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!


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......... OK, your payment went through.
Me: Thank you!
Ken: Have a great day--maybe I'll see you in New York City!
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.


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:


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.

  • 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.”

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 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.