Saturday, October 27, 2012

Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 27 {#GHOE12}

It's only right that today's Soundtrack Saturdays honors the spirit of the the highly anticipated-never duplicated-
North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University GHOE2012
GHOE is a trademark acronym for Greatest Homecoming On Earth, for those of you who aren't familiar with the termonology. 

{Disclaimer: In no way is this list a typical representation of my personal taste in music, however I strongly believe in the balance of things.}

Hope you enjoy this year's top radio anthems for HBCU homecoming season.  Also check out Madame Noir's article on 7 Best Things About Black Homecoming.

  1. "Swimming Pools"-Kendrick Lamar
  2. "Money on the Floor"-Big K.R.T. ft.2 Chainz, 8-Ball, & MJG
  3. "Take it to the Head" -DJ Khaled ft. Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj
  4. "Pop That" -French Montana ft. Rick Ross, Drake, and Lil' Wayne (TUNECHI!)
  5. "Clique" -[G.O.O.D. Music] Big Sean, Kanye West, and Jay-Z
  6. "Bag of Money" -Rick Ross ft. T-Pain
  7. "Do It (rmx)" -Mykko Montana ft. Gucci Mane, Nelly, Yo Gotti, Travis Porter, Jeremih, and Nitti Beatz
  8. "Bandz'll Make Her Dance" -Juicy J.
  9. "Put it Down" -Brandy ft. Chris Brown
  10. "The Birthday Song" -Two Chainz
  11. "Dance For You" -Beyonce  Just for that final play, late night slow dance. = )

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Write Me (Back) Soon

[Some more poetry for you guys. I know these are far in between but I do hope you all enjoy!
And just in case you were wondering, yes. This is a very personal piece, but so are all the others.  I'm finally at a place where I can share this part of me with ease. ]

Precious words spilled all over the empty pages
From the bottom of my soul like imprisoned birds escaping dark cages
Each word had a chunk of my heart enclosed
Each line held a secret that I no longer had strength to hold
Not sure if what I had to say would push you further away
Or posses the power of love conquers all to seal our fate
So naturally, my pen becomes the translator in a language of love that faded over time
Writing a story of how true love, even after being jaded, has potential to thrive
In an honest effort to reconstruct the love we once knew
Was my bravery invisible or did it shine through
Many sleepless nights spent wondering if you eyes ever crossed my heart's message
With fragile hope that your hands caressed it and your mind would digest it, but not neglect it
The jewels of my words were carefully carved to speak my truth
Is it too much to ask for your scripted heart the same way I scripted mine for you?
Patiently I wait as my heart breaks with every passing moon
And each morning another prayer that you find the courage to write me back soon



How Technology has Changed the Dating Game

Imagine being in a crowded restaurant on a Friday night.  All around, people are congregating with groups of friends, strangers, loved ones, etc.  In modern society, think about what are these people doing.  Are they conversing, laughing, and feeding off each other’s energy or are they constantly staring down into their hands/laps, more compelled by what’s happening on Twitter?  Do they seem to be enjoying the company of those around them or checking emails?

If I guess correctly, in similar situations, most of the time the latter is true. Therefore when it comes to dating to get to know someone new, there’s a missing piece. Because technology plays such a disturbingly major role in building that relationship, sincerity and creativity are almost not even factors anymore. This entire generation has seemed to deviate from the traditional process of getting to know someone and very rarely do people 18-25 understand the value of courtship. 

Courtship is a semi-ancient dating mechanism, if you will.  It was a man’s honest attempt to catch a woman’s attention and admiration.  During this time, he would go out of his way to put a smile on her face, would do anything to spend alone time with her, and most importantly be taken seriously as a prospect.  Intimacy wasn’t anything physical until time was invested.  Now, the process is completely disregarded and replaced with limited face-to-face conversation and easy sex.  Women no longer expect men to chase and men no longer believe there are women worth chasing.  It’s a pitiful reality for anyone to believe they could know someone solely from texting, tweeting, and social media connections.  The dating game has changed so much that it’s become harder to distinguish between genuine gestures and convenience, because we depend so heavily on technology to build bridges.  For example, good morning texts are not romantic; it’s convenient.  The standards we have don’t begin to compare to the lost ones that once kept people together and thriving for years. 

The solution to this problem of lack of communication skills is quite simple: unplug.  Take the time to really appreciate and enjoy life outside of the devices and the people in your vicinity.  Go on dates and put the phone on silent and fall into the ease and relaxation of verbal communication.  There is nothing wrong with being technology savvy; spoken from an Apple girl herself.  Just understand that there is more to life than Twitter and a world that can offer you way more than an iPhone ever could.



Monday, October 22, 2012

On Humility

This week I've been working like crazy; maintaining balance has been tough.  Thankfully, it is paying off in small doses, because I've accomplished quite a bit and I can sense progress, but there is still so much work ahead. The days seem to be running in a circular motion with no beginning or end. Lately I've fallen asleep at my computer or inside a book only to wake up to a screeching alarm clock to welcome another glorious day.  I stay awake in the wee hours, because I have dreams to chase.  I go to work to pay bills.  I go to class...well because I have to if I want to graduate, lol. I'm just saying, this is the path I've chosen and there's a reason for everything .  This is not a complaint rant; God has truly blessed this journey and I am so thankful to know I'm on the right track. In this moment, it's all about me and it feels so awesome. I am loving LIFE! As girl-Melanie would say, "I'm dancin' and emphasisin'!" (if you are a fan of the sitcom, The Game, then you know what I'm talking about.)

Philippians 3:12-14 "I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection.  But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.  13 No dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us."

How perfect.

So, cheers to the ambitious lifestyle! We're on our way to achieving great things!


Friday, October 19, 2012

Countdown to LAX

If you know me at all, you know where my heart is when it comes to geography.  Even if you don't know me, but follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and/or blogger, you've probably easily guessed where I would be tomorrow if I had the opportunity.  Here, here, and here, I shared lists of goals, some short term and some long term, all set within the fall equinox, which is believed a perfect time for planting seeds.  Each list, as well as several other post throughout this blog, included where my dream location is, so this is nothing new. 

One of my short term goals was to pick a date to move, because I, personally, work better with deadlines.  It gives me something definite to look forward to, an incentive so to speak. This would also help me understand how much time I have given myself calculate logistics and organize finances, so when it's time to move, everything is in order and the transition is smooth.  Like all major decisions, I prayed about it. Finally, a date was confirmed. It resonated in my spirit and I automatically locked into my mental calendar.  Since then, I've been dedicating honest effort to make everything and everyday count so that not a single day is wasted. the countdown has officially begun!

Ideally, leading up to that day, a great amount of time will be spent with family and friends.  That's honestly the hardest part about leaving, so it's imperative that high value is placed on time appreciating the ones I love. A few months prior, maybe as early as February, the one way ticket will be booked, if driving isn't an option at that point.  There is still time to figure out logistics, but I certainly plan on getting rid of a lot of tangibles to make room a fresh new start.

At first, I didn't want to publically release the date yet, however the reason I wanted to share it is for accountability purposes. When next summer rolls around, I want my inbox to be full of enthused questions about whether or not I've made it to my destination yet.  To some, it may seem  a bit hasty and insane to think that it's possible to move across country in less than a year and many may doubt me.  Those people fail to realize how long I've dreamed of the day I would be in California for good. Fortunately, there are more than enough people in my corner, who are rooting for me and hoping I live up to the challenge.

Thank you to all the support from my followers!  It really does mean so much to me when you guys encourage me to live my dreams!!!

Chymere Anais

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

On Embracing Fall (Hello, October)

Hello, October! I sincerely hope it's not too late to welcome you. 
Fall is a fabulous season and although I am not a huge fan of cold weather, fall has so many great things to offer. October is usually when the excitement for holiday season begins.  When I think of summer, I think of impulse; when I think of fall, I think of tradition.  There is something significant for everyone about the what is traditionally experienced in this season.  For me, it's togetherness, coziness, live football games, state fairs in country towns, the official start of swim season, opening that old box of sweaters, throws, and coffee mugs. Even the smells of fall excite me, such as pumpkin pie and the lovely fragrance of spices. More importantly, the human spirit feels a new turn in the solstice and it's the perfect time to prepare for major shifts.  So now, I embrace the chilled mornings and shorter days, wrapped in a comfy sweater or pea coat, while listening to my boots crunch dead leaves that have fallen to the ground.  Please don't take this the wrong way, but who knew death could be so beautiful?

In light of a new season, I've done some redecorating to my little apartment. It's amazing what difference even the smallest of changes can make. Finally, I thought, the pieces of my artistic oasis are coming together.  About a week ago, I felt angry within this small space.  Everything I could think of that was wrong with my living arrangements, motivated me to hate it even more. In the midst of that anger, decided I no longer wanted to dwell here and with no solid destination in mind, packed all my things in boxes and storage containers.  When that inner turmoil eventually subsided, I looked around at an empty room and realized that sometimes we have to give things time to develop and work with what we do have.  No, it's not my dream loft, overlooking a beautiful view of Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean, but it's what I have now to manifest that dream.  With that revelation, I took a few deep breaths and brought myself back to the present, which lead me to do some interior decorating in my bedroom, the "sacred" place. If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably already caught a glimpse. It's nothing major, but it definitely added tranquility to my environment.  There are a few more pieces I'd like to add and once I finish this part, I'll be working on the living room area. 

{Exhibit A}
I'm sort of a homebody, so it's natural for me to want to feel a sense of home wherever I sleep.  After I completed my room, I took a long, hot shower, and felt relieved to get in a bed that was warm and comfortable on a cold, rainy night like the one I was experiencing. Then, I thought about how many people in the world who have never felt anything relatively close to home and all that it embodies.  There are so many individuals who are subjected to sleeping outside, finding warmth however ways they can. That thought made me feel extremely blessed and thankful for something that is so easily taken for granted.  So I thank God for this little apartment and the resources available to make it beautiful and functional.
{Exhibit B}

What are your favorite aspects of fall?  What kind of things are you looking forward to?
Chymere Anais

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 26 {Jennah, Solange, Mara, & Emeli}

This week has been pretty busy, which connotes that I haven't had time to dig deep into the music collection like I wanted to in order to produce the continuing segment of the best press play albums of all time series.  Committing to do a list of 25 each week, as you can probably imagine, has been a task in itself, but it's been really fun and I'm enjoying all the feedback I'm getting from it. No worries; I'll get back to it soon! 

The four songs featured today are from 4 incredible female, "underground" artist that I've come to love so much; Jennah Bell, Solange, Mara Hruby, and Emeli Sande.  Their talent and artistry is quite beautiful and the sweet melodies of these songs have been on my musical radar lately. I'm hoping I have the opportunity to sit and chat with them one day; I'll keep dreaming until then.

The first song is a new song that recently dropped by Ms. DJ Knowles and when I tell you I've watched this video every day this week....I love it that much!  It's so cute and her free spirit and vintage style that speaks through her work is so dope, for lack of a better word.  All I can say is: way under-rated. The second is a song written and composed by Jennah herself that she did some time ago from her Early Bird ep and it was the first time I ever heard of her. Instant love.  The last song is a cover Mara Hruby did to "Is This Love" by Bob Marley, which is actually one of my favorite songs to date (I think I included it on my favorite love songs list; if I didn't I need to go back and revise!).  The video is incredible! Emeli's is also an original UK hit, but let me allow you to listen and stop rambling. I do, however, encourage you to get into this music if you haven't heard of these ladies already.  And if you haven't, I am so honored to introduce them to you guys. Without further ado, enjoy!

1. "Losing You" x Solange

2. "3hrs, 59 min" x Jennah Bell

3. "My Kind of Love" x Emeli Sande

4. "Is This Love (Cover)" x Mara Hruby


Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 25 {Upcoming Albums}

Upcoming/recent albums I am looking forward to:

+ R&B/Hip-hop edition +
  • "Life is Good" (2012) -Nas: Let me start by saying that I have been a die-hard Nas fan since Illmatic (1994). Was I too young? Probably, but my parents have always supported my obsession with [good] music. That's the beautiful thing about classics; they get better with time. It's crazy to me that finally, after his 10th studio album, people are just now starting to realize the poetic greatness of Nasir Jones.  With that being said, I haven't yet purchased his most recent album, because of that popularity factor.  Sad to say, but I've noticed that once artist become mainstream popular, they become too commercial for my personal taste, especially rappers.  Not to say that this one is not a substantial, true to himself album, because I haven't heard the entire album yet to have an opinion. However, I do plan to support him regardless and determine what I think when I listen. Plus I love what I've heard so far. Now that I think about it, I believe I will make it my mission to buy that album today! Do any of you have it? What to you think in comparison to Illmatic? I guess you'd have to be a true Nas fans answer that. And in honor of him, he's the feature artist for today's SS.
  • "R.E.D. (Realizing Every Dream)" (2012)-Ne-yo, which is scheduled to be released: November 6th.  Although I was in Best Buy on September 18th, searching like a feign for that album, I suppose I'm willing to wait one more month.  The stand out reason why I love Ne-yo is he stays true to ballad, even when it comes to sexual songs, that a lot of male R&B artist in a pop era deviate from.  He always puts out incredible music, he writes incredibly fitting lyrics for other renowned musicians, and the way he carries himself is!
  • "Food & Liquor 2" (2012) -Lupe Fiasco: What I said about Nas, is pretty much the same sentiments I feel when it comes to Lupe Fiasco, yet different reason why I don't have the album yet.  In recent interviews and from some public social media, he seems very angry and anti-government these days, or should I say a lot more vocal about his position when it comes to politics.  There is a line to draw when it comes to music, just because the amount of influence one individual can have and political views through lyric is just not one of those things that should just be left out of discussion all together.   It's like I have to mentally prepare myself to listen to his work.  It's like having a conversation with someone who is a incredibly smart, self proclaimed guru. As a fan, however, it wouldn't be right for me to wish he'd dumb it down (no pun intended). I don't's hard to explain; I don't want to sound like a breathing oxymoron. I really do admire his passion. On top of that, people have been using music to speak up for decades, so I guess I can't be too mad at that.  Perhaps, what I look for now is equilibrium, an equal balance between music to drive to and conscious music.  Accepting him for who he is, I still would like to take the time to hear what he has to say, because I think he's just misunderstood and clearly goes beyond the level of a 'normal' rapper.
  • "Unapologetic" (2012)-Rihanna:  At 7 am yesterday, Rihanna leaked her potentially controversial album cover/name via Twitter.  Surprisingly, I'm really anticipating what's next from her. Because of some of her poor personal choices, I've been skeptical about admitting  actually liking her, but to this day, I still enjoy Rated R (2009), Loud(2010), Talk that Talk (2011), 3 consecutive years of impressive work, if I must say so myself.  In a way she grew on me, due to the observation that I relate to her more than I originally thought. The more I mature, the less I detach celebrities' personal life from their music, if I just so happen to enjoy them as an artist.  I've followed her musical career since Music of the Sun and there has definitely been evolution since then.   Every album, to me, is reflective of her in some way and expresses her experiences.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

10,000 Hours

It is said that it takes a total of 10,000 hours of practice to truly master something.  With busy schedules, deadlines, and other obligations to tend to during the work/school week, some may wonder if this is humanly possible, which it is.  The key is maximizing time efficiently and being dedicated to spending a generous amount of time per day building mastery, whether it be of a sport, craft, or learning how to play an instrument.

As I am in the process of taking both small and monumental steps towards a rewarding career, I've gravitated towards self help books as of lately that focus on using creativity and passion to produce profitable career paths.  A law of thumb that I appreciate so much more now that I'm older: reading is fundamental.  In the book I am currently reading, Outliers by Malcom Gladwell, the author puts quite an emphasis on the 10,000 hour rule. 

This rule was a study conducted by Dr. K. Anders Ericsson regarding time management and how important it is if you really aim to be an expert, the absolute best at whatever you do. Using known renowned innovators, such as Bill Gates, famous athletes and musicians for examples, Gladwell illustrates the point that it will require a great deal of sacrifice to envelop the greatness of the success stories that so many of us admire. With these real life examples, he shows the reader what separates high achievers from the average Joe, without going into details about individual experiences or cultural background. So far, I think this is a really great book to invest in and would highly recommend it. 

In the middle of working on a few things for my brand last night, I came across an article via Black Enterprise, because the title alone intrigued me enough to read it: 168 Hours to a Career Breakthrough.  Again, yelling in my face, loud and clear, was this idea that time is a sole beneficiary of success.  The humorous part is this is not real news to me.  I know this. However, how much time have I spent this week bored, surfing the web, pointless socializing or sulking in some way or the other about life's problems?  Quite frankly, given the approximate calculation, not enough time investing in my dreams. The level I want to be on requires more of that loosely distributed time. For anyone who wants to be successful, time reaches beyond our immediate understanding of it and is definitely a mindset to develop and for me personally, there is so much work to be done.

The night is winding down as I was writing this and I find that it is the best time for me to create; my creative juices flow so much better at night.  At this very second, I'm resting my thoughts on time, what area I need to pick up the slack in, and what things am I willing to give up in order to make time to practice, mentally preparing to make today, tomorrow, and the next day another step closer.

 In closing I ask, doors of opportunity are waiting to be opened.  What are you doing to open them?
-Chymere Anais

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