Are You Not Entertained?!?!?!

I promised myself that on this weekend I would save money by staying in, cleaning my place and getting some rest by laying up watching TV. There was some great things on my regular cable and I got to catch "Gladiator". I've seen this movie a gazillion times but something about when Maximus says, "Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?," always gets me going (I guess it got JayZ crunk too but I digress)! And since I'm working on cultivating an attitude of gratitude, I decided to share some of the many ways I've been being entertained lately!

SPORTS: Ummm, I live in New Orleans and the Saints are undefeated! Even when I lived in Indiana, the Colts were great but not 10 games undefeated!

MOVIES: Holiday movie times are my favorite. I'll never forget during the first year of law school I couldn't go home during the holiday b/c I was trying to make as much money as I could during the break (you're not allowed to work when class is in session during the first year. I spent my entire Christmas Day movie hopping. I've gotten to see some cool movies lately. First, I went to the New Orleans International Film Fest one Friday and caught this cool thriller TRAPPED IN KATRINA.

It was not the usual take on the Katrina tragedy nor what I anticipated to see from local independent filmmakers. I was beyond impressed and the cinematography was awesome. I'd been on the edge of my seat since October to see PRECIOUS. FINALLY it came to New Orleans. My new friend got closer to being my new boo when he got me tickets for the midnight show on the night it came out. It was so riveting. Monique was AMAZING! This movie is a must see and was well worth the wait. Finally on Thanksgiving night, I took my sister, niece and cousin (watch out for him on that Saints EA Sports commercial) to see New Moon. We had a blast although we'd all read the books so were well aware of what would happen.

MUSIC: It goes w/o saying how I feel about Lil'Wayne since I blog about him so much. I got the NO CEILINGS mixtape and LOVE it! He used some beats of songs I don't really like and now I love 'em. My favs are probably "Let's Do It" and "Poke Her Face". I just got Lupe Fiasco's new mixtape too. (Although a virus that I just paid DELL $120 to rid me of is making me scared to download it!)

BOOKS: I'm a huge fan of Esther and Jerry Hicks after reading "Ask and It Shall Be Given." They are great authors/teachers and I'm a big fan. I got THE ASTONISHING POWER OF EMOTIONS for only $4! at Borders and I'm definitely enjoying it!

PLAYS: I got to see BADUIZMS at the Fringe Fest and it really inspired me to work on my own project for stage (details to come). BADUIZMS was a cute play inspired by the lyrics of Erykah Badu. I went with a couple of my friends and we had a blast (only in NO can you get hammered at a play!).

I HAVE been truly entertained these last few weeks. And to answer Maximus' question, this is exactly what I came for! Have you gotten into anything cool recently?


Don't Forget the F

Because I'm aspiring to do my own documentary, I'm very excited to watch docs these days - ANY docs I can get my hands on. Well this one makes me very VERY excited! Its about WEEZY!!!! (I'd only be more happy to see a rapper documentary IF it were Kanye!)



The Attitude of Gratitude

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.
Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."

Thanksgiving time: turkey, family, football - good times! This year I've decided to build my attitude of gratitude! I'm ready to celebrate the people in my life! During the 29 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, I'm going to be contacting 29 people that I'm grateful for. Some of them know (like my mentor/old boss VC-I tell him all the time; or like my girl Erin - we end every call w/acknowledgements of how grateful we are to be in each other's lives). Some people may not know - like this lady in my building who is always so kind. I'm going to contact folk and let them know just how grateful I am for their presence in my life. I'm also looking forward to upping my meditation practice. 15 minutes a day just contemplate all the things I have to be grateful for. I'm going to pull out my gratitude journal too! YES! I'm ready for this time!

How can you be more grateful? Any plans to show gratitude?



Yall know I love me some Ms. Beyonce!!! I am a growing fan of Lady Gaga. So w/o further ado - my new fav video! BEYONCE AND LADY GAGA VIDEO PHONE!

Oh Well ...

Yesterday I had an epiphany.

I started a new job being an assistant to a director, producer and head writers on a TV pilot. I LOVE IT! This type of work invigorates and motivates me. I always feel great in these situations. BUT I messed up my scheduling. I thought I was coming in to just fill out start paperwork but when I arrived I ended up staying on until 9pm. Problem was I was supposed to go to my waitress job at 5:30. I called and tried to get off the schedule but management couldn't help. So I did the unthinkable (well for me that is) ... I no called/no showed. I felt really bad for a while (afterall, this tv job is only throughout the end of the year). I also felt super scared (what if I don't get a gig in January?) Money and security issues began to cloud my head.

Then I realized that this is my time - I made a decision that from my last birthday until my 35th bday I'd really pursue what I loved. Working in film, tv and entertainment as a whole MOVES me. It always has. So with that, I'm done with that particular restaurant (lol! and now I can't go to that location anymore). Over the last month, I've been working on a plethora of creative projects. One is my documentary and the second is a new stage play I'm writing. I'm very excited and really pursuing the things that drive me. I also got a great new hairstylist! She shaped up my inverted bob and it is pretty fab (pics to come).

The thing is that I know I'm creative and have some great ideas. I also realize that my goals and dreams are non-traditional so I may have to do things differently to achieve those dreams. I have been blessed that whenever I "need" a job, I get a job. I've always had one. It is just difficult sometimes to let go and let things manifest - I can be controlling. Well now is the time to just let things be. My job now is to really dedicate myself to my desire and let the Universe take care of the details. So no more being sad over that waitress job - that was never my destiny.

It is funny how things work out and happen. I got a text from my friend late last night that the new moon was in Scorpio. This is what that astrological occurrence has in store for me (Click here to see what it means for you.) Interesting huh?

New Moon in the 1st House
A new moon in the 1st house bestows a renewal within the self. Reinvent yourself. Try new things. Be bolder, more confident. Start new projects. Begin walking, talking, thinking, acting, and being the version of yourself you envision. Go on, try it out; see how it feels.


She Makes Me Wanna - Pursue My Passion

I'm a firm believer that you can make friends online. I've found Twitter to be instrumental in helping me meet great, like minded people in New Orleans and one of my most inspiring connections is with Holly Hobbs. Our "introduction" proves my theory on how social networking sites help to foster friendships. I found through Twitter that we have a ton in common - we both like Mojo's Coffee on Magazine, are into supporting local artists and most importantly, we both have a HUGE crush on Harry Connick, Jr. and frequently say "fabulousness"!!!!

After initially meeting Holly on Twitter, I've found her to be highly intelligent and extremely passionate about using her talents to help make stronger communities. Like me, she's an artist. Unlike me, she's not a frustrated one trying to figure out how to let her talent be used. It seems as though this isn't a problem for Holly because she appears to let her passion guide her. Confucius said, "Chose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." Well while Holly works extremely hard, it seems as though she's chosen great places to focus her energy and efforts. With completed documentaries under her belt, she currently works as managing director of the Patios film festival and as co-director of HipHop for Hope. Her passion is contagious and inspires me to really go after the deepest desires of my heart! Read more to see why Holly Hobbs makes me wanna pursue my passion!

NAME: Holly Hobbs
AGE: 31 (aaaa, do I have to put that?LOL!)
HOMETOWN: Columbia, Missouri

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: BA from University of Wisconsin (Gender Studies, African Studies), MA from Indiana University (Ethnomusicology), PhD coursework at University of Missouri (Folklore), finishing proposal to finish PhD at Tulane right now (Ethnomusicology).

OCCUPATION: Hmm. The general term for my field is “cultural development,” using the arts as a resource for community and economic development. And technically by training I’m an ethnomusicologist—the best term for that would be “public sector ethnomusicologist.” But I do film, and I’m a musician, and I’m the managing director of the Patois film festival here and co-direct the nonprofit Hiphop for Hope.


DO YOU LOVE WHAT YOU DO: I love doing a thousand things and being involved in things I’m most passionate about, so yes, I do.

HOW DID YOU BEGIN YOUR CAREER: School was always the best of both worlds for me—graduate school provided a creative environment, time to write and create, money to travel and research, etc. So much of my career has been in graduate school. But I started my music career by playing jazz in piano bars.

ARE YOU LIVING THE LIFE YOU DREAMED OF: Not quite yet but I’m on my way!

WHO IS YOUR FEMALE INSPIRATION: There are so so many, and they cross the board from political figures to writers and musicians. I love Susan Rice, the US Ambassador to the UN recently appointed by Obama. I love Lucinda Williams—I feel like she writes for me. I’m always in awe of Zora Neale Hurston’s life and work, and the work Alice Walker did to recover it. I love Dorothy Parker in all her fabulousness. Toni Morrison does it for me. So does Arundhati Roy. Wangari Maathai, who recently won the Nobel. There was a New York Times interview with Chan Marshall not too long ago where she talked about Mary J. Blige as her inspiration, and I agreed with so much of what she said. And, as always, my mom.

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN: I’ve been so busy/stressed/etc since I moved to New Orleans that I haven’t done as much of what I love as I should. Playing & writing music is #1 for me. Other than that, I love my group of girls here. I love walks in Audubon. Coffee already made when I get up in the morning. A good book and a sunny day.


INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES OR MOTTO: “Good behavior is the last refuge of mediocrity.”

You can find Holly on the web at www.myspace.com/hollyvioletproductions www.patoisfilmfest.org www.hiphopforhope.org
You can also follow her on Twitter (www.twitter.com/holl_x ).
And to see the efforts of her labor live, come check out the HipHopforHope annual benefit concert this Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009 at Tippitina's Uptown featuring MiaX, Mannie Fresh, RajSmoove and a host of other talented artists!


Month In Review

I'm watching "The View" and Joy is doing the month in review. It inspired me to do my own October month in review!

Let's see ....

10.2 - I got to shoot a PSA. My friend Tyron was working on a PSA project and I got to participate. Later that night we celebrated my friend's (Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon as she'd like to be called) birthday. We went out to dinner, First Friday's then Frenchmen - cool night. I ran into an old friend at First Friday's ...
10.9 - The plan was to go out to the Soundclash event. I was super pumped because all week on Twitter it had been super hyped/promoted. It was on Frenchmen and when I stepped onto the street, ALL the lights went out - BLACKOUT! Crazy! So I went to my favorite Bridge Lounge w/a couple of friends and ... the old friend from FF met me out.
10.10 - I got to see "Tetro" at the New Orleans Film Fest. It was amazing! I've known about this movie for some time so to finally see it was like WOW!!! After I went to Monkey Hill Bar for the LSU game. GOOD TIMES!
10.11 - I started the day by going see an indy film, "SunDogs" at the NOLA Film Fest. I then met my power women's group for beignets. The plan was to then go to see "Precious," but unfortunately, it was WAY oversold.
10.12 - I got to celebrate my new friend Holly's bday with her. It was super fun - we went to Mimi's on the Marigny and they had a special Columbus Day Sangria - YUM!
10.14 - I started a FinalCutPro workshop at NOVAC. I love learning new things - especially computer programs. The first day was extremely interesting and exciting.
10.15 - This day was AMAZING! I got to see the President of the UNITED STATES!! AND I got to ask him a question. Later that evening, I hosted my first event in New Orleans - "Tweet n' Greet". It didn't go quite as planned and I think I found I need to make a lot of money to do the type of events I want to do. Nonetheless, it was a good learning experience. (And the "old friend" came so that was good.)
10.21 - Had a date night w/the "old friend" from FF. Very nice-complete with flowers and dinner. We shall see how this one goes ...
10.26 - Went to a Reggie Bush/RedBull magazine party. It was really cool. It reminded me of corporate events in L.A. Rebirth played and there was a cool DJ. Free drinks, free food ... OH and I got to hang w/my boy Justin who is back from Hawaii.
10.29 - My friend Cristin's bday! We had dessert at Sucre and drinks at Parasol's in the afternoon! Good stuff!
10.30 - I completed my FinalCutPro workshop!!!!!
10.31 - Happy Halloween! I was a great 80's glam goddess EXCEPT no one saw me :( My plan to meet friends at Frenchmen didn't go so well. It was cool though, decided to hang out alone on my side of town ...

And that's what happened during my October. How was your month?

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I hope this letter finds you well. I am doing okay - I had a really bad cold thing this week but I think I'm over it. I feel much better and don't have a fever anymore.

I'm writing to let you know my request for this year. While I want a lot of stuff (thigh high boots, gym membership, Amazon Kindle, a Snuggie, etc) I decided to ask you for what I NEED. Santa, I NEED a MAC and a video camera. I just completed a class where I learned FinalCutPro and I think it is a necessity for me to complete my film making goals. I think that this package would really help me to complete some of the goals I have set for myself.

I've been a pretty good girl this year ... well there's those three things BUT I'm working really hard to stop doing not so good stuff. BUT I have been extra good in most areas of my life this year. I think it would be a great gift and if you could make it possible for me to receive these gifts, I would be ever so grateful.

Thank you,

DaVida Chanel


Confession Time

I have a confession. Today was a rough day. I didn't sleep well last night because I had this nagging cough. I was super cold so I'd bundle up and turn on the heater only to become super hot. I had a doctor's appointment scheduled for today for some time so that worked out perfectly. She gave me an exam and decided that I needed a cortisone shot and mucinexD to break up an upper respiratory infection I'm developing. But I think something bigger is going on.

I'm a firm believer that physical ailments manifest from emotional or subconscious thought patterns that literally make us sick. One of my favorite authors, Louise Hay has written many a book on the subject, my favorite being "You Can Heal Your Life." She breaks down many common illnesses and their root problem. The root problem of respiratory illness deals with not being seen in the world or the fear of taking in life fully. I believe my lack of dealing with my issues head on has made me sick.
I'm simply not fully happy. I'm not depressed - I love most aspects of my life. New Orleans has been wonderful as far as exploring my creativity. I thoroughly enjoy the city and all it has to offer EXCEPT in one area: my career. I feel that my career is stagnant (actually regressing) and it makes me mad, sad, hurt, confused, stressed, scared and of now SICK! I hate not having a "real" job. Yes I enjoy waiting tables and my teaching thing with the girls, but I strive in environments where my work is more purposeful. I enjoy being in charge of things, people and schedules. I found my "thing" as an assistant. I was really great at running the lives of others - I always made sure my bosses were where they needed to be, prepared for their day and aware of all that was going on. Their clients loved me (and I them) and I was very well regarded. Even before then when I was a sports information director I felt the same way. I feel like I was able to really leave my mark in the places I worked and with the people I worked with. Now I do not have that same umph about life, goals and the like. While I do enjoy a lot more time on my hands, I am bored. I've tried very hard to really focus that energy on myself and my goals but it is difficult because I miss the invigoration I felt when working. I felt like I was on a path - now I feel like I'm floating aimlessly.

I need to figure out what is next for me. My biggest fear has always been to wake up on my 40th birthday and really hate my life. I'm getting a lot closer to that point and I believe I have to make moves to prepare me for what is to come. I feel like since I've been out of full-time work (Oct. 2008), I do not know how to adequately get it together. Its almost a year since I've been back South and while I've done a lot that I'm proud of, I need a job! I need to make money. I need to get it together. I thought that my time of assisting others was done and it was time to focus on my goals but now I'm not so sure. The truth is I'm not sure of anything anymore except that for the first time in forever I'm really sick. I rarely say this, but I just don't know what to do. And that admission of utter "I don't knowness" is my confession.


My Lenny Experience

I'm a huge fan of live music. I love to go to shows and will go see artists I'm not very familiar with to experience their sound. For a long time, my favorite would be to see artists in small venues. (I always felt like you could really connect with their energy in a small, confined space). This changed when I lived in Indiana. They would always have these concerts at Purdue on Slater Hill and it would be amazing. Nice weather, good music, and tons of people out just to have a good time. Since I've moved to New Orleans, my outside music experiences have definitely increased (there are a ton of music festivals here and this year I got to see Ms. Badu and the Dave Matthews Band). Last night I saw Lenny Kravitz at Voodoo fest. I am holding back nothing when I say it was the single best concert I've been to in my life.

First, let me discuss the synchronicity of events. I've been wanting to go to this show since I heard he'd be here in say August. I never bought tickets because right now money is tight. I asked everyone I could about passes or "hookups" and no one could come through. One day I got an email from an old friend in L.A. who said he was coming for the show. I thought he was just coming to go to the fest. Turns out he was working and got me two VIP passes (what an amazing friend!!!)!!! Because of my work schedule, I decided I'd go in the evening to catch Trombone Shorty, Flaming Lips and Lenny Kravitz. At 11 am the girl that was supposed to go with me let me know she wasn't and I called my friend Selam because I knew she wanted to go as well. She was free so we decided to go around 5. When we arrived the sun began to set and it was dark. I realized I'd never gone to an outside show at night. At first I was super nervous - the grounds were really wet and muddy and I can be a bit clumsy. We stopped by Trombone Shorty - good stuff! We made our way over to the LOA Lounge that our VIP status got us. We got a round of drinks and then I say my friend who had some amazing "treats". We sat by the lake and chatted a bit with Flaming Lips playing in the background. As Flaming Lips closed, my anticipation for Lenny was CRAZY!

More...So I've never been to a show with Selam so I was happy to know that she wanted to try to get closer to Lenny as well! Our VIP passes got us close to the front and with a little bit of maneuvering, we managed to get very close. His music was amazing. He played so strong and had amazing swagger.
And the lyrics! It felt like church and Lenny Kravitz was the pastor. Over and over he gave us commandments to live by like, "You are a child of the most high. There's nothing you can't do and that's no lie." I was feeling the music and really resonating with his lyrics. He ended the show with the crowd chanting, "Let love rule." And during his encore, he brought out Trombone Shorty!!!! (Trombone used to play with Lenny on tour so it was great to see them on stage together.) Oh and at the end of the encore the drummer threw his stick into the crowd and Selam caught it!!

During the show he spoke alot about living in New Orleans. He said he came to see Aretha at Jazzfest for one night but just stayed because it felt so right. I can see exactly what he means - there is something about this place that just feels good! I feel like I witnessed someone who really gets it - he plays great music but his songs are full of words of hope. I left feeling lighter and more energized. I'll be carrying his message, "It's time to take a stand. Brothers and sisters join hands. We've got to let love rule."

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