic concept of lent this year I was curious about its true purpose and why people are suppose to participate. So, like any person would I took to google for the answers.

After my research I chose something in hopes of it becoming more permanent in my life and that would strengthen my spirituality. I chose to give up television, phone calls/text, and computer use after 8 p.m. everyday. In place of these things I embarked on reading Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren all the way through. I tried several times in the past to read the book in its entirety only to be defeated by day four, but this time things were different.

Purpose Driven Life (for those who don’t know) is a book that teaches you about what you’re place on earth is through five purposes in life as a Christian- believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior= the reason we celebrate easter- and you read one chapter a day for forty days.

I only told maybe two people about my commitment for lent. I felt it was better to keep it to myself as a true test because I could tell all my friends not to call me after eight, but that would’ve been too easy. During the last forty days I’ve learned a lot and wanted to share with you the top three things.

1) It Can Wait Until Tomorrow

Sometimes with all this technology nowadays we feel that we need to be available at all times, even when were sleep, but we really don’t. Most of the time it can wait until the morning. What is more important is clearing your mind and resting it. My thoughts seemed to just be so fluid at night with ideas, what needed to be done the next day, and with my true emotions because there was no pressure to keep up with television dialogue, a constant moving timeline, or the sounds of my phone going off. This allowed me to sleep better too and be rejuvenated in the morning.

2) Sometimes Its Better To Write It Down First

Its good to talk to friends about the different situations in your life, but its even better to write it down in a journal or something first. This allowed me to communicate my thoughts better and be sensible about how I felt because I didn’t have others to validate it or tell me their opinion first. It allowed me to be truly honest and unadulterated with myself. The time also allowed for me to be uninterrupted in my thoughts. I found myself able to tell my friends something instead of questioning them about the issue or not mentioning it to them at all.

3) Willpower is NOT Enough

I read this in the book and it just clicked like a light bulb. So many times I tried to have willpower in fighting against my normal habit when it came to diet, cursing, going to class, etc but this is when an attitude/mindset change from the inside out needs to occur. This is especially true if you’re looking to make permanent changes in your life like I am. The strength is within to change but you also have to apply practical things to replace the old mindset like bible scriptures, quotes, maybe even different people and places that you may frequent. This moves you out of your comfort zone but into a new way of thinking. It can be scary because it isn’t easy, but its worth it.

As mentioned before I learned a lot over the last forty days and I’m sure it will reflect in my future writing and actions.

What did you give up for lent and what did you learn from it? What have you learned from recent changes in your life?

-TheJournalist25

It All Belongs to… Me?

In this day and age of the side chicks #winning and the power couples building, why the hell is Brandy and Monica singing about this foolishness- especially at their age- It All Belongs To Me?

Women are not tricking off on men right now they’re getting tricked on. I mean seriously -__- If you’re giving gifts, extravagant ones at that, as a woman you should be receiving grand gifts in return. Its only right! It helps you to not be bitter when things go south because you have just as many gifts, if not more to take with you.

If you are stupid enough to trick on a dude the way they’re singing about then you might as well let him keep the stuff and call it a lesson learned hunny. Apparently, you have money to blow anyway. #itainttrickinifyougotit

My biggest qualm with this song is that Brandy and Monica are too grown and too classy to even be singing about this silly stuff. Like wtf?!!! I have no time for this seemingly “childish” song. Monica you’re happily married now and Brandy you’re in a happy relationship. #getyourmindright

Monica, you’ve already sung this song back on Makings of Me in 2006. Beyonce did too on Irreplaceable. Why aren’t Brandy and Monica doing a song like the one Monica did with Keyshia Cole a few years back- Trust? Now that would’ve been hotter than this bitter woman sing song they have going on.

I hold them to a higher standard because of the quality music they’ve been known for since I was a little girl. This song is beneath them. Point. Blank. Period.

Why does it all belong to you anyway? Seriously? What message is being sent with this song? Don’t use discernment when dating? Its okay to trick on a man but when you break up take everything back? How can you be mad when you gave it to him? Especially if he never asked for these gifts. Maybe, it all belonging to you caused him to do what he did.

At the end of the day, I believe that we need to learn to let things go. I know were all human and its easier said than done but  it doesn’t benefit us to hold on to the baggage of a failed relationship. Just let it all go! The sooner I move on the sooner the next man can walk in my life. Now that’s what I’m talking about! #bow

Overall, they look fabulous and sound phenomenal, but I can’t get with the lyrics at all, but as we all know the songs you don’t care for gets stuck in your head…. the irony! What are your thoughts on the subject?