October 31, 2008
October 30, 2008
Edited To Add: I am posting this as a sticky. Just so Mo’Nique In The Afternoon Viewers know “To My Friends…With Love…” is not about the radio show. I just found out I’m the first thing that pops when people google the radio show.
Dear Visitors and Christian Friends:
Given an honor to God, the Pastor, and Ministers on The Roster…
Oh, uhm, sorry about that…
Alright, when I posted my little message about The Mo’Nique In The Afternoon show(a month ago) I didn’t know the effects it would have. I’m literally getting hundreds of hits a day because of that post! Granted, I am not sweatin it…I love the publicity Mo’Nique is indirectly giving me. However, I just noticed some readers are posting about subjects on the show…
Sooo, I just wanna make sure EEEEEERRRRRYBODY know that Toddy English is not hooked up wit Mo’Nique nem! I’m finding that I’m getting a lot of readers (who’ve discovered me in the process) based on that…But I wanna just stress that I’m not trying to capitalize off Mo’Nique in the afternoon!
Also, if ya’ll gone stop by here atleast say whassup to ya boy (me)! I’m the HNIC in this here juke joint!
Okay, this is my formal public service announcement.
Have a blessed day.
Isn’t it amazing when you stop searching for something it just comes to you? Like a feather floating on the wind the spiritual faith of Shamanism landed in my lap. Now, for whatever reason, I feel this sincere affinity for it. Granted, I’m still not here nor there on that whole “God” thing but many faiths, at their core, appeal to a certain facet of myself. Maybe I am one of those people that love the pomp and circumstance of a religion? I don’t really know.
Initially, when I left that old time religion behind (Christianity) I dabbled in so many other faiths. First, I got trendy and tried Zen Buddhism. That is usually the default religion for most people (not knocking true Buddhists practitioners. But don’t call yourself a Buddhist just because you saw “What’s Love Got To Do With it” ten times). For me it just seemed really trendy and cosmopolitan; and I’m not lying. Buddhism for me was like a new pair of shoes or some Starbucks. Yeah, I was lovin it for a minute but it did absolutely nothing for me. It was more of a Fad. I tried it. I didn’t like it. So I returned to my religion shopping…
Subsequently, I tried out Wiccanism which was cool. When I was in Junior high school I remember being so afraid of witch craft. That was until I saw “The Craft” and “Harry Potter.” Suddenly, I realized that people could be good witches (aside from Glenda in The Wizard of Oz). So, I dabbled in that for a minute…But I found out I had to be in a coven, which I wasn’t feelin. All of the Wiccans I met wore tribal tattoos and multiple piercings. Plus, none of the spells were working…Now, I do love Astrology and tarot cards. Those are cool. But Wiccanism didn’t feel comfortable for me…
So, I tried: Taoism, Judaism (yes, I did), conjuring up my own ideas of the universe, and all this, that, and the other. I never found what I was seeking in any of it. I was always looking for my own personal truth, something that felt right to me. I’m still very much agnostic about an anthropomorphic master of puppets; however, I still believe that there is a mystical bent to the universe…Again, I don’t know but somethings make me wonder.
Well, for whatever reason, I’ve discovered Shamanism. This religion I did not actually seek out. It just sort of fell in my lap. One day I was surfing the web and, tell me why I don’t know, I wound up on a website about Shamanism.
Presently, I am not an expert on Shamanism; however, the crux of the religion is that it is not truly a “religion” in as much as it is a philosophy and state of being. The Shamanism that interests me the most is found amongst the Native Americans. What appeals to me the most about Shamanism is reverence for animals and nature. Shamanism teaches that all things, great and small, are alive and deserve to be respected and cherished. It is the antithesis of the Abrahamic religions being that it doesn’t present human beings as a God’s ultimate creation, therefore subjugating “lesser” beings (i.e. animals) to cruelty and malice.
The beliefs about “Power Animals” was really fascinating…
In the shamanic belief every thing is alive and carries with it power and wisdom. Power animals are an essential component of shamanic practice. They are the helping spirit which add to the power of the shaman and are essential for success in any venture undertaken by the shaman.
Shamans believe that everyone has power animals – animal spirits which reside with each individual adding to their power and protecting them from illness, acting similarly to a guardian angel. Each power animal that you have increases your power so that illnesses or negative energy cannot enter your body. The spirit also lends you the wisdom of its kind. A hawk spirit will give you hawk wisdom, and lend you some of the attributes of hawk.
As an animal lover I found this very, very, appealing. Primarily because, in hindsight, I’ve recognized all of my power animals. Moreover, all of those animals (be they spirits, energy, or mere illusory abstracts) have aided me in some form or fashion. Whether it be my relating to them or certain animals (particularly cats) always being in my life. Coincidentally, most of my poetry (some not here) is about animals. I remember a few years back, when I was going through a very tumultuous time in my life, Zebras kept manifesting themselves in my life…For whatever reason, at that time, I had this weird predilection for Zebras. To this day I still gravitate to them for strength…
Lately, I’m in love with Gazelles (and African Antelopes in general).
But my favorite animal has always been Domestic Cats. The irony is that I’ve always had dreams about them. Whenever I’ve had problems cats would appear in my dreams. Furthermore, I admire the cat. They amaze me, really they do. I’ll take my cat, Ashton Winston Churchill (Ash for short), for instance. The way he sees the world amazes me. Whenever I let him out of his bedroom (yes, my cat has his own room) I watch what he does. Ash, the moment he appears, after living with me for five years, explores the house like he is seeing everything for the first time. This is every single day. I really learn a lot from him. It stops me from being jaded.
Some human beings are arrogant enough to believe that animals are not intelligent. To me they are intelligent, just in a different way. They may not score highly (or even know how to complete) on a human intelligence test; but, more than likely, a wild lion will survive a lot longer in the jungle than we can (sans any weaponry or canned goods).
When I spend time with animals I truly feel a sense of peace and purity. There is no malice or remorse in any of them. They live everyday of their lives as if there is no tomorrow. More importantly, animals love with abandon. All my Ash knows is that I am taking care of him and he cherishes me because of that.
What I love about Shamanism is that this religious practice encourages humans to stop, look, and listen to the other inhabitants of our natural world.
Anyway, I am still reading about this but I am highly interested. Now, I don’t believe in all the: shape shifting, flying, and out of body experiences. But, Shamanism, at it’s core appeals to me.
October 28, 2008
I’ve never told anyone this before (not even my best friend). I love Chris Brown. Hell, I love him almost as much as I do Will Smith (almost). I have both of his albums and I’ll pretty much DVR all of his television appearances.
If you haven’t checked out “Exclusive”(the Forever edition) please do. It is my favorite album of 2008!
My favorite songs are as follows…
1.) With You
2.) I Wanna Be…”Imagine if the pillow that you cried on was my chest…” Chris Brown.
Yes Chris, I can see it clearly. ::sigh::
4.) Take You Down (::Toddy fans himself::)
6.) Wall To Wall
7.) Gimme Watcha Got
Not only do I think he’s a great singer but he is just so damn cute. Yes, I love him and want to marry him someday (Sorry Rhi Rhi but I’m plotting to steal him from you). Yeah, he said it might be totally awkward if he got some man drawz from the audience…But if I go to one of his concerts I’ll throw him mine!
Yes, a totally shallow post but…uhm…whatever…teeheehee.
I did it!
I recited my poetry in front of an audience and I didn’t pass out!
Furthermore, the attendees really liked my writing! The shop owner, Jimmy, invited me back to recite some more for the next show. Unfortunately, I forgot my digital camera so I didn’t get to do the Youtube video. But that will be next time, for sure!
What I loved about the experience was that it reignited my creative fires. I’ve been writing in my journal almost non stop for the past three days! There is something about people actually appreciating your work that gives you permission to allow yourself to do more…
Anyway, overall, I had a lovely time. It was a sweet lil shin dig.
The poetry reading was in honor of Día de los Muertos (The Day of the dead). It is primarily celebrated in Mexico; however, it has become an honored tradition (mostly in the Mexican American community) in the United States. It is a day where family, friends, and relatives get together: pray, remember, and celebrate their deceased loved ones.
So not only did we read poetry but many of the attendees created art work to strike a mood. They also had Apple Martinis too! I had about three (teeheehee), but I didn’t get trashed. Those “spirits” loosened me up before I got onstage, because I was hella nervous.
Well, the whole poetry room was really vibey. Jimmy had: beads, incense, and lovely music going so I just got this sense that all was well. I got in touch with my creative self and it took the edge off.
There is another “lady”, my friend, Donna who also writes. Oh my god I think Donna is so brilliant. “She” writes such beautiful poetry (Donna was also the emcee). After she read her stuff I thought, “Oh hell I need to just duck out right now…” So I’m sitting there trying to figure out which of my poems to read.
Then I thought, “Fuck it.” I gave myself permission to come from the heart and recite the first poem in my hand. To my surprise they all really really liked it! I am still awestruck. So afterwards I read two more (I only brought three with me). After I had them dranks and got comfortable it was all good.
Anyway, I had a blast. No, there were no really cute guys in attendance (it was more of an arty crowd: tons of lesbians; the guys were either too old or very…uhm…eclectic…But really cool! Just not my type). So I didn’t get drunk and go home with anyone…But I still had so much fun.
I’m actually thinking about starting my own poetry/writers type group. That would be so righteous!
Sooooo, I am going back to read again next month. My muse has been awakened and she’s a demanding bitch!
October 27, 2008
Chances are you’ve never read my blog; however, on the off chance that you may, I would like to extend my sincerest condolences in this your time of tragedy and grief.
Anyway, stay up sistah. We (your fans, family, and friends) all love you.
Peace be with you.
October 24, 2008
I voted today! Of course you all know I voted for Barack Obama, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah, call me bias if you want to. I am partisan as hell, I admit it. I think the Republican party is a treacherous, deceitful, band of thugs and I’ll be a flaming liberal Democrat until a conservative with: integrity, honesty, compassion, intelligence, and a working knowledge of the English language (basically, someone that can say “nuclear” correctly) manifests himself. So, say whatever you want about the Democrats I still feel really positive about a potential Obama presidency. Of course if it is the other way around and Caribou Barbie wins the election (because we all know it’s her running and not McCain) I’ll sulk; flee to Canada; and eventually accept it…
Now, yours truly is a novice at this voting thing. I didn’t get to vote in the year 2000; but, I did vote for the Ent (John Kerry) in 2004 (The Two Towers was so good that I had to vote Kerry). Needless to say the last eight years have been…well…Let’s just put it like this. It has been so bad that Americans are going to give a black man a chance. Yes, I am feeling it for the Democrats. Hell, I hope this election year spoils me. I want eight years of Democratic unanimity, damn it.
Back to the point. I felt it prudent to educate and warn all the new voters about a few things…
I’ve been hearing some frightening stuff about the voting machines lately (via the blogsphere)…So far be it for me not to keep my fellow Obama supporters up to date.
Well, not that it is a big surprise but a few people–in certain battle ground states–have complained that upon casting their ballots for Senator Obama the machines flipped and switched their vote(s) to McCain. MmmmHmmmm, now that is some shady shit. Voters, I am not even going to bog you down with the particulars; but, I am going to say…Know what you’re getting before you get it. My advice: Don’t select the option that says “Democratic Party.” That is the selection that will give you a straight party vote, thus alleviating extra time spent selecting. Just go down the line and vote all Democrats. Okay, I can’t tell you how to vote but, whomever you decide on, vote for the candidate individually…Just to be safe.
Speaking for myself, I didn’t have any problems because I selected all of the candidates individually. But for those who live in those coveted states (that the candidates need), and vote Democratic, PLEASE watch that. We all know how The Republican party likes to steal elections (how else do you think we got Dubya for eight years?). Yeah, I know that the Obama campaign is all on this (Thank goodness he isn’t as weak as Gore and Kerry); however, just take a little extra time at the ballot box. Personally, I would prefer hanging chads (because people can influence these elections…Again, we saw it happen in the 2000 election), but those are relics.
Anyway, just follow that little tip…and if it happens immediately alert one of the election people on duty, seriously.
Just a few more things:
All of the states have computerized databases of who is registered to vote. Call in to your local polling place and see if your name is on the roll. If you get down there and they say it isn’t then ask for a provisional ballot. It is your constitutional right. Again, if you are registered you WILL get to vote. It is your right by the constitution.
Also call a voter hotline. On the phone are trained volunteers and attorneys who can inform you on all of your rights. Moreover, you can also go to the website of the candidate of your choice. Arm yourself with this knowledge.
Furthermore, if you don’t have a state ID bring a current bill (lights, water, gas) or paycheck stub, just to verify your identity.
I’ll reiterate. If you are a registered voter you CAN vote. Don’t let anyone turn you away from the ballot box.
African Americans: I don’t care who you vote for just get out and do it. Our ancestors died for the privilege!
To my generation: Don’t listen to P. Diddy’s stupid ass. You won’t die if you don’t vote. Just forsake your apathy and do it because it matters, aight?
To The Gays: Uhm, do you really want Caribou Barbie–someone who can go on a $150,000 dollar shopping spree and buy everything EXCEPT a chastity belt for her daughter–making constitutional amendments that will relegate us to 3rd class citizenship?
To The Atheists/Agnostics/Muslims/and Others: Aren’t you sick and tired of radical Christian zealots after eight years? Jesus, I know I am.
Okay, I’m jumping off my soapbox now…
I still have mad love for ya. haha. ::muah!::
October 21, 2008
Your’s truly will be a featured guest at a poetry reading this weekend. Oy vey, how did I get myself into this? haha.
I am very excited; however, I am sooo nervous. I’ve NEVER read my poetry to ANYONE (well except when I wrote poems to a boyfriend or something) in public. Yeah, I’ve posted some here but that is different. I’ll actually be the center of attention…Oh the humanity!
I think it will be fun though. One of my fellow bloggers, Patrique Vosges, suggested that I create my own “Sasha” (Beyonce’s onstage alter ego). I’ve opted to instead create my own heroic totem…A fictitious warrior woman by the name of Persephone Darkholme. Persephone is 6’5 (without her high heels); looks like an amalgamation of Naomi Campbell, Halle Berry, Beyonce (in the “Single Ladies” video), Cleopatra Jones, Storm (from the X-Men), and Aaliyah; and carries a huge sword. I will envision her smiting anyone who makes fun of my writing, to my face. Persephone will be my loyal bodyguard as I read to an audience.
And if that doesn’t work I’ll get goin off a little Patron.
Wish me luck!
Whereever Langston Hughes is I hope he smiles upon me…he is my favorite poet.
October 20, 2008
I’ve decided to conclude my counseling sessions. Well, it was actually a mutual agreement between my therapist and myself. She agreed that my growth (in the span of five months) has been exponential. She even said, “I believe the sky is the limit for you now, Toddy.”
Yeah, I think so too.
Coincidentally, Melody (my counselor. Not her real name) has taken a new job in another city. So she was going to leave the counseling facility anyway. But, somehow, the fates timed things just right. It’s as if the universe is saying to me, “Toddy, you are fine now. It’s safe to stand on your own.” I really do believe that now. I’ve completed the homework for this chapter in my life; and I am ready to move onto the next assignment.
So, as my next birthday approaches I see wonderful things ahead. The difference between me now and last year is that my heart is wide open. I’m ready to receive everything that I: want, need, and desire. For whatever reason I feel lighter now…unburdened and unchained. I’ve forsaken my vices (hatred, sadness, and fear) and exchanged them for peace and prosperity (not monetary but emotional…I’m still broke).
I liken this process to little Christopher Robin growing up and no longer needing a Pooh Bear. Fear was my Pooh Bear for the longest time. Now, I’ll put it into the toy chest, forever.
Y’know, initially I looked at therapy as the definitive answer to all of my problems. However, it never gave me the answers. I found all of the answers within myself, just talking about my issues. It’s kind of like Dorothy with the ruby slippers. She went to the wizard for her answers, but Glenda the Good Witch told her that she always had the power to return home; because the power was always with her.
There really is no place like home (the heart).
Melody, thank you for being my Glenda The Good Witch.
October 18, 2008
The Queen BEY has returned!
Oh my god I love her! This video is so fanfuckingtastic!
Great song and Beyonce looks great! She looks like she’s channeling Wonder Woman and Tina Turner. haha.
Can’t wait for the album.
Okay, I am calm now.
Imagine me dancing. The image in your head is probably correct. ha!