So Brandy Is About A DOG?!

Pets aren’t people. Puppies aren’t babies. Kittens aren’t children. They are animals. That’s it. Maybe that’s why I was only mad for about 15 minutes when I came home from a summer in Florida to find out our first dog (Spike) was dead. Apparently, he had succumb to a puppy cold turned deadly virus. The truth: he got a cold and my daddy had him put down. Or he let him go in the country, per the Holder tradition. The logic was simple: medicine is for people, not puppies. Once a dog of ours starts requiring more than  annual shots, he gotta go. They’re always boys.

I held this sentiment when we brought O.C. home from the sidewalk in front of K-Mart. (It wasn’t really summer in The South if there weren’t families selling puppies  in front of stores on Saturdays.)The cutest little mutt in the cardboard box marked “Free Puppies”. Well, they said we was a Labrador and Chow mix – whatever. He was ours. Looking back, I should’ve known that this would be different from Spike when we named him. O.C. (Over Comer – daddy’s pick) Tyson (Brittney’s pick that daddy  vetoed) Watson (Brandi’s boyfriend’s last name) Holder. Dog had more names than me. Another tell-tale sign: We let him sleep inside for his first few weeks. Fun times. I wish I could remember how long we had him.

I do remember having to channel my inner ninja to get from the car to the house without O.C. squeezing in the door and hightailing it to the corner under Brandi’s bed. I remember holding him like a baby and dropping him on the concrete edge of the driveway. I felt so bad. He didn’t come to me for a day or two.  I remember him hating his leash with a passion, so we pretty much let him roam free – benefit of having half an acre of back yard. He used to go annoy the dog next door who would never react. Dude had to be at least 207 in dog years, poor guy. I remember him running down the street to greet us as we walked from the bus stop. And I remember him getting hit by that minivan after we drove off to school that morning.

I’d never seen anything die before. Well, bugs. But nothing that mattered to me. I saw him twitch. And then nothing. I watched my dad gather his body into a trash bag and set it on top of the pile that was already waiting to be picked up. How convenient for your dog to die on trash day. I remember crying through first block – science for the smart kids. I hated that class.

I’m sure that I subconsciously vowed to never again own a pet that day. Because somehow they weasel their way out of the pet zone and into my heart. And I might not be able to continue the family tradition.

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Hi, I’m Just Visiting. What’s Cool Around Here?

*dusts off Macbook* *waves*

Hellooo!! Anybody there?!

It has been quite some time since I’ve visited my little space on the world-wide web. It’s been almost as long since I’ve written anything other than my prayers. Much has changed about me and my surroundings. But that’s not what brought me back here. Well… Yes, it is, but that’s not what I’m going to talk about today.

Last weekend I received a random direct message on twitter from a fellow Bison. She was in town and invited me to the 12 South Winter Beerfest, something I had never heard of before. No way was I turning the offer down. After assistance from my trusty GPS and a few wrong turns (I have no sense of direction, even which technology handy) I found myself in a part of Nashville that I had never seen before. Mind you, I was only about 7 minutes away from home. It hit me. I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MY CITY ANYMORE. *hangs head in shame*

I’ve been back here for over a year, and am totally happy, but I still feel like I’m visiting. Pitiful, I know. I could write a laundry list of excuses for why I spend the majority of my time between home and work, but none are worth me wasting the word count. Truth is, I’ve been unmotivated and lazy. And I have the nerve to complain about having nothing to do like it’s not my own fault. Alas, there’s an easy solution to my problem. I’m going to start living like a visitor.

One of the best things about going to visit friends in an unfamiliar city is that you have a tour guide. No need to wander about or only venture to the über famous tourist attractions. Local restaurants and hot spots are at your disposal thanks to your in-the-loop local buddy. This is how I want to start treating my city – it may be unfamiliar to me, but I have the inside scoop necessary for an amazing journey. Where will I get this information? Anywhere. Everywhere.

I don’t know why, but people love to write Yelp reviews a about Nashville and everything here. Not tourists, Nashvillians. I am currently sitting in a coffee shop that received rave reviews from plenty of Vanderbilt University students. Yelp is about to become my best friend. I was also told about a cozy bar in Inglewood that I should visit, and met a few people who perform at a spot right down the street from my house weekly. This happened while standing under a tent surrounded by strangers this weekend. Who would’ve thunk! I also plan on utilizing local blogs that post the happenings around town.

My ultimate goal is to make this place my own. I need to find where I fit  and flourish. So I’ll be venturing out (and probably getting lost), and I won’t stop until I feel at home. I’m open to any recommendations.

*Raise coffee mug* Here’s to the journey!

The Bonnaroo Experience Part 2: Night One

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Let’s see… Where did I leave off? Oh yea! Sonic was calling us. You would think that turning around in a parking lot would be simple. No. We pull into this lot because we noticed that there were plenty of exits that would get us back to the wonderfulness of a slushie. The lot is huge. The building, bigger. And we soon discovered that all of the 9,000 exits were blocked. This parking lot was clearly against us getting to Sonic. As we drove around aaaaand around I started to wonder what was housed inside of this massive building. In a fit of frustration I say, “watch this be Creflo Dollar’s church or something.” We start searching for a sign of any sort, and all we see on the outside of every door is a globe. When we finally get back out of the lot, we see the sign and it says “blah blah blah Creflo Dollar”. Ha! And you know what does not exist at this church? A cross. Not one cross. On the outside of the building. On the sign. Nowhere. Solidified my belief of his crookdom. He’s a crook. Don’t debate me.

After we finally partake in all of Sonic’s greatness, we hit the road and make it to the farm in record time. We get settled and assemble our massive tent in record time also. Sidenote, there were a grand total of two of us in our tent. It was big enough to sleep a small army. We took up so much space. And we were done before everyone around us. Yes, I’m bragging. We were finally ready for the fun to begin.

We make the journey to the actual festival. Journey is an understatement, but the walk was well worth every step. When I say that place was huge, I mean gigantic. Five stages, all types of tents and barns and food, two ferris wheels, and a huge fountain in the middle. I can’t accurately describe it all. We spent most of the afternoon exploring because our must see performance wasn’t until 10pm. I did discover Danny Brown that day; the first performance that I witnessed of the weekend. We pretty much chilled and people watched until it was time for Kendrick Lamar.

We discovered early that the best way to get a good spot for a performance is to head in when everyone is leaving the previous show. Yelawolf was slated for the spot before the love of my life (Kendrick Lamar). I would like to take this time to apologize to all of the Yelawolf fans that may have been injured in the process of Jada bulldozing through the crowd and pulling me along. She was on a serious mention and would not settle for less than an up close and personal relationship with the stage. I’m almost positive that she hit a few people in the face. Her mission was a smashing success.

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Doesn’t he look amazing?

The love of my life has that title for a reason. Kendrick Lamar is a BEAST. A freak of nature. I had the time of my life. I was high off of the energy of the crowd. There was crowd surfing and beach balls. All around amazingness. There’s really no other way to describe it.

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This happened. Right beside me.

We ended the night hanging out with two white girls who approached us with this: “do you mind if we ask you an offensive question?” The question was why don’t black people swim. I feared far worse than that though. We danced in the beer tent. We talked about everything. We sang old Hot Boys songs and did New Orleans bounce dances. Oh! and Jada attempted to light dance. She failed.

Amazing first night.

Music City? Hey, I Gots A Question

I live in Nashville, internationally known as Music City. I have a friend who was able to attend the SouthxSouthwest festival in Austin, TX this past week. I was on the receiving end of texts about how dope this artist’s set was and how swagged that artist was, and yes I was a major hater full of salt.

See, I had previously spent time calculating the cost of making the trip the Texas and concluded that I had to be out of my mind to attempt the trip at this time in my life. My brokeness looked at me and laughed. After spending the week experiencing bouts of extreme jealousy, I started to think.

Why in the good name of all things dealing with a rhythm and instruments does Nashville not have a music festival like SXSW?

I don’t want to hear a thing about the CMA Fest and country music fanfare either. That is restricted to one genre. Although the city may be primarily highlighted for country music, that is not what earned the nickname and is not all that we have to offer.

Now would be the perfect time for a festival in Music City. Our hip-hop scene is growing at a crazy pace, with artists who are travelling to festivals like SXSW and even Sundance to win over new ears and enlarge their fan base. And I’m not even going the mention the amount artists with national fame that the city has produced who most people don’t even know are from Nashville. There are so many artists that have Nashville as a tour stop just because we are Music City.

And think about the amount of revenue that a music festival would bring to the city. It is not like there are a shortage of venues for shows. Off the top of my head, I made a list of 10 and that does not include the large venues such as The Ryman Auditorium, Schermerhorn etc. I don’t think that getting people to attend would be a problem. Just look at the amount that travel in droves every year to The Middle Of Nowhere, TN to camp out at Bonnaroo year after year.

So Nashville, I need answers. Can somebody remedy this for me? I’d be forever grateful.

I Want A Job…

I want to put these on and zone out.

 

Is it possible to get paid to listen to music? That’s it. Sit at home and listen to music. Go to shows and listen to music. I’m not a writer, and I’m as politically incorrect and rude as they come, so I wouldn’t want to be responsible for writing reviews. I don’t want to be an A&R or any sort of head hunter because pitching artists to others is not my thing. If I like something /someone, I like them. I can’t be bothered with convincing others to like them too. I want to listen. Enjoy. Dissect for myself. Listen again with a better understanding.

Can I get paid to sit in my living room in sweats – size extra large – with my macbook hooked up to surround sound speakers; iTunes on an overflowing ‘Recently Added’ playlist, and vibe all day? Can I pick out what I love and put them on repeat? All day. I mean, I can tweet lyrics so it won’t seem like I’m getting paid for nothing. Can I receive a salary to dress up and go to all the new venues that I’ve discovered to witness all of the talent coming from my city? Can my employment package include me being front row center for my favorite artists when they stop through on tour?

 

Can I get paid to go somewhere like this?

Who would hire me for such a position? Seriously. I need answers. Suggestions. Someone point me in the right direction. I’ll put on my best suit and give and amazing interview. I’ll show how diverse of a musical palette I possess. I’d create charts and diagrams relating artists and songs that only I would think to connect; put together my ideal concert line-ups and set lists. I’d so so so get that job.

To sit and listen to music all day, how glorious!!

Two “Southern Rules” That I Will Always Practice

Being born and raised in the Bible Belt South, there is no denying that I have some conservative and traditional views and opinions. I also left the south and spread my wings slightly, exposing myself to all types of things that I’d never see in Tennessee. I like to think of myself as “evolved” or “cultured”, just because I like to give myself descriptive titles. Being back at home, I’ve realized that some things about me will never change. Some traditions practices and opinions are engraved in me for the rest of my life.

1.  Women prepare men’s plates.  

I don’t remember my grandfather ever making his own plate for any meal. Growing up, when my dad got home from work my sisters and I would warm his dinner, set up his table in front of the TV along with his drink and the remote. Every night. At family dinners, my Gigi makes daddy’s plate. Any boyfriends that my sisters have brought around for a meal have had their plate made by their girlfriend. Whenever I decide to bring a man around, I will make his plate. Whenever I cook for a man, I will make his plate. My husband will not have to make his own plate unless I’m mad at him at meal time or not around. I’m not talking about random snacks. He will not be calling me from whatever I’m doing to grab him a bag of chips and a soda.

2. Men drive.  

On dates, men drive. On shopping trips, men drive. Headed to church, men drive.  If my significant other/man I’m dating and I are going anywhere in a car, there is a %99.95 chance that he will be in the driver’s seat. We don’t always have to take his car; he is welcome to drive mine. If I had to give a reason why, it would be this: Men are meant to be the head. They lead. Men should also lead when traveling by being the person guiding the vehicle to the desired destination. The reality is, I grew up seeing men drive the car. My man will do the same. And since I will be preparing his plate, I feel like it’s an even exchange.