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?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Go Shawty, it's yer burfday.....

Today's Obama's birthday!!! YAY!! The chocolate silver fox turns a sexy 48 years old today, and I'm ready to go all Marilyn Monroe on his fine ass!

What do you think the security guards will do if I rock up to the White House and jump out of a birthday cake on the front lawn? Will I be tasered, or will they fall in love with me? I just feel like it'd be a good time to wish him birthday goodness, as well as thank him for my reparations, which finally came through. Holla!

What reparations? You may be asking. I got a scholarship to take FREE improv classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (UCB), a well-known institution in NYC. Basically, some very liberal and bright member of Caucasia who interns there made a shocking discovery: improv is the realm of straight White boys. She decided to do something about it, and got them to implement a Diversity program. Thanks to Obama, black is the new black, and people are coming out of the woodwork to show some love to the Talented Tenth. UCB decided to jump on that bandwagon and offered up some freebies to 16 people of color.

No, no, I didn't just get it for being black--I got it for being young, gifted, and black, as well as the friend of an influential gay visionary. Comedian Jeff Hiller was telling me about the program and I was initially interested in recruiting, but without telling me, Jeffster ended up nominating me for it! Holla at a nomination--I feel like Taraji P. Henson, and this is my Benjamin Button!
Reason #256 that I love a gay man: They are not afraid to lift up a strong black woman.

I had my second class last night, and so far it's going pretty well. I'd taken a couple UCB classes before, but I could never really get into it--it's such a cult, and everyone there is into name-dropping who they've studied with, and all work really hard to be funny. Add to that the fact that it is indeed a boys club, and there just left little for the blacktress to desire. However, it is a great place to be if you want to make it in the comedy world, as anyone who's anyone starts out there. I see tons of UCB people working as talking heads on VH1 (you know, I love the 80s, Best Groundhog's Day Ever, stuff like that), and even see former teachers on "The Office" and "Parks and Recreation." I know that if I want to reach the masses, I gotta take some classes!

So I'm getting in it to win it. I'm making friends with established performers, and vowing to see more shows. Even though I'm a little rusty, my scenes have been pretty strong, and the teacher isn't calling me out, which is always good. The people in the class are all nice, and are grasping concepts quickly, but the humour isn't necessarily strong. That's fine by me, though. If they can at least not fuck up the scenes, then I'm good to go. My teacher is also so tender and smart. He's the Michelle Pfeiffer to my improvisational Dangerous Mind, if you will.

But let me bring this back to the man of the day: Birthday Boy Barack.
Without him, I might not have gotten these reparations. He's proving that 48 is the new 28, and without him I wouldn't even be blogging this right now.

Happy Birthday, Barack! I hope you like your jaunty bday hat!