1. Andrea Lewis “Those Girls Are Wild” site: I started off looking for Andrea Lewis after complaining about Season 4 of “Degrassi: The Next Generation” having a ridiculously low amount of couple moments between her and Jimmy. Then I realized she has a CD out and some great photographs on her site. I’m blasting “Raindrops” super hard (featuring Andre 3000), but I’m digging her version of “Back to Life” more than Sole II Sole, who I really liked back in the day. She’s got some pipes on her. Check out her CD here. You can check out her website (with her "wild girl" friend and author Shannon Boodram) at ThoseGirlsAreWild.com, and no, it’s not a porn site. That website name made me hesitate to click on it, too. On top of that, these girls are funny as hell. I love people who have a sense of humor. Serious is good, but inexplicably goofy is even better. Check out this video below. There's plenty more crazy where that came from.
I remember reading Ronin Ro's "Have Gun Will Travel: The Spectacular Rise and Violent Fall of Death Row Records" a few years ago, and (if my memory serves me correctly) this was the book that talked about Nate Dogg constantly wondering when his solo CD would come out. Every time he had a song for his own album, it would be given away to another artist. I was thinking the same thing: When will his CD come out? I was mainly thinking that because Nate Dogg clearly had the same kind of blind talent that R. Kelly used to have--he could sing about the craziest stuff and make an artist's song better every single time. As soon as his solo project came out, I bought it immediately. I wasn't bumping all of his solo stuff or his most notorious hits, but I was still a fan.
In Jay-Z's book "Decoded," the rapper jokingly talks about how he's more comfortable rhyming Lauryn Hill's lyrics than he is with Lil' Kim's. I felt the same way about a few songs Nate Dogg did the chorus, too. There was no way in the world I was going to blast "All About You" or "Area Codes," but I'll be damned if I wasn't involuntarily humming his part. However, with the chorus of 50 Cent's "21 Questions" and the more woman-friendly "Never Leave Me Alone," I blasted those songs so long and hard that I know almost all the words.
I care about the environment. I cringe when I see litter. I have given a lecture or two about folks smoking in no-smoking zones. I'm a vegetarian (animal agriculture definitely effects the environment). For about a year, I was a Green Source Writer for Yahoo! Contributor Network (formerly Associated Content). So I don't know how in the world I almost forgot about Earth Day this year. I got a call mid-week from my father telling me Earth Day was coming, and I better not come over to my parents' house like I did for Earth Hour 2010. Anybody who knows me well knows that if you tell me not to do something, chances are I'll do it anyway. Low-key, I still believe he subliminally wanted me to come over to bother him but didn't want to admit it. The next day I saw a work e-mail stating, "Let's make Tribune Tower greener." Nice job, Trib! But I don't work in the newsroom on weekends, and I knew I had to make a decision--go to my parents' house and bother them for Earth Day 2011 or stay home and chill on my own.
It’s about that time again for another five things I’m obsessed with. “Obsessed” is a bit of an exaggeration, but if you read my very first one, you’ll know why I’m using that word as opposed to something like, “Five things I’m feeling right now.”
1. “Degrassi: The Next Generation:” I couldn’t figure out why people were giving Drake such a hard time when he first came out. I’d never heard of this show, never seen it, had no idea who Aubrey Graham was and to this day still don’t know when/where the show used to come on. I started reserving copies of it on Netflix, and I love this show. Then again, I like all of those school sitcom shows like "The Wonder Years - Complete Series," "A Different World," "Saved by the Bell," "My So-Called Life," "Beverly Hills, 90210," the new generation of "90210," and the short-lived Showtime shows "Chris Cross" and "Ready or Not.” From Seasons 1 to 3 of “Degrassi,” “Take on Me” is my favorite episode, especially after the necklace scene. Very adorable! The show takes on some very controversial topics and does it in a way that seems real instead of an after-school special. Plus, Drake got way more swagger by the third season so I still don’t know why the complainers gave him a hard time. Now I found two ways of being a fan of his—acting and rapping. I'm now watching Season 4, and the shootout episode was memorable, tragic and excellent acting for the entire cast. I'm salty Hazel has so few times to shine on this fourth season though.
1. Crocheted hats: I didn’t get Common’s reason for wearing them at the time, and I am not a hat person, but my great great aunt crocheted a hat and scarf for me and I finally wore it—a year after she made it and after much complaining about me never sending a photo with it on. It was nothing wrong with the set. I thought it was beautiful. I just don’t wear too much pink or caps/hats. However, the set went with my gray knee-length, button-down coat (courtesy of NY & CO, bad ass coat), and I love wearing this hat. It’s warm, easy, comfortable, fashionable and it doesn’t mess up my hair too bad when I take it off.
While reading this article about Cleo Johnson, I was thinking, "This is interesting, and timely for Women's History Month right after Black History Month ended." Of course I wish the woman was still alive. I don't mean it in the sense of celebrating an obituary but just admiring her contributions to black history. But while reading this, it triggered a conversation I've had over and over (and recently) through the years about Black History Month. I once wrote an article about the reason "Celebrating Black History Month is Necessary" as a counterargument to another Yahoo! Contributor network source writer.
I'm always somewhere between disappointed and disgusted whenever someone complains about Black History Month being in February "the shortest month of the year" and how we should learn black history every month, not just February. One reason is because the February comment tells me that person never bothered to find out why Carter G. Woodson started Negro History Week in February and how it was then extended to Black History Month decades later. The second reason is I've yet to meet someone who complains about Black History Month who actually gives a damn about black history. Right after the comment is made, I ask whether that person knows about the date and then, "What do you do the other 11 months?"
All right, I'm not just mentioning these things because I work for the Tribune, but four out of this week's five will be things I genuinely enjoy either reading (outside of the news) or updating on the Tribune's website. I'd like them whether I worked there or not.
1. Julie's Health Club: I was excited about working on the health section as soon as I was hired. I'm fascinated by health news, primarily because I'm a vegetarian. I don't think I paid this much attention to health information until about six years ago. After that I started paying more attention to what's good for the body instead of just what tastes good. Julie's Health Club blog is interesting to me because of the subject diversity on top of learning something new or useful.
2. What did you eat today?: I liked this idea when I saw it on the LA Times website and after a colleague mentioned a "What did you eat today?" photo gallery to me for the Tribune's website, I thought about adding it once again. I thought it'd be cool, but I didn't expect to be this nosey about what people are eating. Nowadays I'm always looking to see what new photo is added.
1. Netflix: I was talking with a co-worker today about how much I dodge watching commercials and am too impatient to sit through a television show or movie with breaks in between. I'd rather watch the show on my DVR player so I can fast forward. But then Netflix was introduced to me, and I wanted to sing (off-key) from here to Atlanta! I love the fact that I could rent the entire "Vampire Diaries" season, then bust out with episodes of "Blossom," to go straight to a movie like "Losers" (Idris Elba and Zoe Saldana work great together) and all of Michael Moore's documentaries. The variety on that website is endless. I could spend an entire day just watching old movies and television shows that I missed from my childhood and avoid spending $10 in a movie theater.
2. Naturally 7's performance on the BET Honors: I became an "accidental jazz fan" a couple of years ago, but I've always been entertained by instrumentals. When I saw Naturally 7 give a tribute to Herbie Hancock, I was absolutely impressed. I'm a hiphop head. I love to hear people beatbox. I never learned, but I could listen to the Dougie Fresh's and Buffy's (Fat Boys) forever and not get tired of them. This group just smoothed it out a lil'.