Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What Happens to a Blacktress Deferred?

Hey gang, how was your hurricane?

Sorry for the lack of bloggery—I haven’t blogged since August! Completely unacceptable. I realized I should get on it before you started to think I got swept away by the Oprah & Gayle-force winds. I’ve had plenty blog-worthy points to discuss, but I've kind of been in a hole. I’m in the office today after working from home for two days due to illness. Before coming in on Monday, I spent the hurricane weekend at Jewboo’s house, where I mostly laid around like a 19th-century maiden who had the vapors.

Yup, it was just like this.

I was the kind of sick where I could still function, I just felt like a waste of space. I kept breaking out into these cold Requiem for a Dream-like sweats that were just uncomfortable. Then Aunt Flo decided to pay me a visit, and I was like, “I’m sorry, I am not up for having company this week. Can you go stay with the girl down the block?” And she was all, like, “No, that’s not how this works. I’m not an actual person.”

I love the idea of having one workday each week where I don’t have to be in the office. Although I was sickly, I finally had the daytime hours to pick up clothes that had been at the dry cleaners since June 6.
Y’all, that was three months ago. They were about to give my clothes away.
I also managed to stock up on orange juice, and would have bought more groceries if the store wasn't all ransacked and random, 28 Days Later-style. (They had, like, all the sugar-free ice cream and Pillsbury crescent rolls you could want, but no bread to speak of.)

But after the initial surge of productivity, I fell into a pit of despair. Without having to look over my shoulder to make sure my coworkers weren’t judging my gchatting, I realized I couldn’t muster up the will to write--not stand up, not a blog post, and certainly not the solo show I've been thinking of for over a year. I started to wonder why on earth I couldn’t make anything of my life. It didn’t help that before my therapy session, I thumbed through the latest issue of Time Out New York and saw pictures and write-ups on three people I know from the comedy scene. I want to be writing a show or finding some way to get off of this plantation, but I’m too crazy and lazy (cray and lay? LRAZY?) to get it done.

I ate five English muffins yesterday.
FIVE, y’all.

To give you a sense of how gross this is, let me provide a visual:

Just looking at these pictures makes me want another one. I disgust myself.

Clearly I’ve given up on life. It’s probably because I don’t have money for my dreams. I’ve been told I need to get new headshots, but it’ll run me at least $500; and I want to get a demo reel made so that I can take over the voice-over world, but it costs over $2,000! I’ve been spending money to celebrate Caucasian marriages, but can’t actually afford these hotels and presents.
Oh yeah, and I’ve spent the last three weeks trying to write a magazine about painting flowers.

I know these are luxury problems, but can I start a KickStarter Campaign for my dreams? Cause they are are straight-up withering like a raisin in the sun.

I’ve been thinking about Australia a lot, which is always a sign that I don’t want to be in the world. I’ve also started wondering if I need to get a Splenda daddy—you know, one who’s impotent and won’t want me to do anything besides look pretty. And when losing the Hairpin’s Most Horrible Things That Moms Have Said contest actually makes me feel like a failure, I’m obviously in what one would call a “dark place”.

To help get myself back into the world, I’ve been looking at this picture sent by an “artist."

I don't know this man's name, and I'm not sure this cat has given consent, but at least I can safely say I'm not him.

How are you doing?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Strappin' in for the Weekend

Guys, there's a hurricane a-coming to New York City.
We had an earthquake about three days ago.
Um, WTF, End of Days? Can you please not come until I've had a chance to live my dreams?

I hope it's just a thunderstorm, and not the dramatic hurricane their expecting. I mean, her name is Irene, for goodness sake--nothing named Irene should be dangerous.
[Imagine me as a 55-year-old secretary when you read this next sentence.] Besides, the only hurricane I want is Denzel! [insert a pursing of the lips and a snap.]

As I prepare to tuck in for what's sure to be "THE STORM OF THE CENTURY," I realize how useless I am in an emergency. I mean, this is nothing new, but it became even more apparent after visiting the VT and then reading The Hunger Games this week. But now, in the face of a real situation of the non-Jersey variety, I realize I'm as useless as a taco in a toolkit.^

According to NY1 News, I need to pack a "go bag". All I know about "go bags" are that the FBI agents on Criminal Minds always have one ready before boarding the plane to the next serial-killer case.
I don't have a gun or badge, so what would my go bad contain besides underwear and a safety condom?

As I try to write a grocery list of edible foods I won't have to cook or refrigerate*, I hear the wise words of my 95-year-old G-Unit, said before what was certain to be the Y2K meltdown:

In times of distress, you must be able to wipe yo ass.

Let me give a bit of context:
Grandma has an entire linen closet filled with toilet paper--except on the floor of the closet, where she has jugs of water.
When I asked her why she had all this, she replied matter-of-factly with, "Thems my rations."

Water, I get. But all that tp? Unless you're some sort of macGuyver, you really won't need that many thin squares of tissue during an apocalypse.

Unless you're G-Unit.

Maybe I should go load up on Charmin--I mean, the woman has lasted 95 years on this earth, so she must know something. (Plus, those cartoon bears are so cute!). What about Smart Water? I mean, if the world's going to turn into Thunderdome, I want whatever the ageless Jennifer Aniston's been drinking. That one's got the hips of a 14-year-old Korean gymnast!

Ugh, I wish I was Katniss Everdeen. I'm gonna try to make a shiv out of a plastic spoon in the next hour.

I need survival skills. Is there a way to do, like, a SIMS version of Outward Bound?

^I've decided to try on the character of elderly southern farmer. This is one of my new folksy sayings.

*so far, all I got is:
  • Wheat Thins
  • apples
  • dry cereal
  • English muffins
  • tea (not a food)
  • chips and salsa?
  • fruit leather
  • peanut butter
  • craisins

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Soulmate?

Hey gang,

So, I was in war-torn Borders last night, picking up some cheap going-out-of-business books, and as I'm checking the humor section, this guy walks behind me and all I hear is the word 'gorgeous.'
I assume he's talking about the sale, cause it really is exciting.
I look up but he's already walked past me. I go back to my book, and he doubles back. "Excuse me,” he says in his indoor voice. “I'm looking for a nice soulmate. My name is Rob, I've been divorced a few years—“
“I'm in a relationship,” I cut him off.

He wasn’t hideous or visibly homeless—black guy, a couple inches shorter than me, bald but working it—but he definitely had crazy eyes (almost Bradley Cooper-esque) that tipped me off to mental illness. Add to that the fact that he called me gorgeous, when I looked about as busted as a sister wife. In fact, I was looking like a divorced sister wife—you know, what I mean. She's got her 6 kids and no “sisters” to help her, so she's really let herself go. Plus, the last time she was on a date, head-to-toe denim was a good look, so even on her best day she's still looking awkward.

I digress.

“Oh, you’re in a relationship right now?” CrazyEyes says, pointing to the floor. He then looks around, as though my partner--if he exists--would be in Borders at that very moment.
“Oh, okay, I’m sorry.” He walks away, probably to troll the going-out-of-business sale for more “nice soulmates” at 50% off.

I tell this story not just because I love to share interactions with randoms but also because it was the first time I didn’t have to lie to a crazy to make him go away. My fake boyfriend, Michael, is no longer necessary—and he might be gone for good! (I think I’ll kill him in a freak ATV accident—you know, cause he’s such an adrenaline junkie.)

Jewboo and I did very well on our first road trip. By “very well,” I mean we didn’t fight with each other, explained our wants and needs (such as “food. Right. Now.”) clearly and succinctly, and my friends liked him. He drove the entire way there and back (which I found very attractive for some reason) and we both discovered that we prefer to hold our bladders than stop repeatedly.

****[oh my god, we just had an earthquake in New York City. My office swayed, and massa was conveniently out getting cupcakes and “didn’t feel a thing.” I started a twitter tree, and judging by the pithy replies, everyone’s fine. Guys, what if this blog becomes a record of humanity in the 21st century????? I owe it to the world. I owe it to the Mayans. I owe it to us.]********

The wedding was loverly and it was so great to see friends. However, I seemed to have forgotten about my inherent distaste for small-town living--i.e. life in Vermont. For a place I’ve visited more than a handful of times, it really is the polar opposite of everything I stand for.

Take, for instance, the fact that we arrived in the state at 9pm on Friday night, and there were hardly any restaurants open. We get to the hotel at 9:45, only to discover that restaurant-kitchens across the state are closing, including the hotel dining room. I’m sorry, but WTF, VT?! I know you guys are "quaint" and sparsely populated, but a blacktress and a ‘boo can’t get a good meal after sunset on a weekend?! The state needs to change it’s damn motto:

As we're driving up I look over the info from the bride and remember that a VT wedding also doubles as a camping trip. Regarding the pre-wedding BBQ at a gorgeous state park, she writes:

“Limited parking is available at the top of the mountain, so you can park at the bottom and carpool up, or it’s a nice one-hour hike to the top.”

A what? Nice one hour hike? Is that Swedish for "refreshing hot bath"? I texted some friends immediately:
You better save me a parking space on the mountain top or get me a ski lift, cause a hike ain't happening!

I would have had Jewboo playing sherpa after about 10 feet.

You guys know how I don’t like to sweat in public or be in nature, right?

Well, just imagine me at an outdoor wedding at the height of the summer sun. Just walking from the car has me starting to sweat like Whitney, and after sitting down for about 5 minutes, I have to pull my dress out from under my butt because I’m getting serious swamp ass and I’ll kill myself if I stand up and discover a giant sweat stain in my crotchal region. When the B&G proceed to share their written vows, I start crying, and Jewboo leans over and wipes my tears…or sweat…it was really at the point where it all mingled and I was generally salty.

But the sun went down after a couple of hours and in the meantime, I got really excited about the mushroom-and-truffle brick oven pizza being passed around, and it definitely took the edge off. I will say this about Vermonters--they sure know how to throw a wedding. I think it's because they're such a handy people. I was seated next to a fella by the name of Bruce, who had a weird look in his eye and a wet spot on his pants, and I asked him what he did.
"Do you live off of the land?" I asked.
"Well, yes, I do. I build furniture from the trees right from our forests."

Guys, if the apocalypse goes down, I think Vermont's going to be the only US city that makes it.

The highlight of the wedding was definitely the couple's first dance, which was unlike anything I've ever seen. It was, in essence, a flash mob. Kool & The Gang's hit "Celebration" came on and half the guests started doing a choreographed dance!
I had no idea what was going on as folks danced around me. I felt like Julia Stiles did the first time she went into that black club in Save the Last Dance.

Turns out the b&g had set this up via secret YouTube video. Although I wasn't in on it ("It was a hard choice to make," she said, "but I decided that I wanted you to be surprised."), I was able to get my hands on the instructional video made by the bride. I also got her permission to post this on the blog. Her exact words were:
"No, it's okay. I've never been more proud of anything in my life."
And I'd have to agree.

See for yourself, friends. From the seriousness and dramatic pauses in her delivery to the names for the various dance moves--not to mention the cameo by their dog--this might actually be the most amazing YouTube clip I've ever seen. Yes, even better than the Pumpkin Dance.

I love this woman almost as much as I love my Jewboo. I would gladly drive another 7 hours just to see her dance.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Vermont is for Lovers

Hey friends!

I’m banging my head against the wall with this article for massa, so I decided I’d switch to blog mode. The artist I’m writing about isn’t weird or crazy or unskilled, so I don’t know why this is so hard. In fact, he’s a silver fox who gets my humor and actually used the word “shit-tastic” in an email, which makes him my new favorite person. I just can’t get a lead-in, and without a running start, it’s just a dragging, lagging article. Plus, I’m only half here because I slept about 5 hours and am going out of town tomorrow—to a wedding!

Jewboo and I are heading up to Vermont to witness the nuptials of one of my favorite ladies. I’m really nervous-excited (nerv-cited? excitervous?)—it’s our first road trip, Jewboo’s driving my mom’s car, and he’ll be meeting a bunch of college friends. We did great in Minnesota, so I’m not worried about the friends-meeting part or spending 6 hours in a car together, but the driving….to Vermont… in madukes’s car. What if my map-dyslexia flares up and we get lost and he hates me? What if I get diarrhea? What if one of us farts in the car when the windows are up????

I am very excited for the nuptials, though. It’s not going to be another German-Indian dual-ceremony at an inter-faith cultural center, but you only get one of those a lifetime. The bride-to-be and I really took our love-friendship to the next level post-college, with the advent of this blog (specifically “16 & Pregnant” posts) and collaboration on a bachelorette party. She was really good about making me feel like less of a failure throughout the whole thing, and her scrappy, Vermonter, can-do attitude really came in handy on a rainy, late-night drive during which I thought we’d end up inspiring the next Saw movie.* She’s the kinda gal you’d want to get stuck in an elevator—or a sinking car, or a tornado, or a zombie apocalypse—with. Besides, it’s always great to watch white people come together. I feel like their numbers are dwindling.

Overall, I’m excited to get outta the city, breathe in some country air (and then develop a hacking cough as my body rejects it), and spend 48 hours with my Jewboo.
Yes, this pleases me. It’s hard being in an LDR, Brooklyn-to-Harlem style!

Of course, I’ll give you a wedding recap when I return. I think that after the wedding goes off without a hitch and everyone’s happy, I can write about my experiences being in nature without being misconstrued as hateful.

* Not sure which is scarier—inspiring it or being alive to see the release of a 6th Saw film.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Treatise Inspired by Adam Carolla

Okay, let me say this: I have never liked Adam Carolla. I find his nasal voice to be annoying and even when he was giving “sex advice” on MTV’s Loveline he sounded cocky and dismissive. That being said, perhaps he isn’t a bad comedian. Although he’s damn near 50 years old, he’s got a teenaged-frat-boy sense of humor that appeals to many….teenaged frat boys.

However, his recent homophobic, anti-trans (and anti-Asian?) tirade on his podcast The Adam Carolla Show —one of the most downloaded podcasts in the country—has confirmed every negative assumption I’ve ever made about theman

Have a listen:

Okay, it’s gross, we know. It’s also par for the Carolla course, it seems. What makes me so angry about it is his “apology”—issued via Twitter, no less. Because after all, why would you need more than 140 characters to say sorry about something you’re not actually sorry about?
“I’m sorry my comments were hurtful. That being said, I’m a comedian, not a politician.”

Now, as you may know, the blacktress has also come under fire for comments made via blog and on stage. I have been misinterpreted in some instances and in others, it simply hurt the listener to hear my dramatized/performance-level anger and/or musings. Both of these are par for the course in comedy and any other form of public expression. You cannot control how someone’s brain transforms information. And, thanks to the internet, you can’t control how someone receives information.

But that doesn’t mean that comedians aren’t accountable. When a comic responds to criticism with the phrase “it’s just a joke,” or “I’m not a politician,” it implies that there’s no intention behind his or her words. And honestly, any comic who has actually worked to achieve a certain level of success/public recognition has spent years going through shitty open mics; has spent their days reading—or writing—books titled Truth in Comedy and The Comedy Bible and Comedy Writing Secrets; and making national recognition a life goal. In short: every word he writes or says in a comedic context isn’t “just a joke”. If you want to be a joke-maker, then perhaps you shouldn’t address issues of same-sex marriage, equal rights for people of all creed, religion, or gender on a public platform.

Point the third: There is a difference between a rant (Carolla’s tirade) and a bit (a comedian’s crafted joke on a particular topic). Of course, talking off the cuff/not in the context of a stand-up set or sketch, not everything is going to have beats, patterns, word play, or LOL moments. But a bit is a routine on a given topic. It takes an idea and mines it in a way that is humorous.
A rant is “speaking or shouting at length in a loud of impassioned way.”
That’s what Carolla did--in this case, about the LGBTQ community as a whole.

Yes, there can be ranting bits—Carlin and the like—but it’s usually the way they process and explain their rage (i.e.their unique and offbeat thinking”) that provides humor.
Carolla just went off.
And, constitutionally, he’s allowed to do so. But did he really have to spend 7 minutes on it?

Guys, this is coming from a self-proclaimed mad blacktress. I have definitely utilized the guise of Sojourner to say things that people didn’t like to hear. And of course, there is truth in comedy, and although there is dramatization for effect or performance, there is a true root sometimes. But does he really have to use being a “comedian” as a pass to be a total bigot?

Oh yeah, and regarding this whole “comedian” thing—his rant wasn’t remotely funny, so he seems to have failed on that end, too.

What say you?

Monday, August 15, 2011


Happy Monday, guys! I love when "Mondays With Artists" just happens naturally. My boss handed me a letter from a reader, and this post basically writes itself! It's an excellent example of our target audience: handwritten in shaky cursive and and somewhat confrontational while also being self-promoting. As always, the grammar and spelling has been transcribed exactly as it appears in the original.

Did it ever occur to you that maybe 80% or more people you have sent this same letter to will probably die before our prescription expires.
[By "prescription," she means "subscription." This is a common mistake among our audience.]
I am 90 years old. I'm probably the youngest 90 year old person you'll ever know or meet. Still I might die tomorrow, I don't have much time left. or next week or next month or next year. However, I'm a great inspiration to many people. I'm still going strong. If you don't believe me--look me up on inter-net. I'm all over the place!
[This is the most confident/depressing paragraph I've ever read.]
If you are interested I will do a story on myself. It will make good reading. People can find out what makes me "tick."
[Um, what makes her "tick"? Like Ke$ha?]
To be an artist you don't have to be an actor, writer, or musician--just a desire.
[I mean, I guess technically she's not wrong there. You don't have to be a singer to be a painter!]
I've been teaching since 1970--and I still do.

Please don't send me anymore bills until my subscription bill is due.


[old lady name]

The thing is, guys, her paintings aren't half bad. I kinda want to call her.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Back Back from Cali Cali

[ok, guys, I have to be honest. I have been working on this post for about 3 days. I still don't have all of the vids and embeds I'd hoped, but this is getting ri-goddamn-diculous, so let's just put it up.]

Hey friends!

I really should have blogged by now, since I got back on Monday afternoon and all, but I’ve been so tired that even typing is a Sisyphean task. I got back to the plantation Tuesday and am just coming up for air. It’s amazing how three little hours can impact one’s cycle—no, I don’t mean menstrual. I wasn’t able to sleep until my last night in SF, and since coming home I’ve been up all night like an unemployed stoner with a penchant for QVC. I’m going to power through today, though, and hope to hit the hay at a respectable hour tonight.

Anyway, San Francisco was fun! I forgot that I have friends who don’t do comedy/aren’t self-involved and actually want to learn things. I've known a lot of them since before 9/11, so we've really been through a lot. These same friends are also willing to pay to see a blacktress perform and give her a bed to sleep in, which is even more tender. (Microsoft Word is telling me that I should change that to ‘tenderer’ but I just think that sounds too awkward and I won’t dignify it with a spell check.)

I was beyond nervous on Friday, primarily because I was the opening act, but that set was way better than Saturday's. I wasn't awful, mind you, but not as high energy and focused as usual.
But enough about the awkwardness--let's talk about the amazingness.
There were so many funny female comics and it was great to befriend and network. I have come home with several friend crushes, and I'm trying to reign in the internet stalking. One such victim is Chris Burns, a HILARIOUS stand-up and actor from SF. She's a social worker by day, and she speaks truth to power. Showtime won't let me embed it, but you really should check out this clip of her as the social worker on a recent episode of Shameless

I also got to feel really useful by sitting down with the PhD candidate. It was cool to talk about comedy in a serious way and it also got me thinking about what I hope to do. Granted, there were a lot of awkward 'ums' and grasping at straws as I tried to codify something I pretend to do effortlessly. But mostly, it was just great to sit down and talk with a black lesbian who didn't hate me. She asked a few questions that I was able to answer with rapid-fire precision, though, such as:

Who would you compare yourself to, as a comic?
If Kathy Griffin and Chris Rock hate-fucked and she carried the baby to term, that'd be me.

What's your target audience?
18-65, liberal, savvy, educated, and gay.

Do you think a black audience would like your stand-up?

We totally got along and talked about Jewboos! It's always good to know I'm not the only one miscgenating.*

After meeting up with her, I appeared on a radio show.
Yes, real radio.
Well, ok, it's free radio, but still--people listen to it.

The show was called "The Edge of Insanity," and they were not exaggerating. I had sent an inquiry in advance, just looking to maximize my SF time, and was surprised to get a response. I was even more surprised to find out that the show's host/producer was going to be working the door at the Friday night show. He'd get a chance to see my act and know if I was truly on "the edge."
Obvs, I was. I talked about gentrifying vaginas and how I don't want children. Clearly he was ready for me.

Turned out I'd just gotten myself on the set of Revenge of the Nerds VII: Half-Baked Nerds With Children. It was me and four stoned dudes sitting in a smoky room and shooting the shit. The co-host was this middle-aged black dude--I'd call him the Robin to the producer's Howard Stern, but he was nowhere near as classy as Robin. The entire time he made sexual comments about me and it just got gross--especially when we weren't on the air. For example, when I was alerted to the potential lack of toilet paper in the bathroom, he responded with:
"Girl, if you need help wipin' yo' ass, just let me know. My tongue has been all kinds of places."

Was that supposed to turn me on or clue me in to his mouth syphillis?
It definitely got "to catch a predator-y"and I wished I'd had Chris Hansen in my phonebook. Instead, I had to alert my elite gay visionary:
If you don't hear from me by 6:05pm PST, call the po-po. I've been sex trafficked.

You can listen to the madness here.

There was a call-in number, but it seems the only people who called were friends of the show. One of whom was an elderly woman named "Sweet Gail," who kept saying that she wanted to "be exploited."
I saw a photo of Sweet Gail which showed her in a home-made Viking-style helmet and a brassiere, onto which she'd sewn bullseyes.
Clearly, she's on her way to living her dream.

It's a two-hour show, but if you get to about halfway, Sweet Gail will blow your mind.

I will have a YouTube clip of my set as soon as Windows Movie Maker stops being lame. I mean, is it too much for a blacktress to add a fade in and a fade out? I'm a fucking professional!

Miss you guys! I will be back much, much sooner to share the brilliant writing of Charlaine Harris (creator of the novels on which "True Blood" is based) as well as my treatise on why everyone should go to Pennsylvania to find a monogamous man.


*Speaking of, I'm designing a new line of clothing:

What do you think?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Overheard in Bank of America

"So then he left and was just like, 'I gotta go.' Then later I texted him, 'How's packing going?' He writes back, 'It sucks. I'm loading the car now.' Then I wrote, 'I had fun last night.' And he wrote, 'Yeah. Let's get together Friday night.' So, like, he wants to see me, you know? He wouldn't have said 'Let's get together, you know?'
Steve? You mean Steve my real estate agent? He wouldn't say anything.
No, he knows Glen. He knows the situation.
Steve said he texted him and he said it was 'hot, drunk sex,' so, he must have liked it, you know?
Ugh, this thing is not taking my card.
I don't know. What?
We didn't go to breakfast the next morning, but I was so dead asleep, he said he couldn't even wake me.
It's weird.
I don't know.
But, like, we've done this before, you know? He wouldn't keep coming home with me if he wasn't into it, you know?
I just--"

As much as I wanted to hear the end of this story, I had to get back to the plantation. But seriously, I was riveted. There was so much I needed to know, such as....
  • How can you be talking about your 'hot drunk sex' all up in the bank with your outside voice on a cell phone?
  • Your real estate agent is getting you dudes? Would that make him your pimp?
  • Why are you tripping over a dude named Glen?

I am a Funny Female!

Which I hope you already know. But, like, this is for real, guys! I’m not just funny in my head or on the internet—I have been deemed funny and added to a roster that includes the dopest lady comics in the country!!!!
I'm the first one on Friday at 8pm, and second on Saturday!

Tomorrow afternoon I head for San Francisco and I must say, I am nervous as all get-out. What began as California Dreams have become California nightmares. What if the crowd has no California Love for me? What if the California “Gurls” spew whipped cream from their boobies whenever they don’t like one of my punchlines? Will I ever want to go Back, Back to Cali, Cali?

I just have no idea what I’m in for—I just found out two days ago that the current high temp in SF is 62 degrees, and my mind is officially blown. There is no certainty in this life; all bets are fucking OFF. If I can’t even count on some semblance of summer weather, how can I make any assumptions about the audience? Will the crowd be full of supportive gays or crunchy hippies? What about people who aren’t stereotypes??? I won’t even know how to cope!

My whole bit about not wanting children better not get me boo’d off stage.

I’ve been hitting open mics over the last couple weeks, but I haven’t had a booked show in a while. Plus, I don’t even know what the venue’s going to be like. Is the stage wide or narrow, deep or shallow? How bright are the lights—are we talking ‘get out of the light, Carol Ann’ type of bright or an ‘Are you afraid of the dark?’ type of spotlight? I was all set to wear cute dresses on stage, but now that it’s gonna be about 50 degrees by showtime, I’ve gotta find something that’s both cute and warm—The shows are being filmed, streamed, and circulated—and I’ve got some new folks to meet!

Yesterday I got an email from a graduate student from an SF university, asking if she could interview me for her dissertation. I kid you not, gentle readers. I have been found and sought out for my blackting and comedy skillz. Hours before that request, I got a (far less sketchy) facebook message from a comic who said he saw me on the internets and “Just wanted to let you know that I am a big fan of your work. I would love to be added as one of your friends.”
A FAN OF MY WORK? If this is a sketchy spambot, I’ll take it!

Now that I officially have fans, I’ve got to buck up. I can’t let them down with a sub-par performance. The PhD student must devote at least a full chapter of her dissertation to the history of Sojourner ‘You Can’t Handle the’ Truth.
I’ve gotta find a way to fit chunky sweaters into my carry-on suitcase! I’ve gotta hope that Delta Airlines doesn’t do me dirty again, and hasn’t taken a page from the American Airlines handbook of fuckery.
I’ve gotta hope that I can get my hair did bright and early tomorrow and make it to JFK by 1pm.
I’m taking a lot of risks, and to top it off, I’ve been writing like a demon for the 25th anniversary issue of my magazine, which ships next week. Sure, I could have not decided to do a show across the country a week before my press date. But then I would have cut a bitch. I can’t let these artists stop me from having dreams, y'all—especially not my California Dreams.

Wish me luck!

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Win. A Loss. A Random.

*****[This post was supposed to publish on Friday, but apparently I clicked 'Draft' and not 'Publish'--whoops! I guess I've been getting too wrapped up in Shark Week.]*****

Happy Friday, friends! Over the last couple days a lot has gone on in the world of the young, gifted, and black woman—and like I always say,
Ain't I a Woman?

Let’s start with the good news.

Two female African American police officers have made history by becoming the first top cops to command a city precinct.

Deputy Inspector Juanita Holmes and Capt. Vanessa Kight are now the top cops at Brooklyn’s 81st Precinct in Bedford-Stuyvestant.

YAY!!! Talk about some strong black women! DI Holmes has already been with the precinct 27 years. Apparently, she's not getting too old for this shit!

Now, for the sad news:

A Black High School Student in Arkansas Can't Be Valedictorian Because...SHE'S BLACK.

For reals, y'all.

Kymberly Wimberly, 18, got only a single B in her 4 years at McGehee Secondary School, and loaded up on Honors and Advanced Placement classes. She had the highest GPA in her class, but was forced to share the honor of valedictorian with a white student with a lower GPA. She and her lawyer argue that the school's refusal to let her be sole valedictorian was part of a pattern of discrimination against black students.

Wimberly's mother, the school's "certified media specialist," says in the federal discrimination complaint that after her daughter had been told she would be valedictorian, she heard "in the copy room that same day, other school personnel express concern that Wimberly's status as valedictorian might cause a 'big mess.'"

There are a number of things wrong with this picture, but only one that makes people giggle over and over again: the girl’s name.

Because yes, you read it right—her name is KYMBERLY WIMBERLY. (#WhyBlackPeopleCan'tHaveNiceThings)

Before you start calling me a discredit to the race, let me be clear: the real tragedy is the blatant racism and discrimination that is preventing a young, gifted, and black woman from receiving hard-earned honors. She's also a teen mom, which shows that she's driven, dedicated, and won't let a baby hold her back. She's a role model!!!! Denying Kym Wim of the chance to stand before her school after years of hard work and share her experience, strength, and hope tells black children everywhere that there's no point in trying. (#NoWeCan't)

But why on earth did her mom name her Kymberly Wimberly? How much did THAT have to do with people's ability to accept her as sole valedictorian? You're already on thin ice by making a life in the home of the Little Rock Nine--why not at least give your daughter a fighting chance with a non-rhyming name? Mama Wimberly wasn't even allowed to bring her grievance to the PTA meeting, which you know ain't right. But if you came into my PTA meeting and I knew you'd named your child Kymberly Wimberly, I probably wouldn’t let you speak, either. Your judgment would be questioned at every turn.

And now the case is all over the internets, and the most common comments are:
Her mother should be sued for naming her daughter Kymberly Wimberly.
Kymberly Wimberly, what a great name! Hope she runs for president one day.
That's screwed up and all, but what kind of name is Kymberly Wimberly?
Reply: I think maybe that is why it would cause a "big mess". Everyone would think it's a joke.

Po' Kym Wim! She overcame Arkansas, teen motherhood, and poor parental judgment and still can't catch a break. (#WeShallOverCome,JustNotToday)

In other news......

I just got the most random FB msg ever. If this isn’t love in the digital age, I don’t know what is:

hi pretty baby how was your i hope every thing is fine,i am passing by i saw your pics and how beautiful it is,and i want to appreciate your beauty. my name is Thomas brown i am honest,kindly and lovely man ,baby i am single in my palace,baby u are the true vine,and Ur love is the vine dresser ,u are the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys, to chat with me, i will be waiting for reply bye

This guy clearly wants to give me the herp and steal my identity. What is a "true vine" and a "vine dresser"?