LA: Month II

I’m late. I swear I have started to write this blog at least three times this month already, in my head. Plus, I’ve jotted notes in a sharpie pen on a legal pad at work, like a week ago. Yet, I digress. My two biggest areas of opportunity going into month three are timeliness|time management and securing financial awareness|stability. In fact, it’s sad to say that I kind of stopped using my Erin Condren Life Planner for a bit. I feel awful, but I intend to end the year strong.

Aside from the shame that comes with the dust and blank September pages of my life planner, things continue to go well for me in the city of angels. I finally feel like I am settling into my job. No, it is not on my list of things I love to do, but I am ok with my current situation. Speaking of work, its hard to deal with the amount of money I spend on transportation everyday. I actually enjoy the luxury of riding, instead of driving to work, reading, listening to audio content or sleeping.  Each day, each trip rather, uber/lyft sends a complimentary receipt via email. I have so many that I am haunted. Honestly. There is no way I can continue to ignore the amount of money I spend just getting around here. Think about it; I mean we’re talking at least two trips a day. Hundreds of dollars a month, that all adds up, and I’m sick of it!

I feel like I’m really learning what it means to have a roommate as well. Somedays (a lot of them) it feels like Franceli and I spend more time being roommates than we do being friends. So much so that I have had to find quiet reminders, remnants of a friendship bound along life’s journey. I have always known that I’m a particular person.  A creature based on habit and routine. I am a planny person (despite having neglected my planner this month). I think I live a pretty quiet life. I love my own space and the companionship that comes with the ownership of my own little corner of the world. Don’t get me wrong because it’s not that Franceli and I yield two completely different lifestyles, we just happen to have two different operating systems, ya know? She’s the droid to my iOS device. (lol) In all fairness it is the beauty of our friendship that makes this situation work. And that’s what I am most grateful for.

This month comes with fresh opportunity as well. I am so ecstatic to be a host on Afterbuzz TV. Like, beyond. Currently, I am on the panel of three after shows: This is Us, Inhumans, and 90 Day Fiance. I almost feel as if the whole world it’s opening itself up to me. Lending me her ear to speak the entirety of my vision.  That’s a feeling many of us know to be fleeting, but when it comes it’s for sure something to grasp with the grip of both hands.

I also got the chance to produce a music video that will be released later this month.  (More on this later!) That’s not something I ever imagined being in the position to do. It lets me know that there is a place for me in entertainment bigger than the little I’ve imagined. Especially when it comes to music. Y’all know my first dream was to sing back up for Mariah Carey!

This month was showing of so much. More than anything I know the work that comes with being successful. Strategy is important. Time is of the essence. And, you can’t do shit without money. Thank God for favor because I still got tricks up my sleeves!

 

#XD30-four-Lifetime

Some of my fondest memories revolve around Lifetime, Television for Women. I’m not sure when it became a family staple, the movies were always so captivating, about one woman or the next in some sort of struggle or fight to save her own life. This was years ago, before all the options that come with contemporary TV and ratchet reality. I feel like as a family we always found ourselves drawn to a space that was created with the channel. We would commune on the coach, all five or six of us would easily crowd each others space, sharing chips and blankets to cozy around one television screen, together.

A lot of those experiences feel lost with our millennial generation. We spend a lot of time separate, individualized in front of the privacy of the screens of our personal devices to the point where we can miss the chance to continually connect. There are always things that will bring us back. Lifetime still has a hold on me.

We drove through the night and checked into our hotel around 8AM this morning. As easily annoyed as I can be by my family, I love the intimacy of this space. When we turned on the TV to rest up I noticed that we all were watching it together. From Criminal Minds to SVU and finally, Lifetime, we actively participated with each other. Talking back to the screen, asking what was missed when someone stepped out of the room, or even having my sister make me a sandwich when she went to grab her own food, a lot of this day reminds me of childhood.

My mother still asks a million and one questions, as if we all aren’t watching the same movie, or she finds inconsistencies that the production team must have overlooked. There was a movie today that had a young girl treated for an injury in one scene yet in the next her bandage was gone. We still are easily frustrated when the characters make stupid decisions that are common sense, and I can be caught yelling and carrying on just as loudly.

What’s interesting is the fact that just last weekend in MD/DC I found myself having the exact same experience, with friends. A Lifetime movie was on and I was completely captivated! I wanted my friends to watch just as eagerly and I caught myself telling them what was happening, as we watched. I definitely fussed about how stupid I thought the white woman on TV was being,

I probably never watch Lifetime, Television for Women, at home. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a lifetime movie, its not a channel I scope out often and I have no desire to schedule time to watch. But I love how familiar it feels to watch it in the company of others. I now see that it’s something I look forward to, that company of others. In preparation for my move to CA this summer I’m moving back home, into my mom’s house for a few months. That doesn’t excite me, at all, but I can’t wait to actively be with my family. Sharing in that love and the joy of our connection will fuel me and I need to store up on about as much as I can get before I am thrown into a new season of isolation.

DAY 3 .

your favorite television program.

I find myself watching less and less TV lately. I much rather consume myself with A Different World on Netflix, but we’ll talk about that when I finish the series. Sure, currently I’m watching all the “shows” Basketball Wives, Love and Hip Hop, I am Cait, Sunday Best, and whatever else! But, I’d much prefer to see a scripted drama with a talented actor, amazing cast and brilliant script. It is September and I am looking forward to my fall line up. My favorite shows returning include: The Good Wife, How to get Away with Murder, and Scandal. (in that order.) I am on pins and needles ready to set my DVR, it just sucks I won’t be able to live tweet discuss the shows until October.

Black people are back on television and that makes me completely happy. Just like the 90’s, except we are massively filling out casts in dramas, as opposed to the comedy and sitcoms we have always been prone to. The real MVP’s are all the writers who are breathing extraordinary life into these scripts, I am all the way here for it. At this point, the element I most eagerly acknowledge is the writing. I have truly come to appreciate the ways words move and shape emotion, or response.

P.S. Every time I open my computer I have to ward myself from opening Facebook. I spent my commute hours– wait, I was in the absolute worst traffic this morning, I was cringing and praying the whole way to work, that I would make it on time! (I did!)– listening to MTV Unplugged No. 2.0: Lauryn Hill. So many gems in that entire record it is ridiculous. I swear it got me through! If you haven’t check it out and if you have, whats one of your favorite songs on the record?

A Week in Review 1.1

Here is the pop culture breakdown, for me anyway, this past week, and things I’ve been meaning to say but end up lost in translation. Somewhere in that space, between my brain, mouth, and the notes section of my iPhone. This is The Sunday Afternoon.

Television:
I hope we’re watching RnB Divas LA this season. I think there is definitely something to be said about what Chrisette Michele brings to this show, for artists. That’s not just singers but artists in general. I so enjoy seeing the processes and creative productivity that she so seamlessly showcases. Not to mention, the element of mental stature. She and Miche’le do a good job in voicing some issues we struggle with in thought. Chantè has simmered, I’ve never been drawn to leela or her fading storyline. She does not appear to have one. Mo, is still Mo, and like her voice, she’s hit or miss. Not sure why her husband had been added to the cast of appearances, but I’m sure it’s good business, for her. With the addition of Brave, she’s cute. I’m trying to decide if she’s the light skin version of Claudette, no seriously. Which one is the black one? She gives good hair and she’s got like the same singing voice as Claudette in those little impromptu moments they give.
How To Get Away with Murder doesn’t disappoint. What I love so much is not just the prowess of Viola Davis, but it’s ever interesting to see that she’s really got her hands vested in the show. You can’t tell me she had nothing to do with the, what I’m sure to be Emmy nominated, appearance of, miss Cicely Tyson. The writers are amazing and I love the drawl of social awareness; in particular the finales pinpoint on HIV/AIDS awareness, there still is such a lack of support and understanding in all of OUR communities on the subject. It’s still uncomfortable, for many, and misconstrued.
Film:
Kind of, I didn’t watch the Oscars and I’m not increasingly interesting in adding to that dialogue of diversity, here. We all have something to say so I’ll wait to say my peace in a piece that adds to the shift in what alls been given. I’m writing a story for HEED MAGAZINE on Diversity in Film, so there’s much research to come. But, I do want to take a second to talk about the upcoming, Blackbird it’s definitely a film I’m going to support, but what’s more, all the talk of Mo’Nique. I loved her response to Lee Daniels. Well first, I can’t get into Miss Daniels opinion. For one, how do you tell a person they are blackballed, brilliant even, by an industry that has never supported or advocated the rights of African American people’s, yet, contribute to it? I don’t respect that. I found his remarks to be cowardice on having to “play the game.” That sounds a lot like selling out to me, and of that I have no interest. Not only do I applaud Mo’Nique, I appreciate her cadence, I embrace her tone, and stand with the sentiment of her spirit. As an artist, it’s nice to note that we can hold to our dreams and our integrity, our own terms, be rewarded on merit, and NOT change because of any accolades. She exhibits great grace and poise, she’s got me back subscribed to THR and I hope she goes on to share more of that experience.
Music:
Why I’ve just now discovered KING and this song, “Hey” I have no clue, but it brings me bliss. Jazmine Sullivan’s record, writing, and ability are unmatched, she’s going on tour and I have to see her and Ledisi, another boisterous controversy, after The Grammy’s, is also going on tour. That whole mess made me take a trip down musics yellow brick road and revisit her third album, (one many believe is her first) Lost and Found, lord it was everything. 
News:
 80% of my news comes from a podcast of Morning Joe, my FAVORITE political
Show on MSNBC and one I find to be willing to give balanced bias or unbiased remarks in the world of politics. It’s an easy way to stay informed so subscribe, get your daily dose and learn something. Oh, and I also Skimm. It’s a daily newsletter that reads through the news for you, leaving the few lines you actually need, to be informed on world news and culture.
Personally:
Personally, I don’t know where to begin. My unyielding need for attention and inability to shift my own continues to shatter the potential of mediocre relationships. And that’s shade to none. Such is life. I’m striving to understand that being friends with people that stray in lanes or industries you’re vying for is much more hassle than ease. Associates and friends alike, from college, or elsewhere, rarely ever give back. They preach it on Instagram, on Twitter and from the rooftops, but they are too “busy” to ever really give a fuck. No one believes in support as much as you do (wait, now I’m taking to me.) but don’t let that change you. It’s just a difficult path to navigate. Hard to applaud the accomplishments of those, for lack of better words, that are not as good (talented) as you, but are further than you. I hope that makes sense. All in all, your journey is yours alone, respect that and cling on to those BFF’s who hold and honor you. (Thanks @celitheactress)
I think that close to covers everything. 
Wait I didn’t mention the fact that as a 27 year old African American, gay man, I’ve just realized that I have daddy issues. Can we take a second and discuss the daddy issues of men; in particular, black men? There’s a conversation I’ve never heard, and I’ll be writing about that too, soon.
In closing, I’m Keith Andre’ my moms favorite musical is The Sound of Music and my dads is The Wizard of OZ, there is no way I’d grow into any other person than me, and that I love. 
Comment, Subscribe, Share, and stay tuned, it’s The Sunday Afternoon.