The Time I Rode the Turquoise Jeep…

It’s not every day when a girl can say she met some of her favorite Internet sensations. This past Friday, though, I crossed another unfathomable dream off the bucket list, when I saw Turquoise Jeep in concert.

Who or what is Turquoise Jeep? Let’s just say this: They’ve been releasing videos on YouTube since about 2009, and a many of them are close to, if not past, the one million view mark. I’m not sure what keeps us dedicated Jeep riders back for more: Flynt Flossy’s raspy voice and dance moves, Pretty Raheem’s (always colorful) choice in clothing and smooth voice, Yung Humma’s dedication to smanging and the press and curl, Whatchyamacallit’s general aura of mystery along with sharp dressing, or Slick Mahony’s falsetto. What I do know, though, is we are loyal fans of this group, whether they’re real or not. For just a sampling of what they offer, check out the classic R&B stylings and green screen realness of Pretty Raheem in “Can He Move It Like This?”

 

I found out one day before this concert that it was even happening. Didn’t matter- I was going. The friends that totally relate with this obsession all live out of town; didn’t matter- I was going (for the TEAM). I had already made plans for dinner and to see The Butler; didn’t matter- I was going. My neighbor wanted to smalltalk with me forEVER during the little time I had between movie and concert to change and get a taxi downtown; didn’t matter- I went. Regrets? I have ZERO.

2013-08-23 21.44.41I knew I was in the right place when I saw the picture above. The last of the opening acts was finishing up with a rousing Jodeci chorus, and I happened to run into a couple of old buddies from undergrad. I was beyond excited. When they finally came onstage, I was front and center.

 

We got cavities, and Pretty Raheem grabbed my hand:

 

We fried (or fertilized, whatever your preference), and Yung Humma grabbed my hand:

We smanged:

We watched Flynt Flossy break it down for the lessers:

We watched them preview a new song, “Naughty Farmer,” which seemed to go over well with the crowd:

Once they were done, there was an announcement of where they would be for t-shirt sales and autographs, along with pictures. They didn’t leave until everyone who wanted to got a chance. I didn’t say much, except I hugged most of them (can’t remember- slightly starstruck), then took a picture with them and my new friend who knew the choreography as well as I did. 2013-08-23 23.12.13-1

I didn’t stay for any afterparty- I didn’t need to. Mission in foolery: completed.

If you ever get a chance to see them live, I highly recommend it. Check out their tour schedule here, and if you get a chance to see the Jeep live, you better know how you like your eggs. They will ask.

Lee Thompson Young and Tough Talks

Lee Thompson Young, 1984-2013 (photo from TMZ)

Remember that face above?

I was stunned this afternoon to find out that Lee Thompson Young, formerly of Disney Channel’s The Famous Jett Jackson, and recently of Rizzoli and Isles, had passed away today. I remember him being one of my first tv crushes, and making meeting and marrying him one of my first long-term goals. From the looks of many of my peers via social media, we shared the same sentiments. He was handsome, seemed charming, and kept up various roles past his time as a Disney child star.

What was even more stunning, though, was that reports of his death came with a speculation of suicide as the cause. Many were struggling with the concept of why or how it could happen to someone that seemed to live a fairly even keeled life, but if this is indeed the way this young man left this Earth, there is often a level to life that those struggling with depressive, suicidal thoughts never reveal.

I realize that depression is a very tough subject to tackle, and I am by no means an expert or authority on the issue. What I can do, though, is offer support, and encourage each of you out there to look at mental health issues as more than something to joke about occasionally. Don’t let someone’s pain and suffering be your punchline.

Check in on your friends. If you haven’t seen someone in a while, look into their well being. Care about people. You don’t have to make grand gestures; just letting someone know that you’re thinking of them could make all of the difference. Recognize the signs of depression and offer support and love to your friends and acquaintances that may be going through. Help combat the stigmas that surround mental health- encourage people that may need it to seek help and be unashamed.

It doesn’t take much, but I feel that these little steps can make a world of difference in someone’s life, and help those tough talks about mental health become a little less tough. So while I can’t marry Jett Jackson, I can use what little influence in my corner of the interwebs to ensure something good comes of his tragic passing.

 

Shall We Dance? The Video that Brought Me Such Joy. #31WriteNow

The only reason I’m sharing this video is because viewing it multiple times has brought me so much joy in a short period of time. I originally came across it through tumblr, where user theblacksophisticate posted this video with the caption, Home alone with my little sister, and this happens because we are freakin’ awesome!

I can’t help but agree, and perhaps you will, too:

 

As I pressed play again and again, I couldn’t discern what I loved more- the pure joy on their faces, their effortless footwork, his little sister’s laugh as he picked her up to spin her, the cheery bossa nova they jigged to (Credit: One Note Samba by Charlie Byrd), or the love that just radiated between my face and the computer screen. Just under a minute and a half, I wish this video were something I could connect to my heart as a reminder of how carefree life can and should be.

 

Also, it just does my heart so well to see Black children being children… and just enjoying life.

Blurred Lines- Jimmy and The Roots

Sometimes, I forget we’re in the dead middle of summer. For me, that captures a specific feeling- one that involves visions of ice cream trucks, children running endlessly, and cars blaring past, playing THAT song. Again. You know what I mean. Every summer, there’s that one song that people can’t get enough of, radio can’t get enough of, and I’ve had enough of by the time I’ve finally heard it through for the 3rd time. This summer, we’ve been blessed with Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke, Pharrell, and T.I. to get us through.

I can admit, while the throwback Marvin Gaye beat and line danceability has me sort of soft on the song, I still could live without having to hear it much again.

That was, until Robin came on the Jimmy Fallon show last night and did a Classroom Instruments session with The Roots.


The Roots has an ability to make everything sound good, as evidenced by these classroom instruments causing me to do many a chair bounce. These are always some of my favorite pieces the Fallon show does, so needless to say, the song’s been revived for me. If only for another week.

If you haven’t caught any of the other Classroom Instruments + The Roots + *insert artist here*, I will hook you up.

First up, Carly Rae Jepsen and Call Me Maybe.

Next, Mariah Carey and All I Want Is You, featuring some of the most adorable little ones ever.

Now, Christina Aguilera and Your Body, with office supplies as instruments. Purely genius.

I’m really surprised they didn’t do this during Justin Timberweek. Also, if you are doing various forms of chair/chaise/couch twerking, I take full responsibility.

Don’t stop. Get it, get it.

I’m really surprised they didn’t do this during Justin Timberweek.

Why Now? A #31WriteNow Challenge- Day 1

I’m going for it. You should too.

When Luvvie announced this 31 day writing challenge, something inside of me immediately said, “I’m in.” Truth is, I’ve been out for so long, I don’t know how to possibly begin being “in.” I’ve missed this. I’ve missed using my “voice.” Those who know me know that my actual voice is quite soft and often gets overused quickly, so I’ve always retreated to the pen to express myself.

Lately, I’ve felt kind of… outlet-less. I’ve had so many thoughts swirling about, but yet, I didn’t take the time to let them bleed onto paper, or even into cyberspace. But this? Right now? Typing so freely as my mind and my fingers connect in a world where performance isn’t scrutinized and the points don’t matter because they’re all mine? This feels like home.

I’ve needed this swift kick in the fingertips for a while now, and I plan to make it count for something.

Because this is my voice. And my voice matters.



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