Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The End of Black Mystery Month

Guys, I've never been so excited for March in my life. This BHM was a real rollercoaster: We lost Don Cornelius and Whitney Houston; Viola lost, Octavia won; birth-control pills were recalled; and I'm finally getting the hang of Twitter.

To top it off, it seems that everyone's favorite Hot Mess Oompa Loompa, Snooki, is pregnant.


Shouldn't her ovaries be withered and her eggs pickled? Shouldn't her boyfriend's semen be 80 proof and unable to survive outside of his body? At the very least, shouldn't someone with her drinking history at the very least be getting Depo shots so as not to tax her memory? Of course, as I say this, I hear Jeff Goldblum's voice in my head, saying "Life finds a way."

Let's just hope that baby doesn't have fins. Or, better yet, that it doesn't get its own tv show--although it would probably make for a great season of Toddler & Tiaras.

This is one of those times I kinda wish The Hunger Games was real. If we had televised fights to the death, we'd be able to really separate the wheat from the discredits to the species, am I right guys????

Speaking of separating the wheat from the discredits, I must share this INSANE--albeit 5 years old and NSFWUYHH (Unless You Have Headphones)--youtube clip of local Atlanta public-access figure Alexyss K. Tylor--I kid you not, that is how her name is spelled.

I have no words.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Inglorious Roommates (not sure what to call this one)

Man, living with this German is a real test of endurance. Note to self: never rent out a room to a foreign PhD student--they're always in the house because they're too busy and too broke to do things.

I've been late to work every day this week because this gal's bogarting the bathroom like she has somewhere to be (which she doesn't, cause she just works in the house all day). The week before, I couldn't eat my breakfast in peace because she decided to make the kitchen her new workspace.

Look, y'all, I'm not a total curmudgeon (all the time), but first thing in the morning, I need my oats, my orange juice, and 30 minutes to steel myself for the day ahead. Before I head out to spend 8 hours doing something I don't enjoy, surrounded by people from the moment I step on the train until I get to sleep, I want half a damn hour sitting upright, catching local news, and not make upbeat small talk with someone I'm not close to. After all, I gotta save that for my coworkers.

I feel like Anne Frank in my own damn house! Every time I thought I heard the bathroom door open, I'd get up to head to the shower, only to find that she was inside the bathroom. Yesterday I had to straight-up knock--and passive-aggressively say, "I have to get ready for work" instead of, you know, "I have to take a shower"--because I couldn't wait any longer. Before knocking, I heard what sounded like some very heavy-duty exfoliating and labored breathing. I hated to interrupt, but if you're doing some sort of Ethan-Hawke-in-Gattaca* type of thing, I'm gonna need you to put the kibosh on that until after I leave the house.

In summation, I don't like living with her, I got to work 2 hours late, and I really like the movie Gattaca.

As you may have noticed, my posting is getting few and far between. It's not that I don't appreciate our relationship or love internet attention, but I'm working on writing a show and I find that I must redirect my humor-writing focus in order to make sure I actually generate material. Trying to create interesting and, hopefully, funny content for the diary, stand-up audiences, and a stage production is a lot to do at once, and I've figured out that the stage-show dreams always fall by the wayside because it's easier to write--and get instant gratification from--stuff for the blog and live audiences. So, in an attempt to get something more substantial going, you may see less of me--you know, like when a friend gets in a new relationship. (It's me and The Artist's Way, and we're head over heels for each other.) But I'll still be telling my truths, so don't give up! As I like to say, I'm goin' on hiatus but don't hate us!

*For those of you unfamiliar with the film with which I was obsessed for much of 1998, here's the clip I'm referring to (I even edited it myself!):

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Fun! (Post 1 of 2....or 3?)

My apologies for the radio silence (or computer silence, or whatever—you know what I mean). Of course, I’m probably the first website you checked upon hearing the news of Whitney’s death. I’m sorry I failed you. I found out just minutes before going on stage and had to struggle to bring my A game. I actually have a visceral reaction to her death and am trying not to think about it. Whitney Houston was a crucial part of my upbringing and my desire to be a blacktress. I honed my singing chops by singing along to every one of her tapes—yes, I said tapes—from the age of 9 on. I think The Bodyguard was my first exposure to interracial love.

Whitney changed me.

I've been coping with the loss by watching YouTubes of THE VOICE, like this amazing medley she did at the Grammy Awards back in 1994. She is amazing.

I'm also learning to Distract, Relax, and Cope, as my therapist recommends, with the help of Toddlers & Tiaras--or, as I like to call it, 16 & Pregnant: The Later Years.
Look at this photo of coked-out Honey Boo Boo Chile Alana and her mom on Anderson Cooper.

ALANA LOOKS LIKE A CHUCKY DOLL. For those of you who can't see the full effect, I am offering a close-up.

There but for the grace of god go I.

In other news: It's funny how you can not sleep at all, finally get out of bed at 7:23am, and still get to work an hour late. It just keeps happening! I probably couldn't sleep because I was anxious for a set I'm doing at THE UNITED NATIONS tonight.

Yes, the real United Nations.

I’m doing a set at a charity gala organized by the UN and GLAAD to support the human rights of the global LGBTQ community!

I’m so nervous. I’ve been told that I have to do a 10-minute set and to “Please keep it clean and just letting you know that the crowd is very politically correct and very international. So please try not to have any offensive material.”

Of course, I needed clarification. I mean, there are going to be people from all over the world and all across the gender spectrum—there’s no way I’m going to talk for 10 minutes without making someone want to throw their crudite. The PR woman explained:

I would just ask that you don't use the word bitch because people in my office are very sensitive to that word. Also, if you could limit the cursing, and don't use material that is overly sexual or racial (For example: No wintercourse bit)

Overly sexual and overly racial is my middle name!

Well, we'll see. Maybe I can do a tight-10 on The Channel Islands or Burma or something.

I'm composing another post right now! #whenitrainsitpours

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Morning Posts

Ugh, I have no idea what to blog about. But I've started reading The Artist's Way which suggests writing "morning pages" every day. These are three handwritten pages of whatever comes to your mind right after waking up. The goal is to just write, with no judgments or agenda, and just clear out all the crap. So, with that in mind, I'm going to just write about where I'm at, and just see what happens. (without being overly self-indulgent, I swear!)

Not that my life's totally boring (just mildly), but I don't know how to be succinct and witty anymore. Between writing about paintings non-stop and the calls from [insert network here]'s Legal Department, the will to go on has been sucked out of me.

Yes, calls from the legal team. Remember my cuckoo bananas run-in with a mentally ill woman who offered to make me a star? Well, since then I've gotten several more emails, and at 12:06am last night I received a THREE-MINUTE VOICEMAIL MESSAGE from the woman, talking about how NBC writers are just mad at her because "my sketches are perfectly written and LOL."
Yes, she said LOL.

Of course, this is all fodder for something, but I've been suffering from creative blocks and I feel like I just need an emotional laxative. (A relaxative? A frien-ema? I feel like there's a good portmanteau out there just waiting to be found!) In summation, here's where I'm at right now:

Sojourner's Current Truths

  • I cringe every time my coworker opens the blinds to the window that stretches across both of our cubicles. I realize it's because the feeling of the sunlight on my skin reminds me that this is reality. (Sometimes when I'm in the office alone, I don't open any blinds at all.)
  • Is it wrong for me to ask the German roommate not to use the kitchen as a study space so that I can get up and have my morning oatmeal (and general pre-day prep) in peace and quiet?
  • What about if I ask her to stop making her gross-smelling coffee that makes the house smell like wet garbage?
  • Whenever I'm crossing the street, I'm afraid that turning cars are going to hit me. A couple weeks ago, a guy stopped his car after I ran across (I had the light), he opened his door, and yelled after me, "WHY YOU RUNNING??? WHY YOU RUNNING? YOU FUCKING IDIOT." It was awkward.
  • Jewboo and I are starting to look for an apartment and the place we were interested in just fell through. We had a sure-fire in, there was a washer/dryer IN THE BUILDING, and the apt has a special spot in my heart because it's where I saw my very first episode of 16 & Pregnant. Then the landlords decided we had to go through a broker (after speaking with us directly and giving us apps to fill out), who would charges a $1700 fee! Um, no thanks.

Ugh, I just got another email from the crazy lady, telling me to "be nicer to the writer, N" after I wrote her an email asking her to cease communication.

Is that a threat? Y'all, she's going to skin me and wear me as a pelt!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

It's Too Cold in the D

Apparently, residents of the D are taking justice into their own hands.

Jewboo alerted me to this news item with just the words "Jesus Christ" before the link. Unfortunately, I wasn't all that surprised--not even after reading about Detroit resident Julia Brown.

The last time Brown, 73, called the Detroit police, they didn’t show up until the next day. So she applied for a permit to carry a handgun and says she’s prepared to use it against the young thugs who have taken over her neighborhood, burglarizing entire blocks, opening fire at will and terrorizing the elderly with impunity.

“I don’t intend to be one of their victims,” said Brown, who has lived in Detroit since the late 1950s. “I’m planning on taking one out.”

Although Julia "Throw Down" Brown is obviously related to T-Baby in some way, she is no match for my G-Unit. At 95 years old, G-Unit has been keeping a gun in her house since the Regan administration (hence her lovable nickname). When my cousins and I would play hide-and-seek in her house, she always warned us to "go anywhere but in the front room. That's where I keep my gun."

Having seen Boyz N the Hood and knowing we were already living on borrowed time as black youth in Detroit, none of us were stupid enough to actually look for the firearm, but we were obsessed with the idea of my grandmother having it.

"What are you gonna do with a gun, grandma?" My cousin asked.
"I'll shoot an intruder," she said, with her voice starting to rise. "Some fool tryna come up in here and rob me. I may be old, but I ain't no weak person! I made it this far and I ain't letting some dumb son of a bitch take me."
Ever the logical one, I had only one follow-up "If you shot him, what would you do with the body?"
What my grandmother said next is still emblazoned on my brain 20 years later. So matter-of-fact that she was almost dismissive, she replied, "I'd let the dog eat it."

Y'all! Ethel will leave your body as puppy chow if you try to start some ish! She's gonna make sure black folks can have nice things!
(I think this level of hardness is what makes me such a difficult woman to love. I come from take-no-prisoners Southern sharecropping stock.)

At the time, I imagined a body on the hallway floor with Toby (her dog) biting off bits of it. Even at 7 years old, I assumed there'd be a stench and wondered how Grandma would get pass the corpse to get to the bathroom every two hours, as she was wont to do. I was able to have such a detailed vision because I had no doubt in my mind that G-Unit would do it!

I blame Clint Eastwood. Gran Torino was practically a documentary and then there was that Super Bowl commercial (see below). I guess this is what he meant by "Motor City fighting again."

By "the roar of our engines," did you mean the sounds of caps busting in asses?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

He Is My Patronus

Just wanted to share a great clip from one of my favorite comics, Hari Kondabolu. No better way to celebrate BHM with a man who always speaks truth to power.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Portent?

Y'all, this BHM is starting off WRONG.

I have been on the plantation less than hour and have already received two pieces of news that have shaken my young, gifted, and BLACK world. I can't be alone in this.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! Don, you created the longest-running show in the history of television! You showed white people how to dance! You provided the basis for countless episodes of sitcoms!
He is, in short, an AfAm Icon. Today of all days, this hurts. And what hurts even more is that it's been buried at the bottom of news and pop-culture websites.

2. While sitting at my desk, my coworker two cubes behind me exclaims. "Holy shit." I need to know the cause, natch. Apparently, "Pfizer just recalled 1 million packets of birth control pills in the US because they may not actually prevent pregnancy." Of the three generic brands, one of them is used by the blacktress!
Y'ALL! THIS IS NOT OKAY. I can't be ringing in BHM Juno style!

Can you imagine a bunch of mini blacktresses and Jewboos running around?! They'd be all kinds of neurotic (cause they're the Jewish spawn of two aspiring comics) and neglected (cause they were accidents). I don't have enough money for dreams, let alone prenatal vitamins! Not to mention the fact that I get weary just watching a Law & Order marathon, so you know late-night feedings would be out. AAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!

I have no one to share this with, as my coworkers find it a bit "inappropriate" that I told them I used one of the brands that have been recalled. Of course, I turn to you, gentle readers. We need each other now more than ever.

In hopes of turning this day--nay, this month--around, I'm going to share what I planned to write about this morning, before all of this earth-shattering news hit my brainhole.

Thank god for JJSiii. Whenever a blacktress is down, he knows exactly what to send from the interwebs to remind me that life's worth living. On Monday, it was an invitation to join his RuPaul Fantasy Drag Race team.

Today, he sent along a music video so amazing, I don't even think I have the words for it. I will let it speak for itself. Please, enjoy. You're welcome.

After writing what I thought were the lyrics, I ran them against JJSiii and found we were on the same page. Clearly, English isn't Andrew Doriane's first language, but bless him for putting his feelings out there. For those who may be having trouble deciphering, here's the breakdown:

“Breath of the ocean / Tranquil emotions / I’m feeling so safe in her arms / One thing is clear / Heaven is here / With her, I can reach for the stars / Looking at us...

CHORUS: Somehow she’s like gay / I’ve always had this feeling / even deep inside / She has been playing gay so real that I believe it / Am I losing my mind?

“No one except her / Keeps me protected / From different storms on my way / Her guessing my wishes / Makes me suspicious / She knows me for (??) what I think / God, she’s like gay
(repeat chorus)

Somehow she’s like gay, because she seems to know men as well as gays do / She must be playing gay with me so I can only be like lesbian too
(repeat chorus)

Gay (echo, echo, echo)”