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.