Monday, December 21, 2009

A Weekend to Remember - RIP Brittany!

I lost my cell phone this weekend and was freaking the F out. Somehow, between texting and making a call at 11:12am on Saturday morning, and getting on the train at 11:32am, I lost my damn phone. Around 5pm, a blizzard began as I headed to Queens to babysit. After tending to two young Caucasian males (I believe in starting the brainwashing early), I headed over to a friend’s house in the treacherous weather. As I walked in the Big Apple-turned-life-sized-snowglobe, I was tense and anxious. I felt like, without my cell, I was a walking target. I just knew that Saturday night would be the night I was stalked by a serial rapist, simply because I had no ability to call for help. I was acting like, prior to this moment, I had been living in a T-Mobile-created protective force field, and the only thing between me and survival was 2 bars.

Just when I thought the weekend could get no crazier, as I was perpetually late for things on Sunday, and slipping on black ice, I was informed of the death of Brittany Murphy Sunday evening. I am still reeling. This is just one more icon of our youth who has left us. At only 32, death from a heart attack seems completely insane in the membrane. Alas, the heart attack was the result of severe anorexia. Remember in Girl, Interrupted when she kept all the chicken under her bed???? WHY DIDN’T YOU EAT THAT CHICKEN, BRITTANY?!

Can we just talk about Brittany’s effect on every 20-something walking around today? When she appeared as Tai in Clueless, the newbie through which we viewed the world of California rich kids Cher and Dionne, she was instantly likeable. Her makeover – complete with baby tee and corduroy skirt – was the jam and the jumpoff (and the inspiration for much of my 6th grade wardrobe). And let’s not mention her lines, some of which were the greatest in film history:

- “Cher, I don't want to do this anymore. And my buns: they don't feel nothin' like steel.”

- "You know, I don't care either way — just as long as his you-know-what isn't crooked." – When the film came out, I was too young to know that this was a very real possibility, and I’m now too old not to know exactly where she’s coming from.

- “If I’m too good for him, then why aren’t I with him???” This is a line I’ve used many a-time in my personal life. Oh, Britt, you were forever asking the hard-hitting questions.

And, of course, the best ever: “You’re a virgin who can’t drive.”
Burn of the THIRD DEGREE.

After Clueless, she went on to lock it down in various films, with her wide eyes and Betty Boop vibe. I must say, I even loved her in 8 Mile.

I’m gonna have to pour a bit of my cranberry juice on the ground in remembrance tonight – or, wait, maybe I should put down some food, give Brittany a little nourishment.

Dear Britt,

I hope you are ROLLING WITH YOUR HOMIES in the sky, and know that I’ll be thinking of you – I HOPE NOT SPORADICALLY! The way you sang the Mentos theme song changed my life. When I was younger, I totally wished someone would have taken me out of my flannel and put me in some cute outfits while Jill Sobule played in the background. You are one of my idols. I will eat twice as much for you today.


Let’s check out Brittany at her best:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It’s cool, not trying to put a rush on you…

But I gotta let you know that I got a crush on… well, not you, this other dude.

Guys, I am totes crushin’ like a 14 year old. There’s this actor who was, like, made for me. FOR ME.

He is 6’4”, he has red hair (holla at a genetic anomaly!), and he is so pasty pale that he is damn near translucent.

He is so lacking in pigment that he appears to have no eyebrows or eyelashes – how does he fight off debris?! What about sweat?! He’s a medical marvel, and I must now how he survives. Maybe’s he’s one of the X-Men or something.

His skin is like porcelain, and looks as soft and smooth as vanilla pudding.
His hair is the color of honey and strawberry jam mixed together
His eyes are as blue as the ocean and the sky - no, the horizon line, where the ocean and sky meet

I am going on about his physical appearance because I have yet to speak to him for more than 2 seconds.
I met him through a mutual friend a couple months ago, and he seemed kinda cold, but this could be because our friend put me on blast, mentioning that when he and I first met, I hugged him and proclaimed, “you will be my winter spoon.” It wasn’t quite the impression I’d hoped to make, but I shook it off.

But I couldn’t get him off of my mind.
I think I know how Bella must have felt the first time she saw Edward.

This past weekend, a friend of mine told me she ran into this same redhead at a party and he referred to me as “a beautiful black woman.” HOLY SHIT.

Needless to say, the flame was rekindled.

I saw him last night at a party, and he was looking as good as ever, all pasty and piercing, with those eyes of his. It would have been a great time to walk up and say hello, now that I was armed with the knowledge that he was down with the brown. However, I was held back by the fact that, whenever I’m surrounded by improvisers, actors, and/or comedians, I become mildly autistic, painfully self-conscious, and my tongue turns to lead. Add that the fact that I wasn’t drinking, and you pretty much have me at the age of 13.

So, instead of re-introducing myself, saying hello, or complimenting him on his show like the strong black woman that I am, I just stared at him longingly/mildly creepily at random moments. This didn’t really bother me at first, because I know deep in my heart that I don’t need to date anyone at all right now, and if I never speak to him, he can never fail me (we all know how I emo I get when things don’t go well).

But after a while I realized that I was basically eye-fucking the poor pasty chap without consent, and the ultimate closure would be to speak to him and realize that he’s racist or something equally deal-breaking so I could stop idealizing. So, in an attempt to close the chapter on what was becoming my own personal Twilight, I told my friend about my crush and asked him what I should do. I believe my exact phraseology was, “How can I get in with ___? And by ‘get in with,’ I don’t mean his P in my V as much as a real conversation.” His advice was threefold:
-Mention Guns N Roses
-Tell him you’re Jewish
-Play with his elbow skin.

The last one was a mockery of my personal penchant for pinching elbow skin (weird, I know. Accept it.), and was just another way to set me up for embarrassment. Based on the first two suggestions, however, it would seem that so far my crush and I have absolutely nothing in common. This won’t stop me from an introduction, though. I’m thinking:
“When I was a little girl in Addis Ababa – I’m an Ethiopian Jew – I remember seeing Guns and Roses on the MTV VMA’s in 1992. Slash’s solo…. Am I right?”

I don’t know anything about said solo, but I’ll let him fill in the blank and get the ball rolling. A conversation is, after all, a two-way street… one that you pave over and construct manipulative roadblocks on to lead the driver (your crush) into the tunnel of LOVE.

I mean, whatever. It's just (just) a little crush (crush) - not like I faint every time we touch.
If you don't know what that line is from, let me take you back to the late 90s, friend.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Teaching tools

Ok, so I'm supposed to be watching 'Teen Mom' right now, but I don't have MTV access at the moment - but don't worry, I'll holla at it from the plantation and live blog it for you ASAP.

In penance, I bring to you the finest song of our time (brought to my attention by JJSiii). You have to listen to it.

I think this should be a teaching tool for Teach for America newbies everywhere - and even the old pros like Sorcia McNasty. You've got to speak to the inner city youth in the language they know - the language of hip hop. If you need proof, just watch "Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit." This song teaches wayward youth to do the basics: read a book, brush their teeth, and drink water - you need it! I think our literacy rates would increase tenfold if we had Project Mayhem making the lesson plans.

I am so obsessed with this song, I'm buying it a present for Kwanzaa.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Birthdays With Artists

Today is the day of my birth. I have no plans, but I’m doing fine with it – mostly because I received a crazy artist email today, the first since I've been back on this plantation. It made me quite happy, to know that some things haven’t changed. Here it is (completely unedited, except for identifying info- in other words, the typos are all real):

SOJOURNER--- I am contacting you because I think you are a 'brilliant 'writer'.I read a few of you artist-of -the- month-essays.I was deeply impressed.You see, SOJO, I am a artist/author.My name is S___.As I mentioned to [your boss] I would be elated if you would write an article about my art/lit life.

My urban sci-fi-novel [INSERT VAGUELY SEXUAL TITLE HERE] was published in 2008. There are 52 illustration in the novel that I created .(Would love for you to post a review about the book at

I almost forgot: I am a African-American male.I told [your boss] my bucket list is to be featured in [your] magazine before i die.(Maybe you can help?)

Sojourner go to my website:www.I AM CRAZY AND to see myart work.My genre is sports,jazz and Americana.I would love for you to do a story on my sports paintings.I think the one of Kobe and MJ----has the metaphysical energy of a Caravaggio(my favorite old master---not saying I,m that good).

You look about my daughters age.I am proud of you.I would be delighted in the future if we could do a joint-venture.Maybe a large coffee table book titled: "THE PAINTINGS OF ARTIIST/AUTHOR:HOT MESS.

SOJOURNER ---- in closing-I would be elated if you could do a featured piece on me in [your magazine].

I wish you a merry Christmas and Happy New year.


Oh my god, this is the best birthday present ever! I have been called a brilliant writer – in quotation marks, implying that I’m not at all! He even puts writer in quotes separately, implying that maybe he thinks I don’t even write.

He almost forgot he was an African-American male, and I forget I’m an African-American female ALL THE TIME – we’re so close!

HE’S PROUD OF ME!!!! Oh my god, what if this is my dad, writing in disguise? Maybe he hasn’t been around cause he was writing urban sci fi? Holy shit, I smell my book deal.

Happy birthday to me.

Sojo's note: the guy's website has an 'erotica' section. ew!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


As I ate my oatmeal this morning, I received the best news ever - in commercial form.

Next Tuesday, at 10pm, MTV will premiere its new show TEEN MOM, where we follow the gals from last season's "16 and Pregnant" as they attempt to raise their children. I AM SO EXCITED. I HAVE MISSED THESE GIRLS SO MUCH.

Highlights from the commercial include Catelynn's new haircut (she and Tyler are still together!); Amber choking Gary and saying, "Don't you ever talk to my daddy that way!"; and Maci saying "I would have never lost my virginity to someone who I thought could treat me this way," as we see her baby daddy at the club dancing with some chick.

THIS IS GOING TO BE SO GOOD. For those of you who "have lives" and are "too cool to watch it," just you wait for the live blog.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I will NOT be making the same mistakes in 2010!

Okay, y’all, I think I am officially over foreign dudes. They lack the boundaries my American self is accustomed to, and it’s not cute.

Saturday night, I got the following facebook message from my Swedish paramour – you know, the one from the worst New Year’s Eve night ever

Subject: :)

Hello there!

I hope you are doing great, and that you foot has heeled by now ;)

Just letting you know that Im traveling to New York over a week end in December (4-8th). Im traveling with my girlfreind, but I though Id let you know anyway incase you are in town. Id love to come see your show (if you still do stand up), or maybe meet up for a drink and see some other act, or if your not availible that weekend maybe you could recommand a comedy club that we should check out.

Anyhow, take care now

Not only is that my birthday weekend and sitting home in fetal position is part of my schedule, and cannot be changed around, but I'd rather have my fingernails ripped out by Hannibal Lecter than entertain this fool. Clearly I can say no to this – using either a thoughtful lie or the gospel TRUTH (can he handle it?!). It’s really not that deep, and I will survive like Gloria Gaynor. However, I’d like to just note some things for you gentle readers:

Okay, I’ll start with positive reinforcement:
- Unlike certain redheaded Australians, he at least had the good sense to tell me he was bringing his gf from the outset. Of course, there are no illusions of relationship, and it’s not like I’d try to rekindle that flame and start an F’in forest fire, but at least there will be no misread signals. Good for you, Swede! I think this is due to the fact that he’s a lawyer, and aims to avoid litigation at all costs.

- A smiley face icon as a subject is the lamest thing I’ve ever seen. You’re a grown ass man, get it together. Clearly you fear me and would have done better showing up at my door with freshly killed game. At least then, I would have respected you.

- How are you going to ask me about my foot damn near a year after the fact?! Fool, if you don’t know by now, you better ask somebody! This does not retroactively count as kindness and interest. YOU FAIL at being even a minor friend who at least keeps up with facebook updates and comments on the serious ones.

- Why on earth are you trying to meet up with me when you didn’t have the decency to check in and ask me if I could walk again after you put your P in my V on one of the most traumatizing nights of my life? If memory serves, he also chose to ask me to hang out on his last night in Sydney, then blew me off in a most unsavory manner. If memory will serve me seconds, I also recall landing in his home country in May and him not moving a beefy muscle to meet up. If this isn’t just another example of white male hubris – nay, OVERWEENING PRIDE – then I don’t know what is! What was that saying about giving an inch and taking an ell? I think that was applied to the wrong race!

It’s also quite curious that he’d think I’d want him to see me do stand up – what if I put him on blast in front of the gf? That’d actually be quite hilarious. But I won’t, it’d just be too wrong. I wonder how he’s explained her to me. “Oh, honey, I have this blacktress friend in NYC who might take us out one night.” Chile, please! I am friends with you like I’m friends with Jenna Bush.
Which is to say, not at all, and there’s even some ire there.

In summation, what you can take from this is this, gentle readers: don’t think that just because you do the dirty on the other side of the world that that ish won’t come back to bite you on the ass. You can’t get rid of a mistake in this LinkedIn, Facebookin’ world, where every damn Tom, Dick, or Swede wants to be up in MySpace, asking me to play tour guide. Why didn’t you want a guide when I was trying to tell you how my parts worked, dude?! Let’s talk about that!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Working Girl!

I'm breaking the writer's block by creating fiction. This way, when my life gets too boring or too tragic, I'm not at a loss. Here is the first installment.

Working Girl!
A true work of fiction.

Martha was excited. Today was her first day at a new job! But there were tons of papers to fill out, and she always got confused. Like this “computer use agreement.” She didn't see any stipulations about gchat, so it looked fine. “I guess I’ll put my John Hancock right here! “ Martha chuckled to herself as she wrote.
“But what about my W-4? What do they mean, how many dependents do you have? What do you write if you have codependence issues?” Martha wondered to herself. She was pretty needy, and depended on a lot of people for support. But I don’t think she should be taxed for it – after all, it already takes an emotional toll.

This is hard. she thought as she agonized over the deductions sheet. But I have to remind myself that the whole point of working is to have a reason to shower and shave, and force me to be in a place where I can’t sob openly. Martha was right. She had been starting to reek of saline and insecurity, and her 2-am pizza binges were starting to show on her hips. She thought of all the doors her new employment would open for her and smiled as she began the “emergency contact form.”

“I think I’m going to tell them that if there’s an emergency, they should contact my crush, Tommy,” Martha said to the HR representative sitting across from her. “He said he can’t be in a relationship right now, but I’m sure he’d want to know if something bad happens to me. He’d rush to my side, and seeing me near death would definitely change his mind.” Yep, I’m going to put his name down. she thought. She still had his cell and work numbers, even though he never really gave them to her or anything. Maybe she’ll put down his email address, too.

Oooh, Martha just got an email from her new coworker. At desk with her shiny new Mac laptop, she felt like she’d really made it to the big time. He answered my question with a one-liner – he’s clearly an efficient guy, she thought to herself as she hit the reply button. She leaned back to another colleague two desks down.
“Do you think I should write back and say 'thanks!' or just leave it.? I don’t want to clog his inbox. Maybe I should just write back with :).” She drew the smiley face on a post-it to clarify.

Her coworker said nothing.

Or maybe I should wink?
she wondered. No, that probably counts as sexual harassment. Oh, workplace politics! ;P

The phone suddenly rang and when she went to pick it up it hit her desk lamp, making a loud clanging sound. Martha looked around to try and catch the eye of one of her coworkers, but no one saw her hit myself on the head with the phone humorously so they probably just think she’s making a lot of noise for no reason. I hope I don’t get fired!

She began to sweat profusely.

Martha’s desk was right across from the bathroom. All day, she could hear coworkers make onesies and twosies and wash their hands. I’d simply die if someone heard me use the bathroom, she thought resolutely. Seriously, I’d pass out and one of my lungs would collapse and I’d choke on my own saliva from embarrassment. I think I’ll try to keep my fluids low during the work day, and if I have to go, I’ll just go across the street to Barnes and Nobles. I mean, those people are strangers, I’ll never have to face them again.

I wonder if I should contact Tommy and tell him I got a job. Maybe I’ll send it from my office email, so he knows I’m not making it up. That’d be good. He’d know I’m really over him. Big and better, onwards and upwards, I always say!

I always say that. Seriously.
She reinforced herself.

As the day wound down, Martha began to feel glum. I wonder what people with active social lives are doing tonight.

She was about to do a google search on the very subject when her boss walked by. She hurriedly closed the window and got to work!

What a day!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Poetry In Motion

Hey Gang,

I've got no particular reason to blog at the moment, but I felt compelled to do so because I AM ON A MOVING BUS, BOUND FOR BOSTON.

I am blogging on a bus!
Technology is fucking insane in the membrane.
Just when I was finally mastering and accepting the iPod as a concept, here comes Bolt Bus, with it's free wifi and outlets at every seat. All this, for only $15!!! Holla at a recessionista! I'm heading to Boston to clear my head and reconnect with my main gay, JJSiii. Nothing says "I'm over you and doing me" like Cape Cods on Cape Cod!

Anyway, while I'm here (CAUSE I CAN BE), I guess I'll give you a follow-up to the bicycle random.

So, I threw out his card but remembered his name, so I could find out who the heck this crazy was. I found him on facebook and it turns out we have a mutual friend - a girl I went to school with. I had to know how she knew him - was she, too, a victim of his cycling? Just last night, she appeared on my gchat list. Here's the scoop:

i have something very random and important to ask you
[a few minutes go by, i briefly leave the computer]
WOMAN: this sounds like it mite b spam
Blacktress: so, basically, i was bothered on the street by this guy
he wouldn't leave me alone until i took his card
i'm not interested, cause he was mildly predatory, but i had to look him up. you came up as one of his friends on facebook/our mutual friend. i must know how you know this character
his name is Marc W
Woman: ewwww
hes my uncles friend dont call him
Woman: he facebkd me, but i dont really know him
Blacktress: oh good god
your uncle's friend
girl, you need to read the transcript of our conversation
i was real pissed and angry with this fool
followed me ON HIS BIKE
i had to make him go away cause i was almost at my door and didn't want him to know where i lived!
Woman: yea, he is stalkerish, he tried to get me to cook him dinner for like 2 yrs
Blacktress: oh my god
girl, this is too good
the insanity
Woman: he helpd me w/ my resume like 1 time... borderline insane
hes like functional psycho
that sucks tho,im srry
Blacktress: you just painted the very picture i expected
Woman: i thnk the bike is a midlife crisis thing

OMFG, guys! Homey is her uncle's friend!!! She's a grown woman like me, so her uncle has to be nearing retirement. This would put this guy in the 40-something range AT LEAST, right? He helped her with a resume and kept asking her to make him dinnner???? What a weirdo!

Thank god I'm on a bus outta town. The men in NYC are toxic - and not in the fun, Britney way.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Playa, Please!

I came home from meeting idol/future life partner Augusten Burroughs last night and was semi-bummed out and also very hungry. I figured I could cure both of these ailments by purchasing ice cream and cookies, and then consuming them. As I headed to my crib from the store, a random on a bicycle said hello. Being a bitter New York City born-and-bred hag, clearly I ignored him. Moments later, he reappeared.

Random On Bicycle: Did my saying hello offend you?
Blacktress (rolling eyes): No, but you following me is now creeping me out.
ROB: I'm sorry. Can I get your name?
Blacktress: No.
ROB: Why not?
Blacktress (sighing): Please, leave me alone. I am not in the mood.
ROB: I just want to say hi.
Blacktress: Don't. I'm mean.
ROB: Mean people don't usually say they're mean.
Blacktress: I'm very self-aware.
ROB: Self-aware of what?
Blacktress: Um, myself.
ROB: You're not from New York, are you?
Blacktress: Yes, I am.
ROB: Harlem? You don't seem like it.
Blacktress: Um...
ROB: I'm from Harlem, too, on the East Side. I'm going over there now, to my aunt's house.
Blacktress: Well, you should get there now.
ROB: I'm gonna put up her curtains. Or drapes. One of those.
Blacktress: Well, you should hurry up.
ROB: With this thing [he gestures towards his bike.] it doesn't take any time.

There is a pause. Dude is still following me and we're mere steps from my door. I can't have him know where I live. My patience is beyond thin.

Blacktress: WHAT DO YOU WANT?
ROB: How about I give you my facebook or my information, and you can contact me.
Blacktress: No, I'm not going to do that.
ROB: Is because of how we're meeting.
Blacktress: Among other things, yes. But mostly cause I don't want to be bothered. I'm not in the mood for this foolishness.
ROB: Well then, why don't you let me contact you. Can I have your facebook?
Blacktress: NO!
[For some reason he finds my shouting endearing, and I'm getting more and more annoyed]
Blacktress: Look, I'm almost home, and I'd like you to stop following me. What can I do to get you to leave me alone?
ROB: Why don't you take my information.
Blacktress: Fine.

He gets off the bike, searches in his FANNY PACK for his business card. He then finds a pen. He flips the card over and begins to write.

Blacktress: This is taking too long. I've got ice cream in this bag and it's not going to eat itself.
ROB: I'm giving you my personal email. [beat] That's funny. I got ice cream at home, too. It's Tofutti.
Blacktress: Oh god, stop writing, I'm done.
ROB: It's dairy free.
Blacktress: I know what Tofutti is.
ROB: Did you have braces, or are your teeth naturally like that?
Blacktress: I had braces twice.
He laughs, as though I just said something hilarious.
ROB: I like your glasses, they're cute.
He hands me the card.
Blacktress: OK.
ROB: Can I get your name?
Blacktress: No.
ROB extends his hand for a handshake.
Blacktress: No.
ROB: No?
Blacktress: It's swine flu season. Can you please go now?
ROB: Ok. Looking forward to hearing from you.

He bikes away and I continue walking forward. I look back and see he's still going, going, gone, so I double back and head in my door.

Good lord, can't a blacktress just come home on a cold night and not be bothered by a man on a bicycle? I think you all know his business card is in the trash right now. Of course, I'm dying to hyperlink you to his website, but I can't risk him finding the site and then NEVER LEAVING ME ALONE!

Monday, November 2, 2009

What's Black and White and Red All Over?

The multi-culti staff at The Red House Furniture Store, in North Carolina!

Please watch the youtube video below, which brought to my attention by a fellow woman of color and writer. Join us both on the emotional rollercoaster.
Things to know:
This video was not made as a joke.
This is a real establishment.

AAAHHHH, IT'S SO AMAZING!!! When Richard, aka BIG HEAD, says he likes, "pumping iron, as well as pumping furniture into people's HOOOMMES" I almost wish I had 3-D glasses so I could feel his hands coming towards me.

Ten Gauge is pretty sweet, too.

I like how they added "and hispanic people, too. All people." at the very end. Someone picked that up in post-production, no doubt.

It's good to see local businesses doing their part to combat racism and oppression, while still making me feel unsafe.

Um, you're welcome, gentle readers.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween Y'ALL!

I'll be spending Halloween night in the house, trying to avoid the crazy Carnevale that is NYC on a night of masks and mayhem. However, this doesn't mean I'm without spirit! Check out this oddly shaped man doing his best dance moves in a unitard. It's scarier than anything you'll see on All Hallows Eve:

You know there must be nothing going on in Nebraska when the news can devote over a minute of precious airtime to this dancing queen. They were like, "This just in: A calf was born on Knotts Farm! ... er, now for the pumpkin dance!"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thanks, Gmail!

Clearly, I'm obsessed with gchat. However, gmail is going above and beyond the call when it comes to answering user queries. When looking into how to remove a contact (most importantly, trying to figure out if the contact, by being removed, would no longer have access to the blacktress), I got the following info from gmail, which really made my day:

1. From your inbox, click the bold link on the left:

A list pops up with all your groups:
"Friends, Family, Coworkers, Gremlin Trainers, Most Contacted, All Contacts... etc",

2. Select All Contacts.

A list pops up with all your Contacts. You can even search, if thats how deep you roll, but that probably means you have too many contacts and why not just leave that one?

3. Select that person you don't really hate per se, but just don't want to see in your chat status list...

--because you still want to keep her email address...i mean, you never know how this new chick might, as seems to be all too typical with these irish ones, wax insane over the summer and, though you're ashamed, and you know you probably made a big relationship no-no by hooking up with three of her friends at her parents' "renewal of vows" ceremony, whatever the heck that was, you might want to go running, or, more like it, crawling back!--

A window pops up with various options for where to move/what to do with that contact, including: "Show in chat list"

4. Set that contact to: Auto, Always, Never, or Block.

5. Take a deep breath, get some exercise, stay well hydrated, lay off the junk food, look ahead to a beautiful new day, and smile knowing that awful person is off your chat list.

Gmail just cuts me to the core. Irish chicks DO wax insane* over the summer, how did they know??? They also know that, when getting through crazy internet issues, staying hydrated is crucial to coming out on the other side in one piece. I'm wondering if I can start asking google other, non-internet-related queries, see what they come up with.

*what does it mean to "wax insane"? sometimes google is too smart for me to handle!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Best of Blacktress

So, I've started giving out my biznass card alot nowadays. With this card, the average random gets my full name, email addy, and blog address. Basically, they could use all these resources to become my double and be me for Halloween.

Clearly, my bloggery is hit or miss at times. I've decided that, for all those who come to the site seeking to hire me for their next major motion picture, I should be able to draw their attention to my funniest of funnies. Until this site gets hard core and has a ".com" URL, I'm going to just create this post.

Best of the Blacktress. Tell your friends.

- Stand up in Sydneytown (you know, so folks know about the international flava!)

- DUSK, a Twilight parody.


- "Why Dawson's Creek Has Made It Impossible For Me To Have a Healthy Relationship. Ever."
(Um, you know it's true.)

- Mondays With Artists

- Heteromanese, Decoded!

Am I missing anything, gentle readers?

OH EM GEE, I'm about to see "Gentlemen Broncos," starring hottie Jemaine Clement from "Flight of the Conchords." Having seen Kristen Schaal (who plays Mel) last nigh, and after meeting Murray last year, I am on my way to collecting the whole cast! If only Brett would stop being so elusive..... Details to follow (and I don't mean the magazine! har har)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Casting Call (A Metaphor)

**WARNING: This post is not what you're used to. Read on and bear with the blacktress, or wait for the next post, which will hopefully be funny. **

So, I've been alluding to a certain young gentleman in a few of my October and September posts. And, as is usual for the blacktress -- and, as the hit song goes -- another one bites the dust.

I take these things harder than one probably should. I agonize in ways that, although can be HI-larious (where's my book deal?!), they can also drive me cray. And, I think I've finally figured out why I freak out. This information is nothing new, but as it goes with Sojo, I need to write out the TRUTH for it to set me free.

I am great on first dates. First dates are, for me, similar to an audition. I walk in effortlessly, taking a shot in the dark, and that energy and devil-may-care attitude is appealing. I play with my lines, I swallow my direction whole and give it back, because...well, why not? This person doesn't know what I've got, has nothing to compare my behavior to, and we're just gonna have fun for a couple minutes. Sometimes it doesn't stick, and I don't get the part. But that's usually okay, because I never knew more than those 3 or 4 pages of dialogue I had to audition with.

But then there are the callbacks. The second, third, fourth--and, if i'm lucky, fifth--dates, where I'm getting to know more about what I'm up against. Where I start to imagine myself in the role, see the possibilities, and get excited.

And I become terrified. The stakes are 40 stories high because I actually have a shot. It means he sees something in me that is better than the majority. So the sweat begins. The pacing, the worrying, the babbling. My lines no longer flow, because I've got one eye on the director, checking his response before I continue. Statements previously made with ease now end in question marks.

"I really like Ani Difranco? [Unless that intimidates you, in which case, I won't bring up music at all, and deflect to your interests.]" Things I know in my heart to be true, I become afraid to say, because in the past, it's been the "wrong direction for that character."

Don't get me wrong. My sense of self is strong. I know who I am, and sometimes I'm a hot-ass R. Kelly-style mess, and other times I'm RuPaul fabulous. I cannot change my core, and I don't aim to when I put myself out there. I just see myself as malleable, able to win over all sorts of people--depending on the order in which I choose to show you my range.

Because, when you're in a callback--when you're really being considered--the difference between scoring the role and not getting a phone call comes down to the minutiae. It's not that you don't fit--it's that you don't slide in effortlessly.

It could come down to your height. Or the way the camera captures you. Or the tiniest tick or gesture that, when magnified, suddenly becomes grating. Or it could be the way you turn a phrase that reminds the director of someone they hated, and now, no matter what, there's that association. Or it could simply be the color of your hair. And, although you could dye it (you'd still be yourself, it'd still be your skill), they don't really need you to when the girl two seats down is a natural. And although you've got the goods, they don't quite see you in their big picture.

Remember that this is a metaphor--forming relationships isn't this simple, and the status differences inherent in a director-desperate actor relationship are not always the way the get-to-know-you phase is constructed. And, as most people know, half the battle of "getting to production" is the deep desire to create something in the first place. It's the desire to put up with the difficulties.

So I know these are broad stream-of-consciousness strokes that don't get at the details. But I find the end emotion is similar because, when you consciously date, you present yourself. You package yourself in the most attractive way. You are a product, and you're trying to prove that product's worth. The frustration for both actors and lovers comes from knowing that you've got the goods, that you are good, and yet you don't have your shot yet. So do you keep on getting up and out there, knowing that all you can do is your best? How do you keep bringing your best stuff when you know that most times your best won't be good enough?

Or do you just stay in the bubble of acting classes and rehearsals, talking it out with friends and doing exercises that strengthen both your skills and your resolve?

I don't know.

So, I guess I don't really have a point. Just a different kind of post.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Did y'all hear about this madness down south? Well, thanks to my politically minded friends, and the Huffington Post, I was made aware just moments ago. Check it out:

An Interracial Couple Was Denied A Marriage License in Louisiana!!!!!!

Oh Hell to the No!! I feel as though, since Barack's election, close-minded members of Caucasia have felt more threatened than ever, and incidents such as these are coming up left and right--or, maybe because of our new Pres, these incidents are being called out. Either way, Sojo's pissed! Y'all know how much I love me a tall glass of milk (does a body good!), and here is Keith Bardwell, trying to shut down miscegenation, cause he's scared of us making more change-leading baby Baracks! This couple's dream wasn't deferred--it was straight up denied!

I love how this justice of the peace (Justice of the HATE, is more like it)talks about "his experience" with interracial marriages, which shows they don't last long. Well, hm, is it because 50% of ALL marriages end in divorce? I wonder what his views are on marriage licenses for shotgun weddings, or couples in the 18- to 25-year-old range? For some reason, I have a feeling that he has no problem issuing those licenses, as long as they keep it within their race.

Okay, I could go on, but I'll turn it over to you, gentle readers. Thoughts?

What about Iman and David Bowie, Mr. Bardwell??!?!?! They are too fierce to not be meant to be!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Are You There Bryan Safi? It's Me, Blacktress

I just saw the best video ever, and wanted to share it with you! Enjoy, my sweets! (no homo)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

House Guests - A Rant.

I'm currently holed up in my room, watching Private Practice.
I have five house guests, three of whom are 18-year-old girls.

I am not pleased.

These are members of the Detroit Crew. I think you all know, from previous posts, my feelings on my Detroit fam. These guests aren't even blood relatives, and I don't speak to them regularly. How do you just rock up in someone's home, rolling 5-deep, and think that's acceptable?

Sorry, let me backtrack.

So, my aunt's best friend has three daughters. The oldest is the same age as me and my cousin, so during my summers in Detroit, we were a trio. Her middle daughter was a few years younger, so she mostly rolled with us in the capacity of any younger sister (flunky, tattle-tale, etc.). The youngest girl is 8 years below us, so we were never close. Once she stopped letting us dress her up, we all sort of lost interest, you know?

Well, she's now celebrating her 18th birthday and her mom thought she'd combine her conference in NYC with her daughter's birthday present, so guess who now has her and two of her friends for the next three days?

The mother emails me and asks if she and her Jamaican lover can also stay the night, as the place they're crashing the rest of the weekend won't be free til Friday. I have no choice but to oblige.
Quick question, guys: Why can't a 50-something-year-old attorney get a hotel for the night so that she and her lover can have privacy and a personal bathroom? I know it's a recession, but if you can't swing it, don't bring it!

So, a mere 15 minutes before Jim and Pam's wedding on "The Office," they arrive. There's the one I knew growing up, who has really matured in the last few years. Although I haven't seen her, I've heard that she's had a bout of chlamydia, and was briefly in a relationship with a 25-year-old woman. Then, she introduced me to her best friend. It went something like this:
Bitchy 18-year-old I Don't Want here: [pointing to her friend] This is my best friend, (pointing to me)and this is my cousin.*
Me: Hello. I'm Sojourner.
The Best Friend: Hi.
She does not say her name. I have never met her before and she plans on staying in my home and yet does not think it's sensible to state her name and perhaps say "thanks for letting me stay." This is yet another reason why black people can't have nice things--children lack home training.

This girl immediately breaks out her cell and starts chatting with folks. Apparently, there's no need for me to say, "make yourself comfortable."

The girl I know asks if her older sister is coming.
"What?" I ask. "I'm clearly uninformed."
Moments later my cell phone rings. It's the sis. She goes to grad school in DC and is apparently coming down.
"Hey, Sojo, can I come stay?! I got off Monday, so I'll just kick it til y'all kick me out."

Um, okay, people. I'm at least somewhat friends with the sis, she's my age, we grew up together. If the whole damn rest of her family, including her mother's illegal immigrant lover, are going to stay, there's no way I can tell her no. However, this now brings our total to 6. We don't have the beds, or the food, and I quite frankly don't have the patience.

House Guests are a lot of work. Having to be chipper, tend to people's needs, and generally make sure 18-year-olds don't cause a ruckus means that for the next 3-5 days, my home is not my own. And when the people staying seem to lack courtesy and kindness, there's little incentive to put on the act.

Through the phone call with the older sis, the mother and her Jamaican lover are sprawled out on the couch. When I explain that I'll leave the girls directions and get them on the subway, the mother looks at me with a passive aggressive expression, I guess thinking that I'd be taking them around.
Um, what? Me with three legal adults in tow? I don't think so. See, I have a few rules in life:
- Ass, gas, or grass--nobody rides for free.
- John Krasinski is my future husband.
- If you're old enough to get chlamydia and test your sexuality, you're old enough to take the subway alone.
Am I right?

Playing tourist in a city I live in isn't on my to-do list. I'm not "re-discovering," I'm simply navigating my way through throngs of tourists in densely populated areas. Besides, I did this last week with a Danish pal, even taking her to the bar from the film "Coyote Ugly" (it's her favorite movie. I kid you not.). Hanging out with teens isn't my idea of fun. I hate teenagers. Especially ones who are only interested in boys and clothes. I was never that teen, so those with lack of drive (college? what college?) or interests simply confuse me. They don't read books, they don't watch television shows; there are no common denominators to aid small talk, and even if there were, they certainly wouldn't last us 8-10 hours of gallivanting around Manhattan.

It's now 10:30am (some time has lapsed. Too busy tending, I wasn't able to return to this post til the next morning). I hear music blasting down the hall. I'm going try to shuttle these bitches out, maybe direct them to IHop for breakfast, cause I sure as hell ain't cooking.

What can I do to get through this? Any suggestions?

*Note: we are not related at all. She knows this.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Moral Support.

I was talking to my crush last night on the phone, for the first time in 2 weeks-- as my loyal readers will recall, he'd been in Brazil for work. After a bit of phone tag, we finally worked it out.
Until my awkwardness kicked in.
Let me set the scene:

Blacktress and Crush are on the phone. Blacktress is outside a restaurant on Rivington street, before a stand up show. She has to be breezy and brief.

Blacktress: So, how was your trip?
Crush: Good, I did well with clients. It was good all around.
[there is loud barking in the background. His dog hates the blacktress.]
Blacktress: Why is she freaking out? Does she know I'm on the phone?
Crush: No, it's not my dog, I'm at the dog park so there are alot of them.
Blacktress: Oh, ok.
Crush: So, what is this whole, "becoming a gay icon" thing you were talking about on gchat?
Blacktress: Oh, I did a show for the gays, and they loved it. I got a bunch of invites to perform at other venues, and I was called "a magical creature."
Crush [in a high-pitched voice, as though speaking to a child]: Good girl!
Blacktress (laughing): Thanks!
Crush: What?
Blacktress: Thanks for your support.
Crush: Oh. I was talking to my dog.

Of course he was.

Um, we have a date Saturday night. I'm gonna need you to wish me luck.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thanks, OKCupid!

I got the following email in my OKCupid inbox this morning:

Hello dear!

How are you?
Looking at your profile makes me feel I have my heart right in your hands...You're so cute! and outgoing!

Every time I see someone like you, I tend to be protective...So I am for you. Because of your character, the right person to befriended is someone like me who understands, respects, protects, serious and real...

I already stated that I am single and eventually interested in a serious relationship...since it takes time to built a relationship...For that I am open to hangout with you, have fun, go to movies, walk in the park , laugh and so on

Now the only thing that I want to know is : "Are you open to spend time with me, do you really want to enjoy my company"???

Waiting for your reply!

until then take care!

OH EM GEE, what do I write back????!?!?!? This guy could be the one!*

*This is sarcasm, in case that wasn't clear. I'm not as good at it as Edith Zimmerman.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Normal is not an option.

I have reached a new low. Only, this isn't as outwardly tragic as much of the events during the "Summer of New Lows." This is more of an internal low, an emotional low that I thought, as a grown ass woman, I'd be over by this age. I am seriously Aspberger's right now.

Let me set the scene.

So, I'm on the interwebs, just typing on some F-book walls--you know, the nightly usual. I switch tabs and notice that a certain crush is online (damn you, gchat list!). Our last date was a week ago, and he's currently in the South America for a week, on a business trip (damn you, Southern Hemisphere--you're always taking my men away at the most delicate times!). My course of action and thought process went something like this:

1. Aaaah, he's online!
[I immediately go invisible so that he won't know I'm online.]
2. Wait, why am I hiding myself? There's nothing bad about being on the internet at 11:45pm on a Wednesday night. Right?
[I go back to visible]
3. This feels oddly invasive. I should not be able to know he's online, I feel like I'm inadvertently stalking.
[I set my chat settings so that he "never" shows up in my chat list.]
4. Wait, maybe it is weird that I'm online so late. He'll think I'm watching web porn or something.
[I set my chat settings to block, so that he doesn't know I'm online.]
5. I wonder if he'll email me. Should I have emailed him? If he was having sex with Gisele Bunchen's cousin right now, he probably wouldn't be checking his email, so that's a relief.
Unless he was going online to write everyone he knows to tell them he'd just slept with a total Brazilian hottie.

Note: Never once did I think it was acceptable to IM him and say "hello, how's Brazil?"
Cause, you know, that'd be too logical, and bordering on polite. I mean, what if he--gasp!--knew I was interested in him even though I hadn't seen him in a week? Can you imagine how disinterested he'd be as a result of my interest?

It seems, gentle readers, that Sojourner can't handle her own truth of crushing. What is wrong with me? In my head, every woman in Brazil looks like Gisele Bunchen. They are all hot and lithe and oiled, in an effortless sort of way. And when you enter the country, customs officials check the duration of your stay. If it is longer than 28 days, you are required to undergo cosmetic surgery, so as not to ruin the national character by bringing down the general hotness of the country.

And this, my friends, is where the line between sanity and insanity can be drawn. This is also where you can draw the line between, "single gal in her twenties," and "future smelly cat lady."

Sometimes I feel clumsier than Fergie.

Why did this song come into my head just now?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I'm Confused

I don't understand why "Single Ladies" was the Video of the Year. Can someone explain it to me?

Look, I love dancing up in the club, telling men I don't know to "put a ring on it" as much as the next girl, and I definitely think of it as Song of the Year, but the video was black and white, with Beyonce and two other girls dancing in leotards. What's exactly innovative, groundbreaking, or visually stunning about it as a video?

Okay, okay, Beyonce's body--and her ability to do those moves in high heels!--but scantily clad women dancing has been a staple of music videos from the beginning. I'm seriously confused.

I was, however, really glad when she let Taylor Swift have her moment (did anyone else notice Perez Hilton touch his heart during the standing O?)--after all, Beyonce's always got a damn moment, she wasn't desperate for 2 more minutes of booty shaking. Beyonce shows that just cause you ain't in school (*cough* College Dropout Kanye *cough*) doesn't mean you can't have class.

But seriously, I feel handicapped. I also don't get why Taylor Swift won anything. I'm really off when it comes to current music. Leave a comment and break it down for a blacktress.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday Rhymes with Cray-Cray!

[KWalsh has just informed me that a newly single mutual friend has just joined]

I am impressed by how quickly people rally. i just hate dating so much, i wouldn't wish it on anyone.
i just want a werewolf to have me imprinted on to him.*
and he'll just see me and take care of me forever until it's time for us to be wed.
KWalsh: hahahaha!
imprint me, werewolf!
i just wish old crusty men would stop hitting on me
Me: you're on pirate island. you can't get around the old and crusty
KWalsh: seriously! the fucking pirates here!
last night at the restaurant where i work, i was waiting on a family i know
and they were like "we are so sorry about uncle donny"
because he kissed my hand twice, asked when we are going to get married and then said in 5 years i would be "prime"
this man has a long flowing mane of gray hair and a beard
and questionable dental hygiene
Me: Oh god!

[I then fill her in on the latest confusion surrounding the fact that I have not been asked on a date by someone who most certainly should have asked by now. I am advised to play it cool and give him the benefit of the doubt.]

Me: all I need to be happy in a relationship is for the guy to tell me exactly how he's feeling about me and what he's thinking at all times.
is that too much to ask for?
KWalsh: ha.
Me: See, the thing is, I like to believe I have mind-control powers, but sometimes they're faulty, requiring that the guy actually express himself, and that's when I get all frustrated. It's like I'm Professor X and he's Magneto wearing that helmet that blocks me.^
KWalsh: You have to relax and not be negative.
stop complaining!
Me: hahahaha
KWalsh: a boy likes you!
and he doesnt have a secret spring break fiance!
Me: What world do we live in where having a secret spring break fiance is even an option?

* for those of you who aren't 14-year-old girls or into vampires, this is a reference to Jacob Black, the werewolf hottie in the Twilight series.
^ This is a reference to X Men.

Clearly, if I was into 15-year-old boys, I wouldn't be single right now.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Hunt is On....

It's currently 60 degrees, windy, and raining. The weather is an inconvenient truth.
I was hoping that, with summer starting so late, it'd be balmy well into September, but it looks like Al Gore has other plans for us.

You know what this onset of cold weather means, don't you?

It means I'm gonna have to start the hunt for the winter spoon earlier than usual.
(For those of you out of the loop, here's more on the winter spoon--or, what a male friend of mine called "wife season.")

I'm a bit out of practice for this hunt, as last year I avoided this dilemma by leaving the hemisphere and bypassing winter completely. This only proved the correlation between cold weather and neediness, as I wasn't trying to get serious with any fools in Oztown, even though it was the midst of holidays, my birthday, and I was on the other side of the world alone. It was just too hot to be all cuddled up!

Now that I'm back in the game, I'd hoped to be able to woo potential winter partners in these final warm days with my dresses on and whatnot, and then use a slutty Halloween costume to seal the deal (I'm thinking of going as a Girl with Low Self Esteem this year. All T and A).

Alas, it looks like I'm gonna be in my galoshes and my granny sweater, and I'll have to hope someone sees through my layers into the inside spoon that I can become.

But I have hope. This winter, however, is unlike any winter that has come before. We've got a black prez, which makes black the new black, and nerdy black people the new hotness--in other words, my stock is on the rise! I think I may have a better shot at getting one this time around.

Thoughts? Comments, suggestions?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Why I'm Taking Down My Internet Dating Profile. Reason #246

This post goes out to my newest follower (number 26!), American Girl in London. According to her info, she's moved out there to be with her beau, and I think that whenever she has doubts or gets nervous, she can look back on posts like these and know she's made the right choice!

Here is the entirety of an email I received from a man on the internet.

hi beautiful,so what you have been upto lately how was ur Long weekend mine was long :) i was in atlantic city playing poker and made just 114 dollars LOL.


I don't even know what to say about this. I think it speaks for itself. Some questions, though:
1. Was the space bar faulty on his computer?
2. He had no problem spelling out the other words in the email, so do you think he actually just doesn't know how to spell "your"?
3. Do you think he thought to himself, "Grammar? i barely even know her!" WHY IS THERE ONLY ONE PERIOD IN THIS EMAIL?! And why is the 'l' in long weekend capitalized? I'm sorry, that really gets my goat. If you don't know me at all, and our initial mode of communication is written, don't you think it would be behoovy of you to write using correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation? I mean, what else do I have to go on?
4. 114 dollars? What a weird amount to win.

Luckily I've found someone who's willing to joke about grandchildren--and he types so well!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Courtship Phase

Here's an excerpt from a chat I had today with a gentleman caller. I think he may be the last unicorn--at the very least, he can handle Sojourner's TRUTHS. See for yourself:

Me: this computer will be the death of me. i wish i was on my laptop
Gentleman Caller: so... you know keyboards are cheap, right?
i have one i can give you.
[note: he is offering me electronics. sure, he probs has an extra, but why try to give me anything besides an STD or a reason to cry?]
me: hahaa, i'm in my mother's office, doing some legal work
if you want to give her a keyboard, i'm sure she'd appreciate it.
GC: i'd be happy to
me: but i have nothing to give your mother
[i crack myself up.]
GC: grandchildren
was that freaky?
maybe i should have left more of a pause

No, no it was not freaky. In fact, I just drove into Swoon City, population: ME!
Cause, really, he just basically reversed 'i wanna have your babies,' which is one of the finest songs of our time. Watch the video, and see the babies in bubbles.

Although he has no problem joking about procreation, he hasn't asked me out on a second date. Why hasn't he tattoed my name on his arm already?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Therapy--Without Health Insurance!

Tonight I had a stand up gig as part of a benefit for Planned Parenthood--or, as the young hip, pro-choice kids call it, PPNYC. I was a bit nervous, as I was unsure how the PPNYC crowd would appreciate tales about Ps in Vs without Cs. I knew abortion jokes were out (obvi), but the target demographic was unclear. I got there at 6pm, where I was preceded by two elderly women--could they handle Sojourner's truths? I also knew there was a political bent to the show, but I'm not a political comic (my existence is resistance, people!). I went in with some energy, but as I waited for the show to start, my energy started to wane.

I got the gig through a lady I know who attended the same high school and college as me, but we didn't really know each other because she was two years older. My new plan for world domination requires I say yes to everything I'm asked to do, and this show was no exception. I figured, being a client of PPNYC's Bronx location (where I get free BC--aka, my 'reminder I'm not getting any' pill), I might as well give back.

Some things I learned tonight:
PPNYC, all in favor of a good abbreviation, does appreciate a cautionary tale of a P in a V without a C.
The greatest advocates for women's health are Caucasian lesbians.
Always end the night with a drag queen.

For serious.

After the show, I met up with some of my main gays in Hell's Kitchen, and we popped over to Therapy, a gay club/bar/restaurant that I've always heard of, but never visited. I wasn't feeling too great about my set, so I was rather excited to distract myself with loud music and pretty boys.

Turns out, Therapy lives up to its name, as I was able to turn my frown upside down instantly. Tonight was "Cattle Call," a sort of talent show where contestants (all singers) competed for a $150 cash prize. The host was none other than Peppermint, a fabulous Black drag queen who brought the house down.

So, you guys know how when I was little I wanted to be a drag queen, right? As a young aspiring blacktress, I'd stay up past my bed time in the fall of 1996 to catch a glimpse of The Rupaul Show on VH1. I was obsessed. While I wore braces, glasses, and over-sized sweatshirts with Mickey Mouse on them, Ru was so glamorous and confident and just...well, I didn't know what it call it at the time, but now I know the only word I can use is fierce! I just loved how tall she was, her hilarious puns, and her love of inappropriate touching.

(I can't tell you how long it took me to choose a picture of Ru that I loved. I think if I did, it would scare you.)

Come to think of it, these are the same things people seem to appreciate about me nowadays, so perhaps I'm on my way. Yay!

Anyway, Peppermint--who is gearing up for her European album launch--spoke to my heart when she performed Aretha Franklin's "Think" and followed it up with Lisa Loeb's "Stay." She spoke to my dual racial identity, bringing in the sassy soul and the wispy acoustic guitar with equal aplomb.

After the show was over, I ran into Peppermint on her way out of the bathroom. I believe my exact words were, "Ohmygod, I want to be you, you are amazing, can I be your roadie on your European tour?"

I heart her so hard it's not even funny.

She laughed and hugged me, and I told her I was a blacktress. I realized that I can learn alot from the DQs I love--and I don't just mean how to be fabulous. The good performers work the crowd, and their energy is relentless. They know how to Bring it On, Bring it on Again (the sequel), and Bring it on: All or Nothing (seriously, they never stop with these movies. It's Star Wars for tween girls).

I need to bring that A game to all my stand up from now on, and regardless of how the audience reacts, I'll know that I gave 140%. And maybe, if I'm lucky, a delicate young blacktress will approach me outside of the restroom and tell me she wants to be me.

Ah, to sleep, perchance to dream...

Monday, August 31, 2009

A Rant.

Okay, so you already know how much I love repressed Caucasia, as embodied in the television show Mad Men, right? Well, I tucked in for another riveting episode last night, as part of "Dysfunctional TV Sundays" (True Blood, followed by Mad Men, then topped up with back-to-back episodes of To Catch a Predator). I was immediately displeased with the episode, as the characters' constant drinking coupled with my hangover triggered my gag reflex like none other. Normally I support Don Draper's addictions, and I'm placing bets on whether Betty's baby will come out with flippers the way she drinks, but last night was just too much.

I thought it couldn't get any worse until Roger Sterling decided to entertain his garden party guests with a song performed in black face. I kid you not.

Now, okay, I know the show tells the story of a time gone by, when men were men, women were women, and the races didn't mingle. But it's the early 60s in New York City. Was blackface the thing to do? Was it really how the Caucasian elite entertained themselves on a Saturday afternoon? And, to top it off, it seemed none of my fellow Mad Men-viewing friends seemed to notice or care, judging by their status messages related to the show. Was it really only awkward for me? God, I feel so black right now.

I am so over viewing ignorance, regardless of whether or not it's a period piece. This could be because, ever since I got my hair braided, it seems that a little bit of Australia has returned with me to NYC. Caucasians seem to think it's acceptable to touch my head, and the neverending questions have me on the verge of screaming "WIKI BLACK HAIR CARE, PLEASE!" Or, when my friend said to me, "see, the thing is, I like you cause you're not one of those uppity black folks."

Um, is it okay for me to cut a bitch, or would that be setting back the movement?

Okay, I'm done with my rant. How was your weekend?

Sunday, August 30, 2009


I still haven't seen the movie The Hangover.
This is okay, because I'm living it. (I know I've said this before, but this time, it's personal.)

This is gross.

The time is now 3:08pm.
I may still be drunk.

I may or may not have kissed a district attorney last night. Whether or not this was to avoid litigation, I do not know.

It turns out I put my lipton iced tea in the freezer, not the fridge, and I'm now staring at it, waiting for it to thaw so I can consume the entire liter.

I am a hot mess. Thank you 99 Below, for not asking me if I want another drink, and instead just magically presenting it before me. Thank you for giving me a bar stool, so that I don't know I'm drunk until I stand up at 3am.

I'd go on and write something actually pithy/witty, but my brain can't move that quickly at the moment, so do your best to fill in the humour.

I'm gonna go vomit and look for my self esteem. Later.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Choose Your Own Blacktress Adventure!

Thanks to all those who submitted suggestions for today's blog. The suggestions were:
Red Lobster
"Ted Kennedy is not like the other Kennedys. Look at him, he's different!"

My god, what a wealth and diversity of input--this is what life's supposed to be like in a post-racial America, people. Good work!!!

So, I write to you now from the 96th Street Public Library, using your words as my muse. Here goes. Although I don't have a good personal story, I think I am finally ready to write the next installment of my Twilight parody. Take in the latest bit of.....

DUSK - Chapter 2
(for those of you just tuning in, you can check out chapter 1 here.)

Beaut woke up, groggy as usual. After her fight with Gregory, Beaut was unable to sleep, unable to do anything to calm her nerves. She tried masturbating, which often relaxed her, but even in her liquid dreams, Gregory's amber eyes glowed with anger. She pulled on a t-shirt and jeans, and pulled her hair back, too lazy to brush it. She put on some chapstick, but that was about all she could handle before heading down to breakfast.

Surprisingly, her dad was already at the table, eating a lobster tail. He wasn't wearing any pants.
"Dad, what are you doing?" Beaut asked as she reached in the cupboard for cereal.
"Aw, you know I'm not much of a cook, Beaut," he said sheepishly, wiping the melted butter from his chin. "Plus, I woke up early and this thing just tangled itself up in my net. I had to eat it while it was fresh."

Fresh and untouched like Beaut's womanly body, which hungered for wholeness, for fullness, for Gregory. She thought about last night, before things went sour. She was sure he felt what she felt, and he'd give in to her wishes in time. Maybe he doubted her sincerity, she wondered as she poured milk into her bowl. She sat across from her dad, hoping he hadn't suddenly developed Gregory's ability to read minds. She chewed slowly, thinking of what she could say to make Gregory understand how deep and true her love ran.

"....We should just get away for a couple weeks, for Spring Break, what do you say, Beaut?"

Beaut snapped to attention, and realized her father was talking about taking a trip. For two weeks. There was no way Beaut could be away from Gregory that long. Of course, he'd be able to find her no matter where she was. Whether they went by plane, train, or automobile, he could effortlessly catch up with them. But how to explain to her father her need to go to bed early, her muffled moans, her secrecy?

"That sounds cool, dad, but I was planning on hanging out with friends here."

Matt suddenly became grim, getting the same look on his face that he had when he had a case at the station that he couldn't crack--or when he really had to go to the bathroom.

"You want to hang out with that Gregory Sullen," he said, sighing, and pushing his plate away from the table.

Beaut said nothing. She couldn't bear to lie to her father, so she preferred to say nothing at all.

"Beaut, I've tried to be a cool dad about all this, not butting in, giving you two personal time, keeping my drinking to a minimum in his presence," he began. Beaut took her cereal bowl to the sink to avoid her father's gaze as he went on. "But I just don't like the idea of you getting so serious with this Sullen boy. He's not like the other boys your age. He's Ted Kennedy, the way he's different from the other Kennedys. There's just something off about him--and I don't like his attitude towards the school's hot lunch program."

"Just because he doesn't eat, dad, doesn't mean there's something wrong with him!" Beaut slammed her bowl down, showing an uncharacteristic anger. She hated when her father started in on Gregory, and when he dragged the Kennedy family into this conversation. He never even knew them, just like he didn't know Gregory.

Know Gregory.

That's all Beaut wanted, was to know him--in the biblical way. To feel his cold skin against her heat, to wax his marble skin with her...whatever part of her was analogous. She wasn't really sure, she'd had so little experience. But she knew she'd figure it out if she was only given the chance.

Beaut didn't say all this to her dad, though. She just let him finish.

"But he doesn't eat anything, Beaut. I've never seem him touch meat, which at first I thought was a bit queer, but I've heard of vegetarians, so I let it go," he said, standing and raising his voice. "But when I didn't even see him eat produce--beets, tomatoes, spinach, he just glances right over 'em!-- I know something's not right. Don't talk to me like a fool."

"Fine, dad," she said, averting her eyes so as not to see his dangling junk through his thin boxer shorts. If she didn't want him to talk to him like he was a fool, she wouldn't say anything at all. "I'm gonna be late for school."

Beaut grabbed her jacket and headed out to her car, an old jalopy that was once used to transport geriatric patients to and from the hospital. It couldn't go more than 40 miles an hour, but she loved it. As the car hummed along the road to school, Beaut began to relax. She was excited to see Gregory, and hoped he wouldn't still be angry. She'd already had enough arguing for the day, and wanted nothing more than to know she was loved.

She looked for a parking spot, and instantly saw Gregory. He was leaning against his car, a shiny black Escalade, that he'd gotten from rapper Tupac Shakur as a gift after helping him in a gang fight. He'd offered to change Tupac to one of his own, but the rapper refused, seeking an end to the thug life. Every time she saw his car, or got a glimpse of the spider tattoo on Gregory's shoulder blade, her desire was reignited. It was all she could not to jump on him right there in the lot, rip off his Miu Miu jeans, and have her way with him.

He walked to her door and held it open for her, ever the gentleman. She smiled and he kissed her gently on the lips.

"Gregory, about last night, I--"

Just then the first bell rang. She groaned and Gregory laughed, the haughty laugh of someone who no longer had to even pay attention in class, let alone be on time. But he trotted along quickly, dragging Beaut with him.

"We'll talk about it later," he said.

Who wants more sexual tension?????? I know I do!

Improvised Blogging

So, I'm feeling at a loss guys, unsure of what to write about. In a new and innovative twist, I'm going to go to YOU, the readers. Here's what I'm thinking:

Let's go back to the improvisational comedy roots. In the comments section, write a suggestion. Any word, doesn't matter what it is, or even a sentence/phrase/or random tidbit from the papers. I'll look over the suggestions and see what they inspire me to write. I PROMISE you I will use a suggestion, and I PROMISE you'll have a new blog post by the day's end--that is, IF you give me suggestions!!!

In a way, it's like Choose Your Own Blacktress Adventure!! What fun!

I'm not kidding. Leave a suggestion.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Summer of New Lows

So, as I said in my previous post, this summer is definitely falling under the category of "Summer of New Lows." This title comes from fellow blogger and strong black woman KWalsh, with whom I can always share the lowest of the low moments. As we are both in a transition, surfing the interwebs at all sorts of hours, and trying to put the recess in recession, the opportunities for self-loathing are abundant. However, we make lemonade out of these lemons, mostly by entertaining each other (it probably also helps that she lives on an island, and goes to the beach as often as most people brush their teeth).

But for some reason, the website "Texts From Last Night" (TFLN) doesn't seem to find us hysterical. In one of our mind-meld moments, we revealed to each other that we'd submitted texts to the site and were brutally rebuffed. After all, we'd done some pretty f'ed up ish, and who was TFLN to say that we weren't raunchy/crazy/racist enough for the world to know? I mean, they even have a section called "NEW LOW"--for those moments when "hot mess" just doesn't cover it.

So, as Sojourner has always had to do, I am making my own forum for self-expression, refusing to let the white man silence my voice as it shouts new lows. And, as is often my goal on this blog, I share my lows, so you may find a moment of joy (which, ironically, is the first word my cell comes up with when I try to type 'low' with the T9 feature).

Here are some texts from The Summer of New Lows-- or as I like to call it, TFTSNL.

Judge not lest ye be judged. (note: when demanding something of someone, quoting the bible is always a good start)

(917): new low: drinking red wine and eating taco bell* at 3pm on thursday.
you are not alone in this.

(917): made out with a businessman from minnesota last night.
(860): it was sunday!
(917): i know. i reek of booze and bad choices.

(917): i forgot to mention the epic fail of last night's hook up. he was covered in body hair and had a belly button ring.
what's wrong with me?

(860): eating mozzarella straight out of a five pound bag. summer of new lows!

(917): always chase your birth control with port. it doesn't really matter when you're not getting laid.

(860): looking at the ex-bf's wedding pics on facebook. new low

*Never do this. Your stomach will hold a grudge like a middle school girl.

Monday, August 17, 2009

If I lived in Charlotte....

So, this summer has proven itself to be the Summer of New Lows (more on that later). I'm actually in a place of acceptance, as I roll solo and try to keep myself entertained in this jobless world. Much of my time involves sitting at bar 99 Below, where I chat with Ollie, a 6'6" Irishman who I like to refer to as 'heterosexuality's greatest loss.' He's also, in true Irish fashion, a champion drinker and thanks to him I now have the tolerance of a sailor on leave! Every trip to 99 Below ends with a boost, either from the buzz of too much Jameson, or the meeting of a random, such as the 45-year-old married guy last Tuesday, who told me that the only reason I was single is because men my age can't handle what a dynamic woman I am.

Anyhoo, so Friday night, after a dinner with a friend, I headed to 99 Below.
Yes, by myself.
Yes, at prime bar-hopping hour.
This is no different than walking the streets of Sydney on my own, and at least I get free drinks when I'm at 99. I also find it much more tolerable to interact with strangers than frenemies, so this solo roll is often my own doing.

So, I'm planted at the bar, chatting up Ollie, when these two random dudes come up to order their Budweiser. Ever the enabler, Ollie goes, "you want shots, fellas?" The shorter one with the spikier hair turns to me and asks, "do you want one?" Never one to turn down a free drink, I agree, and of course, the group shot makes us all new best friends.

The DJ is playing early 90s jams, starting with Montell Jordan, and going all the way from Boyz II Men, to ABC, to BBD--the east coast family! We're singing along and their reminiscing about college, and the dudes automatically assume I'm their age, cause I know all the words. They made some joke about "the 25 years olds on the side who just want to hear The Killers," and I fake laughed, waiting for the right moment to tell them I'm in that age bracket.

Spikey haired dude introduces himself as Ryan, and he tells me he's visiting his buddy from Charlotte, NC. His friend Mark, who has lived in NYC 7 years, is quite standoffish, but I don't mind cause he has an overgrown soul patch.

Not one to go down the same road twice, I instantly ask Ryan why he's not wearing his wedding ring. He's taken aback, as he hasn't mentioned a wife. He laughs, and explains that it's back at Mark's house.
"You're good," he says.
Ryan goes on to say how much he loves NYC, and how close he and Mark are. "Seriously, it's my two daughters, then this guy."
Um, what about his wife? I think I need to get Dr. Phil on the horn, cause this marriage sounds like it's full of hate-fucking.

As we talk, and after I reveal my age, Ryan says, "you're the smartest person I've ever talked to at a bar." Clearly, this is true, but it's also sad. What is with men's low standards for people--and women especially? As soon as I string together a sentence--and especially if it ends in a punchline--the dude loses his shit and can't cope. The rest of our conversation was so magical, I feel as though it must be transcribed.

Ryan: What are you doing here by yourself?
Me: I'm a lone wolf.
Ryan: What? You're not here with anyone?
Me: I live on the edge, on the fringes.
Ryan: I don't understand what you're doing here alone.
Mark (suddenly at attention, super excited): Dude, this is what I'm talking 'bout! This is what's so awesome about New York! Hot girls all over the place, none of them have boyfriends. Hot girls, just sitting by themselves, dude!
[I laugh, the sad laughter of a clown]
Ryan (looking wide-eyed and thrown, as though he just found out one of his daughters was pregnant): Dude, that is crazy.
Mark: That's why I fucking love this city!
Ryan (to me): If you were in Charlotte, you'd have 17 boyfriends right now.
Mark: You'd have a husband, 6 kids, and a big ol' house, baby.
Me: Um, can I fly back with you tomorrow, Ry?
[laughter ensues]
Mark: So, does that mean I can take you out for dinner on Sunday?
Me: What?
Mark (to Ryan): See how they do? (to me) Seriously, dinner Sunday?
Me: Oh, I can't, I'm busy.
Mark: What about Monday?
Me: I have an improv class, 7 to 10.
Mark (to Ryan): And that's another thing about New York, dude--every one of them's a fucking actress!!
[They laugh as I playfully hit Mark kinda hard in the shoulder and am not joking at all.]
Me: Whatever, dude. Okay, then, what about Wednesday?
[I'm not even all that interested in this dude, but his reverse psychology is working like a charm, and it really gets my goat when someone hears I'm a blacktress or comedian, and instantly writes off all my positive traits as being "on," or full of shit.]
Mark: Oh, um, I can't. I have to travel for work.
Me: Where?
Mark: I'm going to Dubai.
Me (to Ryan): And that's why I can't date in New York. They've all gotta go to Dubai!!
[laughter ensues]
Ryan: You're seriously the smartest woman I've ever met.
Mark: See, dude? They're all busy though. That's the thing that sucks. They've all got an improv class and a show and an opening, and a wine and cheese party?
Me: What?
Mark: You heard me, wine and cheese!
Me: Whatever, dude, you know you love it. You love that I'm fucking busy, cause it makes you think I'm cool as hell.
[Mark cracks up, and high fives me.]
Me: So, why are you single, if NYC is so great? You're southern and, what, 37? What's your damage?
[Mark laughs again, and Ryan joins in, but neither of them answer. Most curious indeed.]
Mark: You're not free Tuesday?
Me: I thought you leave for Dubai on Tuesday?
Mark: I do, at night.
[What kind of Dubai flight is this, where he can have a dinner date beforehand? Are we going to grab a bite at the Chili's Too in JFK Airport?]
Me: Whatever, call me when you get back.
Mark: That's in, like, a week. This connection will fizzle by then.
[What connection?]
Me: No it won't. You won't meet anyone cooler than me in the next 10 days, let's be real.
[There's much laughter, and Mark high fives me yet again.]
Ryan: You're the smartest woman I've ever met. You should come live in Charlotte.

After 5 free dranks on these two southern gents, I must say, hopping on a midnight train to Charlotte started to look pretty damn good.

Oh, and obvi I have not heard from soul patch. Goes to show that even the most southern of gentlemen can still become tainted by the NYC. You know, the city that never sleeps...with the same girl twice.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My New Frenemy

So, I mentioned my reparations in the form of UCB classes, right? Well, they just keep on giving, as this past Saturday I got a call from the theater saying I'd won the lottery!!

Instead of receiving heaps of cash (which my unemployed ass could use), I got the chance to perform on Harold Night with professional house team members, one of whom happened to be my future life partner, Jeff Hiller (I blog about him way too much). The plan was for 10 students, chosen from different levels of classes, to be broken up into two teams with 4 pro-team members on each. We'd do long-form improv, learning and growing with the help of the hardcore improvisers.

We had a rehearsal on Sunday, and us 10 students got to work. Our teacher was another professional improviser, and from the moment I walked in, I was a smitten kitten.
Two words: read beard.
Third word: SWOON!

Our rehearsal went pretty well, but we were such a hodgepodge. Some kids were just starting improv 101, and would now be expected to do the hardcore stuff in front of an audience WITH THE PROS! I was feeling pretty confident, because I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darnit, people like me!

This all changed pre-show last night. I had no energy and hadn't had a chance to get in the improv headspace, so I just wasn't sure how good I'd be. I started running in place and making stupid jokes to get myself together. When I found out I was put on Jeff Hiller's team, and I knew all would be right in the world. After all, I'm obsessed with him, and although he's never seen me improvise, we do great work together. See for yourself:

Anyhoo, I figured at the very least, I'd let the pros lead the way, and I'd follow along.

Turns out, this blacktress isn't riding the back of the bus! All my scenes went really well, and post-show, I got alot of positive feedback from audience members and improvisers. I think I'm on my way to diversifying UCB from the inside--holla!

However, I have a frenemy in my way. She's another young blacktress who also got the diversity scholarship, and she's very cute. She's got that natural afro, a huge smile, and she's from the Midwest, which, coupled with the fact that she just graduated college in May, makes her bubbly and really smiley and optimistic.
She must be stopped.
She's somewhat funny, and I do want to support fellow blacktresses, but her shiny happy virgin-whore act is making her the blacktress-belle of the improv ball! WHAT ABOUT ME?!?!??! I'm older, I'm smarter, and way better baby-making material.

I wasn't trying to hate until last night, when we all hit up the UCB post-show hot spot, this dingy pub near 14th street. I told her about my fatty crush on Redbeard, and she's like, "let's go talk to him." We start to go over, then get sidetracked by fellow students. While we're talking, my frenemy walks over to Redbeard, and out of the corner of my eye I see her hugging all up on him! HELL TO THE NO!

That's when I knew she couldn't be trusted. We're supposed to have each other's back, not try to tap each other's wanna-be boos!

She hadn't met him before Sunday, there was no reason to touch (especially since most male improvisers, when taken off stage, display signs of mild autism), and SHE KNEW I WANTED HIM BAD BAD BAD.

If she wants to play by those rules, game is on.

God, jealousy and hatred are such lame emotions, and yet I'm finding them oddly satisfying in this moment. In fact, it wasn't until one of my main gays pointed me in the frenemy direction that I realized what I had to do.

Performing was great, and I felt so good afterwards, but it's the schmoozing with other improvisers that's tough for me. I've seen so many of them around the city over the years, and there are so many awkward bearded hotties, and I don't know how to approach them. See, in my head, we have elaborate relationships, we've known each other from the very first day I saw them on stage, and we're supposed to be best friends. In their heads, I'm a random girl who won't stop staring at them across the room.
It makes for uncomfortable dynamics.
Alot of the other students are nice, but some are so into the scene that it's weird, and others are simply not funny and boring. I'd prefer to get in with the veterans, get practical information and advice from those who have been through it, but I don't know how to make our love happen.

Any suggestions as to how to penetrate the world of Comedic Caucasia?