Thursday, May 6, 2010
Friday, April 30, 2010
I often don't take much time out of my day to wonder about celebrities and their marriages, divorces, or children. I spend even less time analyzing their behavior or the he said, she said that's dragged into the fire long after the drama stops and scene ends.
But for certain celebrities that I have a lot of admiration for, it makes me sad to see their personal disputes served up as a public forum, draped with the opinions of a charged mass media.
So when TMZ recently reported that she and Gabriel Aubry are splitting up, and with all this talk about black women being the last-women-on-Earth-to-never-ever-in-life-have-a-man, I wondered how Steve Harvey and the rest of the "experts" of "single woman-ness" would dissect a woman like Halle.
I can see it now... Steve Harvey and the gods of singledom gathering around their throne if singleness, spewing knowledge... Think like a man, Halle, act like a lady.
I have long given up trying to figure out the secret to a healthy relationship. There are an exorbitant amount of people doing that already. But I wonder about the discussion that comes along with a twice divorcee, talented Oscar award winning actress, beautiful woman, and mother of one.
Is she considered a different quality of woman than let's say, the average Jane? Does that give her reason to be excluded from the discussion? After all, Berry and Aubry were never married. Am I to assume now that she's just another single black woman who can't keep a man, and moreso, that she's just Aubry's baby momma? Perhaps it's just a black thing, and Halle just ain't wit it.
After all, there are many people like her who have it all. See Leah Rozen's recent piece in the New York Times about Julia Roberts: Mother and MegaStar: Happily Balanced.
And here we have Halle Berry - MILF, Oscar award winning actress, independent woman, Angela, Ginger, Nisi etc. An over achiever that's still under appreciated.
She's been through 2 divorces already. The first to Atlanta Braves player David Justice, followed by R&B singer and alleged sex addict Eric Benet, after who she made the decision to never marry again.
And that's OK.
But I wonder sometimes. Where's her forum? Where's her happily ever after? At night, when she's sitting in her PJs, fingers cupped around a mug with tea, curtains closed, and she's lost in her thoughts, I wonder how she deals with all her emotions.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Full disclosure, I've been privy to work with Bill for the past two years, and in that time I've learned a hell of a lot. The word "remarkable" comes to mind, but it doesn't even come close to the word that describes him.
He's a legend. And a legend died today.
As I screened his last farewell page that he was recording in the studio, I took the time to take it in. I wondered about his feelings in the days up until this point. The people he had met, the interviews he has done, and the people he's touched. I thought too about the toll it had on him, the thoughts he might have had for an essay he started, but then abandoned when he realized that there would be no personal forum for him, and how much it must take out of him to dedicate much of your life to informing others.
And because he was in the business for so long, I wondered about how others viewed his departure. Would they see him as staple in the journalistic community? Or did they just assume that he was supposed to take his stripes with pride and just leave the arena?
It’s bad enough that journalism is flailing in the arms of political shock jocks looking to use their mouthpieces to ravage the remains of journalism. But thinking about all those hours our team spent researching, disseminating information, fact-checking, and truth-telling, it really feels like it's what my mom keeps saying it is, "the end of an era."
I can imagine how he feels.
Though I've only stepped foot in the White House for a holiday tour with my mom several years ago, Bill was Lyndon Johnson's Press Secretary in 1965, and has lived through all the drama that comes with being a man being the voice of reason. So it must seem surreal to go from fighting off the sharks in the deep side of the pool, to someone wading in the shallow end. Call it an occupational hazard if you will, but once you start working and doing something that you truly love, it's hard to stop and just succumb to the pressure of the forces that be.
For only a moment, I sat there and understood what it felt like. As I stared at him, I realized that he must feel like he's in limbo, one foot in the journalism world and one foot out. Much like myself on a more basic level, because like him, I struggle with the same thing.
I change my mind about everything everyday, I wonder what the hell I'm doing with myself and my life and where I'm headed. I think about what I have to do to be like Bill. The steps he took to get where he is today and the foundation he built for himself in the process. And then I think of failing, flailing my arms in the air like a maniac, giving up, and the idea that I might not be good enough for anything, Oh, and if by the grace of God, if one day I am actually considered "a legend", I will totally suck at it.
It would be an understatement to say Bill was the best. He really was. Not to mention, he was the sweetest person EVER. I fondly believe this isn't the end for him and it's just the beginning for me. So we are both kind of in this limbo. But if I learned nothing else working there, I've learned that failure is not an option.
We just have to suck it up, overcome our occupational hazards, and keep going.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
"Even the sun goes down, heroes eventually die, horoscopes often lie, and sometime Y', nothin is for sure, nothin' is for certain, nothin' lasts forever" - Outkast
I'm stressed. I have a good job, a nice apartment, a solid car.. all in Brooklyn no less. All of which I'm a. struggling to manage, b. struggling to pay for, and c. struggling to keep clean oil in.
Maybe it's time for a change.
This morning I was shuffling around on my playlist, and Aquemini came on. For the first time since hearing this song years ago, it hit me as to how painstakingly true it is. Even though I'm happy, lately my happiness has come and gone in short spurts. Even the sun goes down.
Maybe it's time for a vacation.
The other day, I took the 4 hour trip home to arrive in the beautiful suburbs, surrounded by fresh air, trees, and a laundry machine at my disposal. Ah, the good life.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
I loved it.
Badu is one of those artists that can just do it. The symbolism in the video is powerful: We are a society that has become complacent to the Groupthink mentality, and very simply, we must evolve. As written on her back.
Real. But clearly the symbolism was lost among the fact that she was walking down the street. Naked.
Love it more. Not just because I'm a nudist at heart. I digress.
I find that most of the criticism coming from the video is the fact that she was naked. And even in a society that is so accustomed to implied nudity, we just aren't ready for nudity in its very rawness, sans apology. Unless it's behind closed doors of course, then...all hands on deck!
But out in the streets? Oh no! Cover the children's eyes! Arrest the nudist! Condemn the stripper!
Are we really a society that conforms to a groupthink mentality? Perhaps. If it were white guys stripping down the street in Times Square would it make any difference? Probably.
Because that's who inspired the video. Matt and Kim, who stripped down in the "Lessons Learned" video. So it's possible that because she is beautiful, bountiful, and black walking...no...stomping down the street. Unashamed. Promoting a revolutionary idea....to evolve...is not as easily accepted.
To hell with everyone else. I'll take that window seat please.
Watch the video below:
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
"You could be the lover, I'll be the fighter baby,
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Not only that, I made copies, organized tape databases, refilled printers with ink, brought the producers their lattes, fraps, mochas, grande, venti whatever-type-they-needed-when-they-needed-it coffee, ran out to the library in the freezing cold and sleeting rain to get a 1970 yr. old book for the writers, and so forth.
So when I heard our show was ending, I believed a promotion was well deserved.
It was a Tuesday. In January. 7 months from birthday. I brushed off my pants, straightened my collar, patted my curly fro into place, spit out the gum that I had been chewing all morning to help me from munching nervously on snacks, and walked into my exec's office. I sat down quietly to gather my thoughts.
"I want to be considered for an associate producer position," I said.
She looked at me.
"I've been working as a production assistant here for the past 2 years and I’ve began applying for jobs. I don't think that with my current job title employers are really able to take me seriously. I want them to know that I'm knowledgeable of the position. My title doesn't say that."
The exec looked at me. She nodded slowly. "It's reasonable. I'll let you know."
That was it. I expected more, but nevertheless I walked out of the office feeling empowered, mentally toasting myself with imaginary wine.
It's now a Thursday. In March. And I’m 5 months shy of my birthday, which means I'm 5 months shy of failing at my goal to get a promotion at 23. And there is still no update or reassurance that I'm actually being considered.
The other day, I got a call back about job I had applied to a few months back. But not just any type of job, oh no, the job that I've been doing...for the past 2 years. So if they offer me the position, either I take it, or I don't.
The question becomes then, do I settle to keep my career in full gear? This means abandoning my goal. Or do I pause, wait until my job ends and see if I do in fact get that promotion which will put me in a better bracket for applying to jobs in the future?
Frederick Douglass said, "Without a struggle, there can be no progress." But is settling part of the struggle?
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Later, I strolled down Brooklyn's Promenade, looked out at the beautiful Manhattan skyline, and hummed "Smooth Operator".
Not to mention I've waltzed around in my pajamas to "Hang onto Your Love".
And then she disappeared.
Now 10 years later, she's back. Sade is back. And of course her timing is impeccable. Just when I was worried that R&B music had become something to the likes of auditory porn- full of sexual innuendos and rompin shops- the "Soldier of Love" hurls a fastball, knocks me over, and drags me back to the cocoon of real R&B.
I've got a real love affair going with this lady. Probably to the extent that no one knows. When I hear her music, it's as if she notions me over, whispers "I'm still alive" in my ear, and leaves behind a scent of saxophones, strings, and jazz accompaniments for me to remember her by.
It’s like a movie. I’m living on Lovers Lane, itching for my next fix of…well…love. And here she comes to sell me a dream. “This is no ordinary love,” she says. “No ordinary love.”
I’m hooked. I wake up and realize that I’m a love junkie, and I've been strung out for awhile.
I've forgotten how old I was when I first heard her music. But I imagine my mother was listening to her when I was still in her womb, and as I grew up, I would hear her music coming out of my sister's room. And even then I knew she would have a hold on me.
I wanted to know why she was getting attention over Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, and Patti Labelle. It’s like, who could rival Whitney? So I listened to her one day. And I cried. I didn't even know why. Her words sparked something in me that I was, and still am, incapable of letting go.
The undeniable talent comes back with her new CD, "Soldier of Love". She covers the new issue of Ebony Magazine.
Monday, March 1, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
She might as well have bad bitch stamped on her forehead, with seemingly no competition in sight, she's been riding the wave of fame for a little while now, clutching her Louie V and signing boobs. All in a day's work.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Many of my girlfriends adhere to these rules. So you can imagine my confusion when, while chatting it up with one the other night over some wine, she tells me about this brother she is seeing who just can’t seem to stop at red lights.
It’s as if she was flashing her hazards to get my attention!
“Give me details”, I say. I’m ready to read him his rights.
"I'm just not that into him. You know, like that movie?” she begins. “I've got a man already, so he was just there as a perk. He was the other brother. I thought it would be fun."
She looks a little frazzled. I mean, who wouldn’t be? This guy is in clear violation of all the rules. And beyond that, she’s annoyed, her hair is falling out, and her new fresh minx manicure is chipping. “All stress,” she says. The game is getting to her.
I’m immediately concerned. I act accordingly, and run down a list of questions.
Let’s call him the other brother.
“How’d you meet”?
Out one night with the girls.
“Did you tell him you had a man?”
Yes! Immediately. I didn’t think he would stick around.
What’s he been doing?
Ugh. Bothering me. Emails, texts, phone calls. I told him to stay out of my way when I’m with Mr. Man. He doesn’t get it. He’s an emotional one. Momma’s boy.
Agh. Emotions. Those suckers always put a glitch in the system. Ok, so his violation is obvious. Girl has guy. Girl meets another guy. And guy oversteps his boundaries. A compulsory violation.
And then I do what I have been known to do in the past. I issue a citation for her to give to him. It goes like this:
Subject: Breach of Contract
Background: No priors. 1st Offense
Dear Mr. Other Brother,
I simply cannot wrap my mind around why I kept you be in my life for oh so long. Though your strong back, chiseled physique and flirtatious smile kept you on my list of cuties for quite some time. You simply do not make the cut.
Your constant calls and texts annoy me. It's like I have another man, and I really just can't deal with your emotions. Let's make one thing clear, you are not, nor will ever be, my man. That title is reserved for the one who has it now. Besides, why would I leave my large caramel frapachino with extra whip cream, for a mere black coffee? It doesn't make sense.
And please remember, you are the "other brother". I thought we discussed that you were going to play your position accordingly. My man fulfills my every need, and on your best day, you're simply mediocre.
And I'm not talking about the sex; it did what it was supposed to do. I guess. But, it's 2010 and I think you need a reality check. These little games you play are wack at best, and in reality when you think you've won the checkers game, you find out we're really playing chess.
And please spare me the macho shit about how you got in my draws. Here's breaking news: I let you. Nothing went down that I didn't want. Game recognize game brother, and dare I say that you men have been messing with us sistas for years. So, how's it feel to be my bitch? Trust me, I won't be sad without you, I won't even pout when you're gone. Now that it's over I'm completely content.
Mr. Other brother, excuse me a minute while I throw on my Marc Jacob glasses, dust off my sundress, pull on my 6-inch stilettos and kick you out of my life. You never deserved me anyways. An educated woman like me definitely makes mistakes, but some days I don't even know why I let you stick around. It's sad that it took me so long to discover that I'm way more fly than any girl you will ever encounter. And to the girls you pull in the future, good luck chuck, hope they can do what I did. Ugh, the mere fact that I had you on my roster for so long would make any mother roll over in their grave. Twice.
I hope you're not salty brother. I do and always will wish you the best. It's just that when the shot clock has 15 seconds on it and you're faced with what could be the last play of the game, you do what you think is best for the team. And quite frankly, as the coach of this team, I pick the star player. And you already know the bench warmer never gets MVP.
It was fun while it lasted, I suppose. But let's wrap this up. Don't call, don't write, don't text, don't BBM, don't send me a message, don't follow me on twitter. No need to say you’re going to lose my number; I'll be changing it in the morning. Believe me, I'm over it. I'm over you.
P.S. -- I hope we can remain friends. But, well... you know how it is.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I met Ms. Reid a couple years back at the NABJ's Conference in Chicago and I loved her! Not only does she have the brains to completely take over the world, she was also very sweet, beautiful, and effortlessly stylish. The entire package! Plus, she gave me tips on getting ahead in my career. I remember thinking, this is me in 10 years!
Now if I could just have her level of expertise and Tanika Ray's big Hollywood hair! Life would be sweet.
Check her out on the latest enstallment of "Let's Talk About Pep:
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I grew up in a loving home. Mother, father, sister, brother. I was raised by two strong parents who I love dearly. I went to good schools my entire life and was educated by great teachers and my peers. I've been in good and bad relationships, all of which I've learned a lot from. I've seen my parents relationship at it's best and at it's worst. But there is something I think I should touch on, part of a discussion that I had recently.
A lot of times, women want to believe that all men have the same tendencies toward women. All men cheat because there are just so many options in the world.
Let me be the first to say, that's not always the case. I've seen many times, a good man with good intentions be honest in his feelings, and give his heart and women walk all over it. We'll use him. And ultimately we'll break him. Leaving him wounded, lacking trust, and half-ass loving for his next relationship, which will be with a woman whom he will ultimately cheat on.
My father is a great man. Great provider, great dad, etc. When I was younger, I used to have a I want to be like my daddy t-shirt. I was positive that he could do no wrong. As I got older, changes started happening. My father would go out on Friday nights with "friends" and wouldn't come home until Sunday. He would take trips out of town, for a few days, sans my mother, and wouldn't tell us where he was staying or who he was with. That kind of thing. And note, it's important to know that my father is an adult, not a boy, not a young man, a GROWN 60-something year old man.
I ignored it. After all, he is a great dad, and that is my relationship with him. I am not my mother, so I will not tell him how to live his life. I digress.
I began wondering about the cycle of cheating men, cycle meaning the length of time that a man or woman will cheat until he/she is satisfied. I know my parents had their issues as in all relationships, but they were solid. How long does it take a man/woman to get the cheating gene out of there system?
I always remember chanting this mantra: I will never let a man cheat on me. I will never let a man cheat on me. I'll be damned if I'm the one getting hurt. If anyone's going to cheat it's going to be me.
And so it began. I got into a relationships with a good guys, and I cheated. Leaving some new woman to pick up the pieces of my insecurities. Most women when seeing their parents infidelity determine that they are going to do things different, they are either going to do anything in their power to make their relationship work or they are just going to accept the fact that men cheat and that's how it's going to be. I was different. I was the one who let the good guy go because I feared them cheating on me. If my father, who was in a marriage for 20 some odd years and is well in his golden years was still doing it, then of course it could happen to me.
I've since then, analyzied my behavior, and rethought my actions. But I don't think that I'm alone in this idea, nor do I doubt that many of you will agree that the role of a father to their daughters lives are beyond important.
So, a message to cheating fathers on their daughters. Take care of what you do and who you do it with. Actions speak exponentially louder than words and even if we say nothing, we are always watching. You can preach until your blue in the face about respect, honesty, faithfulness, etc. But as writer and philosopher, Elbert Hubbard once said, you have to "live truth instead of professing it". We are far more affected by the decisions that you make then you might realize.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Years ago when I was much younger I would stress out about a man not returning my call or not doing what he said he was going to do. Sometimes I would blame myself and wonder was it something that I could have possibly done to perhaps upset him. When in actuality, it was never completely up to me. If a man is sincerely interested in you or getting to know you then he will make the effort. There will not be an array of excuses for him to pull out of his bull s**t bucket. His actions will show what he is feeling and if he is being honest, they will line up with what he is saying. On the contrary, if a man is not that interested in you, then his actions will also show that as well. It is not your job to constantly chase after him.
2. Credit Is A Pathway To Financial Security
When I turned 18 everybody and their moma was offering me a credit card. The temptation became too much for me and I could not resist the credit card monster. I made the decision then that new sneakers, and jeans were more important to me than my credit score. So, I charged, charged, charged, and ended up never acquiring the finances to pay it all back. Years later, I am still suffering the consequences of those decisions. Clothes and looking fly are important, but not as important as being able to get your first car or apartment without begging a family member to co-sign for you. It is a beautiful feeling to be able to get your own, on your own.
We are often taught as little girls not to trust other little girls. My mother installed in me from a young age that women can be sneaky and petty. Sure this is true. There are some women who lack the ability to be a good friend. There are also those who possess those qualities. Unfortunately, my distrust for other women, often led me to be defensive and socially awkward in female oriented social situations. It took many years for me to be able to fully trust other women and to want to develop a strong friendship with them. I am lucky enough now to have true friends and life long bonds.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I've been meaning to do a blog about Wale for a long time since he stepped into the hip-hop scene. Wale, a DC native, who has come out with his first album Attention Deficit, reps for the DMV, (DC, Maryland, and Virginia respectively), and totes gogo on his back like a lifeline. He, simply put, has garnered a lot of respect from me.
Wale has come out of a city, where rappers are few and far between to leave. I should know, as a native of Maryland, I've seen my share of singers/rappers/music producers trying to get "put on", sent back to the drawing board as if their style of music wasn't even a contender in the worldwide competition.
So you can imagine my intrigue when one day I got in my car, and "DC Chillin, PG Chillin" sounds through the speakers like it belongs in the mix. To even more of my shock, when I see the video he and Lady Gaga are posted up in front of various stops I used to frequent... Ben's Chilli Bowl, Madness, etc. It's like I was transported back to high school, where I wasn't teased for my pronunciation of "uhrea" (area), and go-go music was commonplace.
Wale doesn't appear to be about the glitz and glamour, typically donning a polo and a fitted, what attracted me to him was his persona, that "I'm a regular guy" mentality with a hustler's spirit to match.
I'm glad there's someone who can finally represent for the DMV, I think it's long overdue, and there is plenty talent to be found. Wale might just be the first to kick through the door and stomp in... still in his Nike Boots.