this was a good week

Here's what made this week awesome:

•  I spent some time photographing Houston and the intimate-yet-highly-funky venue of my upcoming workshop.  Things are slowly coming together, friends, ever slowly!

•  "I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy ... Beauty wasn't something I could acquire or consume.  Beauty was just something I had to be."  Preach, Lupita.  Trust me, this 5-minute talk given by Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong'o at the Essence awards is worth your time:  it is the very soul of the Beauty of Different.

•  This week I got to see my friend Kim Coles perform in her one-woman show, Oh But Wait, There's More!!  People.  Kim is fabulous (you can see a few clips from her show here).  If you find out she's coming to your town, please do yourself a favour and get tickets.  The show is all about her journey to discovering her own beautiful different, and it's a helluva ride.  (Heads up, Raleigh-Durham, I know she's headed your way soon -- and if you want to find out when she's coming to your town, click on her Facebook page and sign up for her email list.)

•  The talented Christina Rosalie turned me on to this list of writing prompts.  Beautiful. I suspect I'll be using this in the coming weeks...

•  Dude.  Corals are animals.  I had no idea.

•  This photo.  Tell the truth -- you watched it go down and it made you smile, too.

•  I'm loving this style & lifestyle blog, run by two sisters, right here in H-town.  Beautiful images, sweet stories:  it is, indeed, mucho mucho bueno bueno.

•  My friend Lola, a travel writer and photographer, accidentally tried to get over on a hapless Peruvian woman.  (Seriously, it was an accident.)  Lola didn't succeed; however, writing about the experience earned her the bronze award in the “Travel and Shopping” category of the 8th Annual Solas Awards for Travel Writing by Travelers Tales!

•  And as long as we're traveling, time to go back home: this week was Carnival in Trinidad & Tobago.  I haven't "played 'mas" since 2006, and I miss it "bad too bad," as we say at home; however, the guys over at Uncommon Caribbean beautifully captured what it feels like to be there in all that revelry.  Check it out. (And check out these amazing photos of how it all went down here.)

And finally for the song of the day, one of this year's songs for Carnival, First Time, by one of Trinidad's most famous soca artists, Destra.  (Aside:  note that the song is about what it feels like the first time you dance and participate in Carnival revelry, and nothing more salacious;  that said, as with most Carnival music, while the lyrics are safe for work, the double-meaning is almost certainly intended).

(Aside #2:  before you click on the link, understand that the proper way to listen to this is to turn up your volume way up, and just let the music take you.  So if you're not in a place where that can happen, I'd save it for later.  If you are in a place where you can turn up the volume, and you also happen to have a glass of rum nearby, well ... let's just say that I'm not responsible for your subsequent behaviour.  Fair warning.)


On that (somewhat homesick) note, have a wonderful weekend, friends.  See you Monday.