Friday, November 30, 2007
I felt quite accomplished, having found medical attention in a foreign land. I took a walk around, went to grab some tapas (my jam and my jump-off), then returned to my hotel to medicate and sleep. While I waited for the disgusting medication to set in, I watched a show called "Amar en Tiempos Revueltos," which I figured out after about 20 minutes was an hour-long period drama set in 1920s/1930s España. It was about 5:15 pm when I started to fade-- just when Julieta told Alejandro that their love affair had to end.
Cut to 5am the next day. I am awake in my hotel room, after a lengthy 12-hour siesta.
Unsure of what to do, I turned on the boob tube, in hopes of watching another Spanish jam. I turned to channel 10, which was showing music videos-- in English! Missing my native tongue, I eagerly watched Sean Paul, Christina Aguilera, and Timbaland as my mind came to.
Suddenly, the television cut to a commercial, and I discovered I was watching a Dutch station (these hotels are so multi-culti). The next video was something foreign, and I was too weakened from illness to change the channel, so I watched. What proceeded to assault my eyes is unlike anything I have ever seen. Still physically oppressed, I dragged myself from my bed to the hotel computer to share this with you, gentle reader.
The group is called FETTES BROT, and they are a German hip hop group. According to Wikipedia, " ´Fettes Brot´is German for FAT BREAD. Although "fat" is a German slang term for "excellent", the phrase has no meaning at all. The band took the name from a fan who called them "Fettes Brot" after an early gig, which was probably meant as a compliment, but the members considered it so bizarre that they took it as the name for their new group. Fettes Brot's longevity has meant that it is sometimes referred to as "Hamburg's hip-hop-dinosaurs" by its members."
Um, hip-hop dinosaurs? Did they forget who they were appropriating? The title of the song I had the pleasure of viewing was "Nordisch by Nature"!
I kid. you. not.
Do not confuse this jam with the early 90s group "Naughty by Nature" and their hit jam OPP. Looks like Fettes Brot got down with some other people´s property!
For once, I do not think my skills as a woman of color and writer can do this song justice. I will simply embed the video so you can see for yourselves, and experience what I thought was another fever-induced hallucination.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
It´s about 9:30 in the mañana, and I´m leaving Tarragona and heading to Barcelona. I´m going to be by my lonesome for three días, but I´m sorta excited to get down to some real touristy stuff, walk on bustling streets and risk being robbed-- oh yeah, and I´d like to see some more negroes.
There are very few Black folks in northern Spain in general-- there are 0 in Tarragona. Everywhere I´ve been, people look at me like I´m either lost or about the jack something. Esther, my model for womanhood and wifery, says that people are just looking because I´m "muy guapa"-- very pretty-- not so much. They are looking at me because they only see me on la tele!
I wondering if they can handle the TRUTH of Sojourner in the flesh. It makes me a little uncomfortable--especially when it comes from older people, who make no bones about being all up in my George Foreman (grill). But I know that us Negroes stick to the major cities and major spots, and tiny beach towns like Tarragona aren´t our cup of tea (you know we don´t like beaches-- why get my hair wet? You know how long it took to construct this lie?!). And, unfortunately, it´s quite possible to live in this mundo and never see a real life brown person. HOT MESS!
So, I eagerly await my three days in Barcelona, where I can blend in, eat tapas without being eye fucked, and possibly get my wallet stolen. I´m about to spread la verdad all up and down Las Ramblas-- and hopefully I´ll meet some foreign hotties to keep me company. I´m thinking of trolling some of the high-end hostels for children of a foreign diginitaries who are trying to get away from it all.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
That happens to me alot.
Or have you ever been watching "Family Guy"-- only it´s called Padre de la Familia-- and Lois doesn´t have the annoying voice, Peter sounds like a mildly retarded weatherman, and Stewie lacks any semblance of being an English dandy?
Is that just me?
I really love España, but sometimes feel like I´m in a bizarro world with really good food.
Being here sorta reminds me of my time with the deaf. Like having to use ASL constantly, being in España requires that I speak "the native language"-- which is really hard! And, in the native language I lack much of my personal flair and sass. Por ejemplo: everyone I met yesterday thought I was 16 years old-- the same age as the cousin I´m staying with.
Sojourner, how can you have a 16 year old Spanish cousin? you may be wondering. Let me explain:
My mother got married to her latin lover, and he has a brother. This man has a wife and daughter, so by marriage, we´re all one big, happy, familia.
Anyway, back to me being a Spanish teen: I think the reason everyone thinks I´m young is that I have the vocabulary of a toddler and use a lot of large, silly gestures to make myself understood. You know, like, rubbing my tummy when I´m hungry, or physically shaking when I want someone to know I´m cold. Everyone thinks I´m hilarious, but for all the wrong reasons. I tried to explain the concept of a "winter spoon"-- cuchara del invierno-- but it just wouldn´t work. you can´t even make "spoon" a verb over here, they think I´m cray!
But let me stop complaining. Me encanta España! Things I love:
- They get thirty vacation days a year, IN ADDITION to holidays.
- All their medication comes in larger sizes. While I normally have to take 3 advil in America to experience relief, one ibuprofen pill-- the size of a horse tranquilizer-- knocks out my pain here in Tarragona.
- It´s almost December and it´s 60 degrees during the dia.
- SPANISH WIFEYS
Seriously, all I want for Christmas is a Spanish wifey. They work more than slaves who´ve forgotten their free, and they do it all with a smile. I use as my example Esther, la madre de la casa. Here´s Esther´s typical day:
5 am: wake up. Put in a load of laundry, cook food so that when her daughter comes home from school she can have her late lunch, shower, and dress.
7am: wake up her daughter, get her some breakfast, get ready to go.
8:00 - 6:30: go to work.
6:30-9:00pm: come home, dry and fold laundry, cook elaborate dinner.
9:30-10:30: eat dinner, relax for a minute.
11:00pm: go to bed.
Um, hello?! How does she do it?! When does she have time to wipe her own ass, let alone relax?! And she´s the absolute nicest person I´ve ever met, refusing to let me help her with anything, offering to do my laundry, and asking what I want for lunch and dinner every day. It´s like she watched too many episodes of "The Donna Reed Show," but that´s not it-- she´s just THAT AWESOME. And whenever I say thank you or tell her to sit down, she´s surprised, and asks what my mother does all day. I explained to her that en Los Estados Unidos, my mom is oppressed enough just existing, and wouldn´t wake up at 5 am unless you paid her.
Esther stares at me like I have two heads. In fact, it´s quite similar to the way I stare at her when she says she cleans the house every day. Seriously, you could eat off their bathroom floor (believe me, I´ve tried)-- and they even have a giant dog that doesn´t leave a hair to show for itself.
I wish I could be a Spanish wifey one day, but the legacy of slavery makes it so that I will never be able to cook or clean for another person without feeling resentful. I just hope my husband will be able to understand and won´t get testy when I make him wear a French maid uniform.
Monday, November 26, 2007
In summation: The Brits like the blacktress-- especially the American ones.
My first night, my lovely hostess Aditi took me to an Australian bar called THE WALKABOUT. Now, many of you know how much I love a good theme, and this establishment took theirs to the max. The tvs on the wall played loops of tanned people surfing, they had all the local beers on tap, and they even had a ´down under bar´which was downstairs and had kangaroos on the walls.
We showed up (fully pre-gamed, cause the pound ain´t no joke) and took in the multi-culti scene. They were closing early, unfortch, but we were directed to the sister location in Leicester Square (by the way, that word is pronounced ´lester´-- why, i don´t know). We ordered a pitcher and I noticed a random wearing a Yankees hat. I called him over and asked him why he was repping my homeland (the sweater tied around his waist was a dead giveaway that he wasn´t American). Turned out he was from Chile, and we got to practice our Spanish as 10 people-- clearly towards the tail end of a drunken office party-- got crunked on dranks and danced to early 90s American pop hits.
As Aditi and I headed to the bar to contemplate ordering something else toxic and delicious, the dudes in front of us were ordering. Overhearing our American accents, they turned and said, ¨Do you want a shot?" Clearly, I took this shot with eagerness and we ended up chilling with the office crowd, a mix of Brits and Aussies. Before I know it, a 6´4" tall glass of English milk starts dancing with me-- he had a Hugh Grant vibe, with spectacles and paleness. His name was Tristan and he was a barister--aka lawyer. He immediately asks if I want to go outside with him. HAHAHA! I may have been foreign, but I wasn´t born yesterday, Hugh.
After more dancing, we left the dance floor so I could get my English makeout. It was decent. He kept being verbose and English, asking me before he did anything, and kept referring to me as "delectable." He was even asking me to go home with him! eep! I explained to Tristan that in FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL, Hugh was far more bumbling and awkward with Andie McDowell, and I expected less masculinity from him-- and I´d just gotten here and was no way in hell going to the random beaudoir of a strange man, no matter how close to Piccadilly Circus he lives.
More making out occurred and then Aditi and I left. While Hugh and I did the requisite cell number exchange and he told me I "meant a lot to him," I left it as the one-time thing it was meant to be. You can imagine my surprise when, while on my "magical pub discovery journey" with my English husband (more on him later) Hugh/Tristan called me to tell me what a great time he had and asked if I was available for tonight. As much as I was flattered and shocked by his follow-through, I´d much rather chill with my friends than go running after a random Hugh Grant-- it was my vacay, after all; I spend enough time running after dudes in America.
Cut to Saturday night: Celebrating my last night in London, I figured that the best thing to do would be to go out all night, seeing as I had such an early flight to catch to get to Spain. Aditi and I head went out in her neighborhood, first heading to a cocktail bar to just check out the scene. While in the loo, I met this great girl named Michelle, who said she´d help me get my British kiss on my last night. Clearly, we became new best friends, and we ended up going out with her and her crew, which included two random dudes and a woman who Aditi and I called ROCKSTAR. She had short platinum blond hair, wore shiny patent leather pants with converse high tops, and a black wife beater. She was rock n roll personified.
And, in true rock n roll fashion, she directed us to a bar called THE FUNKY MUNKY. I kid you not. At the entrance, I saw a tall, strapping gentleman having his cigarette. I thought nothing of it (other than "holla at an international playa!") and went inside to dance and be debaucherous. Another bathroom run led me to two British girls who wanted to take a photo with me because I was from New York City. This was the second time this had happened to me on my journey, so I was less surprised. Sojourner´s face will be featured in an Australian birthday album, an English office party website, and now probably on two random chicks´MySpace profiles.
Anyway, somehow I end up talking to the tall British man once inside and he bought me a DRANK. We end up smooching, I explain that I´m heading to Spain the next day. He then says he will come to Barcelona and stay with me. HA! Can you imagine?! He swears he´s serious, we exchange contact info, and I head out.
So, that´s that. Fun times, right? There was also the 39 year old Irishman who kept telling me I was very curvy and had a hot body. He looked kinda like Shrek´s half brother, so we won´t discuss that.
anyway, i got in to spain at noon yesterday, and hadn´t slept since friday night-- and even that sleep was questionable. It was a whirlwind three days, involving meeting relatives I didn´t know I had (an unearthing daddy drama), going on a "magical pub discovery adventure" with a friend who hadn´t seen in 2.5 years, and getting crunked on the streets of LDN. Things I´ve learned:
- Brits don´t think it´s funny when you´re walking through the tube/subway station and start singing "America, Fuck Yeah! Coming again to save the muthafuckin´day, yeah!"
- Chips means "french fries." And, funny enough, actual potato chips are called ¨crisps."
- The customer is never right. The sassy attitude of the English server makes no apologies for f-ing up your order.
- You can not go walking around Notting Hill asking strangers where you can find Julia Roberts.
- The English lad epitomizes the word "strapping"-- you will never get osteoporosis on this side of the pond.
- The next time Brits start talking about fat Americans, remind them about the English breakfast: beans, toast, eggs, bacon AND sausage, roasted tomatoes and mushrooms. Seriously, all as on meal.
- I am indeed not black enough. When meeting my Nigerian relatives, the question of my "African side" was raised, as it was a bit upsetting to them that I interact with the white Other and had no Nigerian pals. If only they knew about my romantic life.....
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Sojo is in the land of the great colonizer. On the day that we celebrate the arrival of the English in America, I have chosen to leave and head over here. So far, it's been pretty stress-free travel. I knew the trip was blessed when one of the featured movies was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix-- I think we all know how i feel about Harry Potter V! My goal for the overnight flight was to crack open a bottle of airplane wine and drift to sleep with visions of HP in my head. This indeed happened, and I even managed to score a second bottle of airplane wine, which I've tucked away in my pocketbook for later-- yes, I'm that cheap.
Primarily because I changed 245 US dollars and was given £106!!!! I am screwed. They aren't fucking around with the pound!
I'm currently writing this post from a place I was sure would be a safe haven for a woman of color, writer, and former slave such as myself: A computer lab in the School of Oriental and African Studies, in central London. As the name suggests, they are down with the study of the BROWN; everyone and their mother is a fan of the OTHER! I thought we could talk politics, and maybe I'd read them an excerpt from my famous speech "Ain't I A Woman?" Unfortunately, they can't handle the TRUTH.
These kids are all kinds of oppressed-- and not in the good way. In the last 30 minutes I've counted 12 white folks with dreadlocks (HOT MESS!!), one white girl in a sari, and some random dude rocking a staten island hoodie. On my way to the lab, I passed a student meeting about "LGBT issues." Um, I went to Wesleyan-- if they've only got 4 letters to their issues, they don't even know the half of it. But clearly they just love walking around in this dreary rainy weather under their umbrellas of oppression, cause everyone was all abuzz with talk about "issues."
It reminded me of Wesleyan, only with everyone more foreign-- and, as a result, more attractive. As I look around, I try to find potential foreign hotties. I was even tempted-- by Litsa, of course-- to sign up for a rendezvous on london.craigslist.org. I mean, think of the fodder for comedy?!
But then I remembered that such behavior would probably end up with me on the front page of The NY Post, with some tacky, inappropriate headline that attempts to pun and rhyme, while also abbreviating, like, "Put on Black Dress for dead BlackTRESS" or "Say it loud, I'm black and I'm... dead."
More to come as the quest for an English muffin continues....
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
But I had to share this ridiculous press release that came to my attention this morning. I won't use the artist's name, but this is at the very top of her press release:
That's right, cutlery: forks, knives, and spoons.
They are, according to Anderson, so much more than they appear.
What? What the hell does this mean? I love that cutlery trumps family and life. Cutlery IS life.
Clearly, this woman has no one to love and nothing else to do, and she's surrounded by people who lead her to believe her love for cutlery qualifies as "Art" and not "Mental Illness."
The end of the press release says she's available for interviews; I may have to call her up. I think she may need the Sojourner Truth.
I should also mention that this quote is from an excerpt from a longer article in the "Costco Connection 2007" Has anyone heard of this publication? I assume you receive it with your bulk items. Why haven't I been writing for this magazine? Clearly, they'll take anything.
Are you passionate about cutlery? What about when it.... glows?
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Yes, that’s with a ‘z’. Located on Broadway, between 124th and 125th streets, I like to think Soundz is singlehandedly responsible for the Harlem Renaissance of the new millennium—aka Gentrification in the 21st Century.
Oh, sidebar: Don’t you hate when you’re talking to someone and get the words ‘genocide’ and ‘gentrification’ confused?
Anyway, back to Soundz. I first attended with Litsa (obvi) and the uni-testicular failure who will go unnamed. I wanted to prove my pimp hand was strong, so I offered to buy them drinks. I ordered a beer, a wine, and a cocktail, and the total was…. 12 DOLLARS!!!
Thank god someone’s keeping liquor accessible to the black community—and
We sidle up the bar, where we talk to the bartender—a grad student who pours drinks heartily and with affection. Once on the plush red velveteen couches, we are socially attacked by Aziz and Amir, two brown men who clearly lack social skills—and no, it’s not cause they’re brown! Aziz was wearing a wedding band on his right hand and tried to front like he wasn’t married; and Amir told me my hat was sexy.
Um, it’s wasn’t lace. My breast wasn’t popping out of it. There’s nothing sexy about Banana Republic knitwear. Besides, I was clearly all up on another man who I would soon discover had one testicle—clearly, I wasn’t Amir’s for the taking.
My next voyage to SoundZ was last Wednesday, and it was me, Litsa, and several middle aged black men. Now, I should mention that Soundz is under the train tracks—which would explain why it attracts such rif raf. Litsa and I told the bartender about how we plan to make a documentary about this location, with it’s red light special-lighting, unnecessary velvet rope outside (no one’s clamoring to get in), and patrons who eat Chinese food and McDonald’s from neighboring establishments. I’m also hoping to turn it into some sort of dating game, in which the winning contestants receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the bathroom, where magic happens and babies are made!
Monday, November 19, 2007
I am heading to Europe to spread the truth. Starting Wednesday, I will spend 3 days in London, where I will say “Frosted Flakes” when they say “Cheerio!” and then head to Barcelona, where I will tell LA VERDAD! Though it may seem odd to leave this country on one of our highest of holy days-- Thanksgiving-- I feel it is on the day of celebrating the oppression of a minority that I must escape.
I’m excited for this getaway primarily because the United States is heaping oppression on me like we’re back in slave days. How, you may ask?
1. I did not get the co-op. Apparently, I’m not good enough to live in a newly renovated crack den. Fine then, let them gentrify it and don’t blame me when the Columbia kids leave the doors unlocked and everyone gets jacked!!
2. I was rejected by a 25 year old actor who is new to this fair city and has one testicle. Um, excuse me? While I was initially drawn to the fact that he was a survivor, and could perhaps relate to oppression and darkness (as well as the dark woman), it turns out I really should have focused on the most important part of his identity: he’s an ACTOR. Though I am a blacktress, and appreciate the artistic yearning, actors often have the following traits which prevent them from being true:
- They are egotistical.
- They are broke
- They sleep on twin-sized air mattresses.
- They live in non-renovated crack dens.But they also often have a charm and charisma which is dangerous when unleashed. And I must admit I was the victim of yet another performer, another player on life’s stage. And he indeed played me—much like a remake of a Shakespearean drama starring the latest
Wish me luck. I may not return.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Sojo: Hello, Mr. Cearley. To what do I owe this honor?
Nick: Well, Sojourner, you haven’t blogged in a while, and I was worried. I called to check up on you.
Sojo: Oh, Massa Cearley, you see into my soul! It’s just been so rough out here for a blacktress and I’ve just shut down.
Nick: We need the truth, Sojourner.
Sojo: I will give it to you,
The massa has spoken. I must blog. I must preach it. I have a potential winter spoon in the works, but seeing as he’s not foreign, crazy, or offensive, I’m going to try to create good karma and not talk about our weekend of magic. Instead, I will discuss the latest thing to rock my world: I LOVE
Okay, I know I’m about two years behind with this reference, but it has only recently become a part of my life, and I have no idea how I haven’t ranted about this tramp before.
The most touching object came from Punk, a large black man who attended Harvard law school and is an up-and-coming attorney. He has a terrible jerry curl, size DD man-breasts, and arms like ham hocks. But, looks aside, he is the smartest and most mentally sound man on the show. Why in the name of the Lord is he on reality television? To show his love for
The most ridiculous object was from a man who I call… Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (I forget his real moniker). He slurs incessantly and has no concept of reality, and covers his head in gypsy-style rags—though he has no hair to speak of. He approached the altar and displays the following:
“This is a wallet my grandmuva had got in
Instead of bringing something valuable, Fetal decided to bring two useless things. There is nothing special about a ring that your mom wore on two occasions, resulting in totally different outcomes. And, like, did his “Grandmuva” do something in
Needless to say, Fetal did not sign the blood oaf and was voted off the show.
Um... I struggled to learn to read, repeatedly risked beating and death, hiding pamphlets and alphabet blocks from my masssas, only for this damn fool to say TOOKEN!
She is a disgrace to my hard work and triumph. And she insults the hard work I put in to find a winter spoon when she has a bevy of men to choose from (granted, they are mostly crazy, mildly retarded with Asperberger’s and herpes—but still).
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Happy Halloween Everybody!
Okay, I know I’m late—it’s called CP time. Get with it.
So, it’s been a while since I blogged. It’s because there have almost been too many things to discuss!!! Let’s re-cap:
The Greek went crazy. He began sending me angry emails, hurling insults at me much in the way the god Zeus hurled lightning bolts at mere mortals for sport. He also called me, utilizing his lack of a cell phone to give me attitude and force me to speak with him. He simply could not handle the truth of the fact that I DIDN'T WANT TO SPEAK TO HIM EVER AGAIN.
Whiteley never called. He’s dead to me. I should have known not to even holla at a man who sleeps on a mattress on a floor.
I’m meeting with the co-op board tonight to see if I get my apartment!!! This is the big moment guys. Sojo will finally be free from the shackles of the oppression of her mother and her latin lover Eduardo. Keep your fingers crossed (for me) and your legs crossed (for Jesus)! Last night was the greatest night of my life. I attended the Halloween/birthday extravaganza of the actor Nick Cearley, where gorgeous gay men were scantily clad and enjoying $5 mojitos. It was men, men everywhere—and not a drop to drink!!! While I’m normally against the “holiday” of Halloween, as it encourages people to assume alternate identities and not live up to the TRUTH, I thought I’d reclaim it and show the truth of who I once was.
Last night was the greatest night of my life. I attended the Halloween/birthday extravaganza of the actor Nick Cearley, where gorgeous gay men were scantily clad and enjoying $5 mojitos. It was men, men everywhere—and not a drop to drink!!! While I’m normally against the “holiday” of Halloween, as it encourages people to assume alternate identities and not live up to the TRUTH, I thought I’d reclaim it and show the truth of who I once was.
I donned my old bonnet, the skirt I wore when working in the fields, and I brought some cotton balls that I’d picked in the hot, sweaty aisles of Duane Reade. I called the white men ‘
Though I anticipated scorn, and prayed I wouldn't be attacked by someone dressed as a Black Panther, I was pleased to find that the gays could indeed handle my truth. One fine man—his name was Patrick, I believe—was wearing a green sleeveless top and booty shorts to accentuate his…. Masculinity. He came up to me and said, “Sister, where you gon’ lay your troubles down?”
I was shocked. I wasn’t anticipating this introduction from a half-naked man. I faltered.
“What?” I said.
“I said—where you gon’ lay your troubles down?”
“DOWN BY THE
We began a rousing rendition of the old spiritual that my mammy used to sing to me, and he told me he was from
He explained to me that he was one of BLOW WHITE’S SEVEN WHORES:
Sleazy, Easy, Slutty, Bitchy, Horny, Sticky, and… COCK!
The most brilliant costume I’ve ever seen in my life. Each of these whores came into my world and showed me the TRUTH of Halloween—it’s about creativity, expressing oneself as a strong black woman/man/trans and wearing little more than a codpiece.
As I relished in the beauty of the moment and sang “Wade in the Water” with my new massas, I tall figure caught my eye. It was—No, it couldn’t be! Yes—it was!
Actor Jeff Hiller!!!!!!!
You may recall from my previous posting on the musical extravaganza Bernice Bobs Her Mullet, that Jeff Hiller is my calcium boost, gay icon, and actor/comedian extraordinaire. I have been drawn to his art since seeing him perform in the UCB group CREEP, where is I was drawn to his height, his rapier wit, and subtle-yet-effective fashion sense. When I saw him as Draycott Deyo in Joe Major’s magnum opus, my friend crush grew deeper. And now, it could become real.I instantly stopped Jeff in his tracks, as he made his way over to the birthday boy. I told him my name, showed him my cotton balls, and told him I would be his surrogate, should the need ever arise. I spoke in run-on sentences, explained how I had TiVo’d the two commercials he’s currently featured in, and called him “Massa Hiller.” Jeff could handle the truth!!!!!!! He laughed, he didn’t fear the blacktress, and he was everything I dreamed he’d be. After letting him say his hellos and work the room, I moved in again, apologizing for my intensity. I asked him about his craft, how he became so self-actualized (and tall), and what I could do to get out there as a blacktress. I told him I would be the Mel to his Flight of the Conchords. His response:
“Oh, you mean my friend Kristin?”
SHUT THE FLIP UP! How could he just drop that
But I think I may have finally found my baby daddy.
Everyone who reads this should look Jeff up on MySpace and totally become his friend. Tell him Sojourner sent you. He’ll know what it means.
Okay, back to work on the plantation!