Tuesday, October 13, 2015


My lifelong sister friend asked me to speak at her (our) baby sister's celebration of life memorial service. She specifically asked me to "speak like your blog".  She had no idea how BIG that felt for me, but I asked the Spirit to give me the words (and make sure I didn't cuss because my mom would be there) and this is what I got. 

September marks the five year anniversary of me living in our Nation's capital.  While living in the four quadrants is MAD expensive, I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.  I've had some amazing experiences and have seen some of the most extraordinary things.  But the everyday NON-extraordinary things are probably the MOST interesting and provide the best life lessons.

First, the homeless.  I am never NOT blown away by how many homeless people there are in this city that LIVE in parks.  My office is 3 blocks from the White House. I ride the bike home from work most days so I swing by there just to see if everything is alright.  I have a vision that one day Michelle is going to be outside doing something extraordinary and she's going to see me on the bike and say "Hey Girl, Hey come on over for peppermint tea!"  We're born 9 days apart...we're practically sisters.  She's married to the president of these United States and I'm trying to avoid dating men that read with their finger on the page and their lips moving.  Something went wrong on my end of this sisterhood.  Well, mama doesn't like to fly anyway.  So all that Air Force One stuff would be a bit much for her. So it's probably for the best.   Anyhoo...the juxtaposition of the homeless that live in the two parks between my office and the most powerful house in the nation - (maybe the world - I don't know because you know, China) is jarring.  And because the homeless consider those parks their homes, when you walk through you see the same ones.  I've bought them coffee or given them my leftovers and a few of them know my name.  I THINK they assume we're friends.

The other thing that REALLY fascinates me is the conversations people have on public transportation.  ALLLL walks of life take public transportation.  And FAR too many of them talk about stuff we probably don't need to hear.  I ride the bus to work almost every day.  There is a woman who rides the bus that talks every morning to her girlfriend (or somebody) about her man, Donnell. Based on the conversations, in my estimation she can do better than Donnell. I wonder if the person on the other end of the phone tells her that. One morning Donnell had been involved in a particularly scandalous scenario with another woman.  She said "I know that's what she's been doing and what she's gonna keep doing - she's gonna RUN HER MOUTH - CAUSE THAT'S WHAT SHE DO - RUN HER MOUTH.  EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT and SHE will be known for that the rest of her pitiful LIFE.  CUZ THAT WHAT SHE DO!!!"

That brings me to this life we're celebrating today.  Like so many of us, I've known Crystal all of her life. When she was first diagnosed, I know it was shocking and  DEVASTATING for her and all of us that loved her.  But she reached out to her loved ones and said "pray for me in this fight".  Because...that's what SHE do.  She posted lyrics to her favorite songs "Jesus You're the Center of My Joy" and "We've Come This Far By Faith".  I'm reading her lyrics, fighting tears, air fighting and turning on trap music so I don't cry.  But she was encouraging herself AND us because..THAT'S WHAT SHE DO! In her dying, she was teaching us how to live, how to handle adversity.  When I came home toward the end of April, she was upbeat and funny and talking fast (as usual) and determined and I was in AWE.  Because...that's what she do. I thought about each person I've lost to cancer. Each of them has left an indelible image on my heart.  Each of them had a positive "that's what she do" about them. Some wonderful characteristic(s) that let me know I've chosen some pretty remarkably awesome people to be my friends. Because...that's what THEY do.  I can only hope that when my life is done, my "that's what she do" will be a good thing. I hope that I've encouraged someone, brought light, love and laughter. We should all hope that if we're the person being talked about on public transportation that we're living such a life that our "that's what she do" will be way better than Donnell's other chick.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


When I started the blog, I thought it would be funny to share some of the utterly ridiculous thoughts that go on inside my head.  I was prepared to regularly share anecdotes of the absurd things I do and think and you'd get a look inside this dome.  For some reason, I got so far inside my head about blogging that it didn't end up on paper, or more literally, on this screen. I'm back now and Classic KT - Part Deux has arrived.  Let's go.

I am fascinated with quite a few things - like really tall people (which from my 5'3" vantage point can be a great deal of the population); blind people out walking alone, and people who are missing a limb or limbs.  When I say fascinated I mean, I become my 5 year old inquisitive self who can't stop staring. I've created some incredibly uncomfortable situations where I've been caught staring AND even worse, mute - mouth agape.  I'm typically able to close my mouth successfully BEFORE I drool, but that's not guaranteed.  Like that one time, I saw a guy with NO arms but he had on a backpack.  I'm going to be transparent and admit I followed him through the metro station for a bit.  That backpack did not slip AT. ALL. I was spellbound.

Anyhoo...a few weeks ago I was traveling and I was in the hotel gym on the treadmill.  This lovely young lady walked in with one full arm and one half arm.  I couldn't stop staring. (I'll stop here and admit that because of my fascination with missing limbs, I often think someone is missing an arm but typically their arms are just folded.)  After staring and confirming that she was in fact missing a portion of her arm, my FIRST thought was "Wow, she's carrying her water bottle AND towel in the little arm and the full arm is just swinging along without a care in the world.  Whyyyyy wouldn't she put her belongings in the full arm?"  I concluded that she was letting these streets know that despite the appearance of a disability, she is maximizing the limited capability of that arm and she's JUST. FINE.  (Clearly, she's not concerned with the streets - that's just me talking.) So I went from staring at her with some pity, to an inquiring mind wanting to know her story, then finally admiration like "YAAASSS, Girl!"  This all happened in a matter of 60 seconds (and yes, I did stumble on the treadmill - but I didn't fall....or drool.)

FORTUNATELY, I had more thoughts after that because, you know.....I'm deep.  I thought about aspects of my life where I have limited capability...areas of my life where I could be stronger and what I do (or don't do) to maximize my usage.  (Yes, I actually made that leap in my head.  I told you - the most bizarre things happen up there.)  Brene Brown says if you need to learn patience you WILL end up in the longest lines at the grocery store.  Meaning, whatever you need to learn you'll continue to be challenged in that area until you actually perfect it.  Patience actually used to be one of  my crosses that I LABORIOUSLY bore, but I'm chill now.  So much so, I look back and wonder why I was in such a hurry.  I'm wondering what goodness I might have missed rushing and flitting about.

Take a moment for a patience praise break...ain't he alright??!! 
Won't. He. Do. It.

So now is as good a time as any to take on another cross I bear.  I'm gonna tackle vulnerability - for real this time. I do not willingly exercise my vulnerability muscle.  I'm a certified Betty Badass.  So vulnerability ain't my thing. I ain't bout that vulnerable life.  I've tried it.  I'm extremely uncomfortable with it even though I've seen decent results.  But it's not my go to space.
Not good at it.  Don't like it.
Wish I could banish it to the pit of hell.
But word on the street is there is legitimate value in it when practiced consistently.
That it could indeed be good for me.  Transformational, even.
(Note: the streets are ALWAYS talking.)

Well... there you have it.  Vulnerability is my short arm and I'm gonna commit myself to using it.
Wish me godspeed.

Monday, January 6, 2014


I LOVE music.  I mean REALLY love music.  In fact, I often say "My life is a melody".  If my mom had known I was going to love music this much she would have probably named me Melody, or Treble, or Harmonize, or Symphony or something musical.  Who am I kidding, my mother likes names to be as simple as possible..Karen and Kim (not even Kimberly).  AND she hates nicknames so I was probably destined to be Karen Denise.  ANYhoo, since 2013 was the year that I was counting down to 50 and committing to "See and live life" like crazy, I was more "in tune" to my life than I've ever been and I was surprised how the playlist that is my life developed.

In my effort to live a more in tune life, I started every day this year in silence. I would meditate while getting ready (that may be the primary reason I left the house without my keys a record number of days). It was my time to set my intention for the day. It was absolutely AMAZING that a song came to me every morning...I mean Every. Single. Morning. Often, the song was a hymn. It made me appreciate being in church all the time as a child and singing every verse of every song!  But since I love all kinds of music, I got such a delightful variety of hip hop, r&b, blues, and even country.  After one particularly epic night of Single KT debauchery (nights that involve tequila automatically qualify as epic), and I was trying to figure out the people on the other end of these flattering texts I was receiving, Elle Varner started singing in my head "Oh what a night oh what a night".  And on some mornings the songs were written by me - yes, I'm a songwriter. I would have a thought that would turn into a song that I would sing repeatedly to the point I often annoyed myself. I've decided I need to start recording these hits because they're classics. Like I'm sure this is how Bey creates her magic.  "Girl, I'm drunk and in love right now".  There was one day when the homeless man who sits in front of my office in his wheelchair was saying good morning and I got too close to him.  He decided to grab me for a hug and I stumbled and nearly fell in his lap.  The SINGLE thought swirling in my head immediately became the song "I don't wanna fall in his lap!" Shoulda published that one...had Billboard top 40 written all over it.  Then there was that day when I got soooooo pissed off at work and all I could hear was
"Yeek Yeek Woop Woop why you all in my ear?
Talking a whole bunch of shit that I ain't trying to hear.
GET BACK Mu#?*@er, You don't know me like that!!"

Listen, I went straight to Spotufy and downloaded that one; went and got on the bike and rode around downtown DC singing it at the top of my lungs. Thanks Luda.

There were days when I was in my feelings about a dude, or work or my health, or my mom's health or just life in general and the ideal song would show up to provide clarity, make me shed tears then wipe em, or simply make me laugh hysterically. Obviously, that's the way the universe has decided to deal with me and I'm here for and fully embrace it!  In 2014 I'm going to step fully into the melody (and medley) that is my life.  (Nadine, remember that girl who didn't know the difference between melody and medley?  Hilar!)  I'm gonna roll around in it, kick up my heels in it, stomp through it, cry through it and sing, hum and dance my way through my 50th year.  THIS. WILL. BE. SO. MUCH. FUN!!!

Guess what?  I want you to join me!!!  As a gift from you to me, please share your FAVORITE power song, party song, sacred song, whatever song (or songs) make you feel like a bona fide BOSS!! I want that song (or songs) that makes you feel so ecstatic that if you were a kid your mom would tell you to go somewhere and sit down or go outside and run that off before you come back in the house.  YOU'RE JUST READY TO EXPLODE FROM THE SHEER JOY OF BEING YOUR AWESOME YOU!

Yeah, that song. That's the one I want on my playlist.  If you're on Spotify, you can simply add the song(s) to my MELODIC JOY RISING playlist.  I made it collaborative so it will feel like we're all in 3rd grade music class together and we have every single available instrument playing them like crazy and the music teacher has gone to her purse to get her flask because there is way too much noise. Otherwise, just tell me the name of it and I'll hunt it down.

But wait...there's more!!  This is a gift to YOU, too!  You can also listen to the playlist whenever you need it!  Trust me, you'll need it.

Melodically Yours,
Singing, Dancing, Spinning, Twirling KT

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Can I Get An Intervention, Please?

Saturday, July 13 could not have been a day of bigger contrasts for me.  Many of my KC Delta girls were in town.  I started the day with a wonderful run and met my beloved Alane for a hug.  I had my maiden voyage with Capital Bikeshare which gave me a whole new high. Then I met up with my other beloveds Candice, Myra, Carla, Debra, Stasi, Marsha (who would not give me that bag) and even Stephanie (all the way from Australia!!!).  As I hugged them and headed home I was positively giddy!  THEN...I sat down and checked Facebook.  The first update I saw was my cousin Reg's that said "Wow. Message sent and received."  I said "uh oh."  As I continued to scroll down I switched to twitter, saw the outrage and immediately got nauseous.  I turned on the tv saw the defense attorney speak for all of two minutes.  I was PISSED. Then...I cried.  I sobbed. I wailed uncontrollably.  I barely slept because I couldn't stop crying.

I didn't watch one second of the trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin.  I couldn't. I was talking to my Mom (she watches the news 24/7) who said every time it came on she turned the sound down because she didn't wanna hear it.  She never believed he'd be convicted.  I didn't wanna believe he'd get off.  In my mind, it was pretty simple.  He went after the CHILD with a GUN and that CHILD ends up DEAD.  How could he NOT be guilty, right? RIGHT????

Sunday morning while I was waiting to board a plane, I called Melissa.  In my MIND, I was calling her to check on her because she'd been sick.  But I think my HEART needed her. See, Lissa is that person in my life who can make sense out of anything.  She's one of the smartest people I KNOW...probably one of the smartest people in the world. She's ALSO a BRILLIANT judge and legal mind. And my HEART needed to hear from that brilliant legal mind but mostly for her to help me reconcile all of this like she does with everything.  She gave me all of the legal reasoning and of course she made me aware of so much more. But she was just as unsettled as I was by it all.  She could explain HOW it happened - but she couldn't reconcile it, either.

My mind went to the profound words in The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis.  It's an EXTRAORDINARY read about Hattie, her husband and their 12 children.  Toward the end of the book as Hattie is looking back over her life, the author writes "Hattie believed in God's might but she didn't believe in his interventions.  At best, he was indifferent."   The first time I read that, I had to put the book down because it jarred me so. I've often asked God why - but these words so succinctly said what I'd actually been too afraid to even think.  It's disrespectful, isn't it? While I do believe in God's matchless, unwavering, unconditional love - sometimes it FEELS like he's indifferent and I'd LOVE for him to intervene.  I know I know...we'll understand it better by and by but....

Social media is full of people with a range of emotions over Trayvon's murder. People are pissed...and they're hurt.  There's so much talk about the perils of being a black man/boy - and I trust and believe that it is perilous.  Everybody wants someone to blame.  Well you know what I want?  Intervention.  We've all suffered loss of someone we love. And we all would have liked some kind of intervention.  Did the plane with MY friend have to go down?  Did cancer have to take these people I love who were so young (and  even not so young) yet loved by so many?  Did all of those babies in Connecticut have to die? Part of Lissa's explanation was the charges brought by the prosecution.  Sounded to me like she basically did a shitty job and didn't really want to prosecute. Then the cocky defense attorney served up their bullshit.  And you got a jury of women from the wackass state of Florida. Seems to me the perfect time for an intervention.

But I'm just a woman who loves her child like Tracy and Sybrina loved their son.  I simply want love and light to flow and joy to continuously rise and for everything to always be right.  And that's just not what life is. I realized these tears that won't stop are for all the interventions I so wished happened that didn't.  And it hurts. Bad.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Magnifying Pinatas!!

49 years ago today after my early morning birth Daddy carried me (wrapped in swaddling clothes) up the hill and lifted me to the heavens and "Behold-ed" me and the village bowed....wait, that was Kizzy and Simba.  If you know me, you know I LOVE my birthday.  I've never been one of those people who stay 25 or 30 or whatever age they think keeps them young because 1) I am grateful for every single day, minute, second the Lord has allowed me to be here and 2) I don't look as old as I am - vanity is not all bad.

I've been in this physical, mental and emotional metamorphosis over the past couple of years.  My personal paradigm shift started with my move but then the rest is really me acknowledging life's aha moments and carpe diem-ing the heck out of em.  Two things stand out as I start this new calendar and birth year.

First, my sister friend (not to be confused with sister wife) Nadine called me a Life Magnifier (she's Natalie or Nakki to the rest of the world - and nobody else gets to call her Nadine but me...I'm serious...I will fight you, bruh)   How. Awesome. Is. That??  I mean really, there are no better words to capture what I do on a daily basis.  I don't intentionally walk around creating Classic KT moments, they're instinctive. They happen cause I notice life.  I SEE things.  Not like dead people - but I see life's happenings and more often than not find the funny in them.  And it is my duty to bring it to the attention of the masses or at least those around me.  I'm certain that's what WOULD have happened had Daddy taken me up that mountain top and held me up to the stars. "Behold, SEE LIFE" would have been the declaration.  I've had some tragic moments.  I've suffered some painfully devastating losses that, at the time, didn't seem to be something from which I'd ever recover. Even in those moments there was Nessa patting me on the back saying "Ninja" as she so appropriately does.  Those MINOR moments of levity make me step back and "see" the moment for what it is...Life.  Then I've seen some ridiculously joyful moments - those times where I've laughed so hard I've pee'd my pants just a little. Or those times that nobody seems to think it's hilarious that the choir director is doing a perfect pirouette in church as he directs the song in his perfectly tailored suit.  I mean Misty Copeland would pay homage to that pirouette.  (Google her, people). I need folk to SEE and fully appreciate that!

Then there was a sign on Pinterest that I've pinned to one of my boards that says "Life would be a million times better if there were pinatas strategically placed throughout the day".  BTW, I have some REALLY funny and prophetic signs on that particular board.  But seriously, how totally kickass would it be if you're having a bad day and you could go to the nearest pinata and wack the hell out of it?  OR if you were having a day where you were princess of the world and you could go to a nearby pinata and have dark chocolate truffles rain down on your royal gloriousness. (As an aside, I have absolutely no desire to be the Queen.  Queens have way too much responsibility - ruling over stuff, making decisions about the castle staff and whatnot, not to mention tending to the King's over inflated ego. I'm just gonna stay the princess and run around the castle kicking it with the help or go into the village and maybe have a dalliance with a commoner.)  I'm gonna act like life really does have pinatas.  I'm going to vent when necessary. I ain't trying to hold in my frustration and die from a heart attack. But more importantly, I'm gonna celebrate more (if that's possible).  I will continue to dress for tea every Sunday when I'm watching Downton Abbey (not DowntoWn).  I'm eventually going to stop in the middle of K Street and sing whatever bomb song comes on my ipod.  Then carry on.  I'm gonna do it.  And a whole bunch of other stuff that my spirit prompts me to do - obviously resisting those things that will get me arrested.

We all know life is short...so buy the shoes; eat the cupcake; work up a sweat in a workout that makes you feel so good you can't wait to do it again; listen to REAL music; engage a stranger and point out "Life" that's going on and have him/her giggle about it with you; have groups of friends (like my brilliant M's, my joy-rising Westin girls, all them Delta girls I love, etc.) that encourage you to be all of you; watch football all day (and be not dismayed by the Cowboys); in fact, don't feel guilty at all about watching as much tv as you want; read a phenomenal life-changing/affirming book; go somewhere you've never been...most importantly, learn at least one scripture from the KING JAMES VERSION - bathe in the love of God then live in LOVE.  When you're living in love you don't have time to judge, condemn or hate anybody who's views you don't share.

Get your life magnifying glass and go see some stuff and smack the hell out of some pinatas!!  This, my friends, is my gift to you on the day of my birth.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Match THIS!

In my previous blog (which wasn't that long ago...so there) I mentioned how I've decided I like dating more than relationships.  I've been trying to figure out why I need a relationship and can't really come up with a solid reason.  So...dating it is.

I started Project Yes back in the summer.  Project Yes was/is quite simply me saying "Yes" to anyone who asks me out (as long as they don't give me the heebee geebees or look like they'll murder me) I'll say yes.  I get stopped all the time and I blow these men off all the time.  I quite possibly could have been blowing off a really good date.  So I'm off on the Yes Train...choo choo...woop woop!!

THEN, my soror strongly suggested I get on Match.com where she met her fiance.  I'm thinking ok - the electronic version of Project Yes.  How bad could it be - a little bad grammar here and there.  I did have some self talk about not judging people who think your and you're are interchangeable.

I need to take a commercial break to say - THEY'RE NOT!  YOUR is a possessive - like it belongs to you.   YOU'RE is the the contraction YOU ARE.  Typos are one thing.  Grammar incompetence is a completely different thing and I rebuke it as the child of an educator and in the mighty name of my 5th grade teacher Mrs. Barge. LEARN THE KING'S ENGLISH, PEOPLE!  Shamalabosa!!!

Antywho...during Sandra J. Frankenstorm while I was home-bound, I created a Match profile. While I was concerned that my first set of daily matches contained this dude that owned (or at least photographed in) far too many berets that any non Frenchman should, it wasn't so bad.  Some brothas actually looked interesting.  The winks and emails started coming with a quickness and I'm thinking this will really be fun.  Until....this e-mail happens.

Subj: For Your Information (FYI)
"My fantasy with you is making you pregnant with my child.  Todd"

That was the EXACT email.  I read this at about 11p and I had the most stupefied look on my face because really, what are you supposed to think?  Has a precedent been set for such an e-mail?  Is that in the Match.com manual?  I read it and re-read it about 5 times before I was very clear that I was reading correctly - I even put on readers just to be sure.   We're not going to even get into the fact that he doesn't think I know what FYI means...but I digress.  I'm as fascinated as I am appalled. Of course I responded because, above all else, I am here to entertain you.

Me:  That was the craziest thing I've ever read in my existence on the earth. 

And subsequent emails went like this....

Subj: For Your Information (FYI)
The Astrological Compatibility was there--in both Zodiacs.

Me: No.  I'm pretty sure you're wrong.

Subj:  No
The timing is off. If I could do it all over again: I would not have married that Aquarius.

Me:  I'm certain she feels the same way.

Subj: Please
You don't understand Aquarius.
However, I understand you with out knowing you. I am a Virgo - Ox and you are a Capricorn - Rabbit. If I would have met a Capricorn - Rabbit in the 80's, we would not be having this communication.
Older and wiser. Where is that time machine?

Me: What I do understand is while I can easily erase this email from my inbox, I cannot erase it from my mental Rolodex.  Please continue your pursuit of a Capricorn as long as it's not me.

So yeah, that happened. To Me. KT. If that's not a Classic KT moment, I really don't know what is. I'm not going to lie.  I'm kind of tempted to sign up for Christian Singles, Black People Meet and whatever other wackadoo site I can find - just to be entertained.  I'm headed down a slippery slope now of not even wanting to date....JUST ENTERTAIN ME, DAMMIT!  Bet you can't match THAT!

Friday, December 7, 2012

I Do Dumb Stuff

I do dumb stuff.  I do dumb stuff all the time.  The reason I even started this blog was to recount the dumb stuff I do.  So yeah, I called the blog Classic KT because the dumb stuff I do has been aptly named Classic KT moments. But really, it's just dumb stuff I do.  So TODAY in the life of me and my dumb stuff, I outdid myself.

I semi joined a church not long after I moved to DC but then stopped feeling that church so I started church hopping.  I rather like being non-committal in my church home (as much as I like being non-committal with most things with the exception of my undying commitment to loving my Lord.  In fact, I've recently learned that I like dating way better than relationships..though that's another blog).  So this church I've been frequenting has a great choir.  The choir president stopped me one Sunday and said he watches me participate and I look like I know the songs and have experience singing in a choir.  I told him that yes I have been accustomed to singing in the choir BUT I'm not a member so I didn't think I could participate.  He said, that was correct but he was going to check to see if there could be an exception made.  He got back to me later in the week and told me approvals have been given and he'd love to see me at the next rehearsal.  

I showed up and the people were warm and friendly and my section leader was this lovely woman who took my number and said she'd keep me updated.  Which leads to me and the dumb stuff I do.  I'm not good with names...at all.  I do all the tricks to remember people's names, but I'm just not good at it.  My WONDERFUL section leader lady has called me NUMEROUS times and said her name to me but today I needed to call her and ask about rehearsal and I remembered I didn't know her name.  I have her number in my phone but there is no name attached.  I remembered that it begins with an R but I can't for the life of me remember the rest.  Sooooo I picked up the phone and the conversation went like this:

Her:  Hello.
Me:  Hi Rrrr this is Karen Townsend, how are you doing?

I figured if I made the R sound she would think I'd said her name and we could move on.  IT WORKED!!!!!!  When she didn't miss a beat and just said "Oh I'm doing fine" and I continued to ask my question, I thought I was going to pee on myself I was laughing so hard. I could barely get through the rest of the conversation because THAT was sooo funny to me. 

So...let this be a lesson to you.  Don't let not remembering a name get you down. Go forth in confidence and all will be well.  

Signed Kkkk