Sunday, March 29, 2009

Crowns @ Lincoln Theatre

Last week, I went to see the final dress rehearsal for the Arena Stage's newest play Crowns. I had heard of the book, Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats which was written by Craig Marberry several years ago and have seen it on many people's coffee tables.

Although the performance was put on by the Arena Stage (a community theater located in SW, DC) since it is currently undergoing renovation, Crowns is being shown at the historic Lincoln Theater on U Street.

I soon learned the play was actually a musical. It's a story of young girl from NY who sent to live with her Grandmother in the South after her brother is killed. While living in the South, the young girl is taught the history of her Grandmother and her friends and the reason behind why they wear the colorful, festive church hats, aka "crowns".

It was a very lively performance and everyone in the audience sang along and clapped with each song. It was definitely the most interactive musical I've ever been to. All of the actors were amazing singers and kept the audience entertained throughout. I would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.

The show runs from March 27- April 26. For more information about Crowns, click here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Circles of Friends

Friends, how many of us have them...Sometimes I feel like I have too many friends. Is that possible? I've got those friends I've known since kindergarten, others I went to college with, another set from Grad school, more from various groups I've belonged to over the years and last, but certainly not least, my Devastingly Beautiful Sorors of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. All very important in their own right but it's hard running in so many different circles, with so many different personalities.

Sometimes I get to a point where I feel like I may have way too many girlfriends. Sure I have some male friends, but you can't always talk to them the way you would your girls. By having so many circles of friends, it's like you have to ration your time amongst all of them. It's good in a way too though because I can never really be alone because there will always be someone I can talk to.

The way I see it I have several types of girlfriends 1.) shallow 2.) lifers 3.) social butterflies 4.) the clique 5.) the BFF. Everyone has shallow friends. Not saying they are shallow people but the relationship you have with them is on the surface you would never share too much personal business with them. Every time you see them you'll talk about general things like fashion, the last movie you saw, the last CD you heard. Lifers are those you've known forever and you're just friends because you've known each other for so long. They are the ones you've had falling outs with over the years but have remained friends. The social butterflies are those you simply call for social gatherings. These are also similar to surface friends because most of your conversation revolves around planning social activities and going out. You've probably never been to this person's house but you always meet up with them somewhere to go to dinner or a night spot. The cliques are those you are affiliated with through various clubs and organizations and your conversation typically revolves around that organization or affairs relating to the organization. Lastly is the BFF, you can talk to her about anything and everything from the latest fashion to politics to having her be the shoulder you cry on when a relationship ends.

I believe that in some cases the circles can coexist but more often than not, each of them fits a different niche. Not saying that I'm popular, but yes I do have a lot of friends and each one of them has a place whether it's the shallow friend or the lifers. Like the saying, everything happens for a reason, I believe everyone comes into our lives for a reason and it's up to us to nurture those friendships if we want them to last.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Lent Challenge

About a month ago, I watched a video called "The Lent Challenge" created by one of the people I follow on Twitter. After watching it I felt even more inspired to make a sacrifice to give up something myself.

Although Lent is traditionally thought of as something that Catholics do. Growing up, A.M.E. (African Methodist Episcopal) we always made sacrifices for Lent. I remember giving up soda one year, beef another but I've dropped off over the last few years. So I figured this year I'd come up with something even bigger and more meaningful. This year I gave up fast food and buying clothing.

Fast food has been somewhat difficult because I'm always on the go whether trekking from work to mentoring, various meetings, or spending time with my girls. I've had to be resourceful and make sure I bring enough food to last throughout the day and evening or just starve until I get home. Lately, I've been craving Chipotle, yes I do consider that fast food, but I've tried to focus my energy on other things.

As for shopping for clothes, I'm not going to lie I am a self-professed shopaholic. I'd take a Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress or a Theory Suit anyday. If there's something I like and it's on sale, I feel compelled to buy it no matter the cost simply because it's on sale. Sad I know. Truthfully, I don't think I've ever gone a week without buying a single piece of clothing. Three weeks is definitely a record. I've also not bought any shoes, accessories, or anything that could be worn. What makes this even more strange, I haven't even felt remotely tempted to buy anything. If you're thinking I've been able to do this by avoiding places that would tempt me, that would be wrong. I work PT at a high-end department store on the weekends so there's no escaping the temptation.

So if you wondering why I'm doing this it's because I feel like God has done so much for me and if I could sacrifice something as small as shopping and eating certain foods, I could do anything. I'm not one who is always trying to preach the word to others, not that there's anything wrong with that, but I believe in being a good person and sharing that goodness with others but not forcing my beliefs on them. Just wanted to share my story.

With only 3 weeks left, I have no doubt that I will successfully make it through this Lent Season. In the coming weeks, I'm going to take some time to truly think about other on-going sacrifices that I can make. I've been blessed with so many things over my 28 years of life including my health, my family, and just being alive. Making small sacrifices here and there will only make me a stronger person and I am up for the challenge.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

You're So Articulate

You're so ARTICULATE Category: Life
Originally Posted: March 6, 2007

Okay this has been on my mind for a while. A few weeks ago, I had to go through some training at work which included doing a mock sales presentation for some trainers that consult various companies on sales skills.

So after my presentation there was feedback from the trainers about what I had just presented in front of some of my co-workers. I'm expecting to hear a critique like maybe you could work on this or that but the first thing one of them said was "you're so professional and articulate". Like she was shocked a young, black woman could be poised and also speak well. They didn't make any comments to my co-workers relating to how they spoke, let's just say that are not of the same persuasion.

Personally, I didn't know if I should take the articulate comment as a compliment or to wonder if there was something behind it. Maybe I'm looking too deep into it but something about the comment just didn't feel right.

Is it that rare to find someone without an accent who speaks standardized English? I didn't think so. I grew up in the suburbs, went to good public schools and most of my friends speak the same way that I do. That's what happens when you have good teachers and parents who won't allow you to use improper grammar.

Is it just me or does the word "articulate" seem like it's been changed to have a connotation relating solely to people of color who speak proper English. Has anyone heard that term used to describe someone not of color? I haven't.

I do a lot of reading and every time there's an article about Senator Barack Obama (Update: President Barack Obama), he's always referred to as being articulate. Recently, Senator Biden (Update: Vice President Biden) referred to him by saying "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy." Umm what the hell? Did he really think that was supposed to be a compliment? Let's not even talk about Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and all of the other well-spoken black political figures and average black Americans who speak normal English.

I guess using grammar has always been second nature and for someone who doesn't know me to point it out just didn't sit well with me. Is it wrong to want to just want to be judged on the content of my delivery instead of how it was delivered?

So what do you think about the word "articulate." Positive or negative?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Domestic Violence 101

This morning I attended Regional Day of Service: Take a Stand Against Domestic Violence Symposium sponsored by the illustrious Prince George's County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

This event was planned several months ago, long before the entire Chris Brown & Rihanna incident. You don't know how glad I am that situation came to light because it shows everyone that domestic violence doesn't just happen to certain people of a certain age or a certain race, or even a certain socioeconomic class, it happens to everyone. I'm not saying at all that I condone what happened to Rihanna, I'm just glad the incident gained so much attention because it provided valuable exposure especially to children and teenagers who look up to the two celebrities. It provides a name and a face of domestic violence.

The morning began with comments from the Prince George's County State's Attorney Glenn Ivey who provided a lot of information about resources for victims/survivors of Domestic Violence as well as ways in which we can all make a difference. He suggested emailing or calling our representatives to ensure when new domestic violence legislation is up for vote, they vote the way we want them to vote. We can make a difference.

Following, there were several break out sessions. I attended one on Advocacy & Outreach brought to us by the Outreach Coordinator at the House of Ruth in MD (not affiliated with the DC one). The presentation began with a video that included sound from an actual incident that occurred between a husband and wife. It was so real and so scary. You could hear the woman begging her husband to stop, but he kept hitting and slapping her. He told her if she told anyone he'd kill her and the person she told. At the end of the video, the words came across the screen stating that 2 weeks after its taping he had killed her.

It was very hard to hear something like that but it makes domestic violence so real especially to someone like me who's never been in that type of situation. As far as I know of I have only one friend who was in an abusive relationship but she's always said it only took him only once to hit her and she got out of the relationship and I've always been proud of her for that.

Watching the video and hearing the stories, you always think to yourself why doesn't the woman (and in some cases man) leave? Why does she accept the beatings and the verbal abuse? How could she love someone whose sole purpose is to be in control of her? But unless you're in that particular situation, it's hard and unfair to be judgemental because you're just an outsider looking in.

Today made me realize that I shouldn't ask questions like those, but I should be supportive and do my part in trying to see that laws are put into effect so domestic violence is taken more seriously. It's still crazy to me that if a man were to walk up to a stranger on the street and punch him, he'd be charged with assault and likely get locked up. But if the same man were to hit his wife, girlfriend, or the Mother of his child, someone he supposedly loves, often times he gets let off with just a warning and continues the cycle of abuse.

I think that it's interesting people fight for cruelty against animals and animal rights but the same compassion isn't there for the rights of battered women. Organizations like PETA can spend millions of dollars to have a commercial during the Super Bowl while most domestic violence organizations have limited funding and lack space for women seeking solace from their abusers.

The presentation made me feel very empowered like I could do something to make a difference. We can all do some thing whether we donate money, donate our time as a counselor, email our representatives, or write blogs to get the word out.

Remember, 1 out of every 3 women will be a victim of domestic abuse, if that's not a scary statistic I don't know what is.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Chill Spot - Indulj

The other week I went to an event called Taste of Words held at a spot called Indulj on U Street. The restaurant/lounge was simply furnished.

THE SCENE: Downstairs there was a full bar, a few tables, and a band that played live Jazz. Upstairs had another bar and lots of Ikea-esque furniture. The event I went for lasted from 8-10. Apparently after 10PM the upstairs turns into more of a club with a DJ. Saw what looked like Howard U. Students and possibly others young college graduates heading upstairs while my friends and I moved downstairs. Downstairs was definitely more of a lounge for the grown & sexy.

BAND: The trio was diverse, but then again everything on U Street is diverse these days. It's really changed over the years, as has most of DC. Two of the band members were young Black men probably in their early twenties and the the bass player was an old (think 70s with white hair) White man, he was adorable with his old self, lol. They played a little of of everything.

FOOD: The food that my friends and I had was very good and definitely recession-friendly. They served what they call "Southern Tapas". I highly recommend the corn muffin with the pulled BBQ beef, it was sooo good and I don't think it cost more than $8. Can't beat that.

I was impressed by my visit so I went on their website to find more information about the spot and other events they have there. Below is one event they have on a weekly basis and there are free Martinis for Ladies before 9:00. How recession-friendly is that? Who can pass up free drinks these days, lol!

Events @ Indulj
We're Cooking Jazz (The Martini Park Edition) for all the Jazz lovers each and every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday! Complimentary Martini's for all ladies until 9pm. This is the Professional Sanctuary!

And Another One...

Welcome to my new blog. I'm going to admit, I've had a few over the years, but I promise to do better with this one.

In this blog I plan to share my experiences as a late 20-something, Marketing professional living in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area trying to make a name for myself. I have a lot to say about life, love, fashion, and everything in-between!

So I have to admit I have a unique perspective on a lot of things and sometimes what I say may come across as "bourgie" but hey, I'm a product of my environment so I'm going to tell it as I see it.

I enjoy being a critic so I plan to use this blog to comment on various topics from the night life spots, upcoming events in the DC Metro area, restaurants, you name it.

If I fall off for a few days, please send me a nudge ( and I'll be right back.