6.27.2007

Under da Covers With a Brotha

"It's alright girl, you aren't used to black men."

No, I'm not. And it doesn't appear that I will be anytime soon. This is why we have best friends; they give us unfiltered, much needed truth.

Let's suppose I meet a man, a black man and go out on a few dates with him. Okay, stop laughing.

No really. Stop laughing.

It could happen. I could meet an IBM - educated, handsome, single black man (IBM = ideal black man). He could be attracted to me and I him. We could talk, find that we have many things in common and exchange numbers. Oh, and maybe we'd even go out; have a grand ole time. Things could go great; just the way we women like it -- he calls everyday, the conversations are lively and engaging, he gives all kinds of really great compliments. I could be excited. I could be thinking, "wow, after all of these years, I am actually getting involved with a very eligible black man!"

And then, reality would fall, like an anvil, right on top of my hopeful head. Slowly, in conversations, I would gleam that I am not the only lovely being romanced by Mr. IBM. Nope, there are, I mean there could be at least three others! Now, I am, I mean could be, a progressive, an open minded woman. I don't expect anyone to immediately stop the life they had before they met me. I mean, I'd give at least three weeks before a man would have to chase the others off the homestead and fully worship at the alter that is me. Now, you know, I wouldn't be mad that Mr. IBM had some lesser friends with benefits (as long as I was woman-san #1). I would only be mad if he told me about said friends (and hinted that I shouldn't have my own stable of such friendship types), cause, let's face it, if he lets his other activities slip to me, he's telling me, in so many words, to step up my game, lose at least 20 lbs, give him head on demand and say nothing about his lame ass excuses as to why he didn't call, couldn't quite make it to dinner on time and really, really needs his sleep, so going home to my own bed is probably a good idea (even though he would love for me to stay).

Say, are those key scratches on the side of my car?

Drama.

I am soooo not going to answer calls from unknown numbers.

This is why I have avoided the IBMs of the world these last twenty years of my dating life. Too damn few of them. Too damn many of us -- ideal black women (IBWs). If there are five of them, there are fifteen IBWs. And what is the IBM gonna do? I'll tell you what he's going to do, he's going to fuck like a rabbit, that's what he's going to do. I guess I would too, if the shoe were on the other foot. I would sleep with as many really hot guys (with skillz, of course) as I could. But, and here's the big but -- I would select the quality, the creme de la creme. Oh, if I were a man - it would be on! Because, men, you already have the superior position, although I know you'll try to convince us otherwise -- "oh, the women control the pussy; oh, we aren't smart enough to juggle more than two women at a time; oh, baby, don't you know I want to be with you?" Why not just admit it and stop choosing inferior product? If you have all the cards, at least make the class call, dudes.

DR, imagine that I had this relationship. Imagine that I walked away gracefully, because I'm not used to this shit. Imagine that I'm still confused about men -- white, black, asian & latino. Imagine that I am actively practicing one of the Four Agreements - "Take nothing personally". Imagine that I spent days wondering if I should voice such embarrassments, such slights, such hurts in the very public forum that is blogging. Imagine that I'm struggling to practice another Agreement - "make no assumptions". Imagine that next time I'll know better. Imagine that I miss his daily calls.

Anyone know a good auto paint & body shop?

6.19.2007

You Gonna Eat That?

It's taken me a couple of weeks now to formulate in mind my thoughts on "FAT PIG", the Neil LaBute play that recently closed at the Geffen Playhouse. I went to see it with GF Michele after dinner at NineThirty at the W Hotel. Oh that dinner. NVG - but v expensive! But this isn't a restaurant review, now is it? I think I'm saving most of those for NYC anyway.

I was pretty excited to see FP, as I thought the topic, a thin man dating a large woman and the reactions he gets from coworkers, was, I mean is, very relevant in today's society. This is especially true in Los Angeles where I have often said that it is more acceptable for men to date kleptos, psychos or druggies than a woman with a little weight on her. How can that be? I mean, dude, she's steals, lies, sleeps with the diseased, but hey, she's skinny! People, people, please! In addition, Scott Wolf was taking the role originated by Jeremy Piven on Broadway. I thought his good looks would add a new dimension to the play particularly apt for LA (again) - is my city dysfunctional or what? I scoured the Net for reviews, but only found one of the LA staging, in the LA Times. It didn't tell me much, but I felt the subject matter was important enough for me to forgo what some snooty critic thought anyway.


When we arrived, we were confronted by the announcement that Tom would be played by Scott Wolfe's understudy, whatever his name was. I guess you can tell by the fact that I cannot recall the actor's name, I wasn't v impressed by his performance. But I'm still unsure if some of his distance and mannerisms were not as staged. Was it him? Or was it the play? I still can't tell.

After many moments contemplating the play, the performances, the sets, the costumes, the fact that Tom Kavanagh slipped me the eye, even though he was with his very short (okay, so he's tall) girlfriend. I was feeling pretty good at that point, almost willing to stand up and ask the audience (well, the male audience), if anyone there wanted a date with a fat chick; even if Tom wanted to dump that waif of a girlfriend and come where the real action was - between these cappuccino thighs? I didn't work up the nerve, even to the cutie who sat down next to me, but did sit and wonder how we, as a society got to the point where every single woman in the US spends ten minutes out of every hour of her life thinking about her body - how much she hates her shape...how she can change her shape...what she's going to eat...not going to eat...how much of it she's going to eat...is it the right combination...how many carbs are in it...does it have enough vitamins and minerals...will it totally wreck her diet...or, she should start a diet...that steak is going to go straight to her thighs...and our bellies...those crunches really don't work, do they...men only like thin women; everybody else is single and celibate...but, the average size for women in the US is a 14...which men are fucking the cows bigger than 14 and what are their phone numbers...do all of the women smaller than a 14 have a man..when will the designers start making stylish clothes for women larger than a size 8...oh, gawd, I'm a cow!

I have come to the conclusion that Neil LaBute fucked up his chance to make a big statement about our society, our judgmental nature and love. He also could have said something about lack of fashion for big-boned folk (our girl, while charming, witty and very nice - was costumed like there's no such thing as Macy's Woman or Lane Bryant; heck, most popular clothes lines have figured out that there's money to be made on womanly women) and workplace attitude towards them (men and women). He did say something about shallowness, lack of conviction and maturity. Even the bad understudy conveyed, at the very minimum, Tom's lack of ability to say how he feels (how many women are nodding their heads in agreement with this about their man or men they've known?). That's the last thing a woman of normal US proportions needs - a man who can't face up and say that he likes meat on her bones! I know that LaBute has looked at some of the baser inner thoughts usually left unsaid in his works, "The Company of Men", "The Shape of Things" & "Friends & Neighbors", but we're in a weight crisis in this country. Screw the inner monster and let's take on the public one!

In the end, I wasn't quite satisfied by Fat Pig. I went to the meal, but left hungry. But, I want to go to the restaurant again; same main, different side.

Joy puts it in perspective: http://youtube.com/watch?v=yUTJQIBI1oA

6.17.2007

Just Another Day at PBJ

Oh yeah, after two years, I'm back in the saddle and attended the first day of the annual Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl! Boy, am I glad that Lori (thank you Gurl!) decided to reignite her annual picnic/party/concert tradition that we know and love as PBJ. I forgot how much fun this event can be. I especially love it because I feel it is the best of Los Angeles; full of people of all ages, races and walks of life. The PBJ embodies the promise of LA; everyone together, having a darn good time. And the music! This year was an excellent line up:
Buddy Guy

Chris Botti

Phil Woods Quintet

Angelique Kidjo

Count Basie Orchestra

Randy Brecker-Bill Evans Soulbop Band

The James Carter Organ TrioCos of Good Music

Johnny Polanco y su Conjunto Amistad

Eagle Rock High School Jazz Ensemble

Oh, all of my friends know that I love Chris Botti. Not only is he very easy on the eyes, he's a delight to the ears. I have never seen him live, so I was very excited. What I was not excited about is that Amber forgot the binoculars (even though I reminded her twice), but I forgave her when I met someone else who helped me out with that problem (but more on that later). See, that's my spiritual sistah:

I told her that I loved Chris Botti so much, I would brave the hill and go pay the $10 to rent some and then climb all the way back up, cause you know that our seats are always in the nosebleed section cause that's where all the fun is. But, lemme tell ya, I didn't ever have to make that walk. For, just when we were out scanning the crowds to take pictures for the blog, one gentlemen stopped me; he wanted to take have his picture taken with me. And I obliged. Okay, more than obliged...

We were having such a good time, we stopped someone to take a picture of all of us!

However sweet Eddy (the pictured silver fox) was (and whatever promise of a date - yes, I said real, live actual date, he presented), we moved on with our mission, to document the fun being had by all!

Okay, this guy was hunk of beautiful man; couldn't resist recording his beauty for the ages...

Okay, by some point, things got a little blurry, cause everybody was partaying! We trudged on!
Tracy says, "don't practice alcohol abuse"

Lori, her husband Charles & me surveying the crowd.


Hey, what the heck? This guy has water in his hand!!!! He must have been the only one. But he looks like he's having fun, so I ain't mad at him!

So, this is how it goes for PBJ, we bring loads of really great food and drink. Lori makes sure we have all the utensils and toys. Yup, it was Lori who started the ubiquitous jello shot throwing. Yeah, yeah, yeah, everybody's doing it now, but this year it was guys doing it. Wasn't at all like past years when we did it - pretty gals, giggling up and down the stairs, throwing really strong, gourmet jello-shots -If I recall correctly, the last favorite flavor was the tequila sunrise... And beads Mardi-Gras style? Yup, that was Lori too. Oh, and fluorescent light sticks? Lori. She's such a trail brazer, she didn't even know it! So, you're asking me why there isn't a good pic of Lori here. Good question, ask Amber. The one picture she took of Lor had her arm right over her face. Okay, Annie Leibowitz Amber's not.

So, for the day and well into the night, we talk, we dance, we walk around, we eat some more. Oh, it's so much fun. We don't do Sunday for a couple of reasons: (1) we're exhausted after Saturday and (2) the Sunday is usually Father's Day. I tend to spend Father's Day with my dad. So, we pack it all in on the Saturday! All in all, we had loads of fun. Eddy came back and found us - well, found me. We danced and then we chatted. I had the chance to do some inblogating and find out about this single man's thoughts.

At the half century's mark in life, accomplished (Harvard MBA), successful career, active, handsome, articulate, impossible to believe, I asked Eddy if he had ever been married. Nope. Dang, how can a man get to fly under the radar like that? He explained that he probably missed the boat a couple of times, but in general was having problems connecting with the "full package" in Los Angeles. He said although he was wired for commitment (parents coming up on over sixty years of married life, two brothers with marriages fifteen years plus), he hadn't met a BW (I did get the clarification of his preference) who was equally equipped with beauty and mind. He may be right on this, but I suspect not. LA, he said, was not short of beauty (he is absolutely correct in this), but bereft of weighty intellectuals (I have heard this before too). He wondered how I would stack up to his standards.

When he asked me if I was reticent to do something (don't recall exactly that it was - but trust me, nothing dirty), I said no, I wasn't reluctant; then it occurred to me that he had in fact been putting me through a subtle interview while we spoke, danced around and generally getting to know each other. He was testing my vocabulary, my tastes, my values to evaluate if the physical attraction was worth pursuing. I called him out on it; just to show that one of my characteristics is frankness and a desire to agitate (but only when flirting). But, I suppose, I should expect a certified analyst to do a bit of analysis, right?

Since my gurls Amber, Tracy and Lori were on site, I did bring him down for the prerequisite once over. He got thumbs up all around, actually high-fives. Just then, my bud Chris trucked out and I was bummed, but kinda distracted, all with Chris Botti's set starting soon and checking out Eddy. Oh but, Johnny Polanco & his band started their set and we were off to dance. I'm a pretty bad dancer - I mean, at any dance with steps. You do not want to know how long it took me to learn The Hustle (all I can say is that disco was well past its heyday); and I still cannot, for the life of me, do The Electric Slide. I think that alone revokes my blackness card. I do better with latin dances, but I have always been terrible with following someone else's lead -- dance-wise only, smart ass. However, Eddy seemed to be able to guide me pretty well. Don't get me wrong, we weren't going to place in any dance contests anytime soon, but I made a little mental note (as I'm making now, for he's probably going to read this post, if he is so inclined and therefore will have a significant leg up going forward, for he will know some of my inner most thoughts -- oh well; that's me, spilling all the beans upfront, in short order and no help to myself).

After dancing and talking some more - mostly getting to know each other stuff, that you Dear Reader (DR), aren't interested in reading and I'm not interested in telling, just at this moment. Amber and I ended up spending the rest of the fabulous concert with Eddy and his buddy Steve at their seats, because, thankfully, they had one thing we'd run out of long ago -- alcohol; and one thing we never had, thanks to Amber -- binoculars. Can I tell you that it's kind of weird to be meeting a new person (Eddy) while actively salivating over an old crush (Chris Botti); but it worked out well. CB played the love theme from "Cinema Paradiso" - Eddy told me how he didn't really care for the movie, he knows everyone thought it was amazing, but he just didn't like it that much. I leaned in real close, put on my sexiest voice and said, "I like the song, not so much the movie." He seemed to relax at that point, sat back and enjoyed the rest of the show. However, this time, instead of heads bobbing and fingers snapping, the heads were still, propped up against one another, fingers intertwined.

Isn't it wonderful when minds come together?

6.10.2007

Insane in the Blog Game

Sometimes in life, you just have to put people down, out of your mind, remove their links and get back to figuring out important things, like how to get a date at Cut. For the last two days, I have been posting comments on another blog about interracial relationships, specifically of the black female (BW) - white male (WM) variety. My views there were not popular. I find that funny since I’ve dated interracially all of my life. I mean, my first crush, in kindergarten was on Peter Chen, an asian (AM) classmate. Man, he was really good at kickball and he was so cute! Probably still is -- good at kickball that is.

Me, I’ve never cared who dated whom, racially speaking and have never been bothered by black men (BM) dating white women (WW), although I know that many BW are. And it’s no secret; many BW offer very loud condemnations of such relationships, including BM marriages to BW of lighter complexions. I couldn’t care less. Those relationships have never bothered me. I didn’t care who BM got with; why should I? In my mind, it’s all about me and who I get with.

I should back up.

A few months ago, I ran across this blog that I thought was about BW who date/marry/love WM. I was so excited because I have never seen me on the screen; a BW who likes men, many of whom turn out to be white. I eagerly went to any movie that held the promise of a BW in an IR pairing (whatever the race of the man). I mean, Mission Impossible 2 and Romeo Must Die were big deals for me! So, I’d read the blogger’s posts every so often, but man, I checked out every link of pictures of BW/WM couples; the reason I found the blog in the first place, was that I was Googling George Lucas’ date for the Oscars. I was like, “I think dude’s got a black date!” Anyway, that was how I found the blog, seemingly a blog that addressed the very issue that kind of obsesses me.

I never posted a comment, mostly because I hadn’t yet come out of my writing hibernation. But I also didn’t post because I detected this underlying distain of BM. Many of the comments to her posts were filled with, what I thought, was an obsession to put down BM. There were disclaimers that the BM being put down were only what they called, “damaged beyond repair”. Oh, but the ugliness, the bile, the gross generalizations were a bit much for this gal to stand. And since the blog was about BW with men other than BM, I didn’t get the reason why it was discussed ad naseum.

Well, that hibernation finally passed on Friday when I thought, why are these women so mad and why do they debase their selves so by hurling these insults at someone they profess not to want anyway? So I posted a comment that I thought was pretty optimistic and urged the women to focus on positive and not on the negative. I gave some of my reasons for why I think quality/marriageable BM are in shorter supply than men of other races (incarceration, early death, lack of education, etc), said I thought all races should mix and generally was Ndel.

You would have thought I was defending Claus Barbie the way women went off on me! First, I was a “mammy” making excuses for the DBR BM. Then, I was a DBR BM pretending to be a BW. Last time I checked, I was a woman again, but a woman with admitted failed relationships and not one marriage to my credit, plus a single mom without a man in the picture. I went from insulted (mammy?) to amused (a man?), to annoyed (what the fuck?). To clarify, the examples of relationships I had given were from a 20+ year period and a marriage was included in it, although I didn’t identify which one it was. Did I need to explain myself? Clarify my situation? Did I need to respond? Did I need to dress down that beotch?

When I probed further, I realized what really pissed me off was the criticism of my being a single mom - one with no man in the picture. That cut. I’m 38 years old. I had a very happy accident that is my Cam and I know that I did the rightist thing in my life when I said, “I’m going to have it”. But for the record, I don’t have a man in my life; but Cam does. His father is very much a part of his life, even if he isn’t a part of mine.

I had a choice to make. Go back to that blog and throw down or just ignore the ignorant. Already, many commenters had made it clear that they didn’t appreciate my questioning their negativity, no, their meanness and suggested I go chastise BM who are bashing BW. The Blogger even made a new rule that anyone who questioned these sistas’ experiences and wanted fairness on her blog, had better first go to the heinous BW bashing sites, chastise them; it would be investigated.

Ouch.

I barely wanted to deal these whack jobs, why would I want to spend my time with even more of this kind of thick headedness? I will say that think it is fair to be even handed in calling out venom spewing wherever found, but the first site I went to hurt my head it was so juvenile and crass. I couldn’t get through one subject. I had nothing to add to that circus. Then, I thought I would put up the original offending post and all those subsequent that quoted me here.

But thank goodness, I chatted with my girl Tracy over leftovers from our Sex & the City & Drinks & No Men soiree the day before and after reading some of the more, shall we say, provocative comments, she put it in perspective, “these women are mad that they had to change their game plan and seek out WM when what they really wanted was a BW, but he was taken by a WW. Don’t sweat it.”

Okay, I didn’t know if this was absolutely true in every case, but hey, it sounded good to me! I was feeling some kind of duty to try and be reasonable with these women. I didn’t have to. I don’t have to. I did not have to bang my head against a block wall. Cause here, at my blog, we celebrate ourselves. We bitch about the past but look to the future. We talk about possibilities and then try to think of ways to make them happen.

Let's all fall in love with each other!

Sistah Sara, I ain’t mad at you, not now. I remember that I’m a

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I'm not cute or built to suit a model's fashion size
But when I start to tell them
They think I'm telling lies.
I say
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips
The stride of my steps
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally
Phenomenal woman
That's me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please
And to a man
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees
Then they swarm around me
A hive of honey bees.
I say
It's the fire in my eyes
And the flash of my teeth
The swing of my waist
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman
That's me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say
It's in the arch of my back
The sun of my smile
The ride of my breasts
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally
Phenomenal woman
That's me.
Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say
It's in the click of my heels
The bend of my hair
The palm of my hand
The need for my care.
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenally
Phenomenal woman
That's me.

-Maya Angelou
And you are too.

Foreword

I have always believed that a winning title and a fabulous opening sentence more than make up for any deficiencies that might be found within the body of any piece of literature. No matter how unreadable I found “A Tale of Two Cities”, that title - great and the opening line, “…It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” erases all that follows. But that’s just my opinion.

I am a maker of lists that I do nothing with, as you’ll come to see. I like to give five reasons for this or three reasons for that, for what, I don’t know. I usually have trouble backing up my lists. Or worse, I usually lose the point of my lists somewhere between naming and the actual listing. For instance, I’ll give you five really good reasons to bookmark this blog:

1. I need the attention.
2. My life has been nominally interesting.
3. I get a vicarious thrill from the idea that you might identify with some of my kooky ideas.
4. You might learn something.
5. I like the idea that what I have to say, no matter how confessional, shocking or mundane, just might bring a smile to your face.

Now that my list is written down in black and white, it seems that I’ll be getting the most pleasure from your reading this blog. That sounds a bit off. I’m not sure that this exercise is supposed to be entirely for my benefit. Traditionally, isn’t the reader supposed to get the lion’s share of the pleasure, knowledge and feeling? Oh well. I knew I was meant to tell the story (or maybe stories) of my life. I knew I’d go on to great things (maybe like living) and somebody just had to witness them. I guess that task falls to you dear reader.

The idea of running my mouth (or, at least my fingers) came to me in a dream, a vision. I happened to be riding down Wilshire Boulevard, thinking about how to escape my current life by making a lot of money. You might be wondering why on earth I was dreaming while on Wilshire Boulevard. I hope that I was a passenger and not a driver; honestly, I don’t remember. Doesn’t matter, I seem to have waking epiphanies with alarming frequency these days, driving or otherwise. This idea of actually telling the public at large about my numerous life experiences, knocked me over. Literally. Luckily, I got up again and starting scribbling furiously. My friends were always telling me that I live such an interesting life. Shows who my friends are. Yet, I was very young - about twelve, when I first started disguising my life into short stories for the consumption of teachers, classmates and friends. Through the years, I have written countless versions, changing details I didn’t like into ones that I did. I found almost all of my writing readable; others did not. So I stopped. Fear got hold of me. I wondered if anyone, other than me and my dopey friends, would find my life and what I have to say even slightly interesting.

As I got older and the theme of my life, racial blending, came sharply into focus, I started writing again; short stories, opinion pieces, plays, scripts - all taken from my life. Since I can remember, I have yearned to see my story, at least the stories of those like me told in a popular form. Our story, those of us who choose to live without regard for the racial make up of those we meet – or at least we try to do that, is seldom explored by any movie, book or documentary. So I decided that my life might be just the vehicle in which to do it.

So what if a bunch of folks will be offended. Like my parents. Like past lovers. Like old friends and acquaintances, like you. So, I’ll warn you now, if you are easily offended, don't read this. Forward a link to the aunt you never liked or that eccentric teacher for Veteran's Day or something. Because this is all about me. What I think. What I have done (God help me). And what I want to do. And you, dear reader, are a big part of what I want to do. I want to share. I want to educate. I want to commune. I want to love.

Make me happy. Visit this blog. Post comments. Love me.

6.09.2007

Good Morning and Good Luck

Oh, this is my first post in my new blog. Who knew it'd be so easy?

Apparently everybody and their mommas.

Dang, I thought you have to arrange all kinds of complicated web addresses, pay people and do dazzling webmastering. If I could just write, I'd be okay. Years ago, I guess I did blog, before it become oh-so-cool. That was mostly about movies, back before I had a kid and have to wait until stuff comes on HBO to see it, but my column was always eclectic and about just about anything I damned well wanted.

And I can do it now? This easily? Fabulous. Now, if I can just make regular entries, that would be a real coup. Oh, and I'll have to figure out how to add pictures, quote, make other pretty stuff and insert links. That's a tall order.

But, in the name of my laziness and the late hour, I'll put up some of my posts from another blog (one that I will post a link to as soon as I figure out how).