Wednesday, January 31, 2007

My Hands Up, My Hands Up, They Want Me With My Hands Up

I was at work early this morning, tea in one hand, pen in the other, as I started writing the beginnings of ramblings that would have eventually become a blog post. Then my coworker said six words that shocked my system: “Robin Thicke’ll be here in February.” Maybe I’ve mentioned my love, obsession, if you will, for this man in the past. I’ve googled him repeatedly, trying my damndest to get those old episodes of ‘The Wonder Years’ that he appeared in on DVD. I’ve saved him as a myspace friend and put his picture next to mine on my computer at work. It was only a matter of time before my colleagues learned that I had thing for Thicke.

The coworker -- Nicole -- said, ‘do you want to go to the show?’ To which I responded, ‘Are African babies the latest trend in hollywood? Hell yeah I want to go!!’

Luckily, dearest Thicke is playing at a venue just down the street from the office, so we bought our tix in person. The cashier and I bonded in our love for him. She volunteered to work that night, just so she could serve him. I asked if they were looking for anyone else to assist him backstage, but sadly, they weren’t. I handed her my credit card and was amazed to learn that I could get FRONT ROW tickets to him for only $22. FRONT ROW. My hands shook as I signed the receipt. Speechless, I was.

I was able to burn both of Thicke’s cds for Nicole, who will be joining me at the concert. I can’t let her get up there and not know a thing about my music. But I have warned her that if anytime during the show Thicke either winks at me, points at me, or sings to me, I am quitting my job and spending the rest of my life as a groupie. Eric BenĂ©t pointed at me at a concert in Orlando in 2001 and I ain’t been the same sense. (Some have suggested I caused the breakup of his marriage to Halle Berry, but I'll keep that on the low).There are about three weeks to the concert and I’ll be playing the cd nonstop.

Check him out:

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Not Funny

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of joining my buddy, Kay, in celebrating her 30th birthday. People who meet Kay for the first time usually think she is quiet and introspective, but she is actually the most social out of all my friends. Each year, she finds a new way to celebrate her birthday, be it a party, a ski trip or a night clubbing. But because she rarely invites me to her bashes until the last minute or because they typically fall on nights where I hate people, this was my first time joining her soiree. And not surprisingly, I had an excellent time.

The plan for Kay's 30th birthday was to gather at her house and eat, drink and be merry for a few hours. Then at 8 pm, a stretch limo would take us into the city to a comedy club. The white limo was fabulous, complete with satellite radio, champagne and a television set. It was a true treat, especially since I haven't been inside a limo since prom.

When we got to the comedy show, several of my partygoers began to get disappointed. We come from an era where we view Def Comedy Jam and Kings of Comedy as things that make us laugh, so we were a bit surprised when the program featured three white comedians. Nevertheless, we kept an open mind. And during the three hours we were there, I couldn't stop laughing. This was not because the comedians were funny, but it was because Kay kept talking about how terrible each one was and that she wanted her money back. (she treated us to the show) I kept telling her to calm down because we didn't want a KKKramer experience, but she wouldn't listen. After each man spouted a terrible joke, we all just shook our heads and laughed.

The overriding theme of the night was sex. Each comedian got up there and started talking about boobs this and boobs that and who was getting 'laid' tonight and how often they masturbated. One comedian even asked a guy in the audience if he shaved his balls. It was pretty pathetic. When we talked about the performances later, I wondered if the men simply weren't funny or because we're now too old for that kind of humor. I don't know if the ritual of creeping downstairs late at night and watching Def Comedy Jam in secret was what made those comedians appeal to me so much or if it was because they were truly funny. They all cussed nonstop and sex was a frequent subject. I wonder how I'd feel watching some of those performances now.

Lately, I've been disappointed with the popular comic scene. Call me crazy, but I'm one of the few people who doesn't think the Dave Chappelle Show is funny. Don't get me wrong, I've liked a few individual skits like most of the ones on Rick James, but overall, he doesn't do it for me. I can't think of any comedian that really makes me laugh nowadays, but in recent years I have been treated to a few funny people. When I visited a friend in Atlanta a few years ago, we saw an overweight comic who recounted a conversation he had with a little boy who was amazed at how large he was. Another lady talked about how she became so frustrated on her job that she now only performs tasks that are in her job description. For example, if she was hired to make copies, that's all she's doing. She's not stapling the papers, not refilling the copier, not distributing the papers either. Nothing. It was hilarious and much funnier to hear her perform it than to read my words.

Once the clock struck midnight and it marked the true date of Kay's birth, we stopped this conversation only to console Kay as she progressed to have a breakdown on being 30. She was only half kidding when she listed the things she didn't have, but desperately wanted -- kids, a hubby, or even a fiancee'. Then she went on about the obstacles she had to face as a black woman, while the men sat silent. We lifted her up as best we could and then it was time for me to go. I went home and listened to Jay-Z's "30s the new twenty" on repeat. Only nine weeks to go until my own crisis, er, birthday. Can't wait!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Winter Memories

Today I put the flannel sheets on my bed, finally acknowledging the existence of the winter weather. It was hard to be seasonally correct before, since the weather has been so crazy. But now I can break out my winter wear and safely tuck my other clothes into storage.

We haven't had any real snow yet, but the winter weather always makes me remember a blizzard years ago when I was trapped inside with my young cousin, who was a toddler. Cuz was/is my heart. I remember seeing his 2-pound body stretching and straining in the incubator when he was born two months early, saw his first steps and heard his first words. When I went off to college, he was one of the folks I missed most.

When I returned for my Christmas break, I offered to babysit Cuz and he spent the night over my place. They called for snow, but I didn't think it was going to be that big of a deal. Cuz and I always had a good time together. He had me playing the hell outta some peek-a-boo and he joined me in singing Goodie Mob's "Who's That Peepin' In My Window."

Then we got a foot of snow and things changed. Our little games got old and Cuz could only watch the Cartoon Network so many times. The kid was demanding too. He had a cold, which sent him into a sneezing frenzy. The one thing he hated was having snot hanging from his nose. In the middle of the night he woke me his sneezes, then cries of "wunny nose! wunny nose!" After dealing with this madness a few times, I did the only thing a responsible teenager would do. I sent him to my Mom's room.

Cuz will be 14 in a few short weeks. I've been home from the Midwest for two years now, but it's still hard to look at this handsome teenager who towers over me and try to picture the baby that melted this cold heart. His voice is cracking, he's got acne and the girls are constantly calling the house or knocking on the door.

I'm very proud of him, but I'm scared for him too. Everytime I see him wear those baggie pants and plain black or white t-shirts, I picture an overzealous cop slamming him against a wall. Each time he checks out a girl that's more consistent with the European standard of beauty than the one in his own family, I worry that he'll grow into one of those men that sistahs typecast.

For now, I'm content with enjoying this goofy manchild and hoping that the future doesn't bring him too much pain. It hurts a little that he doesn't remember the blizzard of 96 or the Goodie Mob lyrics, but I'll get over it. I've got four more years to influence him before he's sent out into the world. This time, I hope to give him something more useful.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

"I just want to go home ... and listen to some Sade," -- A heartbroken Marcus in 'Boomerang'

I read about celebrity birthdays everyday, but few are worthy of a shotout on this blog. However, when I learned that today is the 48th birthday of Helen Folasade Adu, I knew I had to do something. For me, Sade is truly special. Her singing can truly put me in a mood and either make me feel really good or really bad, typically the latter.

There's nothing like Sade on a rainy day.
Or Sade after a breakup.
Or Sade when he doesn't act right.
Or Sade when you love him, but you know it will never be.

I mentioned previously how hard it is to find good music nowadays, so it's refreshing to have an outlet. Anyway, here's my girl. Check her out:

Saturday, January 13, 2007

I Have a Dream

Let me say first that I love the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Without him, I don't know where our people would be today. I've read about his life more times than I care to remember, wrote school reports about him and had to memorize some of his famous speeches.

So please forgive me when I say: I HATE MLK DAY.

I'm glad I got that off my chest. Every time January rolls around, my stomach fills with dread. In my community, they do up the MLK holiday in style. On Friday, there's an MLK dinner where the local NAACP branch gives out some awards. The day of the actual holiday, that Monday, the community college has a breakfast and gives out even more awards.

My company is pretty active in the community, particularly with these organizations that do the dinner and the breakfast. Each year it's always the same. All the top supervisors get in a huddle and talk about who should represent the company at these events. They look around the room and since my face is the only brown one they see, they choose me. Sigh.

This year, my task was to go to the Friday dinner, which was yesterday. It was no big deal, since I also attended last year. I was excited this time because I actually had work to do, instead of sitting around and just be black, like I had to do last time. Yay!

When I get there, I have to join these two other women at their table. Our seat in the catering hall is near two tables filled with Little Bastards, but that was my only seating option. Naturally, once the program got started, we couldn't hear the speaker. All we heard was: "Stop!" "Give it back," "It's mine!" "Bitch, I'll kick your ass." Yeah, it was that kind of night. When the emcee held a moment of silence for the good Rev. King, a woman at my table turned to the Little Bastards and screamed "I WANT ALL YA'LL TO SHUT UP. DON'T MAKE ME COME BACK THERE!"

The highlight of the evening came when the woman sitting next to me started talking about her new diet. Apparently, it had been working for her and she lost 65 pounds. All she did was eat five small meals a day, walked a lot and drank nothing but water. Everyone congratulated her, until another woman (the one who shouted at the kids) said she had a better dieting option. "Ya'll remember when you saw me that time years ago and I was all skinny? Everybody was asking, 'what's your secret?' 'how'd you lose that weight?' You know what I said?"

We all looked at her. "What?"

"Crack." She started laughing. "But that was back when I was out there. Thank God I ain't like that no more."

Oy vey. The things I do for my job. I'm so overdue for a raise.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


My Kelis cd is skipping something awful, forcing me to listen to the radio while I'm in my car. That pisses me off to the high heavens because there are few things on the airwaves that I want to listen to these days. The dj will play a song I like and then either follow it up with songs about sex acts and/or drug dealing or those by artists that I refuse to let into my psyche, i.e. R. Kelly, Diddy. So I've been in a musical rut.

I did get an iPod so that has helped me escape alot of my musical issues. I don't have all the things that I need for my new little device, particularly the radio player. But I've been happily downloading ever since I got it. So far, I've added Ciara, John Legend, the Pussycat Dolls (I only got two songs, I can't help it), Beyonce and Common to my listening pleasure.

Unfortunately, Kelis is one of those cds I've kept in my car to get me through my day. Yeah, she talks about sex too, quite a bit. But the way she talks about it is more of an empowerment for women instead of degradation, if that makes any sense. There is no greater joy than to have "Blindfold Me," "Awww, S***t" or my personal favorite, "F*** them B*****s", to keep me pressing on. I'll have to stop being lazy and add her to the iPod so the radio can stop brainwashing me.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


Sorry that I've been so neglectful to the blog, but I've been feeling a bit lazy in the new year. I'd start posts and then save them for later. What a way to start 2007, eh? Anywho, now I'm back in business.

What I want to talk about today is buying feminine products. Although I'm a GAW (Grown-A** Woman), I have trouble buying these products when I have to deal with a male cashier. I know I'm not the first person to come up to them with such a purpose, but the whole experience makes me feel about five inches tall. It's like I can almost hear them saying, "Having a heavy day, huh?" or "Did you want Motrin with that?" Of course, they never say that, but I've had something similar happen in past experiences.

A few years ago, I used to go to a medical center in a nearby city to pick up my birth control pills. The experience was always the same. There was an older Italian man at the front whose face looked like he was either about to kill someone or fall asleep. I could never tell which one, maybe both. He was always a bit grumpy toward me until he realized I was buying the pills. Then his face would brighten and he'd say, "So how are you?" or "What's going on?" Now I know good and well that I couldn't be the only woman buying pills from him, but he acted like I was. I got so tired of the way his eyebrows used to dance when I gave him my money that I started going somewhere else.

One thing I have yet to buy and I don't think I ever will is condoms. My other experiences have been embarrassing enough that I just avoid this area altogether. Back when I was with The Ex, I waited in the car while he went into this store to buy some. The male cashier who was ringing him up, kept turning around and looking into the car right at me. I thought I was imagining things until The Ex got into the car and started laughing. Apparently, the cashier gave him a thumbs up sign and told him to "tear it up". Because this was my hometown, I had to go to this store several times. Whenever I got said cashier, he'd give me the same look that the Italian man did and make slight conversation, even if I was buying something as simple as toilet paper. Dealing with him was enough to make this brown girl turn red.

This week, I went to my 24-hour pharmacy to buy some feminine products. As soon as I got in the door, I realized that there were only male cashiers available. Bummer. I tried not to be ashamed and loaded up on pads and feminine wash. Then I also bought a pack of gum, just to throw things off a bit.

The man barely made eye contact as he rung me up. One of his male coworkers came up behind me and said something like "getting kind of chunky." Now, being that I will be 30 in a few weeks and have been dealing with all kinds of insecurities, particularly weight, I whipped my head around and asked him what he was talking about. He held up a section of the newspaper where it showed a picture of Cal Ripken Jr. being inducted into the baseball hall of fame. "I said Cal's getting kind of Chunky." Oh. Thank goodness.