All Hail the First Lady!

April 29, 2009

Celebrating 100 days of President Obama and our fab First Lady Michelle!

This picture always has me singing Erykah Badu . . . I want somebody to walk up behind me, and kiss me on my neck, just breathe, on my neck . . .

Reading this article on CNN really put things in perspective that she is much bigger than just a friend in my head and what me and many young women aspire to be. I forget she is something new for many people. Women in India dont look up to her because she is fabulous, successful, and has a healthy relationship and family. They just are happy to see someone with darker skin and who doesnt have sons be in a position of power (women are aborting when they find out they are having daughters . . . still). That's a lot deeper, and let's me know I need to get more involved in women's rights issues.

First Lady Style

April 26, 2009

Charm Trunk, my vintage side hustle, is presenting the Michelle Obama collection this Sunday from 2pm - 8pm. Drop in for girl talk and vintage style at a steal, with skirts, dresses and more just in time for warm weather! Email Harlem.charm@gmail.com for details and feel free to tell a friend.

American Violet

April 17, 2009
You gotta see "American Violet."

Besides supporting one of the few films released with a Black woman as the lead - it is an amazing story. The lead story Dee is a single mom of four daughters living in le projects in a
 small town in Texas and she is overflowing with some strength, courage and wisdom. 

The film is based on a true story as Regina Kelly was jailed in a drug bust, and being pressured to take a plea deal and get out - which would have left her a convicted felon -unable to vote or get any government assistance. It didnt matter they had no evidence for a case and it only took the word of one unnamed source to get her jailed in the raid. I saw the film a f
ew weeks ago and it really had me again thinking of going to law school. I had no idea more than 90% of cases end in plea deals or how deeply racist and skewed the drug laws were. The producer and the director broke it down how DAs were given bonuses and money for the more dr
ug convictions they could get. 

Xhibit plays Dee's deadbeat ex-boyfriend and he did a great job. I interviewed him a few weeks ago and he is HILARIOUS and really doesn't hold back, a lot of that left on the cutting roo
m floor. Alfre Woodard plays Dee's mom and she is such a gem. Of course when she said "rising above" during an answer, I had to mention to her I loved her in "Beauty Shop," to which I could hear the smile in her voice as she said she really enjoyed the project. It was humbling to see none of us can ever get too big for compliments - especially on your craft. Loved her thoughts on love too.

I had the chance to speak with Regina Kelly and her poise and strength wraps you like a hug. Its easy to look back and see how it all worked out, but she stepped out and took on a racist county having no idea how things would turn out. Newcomer Nicole Beharie is the lead in the film and she is captivating. It was like talking to a cousin, as she discussed when she once lived in
 Orangeburg, SC where both of my parents went to undergrad.

The movie closes on an interesting note, reminding you that there is definitely more work that needs to be done - and one person really can make a difference, even those society often overlooks.

Sweet Treat

April 16, 2009
So earlier this week I got a text from Sherlock at work asking if my work address was the same as the magazines because someone at his job wanted to send something to the magazine.

I replied nonchalantly yes . . .
. . .inside my heart beat just a tad faster wondering if it was him trying to confirm my work address to send me something.

It was a random Tuesday, not my birthday or an anniversary, so I wasn't expecting anything special. I went on with my day and headed out to a steakhouse for a food tasting we are doing. Ok, so I did tell my co-worker about it when we were out and asked if it sounded like a ploy to get my address or if I just had watched too many romantic comedies. She patted my hand and said don't get your hopes up. I laughed out loud and agreed. On the way back in the cab he sent me a text asking how my day was going. I replied. I got upstairs and waiting on my desk was a delivery from edible arrangements. I grinned hard then didnt really know how to react since I didnt want all of my coworkers all in the bizness.

I grabbed my phone and went around the corner to call and properly thank him.

A coworker who can push my buttons was walking by and said I see hearts. I felt myself getting cold thinking she meant she could see hearts in my eyes or something. Until she pointed and I realized she was referring to the heart-shaped pineapples. Wow. Nice touch. My buddies at work came on by for some afternoon fruit.

Of course it was a challenge to get back focused, but I managed. And all my coworkers and the roomie approve of the new guy so far because of jumbo sized strawberries:) . . .

Sexy Grits

April 15, 2009

Tonight I went to a new Harlem hot spot, Mojo on 119th and St. Nick and I definitely will be back again. It has excellent lighting in shades of magenta and purple that make everyone look like they are glowing, good drinks, smooth music (jazz, Al Green and Zapp & Roger all had a spin) and great presentation with tasty food. And full disclosure I went with the new guy, so awesome company may have endeared me to the place even more.

Waiting at the bar a few minutes before he got there, I scanned the menu and Sexy Grits caught my eye. I had to know what was in it and the bartender said they had cream, milk and a little sugar topped with mushrooms. Sherlock came smelling good and we sat down for dinner. All the drinks on the menu looked extra enticing and after interviewing a bartender recently I'm itching to expand my drink selection. With many cocktails being named for Harlem neighborhoods I felt it was right I rep my part of town and ordered the Sugar Hill. He got the Striver's Row (LOVE that block, gorgeous . . .and the drink is tasty with fresh lemon)

We were playing the questions game and I was deciding which sense I would give up if i had to lose one. I chose taste just as the waitress returned for our food orders. Sexy grits it was . . . and they were delicious.

Mojo definitely earns its name.

Mid-meal I laughed remembering a t-shirt I saw in Savannah a few years back.

Girls Raised In The South

Guess you really area what you eat . . . Sexy Grits on Sugar Hill:)

Easter Weekend

April 13, 2009

Ok. So I didn't read the New York Times this weekend. I didn't do laundry. I didn't grocery shop. I didn't clean. I didn't call old or new friends.

But I feel like I had a pretty productive weekend.

I went to church. Spent time with a GREAT guy. Filed my taxes. Smiled at pretty babies.

Looking at all the kids in their Easter dresses at church, made me reflect on my old dresses from year's past. My Kindergarten teacher Ms. Prather threatened to braid up all our pretty curls if we didn't stop talking in class the Monday after Easter and I think that was the quietest her class ever was.

My pastor did an amazing sermon on the death of death that came along with Easter. Great stuff. Then lunch at Native and cupcakes and watching Dreamgirls.

Hope your Easter was a good one

Miss Kerri Baby

April 10, 2009

Keri Hilson.

All this time she has been out, I had no idea she was from DECATUR, GA as am I until recently. My roommate ADORES Keri and they definitely have similar styles. I loved Turning Me On and was glad to see her stepping out and doing her own thing, even if that meant a bowl haircut here and there.

All the remix hoopla with Beyonce and Ciara, who cares? Though if she is going to claim to be so down, if it wasnt them two, then just say who those verses were written for.

Anywho, with her debut album finally out I have been listening trying to find another track like Turning Me On and Energy that I can just jam to. Her Swag On remix is hot for getting ready for a night out but not what Im jamming to on the train. Then today her song "Hands and Feet" came on the ipod and I was feeling it . . .until the chorus. Its all mellow and sexy as she spots a guy she is feeling in. Then says you can tell a guy can handle his by his hands and feet - and then asks 'Where'd you get that from, your daddy?" If I am thinking about somebody in that way, I dont want there parents popping in my head or theirs . . .

A Queen on KING

April 8, 2009

So KING magazine folded recently. Another magazine gone. It felt rather personal. And like most personal moments I don't respond right away and let the news sink in.

I just read Aliya's post (LOVE HER BLOG) on it and felt I wanted to share my two cents.

I'm a feminist so a magazine accused of objectifying women definitely got plenty of side eye, until I picked up King and read it. I always learned something. Sure I always thought, couldnt they cover this girl just a little more or did she have to pose bent over, from the back. But if it took that pose to get a young Black man who otherwise wouldnt be reading the info inside, well, guess we can make a little concession.

And the staff. Throughout my time at HU with Cover to Cover their writers and editors always supported students trying to break in. They sent copies of more than one issue to our conferences and welcomed students by. I invited Aliya down to a panel we hosted Senior year and I loved hearing the story of how the Baby's Daddy Manual came together, something I thing should be printed in pamphlets and distributed.

In New York later that year, me and the Cover to Cover VP actually saw Datwon and Jermaine out at lunch during our trip to NY, right before it was announced Jermaine was the new EIC. She was a huge fan of the magazine and I urged her to say hello. We did and they were extra cool

Once I got to NY, not only was the Hilltop homie Jozen on staff, but also my fellow mag head John Kennedy and it was exciting to see us both transition from college grads to EAs at magazines we loved. We met for lunch and AIMed.

Then that fall our senior writer was working on a cheating story and there were talks of getting King to possibly help get men to take a survey. So she and I headed over to the King offices. It was like walking into Drew Hall, the post-college edition. We met in one of the top execs offices and editors from the mag filed in. All these young Black men who were witty and creative. I loved the way they interacted and what constituted common knowledge. For examples they quoted Martin episodes and Tribe Called Quest songs. It was like a frat house minus the bbq grill. Well maybe there was a grill i didnt see.

Aliya made the great point of where else would you find that many Black men as magazine editors.

Well, Im sure they will all be fine and some cool new site will help fill the void of the mag. Still hate to see a sweet spot for the brothers go

Smitten Over Sushi

April 6, 2009

That's the word me and my homie of summer 2006 would describe our love lives right now. So I've been scratching my head and smiling a.lot. after hanging with Sherlock(one of our many inside jokes) these last few weeks.

And my optimism in love has been spilling over to others. I had lunch Saturday with one of my mentors and she hadnt talked to a guy friend she was  feelings for in months. She tried calling once after a misunderstanding that was her fault. I told her to call . . .and leave the "why havent called me speech"? for the birds. That isnt gonna get you what you want in the end: your friend back. I finally started reading Steve Harvey's book and I completely agree on sometimes independent women have to remember how to be
 ladies and treat a man like, well, a man. So we practiced the convo. "I havent talked to you" changed to "WE havent talked" with a side of "I Miss talking to you and just wanted to say hello." Who would get defensive with that? No, Im not that wise. A lot of that stayed with me from Susan Taylor last year and she saying how we have to remember to be soft with our men and build them up.

Saturday night was Z's housewarming in BK which only for her would I make that trek! Had fun playing some spades and of course the convo turned to relationships and the fellas breaking down how the break down the Jump Off. The one girl with the ring on it shut it down with a loving smile after her guy went on and on, that he did none of what he was saying to get her. Loved.it.

So yesterday Sherlock taught me how to make sushi . . . no Im not gonna be whipping up spicy tuna rolls for lunch but the whole process is demystified. His recipe for jerk chicken rolls with mango I promised to keep to myself but it was ON POINT. I've been on the prowl for men who cook for work and this brother somehow pops back into my life and can.burn. Im totally going to step my game up. 

I also tried to get to church yesterday but a few minutes late had me outside for 15 minutes till I acknowledged this wasnt going to happen. Guess people thought it was Easter already. The choir sounded good . . ..and I made a note to self to go to the 8am service necxt week. ABout to cross the street to get on the bus, I see Harriet Cole and her daughter on a scooter fly by and smile. Mornings in Harlem.

Loving Reckless . . .Atlanta Housewive style

April 3, 2009

So yesterday the blog world had its panties in a bunch wondering what was going on in the panties of Dwight . . .The Atlanta Housewives star who is getting a wife of his own as mouths wagged that he was getting married to a woman . . . 

And of course I felt I should go straight to the source, and dialed up Mr. Dwight to get the details.

Me: Hey Dwight, Do I owe you a congratulations?

Dwight: You've been reading the blogs?

Me: (Laughs) No a friend mentioned  . . .(which was true, Niem gchatted me)

“It’s really interesting because the men are so standoffish, but the women don’t care," says Dwight. "Most of the men around here are gay, lying to their wives, slipping and dipping and all that, but it is what it is. You have to enjoy life, and that’s what I am doing.”

Of course this set off plenty of debate. Should we all be that open-minded and at least be happy he's being honest? And of course the obvious response . . . "are Black women really that desperate?"

Well, as I promote loving reckless for the year, if you find happiness and love, who am I to judge it? 

I'm just not one to compete on who's the most feminine or cute in a marriage . . .

Could you date  a man who shared he had been bisexual in the past? If he was great and faithful, would you just rather not know?

Mind F*ck

April 1, 2009

"What kind of mind f*ckery is this?" I sang, on key if I do say so myself, from the backseat during a road trip with friends a while back.

We laughed and put on Amy Winehouse for the ride, as my friend continued the tangled story of her good friend, great friend, actually who really "got" her, though his girlfriend tucked away in another state kept them from officially being together. Then she shared how he had invited her and two other of his female friends to hang out with him one night, none of them knowing each other and just knowing him. I thought he was totally trying to have his cake and eat them too. . .

Could I realistically tell her to just let this guy out of her life since he was had jerk tendencies and was a little dangerous to her sanity? No.

Because the mind loving was just too good and when you find someone who really gets all your jokes and weirdness, it's way harder to let.that.go

So in the backseat I started to break down a Mind F*ck.

First I was excited to share with the group that everyone always reaches a climax in a mind freak, and there is no uncertainty if you don't.

There's not that whole weird "did you come?" question (fellas, we HATE that . . .if you have to ask then I feel you have your answer, no, Naked with socks did a great post on this a while back).

In a mind hook up, it is pretty clear when you get the joke that we have reached higher ground.

And there are always constant new surprises and never the same ole routine. You are also usually always in the mood, or a good inside joke can be all the foreplay needed to get things going.

Tonight during some good mind loving I heard about this guy at the movies . . . with his jumpoff. Me and my homie both knew that was inappropriate JO behavior of his friend. Then the friend texts that well, the girl took him and he was going to get her to do something nasty and I cracked up . . .

Then wondered is there a Mind JO job? Yes indeed. That crass or crazy friend you wouldnt take out or introduce to your friends and you arent comfortable with how they would act in a social setting, but still pick up the phone when they call because they always have a crazy story, or will listen and have crazy feedback to yours, well thats a mental jump off.

Mind F*cks arent anything to play with