Monday, April 26, 2010

The Dating Game Revisited

I work nights. Not just nights, but nights on the weekend. And I'm okay with that, because my priority is making money and becoming (more) established on my journey. I've been meeting a few losers folks here and there, but I still don't find myself going out much. At any rate, a couple of months ago I met a guy from the islands at a restaurant and we got into a political discussion about Black conservatives. We exchanged numbers and began communication; there was no instant attraction on my part, and I was seeing a 30-year-old-kid someone, but it's nice to know someone in the area. I'm all about meeting people - especially people who are able to actually vocalize an opinion on anything political.

While at work Saturday night, and totally out of the blue, this guy sends some texts asking me to come over after I got off at 8am Sunday morning. I didn't think much of it, though we actually never hung out beyond the conversation at the restaurant. It didn't take much, but I acquiesced. I mean, what else do I have to do on a Sunday after work? He lives five minutes away from my house, too, so it wasn't like I was inconveniently making my way though traffic to spend thirty minutes with him. So, I went, expecting coffee and breakfast. It wasn't a date but my naivete thought that perhaps we'd be kickin' it and discussing Climate Legislation over fresh fruit. Right?

Well, I walk up the stairs to the apartment. We talked about life, caught up a little bit and all. His apartment looks as though he just moved in - he has an airbed in the living room and a huge plasma tv there as well, but the only chairs are at the bar. And then..he asked for a hug and grabbed my butt! Of course I corrected his behavior and walked to the other side of the room for my bottled water. And...I spied with my little eye a huge Lord and Taylor bag (with dresses hanging out), an Arden B. bag, and a bottle of Japanese Cherry Blossom lotion (and I know my Bath and Body Works!).

Now, I wasn't as naive to think "well, maybe he has a roommate" since he smelled like the lotion. I excused myself to the restroom, disgusted, and turned the sink on so that I could snoop around brainstorm. I'm a cop's kid; I have quirky antics and move into CSI-mode when I'm trying to find out info about people. As a matter of fact, I've researched guys that have been interested in my best friend before she decided whether or not she wanted to go out with them; it isn't an obsession and I'm not a female Hitch and I'm not big on prejudgments -- I just think that knowing certain things about people before involving yourself with them could save a stress headache and a lot of time. Further, even guys like my ex-boyfriend that present as "normal", well balanced and successful individuals can turn out to be total toads. Ask me how I know?

I don't have trust issues until I've been faced with evidence that I shouldn't trust someone. In a flash, I pulled back the shower curtain - only one towel, no women's body wash. I looked under the sink and still nothing. But then, I noticed shed hair on the bathroom floor and the sink. Having been a sister with relaxed hair at one point in my life, I know how disgustingly non-natural hair sheds once you brush it. My 58-second bathroom sweep was good enough for me, and I flushed and walked out. I passed a room with a door closed and walked back to the living room area, to find this Negro stretched out on the airbed; he was fully clothed. I wasn't interested in sitting, just because I kinda knew where it was headed. And then my detective eye spotted something else - two hairpins on the opposite side of the bed.

I expressed that I was getting tired from working all night and that I was going to go. He hugged me and there it was: I got poked, and saw in that instant a condom was on the airbed where he was laying. Huh? Negro, PLEASE! Who cares if you live a magnum lifestyle? You're a jerk. And I am leaving. The more I recite this story, the sicker I get with myself for even thinking that breakfast was a rational option at 9am on Sunday morning.

I suppose this story is the foundation for a larger question that is not as long winded; my question to you is...SERIOUSLY??

Friday, April 23, 2010

It's The Small Things...:)

There's something about taking advantage of the small things in life that lends a sense of liberation. For instance, every now and then likewhenhellfreezesover, I'll turn my Blackberry off. Or cut all of my hair off (though that's a different sense of liberation all together!). Janet Jackson and Luther Vandross had a song once upon a time, and you know something? They were right: the best things in life are free. To me, though, there is absolutely nothing in life like deleting someone's number from your phone.

Okay, listen. I'm not typically into passive-aggressive bullshit. It isn't my style. There's very little about me that says "passive". There's just nothing like going through my phonebook and saying: "Self, I'm gonna delete so-and-so's number since we don't ever talk at all any more." See? No beef there, right?

Truth be told, it always feels best when you have a vendetta; real or imaginary, it's all the same. The emotion has to be there. Can I be real, son? Like real-real? My favorite part about ending any sort of relationship is looking at my phone, after I've said everything I needed to say, and proclaiming aloud (but not to the person because once I've decided to delete their number, there's no more room for an argument): "Eff YOU, this is ME being the bigger person; I'm taking control of the situaton and moving forward without you! Youaretheweakestlink - GOODBYE!"

That shit is real. It's therapy. I'd like to challenge everyone that gets caught up with a loser to try it. You don't even have to be as gully as I am with it. Just take a deep breath, make your mind up and say "if I can delete this number, I can delete this jerk out of my life."

Some ties are okay to cut. Some stress needs to be released. And if you can't make a drastic change like cutting off all your hair or quitting your jobs and moving states away semi-spontaneously, I'd suggest opening your address book, finding the person you never speak to (or the most worthless mofo in your life), and deleting their number. Especially if they've begun to fall in your liability column. I do believe in direct communication, but some things are circumstantial. And anyway, it's waaaaay better than a text message break-up, no?

To the small things in life -- cheers!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Rape Victims: Who Cares?

As an advocate and activist, I find myself constantly reminding people that people choose not to report rape/sexual assaults (and may even change their mind down the road) for a number of reasons. While crime dramas can sometimes do a great job portraying how things maybemightsometimes go down, there are a lot of situations that aren't necessarily as "ideal" as TV makes them to be. I'm not going to jump on my "the police aren't your friends" soapbox because I have a confused relationship with the law: I've disclosed being a Detective's kid, and I've also butt heads with several police officers (that know him!). I've read about tensions between Black people and the police, and I've even seen police in my current city go overboard (leave it to me to relocate to South Central, lol). I mean, even my Detective father instructed me on dealing with the local police upon moving because of their heavy-handed reputation. With that said, I have also found myself having to remind all people of this fact: the images that you see on television are for entertainment - they are not real. In other words, the smart, witty, passionate, hardworking detectives you see on Law and Order: SVU are not real people; not every police officer you encounter will have the same caring-"we're-gonna-get-the-bad-guy"-attitude. I am not completely of the opinion that, as a member of the Black community, the support of the police is always lesser. Yet, the Black community minimizes contact with police on a number of issues and a main issue is sexual assault. Sexual Assault Awareness Month fact: 60% of rapes go unreported. With the knowledge that Black women are compounded with the tension of race and the police, can you imagine the statistic for Black women who are sexually assault?

I've had the pleasure of collaborating with the police in combating sexual assault and advocating for victims. I've met SVU detectives that I felt should be in a different line of work. On one occasion, I was advocating for an 18 year old Black lady that had been sexually assault by a way older family friend. She told me that the investigating detective, a white woman, told her that it was her fault she was raped. Ideally, the police would work together with advocates and, maybe sometimes, they do; yet, it is difficult to bridge the gap when there are few Black women advocating (because of the inherited silence on the matter) and when young Black women are being told by the police that there would be no investigation on their attack - proof or not - because of something they did to perpetuate the attack.

I browsed this article on Alternet a couple of days ago, and my attention was redirected to it last night by my good friend Rippa (check out his blog: The Intersection of Madness and Reality). The story is, unfortunately in my experience, not uncommon: young woman drugged and date raped, goes to police, is given the run around, and ultimately, not believed by the authorities. Further, the authorities try convincing her that she was drunk (when she was drugged!). This happened to a student of an HBCU, so if you assumed she was a young white girl by default, figure race into the equation. Now, read on, The Story of the Night Hannah Was Not "Officially" Raped:

April 17, 2010

On Saturday, Dec. 9, 2006, Hannah* woke up in her Howard University dorm room with a piece of her life missing. Hannah, a 19-year-old sophomore, had unexplained pain in her rectum and hip. Her panty liner, which she had worn the night before, was missing. Vomit dotted her gloves and coat. Her friend Kerston lay beside her in the skinny dorm room bed. Kerston told Hannah not to shower -- they had to go back to the hospital to secure a rape kit. That weekend, Hannah claims that she was provided the following excuses for why she could not receive a sexual assault medical forensic examination: She was drunk; she ate a sandwich; she was a liar; she didn't know her attacker's last name; the police had to authorize the exam; she was outside the hospital's jurisdiction; she wasn't reporting a real crime; she was blacked out; she changed her story; her case was already closed.

The article continues:

"We think she's been raped," Kerston and Sade informed an orderly as they dragged her into the hospital. Hospital officials handed Sade some paperwork to fill out on Hannah's behalf. In the box indicating the reason for the ER visit, Sade testifies that she wrote, "raped, possibly drugged." A nurse sat Hannah down and took her blood pressure. Hannah threw up on the floor. Kerston and Sade helped to clean it up off of the ground. The nurse put a vomit bag in Hannah's hands. She was incoherent and barely conscious. She threw up into the bag. According to the girls' testimony, when a doctor finally saw Hannah, she determined that she was too incoherent to consent to receive a rape kit, because she couldn't verbally confirm that she had been raped. According to the girls, the doctor told them to take Hannah home, let her sleep it off, make sure she didn't shower, and then return to Howard University Hospital for a rape kit the next day. When the girls begged the doctor to treat Hannah's symptoms of sexual assault and drugging, the girls claim that the doctor told them to leave the ER. (The doctor testified that she informed Hannah's friends that they would have to wait six to eight hours before Hannah was treated, and that the girls chose to leave the hospital without treatment). When Kerston and Sade took Hannah back to her dorm, she threw up again.

This incident is also in my new location, and I have to catch myself from saying what should have happened since I am a newbie to the area. However, where I used to live, this is what, ideally, would have happened: immediately taken to triage based on the symptoms, an advocate from the local sexual assault agency called, and then, if the victim indicates, the police will be called. It should happen in that order (if the victim is over 18 years old) because of (new) blind reporting legislation that allows the victim, as long as there are no sustained injuries, to decide whether or not she would like to press charges. The advocate should arrive before a rape kit is done to ensure procedure is followed, the support the victim, and to serve as a liaison between the hospital and the victim. I am of the opinion that if any of these links are missed, if any part of the protocol is skipped, then it falls apart at the interest of the victim.

There are so many organizations in this area that advocate for victims and, from what I've heard, they do a wonderful job. What happened to "Hannah" this night was a complete disaster on so many fronts beyond the physical and mental trauma associated with being sexually assaulted; "Hannah" faced every rape victims fear: not being believed or treated fairly and, ultimately, being punished for her victimization.

Be Righteous.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Contemporary Favorites: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

One of my all-time favorite contemporary films is "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and I'd be willing to offer that every person who has ever had a failed relationship must see it. Beyond the plot which is unique in itself, I love the utilization of non-linear narration films/series of films (and books - to those of you who know of my utter adoration of "The Time Traveler's Wife"). I find it to be engaging and it really brings me into the plot because I have to make sense of the pieces. The movies that I tend to "favorite" are the ones I own two copies of and at one point or another, watch every night for comfort, and I definitely own two copies of this one.

For an indy film, it has an all star cast: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Wilkinson, and David Cross. I love Jim Carrey. I have all of his movies and I think that he is underrated as a "serious" actor versus a comedian. The rest of the cast seem to be a great bunch and I don't feel as though there was forced chemistry between the actors in the film.

Plot. The plot, to me, opens up a realistic-ish sci-fi complication to human romantic relationships - would you "erase" someone from your memory? The story focuses in on Joel and Clementine's relationship and a company that you can pay to have a person permanently removed from your memory. Joel and Clementine have real chemistry, but for multiple reasons (Clementine's reckless spontaneity, Joel's wish-washy emotional unavailability) they just don't work out. It happens to the best of relationships; people are unwilling to grow or change and they lose and, ultimately, realize it is a loss in the 9th inning. The movie shows the erasure of memories from Joel's mind - which is retaliatory to Clementine's erasing him first - and through the unraveling of fussing, detachment, separation and other bad memories come the pleasant memories of the initial infatuation. Once Joel (and the image of Clementine in his memory) realizes that he doesn't want to erase her, he cannot be awakened through the process, and so in his love-sick slumber, they spend the movie hiding in other memories and running away from the machine that will, ultimately, zap his mind and make his life Clementine-free. The plot twist, however, is doesn't.

Being a classic over-thinker, I wondered through this movie if I would be willing to have someone erased from my memory. I highly doubt it, because I'm the person that believes we grow from the experiences that we have with good people and bad people, and our current character depends on our past. Yet, there's always the desire to get rid of someone for good; outside of romantic relationships, who wants to remember negative traumatic events and the people (or animals) leading to them? Who wants to deal with being caught in the cycle of a break-up that just won't break? That's so passe, and we know how I feel about passe-bullshit.

It also has one of my favorite quotes: "I'm not a concept; I'm just a fucked-up girl who's looking for her own peace of mind -- don't assign me yours."

It's a good one.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Thoughts for My Brothers

As much as it pains me to have to discuss this, I really want to have a discussion as respectfully as possible to Black men. I love my brothers. I think that Black men and women should work together. Yet, as a Black woman, I'm tired of battling with men, both Black and white, about the inherited privilege simply based on gender in a historical and sociocultural aspect. The forms of oppression that Black men face are very real,, but to deny that Black men have been recipients of privilege s in and of itself, a sexist attitude.

I've found that there has been difficulty in exploring and admitting to being advantaged in a society where privilege is given to men as a default. It makes me shake when I hear Black men claiming they are the most disadvantaged group of people in the US. I would have to disagree. Again, the disadvantage and oppression of Black men has been very real, but Black men have also had the ability to oppress, and that's where privilege is rooted.

I just would like to share some links, instead of ranting on and looking like I hate men/Black men, when I clearly do not. I love brothers very much, but I also know that in the face of fact, there are situations that have systemically and inherently left Black men at an advantage based on gender. This does not speak to the systematic oppression of Black men by white society; my argument does not invalidate the fact that racism and systemic oppression exists toward Black men. This is about the privileges. My passion is to bring awareness; I just hope that someone is listening. I cannot reiterate enough that my point is not to bash the Black men that love; yet, my research lies in sociology and women's studies, and my own personal interests include Black history and sociology.

So, here are two very wonderful links that I hope will help Black men (and women) think. Understanding does not come over night. This isn't to pit anybody against anyone else.

The Black Male Privileges Checklist - Jewel Woods
Black Male Privilege? - an NPR report

Be Righteous.

Save The Males! *Eye Roll*

This morning began a little disastrously. I woke up to my phone vibrating; it was my aunt calling from outside, needing me to give her truck a jump. She doesn't know how to use cables, so I rolled out of bed, slid on my flip flops, and grabbed my keys. Half asleep, I attached the cables and sat in my truck. The temperature was a lot cooler than I anticipated. Definitely too cool to be outside in my nightdress and flip flops, but I didn't mind. After I finished, I went back inside and debated between breakfast and more sleep, and I chose breakfast. While heating up the skillet, I turned to CNN to catch the last bit of American Morning and, boy, was I in for a treat!

"Save the Male." There's a group of rich white men that are trying to resurrect the "macho" man. Clothing stores are carrying "retrosexual" instead of "metrosexual" ensembles in an effort to bring back "manly" men. Colleges are wanting to teach "male studies" -- which, according to the report, discusses the biology of what makes a member of the male gender what he innately should be: powerful, dominating, and aggressive. They also shared that, in the 60s, life for the American male was so much simpler and as a result, of a higher quality. Things were sooo much better when the man was the head of the household, the breadwinner, the one in charge. Oh, and everything that we are doing in society today is "feminizing" men.

I didn't want to eat after that, because a few things ran through my mind:
1. This is ridiculous. People attempting to define what it means socially to be a man pisses me off as much as (the same) people attempting to define what it means socially to be a woman.
2. The 60s were only "simpler" for white men; Black men were getting hosed and beaten, and even still lynched. Oh, and the attitudes of the 60s also included the justification of beating a woman, since you were in charge and the head of the household. And people want to revert back to that?
3. Are men still whining about not having equal rights when women can't even have full protection and rights to our own bodies in the eyes of the laws, even up to new policies?
4. Who gets to decide what "masculine" actually means? And how? And why?
5. Is this just a way to bash women's empowerment without directly doing it? I can only imagine some paid white dude sitting back with his feet up and smoking a cigar saying, "if we can't get the women to act like 'women'...then we'll just have to be hyper-masculine! That will balance it all out!" followed by an evil laugh.
6. The report uses "machismo", which is supposed to be a negative term for the sexist and/or chauvinistic attitude of some in the Hispanic/Latin/Spanish-speaking world, as a positive modifier.
7. The comments on the American Morning live chat are sick; one dude commented that women in the work force creates a confusion of "roles" in relationships. Seriously?
8. Are the same people in charge of this "movement" also in charge of this whole Tea Party bullshit?
9. I'm sure that the "Male Studies" programs will get more funding than Women's Studies programs. I remember how the programs struggled - at every school I attended. #justsayin

Does this really have to be revisited? This makes me think of an anecdote told to me by an associate of mine:
As a kid, he grew up watching his father run the household as "the man". He witnessed his father being a rolling stone, doing whatever he pleased and coming home. Even, on some occasions, witnessed his father hitting his mother. Fast forward to the years where he was in his youth, guessing at relationships. He recycled the behavior that he saw because he didn't understand that 1. that wasn't the "right" way and 2. even if it was "acceptable" then, it wasn't appropriate for modern times. He used outdated techniques and failed in relationships early on because he didn't see a need for the social evolution in relationships. He was wrong.

I am not a "feminazi", as some would call it. I have strong opinions, I am vocal about them, I don't believe in "roles" in relationships, and I loathe most unneccesary labels.

Why are white men in powerful positions so stuck on how "disadvantaged" they are? What is the matter with accepting new attitudes? Even if it isn't for you, why does it bother you so much that younger men have a different way of life? It makes me sick to my stomach. It doesn't anger me that hetersexual men have "pride", but it does make me want to bang my head against the wall that words and attitudes adopted have an admittedly homophobic and/or sexist undertone; there's no righteous anger in it.

It's all very silly and confusing. So what if a man doesn't know how to do "manly" things like jump a car? I've got cables in the trunk, I can teach him! That's what relationships and human nature should be about.

Sigh. And woosa.

Be Righteous.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sassy Jazzy Asiatic Queen

It is nor hand, nor foot, nor arm, nor face, nor any other part belonging to a man. Oh, what's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet; so Romeo would, were he not Romeo called, retain that dear perfection to which he owes without that title. Romeo, doff thy name! And for thy name, which is no part of thee, take all myself.
-Julet, "Romeo and Juliet"

As an assignment for my job, I need to come up with a confidential alias under which I will conduct business. I began thinking of names, but something I don't have in common with most people is my adoration of my own name. I honestly don't think another name would ever fit me; me and my name were meant for each other. My first name is poetic and commanding, my middle is melodious. At any rate, I got to thinking: if I had to be called something else, what would it be?

As a classic over-analyzer, I began thinking this through, as though I'm really getting a new name. I came up with quite a few names, though none were my name. I then began texting away to the people close to me, wondering what names they could think up and how I was really perceived.

It's funny; as someone who is so quick to dismiss and run away from most labels, I think that there is a lot of value in a name. Like every other female I've ever met I've thought of names I could name children if such an occasion presented itself.

Many of my close friends came up with similar names, and even many of the same names that I thought of. And a friend of mine, not understanding the question, decided that the most fitting name for me would be Sassy Jazzy Asiatic Queen.

That one put a smile on my face.

Be Righteous.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Am I Trippin'?

I often find that, in relationships, I try to see the good in people. I loathe excuses and I don't settle for less than I feel my worth to be. Yet, once I decide upon "liking" a person, I'm convinced that they will always consistently maintain the positive qualities that I initially saw in them. Call me crazy, but I hold people to the same expectation that I try to hold myself: remain sincere and change for the better.

I don't think that good people change for the bad (or exhibit their lacking) overnight; and as a matter of fact, I think that more often than not, the changes are unintentional. Of course, this begs the question of how "good" they really are since they spiraled to a real of this different persona, but I'd prefer to see the light in people. I also think that, in relationships, some people put on a facade and exaggerate their better qualities (or the qualities that you want to see) and it fades because it's difficult to push yourself to be a person that you aren't. Na'mean? Anyway, call me crazy but I like to be real-real all the time. Sometimes relationships don't work. They don't have to end negatively. And they can certainly be resolved by two responsible adult persons amiably if both people are upfront and direct, yet respectful.

Despite whatever way my last relationship ended (and without ultimately blasting my own business and appearing disrespectful), I'm well versed in the art of letting people go and moving forward. I'm risiliant; and I have always been able to weather any storm. As a matter of fact, I was explaining my new job to a friend of mine, and explained to him that some people were just born to deal with trauma. And I'm that person; I've dealth with every end and aspect of it and I'm built for it.

I went on a literal trip today, and eased down the road and away from the city to a cozier, more familiar city states away that I am proud to call the place of my origins. I figured it was an awesome opportunity; my uncle happened to be driving down for the weekend and I had a free-99 free ride. My uncle and I have a wonderful relationship; he is like a father to me. I do have my own father that I love very much, yet if I should ever take the plunge get married, I want them both to walk me down the aisle. Though I am very private, I can confide in him. He knows my attitude and origins. He knows who I am, without needing the unneccesary details about most of my relationships. He does know a few exes, and doesn't care of them but he (usually) respects the fact that I can fight my own battles.

So what are the odds that over an hour south of the place where I currently reside, my uncle decides to stop in a town I hadn't heard of until a few months prior to get coffee. The town where my ex works. Where I first met him. Where I was convinced that, though I felt as if I had been duped, I could grow to enjoy being with him. When I just knew he was a wonderful, relatively "perfect" guy, even in his imperfections. I closed my eyes for a second and pictured the moment I met him. I could feel that instant. It was a happy moment. I can hear him in my head, "what are you doing driving this big truck?" I remember the butterflies I felt. And the blushing. I can tell you what he wore. I can tell you, with confidence, that he was happy.

It was different before the change, whenever or however it occured. Intentionally or unintentionally. It was a different time, a time before the mine fields and repeated forgiveness of neglect. I was over the relationship, having removed myself from it. I was totally over it, but when we got off the highway, I could only think of him. Of a different version of "us".

My mind raced. The second we pulled off at the exit, the good I saw in him, the transition to the bad, the sour taste he left in my mouth after unfulfilled promises, the dissatisfaction with more personal situations. These thoughts all came to me, swirled in my mind at once and created a quilt of unusual emotions: I wasn't confused a bit. I don't want him after how he regarded me for attempting to be respectful about his shortcomings. I don't want him after all the nights I sat in the house on dates that were broken. I don't want him after he backed me into a corner so that I would break up with him. Yet and still, the thoughts swirled, mixing the amazing qualities I saw in him initially with the way things were.What if I run into him. What if he took a Starbucks run at the exact same instant I decided upon a latte? No Starbucks for me then, I'll have coconut water. What if, in the second I dashed through the supermarket, trying not to miss my ride to the good old Dixie, I bumped into him on the foreign foods aisle? How would I feel? Would I want to kiss him? Would I want to break his face? Would I be able to ignore him? What if, when we stopped for gas at the station he once directed me to, he was also pumping gas? If I saw him would he ignore me? Probably. Would I be pissed at him for not being able to behave as an adult and discuss an issue with me? Would my uncle, always ready to challenge an opposing fraternity member, be ready to jack him up for leaving his favorite niece bitter? Would he push me to the dark side with his refusal to remain real with me? I can probably see his car from here...would he respond if I sent him a message?

While this seems as though it would have been drawn out, it wasn't. These thoughts all hit me for a split second and I took a deep breath and traveled on for coconut water. Being the initiator, I wasn't upset by the break-up, but by the change. I wasn't crying or caught up, and my bounceback only took a minute: instead of sitting in the house miserable for a change, I was out and enjoying life. It was a beautiful Spring in the District and I was enjoying it with good company and family.

I'm not crazy. I don't like dramatic break-ups or unnecessary performances that draw more attention to a situation than is required. I don't believe in focusing on the bad; I never once muttered all of the bad to my best girlfriends, even. What's the point? I'm only human. I want to believe that he is too.

We pressed on. On through our journey, our trip to the South. And in that instant, I pressed on through my trip. I'm glad it's over.

Heading out of town for the weekend. An update about the ride is soon to come...happy Friday, m'loves! I'm tweeting away (@iamMEchelle)!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

With a Captial "R"

I've been avoiding doing another Tiger Woods post, largely because I think that it has all just been blown way out of proportion and, to me, I'm tired of seeing the horse being beaten. I understand that it can't die because, according to some people, that's what happens when you're in a position where people are watching you. I understand that when some people mess up real reaaaaal bad, they want to keep shouting "it was a mistake! I'm a stand-up guy!" I understand that the person typically viewed as "the man" isn't really the man by himself; yet, there are forces behind the man, namely money and more powerful men, that control this man's future.

But for the love of goodness, I think that this has gone on long enough. I'm tired of Tiger apologizing to people that aren't personally affected by his marital misconduct and sexual wrongdoings. This has been going on since November and it's getting (capital R-uh) Ridiculous!

Nike's new ad features Tiger staring at the camera and the voice of Tiger Woods's dead father, Earl Woods, in the background. And while maybe this was one of the more personal things that Tiger had to struggle with in facing himself and his horny irresponsibility "sex addiction", I don't really get it. I mean...seriously?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fiction, a free-writing experiment.

"...You see, long before the time we know, the sun was black, and the world was dipped in the darkness provided. And I was there."
The company still at the dinner party, many of them drowning in the dark wine provided by the hosts, my own host, merely laughed their drunken giggles at the concept I was providing them. And I felt the burning inside.
A younger yet graying woman sensed my discomfort. I could smell her sweat across the room, and I gave her a sideways grin. This meant that, the tiniest bit of her believed what I was saying; and though it was completely against the logic that she knew...she knew.
I am not like them.
"I am not like you," I breathed, forcefully to the drunken fools. I felt the inner burning again.
The uncomfortable graying woman shifted and shot her dizzy husband a look of confused terror. My dark skin began to fill with a flushed rose tone, and I needed to stand.
Eddie Porter walked over to be with a glass for water in hand and offered it to me with expressed concern. Eddie was the man that many women in town flocked toward; a city mouse himself, he presented as sly and intelligent. If I were the same species as he, I would readily offer my love to him; yet, knowing that I am not, that I do not love, that I cannot offer a heart that I do not have, I have to remain focused on my goal: these townspeople need to know that there time is narrowing.
"When the sun was black, the earth was at its warmest and my people, the dark people, were birthed from the depths of the soil. Out of the pit of darkness came a species of soot-colored warriors."
Eddie didn't speak. No one spoke. They were at an intersection where their inebriation contained their fear, but their logic spoke to the seriousness of my tone.
"These warriors ruled the world before the sun's transition to the color of its brighter burning."
The burning within me was glowing and the time was nearing. I winced; the heat was moving toward an unbearable sensation. My skin began to sweat.
"You have to listen to me!" I shouted, but really, I was pleading. For their benefit. Honestly, I did not know what to expect past the anticipation of this burning in my abdomen. I had no guidance. Years ago, the dark people left the planet, and left me behind. The humans were our enemies, and I, being half human, could not be trusted. My dark skin mattered not; the lineage of my immortal brethren made me immortal. Yet, the mortal drop of the unknown in my blood confused the very biology of my inner warrior and my nature, too, became a mixed array of emotions and logic as the Return neared. Something was happening. And I had no guidance because I was one-of-a-kind.
It wasn't until I noticed that the looks of unease became horrified that I realized I was screaming in a pitch like a foreign language, and could not stop it.
The burning was visible.
Something was happening. The long and thick rope-braid of my hair became untangled from my dainty up-do and my bush-like hair thickened.
The graying woman began shaking, tears streaming from her face.
The room was silent and I had the floor. They were listening.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Weekend Cypher

While most of my friends and family enjoyed their religious festivities, I had one of the best weekends I've had since moving. My personal rundown? Well, let's see: three dates in two days (hey, a rolling stone gathers no moss), movies and family time, beautiful warm weather, great music and...becoming employed!! Beyond that, I remedied a little pest problem and it actually kick started the kickassery of my weekend.

Other than that, some happenings of the weekend in my cypher include:

The Roots dropping a J Dilla tribute album, downloadable for free here

The 42nd anniversary of the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The iPad drops. Not sure how interested I am, but Dwight K. Schrute Rainn Wilson just tweeted: "I wish my iPad were smaller and made calls, or that it folded up and had a keyboard attached." Ha!

Last week, Common posted the Just Wright Mixtape on his blog, another free download, and it is sooooo good. Love me a good R&B Mixtape!

Erykah Badu is getting heat for her new video...faces a fine of $500. (I also awakened Sunday morning to find that one of my peoples had delivered the new album -along with tons of other great music- to me. LOVE it!)

Earthquakes hit SoCal and Mexico, and also Northern California

Stephanie Meyer is putting out another vampire book (based on a minor character mentioned in Eclipse) for my fellow Twi-hards. I'm. So. Stoked.

And the MLB season is upon us. Even though the Yankees lost last night, I'm super excited. Plenty of games to go, Yanks! Let's win-win-win!

...other than that, the world is still a crazy place and I'm still the same ol' G. See?

Rape of 7 Year Old in Jersey

I was discussing this incident with my aunts this weekend, and it's a difficult thing to understand. Where does a fifteen year old even get it in her mind that selling her seven year old sister -- let alone herself -- and allowing several men (who should know better) to do something like this? Why is a twenty year old man at a party with a fifteen year old girl? Very frustrating.

The upside of anger is that the Hip Hop Community is set to become active in raising awareness as a result of this incident. While it may be a little late, it's inspiring. Especially when Black women activists like myself have mixed emotions about our relationship with hip hop.

Be Righteous.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Lovely Song Quotes: Erykah Badu

"I'm a recovering undercover over-lover."

...why didn't I think of that first?

Opening Day...

...let's play ball!

Yankees v. Red Sox


See you there!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lovely Book Quotes: Sophie's Choice

"I was grateful for that if for nothing else, since my youth, I felt, was at its lowest ebb. At twenty-two, struggling to become some kind of writer, I found that the creative heat which at eighteen had nearly consumed me with its gorgeous, relentless flame had flickered out to a dim pilot light registering little more than a token glow in my breast, or wherever my hungriest aspirations once resided."

I also love when my favorite books double as favorite films.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My First Love/Love of My Life

Few people besides my classmates know that I began college as a double major in Creative Writing and...vocal music. Music has always been a very important part of my being. As a matter of fact, allow me to explain:

Back in the day, in the late 70s and early 80s, my pops was a DJ. Before they were Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five (link for all the peeps who don't know music), my pops did a little DJaying for them. Also, my first cousin was Big DS in the group 90s rap group Onyx; he would go on to leave the group and he passed away when I was in high school because complications with Hodgkin's Disease. I have New York roots, which might be why it's so hard for me to give up on hip-hop. When I was born, my father named me. My nickname from him (and often my alternate ringtone) is D-Nice ("takin' out you suckas and you don't know how I did it!"). My middle name, and the name that only a few people with the exception of my Mom refer to me as, comes straight from a song; though originally a Paul McCartney song (Michelle), my pops heard my name is Slickk Rick and Doug E. Fresh's "The Show" and...there you have it - MeChelle was born (andyabetterspellitright)! I was born music.

Before I could talk, I was wailing music. I've heard stories of my screaming and crying in the crib when my dad would sing "Roxaaaaaaaanne" to me, because he wasn't singing it right! I've heard stories of my singing Keith Sweat while in my carseat. I sang in choirs from the time I was able to be in public until my sophomore year in college. I was in the top choirs in my high school (and we sang at Carnegie Hall); I sang for Bill Clinton and Bob Dole in college as well. I can read and write music; I can play only a little piano. I decided, though, that you can love music and be talented at it without spending thousands of dollars in a music program at a school that isn't specifically known for their music program. That you don't have to study music in university to have a career in it; and so, I decided to go into a more "professional" program so that I could actually get a job.

At any rate, you can always tell when I'm in an exceptional mood because I sing.

This morning, I jumped in my truck tore it up searching for my "Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" cd. It's one of the only albums I can listen to straight through without interruption. When I couldn't find it, I popped in a number of other cds and I sang myself an hour away to an interview with my incredibly bright mood.

So, I figured I'd share five of the songs I sang as loudly as I could up I-95. Ready?

Couldn't find the original, but I listened to both and Alicia rocks out on hers..

The version with my twin Jill Scott is my favorite version of this song.

No subliminals; it was a great musical morning.