Wednesday, February 27, 2008

(Some) Men Are So Damn Oblivious II

She's not that into you if:

*deep exasperated sigh*

I was in Philly for a meeting over the weekend where we had presentations held in a large conference room and was served by the wait staff there for 2 days. I could have put money on it cause out of the corner of my eye, I could sense that I'd accidently (always by accident) caught the eye of the tall, dark-skinned brotherman waiter and that he was glued. (Always! Always happens to me. No matter where I go, there is always some service man whose interest I've caught. If he's waiting tables, taking out the trash, mopping the floor, bussing tables or cleaning toilets, he always wants to know ME! Sorry, not a beef with service people just a weird, uncanny coincidence, of which I don't understand. But that's another rant for another day).

So he's staring and I'm getting my food and getting back to my seat as soon as possible. Later, he makes a special trip to take my plate away from lunch and asks if I'm from Philly? No. New York? No. Jersey? Nope. I finally tell him Baltimore (to make a point that I just don't live anywhere near here). He seems more intrigued. Fuck!

Later again, that same day, he walks by (still bussing tables) and makes a comment on how beautiful he thought I looked. Thanks, I say. Then scramble back to my seat and out of his view. Everytime I went to the ladies room, there he was smiling and staring. I would think that my saying I don't live anywhere near Philly would be the clincher. Ohhh nooooo! That would be too easy.

Next day, he's there again, making sure he's the main one filling up my soup bowl and again remarking as he passes me on how 'beautiful, so beautiful', he thinks I am. Fine. I heard. Let it go.

I walk past later and he asks for my business card. I didn't bring them (the truth). And later (yes we were there all daggone day), he comes right up to me and asks if he can give me his number.


Seriously! If a woman has darted to get away from you, keeping conversating as curt and swift as possible, has clearly stated she doesn't live here, makes no eye contact and hasn't asked you a single thing besides what kind of soup is this and after asnwering your questions, nearly runs to get away, what makes you think she's in any way interested?


Cause it sounds to me like she isn't at all interested and wouldn't ever call even if she was nice enough to take the number (which I'm not nice enough to do). Hahrumph!

I need to get me a big, fat, fake wedding ring, I swear!

** Cartoon by Rachel Nabor**

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Three Ways to Get a Husband- A Ghetto Play

I had the opportunity to see the play Three Ways to Get Husband, as a gift from my lovely sister (which was also her choice, I had to add). So I attended with her, my neice and mother and went in with low expectations.

And somehow, the play managed to sink even lower than I'd imagined a ghetto play could go.

*deep sigh* Ok, first the storyline was weak. Basically, it was about one woman's struggle and decision to choose between one ghetto dude who walked out on her to go into the military (played by Leon) and another ghetto dude whose sole purpose it seems was to rip off his shirt and expose his bulging muscles and chase her around the house, trying to get some (played by some really cut dude, cause there's always a really cut dude). Delightful, huh?

Next was the tackiest. It seems that whomever put this together decided in order to truly entertain blacks (cause who else would see this rubbish) was to stick in every black cliche, popular song, noted famed person and dance. During every scene change (and there were only 2 sets: and indoor and outdoor) They played an excerpt from some well-known black song. Then to top that off, they featured a character who was suppose to have schizophrenia and thought he was Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Jesse Jackson and other well-known black figures, spouting even more well-known speeches that we've all heard since pre-K. Tired.

Oh and the tree things it takes to get a husband. Sorry to spoil the whole play for you but the advice that Shirley Murdock (in the role of the big-weaved, wearing mama gave her lil redbone troubled daughter) was 1) always put god first (cause of course long as you have god, a good man will come!) 2) make his jealous and 3) LIE!. Yes, she did!

Course it all backfired as the daughter picked wrong and Shirley had to come correct with the play's only original song, pretty much contradicting the previous advice.

By intermission, I was so ready to leave.

But the worst part for me were the ploys to appease the audience which I found completely silly. During two parts of the play the crazy dude tried to get characters to sing the "Black National Anthem". And they were just as stumped as I was. Was it We Shall Overcome? Wade in the Water? After the character wa them stumped, he was let go and then offered another suggestion...cue about Let's Get it On by Marvin Gaye. Seriously, they played this classic and all were happy. Either though the entire peice had absolutely NOTHING to do with the storyline. And neither did the 5-10 slideshow shown in the middle of national disasters and its victims, including Katrina victims, and ending with a message about making a difference, where while the message could vaguely be attached to the plot (1 character was displaced by Hurrican Katrina), was poorly executed, distracting and could have done without the gory, blood images (and the Stevie Wonder soundtrack). Also near the end Lenny Williams (who played the father belted out his hit Cause I Love You) To Shirley Murdock to lock in the audience. SPOILERS HERE:

During the wedding scene, the wedding song was of course Luther Vandross' Here and Now and for the grand finale the characters encouraged the audience to get up and We Are Family.

I was too through!

And what is up with Leon? Cause anytime he appeared on stage, e'erybody's mama liked to have a fit. Was he suppose to be fine???? Cause, um........naw! He wasn't. Just a really tall, thin, brown actor doing his best in an unfortunate play.

I will say this, it was great seeing Billy Dee Williams, whom I liked as a child, hearing Lenny Williams and Shirley Murdock. Great impersonations from Reggie Reg. And the rest of the cast was also good.

I also thought it was funny that Leon encouraged the audience to visit some website and tell them what we thought. Leon, you don't want me near your site. You don't want me on your forum and you don't want me near a comment box.

I'll stay riiiiiiigt here.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me

So, I've made my peace with it: I'm 30! I've waved goodbye to my so-called swingin' 20's and opened the door to the new era: my even more bumpin' 30's. I kinda had to, didn't I?

And I've decided not to stress. Sure, 30-something, mindfuckery things like marriage, mortgages, babies and cellulite may be looming, but I could either cower in defeat or stand tall and take it head on like a tru fu schnick. Since I fancy myself as a go-getter, then I think I'll do the latter. Yeah, that's pretty much the plan.

And it'll be fab, just like anything else I do. They say 30 is the new 20 right? I'll let you know. Stay tuned.


Feeling saved,
blessed and amazed.
eyes glazed,
you came to my rescue,
when I was too through,
with open and unguarded emotions,
uncommonly rare and yet so true.

And here I reflect,
on what may be to come,
you've managed to warm the flesh,
and awaken the senses,
on an emotional core that begun to grow numb.
And then some.

With a connection so stable,
it threatens to shake me,
but if this is a dream,
seriously, please don't wake me.

Feels too good,
exchanging shy glances,
blushing like a schoolgirl,
engaging in sly romances,
feeling like its a new world.

You made me believe again,
when my patience was wearing thin,
plus when,
I began losing faith in all men,
you came through on a level that's been unprecedented,
You plain represented.
Goddamn! Amen!

You bah-rought it,
and continue to bah-ring it,
I'm singing it!
No, actually, shouting your praises,
you've made a fool out of the formers,
and me, one lucky lady, and...

Anytime I sit and think could this be real,
your actions meet your words,
not holding back on how you feel.
That's mad appeal!

So what's the deal?

you got me straight contented,
and purring like a kitten,
Has the love bug bitten?
You enjoyed these words I've written?
Baby, you got me smitten!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Blast From The Past

The year was 1992, and I was 14 thinking I was about 20 when this one hit and every girl I knew, in the damn school had to quickly learn this entire song, word for word and the ones who could sing (like me) had to try their best impressions, nearly every chance we got. We ran this song in the hole! But SWV were my girls! And I was wearing out every song they put out from my meager lil boombox. I recall my best friend and I analyzing every detail of their videos and for the life of us, we coudnt figure out how Garfield from Shai (the hot one in the beginning) could even date Coko, who we thought wasn't much of a looker. And those fingernails! But I always loved her voice and jocked all their songs. I miss them. Come back!

(As I was posting this, I had to sing along through the whole thing. Twice!)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Seven Days in Rio

I'm back! And it feels so damn good to be back in dingy, dirty-butt Bmore. I'm home! After i got over my initial homesickness, I can safely say I had a good time, it was an interesting trip and I had fun!

The Highlights:

  • Guess what, folks? I saw Jesus! Turns out he's perched high on top of Corcovado mountain, overlooking the entire city. And I got to see him, close enough to touch him and he was fabu. Ok, no jokes, but we did get to take a train to the top of the mountain to see what is referred to as Cristo Redentor, in which you can walk right up to it.

  • My favorite tour was Sugarloaf Mountain. In which we took a cable car up, not one, but two large mountains. The views were spectacular!!! I wish I had a better camera to truly capture it. Seriously, I wish Bmore had mountains. Next to lakes and beaches, its like the next best beautiful geographic accessory.

  • Copacabana and Ipanema Beaches. My hotel was on Copacabana but we ventured to Ipanema also. The weather was hot, the water, felt great, the waves were huge surfer's waves and it was nice. The only caveat were the vendors. Dozens and dozens of vendors walk along the beaches selling everything under the sun from suntan lotion, to bathing suits, to jewelry, beer, ice, cream, donuts, hats, and steamed shrimp. All the Brazillian men wear tiny Speedo-esque briefs and all the women wear skimpy two -peices. And I do mean all of them, no matter the shape, size or age. Butt cheeks everywhere.

  • Carioca's ( the local Brazillian's) were very nice. Everyone was pretty much nice, friendly and tried to help ed us in any way.

  • Great fresh fruit. Every morning, our hotel provided a free breakfast, which included fresh fuit such as papaya, mango and kiwi. On the beaches, you can buy coconut juice straight out of the coconut and at a corner cafe I ordered a kiwi smoothie in which I believe they just grinded in several kiwi's and served it as is. Pretty tasty. And doesn't get more fresh than that.

Other Observations:

  • Brazillian woman have big butts and I cannot lie! Indeed. While there were all kinds of overexposed cheeks on the beach, I couldn't help but notice many apple-bottoms dispersed around the city, along with dozens of shades of brown and not-so-brown skin and bushels and bushels of curly and wavy hair; enough to keep beauty supply chains in Bmore stocked for years. Let's get on that!

  • When ordering a pizza, you also get a side of ketchup, mustard and mayo. But when ordering a burger and fries, you get nothing, not even salt. Apparently, they prefer to put ketchup on their pizza, which they eat with a knife and fork, carved up in little peices and put nothing on their fast food. Several times we had to specifically request ketchup for fries. When ordering Chinese sweet-n-sour chicken, you don't automatically get white rice. Again, that's your option.

  • Speaking of food, I avoided seafood for the remainder of my trip when I discovered that they oftentimes serve shrimp with the heads still on! A buffet we went to also served baked fish heads! And as an added bonus, found a hidden tenticle in my rice. I stuck with chicken after that.

  • I took the bus on 2 occasions and was bewildered to find that they actually have 2 people working their buses; the driver and a 2nd person sitting in a special seated area with a cash box to take money. After you give them the money, you go through a tiny turnstile to take your seat. At the airport, they also have an elevator person to sit on a stool and push one of the 3 buttons they have there. I thought both were a total waste of funds. I hope they weren't expecting a tip.
  • The Mall. We ventured over to the Rio Sul Shopping Center for shopping and ended up having some gelatos in the food court and people watched. Turns out, when eating in the food courst, the restuarants actually come out to your table and take your order an serve you, like in a regular restuarant. Food is served on real plates and busboys take the dinnerwear afterwards. There was also a flat-screened TV mounted on the wall. Sad to say, the shopping there was subpar. Guess I'm not into Brazillian fashion cause all the clothes in every store looked the same: beacy, brightly-colored, T-shirt-matertial, soft casual clothing. Not gear I generally rock in Bmore outside of summer. And every single store was also playing American music. I was in a dept. store for 5 mins. before I realized I was singing long to Beyonce's "Get Me Bodied".

  • Woman and wedges. Seems like the majority of Brazillian woman love wearing really high heels and wedges, even at the airport and even at 80 years ols, we saw woman trudging along in very high heels. My companion, Cat even snickered at an old lady who nearly bust her ass when her ankles gave out to the side in the airport. Bad Cat! Laughing 1

  • Bikini's. True to form, bikini's were tiny there. Most that I saw on display had tops with triangles so teensy, you'd barely cover a whole nipple on it and most bottoms were nearly thongs, with most of the triangular fabric wedged up the butt. Sounds appealing, guys? Most of these were on less than toned butts. Unless you love gawking at cellulite, stretch marks and many saggy bottoms. They did not care!

  • Just as we were told, most people did not speak English and learning some Portoguese did come in handy. Few even spoke it at the airport and besides the tours and hotels, most only knew a few basic words.

  • American music. Sad to say I heard more American music there, then I did local Samba music that I was hoping to hear. In fact, the only times I really heard anything local was during the cab rides to and fro. I did catch a few Brazillian videos that were played during commercial breaks but otherwise, it seemed that American music was everywhere. I even walked by a young guy blasting rap music from his car system and the bellhop at our hotel (that spoke NO English) had Akon as his ringtone.

  • Skol. You couldn't drive one block without seeing a billboard or advertisement for Skol beer. It was everywhere! I finally had to try one myself. Tastes like a Natty Boh.

  • TV shows. I saw more American TV programming than local including TBS, TNT, CNN, E!, MTV, Discovery Health and the defunct WB. They even showed shows that have long been cancelled. It was like watching out leftovers.

  • Cabbies drive like maniacs. Nuff said. I don't think they do less then 80, even during turns an I noticed few stop or yield signs. Seems like it was a free for all. Reminded me if New York.

  • Homeless children. So sad to report, there was many homeless kids, sleeping, tucked inside oversized T-shirts, sleeping right on the street. That was probably the most disturbing sight during the trip.

What can I say about Carnival? Well, it looks amazing on TV. In person, however, unless you have really close seats, love singing along to the same Portuguese songs for hours, get really, really drunk or love a looooong parade, it was a bit anti-climatic for me. Don't get me wrong, the costumes were fab, the floats intricate and flashy enough, the crowd pretty engaged and excited but I guess from our seats, where you could barely make out much and the stifling heat, the lack of seats (you had to come early for them), the repetitive, sambo songs playing for hours straight...well, it wasn't exactly what I'd hoped. But it was still an experience and the hottest ticket in town and by golly, I was there!

Overall, a fab, once-in-a-lifetime trip and I'm tickled I got to go.

Foe the exclusive slidshow, see here: