Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Whiskey: Art, Beats & Lyrics 2018

What can I say? When my tribe gets together to cover an event we bring our individual flava’s to it. We are authentically ourselves in ways that elevate the energy and showcase unique moments that can be overlooked by those presenting the same ole same ole.

If you took the time to watch the video you saw before the show footage of us having a grand time while the DJ prepped their set, and we made friends with the bartenders. In case you’re wondering the diva in the red with her famous body roll is none other than KD King. We had cameos by andallthatJazie and the coordinator of HAAB, our own maker of group magic, Sharlotte.

We are fortunate to have a great working relationship with the Houston team for Jack Daniel’s Honey whiskey so at any given event they sponsor HAAB is going to show up and be about our business.

With my tribe there to Aiiii and ahhh with me, we were introduced to a host of Black artists whose work is powerful and evocative. The curator, Dubelyoo, did an amazing job of bringing it all together and was incredibly knowledgeable and encouraging.

Besides this stunning piece that showcased an era of my life I remember fondly (LL Cool J started rapping in my mind as soon as I saw it) everyone who knows me knows that the purple had me in a visual happy place.

One of my favorite pieces for multiple reasons. 
Back in the day…his installation really brought back memories

Dubelyoo was kind enough to spare a bit of his time to give me a tour of his installation. Saying that I geeked out over the boombox and the vinyl would be an understatement. It was a mini-trip back in time to making mixtapes and catching your favorite jams on the radio late at night.

Just one of the column light boxes on display during the show
Rhapsody making it do what it do
Do you see what I see?

Although I have pictures of almost every piece of art that was on display I’m glad to be able to share a few that were caught by the resident photographer. The last picture doesn’t do the attendees justice.  Not only was HAAB in the house, there were so many Houston personalities and media who came out to enjoy the night, the art, the crowd and of course the Jack Tenneesse Honey Whiskey. We learned more about signature cocktails (see the video above).

So to recap, the art was amazing, the organizers and curator were dope, the cocktails were slamming, my tribe was awesome, the attendees brought the flava and it’s a damn good thing to be a #friendofjack.

Baring it all; National No Panties Day

First off, I openly confess that I didn’t know this was a thing. I didn’t know that a day had been designated to free ourselves from the oft-time onerous decisions required to select panties on any given day. Think I’m exaggerating? Think about these current societal norms:

 

  1. VPL – (Visible Panty Lines) Have become so great a sin as to cause folks to almost need to do public penance. Even if they don’t self-flagellate the whispers and snickers will surely drive all but the stoutest hearts to run and hide in shame.
  2. Styles have increased while practicality has decreased. Try wearing a maxi-pad with a thong and let me know how that works out for you. Boy shorts are cute when you’re lounging at home but those suckers roll up over rounded cheeks like Baby Huey’s t-shirt over his belly when worn under pants. (Yes, my age is showing.)
  3. Prices are down right ridiculous. Listen, if rare silk worms who only spun their thread once per decade were providing the fibers then MAYBE I could see paying some of these prices. But for things being produced in sweatshops by over-worked and underpaid people being taken advantage of paying $10.00+ per pair is problematic at best.
  4. Where the heck has comfort gone? It used to be that you’d grab your bloomers, put the rest of your clothes on and get on with your day. Now with low and mid rise you have to worry about your panties bunching up over the top of your pants like a deflated balloon.

With all my snark you’d think I’d be an anti-panty protester every day, but I’m not. There are times when panties can save your (sex) life. Take for instance the time I made plans to be sexy and fun by wearing new jeans without panties. When I tell you that I still cringe and clench my legs when I think about how I felt approximately 20 minutes into my “free to be me” moment after I realized that getting in and out of the car, walking up stairs and sitting down again rubbed me the wrong way, in a major way. Suffice it to say that I borrowed a pair of basketball shorts and practiced radical freedom for days afterwards. I’m pretty sure my va jay jay still hasn’t forgiven me my youthful stupidity.

Panties also come in handy if you’re easily aroused and your body responds like a fruit gusher. Hanky Panky can lead to serious embarrassment if there’s nothing between you and the back of your skirt/dress and your headed out for a night on the town. I’m not sharing anymore stories (today) so yeah back to this day of freedom. Wearing panties or not is a personal choice that doesn’t harm other people so I say party on, or off, as you please. I’m not sure that I’ll be announcing on an annual basis whether or not I’m wearing panties but I foresee many more days of letting things breathe.

Is this a holiday you participate in? Whether you do or don’t I’d love to hear your why.

Wakanda Forever…Not My Home

 
This is not an anti-Black Panther post or a review bashing the movie. I enjoyed Black Panther, and I’m loving all the beautiful ways I see Black people celebrating the movie. I decided to wait a while to post my thoughts on it, not to avoid spoilers but because I wanted time to process.
 
I saw the movie with members of my blog association. The energy was already high because they are a great group of people to be with. We dressed up, showed up and had a great time chatting and of course getting in our photo ops afterwards.
 
I expected another super hero movie with the centering of whiteness dressed in Black clothing. What I received was a conversation among the African diaspora. The celebration and freedom of a non-colonized civilization. The nuanced representation of Blackness and a “villain” that I empathized with.
 
N’Jadaka’s journey reflects so much of what the descendants of the enslaved in America have, are and will deal with that it was painful to think  on the reality. European’s weren’t so strong that they we able to take millions from their homeland. They were assisted by Africans, many who knew how horrific the enslavement their “skin folk” were enduring was Much like the insulating bubble around Wakanda, which allowed for it to remain a marvelous hidden wonder, our ancestors out-of-sight and out-of-mind.
 
T’Chaka knew that he left his nephew to suffer in a foreign land because it was beneficial to him to do so. He didn’t have to answer for murdering his brother. He traded his brother’s life for his own comfort and his nephew’s future for his own selfishness.
 
I read an opinion that likened N’Jadaka to colonizers for the way he went about achieving his goals. I would like to put forth that the leaders of Wakanda behaved as ruling class Africans did in the past. They worked with colonizers to strip another of what was rightfully his. He beat T’Challa in combat and proceeded to rule as he saw fit. For those who might have been upset that he didn’t follow tradition, how could he when he was denied his birthright by the very ones opposing his rule?  He didn’t owe them loyalty, they owed him his due as King of Wakanda.
 
Even without the benefits of being raised as he ought to have been, he still he earned the title of king through blood, sweat and tears. He trained for years to be able to beat T’Challa and claim the throne. He stood in his rights and they were angry because he did not come with hat in hand begging them to accept him. Even knowing about him, T’Challa didn’t tell anyone else until there was no other choice. He didn’t bother to seek N’Jadaka out to try and reconcile with him once he knew the truth. He retreated back inside the bubble and hid from the truth until it literally knocked down his front door.
 
Like Killmonger/N’Jadaka I would love to visit Wakanda and see the sunset. I’d love to see an non-colonized nation in action and be surrounded by beautiful Blackness. And just like him, I’d be angry at the culpability of my skin folk who ought to have been kinfolk.
 
Wakanda may indeed be forever, but it could never be my home.

 

#TeamKillmonger

On Proud Mary & the Complex Badassery of Black Women

As I am prone to do, I’ll begin this post with a confession. I am not an avid Taraji P. Henson fan. I haven’t seen more than 15 minutes of Baby Boy, I’ve never watched an episode of Empire and before watching Proud Mary I don’t think I could name another movie she has been in. This is not an indictment on her body of work, but rather on where I have been as a consumer. Mea culpa!

This post may contains SPOILERS so if you haven’t seen the movie you may want to put this in your pocket until later. Let’s begin at the beginning shall we?

Sony did a horrible job of promoting this movie. Even if it was done on speculation about what the “Black market” wants they could have hyped it up on social media and other budget friendly marketing tricks to increase the pull. that being said this poster is something they got really right.

Oh the magic and complexity to be found in her fro! How many moments in Mary’s life do we see? How many do we need to spend time perusing slowly to understand? She is the sum of these moments and so many more and yet she stands unbroken and proud in her journey. How do I know she’s proud?  She doesn’t live as if she’s ashamed. She’s in harmony with her destructive power. She incorporates it into her aesthetic. Heck, her guns are arraigned like good jewelry in her closet and it ain’t hard to find them.

I honestly feel as if I could have loved this movie versus really liking it. There was much to enjoy; the complexity of the characters (not deep enough for my liking but more dimension than the usual thug puppets Black people are forced to portray in action movies) and a chance to see a Black woman as extremely powerful in her own right.

Mary was a part of a collective but when push came to shove she didn’t allow anyone to stop her from living her truth, down to killing the man who didn’t value her as she desperately wanted to value him. She wasn’t wanton with her destruction, she was deliberate and accommodating until pushed to her boundaries and left with no choice.

I really only have two serious points of contention and that was how quickly she and the young boy were able to really trust each other. Both of them lived lives that would have made the trust more difficult to arrive at, in my opinion. My second issue is that she didn’t have a single dang on grenade. No C4, nothing at all to blow up a building thus negating her need to kill so many with just a gun.

For it’s more nuanced portrayal of Black womanhood (even an assassin can love) and a cast of Black actors who played their parts well I’ll give the movie a strong 3.5. I would have given it a 4 but she didn’t have no dang on grenades!

An Epiphany and Self-Awareness

I’m going to be as honest and transparent as possible here. When I think of epiphany’s I always believed they came in moments of heightened spirituality. Meditating at a sacred spot, hearing a message at a place of worship or some other meeting with the divine at some predetermined sacred place.

When I was religious, I framed my intuitiveness, my deep inner knowing, that part of me that has knowledge I don’t know how I acquired, in ways that wouldn’t cause others to doubt my faith or my understanding of my denomination and it’s codified ways of living and being.

One thing I’ve never denied to myself and my family is a thing I call “The Click.” If you asked me about it I would say when something was for me, or a change needed to happen or a truth needed to be revealed something in me just clicks. Physically it feels like a pause and then a small jolt of electricity. Spiritually it is a sense of knowing and unshakeable truth. Emotionally it used to be coupled with shame and fear because I thought it was some type of ungodly power I had unwittingly tapped in to when I was “backslidden” (A blog series in itself). It wasn’t/isn’t a burning bush or a thunderous voice. I simply know that a life truth is being revealed, and whenever I’ve experienced it, it’s never been wrong.

Now at this point I know some of you are asking yourself what a picture of me in a room full of people has to do with an epiphany or The Click. I’ll tell you. My blog association ,H.A.A.B., hosted an event entitled “Pitch Perfect” where we knew in advance that someone from Synergy Radio Network would be filming. I wasn’t expecting it to be one of the managing partners but it was nice to see Oscar again. At the end of the event he suggested that we do a 30 second or less recording of who we are and what we do. When he caught up with me and my partner-in-fun for the evening, Artemis Reign neither of us was really prepared to record, and let’s face it. Me trying to say anything for only 30 seconds is a herculean task.

After he gave the go signal I took a breath and something really close to: “My name is Tishea, Ms. Twisted N Turned, a lifestyle blogger whose focus is to help the descendants of the enslaved live as healthily as possible,”  then I smiled and stopped speaking.  He and Artemis may not have caught it but my eyes went wide when I thought about the words I had just spoken. My heart began to thud and my brain began to race. I thought about what I said all the way home. I shared it with my daughter when I got home because The Click had been as loud and clear as a bell ringing in my ears.

The next day I shared it with my husband and son. They both felt the power of the statement and pointed out ways that I was already doing the work.  The support of my family means a lot to me as I open myself up to all the joys, growing pains, introspection and truth that I will need to process in order to help my people help themselves to live their lives in truth and power.

Do I have all of the answers as to how I’m going to build my brand, make enough money to positively impact my community in a large way and do all of this while living with chronic illness? Nope. What I do have is the belief that I and my people are worthy, the tools exist and I can be a large part of the change I want to see.

How do you know when you’re in the right place at the right time and doing what you are supposed to be doing?

A day in the life of…

Me!

For the last two years my life has been fairly routine (for me) with a part-time job and my family living our lives to the best of our abilities.

Barring illness I’m up at 4:45am every day. Not because I have anywhere to be that early but because my body, mind and spirit tend to work together better when I’m up before the sun and my family. The first thing that I do is take my thyroid replacement medication, Synthroid and Cytomel. It has taken me years to get used to the fact that every day for the rest of my life I’ll need to take these medications to live. Living with surgically induced hypo-thyroidism is not something I’m going to go into detail about in this post, I’ll have many more details in my upcoming book; Un-4Ceen, How returning to Natural changed my life. Understanding how my health challenges inspired me to open my eyes and look at things more in-depth and with a greater application of critical thought will hopefully help those facing the same issues and choices.

After I take my medication, I have to wait 30 minutes before I can eat or drink anything other than water. During that time I journal, stretch and put on my work out gear. I used to head out the door to get to the gym by 5:15 but since we’ve moved things have changed a bit. Now I either walk our subdivision or hop on my treadmill. We’ve finally gotten the weight bench, roman chair lift and punching bag set up in the garage so I’ll be using those as well as body weight exercises, battle ropes and ladders. I typically work out 1-1.5 hours per day. For inspiration and work out routines I tend to use the resources of body building.com. I love Joy Diggs of Digg Deep Fitness, but alas I live too far north to see her as often as I like, plus she gives me really good advice that I don’t want to hear (I LOVE LIFTING HEAVY!!!!) My sister is also a kick-butt motivator and inspiration.

I typically work 6 hours Monday – Thursday and then 2 hours on Friday. My afternoon schedule varies based on if I take the bus home or not, which I tend to do when I’m in a Fitbit challenge with my family because I’m not going to let them beat my steps without a fight.  Our competitiveness could probably become a blog series filled with a ton of laughter and “are you serious” moments.

Depending on my master plan for the month I may have done things for my business before work or I’ll have scheduled time after work. With our grandchild’s school not having homework anymore, I get to spend time reading and playing a little basketball or board games with him after school.

I’m adjusting my schedule to deal with additional business opportunities as well as learning and creating otherwise I’d post a picture of my actual master schedule. Knowing what I’m going to be doing on a consistent basis helps me get back on track when life throws me a curve ball.

I love my master schedule and my organizer, how do you stay on track?

 

Why I Blog

Images of Tishea & some of her interests

If I had to share the why of my blogging journey I’d have to say that a large part of what drives me is finding my voice and making myself heard. As a child I suffered abuse on multiple levels that left me feeling unheard and unprotected. As I got older I decided that I would never allow myself to be silenced again.

While I endured more than any child should, I did have moments of happiness and good memories and I am fortunate enough to come from a highly talented gene pool. There were always opportunities to learn things outside of what a lot of people thought a little Black girl from the hood should know. Even within the confines of respectability politics, there was a family mantra passed down from my Nana who used to frequently say, “Every day is a good day to learn.”

From my natural curiosity, above-average intellect (I’m SOOO articulate), and soul deep love of reading I found ways to escape and to amass a fairly large collection of interesting tidbits of information and talents. I am also a semi-reformed craft-a-holic (I no longer have back-ups of my back-up crafting items) whose body does well on about 6 hours of sleep a day which is more time to create, which in turn serves as a consistent way to stave off serious depression.

Blogging allows me to share what I know, what I feel, my experiences and perspectives on many intersecting points of living as a descendant of the enslaved in America. It allows me to provide a virtual shoulder and to increase my empathy and understanding of those in the Black community living with chronic illness. That journey alone could fill a blog with posts for a lifetime.

Blogging serves as a virtual diary of as much of my life experiences as I choose, living as transparently as possible while pursuing the things that matter most to me.

Lastly, it provides an opportunity for me to generate income to be used to invest in my family and my community, strengthening and empowering with what I have where I am.

I always love learning the “why” of what I do and this challenge prompt helped me clarify a few things for myself. If you blog why do you do it?