Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thank You, 2010.

Two thousand and ten was a good year. I've entered a new phase in my life. The change was and still is palpable.

I've outgrown things and people this year. Any thought patterns or habits that were holding me back I pushed through, using the fear and angst as motivation. Any habits that were positive and I had let go in recent years, I've reclaimed.

Toxic, stale or one-sided relationships faded way or I ended them. I welcome these endings because the energy they've freed leaves me free to welcome positive beginnings.

I've continued to create and grow this year.

Visions of passport visa stamps dance in my head.

I don't have a cork board yet but I always make notes of things I want and need to accomplish and map out a way to get there. Tuesday night I was writing a to-do list. One of the list entries was in the form of a question which I started answering as I went along. As quickly as I put my question and answer down on paper, I stumbled upon a gallery in SoHo that will play prominently in my future. I asked a question and received an answer

I would do myself a huge disservice if I didn't follow through on the growth that as taken place this year; continue to live a healthy and non-restrictive lifestyle, continue to show gratitude and appreciation for those that have been instrumental and supportive, share my knowledge with others, and continue to be an artist motivated by the love of creativity, emotion, human stories and honest provocativeness.

Last year, I noticed the changing of the guard with the legends and pioneers we've lost. We've lost more this year. We continue to be on the verge of greatness. Still on my list of things to accomplish - BECOME AN ICON.

Two thousand and eleven, I can't wait to meet you.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Telling Time On My Biological Clock

Last Friday, I got a phone call. I didn't recognize the number but I answered because it could've been a potential employer calling.

"Hello," I said.

"Mom?" a little boy asked on the other end.

This was the first time I had ever been called that, even if it was a mistake. People tend to assume I have children and are surprised when I tell them that I don't. But it's weird, I paused, thinking, "Am I?" I think I said "hello" again or "what?" or "excuse me". He asked again, "Mom?"

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bursting To Burlesque

I finally bought a pair of pasties this week. They're called "French Titties". Those of you who know about my latest "everything French phase" really understand why I had to buy them. I purchased them at SHAG--they had a holiday party for family and friends. I flipped through all the packets of pasties like a playing cards, holding some of them up to my chest (would they provide adequate coverage?) or against my skin (would the colors complement or clash with my skin tone?). Then I found a B&W pair. Money!

I'd love to do burlesque. Maybe not for a career but I'd like to do a performance. I really enjoy watching burlesque. I think it's very sexy. A good show provides laughs and titillation. I'm most familiar with Brown Girls Burlesque and now they have a Broad Squad Institute. When I'm ready, I'll contact them and I'll be sure to invite all you to my graduation.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Am I A Black Feminist?

During the week of Thanksgiving, The Lion's Historian asked for my thoughts on Black feminism in 200 - 500 words. I wasn't sure I'd get any words because I'd never thought of myself as a Black feminist. So I thought, I scribbled notes, I mused in the shower, I did some freewriting in bed, I even caught Sex in '69: History of the Sexual Revolution in America that same week.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

World Cup Of Love -- Addendum

I was editing the first part of a new short story I'm working on. iTunes shuffling in the background as usual...

Then "Going On" by Gnarls Barkley came through my speakers and just put me in an even better mood. It made me think of the World Cup and made me think of him (the timing is uncanny because one of the characters in the story I'm working on is based on him).

So that's why he came to mind this morning when I heard the song, but honestly, that was quickly overshadowed by the World Cup itself, the game of football, the passion. The Puma commercial they aired on television was different from this one, but I would jump up and down in celebration right along with the players on the screen.

I truly, truly enjoyed the energy of the World Cup this year (despite ALL of my teams not doing well) there was still so much to enjoy and so many people to root for. I hear this song... I watch this video and it gives me chills.

Youtube user hansbukow summed it up perfectly:
Thank you Africa for reminding us of what it's all about!!!
The fun, love and passion of simply kicking a ball with your best friends.
I feel really blessed to have the beautiful game embedded in my soul and this video helps me connect with that wonderful feeling.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Love. Change. Yourself.

You ever step outside of yourself and can see yourself growing and changing? It's a powerful thing; watching your transformation is transformative in itself.

I fell in love with myself today. I was going through the previews from a photo shoot with photographer and friend, Tom Spianti. I saw my mother in some of those photos. Like I really see what people saw when they said I look like her. I also look like a mother. I look at some of those photos and see how my children are going to see me.

There are changes that are in my immediate future that I don't have too much control over. The decisions I make, how hard I fight change (which I'm known to do sometimes) will determine my happiness. I took that trip down memory lane, chronicling all the places in New York City that have shaped me. It was enjoyable but not sad at all. I didn't yearn for the past anymore.

How strong am I? How scared am I?

Paris. Every where I turn there are signs pointing to Paris. Abigail Ekue : The Native Creative New Yorker... In Paris. I may have to change my website logo.

Friday, November 19, 2010

This Blog Is About You

A few days ago, I mused randomly on Twitter: Each time I write a story about someone, they're gone from my life (bed) soon after. It's like a sexual obituary.

I don't blog about my current paramours, flings, partners (pick a word). It just so happens at a reading I participated in last night, another author mentioned she wrote a book about her lover and then they broke up. She told us she definitely learned her lesson. I do blog about my friends if there's something fun or funny, amazing, karmic, sweet or ingenious that happened. But I won't get too personal or give too many identifiable details about them.

We live in a tell-all society where everyone wants to know-all about everyone else but themselves.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

30 Years In New York City

I got the idea while I was journaling the night before my birthday to go visit all the old neighborhoods I used to live in. Go back to my old addresses and schools and take photos; chronicle what gentrification has done to Hamilton Heights and SoBro (Harlem and the South Bronx, as I know them)

About halfway into the trip, I had already seen a roller-blading professor whose sneakers I retrieved when he dropped them as he clunked his way past me. I saw construction taking place on 143rd and 144th between Amsterdam and Convent which I swear has been going on since the 90's. Took the Bx19 to my old neighborhood going past Lincoln Hospital (where it all began) and had flashbacks to the rides on that bus to and from school. It was amazing, despite all the time that had passed, not much had changed at all.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I Can Take No For An Answer

It hit me the other day that I don't pitch articles nearly as much as I used. Actually, I think it's been almost a year. This is not because I don't want any more of my articles published, it's due to the lack of response. As a writer, I get rejections all the time. That's not an issue. It's the silence that makes the whole process seem pointless and somewhat discouraging. I live by, "You won't know until you ask" and "Ask and ye shall receive" as played out in my life on numerous occasions.

Just say 'no.' Seriously, I can take it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Period. The Beginning.

There must be someway to celebrate the final menstrual cycle of my 20's. Some sort of ceremony or ritual involving meditation, the moon, belly dancing, donning a special menstrual garment and then burning or burying the blood-soaked shroud.

I believe there are phases in life. Entering your 30's is the beginning of a new phase. As a woman, there is no way to know which period will be your last. You're aware that you're going through menopause but only after the periods stop do you realize that last one was the last one.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Man I Can Not Or Should Not Love

There are basic truths I already know as an adult woman who has been in relationships and related to men. You can't be with someone who they themselves aren't ready, healthy or "whole". It just won't work. And before I develop some sort of Superwoman complex and try to "save" him or "protect" him, I need to step back.

I already told myself that I'd have to detox from him and the situation. I've done it before. I use the term detox because it's almost an addiction. That's how it feels. And it doesn't feel good.

I've toyed with the idea of another detox recently, and I even mentioned it to him. Why? Because I was being a  fucking woman. I have my moments. His response? That I shouldn't detox but instead I should immerse myself in it.

Let that sink in for a minute...

Immerse myself in it

Saturday, November 6, 2010

How Bold Is Crazy?

It's 6am on a Saturday or maybe 4am on a Thursday. They're on your mind. You want to talk to that particular person. Or have some sort of contact with them. So you psyche yourself up to be bold. Then you start to come up with any excuse not to reach out to them--it's too late, it's too early, they'll think you're bothering them, maybe they're with someone else...

You toss and turn. Can't sleep because you're too busy replaying all these could-be scenarios in your head. You log on to Facebook or Twitter and do some cyber-stalking or just a cyber check-in (we're trying to stay away from 'crazy'). You see they're online. They've posted something 5 minutes ago.


2nd Part Of The 2nd Tale Of A Tale Of Two Men

So where we left off...  I shared an intense, serendipitous "eye-lock" with "Kismet Kevin" as he walked past the restaurant. He returned 15 minutes later at the direction of some unknown force. We talked, flirted and he gave me The. Best. Kiss. Ever.

Kismet Kevin

Tuesday night. My event was winding down and we started texting each other. One of his texts included his address. I rushed through my goodbyes and networking and dashed over to his place.

His apartment was his workshop. There was no true living space or furniture. No bed in the bedroom, no food in the kitchen. There were tools everywhere. It was a mess. I asked him, "Where do you sleep?" He explained he doesn't sleep much but pointed to the leather futon, "It folds out." He kissed me again and said my mouth tasted good - I forgot all about the state of his place.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Tale Of Two Men

Penis Pete

During the Tribeca Film Festival, I agreed to meet with a guy off Twitter (red flag #1) to watch a movie from the festival that was being shown on DirecTV. I went over to his apartment after having dinner and some wine with a guy friend. When I got to "Penis Pete's" apartment, all was "normal". I instantly knew I wasn't attracted to him and felt like good, this will be a chill, no-stress couple of hours. I got the tour, met his dog and he ran out to get some wine. When he got back, I parked myself on the edge of his couch and he ordered the movie -  a foreign comedy but it was in English.

Fast forward through two bottles of wine and noticing what appeared to be bouts of narcolepsy on his part, he took his penis out of his pants.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Learning Curve Update

In July, I started to teach myself photography with a digital camera. I called the whole process the Learning Curve. I'm up to Day 27. Originally, I was going to shoot everyday for 30 days -- a crash course. But that didn't happen because I couldn't find people to shoot, or my schedule didn't allow it. I improvised and started to take the camera with me to events I would attend and shoot there. It's been enjoyable. I'm grateful for all the support I've received during the process. There are a few people who have been very influential to my photography and those I know I will create beautiful art with in the future -- Thank you. And I have to thank my friends who always seem to end up in my photos...

What's happened since I started? Well, a few days ago, I entered the One Life Photo competition. It's definitely worth a shot. The judging takes place in November. Grand prize is a choice between $25,000 or a trip around the world! Prior to this competition, I entered the BK Loves MJ photo contest held by Spike Lee/40 Acres and won! I was pleasantly surprised and touched that my favorite photo of a brother and sister is the image that won the competition for me. The day I went to the 40 Acres office in Fort Greene to pick up my prize, I ran into Michelle, a woman I met the first day I started shooting. It's amazing how things come full circle.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Made In Haiti

The Simpsons have always bitten the hand that's fed them and that opening sequence was the most visual, direct... biting  at 20th Century FOX that I can remember. There have been digs at anything FOX related throughout the series - 

  • Homer and Marge go on a reality TV show, Mother Flippers, after winning a no-expenses paid trip to Fox Studios 
  • After Kent Brockman gets fired for cursing on the air, Lisa encourages him to reveal how Fox news gets money to the Republican party by airing racy, tasteless shows on Fox Network.

Chime in with the ones you can remember, I'm drawing a blank...

Now back to the opening sequence. The images of workers deep in the "sweatshops" which resembled coal mines is too close to the truth. I thought about the Chilean miners and I thought about @TastyKeish. On the Friday before this episode of The Simpsons aired, I went to the 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks office to pick up my prize package for this contest I won (I'll get to that later). One of the items was a commemorative Michael Jackson T-shirt. I  looked at the tag to check the size and noticed it was a Hanes Beefy-T "MADE IN HAITI". I tweeted the info to TastyKeish and expressed that some of the same concerns she had popped into my mind as well. Were the workers treated fairly, working in safe conditions and paid a living wage? U.S. clothing companies are encouraged to source 1 percent of their clothing production from Haiti. Let's hope that doesn't give them license to take advantage of those they should be helping.

I did a very quick web search to see what I could read about "hanes beefy t made in haiti". There were message board comments about the shirts being made in Haiti and insults about "that should tell you about the quality", other people complained they couldn't get any answers from Hanes (Sara Lee) about their policies and practices. 

I also came across this tweet from @mattnedostup
Turns out my Hanes Beefy-T was made in Haiti, so it looks like I contributed to the earthquake relief effort after all!

Wouldn't that be great if it were totally true? There are t-shirts sold where the proceeds go to the Earthquake relief or in some instances you donate to the relief effort and get a t-shirt. According to Hanes, this is what they did do to help

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hottentot Makes Any Man's Eyes Pop

I found this magazine just sitting outside my apartment building last night. Just sitting there. I didn't dig in the garbage to find it. It was just there. Like a sign. Ass all over the place. I thought the timing was pretty uncanny considering I was just discussing on Twitter with @alvinthethird that I was pondering what my next erotic work of art would be because I received another request to make a sex tape and had just read some commentary on the Kim Kardashian spread in W magazine. No doubt, I want my project to be sensual as well as erotic and somewhat political -- make a statement.

I want to always be in control of my erotic art. And as an obvious extension of that, my body. If I want to pose nude, I will. If I want to sext with pics, I will. If I don't want to work with a particular photographer, I won't. It all boils down to my comfort, my mission and the joy of creating. 

Of course there were comparisons to J-Lo made with the whole Kardashian photo and whether or not a Black woman could get away with the same thing. Black women do it all the time. The question is the stigma attached to it. What made Kardashian any different? Her image is art because she didn't have a g-string disappearing between her cheeks for emphasis? We have butts. Some of us have big butts. Some of us have humongous butts. And thanks to magazines like the one pictured above, some Black women use those butts to earn a living and make a name for themselves. But what's in a name? What's behind (technically, in front of or on top of) the booty? When I was a personal trainer, I got most of my clients because of my butt. Many of them told me they wanted a butt like mine. I was never offended because they were never offensive. Sure, I had a shapely butt, but I also had the knowledge and experience to get them what they wanted or the sense to tell them it wasn't gonna happen no matter how many squats we did. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Still Cursing The Name Christopher Columbus...

So we were taught that Christopher Columbus discovered America on his way looking for a new trade route to India but went the wrong way. He got here, marveled at the land the people, spread word back to Spain and the rest is history. "America"; North, Central and South are believed to be named after Amerigo Vespucci. Ok, so far, I got the gist of it. 

Then anthropologists and Columbus haters said the land bridge between Asia and North America (Russia and present-day Alaska) is what brought the indigenous people to this continent. Ok, works for me. Human history dictates that ancient man was nomadic. We searched for food and shelter at the whim and the weather and animals we depended on for food and clothing.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Everything Old Is New Again...And Still Kinda Old

I watched The Expendables about 2 weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon (I should note I started scribbling this blog right after I watched it) and marveled at how old Dolph Lundgren looked every time he was on the screen. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger's (or the Governator's as my friend called him) cameo didn't help the situation. These men are growing old right before my eyes. On the following Monday, I saw the commercial for Red and that's when it clicked and I tweeted: The Expendables and now Red -- I see where Hollywood is going.

Everything old is new again. I don't mean the endless remakes but the actors and the eras. Aside from Sylvester Stallone's eyebrows, it was refreshing to see people who actually looked 50 or 60 years old on screen. Side note: I enjoyed the return to a good old-fashioned shoot-em-up movie. I recently finished reading Beauty Junkies by Alex Kuczynski and the extent of plastic surgery in Hollywood and because of Hollywood is disheartening. (not taking anything away from her talent, but the over-saturation of Betty White is a sign that there just aren't that many older actress in Hollywood. And Cloris Leachman is doing her thing on Raising Hope! Who else could they have cast?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Geez, Glee!

"Shut up!"

Sue Sylvester to Rachel and Sunshine, the new exchange student, singing in the bathroom.

That's exactly how I felt! Why were they singing? Musicals have always been inherently corny to me. But I had some wonderful moments watching Glee last season. Even some teary-eyed moments as those kids sang there way to Regionals. But geez, during the first quarter of the season premiere I said to myself I don't know if I can watch this season. I felt weird watching them perform "Empire State of Mind". Maybe I'm just getting too old for it. Any time they sing a current Top 40 hit, (is there still a Top 40?) I have no clue what song they're singing. They also referred to U2 as "classic rock" last season so maybe I'm still hurt by that.

I must say they are bold and pushing the envelope (like FOX tends to do) with all the racial, gender and sexual themes -- a female football coach (who I thought was Tanaka from last season after a sex change) named Beiste (pronounced "beast"), the young Steven Tyler look-a-like not sure how many balls he can fit into his big mouth (but I think he wants to fit something that belongs to Finn in his), etc. There are a lot of references to persons, places and things being gay and we can't forget the flamboyant gay guy who's into fashion with his fat, Black fag hag named Mercedes (a step-up or down from being named Lexus?). Last season, the clichés weren't so blaring to me, or maybe I just accepted them more. Television is a reflection and commentary of society. So I guess high school is just that mean-spirited, cruel and corny. Then I started thinking about the alternative high schools where everyone's "out"; boys, girls and bois -- what's the environment like in those schools?

Conclusion: Glee is a mature, satirical, after-school special - go figure. Knowing me, I'll probably still have Glee marathons to catch up on episodes on hulu. Besides, Nationals are gonna be in New York!

"Empire State of Mind" New Directions Style...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Nothing Says "Good Morning" Like A Speculum

I had an early morning appointment with my OB/GYN. I jumped the gun earlier in the year and scheduled a Pap in April (I was actually not due for my annual until August). When they realized it, they rescheduled my appointment without charging me for the visit. That was a great plus considering I'm uninsured. 

The nurse checked me in, asked some basic questions - when was my last period, did I have sex within the last 24 hours, did I insert anything into my vagina, any unusual bleeding or discharge, would I like an HIV test - weighed me and took my blood pressure. Weighed the same, blood pressure was low (I was surprised considering my mad dash to get to my 8:30am appointment on time and that fact that I was still on a high Mickey alert this morning). 

I choose to believe my doctor is as happy to see me as I was to see her. She also asked some routine questions and inquired if there were any changes to my medical history. No, I don't take supplements or am on any medication, I drink more alcoholic beverages than last year since I've developed a relationship with white wine and have a "Cheers" in my life, I do a self-breast exam semi-regularly, I'm not still with the same partner and yes, I have engaged in some... *whispers* risky behavior. She told me about the Family Planning Benefit Program (FPBPthat I'd most likely be eligible for and get free visits and she asked if I was still working in Physical Therapy. If you don't have the kind of relationship with your doctor where you can tell them who you're sleeping with, what objects you're inserting where, if things smell different, you may want to consider a new doctor or change your approach to your doctor. They've seen and heard "it all".

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Try These On For Size

I didn't leave home this morning intending to buy jeans, but the pair I was wearing (and all the pairs I have at home) are fading fast. I've worn through the inner thighs and they've been patched up and now I'm going through the patches.  My inner thigh flesh oozes out like sausage escaping its casing in other pairs. My thighs rub together and I walk A LOT. They really have started making jeans differently. Something with the inner seams... but whatever. Point is, I ended up at Express. I know my size and the cut and don't have to try anything on.

Not today! Their Eva (which used to be Curvy fit, Regular Rise) are still Curvy fit, but now run in Mid-Rise. I stay away from low rise, because they're too low to cover my rise. I took down my 10 Short off the shelf and they did look a little smaller than I remembered. Luckily I decided to try them on. I had "my" camera with me because I was taking photos in Central Park earlier. I set the timer and got to changing and trying. Trying. One pair, the CURVY couldn't even go all the way up. 

The Stella fit... like a pair of leggings. No thanks. The floor attendant approached me and asked if everything fit OK. I explained to him my "dilemma". I showed him that the pair of jeans I was wearing were Express jeans and didn't fit at all like the ones I tried on and said they must've changed the cut of the jean slightly. After he listened to me, we decided I should try size 12. He called back to the stockroom and no they didn't have 12 Short. I figured I could just get my friend to hem them for me.

Friday, August 13, 2010

I'm Giving It Up

We're facing the last few weeks of summer and quite possibly hot, torrid summer affairs. For my readers in the Southern Hemisphere, I'm sure you're enjoying the canoodling on cold winter nights...

Now believe it or not, I don't have any new stories to share about summer love, romance or lust. But I'd love to hear yours! Did you meet someone new? Spice up a long-term relationship? Platonic friendship evolve into something more? Have a cyber relationship? Experience a great one-night stand? Break any furniture?

Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of my book, The Darker Side of Lust and your choice of a 4x6 print from my Man. Toy. photo series.

Share as much or as little as you'd like but include the following fun details: city and state (US only), country, astrological sign (Western, Vedic or Chinese) of you and your partner(s).

If you're entering the giveaway and already have a copy -- tell us your favorite story from The Darker Side of Lust.

The winner will be chosen on September 6, 2010 (Labor/Labour Day in US & Canada).


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Learning Curve

July 22, 2010  12:01am

Gaining the confidence I need to finally start my portrait project, Emotional Black Male (once the work and life issues work themselves out of course). I’ve already seen my exhibit in my mind’s eye...

The bloopers and the brilliance began on the roof of my apartment building. Day 2 I took the camera with me to Williamsburg. Now Day 3 of learning how to use a digital camera, night shooting was my main objective. It totally wasn’t planned that I’d be in Times Square the day I wanted to shoot at night, but I guess I had to pop my photography cherry in Times Square.

I live and die by my camera phone. And before then I had a 35mm…years ago. One thing I love about photography is it allows me to feed my voyeuristic nature. I also love that photography gives emotion to the split seconds captured in an image. I have to learn about exposure. Some of the photos are way too dark. I also have to develop a steadier hand because I won’t always have a tripod with me (and I clearly can't shoot while in a moving car). Plus, I have to be more patient with the slow shutter and work on focus. The learning curve is always greatest when you’re first learning something and I’m having fun. Creating.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Protected Sex

I live in America where there’s freedom of speech unless your words are considered "defamation", "fighting words" or "obscene". What do you consider obscene? I’m exposed to so much nowadays, I’ve become desensitized and the shock value of said obscene material has to be raised a few notches before I consider it obscene—in other words, “I know it when I see it.”

This coming from a woman who writes erotica; are you surprised?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

King Joke

A primetime special to announce what team he’ll play for… ridiculous. It’s bad enough we’ll get the play-by-play and Monday morning quarterbacks. A press conference, ok, I can deal with that. But this? His reps reached out to ESPN and James obviously agreed to it. Thanks, I appreciate that they’re donating the proceeds to the Boys & Girls Club (you should be donating to charities anyway). I won’t watch it but I know it’ll be hard to escape the hoopla especially if he decides to play for the Knicks or the Nets who’ll be moving to Brooklyn.

This is a basketball player. And he’s paid millions of dollars to do it.  I’m not saying someone shouldn’t have the opportunity to make a living off their talent but we don’t pay teachers and doctors anywhere near what they’re worth. And we wonder why so many young Black men wanna be ballers. When’s the last time we celebrated Dr. Benjamin Carson? As an ATC I would never make a fraction of what James makes and my job is to keep him healthy so he can continue to play.

I love athletes. I think what we, as a society, pay them is exorbitant. Look how much we pay movie stars. The president’s salary keeps rising. Clearly, we’re willing to pay a lot to be entertained.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Spice Market

I was checking the links on my website to see if they're still active, and to my dismay, I couldn't find my Spice Market review. The page is gone. But of course, I have copies of all my work, back-ups everywhere, flash drives, external hard drives... you know the drill. 

This was written back in 2008 as well. I apparently ate a lot that year. I even sent it to hoping it would get into the man himself's hands and to my surprise I was contacted by Jennifer Russo of Bullfrog and Baum.

Yeah... I have to get back into my food writing on a more regular basis. I haven't been to Spice Market in a while, but here's how they made me feel when I did frequent their restaurant.

Spice Market

On a recent visit to Spice Market, my friend was convinced this was the sort of place she could never get a reservation in. I assured her she could, no problem. To which she replied, “Yeah, on a Monday at 4:30.”

Not at all. Spice Market (Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Southeast Asian restaurant) in the heart of the Meatpacking District may have an air of exclusivity to an outsider, but the exact opposite is true. Spice Market prides itself on service. I eat out a lot in New York City. I honestly don’t remember when I had my chair pulled out and pushed in for me by the hostess. At the same time, my two dinner companions were getting their chairs tended to as well. That was 1-on-1 service.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My Big, Fat, Greek Dinner

Tavernas Kyclades is Native Creative Concierge™ approved.

I recently went back to Astoria for dinner before an erotic event. We all know the relationship between food and the sensual and my relationship to both. As usual, Ardian Skenderi, Owner and Chef of Taverna Kyclades, made the rounds throughout the dining room and I was able to receive his contact info so I could send him this review I wrote about previous trips I had made to Taverna Kyclades.

The following was written in 2008. It is also posted on my FoodBuzz profile page.

My Big, Fat, Greek Dinner

Astoria’s Greek population is the largest in New York City, so it should come as no surprise that Greek restaurants can be found quite readily in that neighborhood. However, there is one restaurant that stands out. Taverna Kyclades, located on Ditmars Blvd “is the best Greek restaurant in the city,” my Italian suitor at the time, told me. “Sure it is,” I thought. I figured he was just trying to impress me and he did.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kitty Makes Me A Girl

I was exchanging texts with my friend, StarPower, about Monday Night Raw before the conversation shifted to UrbanErotika™, an event I co-produced and StarPower performed in about 2 weeks ago. He told me that I looked really nice that night. I had received a few compliments the night of the show and accepted his gracefully as well. I told him I should “dress like a girl more often”, or maybe I just needed reasons to.

The next morning, I had an “aha” moment of sorts and decided to wear a skirt. I was making a few stops that day and I figured I would be comfortable enough. I clearly made the right decision when I walked into the APART showroom for Kitty Bradshaw’s 2 Year Blogiversary event. Normally, I’d rock a pair of jeans & a simple top or t-shirt. I didn’t stray from the t-shirt but wore it with my “dangerous curves ahead” skirt. I even wore slight heels and I even threw on some beads. All the attendees that night proved that writers and bloggers aren’t homely creatures with no fashion sense.

World Cup Of Love

I’ve been on South African time since June 11. And it’s been worth every second. I’ve gotten used to the early mornings. This event is very consuming, I’ll admit. I still wake up in time for the 7:30am games that are no more (moment of silence). I’ve noticed a lot more enthusiasm and fervor surrounding this World Cup. Probably because I’m older, I’m more aware of these things. Or could be because the world is converging on Africa….

I grew up in a home with two immigrant parents, so watching the World Cup was the norm. Of course I didn’t go to bars to watch and I didn’t know if any of my friends were into it, but the excitement was still there. I called my father before the Super Eagles’ games during this tournament to gauge the excitement level. Yes, he cut the conversation short so he could go watch. I ain’t mad at all. I even remember in my youth and naiveté taping the World Cup finals (It could be ’94 but I think France won the year I taped so that would be ’98) so my father could watch the game when he got back from Nigeria. He appreciated the gesture but had watched the game live. Duh! It’s the World Cup. Everyone’s watching.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

You Are A Piece Of Meat

On Saturday night, I went to a burlesque show (shout out to Brown Girls Burlesque!). Yes, I, a straight woman, went to a show to watch other women take off their clothes in dramatic and seductive fashion. As always, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The show started with a dancer who wasn’t doing burlesque. She paid homage to old school with her denim mini, fishnets, high-top Converse sneakers and a tank top. A group of lesbians across the aisle were very vocal about how they wished her titty would pop out of her tank top as she popped and locked; they were trying to will a nip-slip. The requests to have performers sit on their laps (not part of the show), the “goddamns” when a performer would bend over or when a member from the audience went on stage for an interview segment (said audience member was very slim; I’m surprised she didn’t topple over her breasts were so big).

It got “worse” as the show went on. They commented loudly about who they like and what body part. One lesbian in the group said the burlesque dancer looked so good she’d choke her out while in bed. My reaction was, “Wow, these lesbians are worse than men! Let’s examine this briefly. See, it can be viewed as “unfortunate” but I’m used to men cat-calling, making sexually objectifying comments. It’s not right, and it does make many women uncomfortable, but I’ve learned to ignore it or defend myself.

Monday, June 28, 2010

M_______________Accepts With Pleasure

I’m very dismayed that I have yet to receive a wedding invitation this season. Don’t let my quest for a divorce fool you, I really do enjoy weddings. Last May, I went to a friend’s wedding and had my girlie moments from the start: Was my dress ok? Did my booty jiggle obscenely as I traipsed in my heels? Would my strapless bra stop resting on my stomach? –you know, the usual concerns.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Brief History Of My Natural Hair

This essay was originally published in the Mahogany Soul Nappy Journey newsletter (June 2010). Subscribe and become a fan!

I didn’t have many Afro sisters back when I went natural yet I never considered being natural wouldn’t be accepted. I have been my own hairdresser for a long time, alternating between a relaxer and extensions (sometimes a year at time). When I would take out my braids or twists, I loved how full my roots felt; my natural hair and fingers massaged each other. Till one time I wondered what I would look like if I cut off my “perm”… What would I look like with just my “new growth”? I answered that question with my mother’s sewing shears 10 years ago. My BC was spontaneous; didn’t fill me with angst but excitement. (Note: I think it’s interesting that the transition is known as BC; makes me think of ancient Africa and the religious/spiritual overtones).

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Ties That Bind (or Give Me Free)

The New York Times reported earlier this week that NYS divorce law is about to change. New York State is the only state that doesn’t grant no-fault divorce. The plaintiff must prove cruel and inhuman treatment, abandonment or adultery or the couple must be legally separated for a year before a divorce is granted. What about those of us whose relationships are simply over?

I’ve been in limbo for almost 4 years. I am a single woman who when I meet someone new feels compelled to explain why they may see mail around my place with a hyphenated last name. Or thinking about the future, what if we want to do the “I do”, we won’t be able to. I’m not a fan of long, drawn out divorce battles. Some may consider divorce an easy out when things get rough. They may believe that couples should “stay together for the children” or they take “till death do you part” literally, are willing to spend years in counseling that doesn’t work or just become apathetic to their spouses. Pish posh. Some relationships end.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Casual Sex Is Still Dead

Nowadays when I have sex, I do a lot of thinking afterwards. I’ve come to realize it’s a sign of growth. Early on in my sexual life, I had an on-to-the-next-one mentality. I rarely looked back. The sex itself was the beginning and the end of the experience with that person. If I had hooked up with a friend, we remained friends but that didn’t mean we remained sexual partners.

Last year, I wrote The Death of Casual Sex and yes, it’s still dead. The older something gets the deader it gets; makes sense, no? Let me explain.

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