Monday, November 27, 2006

R.I. P. Bebe Moore Campbell, 1950-2006

I was saddened to read this earlier today. Ms. Campbell has been one of my favorite authors since I read "Your Blues Ain't Like Mine" some years ago. Her work never let me down and I tried to read everything she wrote, including the excellent "Brothers & Sisters," "What You Owe Me" and most recently, "72 Hour Hold."

For anyone who hasn't read her work, I advise you to go to your local bookstore and pick up one of her books. It is truly a sad day in literature.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I'm a fan, not a stalker. Really, I am!

I'm convinced that I'm getting younger everyday. I get my kicks out of watching cartoons and kid movies. And most recently I was reunited with my first love. Leroy Green.

For those of you who don't know me too well, I'll offer my confession now. "The Last Dragon" is my favorite movie. I was 9 years old when I first saw this movie, which is about a black kung fu master in Harlem named Leroy, aka Bruce Leroy. Vanity played his love interest and it featured cameos from William H. Macy, Cockroach from the Cosby Show and a few other folks.

It's a pretty cheesy flick, but you couldn't tell my 9-year-old eyes that. I fell madly in love with Taimak, the actor who played Bruce Leroy. I followed his career ever since then, even though there wasn't much to follow. My eyes would bug out of my head every time I caught him in one of his bit parts (He was a bartender in the Peach Pit After Dark on 90210, he was the guy that tried to rape Freddie in "A Different World" and he was in a few of those BET Arabesque movies). He's the reason I took karate lessons. I even signed the online petition for the filming of a sequel to The Last Dragon. Because I have great friends who feed into my obsessions, I own The Last Dragon on VHS, DVD and I have the soundtrack. Oh yes. I'm his number one fan. Some might call me a stalker, but whatever. They don't love the way I love.

I pretty much have the movie memorized, but I started watching it again this week. Then I found his website, plus saved him as a friend on MySpace. It doesn't matter to me that he's in his 40s now, never been married, and has no kids, which means people constantly question his sexuality. I still love that man. If he's gay ... we can work it out. I mean, look at Star Jones and Al. It can work!

These days, he is a trainer at a karate studio in New York. I devised a plan to visit him there once when I was in NYC with friends, but Juicy wouldn't let me do it. *sigh* Maybe I'll do it next year on my birthday, since it doesn't look like I'll be taking my dream trip to Egypt. I'll just so happen to be in the same area of Taimak's studio when I bump into him, with a pen, paper and digital camera ready. If I do meet him, I already have two options for my opening line. I'll either look him up and down and say "I would love to teach you some moves, Leroy", or I'll scream, "Could you teach me some moves?!!!" (Sorry, those are quotes from the movie. If you haven't seen it, I'm afraid you're left in the dark.)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Feels good

This is my 100th post. I'd been trying to think of something witty to write to mark this occasion like I did for the 50th, but I couldn't think of anything. Surprisingly, some things have changed in my life recently that gave me some material.

An elderly relative died recently and I had to go to my hometown for the funeral. It's always weird going there because I'm surrounded by a bunch of relatives who I either don't remember or they mistake me for my mother or one of my aunts. As expected, this happened several times at the funeral. And while I was there, I was able to see some relatives that I remembered very well, but for reasons that I won't go into here, I vowed never to speak to them again. True to my word, I hadn't had any contact with them in seven years.

It was very weird to spend half the day trying not to look at the side of the room where said relatives sat. I did what they did and didn't speak; I tried my best to get through the service without looking in their direction. When I did try to make eye contact, they didn't (or wouldn't) meet my eyes. I was so angry and hurt by the situation that I gave myself a fever and a pounding headache.

By the end of the post-service meal, I had enough. I went to their side of the room and greeted the people who were the source of my anger. We wound up hugging and crying, with them apologizing and me accepting their apologies. In the end, we looked like teenagers on the last day of school, scribbling our addresses down and programming phone numbers in our cell phones. I didn't realize how much I missed them until then. It didn't even occur to me that maybe they missed me as much as I missed them. Until that moment, I thought the concept of tears of joy was a myth. Now I tear up each time I replay that scene in my head. It's good to have my family back in one piece, even if I was the one who had to break the ice. My daddy would've been proud.

On my way out the door, one of my cousins grabbed me. "I saw what you did and you're a woman," she said. "You're a real strong woman, you hear me?" All I could do was nod. I knew that in a few minutes my self-inflicted fever would break and my headache would go away. Anger was tearing me up inside and it was time to let it go.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Yucky Yolk

I'm amazed at what my refrigerator can do when it's unattended.

The other day, I took the time to clean out the fridge, which was screaming for some attention. It contained practically every nasty thing you can think of -- sour milk, rotting lunch meat and swiss cheese that has turned a greenish blue.

The bad part was that I was hungry as I did all this. My tastebuds screamed for an egg sammich. Not a sandwich, a sammich -- with cheese, butter and strawberry jelly. Hells yes, jelly. Don't knock it till you try it.

I had two cartons of eggs and one carton only had one egg left. The carton with the single egg had an expiration of July, but the second one was more recent. But because I'm curious, I decided to see what an egg four months past its prime would look like. So I cracked it open with my fork and what did I see? A big ball of black yolk. Nasty!! I quickly ran it down my garbage disposal and hoped that that wasn't symbolic in any way.

Friday, November 10, 2006


This week, I was terribly saddened by the death of Ed Bradley and then today of Gerald Levert. For me, Ed Bradley was the best part of the bland 60 Minutes. He stayed handsome throughout his life and I loved the way he rocked that earring. Gerald Levert was a big teddy bear with a beautiful voice. I remember being a little girl dancing to some of his hits with Levert, the group he formed with his brother and cousin back in the 80s.

But in my office this week, you'd think I was the only one who cared about these deaths. One of my friends emailed me Thursday and told me that Ed Bradley died from leukemia. I was shocked because I didn't even know he was sick and again, he was the best part of that boring CBS show. I had a moment of silence at my desk and pressed on, 'cause that's what I do. For whatever reason, I didn't tell my coworkers the news. I don't know why, maybe in the back of my mind I thought that they wouldn't care about the death of a black newsman.

It didn't take long for the news to spread and soon, everyone in our little department was coming up to me, asking if I knew that Ed Bradley died. They would come across the room and talk to me about it, as if the death of this black man didn't matter to anyone but me, the only black person in the office. "He was such a good man," one lady said to me. "And a good journalist. I trusted him. I really did." But later that night, this trusted man's death didn't even lead the 11 o'clock news. I mean, it's not like he was Britney Spears, ending a marriage via text message. Now that's news.

Another friend emailed me today about Gerald Levert and I was just as saddened. I needed to share this info with someone, but I knew none of my white colleagues listened to R&B. But then there's Anna. Anna is white, but she lives with her black boyfriend. She must've seen too many 'hood flicks because she uses them as fodder in her daily imitation of a stereotypical black woman. Yet her delivery makes her look more like Buckwild from Flavor of Love. Anna once told me that she loved my baby locks and asked me what I would think if she got her hair cornrowed. All I could think of was Bo Derek in "10", and told her that she should do what she wants.

Anyway, I sent Anna an i.m.:
Me: Do you remember Gerald Levert?
Anna: Hell yeah, girl
Me: He's dead! Had a heart attack.

Anna jumps up from her computer, eyes crazed. "Are you serious?? Can ya'll believe this? GERALD LEVERT IS DEAD!!" Everyone else looked around and gave a collective, "who?"

Anna looked around the room like she was staring at BooBoo the Fool. "Ya'll can't be serious up in this piece! Gerald Levert -- Eddie Levert's son!!"

Sean, another coworker, was perplexed. "I'm sorry. Were they friends of yours?"

"They're singers," I said. "Eddie sang with the O'Jays and Gerald was his son."

"Doesn't sound familiar," Sean said. "Can you sing a song?"

Against my better judgment, Anna and I did a duet of Levert's 1986 hit, "Casanova." We were off key and all we knew was the chorus. Sean later said he knew the song, but neither one of us believed him. Anna went back to her desk and made a series of calls where she screeched, "Gerald Levert is dead! Gerald Levert is dead!"

Later, I saw her outside smoking a cigarette and holding her cell phone, presumably telling someone else about Gerald's death. "Yo, I can't even believe these people," Anna said. "How can you not know who Gerald Levert is?!"

I shrugged.

"Damn shame," Anna said. "Damn shame."

Sure is.

Update: Upon checking my newspaper on Saturday, I see that Gerald's death is on page 6B, sans photo. There's no mention of it at all on the website.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

"Taco night? I don't do taco night!"

It is now official. Until February, my Wednesdays are going to change. "Lost" has been placed on hiatus until then so ABC can run with that stupid Taye Diggs show that looks like "Groundhog Day" with guns.

I'm gong to miss "Lost" and all the unstability that it brings into my life. Every Thursday, just before lunch, my coworker and fellow Lost-aholic corners me by the vending machine and asks if I watched it. Then he'll tell me little things that I may have missed and what the writers are saying in the podcasts, message boards and secret websites. Yeah, he's a bit over the top. As a matter of fact, he scares me!

I feel a little guilty because so many "Lost" fans have theories about where the show is going and why these folks are stranded on the island. But I have no theories, no hypothesis. I am pissed off with the increased disappearance of all the black folks -- Michael, Walt, the woman with cancer, the woman with The Others who opened the hatch, and Mr. Eko. Words can not express how upset I was when the killed Mr. E. There are so many other people they could've murdered -- Hurley, Charlie and if Sayed wasn't so sexy, I'd want him gone too.

But last night, at least, the show had my attention. The moment I've been waiting for with Kate and Sawyer finally happened. Kate flashed back to a time when she was married and she basically went ballistic on her hubby. "Taco night? I don't do taco night!" Then she killed him. Actually, she just poisoned him. Man, I love her.

So for the next few months, my Wednesday evenings will be somewhat empty. At least I have one more episode of Dancing With the Stars to fill the void. I'm torn between Mario and Emmitt. They're both so good! It's the Dimples vs. The Bald Head. I can't wait to see who will pull it out in the end.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Can't Knock the Hustle

I'm a sucker for a cute kid selling Girl Scout Cookies. Heck, I'm a sucker for an ugly kid selling Girl Scout Cookies. So there was no way I could say no to the mass of hair that come marching toward me this evening.

The Girl Scouts had the perfect hustle going. They were set up in front of a school, which was my voting station. It was raining and they looked more than pitiful as they counted their money. The girl -- glasses, braces, hair going every which way -- was either too nervous, or too self conscious to give me the full sales pitch. All I heard was, "Um .... Miss? Would you like to ... ummmm.... uh...?" I was about to instruct her in the art of successful marketing, until I looked at the table and saw that they had Trefoils, my favorite. I happily handed over my $3.50 and grabbed a box. I was so excited that I drove away without voting.

Just kidding. I did cast my ballot and there was no drama. I hope everyone had a happy voting day!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

To The Extremes

I once told my friend, Dee, that one of the reasons I'm single is because I've seen very few stable relationships in my life. Very few of my friends are married and some are in some seriously unstable situations filled with baby mama drama, cheating, and child support scandals, among others. So I thought it was only natural that I spent my life dealing with fellas like The Jerk, Mr. Too Sensitive, Mr. Not Sensitive Enough, The Amateur Rapper who only talked in rhyme and the Ambigiously Gay Ex Boyfriend.

Enter my homie Dee. We became friends back in the Midwest and I did my best to ruin her life. Well, not totally, but in my own way. Dee is one of those people who likes sweat – working out, rowing boats, riding bikes – that’s all pleasurable to her. Me? I’m a big fan of eating and sleeping. When she entered my life, I showed her how to do things my way. We spent a lot of time going to the movies, then IHOP, watching soap operas, then heading to Arby’s, watching music videos and then going out for ice cream. Not the healthiest situation.

Needless to say, I moved away and Dee lost 40+ pounds.But Dee didn’t lose this weight on her own. She fell in love with a Canadian. He had the same sickness she did; he was addicted to sweat. They spent their time rock climbing, skiing, weight lifting, playing tennis and then seductively rubbing each other down in Ben Gay. I began to call them The Extreme Couple. I liked the Canadian, but I was disgusted that he was ruining my influence on her. But I got over it.

Anyway, after they’d been dating for awhile, Dee and I patiently waited for what every woman waits for in these situations.

The Ring.

I may have been more anxious for a proposal than she was. Whenever she called me unexpectedly or on special occasions, I waited for the news. We started to talk in code:
Dee: You’ll never believe this!
Me: Really? What’s going on? (You got the ring?)
Dee: I got these beautiful diamond earrings. (Nah girl, not even close.)
Me: Oh, that’s beautiful! (When’s it coming? Where’s the ring?)
Dee: Yeah, I really love them. (I wish I knew)

Dee: You’ll never believe this!
Me: What’s going on? (Thank you Jesus!)
Dee: I got concert tickets! (Settle down, it’s not what you think)
Me: That’s fabulous! (Well damn. How long am I expected to wait?)
Dee: Yes, I can’t wait to go. (It’ll come soon. It better.)
Me: You guys have fun. (Don’t make me have to cut a Canadian)

Dee: You’ll never believe this!
Me: What? (Oh, finally)
Dee: I got a new car!
Me: You know what? I tired of this *bleep* *bleeping* *bleep!* Where the *bleep* is the *bleeping* ring?
Dee: Girl, I wish I knew.
Me: I mean, what the *bleep?* I’ve invested too much in this *bleeping* relationship!
Dee: I know you have.
Me: Do I have to go out there to make him see the light? I mean, what’s wrong with you? Why won’t he propose?
Dee: Oh, he’s the one with the problem.

(And on Halloween)
Dee: You’ll never believe this!
Me: What’s up? (What the *bleep* do you want now? Didn’t I talk to you earlier today?)
Dee: I … I ….
Me: Yeah? (Spit it out. I’m eating my dinner)
Dee: I… got… engaged!!!
Me: Que?
Dee: I got engaged!!

The Canadian dressed up as a trick or treater and surprised her with The Ring. He had been planning it for months, but things finally came together this week. They’re planning the wedding now and out of the three weddings that I’m going to in 2007, this is the only one I’m looking forward to attending.So, I give my sincere congratulations to Dee and the Canadian, the soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Extreme. I wish you nothing but the best. Thank you for being on my list of stable couples … you give the rest of us hope!