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Saturday, December 31, 2011

D-Xirable Memories: Concerts! Part 3 (Bruno Mars and Big Time Rush) and Happy New Year's!

The concerts list coming to an end... (Most recent concerts)

Bruno Mars and Janelle Monae Doo-Wops & Hooligans Tour - Superb concert! I LOVED it! It was at the Independence Event Center. Janelle and Bruno both did a wonderful job! Bruno Mars is amazing live! He has a lovely voice, he performs and entertains, he plays the guitar, and he's good-looking! I just LOVE him! My absolute favorite performance was his encore "Talking to the Moon"! I also liked "Marry You", "Nothing on You", "Grenade", and "Just the Way You Are". I WILL definitely be seeing him again! P.S. My bestie Ja, little sis Nico, and I were close by the stage at this concert! And I sang to ALL of his songs! :)

Pictures of Bruno Mars (Some are blurry, some are clear):

Big Time Rush (Red, White, and Boom Concert) - A wonderful mini concert! It was at World's of Fun. They are SO cute and they all can sing and dance! Kendall played his guitar as well! LOVED it! :) My favorite performance was "I Want To Hold Your Hand" (Acoustic) and "Boyfriend". I also thought "Worldwide" (Acoustic) was nice. Unfortunately, my bestie Ja and I was so far in the back. I couldn't get good pics of it. :( But we did sing to ALL of their songs and I WILL be seeing them again! :)

Big Time Rush (The best picture I have of them all - Remember, we was in the back)
Carlos, James, Kendall, and Logan!

Logan and Kendall of Big Time Rush!

That's all so far! I'm sure there will be plenty more to come! :)

Happy New Year's To Everyone!
I Hope That Y'all Enjoy It!
Have A Fun And Safe One!

Love always,
LaTasha B.

D-Xirable Memories: Concerts! Part 2 (One Republic, B.O.B, Travie McCoy, and Sean Kingston)

The concerts lists continue... :)

One Republic and B.O.B (UMKC) - An amazing concert! I LOVED it!

One Republic killed it! I mean look at all the awesome song that One Republic has! LOVED the performances of "Apologize", "All the Right Moves", "Good Life", etc. "Apologize" was the best though! Ryan Tedder was awesome on the piano! :) They are all so talented especially Ryan Tedder! Ryan Tedder is incredible! He sings, he plays the piano, and he plays the guitar!

Pictures of Ryan Tedder:

B.O.B killed it as well! LOVED his performance of "Nothing on You", "Don't Let Me Fall", and "Airplanes". My favorite was "Don't Let Me Fall" though. He killed the guitar for that song! It was awesome! :)

Pictures of B.O.B (Sorry, they are blurred):

Travie McCoy and Sean Kingston (Rockhurst University) - Nice concert! My bestie Ja and I was in the third row!

Travie McCoy did an awesome job! I sang along to the songs that I knew. LOVED his performance of "Billionaire" and "Cupid's Chokehold"! He kept the crowd going.

Pictures of Travie McCoy:

Sean Kingston had a decent performance. I liked his performance of "Beautiful Girls" and "Take You There".

Pictures of Sean Kingston:

To be continued...

Love always,
LaTasha B.

D-Xirable Memories: Concerts! Part 1 (Scream Tours and Drake)

In honor of starting a new year, 2012! I will list a some D-Xirable Concert Memories over the years! 

Being a music lover, I LOVE going to concerts! So, here's a look at all of the concerts that I've been fortunate to go to. (oldest)

Old concerts that I've been to: (I don't have pictures of them, unfortunately)

Scream Tour 2 (I probably saw Scream Tour 1 as well)

B2K - Awesome performances! Loved their performances of "Bump, Bump, Bump", "Girlfriend" and "Gots Ta Be"! Those boys sure could sing and dance! They knew how to perform! (Yes, this was pre-breakup)

Bow Wow - A great performance! I loved his performances of "Bounce With Me", "Bow Wow (That's My Name)" and later "Thank You".

IMX - Great performances! I love their performance of "First Time" and "Beautiful (You Are)".

Scream Tour 4

Bow Wow, Omarion, MH, B5, Pretty Ricky, and Bobby Valentino. They were all great!
I liked Bow Wow and O's performance of "Let Me Hold You".
I liked Bow Wow's performance of "Like You" but I loved his performance of "My Baby".
I liked O's performance of "Touch" and "O".
I liked MH's performance of "Because of You" and "Naked".
I LOVED B5's performances! I LOVED their performance of "All I Do" of course! I liked "U Got Me" as well. They were so cute and talented!
I LOVED Bobby V's performance of "My Angel" and I liked his performance of "Slow Down".

Chris Brown's Up Close and Personal Tour - A wonderful concert! Chris Brown is such a great dancer and an amazing performer! I LOVED IT! My favorite performance was during "Take You Down"! It was hott and sexy! Rihanna came out and did "Umbrella" with him. (Yes, this was pre- breakup)

Drake's College Tour (UMKC) - Incredible concert! Drake looked good and I got to see him when he first came out! He had an amazing concert and that's great since he was just rapping! I LOVED his performances of "Successful", "Fireworks", "Fear", "Best I Ever Had" and "Over". My favorite performances was between "Successful" and "Over" though! :) P.S. My bestie Ja, little sis Nico, and I were in the front row! Yes, the front row! :)

Pictures of Drake:

To be continued... 

Love always,
LaTasha B.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A D-Xirable Triple Feature! (Sherlock Holmes 2, Alvin & The Chipmunks, & MI 4)

Okay, so back to me and my life. That's what this blog is about right?

Friday (December 16),
I went with my lovely soror Sarah N. and we saw a triple feature at AMC.
What movies did we see?
Well, we saw Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.

First, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - I really like the movie! Robert Downey Jr. (Sherlock Holmes) and Jude Law (Dr. John Watson) have such great chemistry! They are a pleasure to watch and they make me laugh! It was action packed as well. It was a little long which made it a bit boring but overall it was a really good movie! Great humor, great action, and a great ending!

Dr. John Watson (played by Jude Law) and Sherlock Holmes (played by Robert Downey Jr.)

Second, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked - A super cute and adorable family movie of course! I loved when the Chipettes sang "I'm a Survivor" and when Jeanette sang "SOS". Jeanette's "SOS" was so sad but cute! Basically in this movie, the Chipmunks are stuck on an island with a crazy lady who was looking for gold. While Dave looks for them, Alvin becomes Simon and Simon becomes Alvin. This is when Alvin realizes how hard it is to take care of someone like him. A really cute family movie with a sweet message. If you can get pass the fact that it's incredibly unrealistic, then you should be able to enjoy it like I did! :)

Alvin looking cute in a tuxedo :)

Theodore and Eleanor

Jeanette and Simon

Alvin and Brittany

Third, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol - Another action packed movie. We saw it in IMAX and the sound was a bit loud for me (it gave me a headache) but it was another good movie. Again, a bit long which made it a little boring but still good. I LOVE the stunts in the movie! They were AMAZING! Fave parts were Tom Cruise (Ethan Hunt) stunts off the skyscraper and Jeremy Renner (Brandt) fan stunt. Great cast as well which made it a good movie. Unfortunately, Ving Rhames isn't in this one. He only has a cameo.

Overall, it was a great triple feature though! :)

Love always,
LaTasha B.

A D-Xirable Holiday Season! Kwanzaa! Part 2

Kwanzaa continued...

Seven Symbols

The seven principles, or Nguzo Saba are a set of ideals created by Dr. Maulana Karenga. Each day of Kwanzaa emphasizes a different principle.

Mazao, the crops (fruits, nuts, and vegetables)

Symbolizes work and the basis of the holiday. It represents the historical foundation for Kwanzaa, the gathering of the people that is patterned after African harvest festivals in which joy, sharing, unity, and thanksgiving are the fruits of collective planning and work. Since the family is the basic social and economic center of every civilization, the celebration bonded family members, reaffirming their commitment and responsibility to each other. The family was a limb of a tribe that shared common customs, cultural traditions, and political unity. The tribe lived by traditions that provided continuity and identity. Tribal laws often determined the value system, laws, and customs encompassing birth, adolescence, marriage, parenthood, maturity, and death. Through personal sacrifice and hard work, the farmers sowed seeds that brought forth new plant life to feed the people and other animals of the earth. To demonstrate their mazao, celebrants of Kwanzaa place nuts, fruit, and vegetables, representing work, on the mkeka.

Mkeka: Place Mat

The mkeka, made from straw or cloth, comes directly from Africa and expresses history, culture, and tradition. It symbolizes the historical and traditional foundation for us to stand on and build our lives because today stands on our yesterdays, just as the other symbols stand on the mkeka.
During Kwanzaa, African Americans study, recall, and reflect on our history and the role we are to play as a legacy to the future. Ancient societies made mats from straw, the dried seams of grains, sowed and reaped collectively. The weavers took the stalks and created household baskets and mats.The mishumaa saba, the vibunzi, the mazao, the zawadi, the kikombe cha umoja, and the kinara are placed directly on the mkeka.

Vibunzi: Ear of Corn

The stalk of corn represents fertility and symbolizes that through the reproduction of children, the future hopes of the family are brought to life. One ear is called vibunzi, and two or more ears are called mihindi. Each ear symbolizes a child in the family, and thus one ear is placed on the mkeka for each child in the family. If there are no children in the home, two ears are still set on the mkeka because each person is responsible for the children of the community.

During Kwanzaa, African Americans take the love and nurturance that was heaped on us as children and selflessly return it to all children, especially the helpless, homeless, loveless ones in our community. Good habits of respect for self and others, discipline, positive thinking, expectations, compassion, empathy, charity, and self-direction are learned in childhood from parents, from peers, and from experiences. Children are essential to Kwanzaa, for they are the future, the seed bearers that will carry cultural values and practices into the next generation. For this reason, children were cared for communally and individually within a tribal village.

Mishumaa Saba: The Seven Candles

Candles are ceremonial objects with two primary purposes: to re-create symbolically the sun's power and to provide light. The celebration of fire through candle burning is not limited to one particular group or country; it occurs everywhere. Mishumaa saba are the seven candles: three red, three green, and one black.
The back candle symbolizes Umoja (unity), the basis of success, and is lit on December 26.
The three green candles, representing Nia, Ujima, and Imani, are placed to the right of the Umoja candle.
The three red candles, representing Kujichagulia, Ujamaa, and Kuumba, are placed to the left of it.

Mishumaa saba's symbolic colors are from the red, black, and green flag (bendara) created by Marcus Garvey. The colors also represent African gods.
Red is the color of Shango, the Yoruba god of fire, thunder, and lightning, who lives in the clouds and sends down his thunderbolt whenever he is angry or offended. It also represents the struggle for self-determination and freedom by people of color.
Black is the people, the earth, the source of life, representing hope, creativity, and faith and denoting messages and the opening and closing of doors.
Green represents the earth that sustains our lives and provides hope, divination, employment, and the fruits of the harvest.

During Kwanzaa, one candle, representing one principle, is lit each day. Then the other candles are relit to give off more light and vision. The number of candles burning also indicate the principle that is being celebrated. The illuminating fire of the candles is a basic element of the universe, and every celebration and festival includes fire in some form.

Kinara: The Candleholder

The kinara is the center of the Kwanzaa setting and represents the original stalk from which we came: our ancestry. The kinara can be shape - straight lines, semicircles, or spirals - as long as the seven candles are separate and distinct, like a candelabra. The kinara symbolizes the ancestors, who were once earth bound; understand the problems of human life; and are willing to protect their progeny from danger, evil, and mistakes. In African festivals the ancestors are remembered and honored. The mishumaa saba are placed in the kinara.

Kikombe Cha Umoja: The Unity Cup

The kikombe cha umoja is a special cup that is used to perform the libation (tambiko) ritual during the Karamu feast on the sixth day of Kwanzaa. In many African societies libation are poured for the living dead whose souls stay with the earth they tilled.
During the Karamu feast, the kikombe cha umoja is passed to family member and guests, who drink from it to promote unity. Then, the eldest person present pours the libation (tambiko), usually water, juice, or wine, in the direction of the four winds - north, south, east, and west - to honor the ancestors. The eldest asks the gods and ancestors to share in the festivities and, in return, to bless all the people who are not at the gathering. After asking for this blessing, the elder pours the libation on the ground and the group says "Amen."

Zawadi: Gifts

When African Americans celebrate Imani on the seventh day of Kwanzaa, they give meaningful zawadi (gifts) to encourage growth, self-determination, achievement, and success. They exchange the gifts with members of our immediate family, especially the children, to promote or reward accomplishments and commitments kept, as well as with our guests. Handmade gifts are encouraged to promote self-determination, purpose, and creativity. Accepting a gift implies a moral obligation to fulfill the promise of the gift; it obliges the recipient to follow the training of the host. The gift cements social relationships, allowing the receiver to share the duties and the rights of a family member. Accepting a gift makes the receiver part of the family and promotes Umoja.

Most of the symbols of Kwanzaa

Most of the symbols of Kwanzaa

Happy Kwanzaa to everyone that celebrate it! :)

Love always,
LaTasha B.

A D-Xirable Holiday Season! Kwanzaa! Part 1

The last holiday but definitely not the least, is Kwanzaa. Sorry, Kwanzaa's the longest one. There's a lot to it!

What's Kwanzaa and why is it celebrated?

Kwanzaa is a holiday honoring the culture and traditions of people of African origin. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first fruits" in Swahili. It starts on December 26th. Kwanzaa is celebrated by people from a range of African countries and their descendants and it was inspired by the civil rights struggles of the 1960s. More than 20 million people celebrate in the United States, Canada, England, the Carribean and Africa.

Kwanzaa consists of a week of celebrations, which ends with a feast and the exchange of gifts. During the celebrations, candles are lit and libations are poured. On each of the seven nights, the family gathers and a child lights one of the candles on the Kinara (candleholder), then one of the seven principles is discussed. The principles, called the Nguzo Saba (seven principles in Swahili) are values of African culture which contribute to building and reinforcing community among African-Americans. A libation is the name given to a ritual pouring of a drink as an offering to a god. During Kwanzaa, a wooden unity cup is used to pour the libations. An African feast, called a Karamu, is held on December 31.

A Kwanzaa ceremony often also includes performance of music and drumming, a reflection on the Pan-African colors of red, green and black and a discussion of some aspect of African history. Women often wear brightly colored traditional clothing.

Many Christian African Americans who celebrate Kwanzaa do so in addition to observing Christmas.

Kwanzaa Principles and Symbols:

Seven Principles

The seven principles, or Nguzo Saba are a set of ideals created by Dr. Maulana Karenga. Each day of Kwanzaa emphasizes a different principle.

Unity: Umoja (oo–MO–jah)To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.

Self-determination: Kujichagulia (koo–gee–cha–goo–LEE–yah)To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.

Collective Work and Responsibility: Ujima (oo–GEE–mah)To build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together.

Cooperative Economics: Ujamaa (oo–JAH–mah)To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.

Purpose: Nia (nee–YAH)To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

Creativity: Kuumba (koo–OOM–bah)To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Faith: Imani (ee–MAH–nee)
To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

The Seven Principles

Kwanzaa to be continued...

Love always,
LaTasha B.

A D-Xirable Holiday Season! Christmas!

In continuation to my previous blog entry, the next holiday is Christmas.

What's Christmas and why is it celebrated?

Christmas or the "Mass Of Christ" is the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth (Jesus Christ), a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of the Christian religion. It's celebrated on December 25th. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for "Santa Claus" to arrive.

The Christmas Miracle

According to popular tradition, the birth of Jesus Christ took place in a stable, surrounded by farm animals. A manger is mentioned in Luke 2:7, where it states Mary "wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn". Early iconographic representations of the nativity placed the animals and manger within a cave (located under the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem), not a stable.
Shepherds from the fields surrounding Bethlehem were told of the birth by an angel, and were the first to see the child. Three kings or wise men (named Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar) visited the infant Jesus in the manger who brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the young child Jesus. The visitors were following a mysterious star, commonly known as the Star of Bethlehem, believing it to announce the birth of a king of the Jews.

An image of the Christmas Miracle

An image of the Christmas Miracle

A Christmas Dinner

Christmas cookies for "Santa"

A Christmas Tree with presents or gifts around it

A Very Merry Christmas to everyone that celebrates it! :)

Love always,
LaTasha B.

A D-Xirable Holiday Season! Hanukkah!

In light of Hanukkah beginning at sunset yesterday (December 20), I decided to create several blog entries about the different holidays celebrated around this time of the year.

The first holiday, is Hanukkah (dedication) or Chanukah. Hanukkah is celebrated by the Jewish culture and it started at sunset yesterday.

What's Hanukkah and why is it celebrated?

The eight-day Jewish celebration known as Hanukkah or Chanukah commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. Hanukkah, which means "dedication" in Hebrew, begins on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar and usually falls in November or December. Often called the Festival of Lights, the holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games and gifts.

The Hanukkah Miracle

According to the Talmud, one of Judaism’s most central texts, Judah Maccabee and the other Jews who took part in the re-dedication of the Second Temple witnessed what they believed to be a miracle. Even though there was only enough untainted olive oil to keep the menorah’s candles burning for a single day, the flames continued flickering for eight nights, leaving them time to find a fresh supply. This wondrous event inspired the Jewish sages to proclaim a yearly eight-day festival.

Hanukkah Latkes or Potato Pancakes are eaten during Hanukkah.

Hanukkah Sufganiyot or Jelly-Filled Doughnuts are eaten during Hannukah as well.

Hanukkah Gelt ("Hanukkah money") in gold is a gift given during Hanukkah.
And the Dreidel (four-sided spinning top) in silver is a game played during Hanukkah.

The Menorah and The Shamash

The Menorah, Hanukiah, or Chanukkiyah, a nine-branched candelabrum, is lit each day during the eigth day holiday of Hanukkah.
The ninth holder, called the shamash ("helper" or "servant"), is for a candle used to light all other candles.

Happy Hanukkah to everyone that celebrate it! :)

Love always,
LaTasha B.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Very D-Xirable Grades and Honors!

So, not much has been going on lately. I've just been spending time with loved ones and friends. Oh, and I've only been getting a lot of good news in regards to school!

Spending time with loved ones and friends:

Over the weekend, I hung out with my big sis Ja. We watched the second season of Cinemax Original Series, Strike Back. It was my first time watching it and I REALLY like it! It's full of action and I LOVE action series, shows, and movies! If any one can get me into a series or show, Ja would be the person to do it! LOL! We watched some movies while I was over there.

Yesterday, I went with Sarah N. to AMC 20. We went to see a double feature. We saw New Year's Eve and Tower Heist. New Year's Eve had a nice message in it but I really enjoyed it for the eye candy. Tower Heist was SO funny! I loved it! It had me laughing the entire time. The double feature was really nice! :) Thanks Sarah! :)

Oh, and Sarah N. took a pic of me with Alvin and the Chipmunks. We are going to see that movie this Friday! :)

Me with "Alvin and the Chipmunks"!

Good news:

Yesterday, I found out that I got 6 A's and 1 A- this semester! Yes! That's the best semester grades that I've gotten during my 3 and a half years at RU! Glad that I could end it with a bang! I'm so happy about my grades! It means that I get to graduate cum laude, "with honors"! :)

My final semester grades!

This morning, I found out that I qualify for TAK (Theta Alpha Kappa - Theology Honor Society)! Yes, I got the A that I needed to qualify for it! I'm SO happy about that! Now, I will be in three honor societies! APO (Alpha Psi Omega) for Theatre Honors, STD (Sigma Tau Delta) for English Honors, and soon TAK (Theta Alpha Kappa) for Theology Honors! Yay! Needless to say, I'm one very happy girl! :)

Love always,
LaTasha B. aka "A RockU Graduate with honors"

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A D-Xirable RockU Graduate!

So, I'm done. I'm a RockU Graduate of Fall 2011!

Was the first time that I stepped on RU campus this entire week, and it was the last time that I stepped on it as a RockU undergraduate student. I turned in my Race, Religion, and Ethnicity take home final. Dr. Prentiss gave us our Malcolm X papers back, I got a 98% A on it. Yay!

I talked with the lovely Lauren D. We discussed life in NY. She used to live there and I'm thinking about moving there, so she was giving me some great advice and information about going to NY and living there. I enjoyed talking to her today! She's so sweet, wise, and her advice was very helpful! Thank you for talking with me! :)

Then I had lunch with my beautiful wifey Shelbi J. Well, she ate while I studied for my Shakespeare final. At least, I tried to study for it. LOL! But it was really nice hanging out with my lovely wifey before my last final.

My beautiful wifey, Shelbi J. and I!

Lastly, I had my final for Shakespeare. It took me an hr. to do it. We also got back our last paper in that class. I got an "A" on it. That was my last undergraduate final EVER and it feels good! It only took me 3 and a half years to get here, and it still hasn't hit me yet, but I am now a RU Graduate! Now, I'm just waiting to see my final grades. LOL!

Oh, I've decided that I will continue to use this blog. But now it will be about my life as a RockU Graduate! :) It won't be on RU's official website for long, so I would suggest following this blog or copying and/or saving the URL if you want to continue reading it. Don't worry my wonderful RockU friends, I will still be around visiting RU next semester. As I said before, I still have loose ends to tie up. Plus, I still have to walk the stage in May 2012! :)

Love always,
LaTasha B. bka "A RockU Graduate"

Almost A D-Xirable RockU Graduate!

So, I'm almost done. I'm almost a RockU Graduate of Fall 2011!

I enjoyed the Christmas Party with my D-Xirable sorority sisters! It was a lot of fun! We made pretty picture frames. The best part of it all for me is that my PIC Grace C. enjoyed her secret sister gift. That made me happy. The lovely Carma R. was my secret sister. It took me three times to figure out it was her. She got me one of the best gifts EVER! She got me a fashion sketchpad and I LOVE it! I can't wait to sketch fashion designs in it! Thank you my wonderful Carma!

My D-Xirable sorors, Sarah D., Carma R., and Alexis P. working on their picture frames!

Silly Grace C. and my DXP mom, Lauren H., working on their picture frames!

My DXP mom, Lauren, and her lovely picture frame with a photo of her in it!

My lovely sorors, Monica W. and Alexis P.!

The AMAZING fashion sketchpad that my lovely secret sister, Carma R., gave me!
LOVE it!

The homemade picture frame that I made!

I did nothing at all. I just relaxed at home. And yes, I know, I did it during finals week. But hey! I only have 3 finals and only 1 of them is an actual exam. Don't judge me! LOL! It's the first year that I EVER got to do a little relaxing during finals week.

I chilled at home and worked on my final paper for American Lit. I hope that I did good on it, I could really use an "A" on it!

Still chilled at home and emailed my teacher my American Lit. final paper. Here's to hoping that it's good! Worked on my Race, Religion, and Ethnicity take home final. It was harder than I thought it would be. I hope that it's good because I REALLY need an "A" in that class. If I get an "A" in that class, I can finally join TAK! (Theta Alpha Kappa: Theology Honor's Society). Yes, I want my honors. LOL!

LaTasha Bunting aka "The girl that always wear high heels"