Thursday, April 30, 2009

Random Musings On The Times


The cycle of fashion and trends continues to turn. Every 25-30 years, fashion goes retro for renewal. I remember when I was in junior high and high school, the late 60's and 70's (an era I identify with) were "in". You had to have your bell bottoms and platform shoes. My senior class even had a sit-in protest. We clogged the hallway in front of the principal's office to protest paying for our yearbooks. We made it through 4 years of high school; the yearbook should be our free reward. We went to public school! Our protest wasn't effective enough however. We didn't have a senior trip that year but we had a prom. Thank god they didn't take away my right to get dressed up and dance barefoot.
 

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Topless Trouble


If you've been reading/following (although I don't actually chronicle my life in any particular order on this blog) you may remember that I was on my way to get some sun during these past few summery days (it was only yesterday's post, but I take into account your busy lives) and I also love Tuesdays. I decided to keep my quest for sun local today and went to Prospect Park.


I am a borderline sun junkie. I choose to walk on the sunny side of the street. Very few of my summer clothes have sleeves. I like to feel the sun on my skin. I woke up this morning with the intent that I would go to the park, read my magazines and sit in the sun. I had to even up the tan I got this weekend from walking around. The skin that lay under my straps betrayed me once I took off my clothes. And I'm beginning to believe I look better out of my clothes than in them. Maybe I just need a new wardrobe. I also had to get rid of the reverse raccoon eyes I got this weekend from my sunglasses.


Monday, April 27, 2009

From The Mouths Of Bums


On my way to soak up some sun this 80+ degree weekend (it's April, it ain't right, but I adapt), I took a short train ride to the Brooklyn Bridge. I wasn't on the train but 2 minutes before this older, slim, no-teeth-in-his-mouth Black man came through the car. He was talking out loud but kept looking back telling "someone" not to take his cigarettes. He proceeded to tell this person they could take his car, his wife, but not to fuck with his cigarettes. Ok, he was harmless enough. He eventually took a seat across from me and a few feet to my right. I really need to stop making eye contact with people, but I can't help it. He slid to the edge of his seat and started talking at/to/with(?) me (apparently my sunglasses aren't tinted enough). He edutained me with his lesson: Why commit murder illegally when you can go to Iraq or Afghanistan and commit it legally? "I'm 61 years old!" he told us, "I got four more years! Yeah, I gotta gripe, but I ain't gonna murder nobody in America. I went down to the VA and was like, 'send me to Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea...' I signed up for all that! I could go over there and kill somebody!"


Hmm...


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mommy Dearest

So often we hear of children growing up without their fathers, deadbeat dads and the dysfunction it can cause. What about children of single dads? What happens to the children who grow up without their mothers? 


I was watching Wrestlemania a few weeks ago. I clutched my pillow on my couch when I watched Jeff and Matt Hardy wrestle. As usual, Jeff climbed a ladder and jumped off. I remember thinking aloud that I couldn't be his mother, I'd have a heart attack. I later found out they were raised by their father. Could that be why he's so reckless (never mind he's a boy)? Quite possibly children who don't have that nurturing from a mother don't understand the effect and/or/of the consequences of their actions. I have to look into this. Or they don't have the worry of someone worrying about them. When my brother was in the hospital after a car accident, one of the first things he said was he was worried about what it was doing to our mother. Fathers care and worry about their children, but it's usually the mother who is "worried sick."


Some circumstances are out of our control and children end up being raised in single parent homes. I do feel that it is necessary for a child to have both masculine and feminine energies raising them; Grandma, Uncle etc. Mothers teach life lessons and encourage following your dreams with a level of security. There's always that shield of protection around their pickney. So it just makes me wonder about children growing up without a mother or maternal figure. Yeah, I have to look into this.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Smokey Rhythms



for a friend of old and of new



It may appear as though I've been gone a while. And in a way I have been, I've been everywhere and nowhere. As a creative soul, I take these trips every once in while. Sleep is important for survival and I'm a cranky bitch when I don't get my fair share. But lately, I've barely been getting any. I've literally been living off of music, yogurt and my pen and notebook. Here's what I birthed last night on one of my psychedelic sleepless nights in and out of my body.


Smokey Rhythms



Remember the New York when you could smoke in bars? I went out a lot back then. Took home memories of those nights on my leather jacket. I could smell the events of the evenings in my jacket weeks later. The cigars, cigarettes, weed or cologne from my partners. It wasn’t a New York full of flower children practicing commune love or the key party 70’s but love was freer back then. Prudes may use the word “reckless”. Either way, I did what I did. No regrets. Just the dip in my belly when I relive the moments with him.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fluid Retention


Sprawled out on the bench, legs cocked up on the handrails and spread eagle, without sufficient underwear, a bunch of grapes barely covering the crotch, incoherent rambling. 


That was the sight on my subway ride home at about 1:30 in the morning. A drunk woman. There's nothing more unattractive. Yes, I'm going to display a double-standard. I don't like drunk men either and especially not drunk drivers(!), but you know what, for the walking drunk, I'm more accepting of men making fools of themselves. Belligerent drunk men can walk into oncoming traffic if they so choose. But for a woman to get to that point... Where is your couth? Your grace? I'm not anti-alcohol. I love me some vodka and tequila, Baileys, white wine, champagne etc. Having a few drinks with friends is great. I'm a social drinker. After my first sip, I become intoxicated - not only from the alcohol but from the company. People intoxicate me (some more than others...you know who you are) 


The one time I threw up due to drinking was very surprising and uncomfortable. In between heaves into the toilet, I pleaded, "Why is this happening to me?" I wasn't even drunk! I've been around women whose main objective when they go out is to get wasted and have that moment on the toilet! Why would you do that to yourself? Vomiting is so uncomfortable! And I'll never comprehend drinking so much that I have no memory of the night before. Drinking is a veil for many a lonely soul. What's so bad in your life that you're trying so hard to forget? Will the STDs or unplanned pregnancy be worth it? Do you get drunk because it'll help you open up and talk to people or enjoy the party more? Maybe you're just a shy person. Constantly getting drunk aint gonna help you. Then the feigned shame - oh my god, I can't believe I did that! Yeah, bitch, but you're gonna do it again next weekend. So shut up.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday



I love the word "Tuesday". I also love the day. Even though Monday is the "first" day of the week (work week not calendar week), I think Tuesday is the day for fresh starts and new beginnings. I like the word Tuesday so much, I named one of my characters Tuesday Akers. He first made an appearance in my screenplay, "Fly on the Wall". He was the older lover of my main character, Morgan Lewis. He seemed to be more in love with her than she was with him, yet they both had other lovers. He was rich and estranged from his wife. When I started writing my novel in 2004, Morgan and Tuesday were reunited in "Letters to my Former Self"


I thought I'd share with you a bit of who Tuesday Akers is. Looking back, he's similar to Big from Sex in the City in a lot of ways, but more open with his feelings. Morgan would never be hurt by him the way Carrie was by Big  -  she has other men in her life who will hurt her feelings. 


Below is an excerpt from my novel - Chapter Nine - the first time we meet Tuesday Akers.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Mano A Mano


This weekend I watched the Winky Wright/Paul Williams bout after watching the documentary, Thrilla in Manila. Then I watched 300 which got me thinking about the epic battle scenes in Lord of the Rings. Movies, but more specifically, scenes like that really excite me. Just the hand-to-hand combat, the fearlessness, the honor, the men. I would love for a neuroscientist to study me. Hook up electrodes to my brain, play some violent images before me and monitor my brain activity. I've had a proclivity to violence; the old ECW, hardcore matches, the less-sanctioned UFC from the late 90's, shootfighting all that. I also understand "emotional violence", "honorable violence".


Friday, April 10, 2009

No Thanks For Smoking


My only bout of bronchitis occured about 4 years ago. I was in DC at a club. Smoking was allowed. 10 days, sleepless nights with painful, chest-heaving coughs and a dose of prescription medication later, I was better and able to return to work. I was reminded of that illness after hearing the report on what non-smokers are subjected to, the chemicals and crap found in our bodies and lungs from secondhand smoke. In New York City there are 3,000 cases a year of fatal lung cancer in non-smokers. Infants die of SIDS, rates of childhood asthma are much higher than in other cities and teens exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to start smoking. Car exhausts, incinerators and "dust" from construction sites are enough for our nostrils to battle without having to deal with smokers who seem oblivious to everything around them. I have run into a few polite smokers. In March, at First Saturday at Brooklyn Museum, I waited outside for a friend. I hadn't even noticed the gentleman who took a seat a few feet away from me. But he asked me if I minded if he smoked. I told him I mind and he moved without incident. Folks like him are few and far between.


I don't care how much New York State taxes smokers. It's not like raising water rates or food prices. Cigarettes aren't a necessary expense. Smokers chose to start smoking knowing the possiblity of addiction. A young lady interviewed on the street for the news story said too bad for non-smokers cause people aren't going to stop smoking. She's right though. They've all but banished smokers to the edges of society and out into the cold. I sure don't miss coming in from a night out and my leather jacket smelling like smoke (even though that scent did trigger memories of him). This is the 2nd tax applied to cigarettes in less than a year and folks are still smoking. So then don't complain when you're taxed for it; you're inconveniencing others, taxing the health care system with cases of asthma, emphysema, COPD, heart disease, lung cancer that were otherwise avoidable. Bend over for the tobacco companies. I don't care. I'll watch. I like porn.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Office Romance Expat


Since January, I haven't been part of the world of "traditional" employment. Office politics, punching time clocks and useless meetings can go crawl up somebody's butt. But I couldn't help but wondering about all the juicy stuff I was missing out on. The sex, lies and videotapes (big brother is always watching). The office romance. Even if you don't get involved with someone you work with, many a person's love life revolves around work. You meet your significant other at work, after work, on your way to work etc. All the rush hour jostling on the subway allows you to get a feel and whiff of your partner, you chat and learn what their interests are, who they be with, things that make them smile, what numbers to dial....



I don't get to spend 8 hours a day in close proximity to potential mates or attractive men (or men who will appear attractive over time), no office parties to in which to embarrass myself (thankfully, I was never that girl). At my last job, I did have a work crush, but didn't act on it. I had the opportunity to counsel coworkers on their relationships and had male coworkers to practice my feminine wiles on. Without guaranteed interaction with other people will my social skills falter? Will I suddenly become awkward or inept around men I'm attracted to? Or am I destined to pairing up with a man who's a freelancer like myself? I can imagine how much fun it is to see your babe at work everyday. You sneak glances as you slink by each others' cubicle or send dirty IMs, wink and blow kisses during meetings. Or picture this scenario, the elevator doors are about to close when you hear a familiar voice call out, "Hold the elevator!" It's them! The third wheel gets off the elevator a few floors before the two of you, then you proceed to grope like octopuses and find out what the other had for breakfast. Or you cop feels at the coffee machine. Ah, office romance...


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Half-Assed Ode To Technology


If you know me personally, you know how I feel about chat, IM's, text messages etc. It's fine to share small bits of information quickly but I believe if that is your primary or only means of communication, you're hiding from something, using that as a crutch. You tell yourself, oh I talked to her yesterday, or he said this to me... Really? Did you really talk? Did all those lol's when you didn't even crack a smile or were rolling your eyes get your point across? How many times have you had a "fight" over text cause someone mistook what you "said"?



Sunday, April 5, 2009

Arrested Development


I'm a few days behind, but I was gonna talk about this eventually. It's a definite "shaking my head" topic, however, I will not use the e-language abbreviation for said emotion. It doesn't take much for me to type out "shaking my head". LOL and LMAO I tolerate. Don't push it.


East Shore Middle School, in Milford, Connecticut has banned touching; all touching. One kid got sent to the hospital after a fight and school administrators feel, that's it, no more touching. Not let's punish children for fighting, but let's ban high-fives, handshakes, 'way to go, pal' pats on the back, etc. It's ridiculous, I think. For one, it's unnatural to tell children not to touch one another. When I was in junior high, I greeted friends with hugs and kisses all the time. I wasn't tonguing dudes down in the hallway but it was a sign of affection between friends (opposite and same sex). Kids play. And when they play, they touch. Does that mean no more basketball games, or tag? 



I heard this story played over and over on Headline News while I waited to board my plane in Atlanta. There were numerous viewers calling in who also disagreed with this rule. The children aren't going to develop properly was a common theme. I agree. Interaction with other people, including touching and school, where they spend a majority of their time, is where they learn and express who they are. This ban is in place in a junior high school. They want pubescents not to touch one another? Ok... 

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Happiness Doesn't Kill


The shooting in Binghamton, NY is tragic. And tragically, I had to look up Binghamton on a map. I should be ashamed of myself (I should be). There's a vigil being held for the victims of yesterday's incident and now new information is being released about Mr. Wong. Some say he was a quiet man, others (as the news media puts it) describe him as an angry man who loved guns and hated America. He was a naturalized citizen but was unemployed and shot up innocent people in the community civic center. Those folks were trying to learn the native language and better themselves. And the gunman must've felt hopeless. What happened to the time when hopelessness led to guys drinking at home alone, or chain smoking and telling their girlfriends, "Whatever. This is just who I am, doll face" instead of mass shootings or murder-suicide? Why take others with you? 



Because hurt people hurt people. We'll never really understand what goes on in the minds of these killers. Depression is a murderer. It lurks and kills slowly and it doesn't only kill the one suffering (think that Cymbalta commercial). I've been kicking around the idea of a health initiative in my head and it would most certainly address depression in the Black community and in men. I truly believe there is a correlation between depression and other physical illnesses, broken families, STDs and crime. Contact me. Let's discuss.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

She Really Is The First


I don't give a flying beep about royalty or the Royal Family in England. I think the whole concept is ridiculous and antiquated. But the fact that Queen Elizabeth, someone so steeped in tradition and stoic would "break ranks" and hug Michelle Obama because she liked her so much speaks volumes.



I haven't met the First Lady yet, but just from the images in magazines or on television, her interviews and such, she does come across as very genuine and likable. Her new social status has thrust her under the microscope of the media and so far they haven't anything unlikable. She's a real woman. She came from humble beginnings, and although "being smart wasn't necessarily cool" she didn't hide her intelligence, she strove to feed it and benefit from it. 



Michelle Obama has made it clear how important it is for her to be the First Mother. Her daughters will undoubtedly grow into fine women, unless they decide to go astray. Her physical presence has also garnered attention, her height and hips included. Her outfits are always stylish, classy and professional. Her clothes show off her shape without being overly sexual. And although there is a poise to Michelle Obama, I still notice a bit of humility and shyness. I can just imagine what it's like to realize and accept that your life will never be the same again as far as privacy. The influence she'll have on women from now on is immeasurable. What other firsts will be get from Michelle Obama? I can't wait.

Big Brother NYC (REPRINT)



The recent MTA Doomsday budget got me thinking. But since I was traveling, working on an assignment and trying to rest up, I haven't had time to put my rants down on paper... yet.


I wrote this in 2007. It was published in the November 2007 issue of The New York Pamphleteers. Let's take a trip down recent-memory lane.


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