Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Happy Fantabulous Tuesday!
I have a guest today - and he's written for the blog before. Reading his post made me realize just how much Michael Jackson affected my life. We all have shared our "Michael Moments" since last Thursday, and today DMoe shares his.
Michael and Me...by DMoe
Its been about 5 days since the initial word came in simple texts and emails..."Is Michael Jackson dead?" one friend asked. At that moment, at about a little after 4pm last Thursday, I had not heard anything. In the moments that followed, his cardiac arrest, the frantic attempts to revive him, the mad dash via ambulance to the UCLA Medical Center, and ultimately, the end of his life, things really seemed to happen so fast that afternoon. Just as our parents have those indelible images etched in their minds of their life's historic ride, we, my friends, have just had one added to ours.
In these days that followed, I've had quite a few Michael Jackson tributes in my mind. The music, the videos, the signature moves, and the distinctive styles have all left a mark on me. They have "tattooed my soul" -- if you will. This sentiment may sound simple in concept, but allow me to elaborate.
First of all, the amazing thing about a performer with this kind of undeniable talent, this undying attention to skill, and this inextinguishable fire to be a phenomenon unto his musical craft, is that we have had the collective privilege to see the superstar's blueprint. Aside from that, each of us has our own "Michael and me" story to tell as we remember his life, in symmetry with our lives.
Collectively, we know the facts of his tortured childhood, the moments in his rise to stardom, the controversial stories of scandals and tabloid headlines - but...there's something else to Michael and me. There's a unique wrinkle to Michael and you. It's the DOZENS of indelible images of the posters in your room growing up, it's the way we gasped as we watched the Motown 25 special on March 25, 1983, and it's how you had to learn every move from the "Thriller" video from the moment it premiered on December 2, 1983.
"Michael and me" stories have been flying across the human landscape in an unparalleled way these days. From one end of the planet to another, everyone has their own. Here's mine:
As a kid, I knew the Jackson 5 well. My parents were Motown-era teenagers when they met, so the music was a staple in my childhood. Then again, many genres crowded my wee little brain as Kenny and Cheryl were avid listeners and fans of musicians that spanned the panorama somewhere between Parliament, Ahmad Jamal, Stevie Wonder, Wes Montgomery, Earth Wind & Fire, and Rufus & Chaka Khan (to name a few). And then, there was Michael Jackson. Upon "Off the Wall's" release in the summer of 1979, that 8-track just seemed to become its own entity in my parent's collection. We listened to it incessantly. I requested it riding in the car to my games, to school, from school, to church, from church, and on road trips. My "Michael and me" had officially begun. 30 years later, the cavalcade of unique ideas of his work have certainly woven themselves into the fabric of my being. That's beautiful and undeniable.
In 1982, "Thriller" was released, and Michael's star power was blossoming quickly. This kid from Gary, Indiana was becoming something unto himself, the likes of which Music just hadn't seen on this scale. With the release of "The Girl is Mine" as the first single (in retrospect, a debatable tactic), this album would live to see itself become the biggest record EVER. For fans like you and me, the rocket known as "Billie Jean" would launch this work into the stratosphere, and follow-up musical missiles like "Beat it", "Thriller", and "PYT" only solidified the fact that we were indeed orbiting around this thing - and it was getting bigger.
By the time "Thriller" was released, my parents had gone their separate ways. Meanwhile, my mom and I were adjusting to a new life, making new friends and meeting new people. One of the first experiences with new friends was the dance teacher at my mom's new school inviting us (the music teacher, her sister and her son) over to her house to watch the world premiere of Michael's "Thriller" video.
There were about 14 of us that night. Moments before it aired, we all knew this was special. The memory of that night is not necessarily about seeing the video, its about "experiencing" it. I distinctly remember the air being sucked out of the room like we were seeing something we had never seen before. As Michael became the terrorizing wolf on screen, as he grinned in the horror movie chomping on popcorn, as he spit game to Ola Ray down that street while she sauntered to the beat, we knew......something was happening. We knew THIS was definitive. And then, he began to change....Ola turned around and Michael became one of them. The next thing we know, they became a platoon of funky-ass zombies, who, as everybody said that night, were "gettin' it!!"
Music and television were never the same. Never again. This was a game changer at the turn of a shoulder as Michael exclaimed..."Cuz this is Thriller!" Damn right Mike. This is Thriller. This is exactly what the hell this is. When this thing ended, as he casually consoled a freaked-out Ola, and offered to take her home, we knew. We knew this was something else, and there's something to be said for the things in history that are just that. Something else.
For many occasions during the next 2-plus decades, Michael did that to us again and again. He was something else repeatedly. From the moment Michael struck that Fedora pose at "Motown 25" in 1983, to the Egyptian experience he immersed us in for "Remember the Time" in 1991, "awestruck" was Micheal's personal calling card with each of us. Lest we forget, a then 32-year old Michael had completely flipped a couple of popular dances at the time, worked them into an Egyptian scene, and gave us another number with a cadre of funky-ass Egyptians, and they were doing the King Tut, the Bart Simpson, the pop-lock and they just generally killed it. Yes Mike...We DO remember the time when we fell in love. We do remember the times when we first met.
As a matter of fact, we will never forget the things we've seen, the good times, the friendships we've made, the loved ones we've lost, all of the bumps along life's way, and exactly where we were when you wowed us, time and time again.
The music, the videos, the robust creativity, and the genius will be remembered for ALL time.
That's Michael and me.
Monday, June 29, 2009
So...where to begin...?
First of all, I want to start off by saying something positive about the awards. I think it must have been hard for them to switch gears after the untimely death of a musical icon. No one saw it coming, so I applaud BET for trying to pay tribute to Michael Jackson.
We'll get back to that...but now...the buffoonery.
Was it me, or was anyone else disturbed at the fact that young girls came onstage with Drake while he and Weezy were singing a song about f*ckin every girl in the world? The song itself is suspect to me...but the underage girls on stage...well...I don't even know what to say about that. Really?
And why even bother performing if you have to bleep every word in the song? No other song to sing? And only BET could manage to miss the 8 second delay EVERY time. Nice.
...and they came on after Maxwell's performance.
Ms. Keri Baby....ummmm???
I was excited with the old school appearances by Keith Sweat, Guy and BBD - but they should have practiced more. I spit out my juice when I read Pretty Ricky's status update on FB - when he wrote that Aaron Hall sounded like dude from The Five Heartbeats... talking about "nights like this I wish...that raindrops would faaallll" LMAO!!!
Was ole girl really in the bathroom...did Zoe really tell us that?
We could have done without Soulja Boy.
And who's idea was it to let Don Cornelius present? They had to know...he was just going and going and going....
Eddie Levert talking about dancing "and shit"....wow.
Joe Jackson looked like he was having a lil bit too much fun if you ask me.
T-Pain and his "Big Ass Chain"...(sigh)
What was up with the "Baby Boy" skit? They should have stopped after "I hate'choo Jody!" - but no...they had to bring out Ving Rhames. Buffoonery.
I'm STILL mad at Weezy and Drake...and Birdman. Huh?
And the promos for BET's upcoming shows? Tiny & Toya? Frankie & Neffie? Baby Mamas and Crack Heads...real nice.
I agree Ricky...I think I am officially "too grown" for BET.
Let me stop being a Negative Nellie - let me give a few props:
Beyonce sang "Ave Maria" - interesting...and sounded great (but maybe I'm still on my Beyonce high from Friday)
Monica sounded great!
NeYo sang beautifully. If it wasn't for Michael Jackson there would be no NeYo.
(Pretty Ricky - leave his head alone) :-)
Jigga - DOA - ripped it!
Maxwell - can't help but be a lil bit sticky after he finishes singing...might have to go see him again :-)
Alicia Keys is gorgeous...and so sweet! Wyclef - did he take a dig at her? I think he did...hater.
OJays tribute by Tyrese, Trey Songz and Johnny Gill (always growling at somebody) was good - and the OJays did their thing - even though for some reason I couldn't stop laughing.
Jamie Foxx and NeYo closed it out well.
And finally - Janet Jackson. So brave. My heart broke when she came out...and it breaks FOR her and her family still. The tears fell as she spoke - her pain visible, palpable. She was the realest, most heart-felt part of the ENTIRE evening. God bless her and her family.
I guess I say I felt hoodwinked, duped, led astray by the awards because I just KNEW BET would bring it for MJ. This was their moment to shine and do him justice, and I can't help but feel that it fell totally short. They had to pull it off in 72 hours, so I'm trying to be understanding. But all the foolishness aside, Michael deserved so much more in the way of tributes. I mean yes, the open of the show was good, I liked that Jamie moonwalked across the stage and rocked MJ gear - but I thought I'd be emotional and teary-eyed the entire night remembering the King of Pop.
Not so much.
I just felt...blah. I felt mad at some points.
Simply, I was disappointed.
I wanted US to do this better. I wanted us to show the world what MJ meant to us. I don't want anyone else - the Grammys, MTV, ANYbody - to do it better. I wanted BET to kill it. I wanted BET to set the standard for all other awards shows and tributes to our legend. If it wasn't for New Edition, NeYo and Jamie Foxx, there wouldn't have been much of a tribute at all...and that's sad. But hey, they tried...right?
I'm tryin' y'all, I'm tryin. Let's hope they decide to produce another tribute completely in his honor and memory. You can't share MJ's memory with the nonsense we saw tonight - he needs an entire program dedicated ONLY to him. BET, are you listening? Think about it...
...and do it right next time.
p.s. Don't forget to pick up your copy of Time Magazine's Special Commemorative Edition tribute to Michael Jackson.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Heart heavy - I join millions in mourning today.
A legend. The Best. The King.
Talent Unmatched. An Inspiration. Incomparable. Brilliant.
Gone too soon...no loss more impactful than that of this Icon.
Thank you God for sharing him and his talent with the world. I feel privileged to have witnessed his greatness in my lifetime.
His music will live on forever. Music will never be the same. There was never and will never be another like him.
I pray your soul is comforted - Rest in Peace.
This is how it all started for me. This performance right here is what made me fall in love with him.
How many of you wanted this jacket? :-)
This video was the SHIZNIT!!! We piled in my dorm room freshman year to watch the worldwide premiere of Remember the Time. Incredible.
Rock With You was the joint! Only Michael could rock a glittery suit and make it look sexy.
You know you tried the "lean." :-) Smooth.
"Your butt is miiiine..." Sha-mon!
Thriller. The best video ever made - PERIOD.
You are now with God - You are not alone.
Gone Too Soon. :-(
We'll miss you.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Random Thoughts Thursday!
Let's just get to it.
- Do any of my SU heads remember Reggae Nights at Sutters? That was the shiznit wasn't it??? My playlist is inspired by those nights we were supposed to be studying...and by DJ Socrates! (AKA Norm the Kappa) :-)
- I'm going to see Public Enemies tonight at 6:30 and then TRANSFORMERS at IMAX at 10! Can't wait!
- Then in the morning I'm headed to Philly for a doctor's appt. I'm finally getting my knees looked at. Wish me well. And then...
- THE BEYONCE CONCERT Friday night with my sis! "uh oh uh oh uh oh oh no no!" Yes, my ass will be bouncing all kinds of bootylicious to "Crazy in Love!" That b*tch is BAD! I hope Philly is close enough that the Jigga man makes an appearance :-) I am SO looking forward to it!
- Perez Hilton is acting like a b*tch. Shouldn'ta been talking sh*t!
- I got caught watching BET this past weekend and I saw a few episodes of College Hill: South Beach. Some of the cast members were wearing "Teach the Babies" t-shirts from my boy Daoud's line Coup d'etat Brooklyn - that's hot! The one I want has been sold out for weeks now! Should have gotten mine when Serena got hers...dagnabbit!
- Also, check out the "Where's Mars" Tribute - a festival honoring Spike Lee and the 20th Anniversary of "Do The Right Thing" in Brooklyn. The "Where's Mars" tribute starts today, June 25 and ends Sunday, June 28, 2009.
- Do we really care about Jon and Kate?
- Do you think Chris Brown got off easy?
- Can someone pray for me today?
Finally, I'm guest blogging for Latinegro today - my first time - so check it out! It's my response to his "Men are Assholes" blog - his words...not mine ;)
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Happy Hump Day!
Okay, I know what you’re thinking – Brooke is on some freak stuff this week. But I had to write this one. Last night I was EXHAUSTED after my boxing class - so much so that I couldn’t even wrap my brain around what to write about today. At 11pm, I could barely keep my eyes open – and normally I’m a night owl. I took a quick shower, didn’t even bother to dry off, and was asleep before my head hit the pillow.
I must be dreaming, because I KNOW that ain’t MY phone ringing and vibrating at 2:30 in the morning.
Wait, my phone IS ringing. I turn to look at the display on my phone.
“Wow...he’s buggin.” I roll over and turn my pillow to the cool side and try to go back to sleep.
My phone is Hammer dancing across my nightstand. I ignore it.
FOURTH F*CKING ATTEMPT!
I start to pick it up so I can promptly give the cuss out – but I’m too tired and angry and will probably say something crazy in my hazy state.
Finally, he gets the hint.
Now, I hope he wasn’t lying in a ditch somewhere, or involved in some other emergency. But he didn’t leave a message calling for help, so I just assumed he was drunk dialing me. At least I hope that’s the reason. I’ll get to the bottom of that today.
But this morning I was thinking about it. Was that a bootycall? I sure hope not. He’s never called me that late before and we’re not even LIKE THAT, so what made him think he could call me at that hour? If it WAS a bootycall, he called WAY too late. Then he called WAY too many times (read: thirsty) and went about the whole thing wrong. That’s when it hit me...he had no “booty call etiquette.” Again, it may not have been a bootycall, not being presumptuous - but if it WAS...here are the rules.
1. Call someone you know is DOWN with a booty call. Clearly this dude misread me...and if you’re not sure...
2. Then don’t call so freakin late! 2:30am?? Are you serious? On a Tuesday? Okay, I know I may be taking the spontaneity out of it, but come on y’all...I have a job. Call at least early enough to feel the person out if this is a first time thing. If they’re not biting, then move on. Midnight is the latest you should call during the week – you can get into the wee hours of the morning on the weekend.
3. Also, while calling someone you know is down with booty calls, make sure you choose that person wisely. No psychos, weirdos, freaks or people with stalker tendencies. They could be waiting outside your place when you get home from your REAL date. Personality counts when choosing partners of convenience.
4. If he/she lives more than 20 minutes away, forget it. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing interest by the time they finally show up...or falling back to sleep.
5. No talking. Don’t suddenly show your sparkling personality while laying in the bed. Don’t ask about their day, talk religion or politics, about who was on The View that day or any other conversation. If they keep talking, pretend like you’re asleep – snore if you have to.
6. Don’t stress to impress. I don’t think your booty call should be the best sex you’ve ever had (I think a lot of people make that mistake). Save it for someone you REALLY care about. Don’t pull out all your tricks unless you’re practicing for when you meet someone you actually DO want to impress :-) At least this way you won’t care if they laugh at you if you fall off the bed trying to execute some new position and lose your balance. It’s already late and you’re tired, so chances are it’s simply the last thing you do before you knock out anyway.
7. Save your money. Ladies: D*ck is free. Period. If you pay for it in ANY kind of way, like Chris Rock said, “it’s a BAAAAD investment.” Men: There should be no need to wine and dine her...she knows what it is. No dinner and a movie, but if you called after 11pm, chances are it’s too late for all that stuff anyway. Eat before you get here.
8. Know when to take your ass home. No need for sleepovers, cuddling, and damn sure no breakfast. If you DO sleepover, it better be because you’re exhausted, too drunk to drive, or it’s a torrential rain/freezing-ass blizzard outside. Otherwise, scram, beat it...(you know I have to say it...) KICK ROCKS!
9. Keep your list small. If you have more than two or three bootycalls, you might have some kind of problem/addiction – some sort of freaky, sexual pattern, promiscuity...and maybe an STD. Be careful.
10. Don’t abuse your booty call privileges. Late night phone calls are okay, but either party has the right to refuse without explanation or guilt. Booty calls are temporary fixes, so they shouldn’t occur more than once or twice every 2 weeks to a month. If it does, you run the risk of making your bootycall turn into a real relationship. And if your bootycall goes out and gets a REAL boyfriend or girlfriend and can’t be your bootycall anymore, then wish them well and get over it. Gimme a call when y’all break up :-)
Okay, I’m done...now I gotta get to work since I had to write this crap this morning! :-)
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Yeah, you read that right - Office Nooky. Office romances. Love in this cube.
This subject came up twice yesterday in private conversations I had with 2 different people, so figured I'd give it some thought. Normally I'd say don't dip your pen in company ink. I should know, I've done it. More than once. The first time it was kinda sticky...the second time, not so much. I don't think I'd do it again - but hey...you never know. A&E frowns upon fraternizing, so if I DID do it again, it wouldn't be here. Nothing kills a fling like "you're fired!" I don't think I've met any sex THAT good!
...what? we grown right?
Anyway, I do know of some office romances that came full bloom. They kept it a well-hidden secret...until we got the wedding invitation. Office romances CAN turn into something more. After all, you spend most of your time with the people you work with, so it breeds a great environment for getting to know someone. And if you're one of those people that can't get enough of your boo, then working together is the ideal situation (even though that might be overkill for me).
So, IF you are going to do it, may I suggest you follow some rules? Not that I'm an expert...but since I've been in this situation a couple times before, I'll give you the "RULES" according to Brooke.
Rule #1: KNOW THE RULES
Check your company's handbook and read thoroughly what it says about inter-office dating. I don't think A&E minds if you date, but if you get married, one of you has to leave the company. If there's a strict "no inter-office" dating rule - and you care about your job - then don't do it. Keep your pen in your pocket :)
Rule #2: KNOW YOUR CO-WORKER
Do your homework. Is your potential new fling single? Is he/she one NOT to kiss and tell? Has he/she dated other people in the company before? Is he/she related to your boss? (yikes!) If there's smoke, RUN!
Rule #3: NO MEANS NO
If you ask him/her out and they say no - bounce! That's it. Done. Over. If they're not feeling you, don't press the issue any further. You don't want to get sued and you don't want to become the creepy office stalker. We WILL talk about you.
Rule #4: CREATE A WORKPLACE "PRENUP"
If y'all DO decide to go there, have a conversation first about expectations and boundaries. Discuss what will happen if y'all are "found out," or if one of you has to leave the company or the department. You might find that after this conversation, it may not be worth it. But if it is, use the "prenup" as your guide.
Rule #5: DON'T FISH IN THE SAME POND
Maybe it's best you at least try to date someone in a different department, or a different office. This way you don't really have to see each other everyday ALL day and no one will get suspicious of you two. If you DO date someone in your department, you may want to nip it in the bud and tell your boss so there are no surprises...unless your company policy strictly forbids office dating.
Rule #6: IF YOU MUST DATE, DATE "UP"
I know you may disagree with this, but it's easier to get fired than to get sued for sexual harassment. And stay away from temps and interns. You may think that because they don't "technically" work for the company, the same rules in the company handbook don't apply to them...because most likely they do. Don't pull a Bill Clinton - leave the interns alone.
Rule #7: KEEP YOUR BUSINESS TO YOURSELF
Don't go running your mouth blabbing to everyone and they mama about the hot new guy in accounting you're banging, or the cute administrative assistant you're smashing. No grabbing each other's ass as they walk by, no kissing in the elevator, no googly eyes in meetings. People WILL notice AND they'll have no problem telling your business. Don't become the water cooler gossip.
Rule #8: NO "HOT" MAIL
I know this seems obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people don't follow this rule. Don't use company email to exchange love letters or to tell your boo what you're going to do to him that night or anything remotely suggestive. If you think your company can't or won't monitor your emails, think again. Use a private web-based email service like Yahoo or save all the juicy exchanges for after work.
Rule #9: NO DRUNK DATING
Be careful at the company holiday party. One too many drinks can cause you to drop your guard and lose focus. Too many people have gotten fired cuz they don't know how to act at the company shindig.
Rule #10: YOUR CUBE OR MINE?
Uh...HELLO?! NEITHER!! As much fun as it may be to have sex on your boss' desk or in the conference room, for goodness sakes y'all...GET A ROOM! No "relations" in the OFFICE. PERIOD.
Now that I've ruined all the fun, is it still worth it? Who knows...but at least you'll keep your job...and your dignity :-)
Monday, June 22, 2009
So, it's 11:30pm Sunday night and I have no idea what to write about. Laptop casting light into my face, I hear a "ping." My AIM pops up and a friend asks me if I'm asleep. I tell him no, we chat a bit. Then I ask him to give me a blog topic.
"Break-up sex," he types.
"What about it?" I respond.
"Do you go for it, or leave it alone?"
I've had break-up sex before. I was seeing this guy off and on for 3 years back in my early 20's. This man was 10 years older than I am, divorced with 2 kids. His son lived with him and his daughter lived down I-95 two hours away. He was a great guy, a wonderful, dedicated father and we got along famously. We never fought, always had a great time, there was no baby-mama drama, and eventually his kids fell in love with me (took the lil girl FOREVER - but one night of allowing her to put my hair in a million plaits and she was all mine!)
Anyway, one night while cuddled up watching a movie, he said to me, "you're going to leave me one day." I was somewhat stunned by what he said and wondered where all this was coming from.
"Why do you say that?" I asked.
"Because I don't want to get married again and I don't want any more children," was his response.
"So...???" I said as if his answer was silly.
"So...you do...you will...one day," he said sadly.
"How do you know?" My defenses were up.
"I know you better than you know yourself."
okay dude, whatever.
My 20-something year old pride wouldn't allow me to admit that he might be right. After all, I was working at a hot radio station and at the WB (when it WAS the WB - not the CW). My career was taking shape, I was going out every night, going to clubs, concerts, NYC to visit my girlfriends. I was having a blast, and marriage and kids were the furthest thing from my mind. But this 30-something year old man who had lived way more than I had by then was telling ME what I wanted...and I resented him for it. So...we broke up.
Fast forward 6 months. We run into each other at a supermarket and sparks fly. He tells me that he misses me and that he wants us to get back together again for as long as we can be. I ask what that means. He says, "til you get tired of being with a man who doesn't want any more kids."
I respond smugly, "oh right, I remember, that and not getting married again."
He then tells me that he wouldn't mind getting married again, but didn't see the need to since he thinks people should only get married if they have kids. Since he knew he didn't want any more, marriage wasn't necessary, but he'd do it.
Because I missed him, we got back together.
One blissful year later, while allowing his daughter to put my hair in a million plaits while he was making dinner in the kitchen, she tells me that she made something for me. I ask her what it was and she told me to go into the kitchen to see. I get up looking all kinds of "Pippy Long Stocking" crazy and she leads me by the hand to the refrigerator. Taped to it is a drawing of her, her father, and me - with the words written out, "I *heart* Brooke."
In that moment, I was speechless. I was flattered. And then I felt tremendous responsibility. This little girl loved me, and wanted me to be a part of their family. She had even told her mother about me. And then I wondered, "would this be enough?"
It wouldn't be. Being around his amazing children made me realize I MIGHT want an amazing child of my own one day. I was in love with the type of father he was, but he was done. He didn't want any more. And even though I didn't want any at that particular time...at my young age, I didn't want the option taken away from me. As much as I loved him and his children, a day later we had "the talk."
We had break-up sex.
Why? Because we loved each other. We knew we'd never be together again, nor would we probably be with someone else sexually again for a little while after we mourned our relationship. And I have no regrets.
People break up for a host of reasons, so saying that break-up sex is good or bad depends on the situation. I doubt you'd want to have break-up sex with someone who cheated on you, or who was abusive to you, and that's the reason why you both broke up. But if you break up with someone because you truly love each other but want different things, or because it's a long distance relationship and it's too hard, or because the timing is all wrong - then break-up sex can and most likely will happen. Break-up sex releases you from expectations, frees you, can be very intense and gives you one last, passionate memory to share.
That being said, generally speaking I'd say stay away from break-up sex. As Martin said, "if that sh*t is supposed to be over then let it be over!" It can be the biggest mistake you make in a break-up.
Break-up sex can cause you to backslide, so make sure if you go there, you BOTH really ARE breaking up...and not really MAKING UP. It's tricky. When love is involved, emotions can get in the way of the actual break-up and make you think that there's hope in the relationship when there really isn't - and just drag it out.
I think men are better at break-up sex that women are. It's familiar. It's easy. But women tend to get confused - and when feelings get involved, it can cause more hurt feelings than anything else.
And break-up sex can easily be confused with "pity-sex" - depending on if the person feels bad for breaking your heart in a million itty bitty pieces and has sex with you so you won't feel bad. Either way, I'm not sure if any of it is worth it.
In my case, by saying good-bye to that relationship, we shared one last, special night that I will never forget. In our final moments, I remember thinking, "wow, we should break up more often." :-)
But that's just it - if we had broken up with break-up sex more often, we'd still be together...still trying to figure out how to break up.
Friday, June 19, 2009
So I couldn't think of a better way to kick off Father's Day weekend than with a guest blog by a man who's an expert at this by now. After all, his blog Makes Me Wanna Holler is dedicated all things Man, Husband and Father - so all my men AND fathers reading this, please subscribe to his blog...cuz he's just THAT good. He's been my guest before, and it's my honor to have him close out the week leading into Father's Day weekend. He makes fatherhood look fly - give it up for E. Payne!
More Man Than Ever Before
by Eric Payne
This past Mother’s Day, the plans were set weeks in advance. I made reservations at Brasserie Les Halles downtown in NYC’s Flatiron District for thirteen people. Were it not for the day, it definitely would’ve looked like we were in town for a Black people convention as we had the largest and definitely one of the loudest tables in the place. Gifts and kisses were doled out to all the moms in attendance and none of them paid for anything --- not the twenty-five dollar steaks, not the top shelf bourbon, not the rack of lamb, not the nine dollar desserts. And it was all good. Everyone left happy, well fed and tipsy.
Last week, Saturday, my mother-in-law asked me when Father’s Day was because she thought it had already come and gone. I laughed. In actuality, my son’s birthday is the day before; his graduation from eighth grade is four days after and my mother is coming into town around the same time to take my daughter home with her to Chicago next month. Not one of those twelve people I ate with on Mother’s Day has even suggested the idea of eating anywhere this coming Sunday.
I’m preparing myself mentally in advance so I won’t be upset this weekend as I pop open the little white cardboard box containing my Quarter Pounder with Cheese. I really want my smile to be genuine when I take the wrapping paper off the gallon-sized box of Jovan Musk my wife and kids will most likely give me.
But it’s cool. It’s just the way things are sometimes when you’re Dad. Being misunderstood also comes with the territory, and at least once in your life as a father, one if not all the members of your family just won’t get you. And unless you’re a card carrying member of the fatherhood club, you’ll never truly know or accept this with every fiber of your being.
Fatherhood is a process --- the movement from single to plural, from self to everybody but you. As a man without kids, I relished in my free time. As a father, I fight for quality time with my kids and become very agitated when I feel my time is being wasted by anyone other than my immediate family. As a man without kids, I entertained foolishness --- that of others and especially my own. Now, I simply don’t have the time and I have several fewer friends to show for it.
But that’s cool, too. Why? My kids are the best thing that ever happened to me because they require the best from me. I give it to them unthinkingly, and unflinchingly. This is something that as a man without kids, I would’ve considered ridiculous. No one had the right to demand anything of me back then other than God, Himself. But this was more tough talk than anything else.
As I child, I had an idea cooking in my head of what ultimate manhood should be: courage under fire, bravery in the face of fear, and whoopin’ ass and taking names when necessary - All while having the decisiveness of a king, the compassion of a priest and the love of a god inside me to guide me. Looking back on things, I had the right notion, but not a clue as to how to get there. Reality taught me getting bitten by a radioactive spider would’ve most likely landed me in a hospital or a morgue and not swinging from skyscrapers and sticking to walls. And chasing skirts through most of my twenties most times had me chasing my own tail.
People often learn who they are in places and situations they never, ever considered. I definitely did. Without my noticing, nine years into raising my overgrown, teenage son and three years into raising my very determined baby girl, I’ve become more the man of my dreams than I ever could’ve dreamed by simply being a father. All of the above, and then some, is required all of the time when it comes to giving your all to those you’ve given life to. And for me, I get it all back through their love and laughter, watching them grow and learn, and hearing what I never dreamed would sound so good: “Daaaad!”
Have a Happy Father’s Day this weekend to all my fellow Dads and to the people who plan on celebrating them.
It’s this weekend, for real.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Happy Random Thoughts Thursday!
- First I'd like to thank all my guest bloggers who have posted for me this week about fatherhood - you dudes ROCK!!
- I have another guest tomorrow - can't wait!
- I miss seeing my hair, but I don't miss doing it...so the braids will stay all summer.
- Can't wait to see Transformers next week!
- Support a sista and buy Have a Little Faith - an anthology that features pieces written by our very own Serena Wills. She's a special talent and she's doin' it! I'm so honored that she's the head of my spiritual team :)
- Ever have one of those days? Well, I've been having one of those weeks. I'm trying to shake it off, but I can't turn off the "mind chatter." You know, when something is weighing so heavy on your mind that it starts racing? It's affecting my mood and I hate that. "Thinking too much" is something I tend to do when faced with tough decisions or stress. My goal should be to quiet my mind instead of stopping its chatter - because trying to fight it by "not thinking" is only making it worse. Any suggestions??? Meditation? Prayer?
- This sucky weather isn't helping. How much rain can we possibly get??? Buffoonery.
- I work with a "close talker" - you know...the person who has no concept of "personal space." If I can feel your breath on my face, you're too close. I thought she was gonna kiss me! See this line? Don't cross it...this is MY space and that is YOUR space...back up off me chief!
- Please stop sending me ghetto snacks on Facebook.
- Rameer is still poking me.
- Is the new iPhone really all that? really?
- I need to hear some jokes, can anyone suggest a funny movie?
- It's strange to see Conan in Leno's spot, but he's been cracking me up lately. I even watched his interview with Kobe last night :)
- I need a good foot rub.
- A woman at work told me that she was "scheduling" sex with her husband for Father's Day - that was his "gift." Scheduling? Seriously? Shouldn't that be like...everyday? Maybe I can't relate but it just sounded so impersonal to me.
- Since I have a guest tomorrow, today let me wish a very Happy Father's Day to my dad, my stepfather James (RIP), my brother-in-law Fouad, Andre, Dwayne, Dmoe, E. Payne, Kevin (RIP), Chris, Steve, Zay Buge, Tony, Brian, Chris C., Keefe, Doug, Patrick, The Cable Guy, Mo, George, Carter & Sanborn, Jay, Rich, Craig...and all the wonderful fathers out there - as well as those who serve as positive male role models and mentors in our community (Ant, Pretty Ricky and Rameer just to name a few). If you're celebrating your first Father's Day, congrats! You all are awesome!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Happy Hump Day!
So, to keep the party going, today's blog was written by another father I know and love. And yes, y'all know him too. He's my boy, my ace, another SU alum (we thick up in here) and he's a great dad. Give it up for Dre aka The Black Cloud.
Let's set it up: You can either copy and paste the code into your browser from the box above to view the clip or click here to go directly there.
Old Yeller Lives Up Here - Protective Dads
As a young'un I remember those Dads. The protective ones. They weren't strict, but you knew they meant business...and they knew what you were all about before you rang the bell. That's why my friends usually asked me to ring the bell...because even the protective Dad's liked me.
"Hello?" He looks down at me.
"Good afternoon, Mr. Williams. My name is Andre, I'm in Shawanda's* class at IS59. She said we could come by because she wanted to come outside to play with us."
"Oh...Hi Andre." (half smirk) "Shawanda!"
She comes to the door surprised he actually leaves and doesn't stare me down. Meanwhile, there are 5 other kids with bicycles standing behind me on the sidewalk looking like rabid wolves.
Lets replay that...
"Good afternoon, Mr. Williams."
[Proper greeting and respectful. I'm not selling anything.]
"My name is Andre, I'm in Shawanda's* class at 59."
[Who I am and how the hell his daughter knows me]
"She said we could come by because she wanted to come outside to play with us."
[I didn't just ring your bell, if you beat anyone, it's your daughter for saying I could come by]
Worked EVERY TIME.
It even worked with Mr. Wilson! Mr. Wilson was no joke. God bless his soul. He had the stature of President Obama and the voice of Darth Vadar. I promise he burned out brains with his stern stare. It just so happens his daughter Deanna* was the brightest, prettiest girl in class. And she happened to have an onion at 14!...well an onion for us in 8th grade. But hell, I also had a chick in my 8th grade class that was slim, but had DD's (must've been the steroids in the chicken).
Mr. Wilson was a protective Dad and we ALL knew he meant business. There was no dropping by Mr. Wilson's house and mumbling. His eyebrow would arch and the offender would get the head shake from Deanna through the screen like "Dummy! Why'd you say 'Hey whassup'!!??"
I look around today and there aren't enough protective dads in the world. It shows in the half-assed way men approach women. I see them honk the horns for the girl to come outside instead of ringing the bell. They wear do-rags as they enter the house instead of whipping that sucker off down the block. They call and say "Shamieka? Shamieka?" Not "hello. How are you?" (tsk tsk tsk) And that all ends up showing in the wayward relationship later.
Now a protective mother is no joke - but for a young man, walking into a protective dad at the door is like approaching The Sphinx.
So...now years later, I have a 10 year old girl to raise and an 8 week old on her way up. I'm not strict, but I am protective. I may be the Sherman Elementary version of Mr. Wilson. Why do I think this? One of my daughter's friends hung up on me when I answered the phone instead of asking to speak with her...and it was a GIRL!
She admitted and apologized later when she saw me talking to her father. Although, she doesn't know we were just talking about this sushi he makes. LOL
"Hello?" I look down at the boy.
"Hi..umm...can Imani come out to play?"
"What's your name?" My eye brow cocks.
"What was that?"
"What's your last name Apernumo?"
I hear my wife giggle in the living room.
I see him thinking "SHIT!!" As I glance over his shoulder at the two other boys on bikes looking at me like deer in headlights.
"Apernumo Mukar." I repeat and think about it, knowing that half second makes his heart drop. "Apernumo, Imani isn't here. She's at karate class.[Read: I'm preparing her to whup some ass] I'll tell her Apernumo Mukar came by with...two boys, one with blonde hair and the other dark hair with Harry Potter glasses.[A joke a elementary kid gets and lightens the moment]"
"Ok. Thank you, sir." He runs down the steps to retrieve his bike and his strength.
"Don't mention it, Apernumo Mukar."
The next day Apernumo didn't come to the door. It was David. The blonde kid.
"Hi. My name is David. I'm in Imani's class at Sherman. Can Imani come out to play?" [Not bad...]
"David." I say.
"What's your last name?"
Neither Mr. Wilson nor Old Yeller got nothing on me! My daughters may not appreciate it as much in their youth, but they will when it comes time to be in a relationship. They'll know that not just anyone can come into their house or step up to the door. And that's a metaphor and a half for you.
Happy Father's Day to my protective dads.
Andre aka The Black Cloud
*All names have been changed to protect the embarrassed.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Happy Fantabulous Tuesday!
Father's Day is this Sunday, so I thought I'd get some perspectives this week from a few daddies that I know and love. Today's blog is written by someone I respect dearly. He just started commenting on the blog (he came out for the Kobe post), so you may not be too familiar with him. But to us SU heads, he's D - fellow alum. He also serves in our military and just got back from Iraq...and will be getting married in a couple weeks. Please join me in thanking him for his service to our country, congratulating him on his upcoming nuptials, and showing him some love on his post today. Introducing Dwayne "DMurray" Murray.
Fatherhood in the Military...by DMurray
I had a discussion with Brooke about two weeks ago about fatherhood - about the difficulties that fathers face. Our conversation prompted me to share my experiences as a father with blog membership, so here I go.
First of all, I want to acknowledge that being a single mother is not easy. There are challenges of being the mother AND the father in the interaction with children. I believe that children need both parents. Of course, I assume both parents are of sound body and mind and not abusive. A bad parent is not better than no parent at all...with bad being subjective.
As far as I am concerned, boys need their fathers. Fathers set the example in the household. I am not saying that we are the missing link, and I do not suggest that children without fathers or male role models cannot be successful. But there is no substitute for good old fashioned parenting. It does take a village...but with two good parents, the whole village will not be stressed.
I could go on and on about having two good parents (the debate can begin now), but what I really want to talk about are the challenges of being a single dad and being in the military. I love my son more than life itself, but there was no amount of love that could keep his mother and I together. We both did things wrong, and our divorce only came as a surprise to him. That was more than 3 years ago, and as I am 13 days away from remarrying, I am reminded of how important it is to let my son know how much I love him.
The challenge is doing that in the midst of multiple deployments, separation, long hours and all the other challenges that are the military. Oh, and we don’t even live in the same time zone. Sure being a father is hard, being a father not with the child’s mother is a challenge - but the trifecta is serving in the military at the same time.
One of the sayings they have in the Army is, “if they wanted you to have a family, they would have issued you one.” I am not complaining - I love my job, I love what I do and would not change it for the world. My son thinks I do great work for our country. I picked him up from the airport on Saturday and he was wearing the same dogtags I gave him before I went to Iraq over 18 months ago. He told me he was supporting the troops.
This message is to fathers - be the best dad you can be. Give your kids the best opportunity to be great, even if that means you have to be a better man yourself. You owe it to them...they did not ask to be here. That may mean dealing with the ex, or baby momma, with dignity and strength. That may also mean showing him/her how to handle adversity. Remember, you are always on stage for them...always.
Happy Father’s Day!
Monday, June 15, 2009
Hola mi gente!
I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!
I neglected to congratulate my best friend Val and her husband Chris last week on the blog - they welcomed their third son into the world last Thursday, June 11th, and he's the most adorable baby ever!
As I sat and ogled her brand new baby in her hospital room, something she said struck me. "Now I know my family is complete."
At age 36, Val was done. No more babies. She was content.
At age 36, I'm no where even near that. No prospects in sight. Zero.
In my mind, I'm 27 years old, so maybe that's why I don't hear my clock ticking as loud as some other women my age do. Growing up, I never dreamt of having children. It wasn't until my late 20's when I was in a relationship with a man who I could actually see myself having kids with that I began to even consider it. It wasn't that I hated kids - anyone who knows me knows that is far from true - but it was just never something on the forefront of my mind.
That being said, I was never that chick who dreamt of what her wedding day would be like either. No white dress, flowers, throwing of bouquets. It was never on my mind. Not that I was opposed to marriage, it was just something I never gave much thought to.
Nowadays, I can see myself more as a mother than a wife. I think the maternal instinct in me is natural, whereas marriage and unconditional love with someone who doesn't share your blood takes work. Not that parenting isn't hard work, but I think it's easier to love and sacrifice for something that came out of you.
While my clock isn't blowing up, I realize I do have to give it some serious thought. A married friend of mine who has gone through painful, nauseating rounds of in vitro fertilization in order to have her twins told me this - "If you want to be a mother...if you can do it, and do it naturally, then do it...husband be damned." She told me that fertility drops significantly after age 38, and every year thereafter you run the risk of health problems for yourself and the baby - if you even get pregnant at all.
Talk about blowing my "27 in my mind" high. My gynecologist is no better. Every exam has her looking at me sideways like, "I see you had another birthday my dear, when are you gonna meet a nice man?" I feel like saying, "b*tch, please just poke around and do what you gotta do and mind your own damn business." I appreciate her concern, but she's working my nerves.
But she's right. I need to make a decision, and come up with plan. If by age 38 there is no significant man in my life, I may need to find someone to go half on a baby. Yeah, I said it...and y'all can talk about me all you want. But hey, it is what it is.
So far, I have 3 possible baby daddies. When I asked them, they all said they'd be willing to donate their sperm...only if we did it the natural way. Well, if I'm gonna be a single mom, then free sounds really good right about now :-) So natural it is. Everyone always says, "maybe you can adopt." Imagine the application: Single, makes "x" amount of money, woman seeking a kid. DENIED.
So, now to find the baby daddy ;)
Well, first he must be clean...and I mean of disease. Not trying to have my baby making project interrupted by some nasty STD. Ewwww. We'd need to test, re-test, and then test again before anything could jump off.
In that same vein, he has to come from a pretty decent gene pool. Recovering heroin addicts with alcoholic parents can kick rocks. And I'm not saying he has to be a brain surgeon who works part-time as a male model - but if he's smart, and funny and reasonably good looking...that would help ;)
Second, he'd have to be single. Maybe there's some chick out there who is so secure in herself and her relationship that she'd let her man get busy with some other woman at least 5 to 6 times a month during her ovulation period and then impregnate her out of the kindness of his heart - but I've never met her. I don't think she exists.
Third, he'd have to be trustworthy and reliable. By this I mean ready to drop everything at the drop of a hat to come fertilize me when I say so. This requires commitment. I'm not sure if I ovulate like clockwork or not, so he'd have to focus and have plenty of Red Bull on hand. He can't be out of town on business, can't be going to visit his jump-off and no headaches. Not romantic in the least, and sounds very technical...but unless he's on his deathbed, he'd better cum correct ;)
Lastly, he has to be able to be reasoned with. We can draw up a contract and discuss expectations, but since the laws of parental rights are changing all the time, a contract may not hold up in court. I want to have a baby daddy I know well enough where we can discuss things civilly and rationally.
So, I think the 3 possibles fit this criteria. Funny...when this discussion came up, I thought I'd get the first confused, then baffled, then shocked response. But surprisingly, all seemed rather cool with it - they all said yes without hesitation.
Hmmm...should I be worried about that?
None asked what I expected of them, if I wanted money, what duties they'd have to share or how long it would take. All just naturally assumed they'd be a part of the child's life and would take on the responsibility that a father naturally would. This surprised me, but it's good to know that there are men out there who would expect nothing less.
However, what warmed my heart even more was their answer to MY question.
"Why did you say yes?"
All of their answers were the same...
"Because I think you'd make a great mother."
Wow. What a compliment. And quite honestly, it never occurred to me that someone would have their own list of criteria for choosing a baby mama. I was flattered that someone found me worthy to carry their child.
So...with all of that said, I have logically come up with a plan for "Operation Half on a Baby." Now if I could just shake this feeling that I have all the time in the world, I'd be good. I don't see myself as an aging, baby-crazy spinster. And honestly, I haven't given up on true love. I guess I'm just hoping that biology won't give up on me.
Ask me again in 2 years if I still wanna go half on a baby. Who knows what my answer will be. My life is full of amazing children right now that I couldn't love more than if I had birthed them myself - so we'll see if my clock is ticking LOUDER, or if it stops altogether by then. I can sit here and tell you all the plans I have and make it all sound really smart. But you know what they say - if you want to make God laugh, tell Him what your plans are :)
Friday, June 12, 2009
Let me get my birthday shout-outs out the way - Happy Birthday to Anthony "Latinegro" Otero today! And tomorrow is Dmoe's birthday, so Happy Birthday early to you too!
Okay, so yesterday, Yolanda mentioned in her Random Thoughts that men confuse her. Rameer said that men are pretty easy to understand...the "normal" ones anyway.
So, I decided to take a poll and make a list of all the things that women say confuse them about men. These are in no particular order, and maybe the men can shed a little light on the things that confuse us. I would say that I'll give the men a chance to tell us the things we do that confuse them, but I don't really think they care :) They just accept that we're confusing creatures and they keep it movin'.
However, if any men are inclined to share, then email your frustrations to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll dedicate a blog to that for another day.
Okay, onto the things that confuse women about men...as I've been told :)
What I've done is number the questions that women had. Now I want the men to address/answer the questions in the blog comments by their corresponding number. You can answer one, two or all of them if you like. Understand?
And women, if you have more questions to add, then continue the number in your comments. Got it? Okay...let's go.
Why does he...???
1. say he doesn't like drama, but repeatedly gets into relationships with crazy women?
(maybe he wants to be like Ray J and "Danger" :-)
2. say he doesn't want a woman who is only interested in his money, but will brag about the new Lambo he just bought or how much he made in the stock market?
(bragging = not attractive)
3. always claim to have a girlfriend or be in a relationship, but then cheats every time? Why not just date? Why have a girlfriend if you KNOW you can't be faithful?
(That is one I never understood either)
4. ask for your phone number, never call...but he'll text you to death?
(annoying right? full paragraphs are not cool on text...who has the time?)
5. assume that if you cook for him, you're trying to be his wife?
(Dude, I was just being nice and you looked hungry...no strays)
6. not like cats? Because they're smarter than dogs?
(I'm sure if E. Payne reads this, he'll have something to say) :-)
7. brag about his sexual prowess, knowing he can't f*ck?
(he probably still sleeps in a single bed with "Star Wars" bedding...and when he kisses you, only his tongue moves...Rookie!)
8. play video games past the age of 30?
(Actually, this one doesn't confuse or bother me - but a lot of women seem to have a problem with this. There are worse things he could be doing. Be glad he's home playing with you and not out "playing" with someone else)
9. have sex with women he'd absolutely NEVER have a child with?
(is this a real question? he barely has to even know her name, let alone want her to be his baby mama - NEXT!)
10. express his interest in a woman, knowing he's not really available?
(again I ask, is this a real question?)
11. assume that if he tells a woman the truth, she won’t be able to handle it?
(Unless she’s the violent type, man up and tell her. She’ll respect you more after all is said and done. We handle the truth way better than we handle discovering a lie...trust me on that)
12. act like he doesn't care when he really does?
(uuummmm...maybe he REALLY just DOESN'T care)
13. drop everything just to watch the play-offs?
(uh...I kinda do too, so this doesn't bother me)
14. have a hard time expressing himself fully — especially when it deals with emotions?
(I'll leave this one to the men - no comment)
15. wait for us to say "I love you" first, even if he feels it first?
(how do you know he feels it first? no one likes rejection, and if you don't say it back??..whoa...)
16. have to have every electronic device known to man?
(hey, as long as someone knows how to work those things, I'm good)
17. read King and XXL Magazine and expect us not to feel a little self-conscious? We don’t look like video vixens - if that’s what he wants, why is he with me?
(sounds like a self-esteem issue...and he's with you cuz he can't get them! LOL!)
18. not want us until someone else wants us?
(this sounds like a DMoe quote - "nobody wants nobody nobody wants"...or something like that)
19. claim to be fearless, but when shown or given real, God's honest, genuine love...he hightails it and runs for the hills?
(cuz love is scary, that's why)
20. have the ability to be totally real with us when we're just friends, but the honesty and intimacy go out the window once we become lovers?
(hmmm, good one...I'm curious to read some answers on this one)
21. scoff at being "just friends"...as if the friendship is the "consolation prize" rather than the gift it truly is?
(cuz he wants to tap dat ass!)
22. feel that opening doors or doing something else chivalrous somehow translates into being "soft" or "whipped?"
(no home training)
23. dog the sh*t out of the next girl who comes after the one who broke his heart?
(come on now...women do this too...and most men aren't built to deal with heartache or confusion of emotions like women are)
24. feel that if he buys me a drink at a club/lounge, that I owe him all my time the rest of the night?
(hey, you offered...I didn't ask. LOL!)
25. say he needs time apart, but still calls you everyday and wants to "hang out" like you always do?
(cuz he wants to stay present enough so that YOU don't start dating someone else, and in case he wants to backslide. If he tells you he needs space, tell him to kick rocks, LOL!)
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Happy Random Thoughts Thursday!
Okay, I'm all about the shameless plug - but I've been working my booty off on this show...and that's a lot of booty!
Hammer Time premieres this Sunday, June 14th, at 10P on A&E, so please check it out...for me...please! Y'all know you had some Hammer pants back in the day, and some of you (Pretty Ricky) still have them. Check out the lengths we've gone to to promote this series...we ain't playin!
Pretty Ricky, those are the pants I was telling you about...so if we have any more left, I'll try to score you a pair :-) You can rock them in DR next year :-)
Everyone has some Hammer in them...and since Father's Day is coming up...why not :)
Even the AM NY newspaper people had Hammer Fever today in NYC :-)
Hey, it's Random Thoughts Thursday and I can post anything I want...and I'm talking about Hammer...this clip brings me to tears every single time I watch it - CLASSIC!
whew!!!! I liked to die when he started falling off the stage talking about "uh oh!"
....that was hilarious...I miss that show!
Okay, let me stop playin', here's the REAL Hammer in action from back in the day.
Stop frontin, y'all know you wanted to get up and move just now...especially YOU Pretty Ricky! You had to be in CRAZY shape to do the Hammer dance, geesh! They should re-release it as an exercise dvd!
Finally, check out the trailer and a clip for Hammer Time for A&E :-)
I just wanna take lil Sammy home with me, I could just bite him!
Okay...I'm done...(STOP! Hammer Time!) LOL!
Random Thoughts Thursday - Go!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Happy HUMP Day!
Yes, I put the word "HUMP" in all caps. I've just been in that kind of mood lately ;)
Remember back in the day when someone made you a slow jam tape? They'd title it something simple like..."Slow Jam Tape"...or "The Quiet Storm" - written with a sharpie on a piece of tape stuck to it. Ah...the good ole days.
Slow jam tapes were the ultimate form of flattery. If someone took the time to make you a slow jam tape (think: insert tape in cassette deck, stay up late to listen to The Quiet Storm for songs you like, press play and record at the same time. Stop. Repeat with different song), he or she REALLY liked you. That's right up there with love notes that read: DO YOU LIKE ME? Check one box - YES...NO...MAYBE. :-)
Music can enhance various aspects of our lives. The right music can create a sense of timelessness that will provoke a flashback, highlight an experience, or cause a chill to run down your spine. In romantic situations, the right music on the slow jam tape is essential...vital...critical even.
What is the right music? Some might argue that it's whatever music you like. Not so. I like Jay-Z, Biggie and The Roots - however, the music these artists have created isn't going to fit the criteria in this case. Some pieces of R&B, classical or jazz DO fit the criteria, however, other pieces do not. Lyrics that speak only about sex may be appealing to one person, but may not necessarily be conducive to the mood you're trying to create or the message you're trying to send - especially from an intimacy point of view. The slow jam tape was created for making love.
So, what is the criteria for music chosen as the soundtrack to lovemaking? The music should flow like waves crashing against a shore, or like the rising and falling of breath. The rhythms should be a mixture of staccato - smooth yet chaotic. If the pieces have lyrics, they should be about timeless love - or captivating, as with story telling, yet not distracting. The words could be obscured by the music...cryptic...or in a language the lovers don't understand. There are a few songs that have the strange illusion of being slower than the actual tempo, but have a vibe that you'd get down to. Songs with this illusion are perfect for slowing down the pace, but not too slow...building to climax, yet prolonging the experience.
When two lovers are first together, every sexual experience may seem significant. So choosing to get busy to songs you hear everyday on the radio may not do the session justice. If you're creating music to enhance lovemaking, make sure your effort doesn't lack soul or heart or sound too commercial. Personally, I prefer music that was created specifically for ME, because someone had to take the time to think about me, us, our experiences together and the memories we try to create...if only for one night.
The playlist on my blog includes some of my favorite "slow jam" songs that have specific memories attached to them - from my years growing up listening to my mother groove in the living room long after my sister and I have gone to bed, to my freshman year in college when I lost my virginity, up until now. They evoke feelings that make the hair on the back of my neck rise and tickle me, and my soul sings along.
In this day and age, the perfect gift is a pre-downloaded iPod that your lover has infused with music that helps induce a sexy mind-state unique to the both of you. They shouldn't just be "love songs" or "sex songs" - but songs that illicit and spark a response so nostalgic, you get OPEN every time you hear them.
Sure, strictly sex songs have their place...but not here...
...not on MY slow jam tape.
What's on yours?
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Our very own Rameer suggested I read an article posted on TheRoot.com and explore it as a possible blog topic. The article is titled "What Single Women Can Learn From Michelle," and it discusses professional, black women, our dating choices and the standards we have when it comes to choosing a potential mate. I agree it would make for some great discussion, so let's see what we come up with :-)
Hopefully you clicked on the link and read the story. I know, I know Pretty Ricky...we took up a brotha's lunch break with all that readin' and writin' and stuff :-)
But I don't want to retype or regurgitate the article - so I'll simply say that it says that black women are too picky, or overlook the "nerdy" guy when choosing potential mates - and that if more of us relaxed our standards like Michelle Obama did, we would have "Our Barack" by now.
Okay...maybe...but let's slow down a bit.
I kinda take issue with the author's assumption. Yes, Michelle has admitted to thinking that Barack has a strange name. But the REAL reason she said she was hesitant to date him was because they were colleagues, and she was his boss. Dating someone you work with can be considered unprofessional, and can get sticky. That doesn't mean she thought his ears were too big or that he was a nerd or a cornball. It just means that she wanted to be cautious and professional. Who are we to say that she found him attractive or not? Michelle Obama saying she thought he had a funny name doesn't necessarily translate into her finding him unattractive...it just means she thought he had a funny name.
We're imposing our thoughts and perceptions on Michelle Obama, and since none of us know what she finds attractive or unattractive, the article may have been a bit unfair or presumptuous.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I personally think Barack Obama is sexy as hell. He has that engaging smile that just sucks you in, a brilliant mind coupled with a sincere gaze, and a confidence that oozes self assurance and sexy all at the same time. He captured us with his charismatic, dynamic delivery at the DNC, and his appeal has only grown since. These are characteristics that go beyond the physical - either you have IT or you don't. And Barack has that IT factor that can't be denied...and there's nothing nerdy or corny about it. When you have that IT factor, a person can't help but be drawn to you, no matter what you look like on the outside.
Now...back to the article.
I get what the author is saying.
He's the guy you SHOULD be dating.
He's the guy you SHOULD be interested in.
He's the guy you SHOULD kiss on the lips instead of giving him your cheek.
He's the guy you SHOULD marry.
Ladies, we all know him. He's totally interesting, he makes you laugh, he calls when he says he will, he's reliable to a fault and your mother loves him.
For some reason we just can't help but put him in the friend zone - that is if we haven't dismissed him from the door. Is it pheromones? lack of chemistry? his coke bottle glasses? funny haircut? highwaters? Why can't we ever be physically attracted to the guy we SHOULD be attracted to? The one who would treat us like a queen, who will be there for us, love us unconditionally?
Don't get me wrong, physical attraction and chemistry are all important. I'm not dismissing that at all. But what I have found is that the more I get to know someone and I discover what a great person they are, my attraction begins to grow. I find that if I'm having an intelligent conversation with a witty man, suddenly I don't notice that he's shorter than I am. Intelligence is sexy to me, so if you can string two sentences together coherently, you got me.
What I'm saying is, strike up a conversation with a man you might not normally think is your "type." You may be surprised at what comes out of his mouth. He may not be the tall, strapping, handsome-by-some-model-standard guy, but he may be funny as hell! Oh...did I mention that if you can make me laugh, you got me that way too? :-)
I've been told I date "cerebral" or "academic" men (read: nerdy). However, I've also dated men who maybe didn't have a college degree - but who also never let me open a car door. They pulled out my chair every time I sat down, and they made sure I was taken care of. They weren't your Morris Chestnut's or Idris Elba's either. Just great guys who were beautiful from the inside out.
I guess what the author is saying is that if there are only 70 single black men for every 100 single black women (and that number is off since that number included incarcerated men), then maybe we shouldn't diminish our chances by discounting the brotha wearing too tight jeans and rocking a Nipsy Russell 'fro - assuming we want to date a brotha (but that's a topic for another day).
There is no perfect man who will have EVERYTHING on your list when it comes to his physical appearance. Yes, we want him to have all of his teeth...preferably porcelain white with a smile like Chris Webber's. But if he has braces, just think of how great his teeth will look when they come off, and go out for coffee with him anyway.
The same goes for men, but since this article addressed black women, I'll keep it there. We don't want a man pre-judging us or dismissing us because we don't look like Halle Berry, so we shouldn't hold on to the same misguided, superficial standard of perfection that no one can attain for men either. Date the guy who has a slight belly. Don't pay too much attention to his non-fashion sense. Stop playing him sideways because his fingers are too small or his voice is a slight octave higher than you think it should be. Is a man who speaks proper English that much of a turn-off? Really?
The strikingly handsome, intelligent, successful, tall, athletic, chiseled, fashionable, handy, ambitious, sensitive, funny, spiritual, devoted, loyal, romantical (Pretty Ricky's word) men ARE out there. But maybe just not all of that wrapped into one. Pick the traits that mean the most to you and see what you can do without. You may find that certain characteristics on your wish list aren't that important after all. Or you may find that you actually DO have all of that in your man...just not the way you envisioned it.
Monday, June 8, 2009
I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend - the weather was great here in the NYC - perfect for a bridal shower and bachelorette party! A dear friend of mine will be getting married in a few weeks, so we all gathered Saturday for a night of fun.
A couple of my male friends, upon finding out that I had gone to a bachelorette party, asked me to "spare them the details." The rest, however, seem to have no clue as to what we ladies do at bachelorette parties, or they think that it's all tea and crumpets.
While most women don't wanna REALLY know what goes on at bachelor parties, we kinda have an idea. Drinking, strippers, strip clubs, butt naked hos, drinking, sex, drinking....more hos. At least that's what we think anyway. And don't let the men go "away" somewhere for the weekend....forget about it.
A new world will be built before a man tells you what happened at the bachelor party - what happens at the party, STAYS at the party. However, none of them seem to think anything sordid happens at bachelorette parties. They think it's just a bunch of girls sitting around throwing singles at a man dancing to Ginuwine's "Pony" (the standard stripper cowboy song)...and for the most part, that's true. They may not know or ask about the "hot seat" or the "massage" - but they think it's all good, clean fun.
...and it is....ahem....depending on where you go or who's throwing the party.
I asked a few guys what they think happens at bachelorette parties...and these are some of the responses I got:
Naked Pillow Fight.
- Okay, I think this was just his fantasy. He thought we stripped down to our thongs and lacy bras, wrestled in jello and then got drunk and made out with each other. Sorry dude...don't mean to disappoint you...but that doesn't happen. Like....EVER.
- If you're envisioning us sitting around a table sipping on Kettle One and cranberry through penis straws watching cornball Fabio lookalikes gyrate offbeat to corny stripper music, think again. Yes, we do have the straws, but the men are usually oiled down, muscled up and can dance their naked asses off. At least the ones I've been to. Yes, they're your typical firefighters, policemen, officer and a gentlemen or cowboy characters, but they got SKILLZ. The firefighter who danced to J. Holiday's "Bed" on Saturday night could get it! I mean, I might've had his baby. Yes, a lot of men who dance at the strip clubs are gay, but THAT night...he was whatever we wanted him to be.
For the most part, we simply watch for the tricks they do. And if he can lift up 3 women at one time, pin one against the wall while he twirls another one in his hand, or can put you in a crazy sexual position and then molest, lick, fondle, bite, rub, tickle, suck (toes usually) and make them all feel....well...special....then we're makin' it rain. ***clapping hands**** BRAVO!!!
Sex Instructors or Sex Toy Parties.
- Yes, some women do invite over a sex instructor who spits poetic about the wonders of dildos, vibrators, toys and lubes, and schools you on how to incorporate them into your bedroom acrobatics. She may even give a "how to" lesson on oral sex.
Don't we know this stuff already? I mean, if you're getting married, chances are we've explored all that already...right? Maybe that's just MY friends ;)
But hey...if you want to sit around and have a "booty parlor" party while nibbling on crust-less sandwiches and pay for such instructions - I'm available (that's a good side hustle!)
Dinner and Bar Hopping.
Yes, the night usually starts off tame enough. We adorn the bride with any type of sexually charged and/or embarrassing trinket that we can think of. Although cliche by now, the condom-laden veil or tiara is an ever-popular choice, followed by dozens of penis pops stuck to her outfit, accompanied by the "Blushing Bride" sash worn ever so elegantly across her chest. That's so everyone out on the street knows who she is and why we're acting a fool.
Once the drinks starts flowing, then the "bar hopping" can get interesting. Men LOVE watching a bunch of women out on her "last night of freedom" and will do anything to participate in the evening's festivities. That's where the "scavenger hunt" comes in :-)
The scavenger hunt involves her bridesmaids/girlfriends making a list of things that she has to get or do throughout the course of the evening. She may have to get a guy to give her his boxers; she may have to consume a body shot off a stranger's belly button; or she may even have to kiss a guy who has the same name as her future husband. The possibilities for this one are endless - it all depends on how far her friends can and will make her go.
Some women even make the bride-to-be go to a gentleman's club and strip as a dare. There are clubs that allow that sometimes you know. Just make sure it's not the same club her fiance will be for his bachelor party...talk about awkward...YIKES!
Anyway, some of my lady friends may think that I've told too much. But for the most part, I don't think I really divulged anything that most men couldn't guess anyway. There was nothing scandalous, vulgar or embarrassing revealed - just good, honest fun (even though I hope this past weekend's photos never see the light of day). A bachelorette probably won't go home with a stranger or call her ex or do anything else she wouldn't be able to tell her fiance about. Most brides-to-be are looking forward to starting her new life with her boo, while the groom-to-be, with help from his boys, is savoring every last drop of his single life and is looking for one last....whatever. So...I'm sure what we do STILL doesn't compare to what happens at bachelor parties...maybe ;)
Perhaps one of the guys will be brave and share what went down at their bachelor party, or a hot party they've been to recently. Ladies, do we wanna know? They're not obliged to tell us...and I get that. And hey, if they don't have to, we don't either. It's all tea and crumpets anyway :-)
Friday, June 5, 2009
I didn't know what to write about, so I asked around.
"How bout this...I like to read about ways to keep myself together, new trends and things that improve my overall appearance.....CONVERSELY - I HATE the term metrosexual. Sadly, the connotation is derived from people's inherent need to "categorize" methods outside of the cultural "norms." And its awful because women actually want a man to appear "appealing," but upon discovery of the research and things involved, the dude has to be "coined" something. A woman who takes care of her hair and teeth is a woman who takes care of her hair and teeth. A man? Gotta have some name."
hmmm...I think that was the blog right there :) Thanks D!
Ladies, let me ask you - Do you look at a man and size him up as gay, metro, straight or whatever...based on his looks? Or do you simply look at him as a man who has or doesn't have his sh*t together?
Personally, I look at a well-groomed man as simply that - a well groomed man. I think where the label comes from is more of a marketing buzzword than anything else. Give people an identity to strive for, an attractive pigeonhole to be squeeze into, and, like sheep, some will buy anything associated with it. It's like they created a "new" kind of man by telling the unmoisturized, unkempt man to kick rocks cuz he doesn't spend enough money on keeping his sh*t together.
Let's define metrosexual first, shall we?
A metrosexual is:
a modern, usually single, man in touch with himself and his feminine side; grooms and buffs his head and body, which he drapes in fashionable clothing both at work or before hitting an evening hotspot; has discretionary income to stay up to date with the latest hairstyles, the newest threads, and the right shaped shoes; confuses some guys when it comes to his sexuality; makes these same guys jealous of his success with the ladies -- for many metros, to interact with women is to flirt; impresses the women who enjoy his company with the details that make the man;
his appreciation for literature, cinema, or other arts his flair for cooking his savoir faire in choosing the perfect wine and music his eye for interior design is a city boy or, if living a commute away from downtown, is still urbane, if not rightly urban; enjoys reading men's magazines...
That's not my definition - I looked it up :) Basically a metrosexual is a man who carries a "murse" - or "man" bag :)
Now..."Retrosexual" men are the opposite of that. They're your traditionally masculine man who rejects focus on physical appearance. You'll never catch this dude plucking his eyebrows.
So my question to the ladies is - which do you prefer? And to the men - do you consider yourself either, if anything?
I think it depends on what you envision when you hear the term metrosexual. Personally, the first thought that comes to mind when I hear "metrosexual" is a man who OBSESSES over his looks. Traditionally, women are the ones who worry about their appearance to an obsessive extent. The beauty industry is a billion dollar monster - and make-up, hair care products, fashion, plastic surgery, diet crazes, you name it - are all associated with women.
So when you meet that guy who spends more time in the mirror than you do, it kinda throws you off. It's like he's more interested in looking at himself than at you. Men being visual creatures, we're used to being ogled and stared at. So when this guy walks out of the store with more bags than you do, it seems as if he's "un-coupled" with you, and he has taken himself as his own love object. He wants YOU to stare at HIM.
Now, a metro guy might confuse the Neanderthal, brute man as well. He may not necessarily think he's gay...but because he seems chic, sensitive or "cultured," he has to label what he doesn't understand.
Men and women may find metro men to be sexually ambiguous, because "regular" dudes are wrinkled and ashy; they burp, scratch, fight, yell and grope. So when we meet the suave guy who doesn't do all those things and actually cares about how he presents himself, we might not be so sure because it's not "normal."
Granted, advertisers make it plain that metrosexuals are undoubtedly straight - but when men hear themselves being labeled as metro, they might get ready to punch you in the face. To put it in SATC terms, he thinks he's being called more of a "straight gay man" than a "gay straight man" - if that makes any sense.
Sexuality has nothing to do with it.
Personally, I love a man who cares about his appearance. I think a man who cares if a woman finds him attractive is sexy as hell. Ladies, he's doing it for you.
Men don't drive flashy cars, buy cool threads and rock funky shoes for themselves. They may appreciate these things - but they do it for US - to get our attention. Otherwise, they'd be walking around hairy and smelly. We do the same thing. We'd be some fat, hairy bitches if it wasn't for men.
So we shouldn't label them for doing the exact same thing we do. Some of the most masculine men can be "metro" - and wear it well. Will Smith, David Beckham, Brad Pitt - all could be male models by metro guidelines - but all still very much "man" - in my opinion anyway.
I know a few "Renaissance Men" who can put it down in the bedroom, toss your ass around and then go out and play football. I know a few "sensitive men" who bench heavy weights at the gym walking around with muscles and a six pack. I know some straight, beer drinking frat brothers who shop at Abercrombie & Fitch or Banana Republic. And they're all sexy as hell...con mucho machismo.
That being said...metro me this? If we MUST give him a label...doesn't this label sound more attractive? I'm jus sayin ;)