Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Becoming Myself: A Journey to True Freedom

Happy Kwanzaa, friends! Today we honor the second principle of the Nguzo Saba(seven principles) - kujichagulia.

It's pronounced koo-jee-cha-goo-lee-uh. I know it's a mouthful, but it's meaning is probably the most important of all the Kwanzaa principles: Self-determination. Last year, I practiced kujichagulia in relation to my mother while we were snowbound in the D (where it's oh so cold).

This year, I have my sights set on a different goal: To take my career to the next level in 2012. In his book on the holiday he invented, Dr. Maulana Karenga* states that kujichagulia,

"Demands that we as an African people define, defend and develop ourselves instead of allowing or encouraging others to do this. ... And it is a call to recover and speak our own special truth to the world and raise images above the earth that reflect our capacity for human greatness and progress."


*Is it just me, or is Karenga like a black-power version of L. Ron Hubbard?



Um, did someone say speak our own special truth??? I'm on it!

I must define, defend, and develop myself as a professional artist instead of allowing people like "agents," "managers," and "club bookers" to do so. I must raise myself up above the earth--be the Rafiki to the Simba within, if you will--and step into my own greatness.



Frantz Fanon, one of the earliest freedom writers/fighters, said that a person must ask him/her/hirself three basic questions:
Who am I?
Am I really who I say I am?
Am I all that I ought to be?

Basically, Fanon posed the same question that Nicki Minaj asks us today: Whatchu know 'bout me????

Except this time, it's "Whatchu know 'bout YOU???

In answering these questions, we determine our selves, and as such, put our identity and individuality into practice. I'm gonna give this a try....


Who am I? A writer, comedian, and blacktress. Like Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians,What I am is what I am...right?

Am I really who I say I am? I write a blog, write for a magazine, and have grand plans to write for film and television. I regularly do stand-up and aim to provide comedic fun via bloggery. But largely, my day is devoted to writing about art and then reading the hate mail that I get after publishing the aforementioned writing.

Am I all that I ought to be? See above, re: grand plans (not yet put into practice).

I feel like Beyonce in 2006: I must not know 'bout me, I must not know 'bout me.
I've clearly got a lot of self to determine in the year to come.

How are you doing today, people? In what ways are you asserting your intelligence and acknowledging your experience, strength, and hope?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Habari Gani*!


*That's Swahili for "What's the news?" It's the "traditional" greeting on each day of Kwanzaa--which is Swahili for "After-Christmas sales."

Today is UMOJA which means unity. On this, the first day of Kwanzaa, we seek to promote unity in the family, community, nation, and race.

Umoja has been a part of AfAm culture for as long as I can remember. Take, for instance, the popular Queen Latifah song U.M.O.J.A., Bob Marley's "One Love," or the ultimate togetherness party anthem, Sister Sledge's "We are Family." If it's still not resonating after that list of songs, I suggest you work on fostering umoja in your life, starting today. Here are a few suggestions:
  • If you're Caucasian, invite a bunch of friends out for a walk on a weekend afternoon. I learned a few weeks ago that Caucasians love a crisp, sunny day. (Seriously, I was the only person of color on Columbus Avenue from 81st - 97th street.)
  • Become a fan of the brand-nubian Facebook fan page Blacktress Comedy. By clicking "Like," you're actually umoja-ing with other like-minded folks and supporting my truths!
  • Next time you're in a group of folks that you don't really know, mention the Kardashians (any of them) and wait for the resounding chorus of groans as people enumerate the reasons why that family is a sign of the apocalypse.
  • Rent the film Teen Witch and invite some gals and gays over for a viewing party. By the time the number "I Like Boys" starts to play, you'll all be new bffs!
  • When you're hanging out with someone who you really want to be besties with, just agree with everything they say. You guys will be so umoja-ed, it'll be like you're siamese.
Hope this helps you bring a little Kwanzaa into your day! I'll be back with more tips tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a John Waters Christmas

Wow, people are really upping the bitchiness quotient this year. I’ve already received three pieces of hate mail about the latest issue of my magazine and it hasn’t even hit newsstands yet!


From: Claire
Sent: Friday, December 16, 2011 1:19 PM
Subject: [redacted] Magazine

Dear [Sojourner],

I have been taking art classes and I subscribed to your magazine. I just wanted to let you know that I will not be renewing my subscription because most of the paintings in your magazine are so dark and dreary. They are depressing to look at as a whole. After more than a year of hope and anticipation for each issue, I am consistently very dissapointed in each issue. There is also not enough instruction or help in learning to paint in watercolor. Just wanted to let you know why I am not renewing.

Claire




From: A mean person [mailto:Mykidsdon’tcallme@yahoo.com]
Sent: Sun 12/18/2011 7:35 PM
Subject: magazine

what in the world is going on with your magazine -- who hired that editor???? was it some kind of experiment...let's give the job to someone who doesn't know a single thing about the subject?? everybody now seems to be aware of this, for a while i thought it was just me. she has to be destroying the credibility of the publication. i, for one, will not be renewing. thank you.


Who's everyone? Has she been reading my blog? I don't think it's a coincidence that this comes right on the heels of my pic appearing in the editor's note--now that they know a young blacktress is runnin' thangs, they can send their hate with reckless abandon???


Man, the passive aggression is out of this world. It’s a real buzz-kill, especially since I’d planned to discuss the “John Waters Christmas” show I saw on Monday night.

Yes, you read that right—a John Waters Christmas.

For more than an hour, the brilliant and twisted J-Dubs discussed all of his favorite Christmas things—and the gifts he hoped to receive. He opened with how much he loved Justin Bieber, and suggested he serve as the bait for a special Christmas episode of “To Catch a Predator.”

“Oh, that hair! It's like a siren song. Just put him on park benches across the country and keep loadin’ up the vans!”

He also coined a great new phrase to describe one of many “gay Christmas miracles”: BLOUSE.

As in, “Ugh, that guy is being such a blouse—you know, a feminine top.”

I also love that he railed against hairless women (in one of his many rants about porn videos). "We fought for the right to show bush and now there's none to be seen! Their down-theres look like my mustache."

I wish I could wrap him and put him under my tree.

How's your Hannukah going?

Monday, December 19, 2011

'Tis the Season to be Bratty

Speaking of colonialism (see the previous post)....

A recent article in The Daily Mail profiles a British teen who is not fucking around when it comes to Christmas.

Mekeeda Austin's mother found the following letter in her 13-year-old daughter's backpack:



AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
I think what really takes it over the edge--you know, after the threat to kill, cook, and serve up Santa's reindeer--is her smiley-face and 'xoxo' signature. This chick is cray.

I'm not exactly sure how this made the local news, though. Did the mom call someone? Did the girl post it on her FB page? How did it get from her backpack to The Daily Mail?

I mean, if they're going to run a human-interest story, they should really focus on the news-worthy part--her hot-mess mom, Tracey:

[H]er mother Tracey, 40, is not punishing her for the letter and has vowed to meet her daughter's demands saying: 'You don't want to get on the wrong side of Mekeeda.

'When I first found the letter I thought it was funny, now I think I better get her what she wants, the last thing I want is for her to kill Santa. 'I know it sounds like she is spoilt but I like to get my daughter what she wants also you don't want to get on the wrong side of her.'"


Is she telling us her daughter is a sociopath and her life is being threatened on a regular basis? I mean, considering this is the opening pic in the article, I wouldn't be surprised.

AAAAHHHH!!!!

Tracy is described as a "stay-at-home mother," which I can't imagine being particularly lucrative (there's no mention of another parent/head of household). Although she admits that Mekeeda "will probably lose the Blackberry," she's still going to get it for her.
Why doesn't she get her some spinning gold rims while she's at it? I think her money would be better spent on a year of therapy (for both of them), don't you?
#whyI'mneverhavingkids
#whyblackpeoplecan'thavenicethings


Friday, December 16, 2011

Conversations I've Had This Week

Location: Office. Massa shows us pictures from his recent trip to a painting workshop that took place in a rich woman's mansion. As he goes through the slideshow, he stops on a student's canvas--he's painting a portrait of a black man.

Me: Who’s that black person?
Massa: What? Who? That’s Stevie—he works there.
[I give a look—you know, the sassy-over-the-glasses look. Massa looks up from his photos and notices.]
Massa: Oh, stop it—he’s like one of the family! He’s worked there since he was five!
Me: Five year olds don’t work!!!

****

Location: Duane Reade drugstore. I’m picking up a present for the “Yankee Swap” during today’s holiday lunch (more on that later). I walk up to the cashier with this item:














The woman in the line next to me--a short, older black woman purchasing a few packs of Kools--starts chatting:

Random: Aw, that’s so cute. I want that.
[I have no idea what to say, so I just laugh lightly, assuming it was a joke.]
Random: Is that a present?
Me: It’s for a coworker.
Random: That is so sweet. I want that. [She reads the box] Baby Bella. She so cute. I want her to sleep with me. I’d kick my husband out the bed, and it’d be me and Baby Bella.

Why are people so cray?

Okay, back to this Yankee swap thing. I'm really annoyed by it. All I know about Yankee swap is what I saw on that episode of The Office, when people's awesome presents kept getting traded and everyone was mad. I'm not clear on why I would spend money on something that someone might not even want. What kind of sense does that make? This seems to be a classic case of WPS--Wealthy People Shit. I don't really like to go around claiming WPS--not like my coworkers are rolling in dough. But only someone without an understanding of the economic climate and an employee's need to fund dreams would suggest I "spend $20 on a little something. the stupider the better, cause then everyone can try to get rid of it."
Why would I want to act like an absentee Dad?

I think Scribe put it best--and makes the Gchat Quote of the Day--when she writes:

Yankee swap is white elephant and should only be played among friends. It's straight colonialism. You're like, "Ooh you got a cool gift; let me take it because I can.
I played that on the plantation and this Jewish girl took my book on black art. Everyone said, 'She's Jewish, she had to get rid of the ornaments she got.' Um, I'm a heathen--what am I gonna do with ornaments? And she sat there in her Obama shirt, so happy with her book on black art.

TRUTH.
So Baby Bella it is. She was $6.99 and can easily be re-gifted to a kindergartener.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Judge My Face! Pretty please!

So, as you know, I lack sufficient funds to further my dreams. One of the main issues I'm running up against is the feedback that my headshot isn't very good. I can't really afford to get new ones, so in the interim I've gone back through the archives to find other doable shots. Here are a few of the ones that are decent contenders. PLEEEAAASSSSEEEEE tell me which one you like best and why. Put yourself in the mind of a casting director and think, "Would I want to bring this girl into my office based on the pic alone?"

As always, you guys keep me right-sized and willing to live. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

xoxo,
blacktress!!



Option 1
Are my eyes looking a bit too bright? They've been retouched.


Option 2
I look like I'm trying to woo a sailor on leave.


Option 3
I'm looking a bit too busty here--I mean, nothing wrong with the bust, but I think I may disappoint in person.
Am I making pothead eyes?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sharing the Love

On Saturday, December 10, my expulsion from my mother's uterus--and my singular relationship with my "Coyote Average" co-host Katie East--was honored in the form of a poem. This poem was written by Hardcore Boris a gifted performer who I think, after hearing this opus, I can now refer to as "a dear friend." Never before has someone seen into the core of me and captured the magic of my relationship with a Caucraysian. I must share this with you now, gentle readers:

We're here to celebrate two people's birthdays tonight
One is black and the other is white
the black one's in a relationship and feelin fine
The white one is single, drinkin all the time
The white one's always hangin out back at her crib
The black one's always sayin "'I'm getting too old for this shit.'"
They're both workin in the same profession
Gaining life experience, learning valuable lessons
all the white one really needs is a caring lover
The white one's played by Mel Gibson, the black one by Danny Glover
Two human beings, you could call it a dream team
Gunnin it, runnin this well-oiled machine


You know that feeling when someone just gets you?

Monday, December 12, 2011

An Older, Bloggier Blacktress

I’m typing this post while waiting for the Time Warner Cable employee to come back from putting me on hold. That’s how long we’ve been doing this. I mean, I’m cool with it. It’s gotten so ridiculous that when he asked if he could put me on hold, I told him to “grab a sammie, drop the kids off at the pool, whatever. We’re really just hanging out at this point.”

So, I think my birthday can be best summed up by this ecard from my mom:

You and me both, girl.

I must say, I'm glad the birthday is over--Although I did have a tender evening with Jewboo, complete with cupcakes and compromise. We’re thinking Brooklyn for a year or so and then back to Harlem once it’s all renovated and fit for a new couple to make a life. See, I figure once the lines are clearly drawn—and mounted in the form of walls—the lines between mom and I will be equally clear and strong.
I don’t know if that made sense, but I think you feel me.

Ugh, I haven’t posted in so long, I don’t even know where to begin. There’s been so much to discuss. I guess I’ll stick to highlights:

  • My boss keeps referring to everything as “gay-cute” and it’s getting weird. He’s constantly brainstorming new ideas and starts with, “you know what would be really gay-cute? If we had, like, a ‘best of’ section.’ What?

  • He’s also taken to calling me “Black Barbie” whenever I wear a ponytail. Of course, in glasses and a ponytail, I think I look like the nerdy girl before the makeover in every 80s movie. Massa then explained, “No! Do you know what the most coveted Barbie is? Black Barbie, no bangs. She’s, like, $5,000.” Apparently, I am a high-end lady.

Of course, I’ll take any excuse to post the “Black Barbie” music video:


  • I don’t know if you guys know this already, but I have a wife. Her name is Meara and she is wonderful. She recently scored free tickets to previews of Lysistrata Jones on Broadway and invited a blacktress. We’d heard negative reviews of the show, but that didn’t stop our excitement of being in the fourth row of the orchestra. Once it got underway, we realized that everyone we know who has opinions is wrong. The show was really, really funny. Like, actual funny and not comedy-of-manners type of funny.

It was a bit too cartoony and self-referential at times, but the actors had great comedic timing in addition to all their NYU BFA training.
Oh yeah, and everyone was really, really attractive. There was a lot of sexuality. Basically, by the end, the show made me wanna do 500 crunches and make out with a girl.
Favorite line: “Oh my god / it’s a sexual jihad.”
Of course, it was made better by the fact that it was sung by a rotund black woman (a show can have no gravitas without one).

There was even a relationship between a strong black woman and a nerdy Jewish boy!!!
Guys, the blacktress’ story is on Broadway.
The show was irreverent (best critic word ever) and ridiculous. I do think, though, that it can be hard for theatah enthusiasts to see something so sassy, sexy, and silly going for $100 a seat (and perhaps if I’d paid for it, I’d be singing a different tune). But it’s also just nice to see something original and sharp that has memorable songs and great performances. Plus, there was a hot Asian and tons of interracial love.


And here's a new soon-to-be series-- Gchat Quote of the Day!

Litsa: My mother has suggested an officiant who is a gay Jew who also was a cross-dresser when I was a child.
Should I be offended?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Home is where the Heart Jewboo Is

Hey friends!

How's your day going? I'm actually on a up-swing, largely because of baked goods. Wednesday is my birthday, which always gets me in a mood (What do I have to show for myself????). A need for a quick lunch led me to Hale & Hearty Soups at about 2pm, when I was ravenous. A need to stop feeling crappy led me to exit Hale & Hearty and hit the Crumbs right next door.

As I walked back to my office with an Oreo cupcake, I tried to rationalize my lunch decision. When I reached my desk, however, there was already a package from Crumbs waiting for me!!!! My coworker had gotten me an early birthday gift! Clearly, I was meant to eat a cupcake today. I feel like the world is on my side.

In other news: There have been intense happenings with Jewboo. Of course, since the blog has ceased to be a safe space for my emotions and dramatizations, I've had to confide in my main gay via gchat. But obvi I can't keep anything to myself for too long, so I must share the transcript.


me: THIS JUST IN:
JJSiii:!!!
me: From Jewboo at 9:53am:
Hey dear, now that my job situation is taken care of, maybe we can now start discussing seriously moving in together? How does that strike you? Just wanted to float that out there.
JJSiii: I assume this is a good thing?
me: Yes! While visiting his parents, we even took a quick gander at RINGS.
JJSiii: RINGS? STOP IT. I HAVE BEEN OUT OF YOUR GCHAT LIFE FOR TOO LONG.
me: SERIOUSLY.
We were visiting the parents and we went to the mall
and he went into video game store and i went into one of those shops--like, Kay Jewelers or something--cause that's my idea of true romance.
and then he met me there and we looked for, like, 15 minutes together
I TRIED THINGS ON
JJSiii: oh my gosh, oh my gosh.
Shit is serious. I'm, like, planning your wedding in my head.
By planning it, I mean that I'm thinking about how much I want to be at it.
JJSiii: EVEN THOUGH I'VE NEVER IRL MET THIS MAN.
me: YOU MAY BE GIVING ME AWAY
you know i need one of my main gays to give me away
JJSiii: OH MY GOSH, OH MY GOSH.
This is such a caps-lock occasion.
I'm basically fanning my non-existent Cindy Lou Va-Who-Who, because this news makes me WET WITH EXCITEMENT.


So, as you can see, there's a lot happening. Of course, there is no proposal on the horizon BUT we are talking about cohabitation, which is more than enough ch-ch-change for one decade. Of course, the big issue is Harlem vs. Brooklyn, and you know where I stand.

Really, guys, my aversion to Brooklyn isn't my fault--it's in my blood. Before I was born, my mom and dad lived in Brooklyn and when my mom was pregnant she planned to have me at Harlem Hospital, cause it was way better than the BK hospitals at the time. Can you imagine a woman with her water broken hopping in a cab, saying, "Get me to Harlem, stat!"
Clearly, this was before the days when cab drivers profiled.
As luck would have it, I was born a few weeks early, just when my mom was having a follow-up appointment with her doctor. When she hopped off the exam table her water broke and I came out a few hours later. I knew we couldn't wait until returning to BK.

The main issue is that I am living in a ridiculously large place in the heart of Manhattan. I'm beyond lucky and I don't think it's smart to abandon prime real estate I'd never be able to afford otherwise in a city that everyone wants to be in.
Jewboo's reasoning is that the Harlem house comes with substantial mama drama, and he doesn't want to be subjected to it--or, even worse, in the middle of the two of us.
And I get that. Most people who come over for a meal start talking about moving in; Jewboo isn't just going with what's easiest or trying to take advantage, which I respect. Plus, I'm done with being under my mom's thumb, too, and there is a lot of pride I have to swallow in order to be where I am. But....
Mama didn't raise no fool. You don't cast off a brownstone for a shoebox when you're increasing your household size. Me + Jewboo + 2 cats + all of our creative endeavors which would make great use of extra rooms as offices and rehearsal spaces = sucking it up and taking advantage of a sweet deal. Perhaps it's because Jewboo has never really seen himself as a "have not" and knows nothing of NYC besides expensive shoeboxes, so he's not really hung up on it. I think our standards directly relate to our expectations, and I will be the first to admit that I am spoiled when it comes to accommodations. Besides, the idea of moving every 2 years as you inevitably outgrow the space (after all, our Emmy collection will take up most of the shelves) isn't appealing.

Plus, I must say I'd love it if those two cats had a special closet for their litter box--you gotta confine that smell, people. I'm not trying to come home to the smell of "Not-so-Fresh Step." Of course, this is a totally luxury "problem," but if it's possible, why would you live any other way?

Then again, as we start a new phase of our relationship, it would be nice to start fresh, in a newtral space. And I'd love to be able to decorate and start from scratch and build a place together--and not have my mother popping over whenever she felt like it, ragging on how badly I maintain a house, like a demeaning Steve Urkel.

I don't know. I love the boy and definitely want him to be my forever friend, but I also don't believe in oppressing myself if I don't have to or denying myself a luxury simply because there are a few strings attached. I mean, there are always strings attached to stuff. It seems like it's more beneficial to work on establishing boundaries with mom than it is to abandon the Harlem house--wouldn't you say it's throwing the baby out with the bathwater?

Your comments/suggestions would be much appreciated. Perhaps you can help me frame it in a way that a Jewboo can understand.

Friday, December 2, 2011

My Soon-to-be New Favorite Show!

Part of pursuing my blackting dreams involves submitting my headshot and resume for various roles that are being cast. I'm registered with one site that sends me alerts based on my background/look. Unfortunately, it seems that they don't think very highly of me. I just got sent the following breakdown that was "Fit for ME!"

Project Type: Documentary Series

SEEKING: PEOPLE WHO ACT LIKE ANIMALS

Do you have a primal animal behavior?
New series looking for people who act as if they are animals. Do you have awkward pets* that you have relationships with (non sexual)? Do you live on a raw meat diet, on road kill or squirrels? Have you transformed your life to be more like an animal? Do you have an owner?

Some of the stories we've looked into:

FOOD
Tim's pets are his best friends. Throughout the years, he's grown to envy their simple lives, and as a way to develop a deeper connection with them, he's begun sharing their dinner on the floor. He feels that the line between master and pet is arbitrary,^ and that we can all learn a lot from our humble companions.

DOG HOUSE
Tim is an ex-addict who was kicked out of his parent's house as a teenager. For years, he lived in various backyard doghouses for shelter, moving to find a new one whenever the homeowners became suspicious. Now that he's gotten clean, his sister has allowed him to move in with her but he still insists on living in a doghouse in her backyard. He feels safe in the small space with the creatures that never rejected him.

INNER WOLF
Tina saw dead wolves on the side of the road growing up.* As it traumatized her, it has been the one animal that she feels most connected to. Ergo, Julie has adopted extreme wolf traits in her life such as leaving at dusk to scale the mountains of Moab to howl in the wind. Julie doesn't eat what others serve for dinner, she likes her raw steak sinking her teeth and devouring just as wolves do. Julie also sleeps in her wolf bed** outside the home.

LEECH LIFE
Tillie enjoys having pet leeches, but more importantly she loves the feeling she gets when she puts them on her skin, allowing them to feed. Sarah and her partner Michael take turns feeding the leeches two times every day. Loving her leeches, Sarah wouldn't want to have any other pet.

We are interested in trying to understand any unique animal or primal behavior!


What about this made them think of me? I don't even have the world "animal" listed on my resume. The whole, "do you have an owner?" question has so much racist innuendo, I may have to discuss with the website. Of course, my confusion was quickly eclipsed by the fact that this is a new show in production that I can't wait to watch on the regular. Guys, this is like Animal Hoarders + Fatal Attractions + Intervention + My Strange Addiction wrapped in a flour tortilla!!! Set your DVRs for EVERY DAY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

*I love the idea of an "awkward pet"--I picture a ferret that just stares at one corner of a room all day.
^Arbitrary?! You know this man is CauCRAYsian.
*Wait, like, were these regular occurrences, or was it just this one time at band camp?
**What is a "wolf bed"--if there's one thing that isn't animal-like, it's having furniture of any kind.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Like Looking Into a Mirror! (If I was one of these people)

Hey gang,

Sorry I’ve been so slack with the bloggery—the bloating and fatigue of Thanksgiving has finally worn off, leaving me with the lightness and confidence to blog. Not that I’m not a huge tryptoFAN, but enough was enough, you know?

So, I was watching the movie HANNA over the holiday weekend and I must say, I was kind of into it. That Saoirse Ronan is a real spitfire and even though she’s not even legal, she’s proving to be a real karma chameleon as an actress. I was, however, distracted for much of the film because I couldn’t look at Saoirse without thinking, “Oh, look at baby Anne Heche, fighting for her life.” THEY ARE IDENTICAL, guys:






















This, of course, got me thinking about other twin celebs (anything to avoid pursuing my dreams, guys!). I thought I'd share a few of them with you now:


















































Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Food Day, Guys!!!

This is definitely my favorite day of the year. As you all know, I used to drink to feel pretty and now eat to feel nothing. Thanksgiving Day is a nationally sanctioned day of eating one's feelings under the guise of celebration and gratitude. Clearly this is my time to shine.

See, the key to a successful Thanksgiving is pacing and preparedness. Many people think that starving until meal time is the best way to get the most out of it--rookie mistake. When you don't eat all day, your stomach contracts and your metabolism stays at it's sleeping rate, making mass consumption of delicious foods difficult. You've got to eat little light bits throughout the day leading up to the meal.

Of course, I'm all for cleansing the day before, as it helps the body prepare to take in copious amounts of carbs. Last night, we enjoyed a light dinner of shrimp & avocado over mixed greens--the right amount of roughage and good fats to center the body, but nothing heavy that couldn't be expelled rapidly.

So, here it is, the big day. The time is now 9:48am. Food won't be ready until 3pm at the earliest. I can't sit here all day, smelling the smells and promising myself I'll "go to town on that apple tart" when my stomach is the size of a toddler's fist! I must start off with a simple breakfast, just to get the body ready; Coax it out of slumber and prepare it for domination at the dinner table. I'll start with a fiber-rich cereal and perhaps a yogurt. After watching a motion picture, I'll likely follow up with some squats, push ups, and fruit. By that time, I will be called into the kitchen to prepare the sides that only I know how to make. This is when I'll have to maintain a steely resolve and not waste calories on taste tests.

As you can see, I'm serious about this.

I'm spending the day with mom and her latin lover, then heading to PA tomorrow to visit the Jewboo's fam. Although they invited me for the holiday, I couldn't pass up our Southern-influenced side dishes for who knows what in suburban Pennsylvania. When I tried to explain this to Jewboo, he looked at me like I was crazy. "You think the food won't be good at our family friend's house?"

No, that's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is, I get one day a year to eat stuffing, yams, and macaroni and cheese on the same plate, and I'm not losing it to have some roasted potatoes or green bean casserole. Besides, Jewboo is a vegetarian and really weight-conscious, which not only impairs his judgement but also makes him a real buzz-kill on a day like today (but I still love him!). I need to be able to spend the day in drawstring sweatpants and no shoes, not eating daintily so as not to embarrass myself in front of my potential in-laws. I owe it to us both to show up to Pennsylvania with a full belly and high blood pressure, just so the weekend can be relaxed.

I'm feeling a bit anxious, as I woke up to the sounds of arguing and had flashbacks to my youth. I was already on the brink as of last night, when my mother told me that people would probably think I'm a pedophile if I kept offering to babysit their kids. So, you know, I'm dealing with that.

Hope you're having/had a great Food Day!

xoxo,
blacktress!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

There's Something About A Blacktress?

You guys know how I regularly attract randoms, right? Whether it's a random Southern gent in alphabet city or an Australian mafia member, there's just something about a blacktress that brings out the inappropriateness in people. Last week, while dining at one of my favorite restaurants with my mom, I realized that it just might be genetic.

After we ordered, I went to the bathroom to wash my hands (because I'm convinced everyone on the subway has bedbugs and Hepatitis A - Z). When I returned, the waitress--a 40-something Asian woman with long black hair and a paisley print top--came over to our table.

Waitress: Ooooh, look at you, big girl!

I looked at my mother, who was just sipping her soda and trying not to laugh.

Waitress: How old are you now? You're such a big girl!

Why is she talking to me like I'm 5 years old and we've somehow met before?

Me: I'm 27.

Waitress [incredulous]: What?! No! You look so young. That's good. Such good skin. Oh, I see your sushi! (she leaves to go get it)

I made a 'WTF?' face to my mother.

Mom [in her library voice, leaning close]: When you were in the bathroom she came up to me and started talking. She told me she had a black daughter who was, "good, with a lot of energy--cause of her Jamaican blood. She's not quiet, like Asian girls."

Me: What?! I left you alone for 90 seconds, mother. How could this happen?

Mom: I don't know. People just come up to me and say things. I have a face that says, "I won't attack you if you decide to share."

Me: Ugh, so I have you to blame. When I was inside Caucasia, they thought I was their Oprah figure or something.

Waitress [sets sushi on the table]: I can't believe it, you're 27! Mom, you so young. Me, I started late. My daughter's 7 years old. I'm 47. But she is a good girl, like you. My husband, he's from Jamaica--not Queens. Jamaica Jamaica.

[We didn't know what to do while this was going on. We wanted to eat our sushi but she was standing over us and it felt awkward.]

Why am I telling you this? Well, because I just got off the phone with my credit card company (gotta pay some billz!) and it seems that even my phone voice inspires randoms to overshare. Customer service rep "Ken" would not stop with the yackity yakkkking!

Ken: Your last name...what region in that from?
Me: It's Nigerian.
Ken: Ooooh, you're Nigerian. That's good. This is the Kansas office you're calling now. I went to KU and even though I'm from the US Virgin Islands, with my accent, they let me into the international students club. I had a lot of African friends--their last names were hard to pronounce. I said, I said, 'Can I call you a short 3-letter name instead?'
Me: ha ha ha?
Ken: Yeah, the Nigerians had some of the hardest names. ... I have a lot of Ethiopian friends, too. They spoke...Amharic.
Me: Don't know it.
[Ken then proceeds to recite every number and letter of my name and address as he types it. Ugh, this guy couldn't just sit in silence for a second???]
Ken: You live in New York?
Me: Yes

[Fuck, Ken is going to steal my personal information and show up at my doorstep.]

Ken: New York is the meeting place for every. culture. in. da. worl....

(that's not a typo--he didn't pronounce the 'd'.)
(he laughs lazily, like he's just gotten high and is watching a cartoon.)


Me: Ha ha ha?

Ken: Like the coastes [yes, that was his plural of coasts.] I was down in Miami one time--it didn't feel like America. It felt like Mexico and Cuba. And in California, there were so many street names in Spanish--it was really....interesting and unique....

[I say nothing. I'm just really hoping my payment will go through so I can get off the phone.]
Ken: I like a lot of world cultures.

[I continue to say nothing. Clearly, this man will take a mile so I can't even be polite.]

Ken: Okay, I'm waiting for the system to process....to process...to process......... OK, your payment went through.
Me: Thank you!
Ken: Have a great day--maybe I'll see you in New York City!
Me: AAAAHHHH!
I hang up.

Guys, I may have a stalker who works for Chase. I'm gonna have to get some Occupiers to protect me.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Really?! (Said in the voice of Chandler Bing)

One of my fellow freedom writers alerted me to the latest CauCRAYsian activity--this time, taking place on our own American soil.

Last week, six sorority girls at the University of Southern Mississippi went to an 80s-themed party as the Huxtable family dressed in blackface.

WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!??? WHITE PEOPLE, WHAT IS UP WITH YOU???? I can't cope!!

Apparently, the six members of the Phi Mu sorority--who have not been publicly identified, because someone is caring enough to protect these delicate Southern belles--have been placed on probation. According to the article:


"Phi Mu National President Kris Bridges says the matter is being investigated and more disciplinary action could follow. She says the local chapter will sponsor a campus-wide program on diversity appreciation."

What will a program on "diversity appreciation" do? I don't think these six girls lack an appreciation of black people--after all, where would they get such excellent costuming ideas? I think they lack a moral compass that directs them toward respecting people of color and remembering the history of racism, oppression, and segregation that is still alive and well in some parts of the very state in which they study.

Of course, I had to get some more info--you know how I like to go inside Caucasia and get answers from the root. A visit to the
Phi Mu website led me to their creed, which I'd like to share with you:

THE CREED OF PHI MU FRATERNITY

To lend to those less fortunate a helping hand.
To think of God as a protector and guide of us all.
To keep forever sacred the memory of those we have loved and lost.
To be to others what we would they would be to us.
To keep our lives gentle, merciful and just,
Thus being true to the womanhood of love.

To walk in the way of honor, guarding the purity of our thoughts and deeds.
Being steadfast in every duty small or large.
Believing that our given word is binding.
Striving to esteem the inner man above culture, wealth or pedigree.
Being honorable, courteous, tender,
Thus being true to the womanhood of honor.

To serve in the light of truth avoiding egotism, narrowness and scorn.
To give freely of our sympathies.
To reverence God as our Maker, striving to serve Him in all things.
To minister to the needy and unfortunate.
To practice day by day love, honor, truth.
Thus keeping true to the meaning, spirit and reality of Phi Mu.



Okay, well in some ways these three girls did stay true to the creed.

"To lend to those less fortunate a helping hand."
You certainly gave black folks a leg up with this stunt, ladies--thanks!

"To be to others what we would they would be to us."
Grammar aside, I think they've certainly secured my disrespect and wrath, so consider the mission accomplished, girls!

"To walk in the way of honor..."
I'm assuming that in this sense, to walk in the way of means to obstruct. If so, give yourselves a check in that column, girls!

"Being steadfast in every duty, small or large"
I would definitely say so--these six gals didn't just get excited about a 1980s-themed party. They took the theme of an 80s party to an extreme degree, honoring both the 1980s and the 1880s! Talk about steadfast!

They weren't exactly honorable, courteous, or tender, but then again, I wasn't there. Perhaps the one dressed as Clair imparted a few life lessons in between jello shots and making out with the president of the young Republicans club.

A couple quick Qs:
- What's "the womanhood of love?"
- What does is mean to "believe that our given world is binding"?
- To minister to the needy and unfortunate? Are they missionaries?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Texts From Last Night A Long Time Ago

Hey friends!

You know how much I love to share random inappropriate conversations I have with strangers in this mixed-up crazy city. Many times, while trapped in a moving vehicle—be it taxi, subway car, or crosstown bus—my chauffeur says tons of crazy things that I must play along with lest I end up the inspiration for an episode of Law & Order: SVU In these instances, I try to text the gems quickly to myself and save them as drafts for future bloggery. My phone just told me I had to delete some messages and I found a treasure trove of random snippets of crazy. I’d like to take you along with me now, as I journey down memory lane.

“I was in bed…by myself…listenin to them windows. This girl called me, asking me to come get her. It was, like, 11 o’clock, so I knew what she was tryna do. She was like, ‘you don’t wanna come get me?’ and I was like, ‘Girl, it’s a hurricane—I do wanna get you, but I don’t wanna die!’ So I stayed at home, by myself, just spread out on my bed, listenin’ to the rain—and it wasn’t even no hurricane, so you know I’m still pissed!”
-- From a text draft titled “Rando Cab Driver.”

This chap talked to me every minute from Greenpoint, Brooklyn, to 135th Street, Harlem. He repeatedly mentioned being alone in his bed, and then proceeded to talk about “them boosters—you know, dudes who steal your phone and then sell that shit to the bodega. Girls, running around out here by they self, getting raped,” at which point I attempted to unlock the door and roll out of the moving vehicle like I saw Mel Gibson do in Lethal Weapon. There is no need to mention the ‘R’ word on a balmy summer night to a woman you are transporting. Ever.

“Remember that time we took a left? It was so fun—no, no, cause we always make a right.”
--From a draft titled, “Domestication in Caucasia.”

This was said with complete sincerity by my married mom friend in New Hampshire. As we sat in their gorgeous kitchen, I acted like a foreign exchange student, asking them what they do for fun up in the country. As they recounted things I didn’t understand, Lizzy excitedly recalled the time they “took a left.” I collapsed into a fit of laughter and obviously didn’t want to let myself forget it.

“We went to this real romantic Chipotle.”
--This draft had no title. Clearly, I could not encapsulate the amazingingness of this sentence in three words or less. This man—who shall remain nameless—might be the greatest lover of all time. I really wanted to ask the location of this Chipotle, but I didn't want him to think I was hitting on him.

[Holding bottle of pesticide] “I told you, stop sprayin’ this stuff!! You don’t know what it’s doing to your body! If you decide to have a baby, you want it to be retarded or do you want it to be normal?! Go ahead, laugh—but it won’t be funny when you’re taking care of a child with special needs on a stand-up salary.”
--My mom, to me, yesterday morning. And she wonders where I get my penchant for hyperbole and drama. Apparently, my pathological fear of bedbugs will land me on a Discovery Health documentary.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

He's Baaaaaccckkkkkk

You guys know how much I'm obsessed with R. Kelly, right?

Just when his grip was starting to loosen, he comes out with his autobiography:



No words are needed here. As usual, R. Kelly leaves us shocked, awed, and titillated.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hot Off the Presses!

I’m not the most topical of bloggers, but every now and then a breaking news item catches my eye and I just have to share. Today is, in the words of Monica, just one of dem days. We all know European news is the best, because the history of colonialism have made Europeans impervious to political correctness and therefore filled with more truthiness. Add to that their love for all things random and you’ve got today’s best news:

Burly rugby player has a stroke after freak gym accident… wakes up gay and becomes a hairdresser.
Yes, yes he did.

While training at the gym* on a typical day in 2005, young beefcake Chris Birch suffered a stroke after “trying to impress his friends with a back flip but broke his neck.” When he emerged from surgery he woke up a changed--and gay--man.

I love this pose—they’ve made him pose like a superhero. A really hip, punk, fierce superhero who uses the powers of blow drying to rid the world of dull, lifeless hair.


According to the UK journalist who broke the story, “Stroke association spokesman Joe Korner said: 'Strokes can have a big effect on individuals and lead to personality changes.’” Okay, that doesn't sound all that cray cray, but, um, stroke association? Is that what it’s called? Which association and where is it located? I feel like they needed to do a bit of fact checking.

Wait, I just checked. Yep, it's called The Stroke Association. Man, that's why I love the Commonwealth--they keep it simple. It's like Australia's attempt to acknowledge their colonization, killing, and enslavement of Aboriginal people with their yearly "Sorry Day."
Yes, that's what it's called.

Anyhoozle, just wanted to share that with you. This is just great!! How much do you want to be a part of their relationship?
They should form a British version of Blink-182.



*(Surprise, surprise--how many times have we said male sports were homosocial?)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I HEART The 80s

Saturday night I’m doing a set at another one of those burlesque shows—you know the ones. Although they are cray, I’m actually getting paid this time, and I’m not turnin’ down cash in these trying times. The producer/lead performer has requested that I adjust my set to fit with the theme of the show—the 1980s. Although I’m a true fuckin’ artist and I’m sensitive about my shit (a la Erykah Badu circa Call Tyrone), I like a good challenge. I’m thinking of it as more of an assignment—and I’m kinda struggling. So, let’s get a study group going, guys. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

80s-centric Bits/Concepts:
  • The 1980s as a time of low standards (tv and commercials):

Mr. Wizard’s World:Who were those neighborhood kids who would help him with his experiments?? If that show was on today, he’d be on To Catch a Predator. Chris Hansen would burst in the damn kitchen and get some answers.

Does that count as inappropriate touching?

Folger’s coffee commercials: That coffee was fucking FAMOUS. Remember the jingle? The best part of waking up is Folger’s in your cup.

Um, I don’t know about you, but if the best part of waking up is a cup of coffee, you might want to go back to bed! Maybe get quiet, assess your goals, take some time for reflection. I know you're dealing with trickle-down economics, but that's no reason to stop having dreams.

  • But it was a great time to be black in the late 1980s!!! The Cosby Show and A Different World—those shows made me want to be a blacktress. You had these talented folks, many of whom were darker than a paper bag, just livin' life the way people of all colors do. There was a place for me….til I actually got old enough to start pursuing it. By the mid-90s, my only option was Homeboys in Outer Space.
The title pretty much says it all. Two black men who didn’t have any bargaining chips played astronauts on a stranded spaceship. The computer that ran the ship was a female voice named….Loquatia.
#whyblackpeoplecan’thavenicethings

  • It was easy to show your affection in the 80s. If you wanted to show you were into someone, all you needed was: a MIX TAPE. That shit was real. None of this clickin’-and-draggin’ foolery. You had to find the track, sync that shit up, think about the flow from one to the other. And if you were a keeper, you definitely rewound the blank tape to create as seamless a transition as possible from one song to the other.

  • Loved shows with absentee dads, though. I felt a lot of connection to the female protagonists:
Out of This World: Dad was a fucking alien!

My Two Dads: I was jealous of that bitch. Her eyebrows were completely unmanageable and she had two dudes willing to raise her. I didn't get the problem--that judge should have left them alone.


Okay, guys, let’s put our heads together. Leave a comment (and don’t steal my bits). What else can we add to the list????

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

News From the Belly of the Beast

Y’all, I just got some serious intel from the heart of Caucasia and I need to spread the word. Remember how I gave my friend a cheat sheet in preparation for her trip to Sweden? Well, she’s been there a few weeks now and it seems that even I couldn’t prepare her for the madness inside CauCRAYsia. I have to share because, living in a buzzing multi-culti metropolis or being able to handle Sojo’s troofs, it’s so easy to forget that white folks still be trippin’—even the ones with universal healthcare! Here’s the latest from inside:

Apparently, organizers of a “slave auction” at Lund University in April will not be held responsible for their actions because it was “a costume party.”

WHAT IS WRONG WITH WHITE PEOPLE?????????!?!?!?!?!?!
White friends, I’m talkin’ to you—get me some answers! I know someone's letting something slip at the monthly mixers!

In the article “Lund Slave Auction Fallout”—I’m really hoping this was an error in translation, because “fallout” is just the understatement of the century—we learn that:

While Lund University in May announced that it would launch a new programme to educate students and staff about the university's core values, the university's disciplinary committee later elected to take no action after reviewing the incident.

Now, the district prosecutor has chosen not to file charges against the student organization for the staged auction.

”We can't prove that the people who dressed up did so with the intention to show contempt for a people. It was a costume party really, and that has to be considered in this case,” said district prosecutor and hate crimes specialist Mattias Larsson to local paper Sydsvenskan.


I don’t know what kind of specialist this fool is—I’m gonna need Stabler and Benson to get over there, because clearly Sweden's too busy letting the right one in to deal with the real issues.

Sweden WAS PART OF THE TRANSATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE, Y’ALL!!! Lund University students, if you don’t know, you better ask somebody! I suggest you start with one of your faculty members, Professor Dick Harrison, who lectures on the topic! In an interview on radiosweden.org back in 2007, he explained that:

Sweden's involvement in the slave trade was relatively small, but a new phase began in the late 18th century when the Swedish King Gustav III bought the West Indian island, Saint Barthelémy, from the French. He soon decided to turn it into a Swedish slave colony.
Dick Harrison says neither of the two waves were important for the economy on a national scale, but trafficking slaves across the Atlantic was a matter of national pride in Sweden. And even the church had no problem with it.

[more info—and sound clip—available here]

Post-racial, my ass.

Now, if this isn’t hubris, I don’t know what is:

After the incident, posters depicting [chairman of the National Afro-Swedish Association] Jallow Momodou in chains started appearing in several public places in Lund and at the Malmö University College.

Controversial artist Dan Park was later apprehended by police when found plastering his posters over central Lund. He was charged on Thursday with both hate speech and defamation.

Park told The Local on Friday that he thinks prosecutors are overreacting.


HOW IS THIS OKAY?????? Y’all, this is more limitless than Bradley Cooper. I can’t cope!!!

The posters appeared on the bulletin board of the university library and the text underneath read: “Our negro slave has run away.”

Momodou said, "For me it's proof that racism really exists in Sweden and is on a level comparable to the southern United States in the 1970s.” Y’all, he’s not even American and he knows this shit is straight-up Jim Crow. Don't get it twisted, y'all. We've gotta face the TRUTH that this shit is STILL GOING ON.

Of course, it's not like I was chased by a lynch mobs on the streets of Sverige, and my friend on the inside says she hasn't met anyone like these folks. But, dammit, this is just like T Perry--one bad apple ruins the bunch. Caucasia, if you want (me to say) nice things, get it together!

I’ve Run Out of Toilet Paper (A Poem)

As you all know, sometimes I find it much more fitting to express intense emotion in iambic pentameter, as in the case of my extreme love of Harry Potter. This weekend was an emotional rollercoaster and I thought it best to get to the heart of the matter with a little poem.

I've run out of toilet paper
I’ve been out since yesterday.
I’ve been rationing out 1/8 of a roll
And I know that it’s not okay.
While I’m at it, I should also add milk to my grocery list
It’s hard to have cereal for dinner with I have nothing to moisten it with.

I need to buy toilet paper
Would I do it if it were called “The Great Charmin Caper”?
There’s nothing quite as depleting as
Looking over while excreting and
Realizing that you’ve
Run out of toilet paper
Which you knew all day.
All that time hunting for red velvet cupcake ice cream
Could have been spent in a more productive way.
While I’m at it, I should probably send that birthday present to my friend’s kid
It’s been over a year and now she probably can’t fit it.

It’s a hat.

I need to buy toilet paper
Especially because it doubles as Kleenex
And, on occasion, it serves as a makeup-removing towelette
I got a flu shot on Monday and now my underarm hurts
And I'm all like, Why can't I do anything right?
Yes, I baked a tray of brownies on Monday
And yes, I'm eating them for dinner every night.

With cookies 'n' cream ice cream.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

#IAmAChild

Okay, guys, I don’t want to be a buzz-kill, but I am really starting to get kinda grossed out by all the weddings taking place among my peers. I just found out that a friend from the class of 2007 got married last month—2007! He’s 26. Yes, I know that's well over the legal age and it's really 35 in Midwestern years, but still. I feel like there was a time when the 20-something liberal-arts-college graduate spent most of their early adulthood traveling and trying to help the impoverished before finally giving in and getting a stable job that could pay for the lifestyles to which their parents had made them accustomed. What happened to the Fulbright year, living L’Auberge Espagnole—and, more important, who is teaching those Asian children English and bedding their mothers and older sisters!

For some reason, the idea of marriage just seems far too mature for me. How can I know who I want to be with for the rest of my life (cause, you know, ideally I’m not planning to divorce him when I say my vows) when I don’t even know what I want to do with my life? I like the idea of having a partner, but without the security and ability to live my dreams--e.g. actually get an apartment, have nice things, and cook more than just pasta--would I actually be someone’s wife or would I just be playing house?

Perhaps growing up with a single mom had something to do with it. I never got the memo that a mate was the key to happiness. Or, more accurately, I never got the impression that just cause you got married meant you’d be together forever. After all, if I'd gotten my way and married the person I thought I wanted 3 years ago, you'd probably find me on Maury Povich waiting for the results of a lie detector test. Three years ago, I wasn't getting paid for comedy--I was on the other side of the world! In 3 more years, I could finally get to play the role of Kurt's BFF on GLEE. Does that mean that I'll need a new man at that time? No, not at all. But are there more things that could happen in my life that it might not be ideal/fair to drag someone else along for? Yep. The phrase “All you need is LOVE” is actually kinda bullshit to me—unless love also includes financial security, emotional health, creative fulfillment, and a consistent willingness to improve and explore new things with a partner.

I guess I’m bitter. It’s not that I don’t think my relationship has the power to stand the test of time, but I just wonder if I’m emotionally deficient in some way. I mean, I am or else I wouldn't want to be an actor, but I don’t know why I’m not filled with happiness and excitement for my peers.

I don’t want to blame everything on 9/11, but really, why else are we hurrying to run down the aisle when we can’t even pay our bills?

I get it, people are in love.

OOOOHHH!!!! I figured out why I’m all emotional about this—when I see people my age and younger who are committing to someone for the remainder of their lives, I get anxious because it seems that they’ve figured it all out. Not “the rules of life,” but who they actually are. To say you want to be with someone forever means that you know who you are, what you want now, and what you want in the future. The Q&A session is over. Pencils down, curtain closed, done and done, stick a fork in it, [insert other metaphor here]. Over this last visit to my friends in Caucasia, I realized that, despite all of my desperation for a man (see the last three years of bloggery for proof), I don’t actually want the domesticated life. Going to work, “hitting the gym,” and going home sounds un-fun. What about dreams? Don’t get me wrong—I definitely want someone to put a ring on it. But right now, the main reasons that appeals to me are: 1) I think rings are pretty and shiny; 2) having a wedding means that everyone will have to stand up when I walk into a room, which has always been a dream of mine; 3) I can finally get on that all-carb diet I can’t start until I’ve roped someone in forever.

I think I've been listening to too much Affirmation Nation With Bob Ducca--he's making me far too introspective.
Who's Bob Ducca, you ask?
Well, here he is!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

You Don't Have to Go Far to Go INSIDE CAUCASIA

Sorry for the delayed blogging--I'm still regaining my strength after my intense journey into Caucasia. For some reason, it was even more nerve-racking than that time I lived in Australia, right in the center of it all. I think it's because of the shock--you don't expect to find such a non-diverse population in your same time zone in 2011. Add to that the abundance of nature and I felt so out of my element that I almost demanded that the toll booth worker stamp my passport!

Before I go into my visits with my married friends, I must show you a photograph of my #1 New Hampshire Fan:


Yes, that is a handlebar mustache. Yes, that is a Hawaiian shirt under his windbreaker. Yes, his head like a supremacist.
And yes, his hand is inappropriately close to my breast area.

I have arrived.

He didn't tell me his name, but he did tell me that I could "tug on these [his handlebars] whenever you want!!!"
No, there was no drink minimum.

All in all, I'd say the set went fine. I did, however, experience a mild fail: I completely forgot my train of thought during my set. I am not kidding. I was doing a lot of crowd work, thinking I'd need to fill my 20 minutes (and realizing that any and all Jewmor--Jew Humor--was lost on the crowd), and it just sidetracked me. I wasn't able to make my Tyler Perry references, nor could I reference anything else that took place in pop culture over the last 20 years.

And, mid-joke, I realized it was probably poor form to talk about comparing parenting to having a terminal illness at a breast cancer fundraiser. (#awkward) There was much awkward back-pedaling.

But all in all, I think the crowd was okay with it. It definitely wasn't my target demographic, so the fact that I got laughs at all--and wasn't actively boo'd offstage or heckled--is a success, I guess. It was a bit weird--as you all know, I'm used to highs and lows when it comes to emotions. When this set was done, I was relatively "meh." I didn't feel horrible or terrible--so I didn't really know how to cope. As I stood in the "talent area" watching the remainder of the show, a bald, old Caucasian man wearing a salmon-pink sweater approached. As he walked by to get to the bathroom (yes, the talent area was near the bathroom), he pointed his fist toward me. I wondered if this was his geriatric attempt at assaulting me but then I realized that he wanted to give me a fist bump!!!
Yes, guys, it happened. An old man gave me a fist bump. I guess he was the one who got my slavery humor.

Other than the show, I got to see some friends I hadn't seen in a while, which was nice. It was also a bit surreal, because they are both mature married couples, with property and children and such. My New Hampshire friends are out of control. Have you ever had a moment with someone where you just think, "How are you this White and I never knew it?" Well, yeah, that's what happened.

As we drove the two hours outside of Boston to their acreage, I watched as the number of bars on my cell phone decreased. As we drove up the winding backroads, I figured out that the trees outnumbered the people about 14 to 1. As we turned onto the private road that leads to their gorgeous house, I wondered if anyone would be able to hear me scream--not that I planned to, but I was just wondering.

We walked to the door and with a gentle push, it opened--they aren't even locking this shit up, y'all! You know it's backwoods when you don't have to say something when you see something and can just sleep without the door locked. The door opened and through the open back door, I could see the lady of the house--like I'd never seen her before.

She stood outside doling out food to the full-grown chickens in the chicken coop, with the 10-month-old baby on her hip!!

For those of you who can't imagine what this could look like, here's a visual aid:
She has become a pioneer wife, I thought to myself. It got really intense, though, when I had hit my bedtime and wanted to rest up before the big show. I couldn't tuck in, however, until the hubby had started a fire in the wood stove downstairs. WHAT?!

This historical relic kept my room both toasty warm and smelling of pine.

I was out of my element; I started having slavery flashbacks. I think part of why Caucasia enjoys living like it's the 1890s is because back then, they were running thangs! I mean, if I could travel back in time and bring my educational opportunities and tampons, I'd be willing to check out the days of yore, too. But as it stands, I'm just glad I'm in a time and place where hate crimes can at least be caught on camera phones and punished.

I gotta run and interview a student, but let's talk soon!