Friday, May 29, 2009

Scalping Scalpers

NOTE: I no longer work for a ticket broker. However, I wrote this back in April 2008 when I did work for one, so that will explain the references to idiots willing to spend ridiculous prices for concert tickets and the last seasons at Yankee and Shea Stadiums. Ticket brokers have been in the news a lot recently over Bruce Springsteen concert tickets. They just can't seem to get it right. I say don't bother going to the concert if its going to cost you triple your rent, but what do I know. Fans are still going to want to be a part of history because Springsteen is the last act that will take place in Giants Stadium as we know it. Yes, they are building a new stadium in a recession. First, they were directing people to the secondary market where prices were hiked up and now three brokers who I am very familiar with are being sued by the NJ Attorney General for selling tickets a week before they actually went on sale. For those of you unfamiliar with how the secondary market works, ticket brokers will take your money for tickets they don't actually have. Just a heads up.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Angry Big Sister

I received a call from my brother this evening. He started by telling me something funny then said he was angry. He explained this situation he’s been having at work – feels like they’re pushing him out. Big corporation got no respect or regard for the little guy. My brother is vocal. He will voice complaints without yelling or cursing or flailing his arm or threatening violence but I’ve seen my brother angry. I let him vent then gave my big sister advice while we cut the tension with jokes. He did mention that he remembered I told him that last time he had an issue at work not to carry on like the “Angry Black Man” – he’s likely to intimidate everyone and surely not get his point across or better working conditions or work relationships. I tried to reinforce that today and told him he needs an outlet for his anger. He said worked out. While we spoke on the phone he was on his inversion machine because his back had tightened up. He used to write tons of screenplays. That’s an idea we tossed around. I told him when he visits NY again I’d take him to one of the poetry events I frequent. “There’s tons of angry black men there. Write something so you could read, or just come and listen, get that sense of camaraderie. You may even find solutions in the words.”

A few hours later I was at Bowery Poetry Club witnessing creative genius or genius creatives. Taalam Acey (Mr. Manual Gesticulation that spits a mile a minute. I swear I can actually see the words waft out his mouth), Kasim Allah (whom I like to refer to as “King” accompanied with a curtsy every now and then in honor of his greatness), Ainsley Burrows (Jamaican Brethren who can prepare you for the verbal SATs just by listening to his poems) and Lamar Anthony Hill and Faraji Salim – two poets I just had the honor of being blessed by. The poems were sermons. There was one poem that made my eyes sting. Lamar Anthony Hill recited one about growing up without his father and finally forgiving him. At one point in the poem he said a woman cannot raise a boy into a man. I’ve been well aware of that fact and I’ve heard other poets say it before, but it just struck me tonight. What can a Big Sister do?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Personal Belongings

I took my usual people-watching stance at the Laundromat this morning, partly because it was way more crowded than I had expected so getting worked up and harried wasn’t worth it, it was pretty early (for me, anyway) and I only had one load of laundry to do.

For those of us who don’t have the luxury of a washing machine at home or a laundry room in the basement of our apartment building, there is the world of the Laundromat. Laundry is a personal thing that we do in a public place. My clothes were in the midst of being churned in soap and water when a Jewish woman dragged a huge black garbage bag into the Laundromat, hoisted it up and plopped it right into one of the wheeled baskets. I’ll admit, I just watched but nothing about what happened jumped out at me until the Jamaican guy dressed in a white T-shirt and paint-splattered “work pants” told her the carts dem fa clean clothes and why she a come up in dey and dutty dem up. She asked why it would be dirty and he told her because she had just dragged the bag along the ground. She nodded in realization, then smirked and shrugged it off. She had no intention of taking her bag out of the cart until other folks started giving her dirty looks over her dirty clothes. The older Hispanic woman who I encountered earlier that was “using” a machine (with nothing in it) that I had asked about was loading two other machines that the Jewish woman inquired about, and didn’t get.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Chocolate Body Frosting

I was cleaning out my fridge on Sunday night and found some chocolate body frosting. It’s been too long since I’ve used that. After implementing everyday kitchen cupboard, fridge and freezer contents like jelly, ice cream, sorbet, peanut butter etc, I remember when my ex and I got that set of body frosting. We were excited. I haven’t lived like a nun the past few years but I looked at the jar of frosting and realized what I’m missing – passion.

There was one lover since my ex who put in a very hardworking stint. All personal things aside, he’s ranked in the top five. I love the way men throw around the cliché that they want a lady in the streets but a freak in the bed. But to get to my inner freak (yes, there’s a lot more than what you see or read) there has to be a connection. There must be a bond. I have to trust you and you have to blow my mind. Once that’s achieved, I can reach the level of unbridled passion. I’m very astute and will know immediately when a man is doing his best for me so he can do his best to me. When I’m returning the favor it starts outside of the bedroom. I’m calling you, cooking for you, laughing a lot.

I also haven’t been depressed for the past few years and have shed pounds of baggage. Obviously that allows for deeper, truer connections. Physically, my rebirth is manifesting itself as shiny hair, plump muscles, bright skin. I’m in tune with my inner voice at a level I was about ten years ago. That same wide-eyed enthusiasm I had as I started college has returned…with wisdom that doesn’t restrain me. Despite being hurt in the past my heart is still open. And it’s a magnet for everything positive lately. I’m capable of feeling fully and deeply and will be ready to use that chocolate body frosting again.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Single Occupancy Lifestyle

I’ve been single for almost 3 years. I’m always on the go. It’s nice to be busy. And living in New York there’s always something to do and some place to go. I love going places. I invite friends along but with all the flakes, scaredy-cats and unknowingly depressed folks, I end up going out alone. Believe it or not, going out by myself is easy. It’s not sad or lonely or scary. I’m always bound to meet someone. If not a new friend, a new person-of-the-moment. My single life doesn’t mean I’m going to sit around waiting to be in a relationship before I do anything. Depending on where I’m going, I get a high off being in a new place. What’s going to happen? Who’s going to make me laugh? It’s my experience. If you don’t want to come along, I’ll tell you about it later as you gaze at me with envy.

When I was at my lowest and most unhappy, I was staying home, missing out on things I wanted to do because my other half didn’t want to go. The mistakes young people make…

Saturday, May 9, 2009

My Space In Space

I like astrology. I find it very interesting and clarifying. I'm not big in the telling the future through astrology but I do agree with the descriptions of the individual sun signs; the basic traits people exhibit, who you get along with, who's attracted to you, physical features and all that jazz. 

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Token Flamboyance

In those high school dramas there was always the Token Black Guy. He didn't have much dialogue, but his presence broke up the monotony of white on the eyes. The concept of the Token Black Guy is spoofed in comedies. In horror flicks, he's usually the first one to die, or he's the smart one who doesn't go towards the noise or out into the woods to investigate... but dies anyway.

So apparently Hollywood has done the Token Black Guy thing to death and maybe now they've moved on to the Token Black Gay Guy. Token characters portray stereotypes or are caricatures of the group they represent. What made me want to attempt to put this unstructured observation into words was The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency, namely BK. He's described as "flamboyant" - a euphemism for "gay". He's a hairdresser as well. The only other Black gay character that sticks out in my mind is Carter on Spin City. Please let me know of others.

The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency is based in Africa. Homophobia exists heavily in Black American culture. Same goes for African culture (re: continental Africa) and derivatives, to the extent that gang rapes are committed against lesbians to "correct" them and gay men are jailed and killed. I want to look at the positive of this situation. A token character is an admission of existence. They are willing to show that gays are born, raised, live, exist in Africa. Yeah, it is a stereotypical character (hopefully one day we'll move past the neck-rolling, hand-on-the-hip gay characters who are hairdressers, waiters or fashion designers) and it's only one show but it's a start - No? 

10 Year Old Golden Girl

Conway Twitty had stiff hair? I didn't even know there was a Conway Twitty until Family Guy. Apparently he used lots of mousse in his hair. I learned that from watching Golden Girls this morning. They're running marathons on Hallmark Channel in tribute to Bea Arthur. I haven't watched the Golden Girls since I was about 10 years old. Its interesting that watching an old show with older women can take me back to my youth.  

What I remember is how that show made me feel. Cozy. All the pastel wardrobes and decor. I did not fear or dread getting older. It looked fun. It also showed me that it's common for women to outlive their men and it was okay to be single at that age, you always had your friends. I would think about eating cake in the kitchen in the middle of the night in the company of friends to make me feel better. At that age they were still dealing with men/relationship issues. Blanche sauntering into a scene giving just enough information about her sex life (enough for a 10 year old to catch on). Doe-eyed Rose dated too. 

I wonder what it will be like to watch the show through wiser eyes now. I have a lot of Golden Girls memories. I'll be revisiting those memories through the marathon. There was also comfort in seeing Dorothy with Sophia. As a child, it made me feel like mothers lived forever.

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