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Monday, January 31, 2011

Winter-y weekend

My weekend was pretty uneventful. I went to Trader Joe’s on 72nd to check it out. People had been telling me it was there but for some reason I just never saw it. As my mother says if it was a bug it would have bitten me. Big as all get out right there on the corner of 72nd and Broadway on the downtown side- I don't know what was wrong with me. It was interesting though. The whole thing is underground like the Apple store on 59th Street- I guess this is an architechural trend (makes sense since all the real estate above ground is taken). It’s larger than the one in Union Square but it’s not as big (to me) as any of the Whole Foods in the city.

And it needs to be. People were on top of each other in there! I don’t understand why they didn’t get more square footage. But maybe if you go in on a day that isn’t Saturday or Sunday you have a better experience. My companion got a couple things- only came up to $23.00 – so the prices are good. That’s nice. I think I want to go back on Wednesday when I get paid to get one or two things. Otherwise, Saturday was uneventful. We left there to go to SOHO Nails – (shout out to my favorite waxing spot!) so both of us are now (Man) presentable. That is also nice. It makes me feel girlie and not like a beast. Tee-hee. We ate Indian down at Baluchi’s and ended up in Union Square at Crumbs. Cupcakes are exactly what I don't need but I love them anyway. The Union Square area was pretty desolate which was almost eerie. Every restaurant we passed was completely full but the street was empty- weird. There was a line out the door at Bowlmor Lanes too. So I guess it wasn’t that people weren’t out because of the cold they were all just indoors.

Friday, January 28, 2011

TV Funhouse I

So I watched the my DVR'd episode of Criminal Minds Monday night. It was all about Vodoo/Santaria. I was just too depressed yesterday to talk about it. You know what’s funny, it was the first time that I thought Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) was attractive. I think it was a combination of him being secretive and irritable that I found a turn-on (the fact that he cut his hair this season helped too). I’m so weird. He's only attractive at his most obnoxious. I find most episodes of CM pretty out there. Sometimes I watch it and I’m like, “I can’t believe they can show this on Broadcast TV!” With the heads and the brains and the tongues, I was like wow- this is like watching the Serpent and the Rainbow on CBS sat 4 in the afternoon.

I also watched last week's Parenthood and the Good Wife on Sunday. I have to say again how much I’m digging Cary (Matt Czuchry) now. It’s like he had a charisma injection or an a$$hole-ectomy. Getting out of the firm is the best thing the writers could have done for his character. He was so smarmy and such a kiss-a$$ before and now he just seems ruthless. Which is completely sexy to me. (Again...crazy) I didn’t even mind when he said he wouldn’t come back if they didn't double Alicia’s salary for him and making him her superior (which Will would never go for in a million years, btw). Did you notice that he’d only consider joining the Diane’s firm if Kalinda was coming too? I think when they get back into it (Cary and Kalinda) The Good Wife will officially be my favorite show! Do you think that Michael Ealy hasn’t figured out that Will and Diane are back in league with each other? I thought to myself "how dumb are ya’ll giving each other secret nods right in front of Derek in a meeting?" Even if he didn’t see it, one of his associates might have.

On Parenthood, I think Kristina (Monica Potter) is an idiot. I mean, Haddie (Sarah Ramos) is a teenager. She’s lucky she’s even confiding in her grandmother. She could be keeping every adult she knows completely out of the loop- for Kristina to be jealous of Camille seemed to me like looking a gift horse in the mouth. If something serious was happening Camille would tell Adam and Kristina, the same can’t necessarily be said for Amber (Mae Whitman). Kristina’s a dummy.

But Haddie has clearly lost her GD mind! I don’t care how big you are and how right you think you are. I’d have put her teeth in the back of the throat for talking to me like that. The only good thing they did (like Bree did on Desperate Housewives - I almost called it Whorewives...oops) was when they took Haddie’s door off the hinges. The way I grew up- you like slamming doors? Then you don’t get a door to slam. Adam and Kristina are playing around with her. Looks like in this week's episode they’re begging her to come back home. Yeah, right!? I’d be like stay you’re a$$ right there. (But behind the scenes me and Camille and Zeke would have words about them letting her stay. You don’t get in the middle of sh!t going down between me and my kids- you don’t get to be her port in the storm). As you can see I grew up fairly rough and tumble- all the coddling going on on TV didn't exist for me. I guess my life was a smidge more Criminal Minds and less Parenthood.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

One small step for a woman, one giant leap...

So you’d have been so proud of me!

As soon as I saw The Guy today (without being eager), I said what’s up to him. He seemed more than willing to talk. He was already looking at me when I opened my mouth to speak. We shook hands, he’s got big hands (which I love- didn’t know that about me, did you? But I don't believe the hype. You have no idea what's in a man's shorts until you look) and a nice firm but gentle handshake. He wasn’t wearing a wedding ring!! Despite the questionable complexion, he’s a lot cuter than I initially thought he was. I realize now that I’d only been glancing at him out of the corner of my eye and looking at him in profile. Head on, he’s actually handsome.He’s definitely about 6’1. He has dark brown hair and light brown eyes. I’m still thinking part Asian, but he might even be Native American* (possibly my first NA sighting-that I know of- in NY!).

*A short note about my seeming preoccupation with ethnicity: you're right I am. But not in an ugly racist kind of way. I just like meeting and knowing people of different groups. I think it makes the world more interesting and I think it's one of the things that makes living in the United States the best place in the world. One of the best memories of an old job of mine is the way that after work sometimes we would go out - rolling like ten-deep - in a group that was comprised of African-Americans, Asians (Chinese, Korean, Filipino), Latinos and whites. Most people didn't know what to make of us and what's better is some didn't even notice.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New guy for coffee

So I think I might have an admirer. Thank heaven he’s more attractive than the last one was (which I feel bad even writing because the last one was such a nice guy, and a doctor to boot).

So why do I think he’s an admirer? I’m glad you asked. Well, because I could totally be wrong. He may in fact just think I’m a weird, loud girl he keeps running into. What I’m basing my assessment on is the fact that he’s always looking in my mouth. By that I mean every time he's around and I say anything (in his general direction or not), he’s right in the middle of it. Now to be fair to him, it’s not exactly private conversations I'm having, but most people just ignore me (I admit I'm loud- I think it's my hearing- but I keep it below a roar). But this dude, is like staring in my face when ever I speak. Last week, which was when I really noticed (I mean I’d sort of noticed before then but thought it was my imagination), I said something kinda jokey and don’t you know, dude is behind me cracking up. I honestly don’t care, so I didn’t say anything about it but I was thinking, “he’s listening to my conversation… weird.” Today, like I said broham was looking right in my mouth. Every time I spoke he was all over it, which is how the last one was- which is also why I feel free to speculate that the situation might be the same- namely Crush City.

I should stop calling him “dude”, he’s a man. Those kind of pejoratives are a bit of a bad habit of mine. Anyhoo, I think he might work where I do, because I keep seeing him (I'm delibrately being vague about the wheres and whys- in this internet age you never know what will come back to bite ya). But then he might just be “new” to me. ("A million Starbucks in this world and you have to walk into mine"). He's about, um, 6’0 I’d think, maybe 6’1. I'm thinking white and Asian but really he’s kind of racially non-descript. I mean definitely white but there’s something else happening in there too. He’s cute enough. Today, because of the fact that we were all running late and no one really knew what was holding up the Caffeine Express, all us addicts started grumbling to each other. And he kind of hung on the periphery of our "coffee klatch" smiling and nodding and agreeing with the people talking. You know the way quiet folks do. And of course, staring in my mouth as per usual. Every time I spoke I had his undivided attention. I could tell once or twice he almost spoke, but he hesitated and like happens in a group, someone else filled the void. He seems nice. He has that kind of nice/nerdy thing happening.

I don’t know what it is about him but he has ideal husband material written all over him- at least by the look of him (could be a real d*ck in reality or better yet, a psycho killer). In fact, I'd previously made a mental note to myself to look at his hand for a wedding ring, but forgot. I'm sure someone must have scooped him up already, (unless as previously noted, he’s a weirdo). I can’t imagine that his kinda questionable skin is frightening the girls away (By skin, I'm meaning blemishes people, before someone gets pre-emptively, politically-correct-ishly offended). He so clearly would be cute in that old school, John Cusack-y/eighties way (he’s got kinda floppy hair) if his skin was clear. So I’m debating introducing myself tomorrow. I introduced myself to someone once (Claire made me do that) way back when, and I’m glad I did. He ended up being cool peoples.

I know it sounds completely off to say I don't introduce myself to people I don't know. It would make less sense if you actually knew me 'cuz I seem much closer to an extrovert than to an introvert. But it's true. It’s just you know, I’m not that person. I’m not forward. Walking up to random people and just saying "put 'er there, partner" seems strange to me. So I wait for introductions or we pass in the night unknown to one another. I guess ultimately the truth is I'm painfully shy. It’s up in the air, whether or not I'll work up the nerve. Maybe I’ll check the hand for a ring first and then decide from there. Keep you posted of course.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Interesting....

Met a guy today in amongst some other people I kind of know. Cute. Tall. ish. Biracial, I think.

Scratch that.

Saw a guy today. Talking amongst people I kind of know. Interesting-looking, not short. Didn't say anything because I never have the nerve to make the first move. Should see him tomorrow. We'll see what happens.

Friday, January 21, 2011

La Petite Garçon - deuxième partie

Wasn’t that just the cutest thing ever? I think French is pretty, although I’ve had no desire to ever speak it myself. But when I hear people speak it, especially small children-oh! It’s like Elmira, I just want to hug them and squeeze them and love them and hold them…

Now check this out...



Quelle adorable, non?!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

La Petite Fille

Well, I don't speak a word of french but I had to share this. This is the cutest thing ever! And I love how she says hippopotamus and crocodile...so adorable! Oh, and the story's crazy too. A class struggle in the Hundred Acre Wood...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Social Network

So I’ve been trying all week to try and frame this post. I still am uncertain about what exactly I want to say and how I want to say it. But I have to put it out there (in part because I need to keep to my Non-Resolution to write more and also just because I want to talk about it): The Social Network. I saw that last week and watched it three times back-to-back.

I don’t know why but it completely captured my imagination. I’m guessing it was because these guys were almost my contemporaries (I’m a couple years older) and their apparent intellect is staggering. The ways in which their minds worked in the movie was just awesome. Some of that, I concede, I must contribute to the masterful work of Aaron Sorkin as screenwriter. But not to belittle his work, but he craftily and ingeniously framed the truth of what actually happened. He didn’t make it up. And I think what I was so amazed by was how fundamentally a couple of kids changed not only their world, but nuts and bolts, the world of everyone around. I mean even if you don’t use Facebook -you know what it is. Even if you don’t think your life is affected by its existence- it is. User or not, the world is different because of this little computer program made by a lost, angry, brilliant twenty-one year old kid.



Quick example, my BFF Claire* is still in touch with a Moroccan friend she made nine years ago, while on a week-long trip. I talk to family members I didn’t previously even know, on Facebook. My mother is FB friends with her high school BFF who she hadn’t seen or spoken to in over thirty years before they found each other last year. Some of this can just be attributed to the magic of the internet itself. But a great deal of the credit has to go to the brilliant idea that is facebook. I mean, I know it wasn’t a pioneer- there were the affinity sites- BlackPlanet, Asian Avenue, Mi Gente, then Friendster and MySpace. But something about Facebook clicked. I don’t know what it was for other people. Personally, I didn’t like the social self segregation of BP, Friendster just seemed like a silly idea to me and MySpace just skewed too young.

It’s just amazing, I think, to remember what I was doing at the same time these guys, or I guess particularly Mark Zuckerberg were quietly changing the world. I mean at a time when I didn’t even think myself capable of getting out of a dead end job, this kid was coming up with an idea that would make him a billionaire (that's billion with a “B”). Forty-one point six percent (41.6%) of Americans have a Facebook account. That’s a 124.8 million people, folks! In this country alone! They launched Facebook to the Harvard community in February of 2004 and in seven years have managed to incorporate (and if you watch some of your “friends” on that site you know) indoctrinate nearly half the people in the United States of America and half a billion worldwide. In ’04, I was 26. That year I lost my job, joined Match.com (a membership that has yet to bear fruit), skipped what ended up being an epic trip to Vegas with girlfriends and ended the year folding t-shirts for minimum wage at Club Monaco. It boggles the mind.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

City Life 101


So I decided to be industrious last night. Only NYC residents will even get the references (but since I'm the only person reading this, I don't think it matters anyway). I decided to try shopping up in the Marble Hill area of Manhattan/the Bronx. (Very interesting history, the link is worth checking out). Now, NYers know that the Marble Hill Target used to be the only one in a ten-mile radius of Manhattan (before the 116th and Manhattan Ave. store popped up). Up until this summer, if you wanted your Tar-get (think French) fix, you had to head Uptown to the Bronx or South onto Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. Since then two Targets have sprung up in my general vicinity and although the new one is much closer to me, my mind still defaults to 225th Street. Anyway, I decided to try and kill two birds with one stone and do some supermarket shopping at Stop N Shop at the same time. I'm addicted to their muffins-it started in college; I can't get enough of them. Unfortunately for me, the occurrence of Stop N Shops in the city is even sparser than Target, primarily in outlying areas of The Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn. So I was being both ambitious and pragmatic with my "two-for-one" mentality.


The thing is, the Stop N Shop/Target thing ended up being kind of difficult, for some obvious reasons but also some not so obvious ones. Like it probably wouldn't have been such a hassle in the summer- less clothing and baggage (my purse would have been smaller), it would have been better if I'd gone in the daytime, if I'd brought my own shopping bags (like I'd planned to), if I'd known where exactly I was going, if my back hadn't already been hurting, if I didn't have my lunch bag with me and been dressed for work, etc. And then there are the obvious things like, I should have gotten a cab, I should have come earlier instead of at damn near eight p.m., I should have written a list instead of relying on my memory, etc.


But I didn't die and I didn't exactly feel like "I'll never do this again". I got off at 231st Street and walked about three or four blocks to Stop N Shop only to discover, as is appropriate, that the muffin pickins are pretty slim by 7:30 at night. Which again makes sense if they're fresh-made every day. So I grabbed six muffins and bounced thinking that Target was back about 5 blocks. Try 10. I could have, and maybe should have walked up to 238th St. and taken the 1 train back two stops to Target. But I walked. Someone I asked for directions along the way directed me through the Marble Hill Houses. I was thinking as she spoke, I rarely cut through the PJs in my own neighborhood; I'm certainly not cutting through in the Bx. Especially not at night. (My sense of fear clearly still resides in late 1980's/early '90s NYC). But that bit of cowardice on my part added about three blocks to my walk making it about the equivalent of walking from Bedford Park Blvd. to Fordham Road (since I'm in a Bx mindset) or to be more current, where I used to live on 131st to Settepani Restaurant on 120th. Normally not so bad a walk at all- but after work, in my winter coat, carrying my heavy @ss purse (that my doctor said I have to give up) and my half empty lunch bag, I felt like one of those African ladies carrying her child on her back and her market goods on her head. (Speaking of African, there was a nice African Import/Export shop over there on Broadway that might be nice to revisit).


So I was kind of tired and hungry by the time I got to Target. I was reminded that you should never grocery shop on an empty stomach. Again at Target, the pickins were slim and all they had was whole milk Lactaid, which I don't drink anymore. The Lean Cuisines and Smart Food dinners were on sale. The Dreyers ice cream was on sale but the stock was depleted. There were some cleaning products on sale but I couldn't carry them…. Overall it looked like there was a good sale on for those adequately prepared (read: not me). Ultimately, I bought about three bags worth of sale items and then climbed back on the iron horse. And so though the trip wasn't a complete waste of time, I felt acutely aware of the fact that I could have had it all (2 plus hours worth) done in about 45 minutes if I could drive (which I can't). Or if I had a man that could drive (which I don't)…but that's a whole other ball of wax.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Apple Pie for dinner

I, of course have to go to the Bronx tonight to get my Apple pie…every time I even think it, I’m reminded what a “fat-girl” move it is for me to be going all the way to The f@#$ing Bronx to pick up a pie. A PIE! Unbelievable. Well, this is my life now apparently. I should just embrace it. I could make the excuse that I’m only getting the pie because I had it made for me and since my cousin went through the trouble, going to the Bronx is the least I could do. All of this is true- but honestly if I wasn’t locked in already, I would not be going to the Bronx to pick up no GD pie! OK, the truth is, I do also want the pie. I mean it won't go to waste, if I left it there I know my cousin’s boyfriend would eat it. I don’t have to worry about that. But then I’d also have to hear about the trouble I put my cousin through only to not come get it. It’s hardly worth the confusion. But still that’s a damn convenient excuse for me to be taking my fat a$$ to the Bronx for pie. Mmmm...good pie too. Dammit!

Anyhoo, after I come back from the Bronx, I’m gonna head over to Blockbuster to finally return these movies (the Back-Up Plan and Repo Men) that I’ve had for over four months. I don’t know what’s new at Blockbuster but I think Social Network is in, so maybe that (if I can get it on a Friday night) and something else. Then I guess, buy some ice cream for my pie. Ahh, another wonderful night. Good times.

Love Is

On my way into work this morning my iPod, which I've taken to calling my iPod Shuffle of Destiny (for reasons I won't go into right this second), played
"Love Is" by Vanessa Williams and Brian McKnight for the second time in two days. Now, if you knew my iPod Shuffle of Destiny, you'd know that there is something of portent about that. What? I have no idea. But I know that I was struck repeatedly by the lines: Love aches for everyone of us/ Love takes the tears and the pain/ and it turns it into the beauty that remains

Having recently lost my beloved grandmother, that line has more than it's usual lovelorn sting. Usually I can scoff at the sentiment, but when thinking of her- I see it so clearly. How I will carry my love for her long beyond her grave, long beyond my own. Be it familial, unrequited, puppy, first or endless...love lights the world /unites the lovers for eternity... On a cold dark day like today, that's a comforting thought.

Enjoy:


Thursday, January 13, 2011

A little fun today

So for the past week or so I've only been writing kind of stream of consciousness posts that deal with my general complaints and thoughts about my life. It seems whiny to me in retrospect. But whining was not my intent. Truth be told, I was doing that because it was easy and allowed me not to deal with my anxiety surrounding trying to "embed" video and add links to my posts. See, if I only talked about thoughts and feelings, I didn't have to add a link to the new Green Hornet trailer or Jermaine Stewart's video "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off" (which I love by the way).

But now is, apparently, the time to put away childish things and try to really be a big girl and try to put a video in this post. So here it is. Nothing new just something that sort of consistantly makes me laugh. Not quite as good as their christmas classic feat. Justin Timberlake -"D@#$ in a Box", but still a terrific runner up. Lonely Island's Jizz In My Pant. Look closely for a glimpse of JT as the janitor:

Monday, January 10, 2011

Married Men (NOT) Wanted

So I know that I'm, at this point, writing to myself but at some point eventually someone will read this and hopefully answer this for me. My question of the day is: Is there something about some women that make them more attractive to attached (read: married) men? Is there something in their demeanor or comportment or carriage that makes a man with prior commitments think they are more attractive than others? Do they look easy, or merely uncomplicated? Better yet do they seem more susceptible to the "ole okey-doke" (i.e. calls whenever, treated however, taken in by whatever, available to whomever)?

I ask this because over my so-called dating life, I've seemed to attract more than my fair share of espoused gentleman. Not men in relationships- I think those dudes are par for the course. (Uncommitted) men play the field, they check to make sure that the grass is not indeed more verdant elsewhere. They explore their options and venture down new pathways- they stray. That's just the way of the world. Not as I would like it, of course, but it just is. I'm talking MARRIED men. Men with wives, men with children(!), men with mortgages, and children's playdates and couple-friends and in-laws and family vacations. Married men! MARRIED.

What. Is. That. About?

Why me? What scent do I give off that says that is acceptable to me? (It's not). What about me says don't even bother pretending that you are not in some other committed relationship? I mean even if they lie to me at first, they don't bother to lie for very long. And generally they don't even bother. Sometimes they tell me about their plans with their families or how much they admire their wives! Excuse me, ¿que? Why I sit around long enough for much past that is anyone's guess.

And do I splash my drink in their face? Do I curse them out? Do I beat them like a little old lady with my purse? No. I just laugh politely and walk away. Or finish our conversation and move on. Or change the subject to keep things platonic. Maybe if I flipped out, this would happen less frequently. Clearly, I must be doing or acting in a way that is particularly attractive to this segment of society. So what is it I'm doing and how do I stop doing it?

To further complicate matters, my friend says I generally walk around with a neon sign on my forehead saying "Stay Away!" and am apparently frequently hostile and unapproachable. (This is news to me, but I'm the trusting sort. I'll take her word for it). So I'm pretty sure it's not Eau de Desperation I'm giving off. But if not, why is it that married men particularly, are the ones willing to go once more unto the breach? Huh? I mean since they've got a sure thing at home, why bother? Is it just for sport? To keep the skills sharp? And if so, what sort of sport is that? Am I good "game" for those who want the thrill of cheating but have no intent to actually do it? Do they like me because they know they won't make any actual head way with me? By playing with me are they in fact playing with themselves? Am I the metaphysical equivalent of masturbation?

A free dinner for anyone in the metropolitan area that can riddle me that. Just please, for heaven's sake, don't be married.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Road Not Taken

One day, about twelve or so years ago, my very best friend Claire* and I were hanging in her bedroom talking about her prom date. He was the older son of a good friend of her mom's who her mom had since fallen out with. She told me as a result they'd lost touch but she had still nursed the crush on him she'd had since adolescence. I asked if she knew his full name, she replied "of course I do!" and I suggested she look him up on Anywho.com. She did and found him-first name, first try. They reconnected, dated for a while before going their separate ways (because that's how that type of sh*t works for Claire- for me he'd have said "great hearing from you" and then hung up the phone never to be heard from again). They never really got serious and it ended about as drama-free as it began.

Though I only technically met him once, I, like Claire when they dated, was completely caught up and thought he was fabulous: cute, smart, a writer for XXL Mag (with a big name law degree he didn't use), knew everyone in the Hip Hop world worth knowing, traveled, wrote articles and wore (insert harps and angels singing here) a "Press" badge. Really, as I toiled at my little no-name internet mag (before that was a respectable thing) he was kinda living the life I wanted (replace XXL with Honey). I mean, my fantasies were his life crossed with dream hampton's. When she would relay to me all the fabulous stories that he would tell her about this person or that, I was in seventh heaven. For example, the time Erykah Badu sent him a birthday card with a $20 bill in it and the note to have a dime bag on her (I mean how f*ckin' cool is that?!?) His life rocked! Hard!

But like I said it all fizzled out- they broke up, he went to Vibe as the music editor, didn't publish a thing and was promptly laid off when the executive editorial staff changed over (in the Mimi Valdés days I think). And here's a little secret- Claire doesn't like lack of ambition, as a character trait (Which always makes me wonder what the hell she's friends with me for?) Anyhoo, during that time their moms reconnected (none too happy that she and he had been dating) and thus even after the break-up Claire was able to continue to keep up with his progress (or lack thereof) through them. It would be no exaggeration to say things took a serious turn for him- really like everyone, including me, after 9/11. In retrospect, perhaps the break up hadn't been quite as amicable as I thought. Periodically we'd have a laugh at his expense as he we heard he appeared to be circling the drain: lights cut off, deep in debt, lost his apartment, borrowing money from mom, then flying off to France inexplicably- and marrying an older Black American ex-pat he met there. (Secretly, a little of this impetuous behavior still impressed me but the question of how he was getting by day to day in a foreign country scared the sh*t out of me).

So fast forward ten years- he and Claire are FB friends. Claire's happily married and living in PA, he and his wife have two beautiful boys and he seems to be doing the d@mn thing in France. Nothing extreme or that extraordinary, but it looks like his bills are getting paid, he seems linked into the ex-pat community out there and he's continuing to do what he loves. He has his little website that he writes for… and did I already say, he lives in f*ckin Paris! I'm just so incredibly jealous. Yes, what he did initially seemed stupid, and I more than co-signed when Claire was bashing him for recklessness. But in hindsight- right down to the useless law degree, I wish I'd had the nerve to do it too. I mean I'm in debt, still haven't managed to get into grad school, am borrowing from parents- if I didn't have them to help out, my lights would have been cut off long ago, my life is generally a mess. How is it so different (or better) from his life, that I was gleefully ridiculing a few years ago? At least, he can say he went for it. He can say that sh*t has been rough but he's living the life he chose (not that chose him). I continue to this day, to this minute, to let my mortal fear of the unknown constrain me.

Five years ago, I went to his book signing (did I mention he wrote a book?) at Hue-man Bookstore in Harlem. I was one of five people in attendance, including his dad. He didn't recognize me (I didn't expect him to- in fact that was part of the point- a little reconnaissance for my BFF). But I realize now, that night I was motivated in two parts by envy and by curiosity. He did not look any worse for wear. He was warm, charming, happy and grateful, doing a small tour before rejoining his family overseas. I allowed myself to be cheerfully disdainful; thinking of how the once mighty had fallen- blithely tearing down his achievement in my mind. I never read the book he inscribed. And then today I actually saw his website for the first time. Read some of the stories of the different Ex-pats- who, admittedly had far more going for them than I do, but moved to Paris to just live their lives. And so ultimately, the real point is that they did it, they made it happen for themselves. They grabbed their proverbial balls and manned up. Truth be told the site was nice and I'm genuinely happy for him.

Like one of my favorite poems goes…"it's a fierce thing, this enlightenment."


 

*Name changed to protect the guilty

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Is Fat Un-Sexy?

Back in my former life, when I wrote for an internet mag that doesn't exist anymore, I wrote a little something in which I questioned whether fat was sexy. Citing big-girl friends, a coworker no man seemed to be able to get enough of and a certain Ms. Lisa Nicole Carson (of Ally McBeal/ER fame) I wondered aloud if big girls were in the midst of a renaissance. Seems as though the answer is no, not in the 2011.

Recently, I was reading Belle in Brooklyn's blog on Essence (apparently, I'm on a black women's blog kick in the '11) and she was talking about how black women's weight issues are turning men off. When I read it I was surprised, honest to God. Really, I knew that was a sticking point for white men, asian men. I've even had those convos with people about it. (i.e. if I'm serious about opening up my dating landscape maybe I should consider losing a couple, two, three, twenty pounds or so…) But silly me, I thought if Black men didn't actually prefer it (some don't – my father being a prime example) at least for the most part they really didn't care one way or another. I know plenty of big girls that are batting away men like flies. And I'm not talking about the morbidly obese now- waddling down the street, looking like they are going to die after taking a flight of stairs- Black, white, pink, purple, or blue, they may have problems finding anybody but the proverbial "chubby chasers". But I thought a girl my size (alternately anything from a 10 to 16- my weight fluctuations are a real b*tch) wasn't going to get much static from the brothas. But apparently, nope. My Black men hate that sh*t too.

So Belle was talking about all the letters she got from a male reader (she excerpt some of them- "mac & cheese, the spaghetti, the fried chicken and friend [sic] pork chops have become YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY") about the fact that maybe black women were disproportionately alone because we were lard a$$es! She said her last boyfriend had basically said something like that to her and so when she read the emails, she sat in Starbucks and cried until her eyes were puffy. L That is so hard to hear. I mean even if you're like me and you've heard people (like my dad) say it a million times, to read it in print- not framed nicely either- is rough. So all that to say, stay in that gym girl. Whether it's your co-worker Brad or Khalil from around the way, they're gonna be far more interested if you're rail thin than curvy (as euphemism for chunky).

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mega Millions

So tonight is the Mega Millions lotto drawing. Like a good (yet foolish) girl, I already have three tickets in my possession. One gifted to me by one of my dearest friends (I think it was a late Christmas gift), and two I bought over my lunch break. I'm debating currently buying a fourth. For some reason, five keeps coming to me- but I'm gonna cut my losses and stick with three I think. You only need one to win right?

And speaking of winning, though I don't seriously think there's even a possibility, every time I give it any real somber thought I break out in a cold sweat. My heart races. My head starts to hurt. My stomach starts to churn. Funnily enough, these are also the feelings I get when I think of love. No wonder I'm a single girl huh?

Not that I don't want these things: Love and/or Money. I just associate them both with such awful stuff: Lotto winners have strangers that prey on them, old friends that come out of the woodwork, distant cousins with hard luck stories, etc. Lovers have lies, betrayals, manipulations that last long after the love fades. It makes you not even want to do it, don't buy that ticket, don't play those numbers, don't trust that person, don't fall for that line. These moments are when you really see people at their worst. And it's gnashing the teeth kind of scary… at least for me.

But imagining the freedom that could come with all that money, the happiness that could come with knowing you're loved. It's compelling. It's seductive. It makes you blow your hard earned money on those ridiculously miniscule odds (I'm talk love AND money now people).

So like I said, I bought three ticket, and I'm contemplating a fourth… I also have my eye on a certain someone at Match.com. Wish me luck!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

Hotchoqlit aka me, has been contemplating the concept of self-actualization today. Last night, I was reading (or really just skimming) an interesting article on Clutch Magazine that warned that one cannot find love and true happiness without some semblance of self-actualization. If that's true, then I'm as cooked as overdone salmon. I am perhaps the least "actualized" person I know. Unlike my friends who either continue to strive for the goals of their youth or have come to terms with the realities of their current lives and made the necessary moves to mold it into something that they can truly live with, I am in stasis. Is that the word I'm looking for? I'm in a state of suspended animation. Nothing flowing in and nothing flowing out- maybe I meant stagnation? Unhappy with my life as it stands but completely unwilling(?) oblivious(?) unable(?) to find a satisfactory way out- a means to change, nothing ever does. To give you an idea of what I mean by that, let me just say, I could have written that exact same sentence eight or ten years ago (except maybe switch out the period for an exclamation point). Not a thing has changed. At the time I thought, "oh you're having one of those Quarter Life Crisis (crisises?) that everyone's talking about". Almost a decade later can that still be true? At this rate, I'm gonna run right into mid-life and never have had a "crisis"-free year!

Oh, but don't cry for me, Argentina. This is what happens every New Year's: the despair, the hand wringing, the self-flagellation, the grand malaise. And yet by the end of January, I'll have snapped out of it and then I'll spend the next eleven months somnambulating through until I run right smack into Old Man 2011 and again fall flat on Baby 2012. So what can I do this year that will stop the madness? I don't make resolutions generally- because I discovered young I don't like what a loser I feel like when I've already blown them all by March.

So I'm thinking… I can approach, tentatively, small changes, the ones that I can probably accomplish relatively easily and feel majorly satisfied. A new hairstyle- perhaps? A standing appointment at the nail salon? Freshen up my resume. Another ten pounds at Weigh Watchers? Wearing a little makeup (maybe just some liner and lipstick) everyday. Write something, anything on this blog at least twice a week. Login to my insurance website and find a new therapist. Downgrade my cable package? Upgrade from Silver to Gold on my Borders Reward card. Register to retake the GREs. Maybe. Let's not get too ambitious. Small things that I think would make next New Year's a little better. Okay, and one more that's a bit more tricky and formidable- dare to be a little more friendly on the dating websites (like, not view it as a rogue's gallery of losers, deviants and serial killers)- so basically jump into the aughts, a year late.

I think I can do that.

PS. Gabrielle Carteris (of old-90210 fame) is 50 years old today. I don't know how to synthesize that information. It doesn't make me feel old exactly, seeing as I was about 12 when it started but I don't feel young.