Tuesday, July 28, 2009

'Some days you’re the dog. Some days you’re the hydrant.'

I use the above phrase every now and again to deal with the times when I’m having a bad day. Which can happen to me every now and again. Hey, I’m only human.

A true testament of being the hydrant came this week. I should mention that the demographics have started to shift slightly in my department. These changes make me the only one in several categories, especially with the women. At 32, I’m the oldest. I’m the only sistah. And I learned recently that I’m the only one lacking something that every woman in their twenties and thirties tends to desire.

That’s right. I’m the only one without a ‘Dog.’

It was cool for awhile, being without a Dog. A coworker and I, Gabby, would go to the movies and for the occasional drink, while the rest of the chicks would be home tending to their Dogs. We’d laugh at them for their life choices. Surely they’d rather be with us, than with some mangy old beast that does nothing but eat, poop, and watch Sports Center. Surely they envied our independence, the fact that we could go out on a moment’s notice without worrying about what the Dog would eat for dinner or if it would be upset with us. We didn’t have to worry about phone calls in the middle of the day that documented whatever crisis the Dog may have gotten into. Gabby and I knew we had the upper hand. We chatted about Dogs a lot. We had our fair share and for a variety of reasons, we'd been solo for quite awhile.

Well, things started to change. Gabby started dressing nicer. She began laughing more. And her giggle, which is already a bit loud, got about five screeches higher. Then I learned through the rumor mill that it was true – dear Gabby had gotten a Dog. I congratulated her, then I thought about how the tide had shifted. All around me, there are women with Dogs. Some of the Dogs are good, some of the Dogs are bad. Some of the Dogs have officially been made members of the family, some of them (very few) have yet to make that step. Gabby is in the latter category, but things look promising.

There have been times when someone has asked me why I don’t have a Dog and I’ve been able to laugh it off. But with me now being the oldest woman – and the only one without a Dog – it’ll be interesting to see how I cope.

This week was a true testament to that. Another coworker – Phoebe – had a big announcement. Her Dog popped the question, so they are on their way to happyhood. I congratulated her, but I knew this would only be the beginning. I should mention that Phoebe is already unbearable on her birthday, running around every five minutes literally shouting “did you celebrate meeee today???”, so I knew she’d be particularly insane when it came to this. And I was right. She answered the phone several times to talk about how wonderful her dog was, her plans, etc etc. Between that and some other work challenges, I pulled a Ferris Bueller. I told them I wasn’t feeling well and I rushed to the mall and the movies. What’d I see? The Proposal! (But it was very funny, I might add)

I don’t like to compare my life to other women’s lives because that’s an impossible battle. I know we all have our personal struggles, whether our names be Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Florida Evans or Miranda Bailey. But dang it, I can covet with the best of em! There are times when I want nothing more than a good looking, fun loving Dog. One that won’t run away. One that won’t be impregnating all the other bitches in the neighborhood. One that will lick my face and nobody else’s. Then again, I wonder if I’m so set in my ways that a Dog wouldn’t fit well with my lifestyle. Another thought occurred to me recently: do I really want a Dog, or is it just that everyone’s pressuring me to get one? Deep thoughts.

Either way, I am genuinely happy for Gabby and Phoebe and I’ve told them so. I’ve even gotten used to Phoebe’s constant recounting of her popping the question story. I managed to give kind words with a smile. I can only hope I’ll be able to do the same the next time someone asks me when I’ll get a Dog.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The MJ Coma Continues

So yes, I've been listening to my MJ tunes at a constant rate. I'm singing at the top of my lungs at home and in the car. And don't let 'Dirty Diana' come on. Cuz that is when I completely LOSE IT. I loved all of Michael's music, but if I had to pick a couple of favorites -- notice I said 'couple', cuz I can't pick just one -- 'Dirty Diana' would easily make my top four list.

I started thinking about Michael's music videos and how amazing they were. Nobody did music videos like Michael did. Folks always talk about how he changed the game with the vids for 'Smooth Criminal', 'Remember the Time', 'Scream,' 'Black or White' and with 'Thriller', which I count as a movie. But the video for 'The Way You Make Me Feel' is one that I also appreciate. It's so raw, so real. I mean, it's MJ seriously flexing his mack daddy vibe. It is also a stalker's wet dream. I can't even count the number of aggressive pelvic thrusts he did in this video. Let's take a look, shall we:

If this were to happen in real life, can you imagine the 911 call that came afterward? Or how ole girl described the situation to the cops? I can!

Girl: I was coming home from the club, and these guys started yelling at me. This one guy was really aggressive and he shouted out, 'HEY
Cop: Yeah? So what'd you do?
Girl: I was shocked. Scared to death. So I just stood there and he said something about me knocking him off his feet. Then he started screaming.
Cop: Screaming?
Girl: He was screaming, then he was singing. And he and his friends started following me. Umm, why are you looking at me like that?
Cop: I'm sorry, but you look a little like Mariah Carey.
Girl: Who?
Cop: Mariah! You know her. She's got that song, 'Vision of Love'. It was a big hit in the 90s.
Girl: Sir, it's 1987.
Cop: Oh, right. Forgot about that. So he's singing, screaming and chasing you, then what?
Girl: He and his boys corner me at one point, and then ... and then ... and then ...
Cop: WHAT??
Girl: They start humping the ground! The fire hydrant broke and there was water flying everywhere. He ripped off his shirt and the water fell all over his body. And uhh .... You stopped writing.
Cop: It's your hair! That's what makes me think of Mariah. I'm trying to remember the last time I saw it curly. Why do you think she started straightening it?
Girl: Look, I'm trying to report a crime here! Keep up with me.
Cop: Ok, ok. There was humping. There was water. What next?
Girl: The main guy -- the ringleader -- he kept yelling "GO'ON GIRL!! EEEE-HEEE-EEE! OW!" But there was something about him, something so spectacular, that I suddenly felt myself drawn to him. So I let him hug me and he disappeared.
Cop: Did you want him to touch your body?
Girl: WHAT?
Cop: Never mind. I've got to wrap this up. We've got a disturbance at the cemetery, then I have to get to my bodyguard detail.
Girl: You're a bodyguard?
Cop: Somebody's gotta make sure Annie's okay. So did you have anything else to say about your floor humping, screaming, singing attacker?
Girl: No, that's it.
Cop: According to the description you gave our artist, your attacker looks alot like Michael Jackson! Was it him?
Girl: Well, yeah. But I didn't say want to rat him out. He kept saying 'ain't nobody's business.'
Cop: Oh Mariah. I do believe you're a looney tune. I suggest you get your mental illness in check. It can only hurt you down the line.
Cop: Sure thing, honey. How 'bout you sign this autograph and I won't charge you for filing a false police report?
Girl: (sighs) Fine.

Monday, July 13, 2009

He's Out of My Life

This was going to be a post about all the other cds I stumbled across while searching for Michael Jackson’s HIStory Book 1 cd. I have a ton of cds and there are some that I haven’t played in years. I flipped through the entire Jodeci collection, Boyz II Men, Shai, SWV and a copy of Xscape (fyi, this group includes Tiny of Tiny & Toya fame). I thought about writing about my thoughts on each of these groups and muse about 90s music in particular.

That was what I planned. But as luck would have it, I found HIStory Book one placed in a pile of cds that I looked through the previous day. MJ released HIStory years ago and it’s a two-disc set that includes old and new music. On disc 1, there are hits like She’s Out of My Life, I Just Can’t Stop Loving You and Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’. Disc 2 has newer (well, they were new then) tracks like Scream, They Don’t Care About Us, Come Together (John Lennon’s tune) and Money. Good stuff.

I’m happy to also have the cd booklet, which contains lots of valuable information. For instance, did you know R. Kelly wrote You Are Not Alone? Or that Teddy Riley wrote Remember the Time for an old girlfriend? There’s tons of information in there, including lots of pictures of MJ performing or posing with other celebrities. There’s also a scan of a 1994 letter from 7-year-old Dominic to the president that reads: ‘Dear President Clinton – Please make guns against the law. Make there be no pollution. Make countries stop fighting. Make there be lower taxes. Stop the reporters from bothering Michael Jackson. Make there be more laws. Sincerely, Dominic.’

Now that I’ve located my HIStory music, as well as MJ’s Invincible cd, I’m going to go into an MJ music coma for who knows how long. I can only hope that my neighbors will complain. Then I can point out that I hear the sounds of their love(?)making several times a week, so they can at least cope with my constant playing of Dirty Diana and Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Fervor (!!!!MAXWELL!!!!)

Michael Jackson's death came as a shock to me. This was a man whose music I loved and I'd been a fan of his throughout my entire life. But when he die, as upset as I was, I didn't go into an emotional frenzy like some other people did. I mean, some dedicated fans went to the ends of the earth to go to his funeral. Men, women and children took to moonwalking in the streets as they dissolved into tears. My mom had to call my aunt -- a diehard fan -- to make sure she was okay. My stepfather purposely avoided any contact with his sister, who is a tad bit on the emotional side and has always loved herself some MJ.

All of this fervor about the man got me to thinking about what celebrity (or celebrities) could turn me into a knee-wobbling shell of a human being. A coworker mentioned Bruce Springsteen, but she said she didn't think she'd reach the level of the MJ mourners. She'd probably mark his death with a few beers and a gathering of other like-minded fans. The death of another MJ -- Michael Jordan -- would probably be hard for me to take. For years, I've had an illicit, passionate ... okay, imaginary ... affair with this man. We've broken up, but I still have mad love for the man. My close friends know it and call to check in on my mental state whenever he does something of note, i.e. gets divorced, leaves the Bulls, is seen with another woman that is NOT me, etc.

But I don't want to talk about the MJs in my life, I want to talk about another person on my Fervor List. I want to talk about Maxwell.

Yes, I've mentioned before that I'm quite devoted to Mighty Max. I'm so devoted, that I had July 7 in the back of my mind for weeks. That is the day that my dear Max was putting out his first cd in eight years. An ordinary person would wait until July 7 to buy the cd or download it from iTunes. But I'm no ordinary person, I'm a fan. I have fervor! So on July 6, I waited until after midnight to log onto iTunes and purchase BLACK Summer's Night.

But because my life tends to act a bit like Murphy's Law, there were a few glitches. My computer froze and I blame that on the fact that I've been trying to download season one of Burn Notice. I stopped the download and fiddled with the machine again before going to bed. The idea was that I'd wake up the next morning with the new music in my iPod and it could accompany me on my drive to work.

Well, when I woke up the next day, the download still hadn't finished. GRRRR. So I had to go to work without it. And because it was a day of working at both jobs, I didn't get home until 10 o'clock to finish my download. That being said, I know have Maxwell's latest release and I haven't stopped playing it.

Overall, I have my favorites on the cd ('Bad Habit' & 'Pretty Wings' -- CONSTANT ROTATION), but I'm not completely blown away. I also wish there were more than nine songs available.

But in the end, it doesn't matter, because I am a fan. And Maxwell gives me Fervor.

Photo from http://www.aolcdn.com/ch_bv/bmmmaxwell400.jpg