Monday, November 26, 2007


“I understand that he needs to get his shit together," I say. "I’m proud of you for not wavering on that cuz you, pre-Mommy days wouldn’t give a fcuk. But I also think that it’s a mistake to try to front like you don’t have real feelings for him. On a very personal, important level.”

Curly scratches her scalp hard, as she tends to do when someone is talking sense into her.

“But do you really think he would fit in here?” She nods her head over to the center of my living room. “Could you see him chilling with us??”

This time I turn. My body hangs halfway off the couch, an errant beer bottle cap imprinting my back. An ice tray filled with green specks, remnants of our jello shots, a mere memory. One overturned Rasheed Wallace sneaker with a gleaming white sock still in it. A pack of Newports that won’t see the light of day inside my crib. Three dudes huddled, tossing dice against a wall of my school books.

“Drink the CARD-eye (Bacardi…they have a nickname for every fcuking thing), son.”

“Yo B. Ali.cia Keys…you’d eat the box straight no chase?”

“Yessir. Roota AND toota, kid. No question.”

I turn back to Curly, my contemplation complete.

“Does ANYONE fit in with us besides us??”

We’ve all done it before and it just doesn’t work. I mean, I LOVE these kids. Couldn’t get rid of them if I tried. And at one time or another we’ve all figured that this MUST mean that EVERYONE will love us.

So we bring the occasion signif other around. Introduce them in the flesh to the names they’ve heard in countless stories. They already know the faces bec they’ve stared back from photos that dot all of our cribs. Not to mention our distinct differences and personalities make it impossible not to know who’s who.

And it usually looks the same. We’re all together, cooking, eating, drinking, smoking, laughing. If we’re feeling particularly nostalgic the yearbooks come out, or better yet the video from Greekfreak ’96, or a yellowing invitation from the party at Club Baja in ’99, or the cups stolen from the dining hall, or the orange traffic cones copped that one night after…"wait, when WAS that??”

And the signif other, sitting dutifully beside their respective mate, does just that. They sit. And listen. And probably yawn a million bored yawns. But we never notice.

Every once in a while someone will engage them. But 9 times out of 10, and not even out of spite or rudeness, just out of sheer urgent hilarity, someone will interrupt with another inane inquiry. Even my ex, who went to high school with us, and knows these kids well, was overwhelmed every time.

So without discussion or consensus, we all just one day stopped bringing outsiders around. For no other reason than that it’s painfully obvious that without having lived our history it’s just not nearly as comical or heartwarming or entertaining to hear us recall it, no matter how animated and Oscar-worthy the re-enactment.

“I think the days of rating a potential mate based on compatibility with our friends are long gone. I mean, it’s one thing to get your friends’ opinions of the person, but that’s about it.”

“You guys told me not to fcuk with Peter.”


“I shoulda listened.”

“Should have. But I’m sure every one of us would tell you the same thing about 8 Mile. He just doesn’t necessarily need to be dragged kicking and screaming to hang with us when we all get together.”

“Weazy, feel this beat! You aint freestyle all night, ngga!” My attention, again, pulled to the center.

“You beg me to get with it/to spit it/I stay committed/and get more head than Coop’s fitted”

“Ayyyyy! Wise, remember that time I walked in on you and…”


Is this a universal misconception? That your friends and your mate must be compatible or all bets are off?

Some people have Mate-Friendly friendships. You know, the kind of friends who are multipurpose. You can effortlessly bring around a mate, a boss, whoever.

Others, like me, have a core group of friends who are perfectly suitable and welcoming one on one, but impossibly (but never intentionally) exclusive in a group.

Or maybe no friends at all.

What say you? Do you bring your SO around your friends? Is it a litmus test of sorts?

What about when around theirs? Do you feel alienated?

Does it even matter??

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


As so many of you have so eloquently pointed out, we oughta be giving thanks every day, not just on another fraudulent government mandated holiday. I totally agree. And every day I give thanks profusely for all things big and small, good and even not so good.

But I don’t know about yall…I’m all about the balance. I’m allotting some time tomorrow to all of the things I’m not thankful for. I mean, maybe speaking them out loud will make them go away or something. Damn, I aint seen Oprah in a minute but I know she’d say it some kinda way to that effect.

10 Things For Which I’m Not Particularly Thankful…

1. Gas prices. Are you kidding me, Hess? Didn’t it cost me like HALF of this to fill up just a month ago?? And am I really paying the same each month for gas as I am for car insurance??

2. The Programming/Scheduling down at Viacom. I don’t know who figured the demographic that is obsessed with The Hills (as I am), wasn’t also the same folks who grew up with ‘Push It’ and ‘What a Man.’ I’ma need you people to do some retooling so that I don’t have to choose btwn LC vs. Heidi or Salt vs. Pep. Thanks! (Monday night TV is however among my many give thankses!)

3. Punk ass Sprint. Been their bitch since ’99, and I’m STILL battling their asses on the regular. But I draw the line at the egregious call drops. My sweetie can’t be driving home (kinda drunk) without being able to reach me!

4. Pneumonia weather. Need I look like the asshole when it’s damn near 60 degrees outside in November no less, but I’m wearing a wool coat, scarf and gloves. But I KNOW it’s pneumonia weather, so I aint chancing it…but I still get sick!!

5. Rakim for his no show on Saturday. I mean, maybe he did show up sometime after 1:30 when I bounced. But damn, God, the show started at 8!!

6. Safeway, for discontinuing the pink chip breast cancer cookies. Don’t you KNOW I’m emotional eating right now?!! Where are they…I neeeeeed them!

7. Baltimore, for so many reasons, but particularly for not sharing in my lifelong tradition of autumn apple cider. I miss Upstate!

8. I’m not exactly thrilled with airport security either. Instead of packing a light carryon I gotta check my shit in if I plan to wear any perfume or lip gloss while I’m at home. And do you mean to tell me I can’t bring a flask??

9. Notsomuch thankful for the random post-30 moles, pimples, hairs, and light spots that pop up in unnecessary and unexpected places.

10. Living in a city close to almost 300 murders this year…but oddly enough not one of the Top 10 most dangerous cities in the country?? (ok it's #12, but still)

Enjoy the holiday everyone!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


You Know You Text Too Effing Much When…

You can go days without ever actually putting the phone to your ear.

You have two phones, and one’s JUST for texting.

You sit down at a computer and are baffled when there’s no T9 word recognizer popping up (bonus if your thumbs rest on the home keys).

Instead of going over to say to hello to a friend you see at a bar/party/restaurant, etc…you text them and compliment their shoes.

In real life convos you forget that not everyone speaks (texts) in song lyrics and patois.

You have the ringer off but you instinctively know when a text is coming (and look at your phone at the precise second it arrives).

You begin to speak in 160 character sentences.

You text someone who's in front of you just for fun...OR...whoever is in front of you when you text, sends you a text that is the equivalent of 'Call me on 3-way.'

You send intervention texts on someone's behalf.

Driving doesn’t stop your conversation. Nor class. Nor business meetings. Nor being on another call. Nor grocery shopping. Nor sleeping.

You get pissed when someone says, “Here’s my home phone number.”

When Text Sex is sufficient.

You convince yourself that sending a Happy BDay text is akin to an ecard.

Friends add unlimited texts to their cellie plans just because of you.

Your stylus is like a fashion accessory...and when you lose it *gasp* it's like losing your car keys.

You accidentally hit CALL while texting and when it reverts to calling the person you were texting you PANIC and damn near power it off just so that you DON'T call them instead of texting.

You carry your phone charger in your bag cuz you KNOW all that texting eats the hell out of your battery.

Your fingers are crossed that you can use it to cast your vote for President by 2008.

You hear the phone call ringtone and it takes a second to register what the hell it is.

You input certain names in your phones as DO NOT TEXT.

You let the voice mail pick up and respond to the call with a text.

Some friends only require one-word responses.

There are people you text at specific designated times every you're taking the pill or some shit.

You get a series of texts Saturday morning “lol’ing” about whatever the hell you texted the night before.

You fcuk up and send the wrong person the wrong text, but shrug it off, as if it’s normal to mix up conversations in any other communicative medium. (except maybe call waiting)

Instead of carrying a wallet, you just tuck cash into your phone case.

You can type in the dark of night.

You’re fluent and literate in not only drunk text, but also text sarcasm.

You wish you could text your professor or boss to tell them you’re gonna be late.

You consider getting your young relatives cells phones just cuz it would be easier to help with their homework that way.

People text you first to ask permission to call.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I’m a dreamer, I admit. It was a way of life as a child to sit and dream my way out of my circumstances. Imagine independence and all its spoils. Dream myself a suitable identity and moral character.

Today, all these years later, I can recall so many of those dreams in colors as vivid as a day ago. Maybe because so many of them have been realized. Or perhaps it’s because so many still linger.

Even if you don’t subscribe to the notion, we all harbor desires for one dream or another. The dream job…dream car…dream crib…dream guy or girl…dream vacation…those dreamy shoes.

But do we always accept or even appreciate the dream when it arrives?

In the past week I’ve used the word ‘dream’ to describe two separate circumstances. One of them a writing assignment. I wouldn’t exactly call it the Dream Gig, but I do get to scratch another item off my ‘30 Things I'ma Do Now That I’m 30’ list. But why when confronted with handling up on the assignment, I froze. Couldn’t do it. Looked the gift horse directly in the mouth, down the throat, whole 9 yards. (I have since managed to soldier up, thanks to 90 Millas and My Muse).

The other…*sigh*. I actually called another effing human being a Dream. Come. True. (I know, I know... I’ll pause here for a second so you can join me for a quick vomit). The thing of it is, I meant it, still mean it…but I have no clue what the hell to do about it.

If you’ve ever been called The Dream Girl/Guy, then unceremoniously abandoned like I have, then like me, you're probably a lil dead inside, and you might feel me on the irony and absolute absurdity of it all.

But the fact remains…

A wise (blind with microbraids and a underlip mustache genius musician) man once said…

Theoretically, shouldn’t we be going to the ends of the earth to chase our dreams? Or are dreams fundamentally not meant to come true? Is the subconscious mind a much more liberal and whimsical force than the conscious?

Or is there a dream slayer? Fear.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


I have a friend who used to live in Miami. One who just left Chicago. Another bounced from Vegas, then LA. One packed up and left Germany.

And every one of them muhfcukas is back in NYC.

I'ma need my friends to fan out again, please. I'm not spending my monthlong school/work winter break on the A train. I need a steady surface for my pen and notepad.

If you live in an exotic locale (and by exotic I mean not northeast US), and you have a comfy couch...I got liquor and grocery money. Hollerrrrrrr!


Wednesday, November 07, 2007


I could be wrong about this y'all please let me know if I am. Lemme just talk my way through it...

Today, I used the word 'cracker' at least twice via text message. It's offensive. It's inappropriate. And most of all, I know better. Yet, if someone were to fwd said texts to the Deans of my school, let's say, should I be fired? (and never mind that I go to a black school, and that they might just chuckle and have a 'cracker' story of their own)

I regularly employ questionable language, judgment and content on this here blog. Imagine if a hater were to rat me out to a client, or an editor or some other check writer...are my offenses egregious enough to warrant a pay cut??

This is where I get tripped up. Because maybe my offenses really are as harmless as I think. But what if they're not??

What if for once I am NOT the one "with all the answers" (that are sometimes wrong)...and it's far above my head to understand just how bad my words might be?

Which really freaks me out because I fancy myself fairly balanced and decently educated and politically aware.

I am of the belief that people have the right to be racist. There's plenty wrong with it, but I don't see anything wrong with using a racial term when provoked. PRIVATELY. Where the problem lies is when you are racist and intimidate, discriminate or otherwise taunt or subjugate a person based on race. Where it's also a no no is if your racism is on display for public consumption, like via the (!mus) media.

The first time I heard about Bitch the B.Hunter's tape recorded rants about the son's black girl, my first thought was...well, IS she a trife nig? I might be wrong for that. Probably am.

But am I also wrong for thinking that a private nigtastic convo shouldnt end this guy's career? Particularly when you listen to the content and hear the context for him saying it. (He was basically telling the son that he couldnt work with him if the chick was gonna be around because they use the word ngga and he didnt want the chick to record it and sell it to the media).

I do know that I'm not wrong about the media having some nerve to keep trying folks in the court of public opinion. That shit is wrong. Wrong because the media have an unresolved history of failing to explore and understand race and racism with any type of critical analysis, nor responsibility. So to see Bitch on CNN tonight, to hear the tapes online, to see his face on every news program I watch, feels so hypocritical and wrong.

I might be wrong, but I know I wouldnt find it fair to be out of a paycheck for calling a cracker a cracker.

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  • So...Wise??

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    Our Nation's (HIV) way of Harlem, NY and Upsteezy NY
    I'm older than I look, and stupider than you think. But I'm quite proud of my sharp eye for The Ridiculous, and by Ridiculous, of course I mean Me.