weekend wrap-up: san francisco, sausalito, stanford college & more. (PART 2)

i know my original (PART 1) weekend wrap-up blog post was almost a month ago, but work with me. let’s play a fun game and travel back in time to when my family came to visit me in northern california and we tried to do everything tourist-y in four days. this is PART 2.  hopefully my computer won’t start acting up like it did last i tried to share all of my wonderful pictures. in the event that it does, just know that i did my best.

anyway, here are the highlights (in bullet form) from that awesome weekend…about four weekends ago:

  • attended the lecrae & andy mineo concert aka anomaly tour in san francisco. AWESOME!!!
  • walked along fisherman’s wharf
  • toured stanford college w/ my cousin
  • walked around berkeley
  • shopped in the haight district in san francisco (SF)
  • crossed the bay bridge at least 8 times in 4 days
  • crossed the golden gate bridge and didn’t cry
  • toured the very scenic bay area city that is “sausalito”
  • ate at “mama’s” in SF, but after a 2-hour wait of course
  • had shrimp & grits at “brenda’s french soul food” in SF
  • ate soul food at “gussie’s chicken & waffles” in SF w/ my parents
  • (according to the previous 3 bullets, it’s safe to say that i’ve cheated on my diet)
  • visited niketown at union square in san francisco

gussies san francisco brendas in san francisco sausalito california golden gate bridge lombard st in san francisco mamas in san fran mamas restaurant in san francisco San Francisco-themiscfiles San Francisco-themiscfiles

movie review: beyond the lights.

movie review for beyond the lights

i wanted to hurry and write this movie review before i started to peruse the internet for movie critics, other bloggers’ opinions, rotten tomatoes and all other things film rating-y. i needed to get my opinion out first so it wouldn’t be influenced by anything other than my first take. the only thing i knew about “beyond the lights” before seeing it was that gina prince-bythewood wrote and directed it. gina also wrote the ever so popular love and basketball. with a movie like that under her belt, i felt like i had to go see beyond the lights. not to compare the two films, but to witness the growth in overall film production and see two fresh actors hit the main screen. i’m just a fan of cinmetagraphy and the craft of acting so any excuse to go to the theater will do, honestly.

alas, the review.

first, the english accents threw me off. i don’t know why but it did. from the previews and movie trailer, i guess i really didn’t pay attention to the voices, so when i saw the opening scene’s setting in london and heard the character’s speak, i thought i was in the wrong movie theater. but as the movie went on, i grew to appreciate the UK background as i thought it gave the storyline a bit more flare.

i feel like noni, the main character, is a depiction of our popular music artists today. pick one. she’s adored by many in the public eye, but struggles with real issues beyond the lights (all pun intended). and officer do-good, kaz, the other main character, i liked his role. very subdue, yet very effective. i feel like he was what boris kodjoe and lance gross were intended to be in “addicted” and “temptation.” no shade. i love both of them, but boris and lance sort of got lost in their roles and came off too passive next to their female co-stars. but not officer do-good. maybe i’m not being fair because technically boris and lance weren’t really a part of the main plot in “addicted” and “temptation.” but this is all my opinion. okay, digress.

“beyond the lights” was a good movie. more captivating than i thought it would be. i  mean, i didnt really have any expectations, so i came out of the theater very satisfied. all in all, i liked the morale of the film and it was good entertainment. and i especially liked when noni let her natural hair free. i felt proud of all my locs and new growth at that very moment. let the record show, if you take your weave tracks out for your man, then it’s real love. LOL

*two thumbs up*


#VOTD: black vs. white marching bands.

dear rickey smiley:

i cannot with you, sir. LOL





today is tuesday, november 4, 2014 aka #electionday in the U.S. of A.

this blog post is pretty self-explanatory. let’s do right by ourselves and our country. let’s VOTE!!!

okay, that’s all.





movie review: dear white people.


this movie was presented like a book, or a play with an epilogue and scenes. there was a general setting – winchester university – which i assume is a made-up university that references an actual university, i just don’t know which one. there were four main characters in which the movie was based around:

samantha white (tessa thompson) = the mixed black with identity issues

colandrea conners (teyonah parris) = the non-mixed black chick with identity issues

troy (brandon bell) = the “privileged” black kid  with identity issues who lives to please his father

everybody hates chris  lionel higgins (tyler james williams) =  the gay black kid with identity issues

i didn’t even mean to flood this review with conceptual waves of “identity,” but as i typed the description of the characters, this is what came to mind first. and i’m going to roll with it. keep in mind, the characters’ depth runs deeper than my brief analyses above. it’s really the best way i could sum up the protagonists.

moving along, there were a gazillion themes in the film. at least i thought so. i’d have to see the movie again to capture them all. i’m sure that i will as i can see dear white people on the top shelf of my DVD collection. i digress. the obvious movie themes related to: politics, racism, prejudice, social class, family and that almighty dollar. in bullet form, dear white people spoke to the following issues:

  • racial identity
  • racial politics
  • social identity
  • stereotypes
  • self worth
  • the gay community in black america
  • mass media
  • overcompensation
  • living for your parents
  • the competitive world of youtube
  • the competitive world of high education
  • the misconceptions of reality TV
  • college politics
  • greed

i sat in my seat confused once the movie ended. not because of the ending, or because there was some unexplainable cliffhanger, or because it sucked. that’s just the opposite. it was a great ending to a great movie with a great story and a great group of lessons. it was well-casted, well-directed and satire at its best. i was just in awe because, well, it was/is an example of real life. that’s frightening. but in lighter news, i am excited for the possibilities with this original indie film – that is now in theaters nationwide.

weekend wrap-up: golden gate bridge, sausalito, haight-ashbury & more. (PART 1)

lions, tigers & bridges. oh my!

before i dive into the blog, i just want to say that i crossed multiple bridges multiple times last week. i overcame a fear. that’s major.

now, let us begin:

i felt special this past weekend, like a movie star who moved away to shoot a major film. although i am only in the bay area as an intern until december, i had family come to visit me and that made me feel important. yeah, i know it’s not that big of a change because i relocated from southern calfornia (los angeles), but i felt like i moved to another state. i guess 5.5 hours up north makes that much of a difference.
anywho, a million things happened over the past few days so i will break it up into two posts. (click for PART 2). also, instead of writing my life away, i am going to take the easy way out and use bullet points to highlight the important things:

  • attended the lecrae & andy mineo concert in san francisco. AWESOME!!!
  • walked along fisherman’s wharf
  • toured stanford college w/ my cousin
  • walked around berkeley
  • shopped in the haight district in san francisco (SF)
  • crossed the bay bridge at least 8 times in 4 days
  • crossed the golden gate bridge and didn’t cry
  • toured the very scenic bay area city that is “sausalito”
  • ate at “mama’s” in SF, but after a 2-hour wait (of course)
  • had shrimp & grits at “brenda’s french soul food” in SF
  • ate soul food at “gussie’s chicken & waffles” in SF w/ my parents
  • (according to the previous 3 bullets, it’s safe to say that i’ve cheated on my diet)
  • visited niketown at union square in san francisco

IMG_0489 IMG_0494 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset IMG_0511 IMG_0516 IMG_0518 IMG_0519 IMG_0526 photo 1 CAL stadium IMG_0562 IMG_0567 IMG_0568

weekend wrap-up: thecall berkeley, drama at subway & sacramento, ca.

california state capitol

this past weekend was pretty eventful. i’ve done some things that i’ve never done before, like pass out in subway. but before we get to the good stuff, let’s talk about “thecall berkeley.” :)

born and raised in southern california – specifically los angeles – i never knew the beauty and uniqueness of the city, berkeley, in northern california. that is, until i started living here. i moved to berkeley, september 21st 2014, for a 3-month internship. as soon as i arrived, i noticed the differences between socal and norcal. it’s not a bad difference, per say, but a difference nonetheless. berkeley is a little more free-spirited than what i am used to. quite frankly, this city seems to be REBELLIOUS!!! i don’t feel like rules matter here. of course, los angeles is a liberal and easy-going city, but i guess we put on more of a show to be glamorous. maybe it’s due to hollywood and the fact that everyone in L.A. claims to be an artist of some type. i’m being a bit sarcastic, but i’m also being truthful. L.A. is more luxurious-looking than berkeley because lots of people in this bay area city are comfortable with floral maxi dresses, sandals, woven backpacks, north face jackets, antique buildings, mom & pop shops, bikes and graffiti. don’t get me wrong, we have all of this in L.A. but not as collectively and obvious. berkeley’s vibe is…is…is outlandishly unique. you can tell academia is valued and so is comfort, freedom of expression (in all areas). i don’t know how to explain it, but i know it’s different.

with all that said, i was excited to be a part of this movement called,thecall berkeley” on saturday, october 4th 2014. although i think freedom of expression is cool (to a certain degree), i don’t think rebellion is cool. it’s just not a good look no matter which angle you view it from. knowingly, the city of berkeley needed a revival. they/we needed to see the beauty in being creative AND obedient. obedient to who? to God. YES, i know i just got deep on you, but here me out. i am a writer, a freelance artist, a teacher, a music lover blah blah blah. but above all, i am a Christian. what am i saying? i’m saying that i know what it feels like to want to be free and live according to feeling, creativity and momentum, but we have to remember that this is not our life. it’s God’s life! at the end of the day, we are servants of the Lord and we live for Him. because God is the bomb, He gives us the desires of our hearts and allows us to be expressive individuals. however, if the freedom comes at the price of neglecting God and saving souls, then it’s not really OF Him. i’m just saying!

so, “thecall berkeley” was/is a movement to “to turn the hearts of the rebellious to the wisdom of the righteous.” i’ve never attended such an event before saturday. there were lots of people, lots of vulnerable souls, lots of spirits, lots of preaching, lots of testimonies and lots of praying. we met at sproul hall on the campus of UC Berkeley because it was there that the free speech movement occurred. a minister from thecall website stated, “in this place there was a student revolution that shook the nation and spawned an era of rebellion and protest, but I declare to you that in this place there is coming a greater revolution, a Jesus revolution that will be stronger than the rebellion, and thousands from this place will come to know the Man Christ Jesus.”

like-minded believers came together to restore the city withing music, praise and prayer for 12 hours. it was amazing! i didn’t even mind that it was hot, and i was in the sun standing up for a while without eating. but i think my body didn’t like that too much because it gave up on me. i felt myself getting a little woozy so i walked to walgreens. the entrance was on the other side of the block, so i walked to subway right next door. i sat down and put my head on the table to rest and i thought i went to sleep. in my “dreams” i heard a bid thump and thought someone dropped something. then i heard, “ma’am, are you okay?” and once i came back to consciousness, i realized that they were talking to me. i was on the floor, weak and confused. “water” i whispered. the kind strangers got me water and a subway employee even made me a tuna sandwich. it was so scary. i’ve never been dehydrated before and, if i can help it, that will never happen again. i went home after the dramatic stint and took a nap.

thecall berkeley12

thecall berkeley13

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thecall berekely3

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thecall berkeley

after getting some rest, i got dressed and drove to sacramento. one of my L.A. buddies had a 30th bday bash with her family in her hometown. i didn’t know that i would have to cross a bridge and pay a toll fee on the way up there, but after shaking from nervousness and getting a ticket because i didn’t have the toll fee in cash, the rest of the drive was smooth.

on the way to sacramento, i visited the UC Davis campus. i have this obsession with UC’s. maybe it’s because i am a UC Riverside alumna. hmmm.










anyway, that was my weekend.

how was yours?


happy anniversary, plus 1 tour!

on october 5th 2013, my buddy, avery atkinson invited me to be a part of her vision. we hosted a 3-city tour sharing educational, cultural and spiritual resources to our communities. the first stop was my hood: los angeles by way of compton, california. with christ as our PLUS ONE,  we spread the gospel in an unconventional, yet relatable way.  the “plus 1 tour” theme also came from the ever so popular bible scripture, “i can do all things through christ who strengthens me.” (phil 4:13). we encouraged people to live life to the fullest by walking in purpose.

i still remember this moment like it was yesterday. i was nervous and anxious because i didn’t know if people would show up. not only was it a full house, but folks walked in from the streets and a couple of people traveled all the way from san diego. mind you, the event was in compton, california…that’s a long way from san diego. two hours or so. nevertheless, God was glorified and we had a good time.

the mood of the tour was talk show-esque. avery asked guests questions about school, religion, health, spirituality, culture, traveling overseas, etc. there were two guests for this show: myself and youtube star, charlycheer. i spoke more on the obstacles of (my) collegiate success and how my church upbringing positively impacted my career goals. charly captivated the crowd with her expertise on health and wholeness. all three of us discussed our experiences living, traveling and working overseas as women of color.

thank you avery for making this a reality, and thank you charly for sharing this experience with us.

it was simply amazing!


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