Friday, November 13, 2009

New Growth

Call it growing up or whatever! In April of this year, I decided to start the transformation into womanhood. Maybe this process started automatically for me, or perhaps I just finally acknowledged it was happening. I’m not quite sure which came first, but it just kinda happened all of a sudden. One day I woke up and all the lights were off. So I cut them all on and saw myself in a new light, and I started with my hair. I didn’t just decide to no longer relax my hair… no, I decided at that point I needed to groom myself. So I cut about 6 inches off into a funky fresh cut. Now, I am transitioning into a natural hairstyle, the hard way. Along with allowing my true natural curly coif free, I decided to unleash my spiritual side as well. Together, with my bible and my comb I have maneuvered through six months of growing my relaxer out, and pruning myself spiritually. And it has been crazy fun ever since!

It’s like swimming upstream or against the current. You have to use a lot of muscle and strength to get upstream with a downward flowing current. Well I decided to take the challenge and plan on continuing it through! Six more months to go and I shall be relaxer free! At six months, I am in the pseudo stage. Half relaxed and half curly. Kinda like where I am in life, half relaxed, and half jumping with excitement at the new possibilities. Not only did I let go off my fears and frustrations with keeping up with the ladies in the Dark and Lovely commercials, but I welcomed new challenges and some tough terrain in both my hair care and in my life. I didn’t actually plan my life changes to coincide with my hair changes, perhaps it’s a default factor, but whatever the case I decided to start with the stuff on top of my head. But just like with my spiritual growth, I am willing to go through the rough days in order to see the end result, which I know will be positive!

Everything ain't for everybody. Going natural can be a rollercoaster of hair emotion, and it takes patience to teach yourself how to work with your hair texture. I'm not even gonna front like it's a piece of cake. I've had major moments of hair frustration, especially since I am in my early days of transitioning. Spiritually, it's been wonderful. Growing in the Spirit has allowed a breath of fresh air into my life where staleness and stagnation was all around me. But it too has come with challenges. Friendships have been lost, relationships cut off, I can't always go where I once went, or do the things I once used to do. But there is joy in sacrifice! For I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! I actually never left God. I just told him I would brb.... I am no stranger to his wonderful works, but now I allow Him to order my steps.

It’s been six months since that wonderful day in April. April 9, 2009. But nothing is without sacrifice. If it is something you love you are willing to give it up for a better reward. Healthier hair and healthier mind, body and spirit are my goals. To get there I have given up a lot of extracurricular activities that I thought would distract me from my goals. Now I have clearer thinking and able to make better decisions because my distractions are limited. A new me has arisen. I have grown mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Very few see me now adays, a very few people get to know the woman I have become. Like the kinks in my hair I am have an unruly side of me that continues to strengthen and lengthen day by day.

UPDATE: so this weekend, Saturday October 31, 2009 I decided to do my version of the big chop. I cut off all the permed/relaxed ends of my hair and now I have all new growth. My hair is soft and very curly. It's afro curly and I absolutely love it. Thanks to all the ladies and gents who supported me through this transition period. I truly feel liberated and free :) So anyone with tips, styles, or ideas feel free to hit me up!

To Love I Bid Thee Adieu

To Love, I Bid Thee Adieu,

I guessed I always assumed I would live life like a fairy tale. I would get swept up by prince charming and we would both fall passionately in love and live happily ever after in a beautiful house with 2.5 kids, a dog, two cars, and an in-house Jacuzzi. But on the cusp of 25, I am starting to realize that love is a journey of two souls and by no means a fairy tale! Matter of fact, if anything love is a tragic satire in which you are the victim and love gets the last laugh. So you may be thinking, sheesh shea, that is a negative way of looking at things, and perhaps in your perfect universe it may be. But from my own personal experiences with love, love don't live here anymore.

I don’t hate love. Or hate others in love. In fact I celebrate those who share something as special as love. It takes a strong soul to find love and keep love. However, I am unwelcoming to love at this time. To Love I Bid Thee Adieu.

I don’t particularly blame others for my lack-luster love life, I have enjoyed my 25 years so far and look forward to spending many more years getting to know myself but I often look back to my first love and wonder what would have happened if I could change it all? Do I regret the path I have chosen? I have some regrets, but for the most it's been great.

Love isn’t a game or something you can win on strategy alone. Love takes sacrifice and compassion. Love takes compromise and the willingness to accept someone just as they are. Perhaps I am not ready to accept others as they are. Perhaps I am not willing to accept myself as I am? But what can I bring to love's table? What am I willing to give up? Am I willing to learn compassion? Can I too give love! I love myself, God, and I love my community. I want to be reminded that I too am beautiful within. To Love I Bid Thee Adieu.

Perhaps I am still waiting for my knight on horseback to come along and sweep me off my feet and together we will share passionate kisses, 2.5 kids, a 2-car garage, a house with a picket fence, and a dog. Perhaps I am waiting for my king to ask for my hand in marriage and he already have a castle waiting for me, complete with a crown of gold awaiting my head. I will get ballroom dancing lessons and lessons in other languages, because to him money is no option. Perhaps I am waiting for my carpenter who will fashion for me a quiet house in the country and together we will live happily ever after just the two of us. Perhaps I am waiting on myself to get myself together so I will know it is him whenever he walks into my life. I dream of us together, of his kisses and of his touch. I dream of all the things that would make me fall in love. I dream of his scent and his smile and hopes that one day he will recognize all that I desire to share with him. I dream for so long that I fantasize about it. Then I tell myself not to dream anymore because dreams aren’t reality but only the desires of the mind. My heart weeps for the love I desire. I dream during the day and late into the night that… but time and time again I wake up to nothing so To Love I Bid Thee Adieu.


Dear Black Man: Part Two, Mythical Creatures and so on...

The truth of the matter is that women are from Venus and men are from Mars, and the world would be a better place if it wasn’t for some of you. Now, I am not going to point fingers or call anyone out, but some of you men need to grow up. Some of you men have a superficial superiority complex. In laymens terms, you think you are all that in a bag of chips. But just as easily as I thanked you, Ima let you know I am still as disappointed.... in all of you.

I am specifically talking today to the group of men who I like to call mythical creatures, black men. Long gone are the days when most black men cherished, appreciated, and valued and independent strong black woman. Here to stay it seems like we have an influx of black men who undervalue and who are unappreciative of a strong black woman or as I like to state, there are mythical creatures amongst us.

I can’t tell a black man how to be a black man in today’s society. But I can tell you how I feel about our black men in our society. Guys, I am disappointed. I am flat out disappointed in the fact that you not only have let your children and your families down, but you have let yourself down! This goes for all black men from the executive level on down to young boys. You all continue to let us women down! EVERY LAST ONE OF YOU! Because what you fail to realize is that all it takes is one, JUST ONE, and ALL OF YOUR REPUTATIONS ARE FINITO.

And you have the nerve to wonder why we black women are so angry at you all the time? How about you mythical creatures start acting like a real man and take care of your responsibilities and actions.

Many of you all have no clue what you are supposed to do as a man because you don’t have a father or a father-figure around to show you. Your father was just as less of a man as you are today, and unfortunately he passed those genes down to you. Perhaps if he had stuck around instead of sowing his seeds around town you would have turned out to be a better person. Yeah, I said it. I said it because I am super frustrated at these soft-ass ‘homo’ guys wearing super tight jeans, these weak minded men who want women to do everything for them, these wanna-be controlling MFers trying to compensate for lack of self esteem by “putting women in their place,” and these super hard dudes that expect a woman to cater to his every need. This is 2009 son! Ima get mine and I expect you to get yours! I am coming to the table with my ish together, why shouldn’t you? As a woman I expect more from my black brothers than anyone else and you continue to let us down.

Fellas, the ones who are doing good, why don’t you reach back into your community more often and help those ignorant MFers you call your friends to become a man. You know who they are. They hang out with you on the regular. I am sure every guy on FB knows at least one guy who isn’t taking care of his responsibilities, yet you continue to hang with him. Why is it a problem that you are so busy being executive vice president and chasing a glass ceiling that you forget it’s a buncha boys who look like you on the corner selling crack. I’m talking to the suburban guys who never set foot in the hood and those who rough it on the streets. Have a conversation with each other and stop tryna be so daggone hard. The root word in gentleman is gentle. Have you all forgotten how to love? How to be respectful to women? How to converse?

NO wonder it’s a bunch of confused little boys running around now adays. With so many black men incarserated and so many black men ignoring these young boys crying out for help, its no wonder we aren't raising better sons. Perhaps if some of you were there for the delivery of yoru child or to establish joint parental guidence we wouldn't have such an issue wayward kids. These kids you are making are our future generations. A future that is your duty to help raise them! Instead you’d rather play Madden or chase your own personal dreams. Madden doesn’t put food on the table and Madden doesn’t pay the doctor bills. What I am saying is that it’s not about you, per say but its about the bigger picture. These boys out here need examples of what real men say and do. Maybe there should be some real men to show them. If not, those are going to be the men your daughters and sisters are going to date one day.

My point is men, you are not a mythical creature. You are a black man living in a society that is designed for you to fail. Instead of seeking higher aspirations many of you flunder and you fail. Those of you who are successful often turn a blind eye when you too could help out our future generations. You say you are looking for real women, but when you have one, you let her go. You have no respect for yourself, your women, nor your community. When are you going to stop allowing society to make an example out of you? The system is designed to set you up, so why even set yourself up to be caught? When are you going to grow up and start making better decisions? Can you stop acting like boys and be men?

Now I must say perhaps you all could do us all a favor and do something good and positive and stay out of trouble. Thanks!


Dear Black Man: Part One, Thank You

Dear Black Man,

Today I want to take the time to appreciate the black men in my life. Thank you so much for being positive representations of strong black men. Even when you all get on my everlasting nerves there is nothing like a black men. I love black men and everything they represent. Even though many of you get a bad rep (some of you deserve it), I still think there is nothing more special than a black man who is going places!! For those of you who are making something of yourselves, not subjecting yourself to stereotypes, educating yourself, uplifting your fellow black sisters, and are making business moves this note is for you. Thank you for encouraging me and always being in my corner.

The Way You Walk! Sleepy Brown sang “I Like the Way You Move” on the OutKast Speakerboxx album. Even though he was referring to us ladies, the same holds true to black men. There is nothing like a confident, swaggerific (yeah I had to say it) stroll to make a woman turn her head. Mix that with some (non-overpowering) cologne and you got black women all over you like an axe commercial. Just make sure you pull your pants up. And talk about dancing. Ladies I know you know you are checking out his footwork from his two step to his poppin and locking.

That Smile. Ladies, am I wrong in saying this, but when a brotha cracks a smile, we kinda get caught off guard? Is it just me? C'mon, when a black man smiles you cannot help but enjoy it! There’s something about most black men and those dimples and how his eyes light up when he’s smiling or laughing. WHOOOO girl! I know it just about does it for me. There’s something about that boyish devilish grin that will melt your heart and have you out of your panties by the time those eyes work its way down and around your curves. You ladies know what I am talking about! And those lips. Wait let me regain my composure. I am at work :)

The Way It Is. You know ladies we could take a lesson from these brothas and just tell it like it is. We should adopt a no nonsense approach to life. For those who grew up with daddies in the house, for most of us what daddy said was the law! He may be wrong, but he has you hanging onto every word and you believe in him. That was just the way it was. Still even today I appreciate it when a man's word is his bond. What you see is what you get. Ain't no flippin scrips or game changing in the ninth inning.

I love a brother’s ability to infuse a few terms from around the way along with Webster’s finest. When street smarts meet book smarts and common sense, now that’s real education. When a black man speaks he is able to capture the attention of many. They don’t speak often so when they do take heed and listen.

Loves himself some black women. You know, this may not only be an attribute but a flaw as well. But there is nothing like a black man that loves a black woman and doesn’t mind showing her off from time to time. Yup. I said it! He knows what he has is worth more weight than gold and can’t wait to enjoy himself with an equal black sista like himself. He is proud of his heritage and his legacy. I know I don’t mind if a Black man takes another woman’s call in front of us, as long as it ends with “Love you too, mama.” The way a man treats his mother is definitely a sign on how he views women, and Black men have a sweet spot when it comes to their moms. What’s sexier than that?

Man In the Mirror. What other group of people you know can rock a fade, a shape up, an afro, a s-curl, a Jerri curl, a press n curl, some designs cut into their head, Shirley temple curls, a texturizer, a moisturizer, or some oil sheen like a black man? Now I know many of those styles have past their prime for many of our black men, but the swagger is inevitable. No one can wear their hat cocked to the side just so like a Black man can. Whether 18 or 81, on Saville Row in London or on South Street in Philly, sporting a Yankee fitted real low or a fedora— it just doesn’t look the same on anyone else. I love how that bronzed skin glistens with sweat at the gym, or those rock hard abs pressed up against your backside grooving to a 70s kinda love. Those big strong cocoa arms wrapped around you feeling like you are protected from all the evils of the world. Whether you are in corporate America or hitting the school yard. The way you carry yourself is like none other. The sense of fashion can be seen from the boardroom to the bedroom.

His Way With Words. I know you wanna leave me. But I refuse to let you go. If I have to beg and plead for your sympathy I don’t mind kuz you mean that much to me! “Times like this I wish that raindrops would fall.” Forget Shakespeare and Sinatra. There is nothing better than being with a Black man and not having to explain your favorite movie and TV quotes—from Eddie King, Jr. to Shug Avery, Joe Clark and Martin Payne. Only a black man can rhyme over beats just so and have you in tears on Sunday morning SAAAAANNNGing HIS MIGHTY PRAISES to the Lord! Ladies, we can sang ourselves read good, but ain’t nothing like a singing brother!

Built Ford Tough. Black men realize that being a strong Black woman is for survival and one part of our multidimensional personalities. You being strong allows us to be soft and let our hair down (in all its hues and textures). And we’ll do the same when your soft and loving side wants company. We understand that the world is designed for you to fail and we struggle everyday for our freedom and justice standing beside our black men.

Natural Man. No preservatives added. We age beautifully and so do you! No artificial enhancements or extra preservatives. The brothers we love understand our hair history and know to admire our tresses from afar, unless told otherwise. Black men also realize they’ve made it to a new level of intimacy when we pull out that scarf that keeps things fresh. And many black men love us naturally curvy women!



Monday, September 14, 2009

What Ya'll Really Know About The Dirty South?

Goodie Mob Reunites for September Concert in Atlanta
by Shea Oliver

Artists Cee-Lo, Big Gipp, Khujo, and T-Mo, members of the southern rap group Goodie Mob will perform together in their native Atlanta at Masquerade Park on September 19th 2009, for a reunion concert to ask the world again what ya’ll really know about the Dirty South? The concert respectfully named “Remember Atlanta” will feature Goodie Mob and appearances by other members of the Dungeon Family including Big Boi of OutKast.

A product of Rico Wade’s Dungeon Family basement studio, Goodie Mob released their debut album Soul Food in 1995 and coined the phrase Dirty South, a track of the same name on the album. The group enjoyed modest success in Hip Hop industry after following in the footsteps of Dungeon Family label mates Big Boi and Andre 3000 of the group OutKast. The group released three more albums Still Standing (1998), World Party (1999) in which member Cee-Lo departed to pursue a solo career, One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show (2004), and Livin’ Life As Lumberjacks (2005) featuring member Big Gipp on only two of the songs.

Possible reunion rumors had been circulating for years especially since the entire group performed on stage together, unannounced, during a Nelly concert at The Tabernacle in Atlanta in 2008. They all performed once before in 2006 at a Gnarls Barkley concert. “The Goodie Mob reunion is something we have collectively talked about doing for a long time. The people have called for it, and with the state of the union the way it is, the time is right” said Cee-Lo in a statement. For Goodie Mob fans the wait for a reunion is finally over.

Tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster locations and

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's Bigger than Hip Hop: An Independent Artist's Crusade

I promised my girl I would write this and get the word out… I know I have taken forever, but hey I gotta hold true to my promise. My word is all I have. Johnaa this is for you baby girl!

In an industry marketed by who’s team you are on, it’s hard to even get your shoe in the Hip Hop arena without being someone else’s wingman for awhile. Think Kanye and Jay Z, SlaugherHouse on the back of Joe Budden and Drizzy aka Drake on the back of Lil Wayne, even though I have yet to see an album :(. And those chances of “making it” are super slim thanks to record company exec’s who ultimately decide who gets to be the next Hip Hop icon. There is no surprise really seeing as how three-quarters of your profit goes to pay the exec’s huge salaries and mega mansions in the Florida Keys, while you get to sweat in front of a crowd of say 500 at a local night spot with little promotion. And there’s no guarantee anyone will buy your album when beat makers “leak” songs prematurely or you can download the whole CD on Limewire before you can buy it on iTunes. But you really gotta love the game and be ok with being “pimped out” for awhile when the stopper is put on your creative juice and you have to come up with hooks and raps to ish that is truly Gatorade in this industry. Yup. Watered down kool-aid. But just like the death of auto tune Hip Hop is just going through another cycle of music. For the true Hip Hop heads you can appreciate anyone strong enough to make a few dollars for themselves by going independent and hitting the mainstream masses with quality style lyrics and beats. Hip Hop is a hard genre to crash, but if you have the skills and can hook up with a decent producer you just might get a few spins on the ones and twos. But this story my friends, is not a story of Hip Hop and where it stands today, this is one man’s hustle to the glory.

Insert, artist Shin-Q.

For every one new upcoming artist you can be sure of two things. At least one artist is garbage and at least one artist is spectacular. The latter is how I describe artist Shin-Q a.k.a. Monzeil Jhamal Flemming. The man definitely has talent. Born and raised in Trenton, New Jersey (NJ stand up!) Shin-Q has always had a respect for Hip Hop. His methodical delivery and rhyming style is displayed on his current solo album entitled Acquired Discipline available now on iTunes. Debuting in the fall of 2008 the CD is one you shouldn’t sleep on. It reminds me of the Hip Hop Golden Era days. Think of Nas cira It Was Written. With tracks like Take ‘Em to Church, Warrior’s Cry, TTown Bounce, and Token Negroe militant politically charged Hip-Hop is what best describes this album. Flooded with current event commentary, reggae influenced beats, and an eclectic range of Hip Hop, R&B, Alternative, and Old School vibes this CD takes Hip Hop full circle from the days of pop filled auto-tuning and fuses it with reggae beats you can play from start to finish. How many industry cats can say they have enough content to have a respectable album from cover to cover?

In a genre dominated by the predictable sounds of industry staples like Jay Z, Kanye, and newcomers, Drake and Kid Cudi it is refreshing to have Shin-Q bring Hip Hop back to the days of lyrical finesse and the beats to match. Drawing on influences from personal experience and things he has witnessed he chooses his words carefully and delivers eloquently over White City/ Pumpkinseed Entertainment Group beats. He has DC flair with a NJ flow. This is definitely not a mix tape CD, but more like an underground Hip Hop revitalization effort. This also isn’t for those waiting to hear the next “Ice Cream Paint Job.” This CD is for the real Hip Hop lovers and those who want to hear about something other than “I Got Plenty Money” and “making It rain on these hoes.” This CD is about not only about the beats, but the lyrics. This CD is for those who love Common (back when he was Common Sense), Twalib Kwali, Mos Def, Nas, Black Thought (from the Roots), Rakim, Musiq Soulchild. This CD actually would have played very nicely next to Miss Hill’s Miseducation, and yes I am still awaiting her return.

This CD definitely takes me back to the early to mid 90s when NYC style Hip Hop was in heavy rotation on the radio. I hate to call it island rap, but the reggae infusion is hard to ignore. The lyrics are laid out with precision and discipline. A devout Christian and firm believer in God’s abilities to perform miracles, it is interesting to wonder why Shin-Q chose a genre that is anything but Godlike. Instead of making a gospel CD he delivers to us a much needed conscious Hip Hop album of focus and versatility, and at no better time. Instead of a man glorifying drugs, money, cars, sex, and other non-essential material items, Shin-Q focuses on topics that the majority of mainstream Hip Hop has steered away from, like relationships, personal growth, and of course religion. I guess you couldn’t expect any less from a man who starts each day with prayer. Shin-Q challenges us Hip Hop lovers with this album to go beyond the mainstream Hip Hop scene and underground mixtapes and listen to music independently produced for the sole love of Hip Hop. This isn’t about selling a million records, although that would be nice. Instead, this is about life lessons and leaving a legacy. A Hip Hop legacy of his own.

Time keeps on ticking and I say we need to hear more from Mr. Shin Q, so keep on your conscious tip. To listen to the fist single “Life Anew” and his second single “Take ‘Em To Church” visit the Shin-Q MySpace music page Shin-Q is actually short for Shining Question which he says means he may always be seen but will he be understood! For the real Hip Hop heads, we say, it’s bigger than HIP HOP Mr. Shin Q.

Additional Links:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Mama's Music

My mama’s music is funky and groovy and it’s got an old soul feel to it. Mama’s music if full of love and love that’s lost. Its chuck full of funky good times and another sad love song. My mama’s music has dust on the paper cover of the definitive collection of Stevie wonder. My mama’s music used to wake me up on Saturday mornings to Love and Happiness and lulled me to sleep with Sade’s the Kiss of life. Mama’s music kept her foot tapping as the record spins on the old record player belting out Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole and Otis Redding. My mama’s music kept us up all night boogie-ing with the elements of Earth, Wind, and Fiyahhhh in Boogiewonderland. We moon walked all over the kitchen floor to Michael Jackson’s Thriller and were Off the Wall with hits like Rock with You, and Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough. We took road trips with Rufus and Chaka Khan and Parliament. My mama’s music was filled with emotion like when Stevie said “Cause I'll be loving you always.” They don’t make music like that anymore.

Mama’s music was full of the hits from Hitsville U.S.A. like The Temptations, Martha and the Vandellas, The Supremes, Mary Wells, the Spinners, and The Drifters. I dreamed of riding that “Midnight Train to Georgia” with Gladys Knight and the Pips, and can still be caught jamming to “Shotgun” by Jr. Walker and the All Stars. Mama’s music can be played from start to finish with no skips in between. Like listening to Percy Sledge saaaang about how “When A Man Loves A Woman, she can do no wrong.” Or listening to Ray Charles “Hit the Road Jack.” I liked to watch my mom and dad dance to “If This World Were Mine” the remake by Luther Vandross … and then they would groove to Roberta Flack “Killing me Softly.”

Mama’s music had the hitmakers. Can’t nobody do it like the Godfather of Soul. He had us feeling good in this Man’s World… “that is NOTHING, without a woman or a girl.”On Saturday afternoons you could find us rocking in the treetops all day long, hoppin and boppin and a singing that song with the Jackson Five. When mama was in the mood she’d break out and show me the moves of the sixties and the seventies and show us how to really get down on the good foot. We’d be doing the Hustle, the Bop, the Jerk, the Watusi (I still can’t get that down right) the Dog (well she did it) and we cranked out the old school party songs from Kool and the Gang, Zapp and Roger, The Commodores, The Gap Band, Sly and the Family Stone, Rick James, Ike & Tina Turner, KC and the Sunshine Band, the Pointer Sisters, The Mary Jane Girls, Mtume and the Ohio Players. We mellowed out with Chi-Lites, the Isley Brothers, James Ingram, Michael McDonald, and Kenny G. We sang alongside Whitney Houston, Teena Marie, and Mariah Carey … and the hits still kept coming.

Now don’t get me wrong there is some memorable music out there and many more artists of today that I could mention, but ain’t nothing like my mama’s music! It may be on 8in. vinyl records or in compact discs or on old tapes, but mama’s music had some kind of magic to it. Lyrics truly meant something and will forever remain as timeless classics. So if you catch me on the train or my cleaning house, maybe even taking a walk around the park… chances are I am listening to my mama’s music!

The Intern Process

Readers, My good friend wrote a post the other day called "Ladies, Who Are You hiring?" He examined the courtship and selection process of a woman when she is choosing a man for a continuous relationship. Comparing the process to that of a business interview he stated that instead of conducting a formal interview, many women find themselves conducting elevator interviews (hurried interviews) and not waiting to receive his background investigation report. I agree with his analogy, most women don’t check out his current address, living arrangements, credit score, if he has held a job (or another relationship) longer than three months, does he have transportation issues arriving to work on time, etc. However, to expound of his interviewing process, I say there is more that goes into finding a good man than a simple interview.

For my post, I simply call it, the INTERN PROCESS.

For most companies, interns are a cheap way to find help. Most internships are free, some receive a stipend, and others are more lucrative and are paid internships. Companies like to hire interns because it gives them an internal “hiring pool” to select candidates who perform exceptionally well, or above average. These candidates are often asked to return (upon completion of a program or degree) for full employment (benefits, etc). I consider the dating process like an internship. Most women receive at least two or three applications a month from various men that they meet. For some, maybe more, others a bit less. However, these applications should be treated like intern applications. You really don’t want to go through the hassle of interviewing a bunch of people and finally selecting the right candidate, so you opt for an intern. And even if he isn’t the perfect person for you, he might just be a viable source of inspiration. Now, ladies the decision is yours how you go about selecting an intern, but I came up with a pretty good way of weeding out the bad ones. Now fellas, feel free to take up the intern prospect as well. Hiring from within does have its advantages!

Let me break this down for some of you all. Basically you need to ask yourself one of two questions. Question one. Is this person talking to me someone I can take seriously? Question two. Am I ready for a serious commitment? If all you are looking for is a good time, well then by all means date around. Have fun. Do you boo boo. But if you are really looking for someone you can grow with, start by asking yourself these two questions. The intern process can be completed in as little time as a two weeks and as long as a month or two. If you are good at spotting potential candidates and looking for great qualities in people, perhaps your process is short. For others, it may take a bit longer, but always follow clues that pop up along the way.

First, the actual application itself must be taken into consideration. Reading is fundamental folks and how he applies is even more important. Does he follow directions well, and is able to complete the application in its entirety? A good candidate will not only present a well completed application, but it will also be legible. He will include his references and his resume will most likely match up with what you are looking for. Are their coffee stains on his resume? Did he fax it over? Did he follow up with you after submitting his application to see if you received it? All these things must be taken into consideration when selecting an intern. It’s often best to find an intern from a reputable source. Outside the club just isn’t the right “agency” to select an intern. After a night of gyrating and alcohol absorption, I just don’t see that application coming in too well. In other words, how was his initial approach to you? Did he use one of those old tired lines we have all heard before? Did he offer you a drink or a dance? Did he stop you on a busy street to admire your curves? This is what I call the application process. His appearance. His tone, voice, diction, etc. His gestures. His actions. It is up to you to decide if his application is in accordance to your company policy.

Second, the initial interview. Like most job candidates, interns must go on interviews as well. A great resume can match up perfectly with an asshole. It is important to keep that into consideration and when asking questions on the interview. A dedicated intern will see your company (you) as an investment in his/her life and will want to be a part of your time. He will make every effort to show up prepared and lay out his employment history. Someone who is just in it for the thrills, most likely will show up initially, but eventually the excuses will start pilling in. He might even question you about the interviewing process, or every five minutes cannot get your body off his brain. How soft you must feel! He might even ask some personal questions a little too up front before you even get to know each other. It's also a good idea to let him know the job description and responsibilities up front. Let the brother know you are looking for a long term commitment and not a fling.

Many ladies fail by conducting interviews in house. Why? He already has himself in the door at that point. You might as well hire him on the spot! Unless you want him to move in ASAP as a part of his job description and you are prepared to fully house an intern, let him commute to work. It is important to conduct the first interview on neutral ground in order to maximize your potential in finding a great intern, and also keeping it on neutral ground is a great way to find out how comfortable the intern is in public situations with you. For first interviews a coffee shop, book store, lunchtime restaurant (don’t go formal and expect the intern to pay for your food, just because), go ahead and see if he pays for your iced mocha latte from Starbucks. Remember you are not on a date, but conducting an interview. You want to be able to hear what he has to say and vice versa. Perhaps a nice walk in the park or meeting up at your favorite happy hour place can provide better alternatives to first interview places. Keep things simple and easy going, you want the conversation to flow. Notice his behavior and trust your instincts. If all goes with the initial interview, it is VERY IMPORTANT to follow up a second interview! Yes, ladies. A second interview is extremely important, which I will discuss later.

For now, decide yourself if the initial interview is a phone interview or a face-to-face encounter on neutral ground. For most, a phone interview will suffice. A few important notices should be is there a lot of background noise on the phone when you talk to him? Does he constantly say, hold on? Does he curse people out while on the phone with you? Did he call you at 2AM or 2PM? Timing is very important! If he has to attend to another matter that comes up while you are on the phone, does he return the call back in a timely fashion? And most importantly, does he answer your questions? I know some of you all are like WTF, but if you listen well… he may be dodging your questions. Don’t be afraid to ask how long was your last relationship? Are you in a relationship? Do you have any stalker ex’s, baby mama drama, or other unnecessary drama that may be detrimental to your development? Ask his sexual history and please ask when’s the last time he was tested for EVERYTHING and if he has ever had an STD? After the initial interview review what you have heard and with your best judgment decide if he should proceed to the next round.

The follow up interview. As stated before, it is important to provide a follow up interview. If things go well with the initial interview a follow up is needed before making a decision. Many mistakes can happen along the way and it is important to have this second interview to solidify that this person is truly interested in the job advertisement. You might even need a third! Just remember that you want the intern the same as the intern wants you. If it’s not a good match no need for the internship to commence. Just simply thank him for his time, and you’ll be in touch! No phone calls needed. However, if the second interview, also on neutral ground works out well and your follow up questions have been answered, and you think he is a good match for the company then proceed to the initiation of the internship. The follow up interview should be conducted much in the same way the initial interview was conducted. Neutral ground and remember to have fun. Perhaps a day trip to a museum, a day trip out on the water, and/or an old school arcade or bowling alley. Whatever you decide remember he is a potential intern and you are still watching for those non verbal clues.

Third, the internship process begins. Most internships are 90 days (3 mts) or a bit longer, and basically provides the intern with experience and the company with a more cost effective labor. I call this part of the process actual “dating.” Decide for yourself if you have multiple interns or just one at a time. I think it’s best to have one intern at a time. Allow yourself some time to gather some information about what kind of person he is. See before you go OUT on a date with someone you gotta interview them. You don’t conduct your interview while you are on the date, you do this before hand, so you have a better understanding of who you are out with. The intern benefits from this experience because during the 90 day process he is figuring out if he is a good asset to the company. After the internship is over conduct your exit review or continue to a full hiring. The choice is yours.

Just always keep in mind ladies... you may not be his only interview that week and he may not be your only interviewee of the week.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Go Ahead and Hate

I don't mean to sound conceited, but I really love being this fabulous. You know there are some black women who have no damn class at all! These women are just tactless and tasteless. Yet they are the same ones who swear up and down they are so lady like! HA.

As I am on my lunch stroll around the neighborhood, I made an order with my favorite restaurant Chipotle to have my usual order made. It takes about fifteen minutes for them to complete your order. By the time I take the “long way” to Chipotle my food is usually ready. When you order your food online around the 12-2 lunch time frame, you don’t have to wait in the long line that usually flows out the doors onto the sidewalk. My mother taught me manners, so when passing through a group of people, I always say excuse me. So as usual I say excuse me one of the three sistas standing in line, since she is the one blocking my way. Now since I am a bit under the weather my voice is quite hoarse and a lot raspier than normal, so sexxi know. So I spoke up a little when I said “Excuse Me.” The woman, whom I will name NoTaste@ ALL looked at me up and down, rolled her eyes, and turned back to her friends to continue with her conversation. So I promptly said “Excuse me” again in which she ignored, and said to her friends, I don’t see the sun outside, do you?

Ok, Look chick. I was about to get real ignorant. I rock my sunglasses whenever the heck I feel like it. Inside. Outside. Sunny. Cloudy. Breezy. I don’t feel well and I want my food just like you. What I wanted to say was it looks like you have already had too many “two piece biscuits and fries” from Popeye’s so perhaps you need to be next door at the health food store… but I didn’t. I also wanted to say just cuz I am easy, breezy, beautiful, cover girl material and you are sloppy, unkempt, last fall’s season’s attire from NY and Co. two sizes too small please learn to shop for your size woman! But I didn’t. The Lord, blessed me with patience so I paused and took a deep breath. I taped her and said “can you get out of my way please” in most infamous Richmond accent (a lil hood and a lil southern). Finally she huffs and puffs at me and moves out of my way. I go downstairs to the pickup window, and wa-la! my food is ready. I pay for my meal and instead of walking out the side door, I make it a point to go back up and out through the front door again passing the woman who so vehemently detested the fact that I had passed her in line.

Do you know that heffa was staring me up and down! You know the “who does she think she is look” with her hands on her hips and her neck rolling to her friends talking about how ignorant it is to wear sunglasses when there is no sun. I almost laughed in her face. It’s hard to be in the presence of a real woman, I understand boo boo, but could you turn the hate up just a bit more cuz I haven’t received this much hateration in awhile. It feels good. Are you upset because you left your sunglasses at home today? Or did you just want your burrito before anyone else. Greedy Heffa! HA HA HA HAAAA! All I could do was chuckle with moms on the phone about what went down. She heard the whole ordeal from the phone. While she had just barely made it through the door I was well on my way out of the door, food in hand and ready to enjoy my meal.

*sings Jill Scott Hate on Me Haters*

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Black in America Part II

Soledad O'Brien is back again with a CNN Special: Black in America Part II

PREMIERES JULY 22 & 23 8PM ETThis July, CNN continues its investigation of the most challenging issues facing African-Americans with "Black in America 2." Soledad O'Brien reports on people who are using ground-breaking solutions to transform the black experience.

Tackeling Education in Black America
Former Secretary of State and Retired Gen. Colin Powell says keeping American kids in high school is the most important fight of his life. He says the drop-out rate in this country is a “catastrophe.” The problem is worse among minority students; nearly 50 percent do not complete high school on time.

Post your thoughts!
Why aren’t our black kids staying in school?

Catching E-Feelings

E-Feelings = Internet Feelings.

The following scenerios are when someone is catching e-feelings.... Feel free to add your two cents
Discussion Topics
If you are having a discussion topic and someone disagrees with you, it's ok to battle it out for awhile... even joke back and forth with each other. But to threaten their life and flood their e-mail with hate mail... you have officially caught e-feelings.

So homegirl looks better in a bathing suit than you do, or she is the powerhouse diva of the recording industry, perhaps she is a successful CEO.... don't hate on her lifestyle simply because it ain't you boo-boo... go to the gym and get that divalicious body you always wanted and shed those e-feelings!

Let me go even further...

Tagged Photos & Captions
PEOPLE LET US NOT HATE when we are not tagged in a photo or the caption doesn't include that it was your baby sister's fith birthday party. It is probably just an honest mistake especially since most of us are posing up a bunch of photos at a time! SHEESH! why don't you go tag yourself! UGH!!!! Let go of your E-feelings!

Blog Posts
In the event you want to post a comment on a blog post and you want to "educate" someone about whatever the blog topic is, let's all use common curtesy and respect. No need to call someone out of their name because they want to show their behind on the computer. Fools will be fools. Just state your opinion and continue to read for entertainment purposes... which is why most blogs are created. No need to get personal! Laugh and Move On... Let's not get into e-feelings MMKAY!

Friend Requests
So that charming young woman or man doesn't want you to be his/her friend. Stop nagging them about it and keep it moving! SHEESH!! No need to send 100+ messages in a day to simply see when/if they will accept you as a friend! Your persistantcy is irritating and probably the reason they haven't befriended you... let go of your e-feelings!

So you sent someone an e-mail stating your personal feelings about them, and they have yet to respond. Matter of fact you know they have read it and are ignoring it. Perhaps you are just sending an e-mail to someone for the first time and are awaiting a response? In any scenerio let's not get testy and "ignorant" seriously! I know you are just waiting for a response, but try and be patient. That person is NOT REQUIRED to respond to you. Those 16,000 e-mails you sent from anonymous e-mail addresses that you created to see if he/she would respond are unnecessary! Relationships go through changes. If it's meant to be it will, if not, you know his/her one flaw... they never respond! Let's not catch e-feelings.

Do you swear you have a man/woman but yet you have never met this man/woman in person but you guys talk all day everyday over the internet... yup you guessed it... e-feelings! That she might be a 13 year old kid. Let's get real!

Masking Who You Are
Is your screenname something vulgar or repulsive but yet you yourself got voted most likely to succeed? Better yet do you claim to be this suave romantic person... or this cyber space tough guy/girl... You have e-feelings... just be yourself!

Playing Computer Games
Win or Lose it's just a game people! Let's not go ranting off at people because they beat you at extreme checkers... chuck up the loss and let's practice good sportsmanship! Don't get caught up in e-feelings

Facebook Status
*sigh* I almost don't want to put this out there... but I will! A person's Facebook status is whatever they want it to be. Whether it is a place to put a reflective thought, an ignorant statement to generate responses, a question, or a statement/declaration it is their status... Let's not get all touchy feely kuz you feel betrayed. It may not even be about you boo-boo! Let go of your e-feelings

It is MY-SPACE! Not YOURSPACE or OURSPACE or THEIRSPACE or US-SPACE.... it is MYSPACE!! Which means I can put up whatever the heck I want and be satisfied. So don't get madd you aren't in my top friends, or you aren't in my mafia group! Ugh... you and your e-feelings

p.s. why do people ask you 92 questions on facebook and/or myspace when all if not most answers can be answered when you read my profile... oh wait! People don't read!

Personal Information
Now if you want to go ahead and put your personal information out there and air your dirrty laundry then you can't get madd when someone comments on it! NO NO NO! See once you put yourself on blast, it becomes public information and up for grabs for whomever wants to exploit it, laugh at it, joke about it, etc. So the next time you want to put quarter nekked photos up with your goodies all exposed, or leave a long winded response on your boo boo's wall about last night rendevouz.... just remember your e-feelings!

Also, If you put someone on blast and air out their personal information, don't let me catch you catching e-feelings when your dirty draws are swinging from the rope as well. Eye for eye. Tit for tat! It's all very childish but you know the games people play nowadays! Be be bigger person and admit your flaws... that you were wrong for putting their business out there... swallow your pride and move on... and leave them with the e-feelings!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Good Afternoon Bloggspace!

My name is Shea Oliver, but call me Roxci Heart™. I am a twenty something year old phenom (well in my head) hailing from the mid-atlantic region of the United States. I currently reside in Columbia, Md and commute daily to my banking job in Washington, DC. Believe me, most days I hate that daggone commute. Here, you will find the chronicles of my life... my transformation from a young woman into a blossoming career driven woman... and oh yeah working on my lady skills (b/c I am so rough around the edges). I'll try and post everyday, but the reality is it may not be possible. I hope you enjoy. There is something on here for everyone!