Starting Off The Year On A Good Note…

Yes, I’m well aware that we’re almost into the 3rd month of 2013 but I haven’t written in a long time and for that, I apologize. After this post, you’ll notice that I will be catching up on some things I’ve been meaning to write about…mainly the big trip I took in Oct to NC and Atlanta as well as some musical morsels along the way. First things first though, let me tell you what I’ve been up to…

Since November, I found myself struggling to write. I’ve come to the conclusion that from around the time of Mama’s anniversary until about the end of the year, I go through what I call major hermit status. What hermit status means is what you already assume…I keep to myself a lot, not very visible on various social networks and don’t go to many social events unless absolutely necessary. This has happened every year since Mama passed away but as long as I’m able to pick myself up come the New Year, I just roll with it.

January is usually an uneventful month but I decided last minute to go on a quick trip down to my 2nd home, North Carolina. Not only was this trip was fuelled by the announcement of 9th Wonder's birthday party, I hoped it would serve as a pick me up. I know you're probably asking yourself, 'did she really go down to NC for the weekend JUST for a birthday party?' and I suppose essentially, I did! One major reason was that Ali Shaheed Muhammad from A Tribe Called Quest (my favorite hip hop group of all time) was going to be 9th's special guest!

I arrived on Friday, the day of the party. My Jamla Army sister, Didi came and got me from the airport just before noon. We had lunch at one of my fave places, The Cheesecake Factory before she dropped me off at my girl Michelle's place so I could relax a bit. I was exhausted from the early flight. Michelle was supposed to go to the party with me but unfortunately, she was not feeling up to it. I was able to get in touch with my boy, Jamaal (Mallz) and he was willing to meet up with me after Michelle and I had dinner to go to the party together.

The party was at Five Star, a place where I've been many times. It was great seeing my NC family that night and meeting some new faces: my girl Sherry who befriended me via twitter and 9th's ustreams and I also finally got to meet my Jamla Army sister, Abbey who came up from Florida for the weekend. The night was filled with lots of  fun, laughter and music which was much needed. Not only did 9th have Ali Shaheed with him but Young Guru was there as well. The big surprise of all was Jill Scott came to the party. Mike Gee of the Jungle Brothers also came through later on. I was absolutely awestruck and I know I wasn't the only one. 

Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest
Ali Shaheed on the 1s and 2s!

Young Guru enjoying himself
Jill Scott partying it up!

With my GB, 9th Wonder, the birthday celebrant!
With some of my Jamla Army brother and sisters: Didi, Eboni, Ting and Abbey
Sherry and I
Eboni, Sherry, Didi and I

Later, my Jamla Army sister, Eboni who came down from Virginia and I were plotting on how we would go and meet Ali Shaheed. I was nervous and it was crazy because he was surrounded by people wanting to take pics or get autographs. We decided to go up to the stage, approach him and would take each other's pics. I, of course, told Eb to go first because I was still trying to muster up the courage to even say a sentence. LOL! They spoke for a bit and I took Eboni's pic for her then she stood aside to make way for me. When Ali Shaheed looked at me, all I could do was take a deep breath and look down at my feet! LAWD! LOL! He was like, c'mon up here, aww, don't be like that! I was horrified that I was acting that way. He had his arms open to me so I stepped up and went straight in to hug him. Ha ha ha! I finally found my voice and spoke to him for a bit. In conversation, I told him I was from Toronto and he told me that Toronto is like his 2nd home. He then said to be sure to say hi the next time he's in town. It was surreal meeting him. I mean, geez, A Tribe Called Quest is part of me growing up! I don't have the words to explain what it meant to meet him. I was even in shock when I stepped down from the stage. I went back over to Mallz and he laughed because he saw the whole thing. He told me I looked like a little kid being scolded. He saw me put my head down and walked right into Ali's arms. Ah well, bottom line is...I MET ALI SHAHEED MUHAMMAD!!

At the end of the night, I think I was delirious. As Mallz and I walked back to his car, I realized I had been up for 24 hours at that point! I had a GREAT time though and it was awesome being with Mallz! We didn't take a pic together though! I'm mad that slipped our minds!

The rest of my trip was really low key. Michelle and I took a drive out to Apex and she took me to a place called Skippers Fish Fry. Gosh, we went nuts! I had catfish, shrimp, hush puppies and fries! It was SOOO good! After we went to the movies with my loves, Darien and Lou. Good times are always had when I'm around them.

On Sunday, Darien and I went for breakfast at Elmo's before I left that afternoon. I think Darien was eating with his eyes....either that or he wasn't as hungry as he thought! LOL! You'll see what I mean when you see the pic! He also got me to try grits again. The last time we were together, we went out for breakfast and I was really sick. I had never tried grits before and he really wanted me to try them. I didn't like them. Since the opportunity presented itself again and he said that the 1st time didn't count because I was so sick, I agreed to try them again. He even prepared them for me, adding butter and cheese. My impression? I wasn't THAT impressed. They were just okay to me. Now everyone says it's because I had 'restaurant grits'. *shrugs* I just don't see them getting any better for me...does that make sense? LOL!

Beautiful NC Weather
Michelle, Darien and I
With my suga wuga, Lou

Darien at Elmo's with ALL of his food. Can you see the regret on his face? LOL
Darien fixing up my grits for me
We're both smiling here but it's always hard to say goodbye to my Stormy :-(
Besides having a rough time getting home (I was stranded in NYC overnight), the trip was a short but sweet one. As per usual, I did cry at the NC airport but I've become accustomed to that and just do my best in being discreet. I cannot wait to visit my 2nd home again! Miss everyone there!

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