Friday, December 08, 2006
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
jay and i went to see idlewild last saturday (on opening weekend), and while there was no salavating on my part, i really enjoyed the movie. i actually found myself being quite skeptical at first, like, "this is one extra long music video." but then it occurred to me, this is a MUSICAL, genius! it is exactly one extra long video! so, once i was content to be entertained and not the witness of cinematic breakthrough or some revelation about life i really had a good time. i did come to a reaffirmed conclusion though - andre and big boi are BY FAR the best thing the south has to offer hiphop music -BAR NONE... scrap that, these dudes are doing some of the most imaginative work in the industry all around. outside of adaptations of stage plays, i had no idea what a contemporary musical would look like. but they did, and they showed us. i haven't purchased the soundtrack yet, but oh it's coming...
what i can say is that both singles out right now are fresh - "idlewild blues" and "morris brown" would play back to back and repeatedly if i had anything to say about it. (aside: dre, i don't really know what the big floating draws meant; i guess i'm not that deep brotha. shout-out to janelle and scar - looking right in the big boi video.) so i saw the dynamic duo on some video show being interviewed ( i think it was VH1), where said interviewer (i think he's dj envy) proceeded to ask them if they were breaking up. he says, "ok, ok, so i have to ask because i'm feeling like a little kid whose parents are about to divorce - are ya'll breaking up?" the grounds for his question? because on the sdtk/album, they do some songs separate. they were both wearing glasses, but you could see the expressions straight through; their expressions kind of said, "this nigga..." but 3000 and "billy ocean" answered very diplomatically. big boi said something like they're too strong right now and why would they do that and they did some tracks separately to give the full effect of their individual styles, so what is he (said interviewer and haters-at-large) complaining for? it's like getting two for one. 300o reminded ol' boy that they played different characters in the movie and some tracks are character songs, so it wouldn't make sense for "rooster" to be on "percival's" songs and vice versa. in response to breaking up and the relationship of outkast, andre put it in a way that was so...so him. he said, "this like 10th grade love right here." (aside: it's stuff like that which makes it so clear why erykah badu had his baby.) they were both nicer than i would have been. i may have told said interviewer that had he listened to any of kast's last...what?...3 or 4 albums, he would know that they've BEEN DOING some separate tracks on the same album. stop trying to be barbara walters, homie! and to quote "return of the 'g'" (aquemini) "...then they wanna ask the question...'what's wrong with andre? is he on drugs, is he in a cult, is he gay? when ya'll gone break up?' when ya'll gone wake up? nigga, i'm feelin' better than ever what's wrong with you? you get down!" (gansta)...
outkast always makes me dream you know? they show all the time that possibilities are endless, but they are also the end result of hardwork and not resting on one's laurels. i say? not bad for two dope boys in a cadillac.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
so now there's photo albums to put together, thank you notes to write, lingering thoughts of "why didn't ----- show up?" but NOT asked with malice, only curiosity. special shout out to everyone who had anything to do with that beautiful endeavor *and if you sent us good vibrations, that counts too.* in the end, we were blessed above and beyond. and when i got back to work, they'd announced my promotion. (i tell ya' boy, if i was the shouting type, i'd be jumping up from this monitor right now). it's not back to life as usual. co-workers and friends ask, "how's married life treating you? doesn't it feel pretty much the same?" "no," i say, "it feels better."
that's all for now.
fruitfly aka "the mrs"
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
and don't think you can pick them out by title either. remember "White Chicks"? "Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle"? too far back, how about "Little Man"?...
i don't mean to sound snobbish or full of myself; i'm just really concerned...
Saturday, July 15, 2006
life is moving so quickly! only one year since graduation from spelman, and i've known of 4 weddings, attended 2, have 2 friends traveling the world, have 2 sisters who've graduated this spring, a spelman sister who's bring a wonderful warrior woman life into this world, etc etc and so forth. trying to document even most of it would ensure that i have to miss a great deal. so it's a touch and go - a journal entry here, a photo there. i'm trying to coax myself into taking more pictures because moments deserve to be captured. so unhappy with what i believe to be a non-photogenic facade, i am quick to jump behind the view finder and not in front of it. but that is selfish; i always want pictures of the people i love and care about, but when they want my picture i weasel out of it saying stuff like, "well, let me take your picture. you'll remeber me because i took it" or "i'll write you something instead." bogus. this won't be an instantaneous transformation, but (as everything else) a work in progress...
i guess a should change the title of this post. i intend to go on a well articulated (and well deserved) rant about family and support and decisions and baggage, but in the grand scheme of things - the negative does not outweigh the positive. (that doesn't mean i don't get headaches though, i'm just saying). in the midst of all these life changes, i am so glad to have a family of artists who won't let me abandon my craft; they'll let me be slow about it - even neglectful sometimes, but never abandon. i thank God and them for that. they definitely get a dedication in the first book...
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Sunday, June 11, 2006
what is it about themes? i'm not going to attribute everything to my love of language and literature, so my inkling to give my birthday a theme is not (just) so that this year in my life will already have a chapter title for the book, but because the birthdays leading up to chronological adulthood have these bells and whistles about them - at 1 year you're actually a number; at 2 years you've learned to be a terror (funny, that one of the first descriptors we give to humans - "terrible" then they grow and become...i digress); at 10 years you are a two digit number, and every subsequent year from there to 13 you're a year closer to being a teenager; at 13 you have full permission to act outside of your mind and call it"growing up" or "puberty" or whatever other excuse we could come up with for acting a damn fool and being mad at our parents all the time; at 16 you're sweet (i'm not even going to speak on that); at 18 you're "legal" - or at least you can buy cigarettes; at 21 you are "all the way legal", for you can purchase your own liquid vices (rather than asking an older friend or something)...
then what? there's this thing i've only just been informed of called a "quarter life crisis." i think it occurs around 25 years. i don't know what it's all about; all i know is that there's assessing and reflection and resolutions and the like. similar to the midlife one, but without the perks. we have all of the neuroses without the benefit of being established enough to do something wild (because wild usually means expensive in one way or another). but that sounds like my every other weekend. then there's midlife - 35 years, where we endure major life changes (sometimes whether we want to or not). after that, what happens? according to thumb and his general rule, as women we just go on about our business and wait for menopause. that shit's for the birds. every birthday is valid because we have lived to see it. so, maybe that's why this notion of theme has come because we all deserve to be excited (whether it's to ourselves or outwardly is of no consequence)...
as i am new to 23, i think to myself, "what awesome attributes are connected to this #?" of course, michael jordan is the first in my mind. a mighty strong example too. what else? in 1923, the Cotton Club opened in Harlem and Jean Toomer published his seminal text CANE. these are all exceptional references, and therefore i am inspired to make my 23rd year "above the rim." to exceed not only succeed in my endeavors...
no, i didn't know all those things off the cuff, but i must admit the research part was fun. yeah, so maybe this is relevant or maybe just a way to pass the time. it's about whatever gets your mojo working, right? so what's your year-in-theme? any other takers for 23? i'm curious...
lov[e, ing] al[l]ways--
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
KICK: we all know that 'even the longest journey begins with a single step' (or something like that). well, if one had to take that step - say - in the mud, going uphill, in church shoes, while it's raining... well, that's more than a simple step. and that's the way the beginning of any worthwhile endeavor is - you have to fight for it. you have to fight hard. you have to give it everything. you have to kick...
PUSH: if you persevere - just a little bit, after a while it gets easier. there's still effort involved, but you're familiar with the process at least- whatever it may be - and familiarity takes the edge off most things. sure, you haven't reached your goal yet, but maybe you can see it. or maybe you can't see it, but you know it's there and you feel so good about the work you're putting in that the means justify themselves (that is essential for me). you really appreciate the journey - struggle and progress at the same time. just push...
COAST: this is the space i yearn for. not laziness, but when i have made good practices in my life such persistent habits that they are second nature - even easy, and a pleasure. and so i repeat them, as that which we enjoy we tend to do often. it's a win-win because we do what is pleasurable, and that which is pleasurable is good for us - a life of fun because when you enjoy the things you do it isn't work, right? inherent in this aspect is awareness and gratitude too. how can everything be a pleasure? even the seemingly menial, everyday tasks? perspective is key. consider those who cannot even do what you do (this is not at all supporting a competitive culture that says the only way to feel good about yourself is to find someone who's worse off). also consider how far you have come, and try to always (as a wise friend told me) be present. when we give our full attention to something, we are more fully stimulated by it, and thereby more thoroughly satisfied. living this existance is a joy. so, coast...
so this mantra is pretty premature still. maybe i'll test it out - see how/ if it works. i'm sure there are more profound and founded logic. i know "kick, push, coast" might not sound so good as a chant. but if i can conceptualize and realize the struggle, the thriving and the arrival all in one breath, well then this woman's got her best years ahead of her.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
i'm late! for a very important date!...& trouble in paradise...& it's about damn time, that's all i got to say...
after being instructed on thai courtesies (buying gifts for your host, taking shoes off at the door, and the like), the girls went on go-sees this week. but of course it couldn't be that simple. they had to buy gifts for the designers they were going to see, ride in mini, open-air (meaning no sides or doors) taxis and see as many designers as they could before returning to the hotel at a specific time. this part of the episode looked like a rat race with some beautiful and interesting clothes interspersed for good measure. i did learn the aesthetically polographic capabilities of a polaroid, though - so the time wasn't wasted. when NONE of the girls made it back to the hotel on time, danielle, the woulda-been winner, got to watch her woulda-been prize, racks of clothes (one from each designer), be wheeled away before her very eyes. "because no one returned on time," said the proctor of the mission, "no one is the winner." damn, that's cold! let's just take a minute and meditate on that monumental loss. but all was not lost because the girls returned to their apartment to find that they were going to an island paradise to do a swimsuit photo shoot (to be produced by "the noted fashion photographer, nigel barker")...
there was trouble in paradise. joanie's been stepping her game up and jade's feeling the heat. jade kept insisting, "she ain't on my level," but is it just me or was jade trying to convice herself? hmm... joanie's got a tall-ass chip on her shoulder named sarah, and has been articulating her disdain for the lady. can't be mad though, sarah went through the least to get on the show and has done the least to stay in the running; i'd be pissed too! cause if you gotta lose, let it at least be to a passionate and worthy adversary. but when tyra visited the house in phuket, all the pettiness got put aside. the girls learned that the very island they inhabited was completely destroyed by the tsunami disaster only a couple of years before. how's that for perspective? the moment of silence lingered long after tyra left; the girls seemed to take into account that as much as the competition means to them, there are bigger issues in life - much bigger. no sooner then tyra layed that heaviness on them did the girls have to shake it off because it was time for a shoot with (judge+photographer=) judographer, nigel...
i think the rough waves were a manifestation of nigel's mind, they molested the girls (that flithy-mc-nasty!). it's pretty hard to be soft and supple when you're being pummeled by rip tides, but lo and behold! they pulled it off -even danielle, whose interaction with the water was nothing short of comical. sort of ironic considering danielle's mind lingered on the victims of the tsunami and the violent qualities of her liquid co-star. sarah had such a time getting her act together that they just had to take her out of the water altogether. jade was able to do something that comes naturally to her in this shoot - she got to rock the boat. but the boat rocked back; she wasn't ready for that part. joanie's confidence stayed high and she handled the shoot like a pro, rough water and all. all four pulled off some really good photos, but the client, i must say, was a bit on the wack side. pictures of models as a screen saver for a cell phone? i'm not feelin' it. i don't care what adolescent boy will pay, let him buy magazines like the perves of yore. but it was for ellegirl, and at the end of the day - a job is a job. (but couldn't you just hear that story at a go-see interview? interviewer: "i know i've seen you before...wait! i saw you on a phone once!" weird.)...
as is the obvious, panel is going a lot quicker these days. jade and joanie were quickly put at ease when their names were called. then sarah and danielle were asked to step forward. they didn't size each other up like furonda and jade did last week (i know you caught it! that was hysterical!). tyra commenced her customary tearing-down, telling each of the girls what she is and what she ain't. someone observed once that whoever she rips on the hardest tends to stay, so when tyra started in on sarah i got a little nervous. then she started saying that a top model need to be able to talk - got a little more nervous. my soliloquy with the television went a little something like this:
"what?...she be'd not...stop playing tyra...true, true,...oh i will be too through if...(holds breath)...yes! that's what i'm talking about! tyra ain't stupid! that's whassup!...it's about damn time!"
i do feel for sarah a bit because her fervor really came through this episode, umpteen weeks into the competition. maybe if she had that from the beginning, she wouldn't have gone home. but like danielle said, she's there for a reason. i hope i know what that reason is, but i'll keep my mouth shut till next week.
and then there were three...
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
i said it before, and i'll say it again - daniel is a G. i'll discuss why later, but i had to get that out right now... so the girls go to a thai theater to learn traditional dance. was it just me, or did anyone else get nostalgic for the "the king and I"? (et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!) they were instructed in the ways of expressing themselves with their bodies, learning what was feminine, masculine and arrogant. "thank you...cause i don't want to do that!" jade says; there's no t a shred of arrogance in her, jade says. what?! is that suppose to be funny? you read it here first - jade is a poor comedian and a bad liar. when the girls were tested with a public demonstration, sarah was still pitifully awkward (but i think she tried harder than she has been), jade was trying so hard that she appeared stoic (or wait, is that just her face?), furonda was a comedy of errors (chris rock would say she cost us a few steps, but maybe she can get put on wilin' out) and sweet joanie had the total package (she was pleasant and pretty, humble and capable). in the end, joanie won the challenge; she and sarah had dinner with the editor of Elle Thailand (a potentially important contact). and where was daniel?...
after the lesson and before the demonstration, daniel experienced the less glamorous side of international travel: exhaustion, dehydration and food poisoning - to name a few. "i had never been in a hospital," she says, "so i didn't understand what they were saying." poor baby! i think that had less to do with medical jargon and more to do with the whole not-speaking-English thing, but i could be wrong. after diagnosis, daniel showed that she was a G once more, having missed the challenge she left the hospital (against doc's orders) to participate in the photo shoot...
the ladies had the privilege of working closely with the gentle giants of the jungle, elephants. daniel came off her sick bed to lay down the law! she moaned and groaned on the ride to the set, she nearly hurled on the animal trainer, but when she saw that flash and heard that click TA-DA! she turned into "supermodel!" her photos were so sick (the good kind, of course). next came jade, and maybe she would have been better of following the animal's lead because she sure as hell didn't follow jay's. man was he fed up with her! he put her down so bad she apologized (yeah, i caught it too)! the shoot was for a new razor. furonda is all leg. it should have been a cakewalk, right? but she just couldn't get right! the last frame was absolutely beautiful; i can't speak for the rest of them. then came joanie, who's just got "the glow" right now. she was original with her poses, she was vibing with the elephant, jay was oozing compliments all over her. sarah, being the smart girl that she is watched joanie and listen to jay and put 2 and 2 together. unfortunately, this basic arithmetic turned to algebra because for sarah 2+2=y. as in "why did you copy joanie? why couldn't you be original? why, if you were going to copy, didn't you do it better?" thankfully, the camera loves her. but the camera loved everyone this episode...
at panel, the girls had the challenge to translate emotions with their bodies. to ensure that they didn't depend on their facial expressions, they had to were masks. sarah was too cerebral with it. joanie and jade - a little less thai, a little more model, huh? daniel confused aggression for expression, but in the end furonda couldn't save face and was sent home. she walked her final walk back to the apartment to pick up her things. kept her head up and never missed a step. got to love that girl.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
**** i did watch the encore presentation last night though. in short - the girls left the country, and nnenna looked like a fish out of water...and then there were five ****
Friday, April 21, 2006
so you figure models must be pretty confident people, right? they are painfully beautiful and always the center of attention; they wear clothes that are completely outrageous and sometimes next-to-nothing. these ladies want that life, so this week tyra decided to test their metal. a model/actress pretended to be a cut-throat agency scout who didn't bite her tongue about the girls' imperfections. she told nnenna she had a gut. she bothered daniel about her gap. she told furonda that her nose was too big. she bothered joanie about her teeth. she told sarah that her bottom lip was "too much bigger than the top." i don't remember brooke's lashing, but miss agency played jade with the drag-queen card (saw that one coming). some of the girls took the comments to heart. nnenna went back to the waiting room pinching her mid section. joanie was really down. furonda was totally flustered...and so on. but lo and behold! jade's pomposity was her saving grace. she took every malicious critique andd spit it back out as a golden asset, and she won the challenge.
jade chose nnenna to share the wealth this week,and when everyone returned home jade and nnenna had huge gift boxes waiting for them. jade's response was so totally human - and unexpected. jade's mommy was in the box, and when she saw her, she cried. it was the most geniune, moving emotion i've seen for her all season. the way she touched her mother's face and embraced her - as if she was trying to convice herself that her mother was reallt standing there - it was so tender, so loving. that may have created a chink in my anti-jade armor (drats!). nnenna's surprise, according to her face, was not so pleasant. boyfriend, johnny-boy, came out of her box and she looked like she wanted to put him back in. well, i guess being on the phone 23 hours of the day with a person doesn't really give you a chance to miss 'em, does it nnenna? she was hoping it was one of her sisters. i admit, that would have been beautiful...
the photo shoot was very fun this week. the girls were dolls to work with...no really, they were dolls. baby dolls, rag dolls, glamour dolls, MANequins, etc. furonda was awesome at this shoot. she was a rag doll and totally had the body language down. joanie was another one; she was a vantrilaquist's doll, but the ingenius way she pulled off the shot makes her far from a dummy. daniel was a marionett and also brilliant with the body language. jade did very well as a MANequin. brooke's glamour doll attempt just looked, well, plastic. sarah as a teen doll could have used more expression, but her head looked like one of the Brats dolls, so i guess that's good. and then there was nnenna. i'll just say this, if i had baby dolls that looked like nnenna when i was young, i'd second guess having children. now that's a little harsh, but nnenna knows how to soften her expressions. she just didn't...
there was another mini-shoot that the girls did with tyra. she did these crying beauty shots where the girls had to - i guess that's pretty obvious. nnenna and joanie stick out in my mind for this shoot; they both captured a beautiful intensity that came from very different places. nnenna's cry needed to happen; she'd been holding it in, and the shoot gave her th oppotunity - she thought about her sisters and how much this competition could mean for them. she was still crying even after she nailed the shot. joanie's tears came from a very recent and tangible place. upwards of 12 hours in a dentist's chair would probably have the same affect on many (shout-out to daniel who not only stayed with joanie, but kept her gap - i think it's beautiful, daniel!). both of the girls used their inner emotion to create a striking photo. brava!...
at panel, daniel was scolded for not have her gap closed. my heart skipped a beat when i thought it would cost her the competition (especially since the judges started pulling negative comments out of their asses because she was on point). joanie continues to rock the house, so of course she made the cut. nnenna, despite her terrible babydoll photo, has been consistent to this point, and she too was safe. furonda is progressing every week, and the judges see it - she stayed. personally, i think they don't want to be wrong about the "golden child" they recruited, so sarah is safe for now (her crying beauty shot helped too). jade was in the bottom two again - with brooke. brooke's awkwardly perfect looks didn't help her this time (i'm thinking that's because next too jade, brooke's not so awkward). she said goodbye, but i respect her demeanor. she wasn't a cry-baby[doll] about it.
the number of girls is steadily dwindling. it will be time for them to leave the country soon. that's the most exciting part, for me. i have no idea where they will go, but it has to happen in the next week or so. i don't want to peg my predictions for the final three again. i see what it did for leslie and brooke.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Saturday, April 15, 2006
and here I thought my church was the only one that did fashion shows, so the kids could show off their Easter clothes! this week, the girls learned about modeling accessories, but they also learned the art of “a-swirl” (you thought miss jay was funny). the episode was all about movement. they had time to learn, practice and execute, but all of the ladies couldn’t rize to the occasion…
I realize that I’m so into the challenges and the shoots that I take very little time commenting on the chemistry (every pun intended) in the house, so I’ll dedicate a few lines this time. Brooke and Nenna were like oil and water. Nenna’s still tying up the phone lines with boyfriend drama, and Brooke (like me) thinks she should have left that in the last episode. when Brooke tried to reason with Nenna about the “community phone” she was completely ignored. well, between the laughing at her commercial and at the “swirling” lesson, that was the straw that broke Brooke’s back! she proceed to storm from the room and stomp down the hallway, yelling all kinds of expletives. I knew she had a little fiona apple in her somewhere. but Nenna stayed menacingly cool throughout the ordeal (why are you so cold, Nenna? we’re a warm, tropical people!)…Jade still refers to herself in the third person, but at least there was no bullying this time – only instigating…
the girls then jump – from church to crump. the shoot was for a fashion-forward ad for payless shoes, who made their debut at this year’s fashion week in NY (shout out payless! I knew I went there for a reason!). the ladies were joined by Clown and his crew of LA based crumpers who were there to add their energy to the set (and energy, indeed!). Sarah was awkward at this shoot (the story of her top model life, so far). Joanie rocked it! her pole-dancing peers would be so proud. meanwhile, Brooke’s striptease was not at all sexy, but the shot was on point (who knew?). Furonda was kind of weird in her poses, but she connected with the camera and that saved her photo too (lot of that going around). Nenna, again, too mellow for her own good; I disagree with the judges about her photo. the face was beautiful, but the pose wasn’t the best, and was it just me or did the blue in her hair make her head blend into the sky? Daniel really enjoyed the shoot. danced her a*s off, I’ll give her that, but (Jay was right) she did get the I’m-really-into-this-dance-and-I’m-workin’-it ugly face. Leslie let me down at this shoot. she’s exuded sexy in every photo prior, but this time the final results looked like a confident flamenco dancer. Jade was really confident and did well at this shoot (I think her winning the challenge stroked her ego a bit). I agree with Jay about her water bottle innovation; it was very good, but (sorry, honey) the dancing was not…
in the end, when Sarah and Leslie were left, Leslie was sent home. It hurt my heart, really. Sarah’s height saved her, so if she doesn’t capitalize on it next week – she’s outta there! and you can quote me. Poor Leslie, there’s no room for ducks on the runway.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Friday, April 07, 2006
So the girls attended this improvisation class where they were to learn how to think on the spot and react. I thought Jade would do well since she's been putting on since the season started. She says, “This is great because I always wanted to take an acting class.” Oh, puh-lease! Mollie Sue was excited too; since height isn't on her side, she hoped this would be an opportunity to cultivate the personality that the panel believes to be intrinsic to her hair color for some odd reason. Jade receives some unsolicited advice from the instructor, “sometimes, it's not all about you.” Amen!...
This was a really good episode for Furonda. Her response to Tyra's “fainting” really showed a genuine compassion in her. Who knew she would get so worked up? It was really sweet though, the poor dear. Meanwhile, Jade didn't even move from the couch when Tyra pretended to pass out; she must have thought with Tyra out of the way, Victoria's Secret would come busting down her door (naïve Jade! I laugh in your ill-formed face- ha ha). Once I saw that it was Tyra falling, I knew acting lessons were at hand, but when I saw the preview I thought to myself, “now which one let her eating disorder get out of control?” They were not so lucky as the ladies of cycle 3 - no Taye Diggs. My guess is Tyra agreed to this when she was on Nick Cannon's show. So, the ladies had a chance to loosen up and wil' out. Furonda, Joanie and Mollie Sue seemed to have the most fun. Nenna would have been funnier, if we could just understand what she was saying! Brooke was too busy sweating and blushing to really take part. Leslie, Daniel and Sarah participated, but not to any amazing degree. Then we have Jade, no-direction-following-quick-ego-bruising-insecurity-leveraging-wack-as-all-outdoors-Jade. Nick should've ragged on her. Oh I wish he did! She was not funny and taking herself way too seriously. So, she starts taking shots at the girls - things that they may be self-conscious about - Furonda's skin and Sarah's height. Totally uncalled for! Nobody said anything about your striking rodent resemblance, Jade, so you didn't have to take it there. And you still didn't win the challenge, punk! (By the way, Furonda and Nenna, good job on the PSA)…
For their challenge, the ladies got their first gander at the covergirl promised land. No shoot, instead they did improv commercials - allowed only two takes - where they had to fill thirty seconds and the only required lines were “Easy. Breezy. Beautiful. Covergirl.” I repeat, the only required lines were, “Easy, breezy, beautiful, Covergirl.” Well, not so easy, breezy. Sarah was up first, and she was natural and beautiful and remembered the product. If it weren't for the implied alcoholism and the wingspan of an albatross, she would have got the product in the frame and nailed it. Then there was Mollie Sue who would have been better off taking the sales pitch of how the foundation covers bruises because she looked like she wanted to fight. If she were trying to sell Marlboro's, it would have been brilliant. Furonda folded at the end - just because cheerleaders wear Covergirl it doesn't mean to mimic them (Ready? OK! Easy. Breezy. Beautiful). It looked like she had some leftover editorial poses from last week that she needed to get out. Joanie can't think on her feet; when she choked, I did too. I almost spit my drink out for laughing when she started rambling about LA (which would have been bad because I have carpeting). What are you talking about, Joanie? Then poor frightful Brooke broke. What did she say? “I just love wearing Covergirl…It's so nice to wear…” Yeah, that's definitely the result of a phobia because nobody uses 'nice' on purpose; I was embarrassed for her. Daniel's accent wasn't as extreme as Tyra made it out to be, but I'd be lying if I said the gap wasn't distracting. Leslie rocked the house! She floated through the set, she kept eye contact with the camera (a look enough to make me blush even!) and that lilac was an awesome color on her. She just radiated beauty and confidence, but Jay said she spoke too quickly (what was that about diarrhea, Jay?). Nenna's improvised script was genius, but she pushed through the crowd, which didn't film as friendly. Maybe she should have channeled the cheesy from her Sears shoot. Then there's Jade (you knew it was coming) who was too fabulous for her own good. That sky blue was a weird color choice because she's already kind of yellow. The incessant spinning probably made the cameraman dizzy, and the pièce de résistance - forgetting the product totally and swearing when you do. Oh I loved it, and turning the bottle around to look at it, no less! If all the world is a stage, you should be relegated to working the curtain, my friend. None of the girls were really pleased with their commercials, so when Nenna went backstage, gloating after her take, it wasn't surprising that they all regarded her something similar to Caesar in his final visit to the capitol…
Everyone looked pretty silly at panel, with only two takes apiece I didn't expect much more. But while everyone else just took their criticism, Jade has to start pointing fingers. She gave the same excuse with the wil' out exercise, “If I had more direction…” That's why it's called improv, sweetie! Deal with it! I thought that would be enough to get her sent home, but the panel disappointed me again. When the elimination was down to Jade and Mollie Sue, she didn't live up to the judges' expectations of a redhead's personality - totally in their own minds. The quirky (but not quirky enough) redhead took her final bow.
Mollie Sue reaches a tragic end, the villain proceeds to the next act and Nenna and her boyfriend? That's an entirely different drama altogether.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
"Keys to the Gate"
In honor of the Women's Center, Spelman College activisim and the Toni Cade Bamabara Scholar Activism Conference
she approached the gate
unaware of the keys already in her possession
she has so much to teach, but first
she has to learn her lessons
a large number to be taught outside the classroom
consumed by a world's problems
with seemingly no ending, no beginning
the conception of interlocking systems had her mind spinning
and her sad heart dropping into her shoes
but she chooses to forsake despair for hope
attempts to commence
the unweaving of deceiving "isms", like double dutch rope
who knew she'd been preparing her whole life to do this work?
classrooms were think tanks - intellectual reserve banks
the civil rights generation thought their ship had sank
but she just changed the course
moved to the south to bring our priorities back north
she is the star who will lead us now
strong daughter, from stronger mother
she bears the fruit to feed us now
and somehow between classes, crisis, changes and challenge
she manages to find her voice
because freedom is a right, but fighting is a choice
spent years ingested the words, strengthed her womb
with evolution through involvement--
energy went, time spent, then arrival of her commencement
time found her on the other side of the gates again
this time with keys in hand
but it doesn't just all go away--
disappear with the appearance of
maybe another degree? maybe a salary? maybe 401K?
at least i have to believe it's not that way,
so i have to wake every morning and say
"how will i be revolutionary today?"
now that might not include marching, per se, or a picket
but if the radio calls me out of my name
(you best believe) i'll flip it
if the TV show mocks my community
(you best believe) i'll switch it
if there's unsightly trash on the ground
(you best believe) i'll pick it up and throw it away
or stay on my knees a few minutes longer before the dawn
giving thanks because this day may be my last
and if i transition to meet the heroes of our past,
i don't want them to make me sit at the children's table,
saying, "we were more willing, but you were more able
and what did you do with the leverage that we gave you?"
then i'll have to sit there
in my kindergarten-desk chair, with some stupid ass look on my face
like i got suspended from school or broke the TV antenna
because they put their lives on the line to open doors i wouldn't enter
because they put my freedom first, but i wouldn't put justice at my center
so i make daily efforts to remeber them all
'cause i never been much of an athlete,
but i'll be damned if i drop the ball
i want to re(visit/edit/fine) this piece, but this was essentially my contribution to the 2006 TCB Scholar Activism Conference. With everything that the conference gave to me, it hardly seems like a fair exchange.
Friday, March 31, 2006
In the famous words of Martin Lawrence, “Damn, Gina!” I hate when I'm right (not really); I didn't want Gina to go home yet, but 4 minutes into the episode I knew it was over. And by the end of the episode I was glad to see her go. That girl did more whining than I could stand, and I have a patience threshold that rivals the Sears Tower. Jade kept taking advantage of her, and Gina kept letting it happen. “I know I can rock this, but I just…” Do you know, Gina? Who are you trying to convince? It's not working. So Janice comes in and embarrasses Gina to the nth degree. Did she learn the importance of being confident enough to laugh at her self? No. (For the record, Janice, that bate-and-switch you pulled at dinner was wrong. No wonder Jade felt a connection with you - bullies of a feather) After blowing up, was Gina able to get Jade out of her system and focus? No. Was she even able to capitalize on her cheesy side for the Sears shoot? No. Maybe Gina's place in the fashion industry is behind the scenes, but only if there are no bugs there of course…
When the girls met Tyra, backstage at the talk show (what a shameless plug that was), they discussed their plans for the future. There are lots of lawyers in that group. I believe Mollie Sue's a nice fit for the fashion world. Daniel, if you want to be a singer, but you decidedly cannot sing, is that your covert way of telling us that top model is your only other ambition? And who are you trying to fool, Jade? You want to be a kindergarten teacher, do you? Because you love kids, you say? Sure you love kids - to eat! Tell the truth! You just want to be surrounded by people who are smaller than you, so you can boss them around and maybe get them to look up to you. Daniel said she would home school her kids before she'd put them in Jade's class; I agree. Congratulations to Brooke who took the Leno out of her look for this week's shoot. There's hope for her yet. As if she wasn't impressive enough, we learned that Nenna wants to return to the continent of Africa to study disease. She already has a degree in chemistry. As far as I could see, she earned her masters in chemistry on the set of their shoot (woo hoo!)! ;+)
Nenna was amazing at both shoots. The first was a surprise because I thought her quiet intensity would be too much for a Sears ad, but she knows herself. That wardrobe is quite a prize too. Nenna knew how to turn it down and open up. But for the “Future Careers” shoot, maybe she was a little too open? Serves boyfriend, John, right. He was so insecure before they even did the shoot that, as far as I'm concerned, that was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Sorry, dear John…
I have to take a minute to laugh again - ha ha! Ladies, I told you before, I'll tell you again - it's too early to leave the country! I think they got it this time; it sort of went like this, “Tyra-mail…(reading)…oh! It means we're going to… We ain't going no where.”
Thursday, March 23, 2006
First can i take a minute to laugh? All the girls thought for a hot minute that they were going to Spain. HA-HA, Ladies! It is far too early in the season to take you anywhere. For one, that's too much money, even for a show doing this well. And for two, you all don't know anything yet. Mama Tyra is not about to take you all out into the world - or across it, rather - and have you embarass her! HA-HA!
Where does this story begin? Once upon a Wednesday night, there was a little frightened girl named Gina who was constantly manipulated by the wicked queen, Jade. GIna found a girl to talk to, a confident dame named Daniel. But Gina became clingy, and Daniel's story took a turn for the worst. Um, Gina, "watch you shower"? Dude, what's that about? Meanwhile, across Top Model Land, Mollie Sue doesn't seem to be living up to her hair, as far as the judges are concerned...Joanie and Brooke are still pretty quiet, and Furonda didn't act out too much this week either. Leslie just takes a damn good picture. I can't think of anyone else who could make young women want to walk aroung with a nose covered in coal, but i'm jumping ahead...
The walking lesson with Miss Jay revealed how very much a lot of the girls have to learn. I cannot contain myself when Leslie is walking; it's one of the craziest things I've ever seen. You want to be a fairytale character, Leslie? How about the beautiful duckling? Safe is definitely the word to describe most of their approaches at this point. Nenna was too slow. Gina - bland. Mollie Sue - short and stout. Joanie - too all American. Jade's stride fell short of her smack-talking. She needs to put her pumps where her mouth is..as a matter of fact, she should keep them there too. Brooke's beautiful nonchalance worked to her disadvantage in this case because her walked definitely looked careless. Furonda was good, but not exceptional. Daniel was going strong until they walked in the dresses, then she was going down... and poor doll-faced kari! i thought she was turning into sarah from last season! you'd have thought her ankles were made of spaghetti i guess that's the problem with dolls, they can be made up and beautifully arranged - but they can't move. And Sarah, what can I say? In that challenge, all that height gone to waste...
so over the river and through the woods to their next challenge with this US, avant-garde designer and (what I like to call) his Rocky Horror Picture Show collection. That's the kind of stuff only a model could wear (well, a model and everyone in Manhattan from Christopher Street to 22nd). How about those accents! Nothing like a GIANT cockroach to add shock value to an otherwise ordinarily odd collection. Bedazzled cockroaches no less! Guaranteed to make your audience gasp and your models scream! Gina was the loudest she's been this season behind the scenes at that show. That she had to be pushed onto the runway was terrible. That she was composed enough to walk down and come back without screaming proves that the fears and insecurities are all in her head. Gina didn't faint, she didn't even cry; it's not a phobia. There would have been dignity in a phobia. Someone needs to direct Miss Gina to Eva's spider episode, cycle 3. Jade bothering her with the roaches was such poor sportsmanship, and she had to do the most and kiss the critter on the runway. Well, Jade, it didn't turn into a prince and you didn't turn into a top model - got bug koodies for nothing. I would like to give Jade more credit, but her impulse wasn't that of an intuitive fashion forward model, it was born of Gina's fear...
the photo shoot was a very cute and clever one, but boy it looked painful. Jay wanted the girls to fall gracefully, but the mat seemed to be a welcoming composition of sand and plastic overlay. I have to hand it to Jade, she did very well. Granted with her as Red Riding Hood, granny would be better off taking her chances with a wolf. Leslie's hot - enough said. I thought Mollie Sue was adorable. Boy Blue was a good way to go, not only because of the short hair but because she's got a little bad girl in her eyes that translates well with the energy of wearing "boys" clothes. Daniel's photo was good, but her mood and approach seems to be the same all the time. Yeah, you're sexy. Yeah, you're beautiful. But what else? Tell that "come hither" look to scram already and find another one. Would somebody please tell Brook to PUT HER CHIN DOWN! I like her; I like her a lot, but she needs to handle that - yesterday. Gina could have done so much more with sleeping beauty. A soft and sexy, nearly closed eye would have done the trick. C'mon GIna! You're already halfway there. (Oh Teresa, that's not nice!) That was a gift! And Sarah, yoe-de-lay-hee-who told you to pose like that? Sarah's the one closest to being recruited; right now, she's riding the equivalent of a top model scholarship. That photo didn't make the grade. Is it me, or was Furonda's braid the same size as her limbs? Boy that girl is tiny! When Jay asked her about her fairytale and why Rapuzel had all this hair; she said, "To get a man." So funny! She was really serious too because you can't fake answers like that on the spot...
FInally they make it to panel with the shoes of death. Furonda started out with the craziest face. I thought she was going to fall at the beginning - on purpose - to get it out of the way. Sarah rocked it, and I would have to agree with Nigel, she's used to being up so high. GIna did well, though still bland. Kari couldn't walk in regular pumps, let alone these. The judges may as well have asked her to walk the runway on her hands. Joanie nailed it. Brooke did okay too. Jade stumbled a little, but she recovered. Her recovery wasn't graceful though; it was kind of confrontational. She looked up at the panel like, "I dare you to say something!" Yikes. Daniel had a model's recovery; her trip was followed by the most amazing smile. it said, "I'm beautiful, but I'm human...did i mention I was beautiful?" and she came back out for judging on crutches - that's what you call a 'G'. That girl's got heart. In the end, Gina was spared again. Goldy Locks was sent home. The judges didn't find her just right...
Tid-bits: I'm growing weary of Nigel's weekly insect comments about Furonda. She's still in it, homie, so deal with it. Funniest comment of the episode goes to Miss Jay, and I quote, "Weables wabble, but they don't fall down." That one gave me a stomach ache.
Monday, March 20, 2006
for whom the [wedding] bell tolls...(or) four weddings and a second mortage...(or) the wrong number...
SAID BANQUET HALL DIRECTOR: Hello?
YOURS TRULY: Hello? Yes, I wanted to inquire about potentially renting a hall for a reception dinner? It's a relatively small party. So, I need a space that wouldn't swallow everyone and make it look empty.
SBHD: (Chuckles) I understand. How many?... Oh, we could give you the Manhattan Hall and split it in half. It has a wonderful view.
YOURS: Sounds great! Now, what would be the base rate for this package?
SBHD: Well, first let me tell you what you get...
Aside:(Know, how 'bout you tell me what i asked you...)
SBHD:...You get the hall with seating, flatware and linens for 8 hours; you get 3 courses - appetizer, entree and dessert with service; you get one night in the honeymoon suite which our staff will decorate...and that would be fifteen thousand dollars.
YOURS (in thought): You gotta be f*cking kidding me! is the restaurant gonna fly all of my guests back to their homes? Is ambrosia of the immortals on the menu? Is every person on your staff buying gifts for the newlyweds? There'd better be a complimentary honeymoon to Florenece or something! (out loud) Okay. Well, I'll need to talk to my father since he's funding this operation (you lying!), but we'll be in touch.
And what have we learned? If you're looking for a guilt free way to get people for as much money as they can stand, enter the wedding industry. Any area will do. There's a sucker with her father's checkbook getting engaged every minute! Not me boys and girls; I obviously dialed the wrong number.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Of course, the most dramatic makeovers are the most memorable, and I don't mean dramatic in appearance only. I'm not psychic or anything, but I knew Nenna was going to have to take it all off. She looks fabulous, of course, and after rocking a photo shoot pretending to be bald, I guess she convinced the panel so much they had to see it for real. Moxie Molly Sue looks fierce in her new cut; they were smart to leave the color as is, I think. She loves it, and I think it would have shown even more in the photo if Mr. Jay didn't do the shoot in “Studio 54 - below”. Furonda stayed in the mirror after her do was done. Clearly, a confidence booster for her; she became so confident, in fact, that she distributed a list of rules for the girls. Careful! That may be why Rapunzel was locked in a room alone (I'm just saying). Jade showed her true colors when she didn't get the length that Furonda did. Her drastic change probably says that the panel believes she has enough confidence and fashion-forward sense to pull this thing off. But Jade's not too shift; she turned this covert compliment into a disaster when she began complaining! For the record, Jade, you don't know what you're talking about; your facial features are much too strong for a long ridiculous weave - you would have looked a mess (There, feel better?) PS, Jade - the “eyes” comment was bogus. If Gina can't use it as an excuse, you definitely cannot.
Weave seemed to be the word of the day because Furonda wasn't the only one who was made lock-a-licious. Leslie and Daniel both got more tracks than a Prince CD - double disc. For Joanie, Kari and Brooke it appears that less is more. A little color and a little cut made a big impact. Sara's cut looks really good on her; she's a rocker who just doesn't know it yet. And poor Wendy! She's cute, but a bit fowl-looking, so what did they do for the girl who already shares some semblance to a cockatoo? They made her hair look like feathers - not a good look. Know how you can tell it was a mistake? Tyra changed her hair in the middle of panel (she knew she was wrong.)…
How about Mr. Jay's fashion word scramble? “You are urban-glam-chic”, “You are simplistic-soft-chic”, “You are punk-pretty-cute”, “You are bohemian-high-fashion.” You are…crazy! I think he just picked words from a hat. (You're vintage-modern-complex-simplistic-layered-bare-haute-couture-street! Whatever, Jay!)…and nigel started to sound like kanye west, "Brooke..everything about you is wrong, but it's so right!" he's basicly like, "You're not pretty, but that's why people will look at you." what do you call that nigel? car-wreck appeal?...
I wish I had been wrong about Wendy's sad face because Jade needed to go home last night, but alas! It is a television show, isn't it? And Jade may not hit the mark as top model, but she's dead on for “arch-nemesis.” Bye, Bye, Birdie, guess they couldn't risk the ratings.=+(
Monday, March 13, 2006
i don't watch much television - correction - in the off season of america's next top model, i don't watch much television. and just when i was nearing my threshold, just when i'd had my fill of whose-bridezilla-wedding-on-a-budget-in-disneyland-is-it-anyway? and couldn't watch one more rerun of style channel's "allure's top 10 tips for the spring/summer", tyra and the gang returned just in time. with the approaching spring, i awaken from my tv hibernation to fully engage the long awaited, highly anticipated, never duplicated - sorry 8th&Ocean - America's Next Top Model, Cycle 6 (not to be confused with a 'season', that's so last...uh...season?). i will admit, i indulge in this show. it's an hour of beautiful women (and i generalize, as that is totally subjective) wearing great fashion in breath-taking locations; it is my aesthetic fix of choice. so, of course i'm all eyes and ears as we meet a brand new group of girls who all - you guessed it - wanna be on top.
let me begin by saying that anyone eliminated in the first episode should not be crying. there's no fall from grace for you, as there has been no ascension. there was no taste of the 'good life' left on your palette, as you did not make it to the banquet. there's no agony of having a whiff of sweet victory and then being defeated, as there is no competition even in the oven yet! if you're serious about modeling, then you will continue. if you only came this far because you happened to get chosen, then save the croc tears for a water shortage. it's not even like you lost money on plane fare, c'mon! don't make this the single, most saddest day of your life because for everyone else - it was just a wednesday. but on to the ladies who live in the house that top model built...
i lied. i must digress for a moment if only to acknowledge dani. this "uber-conservative" will be remembered in antm history for having a tolerance as long as... her successful stint on the show. thank you dani, go with God. anyway, who do i already remember? nenna - a striking nigerian beauty who can be thoroughly described in one word, "regal." then there's brooke. i'm partial to this hippie chick because she reminds me of my favorite alternative, angsty songstress fiona apple. brooke's "a little dirt won't hurt" appeal makes her interesting; not a mainstream pretty, but there's something in her face that could transform a fashion fan's observation into an artistic experience. molly sue's country cute name is as attention-getting as her awesome red hair. unless they change her color during the make-over, i expect to see her in a lot of green. speaking of green, miss jade seems jaded that she hasn't been discovered already - well damn, tyra, get it together will ya! "...i mean, when i walk down the street, people turn around to look at me like 'damn...'" well, jade, to know that people are looking, you'd have to turn around too, wouldn't you? what are YOU looking at jade? hmm... this one reminds me of the girl from last season who bragged on coming from a beautiful family - you might remember her as "Ashley"; i remeber her as one of the first to go. if her commandeering of the microphone at their mock press conference is any indication of what is to come, jade's about to be a handful, and i don't just mean when it's time to put her hair up. then there's furonda; i like her. she's got great eyes, almost alien-esque but they could be a very strong asset. kari is pretty in an anime kind of way; she'd got a lot of jaw and very little forehead. maybe she can find a way to balance it out. joanie's got maxim magazine appeal. that's all on her for now. kathy's the most geechey-ass victorian beauty i've ever heard and seen. i don't know whether to place her in an oil painting or on the back of a faded red pick-up. wendy's beautiful and has quite a story behind her arrival. i hope she makes it far, but sad eyes will sell photographs, wendy, not clothes. i can't really remember anything distinctive about the others right now. good thing i'm not a judge - that wouldn't be a good look...
well tyra, 6 seas..uh...cycles strong. you've got a real winner. young ladies watch this show, their selfesteem drops into their toes and then you have guests for your talk show! well done (just playin'!)
Friday, March 10, 2006
"poor sun, poor moon"
because they appear destined
to chase each other forever.
they catch one another, eventually,
and then live the rest of their lives
in perpetual glow.
interesting, this blogging thing, because i want to share without overly disclosing. what have i got to hide? nothing really, but i have a propencity for privacy, and as far as information goes, 'everything ain't for everybody.'...so, i'll just say - i enjoyed my time solo. got my grown woman on, stretched out in my space and loved every moment of it. now, i have loved every moment since the end of that era. i've been blessed with yet another seamless transition. the way love and i coexist, it is as if he had always been there - except for a bigger grocery bill, but i'm saying. (sorry, couldn't let it get too sappy w/o a bit of comic relief.) still grown. still growing and stretching out. only the solo part has changed. talked to my little sis about it ( my little, little sis), and she was like, "dang! you really grown now. i mean, you was an adult and stuff before, but now - this is like 'no take backs.'" after i set homegirl proper on why i was grown even before this, i couldn't help but laugh. in terms of change, life is much more sand than stone. i pray that i never reach a place where i am too embarassed to change or turn around, but it feels good - right, you know? an unforseen compatability/ the effort to work steadily/ each joined still makes a better we/ comfort level to the Nth degree/ this embrace feels like home, to me...what more can i say except, "Who is Jill Scott?" tracks 5, 7 (twice), 8 and 9. word.
damn. i saw your block party last night, and fisrt i would like to thank you. i've recently relocated to the midwest, but for 2 hours last night i was home again. what i'm about to say probably isn't news to you, but - 1) the line up was absolutely impeccable 2) love that you gave CSU the opportunity of a lifetime 3) love that you didn't edit FH Jr. 4) the house of broken angels is henceforth a historic landmark. i've journaled about my experienece with your film, do allow me to share an excerpt or two:
"Granted, nothing Dave says could probably ever be used on product [for my company], but his vibe of good people, a good time, a kind of rock-the-house-and-change-the-world mentality speaks to my generation. speaks to me."
"And what does Chappelle say? In his words and actions, Chappelle states that our differences are important, but there are some things about all of us that are absolutely the same. He favors and respects the elders and children. He values art and laughter. He brings good people together for the sake of doing something good. There's more than enough there to use in the business somehow - to use in life, definitely."
sometimes, i was in stitches. sometimes, i had to fight my impulse to stand up in the theater. i had such a difficult time remembering i was at a movie and not a concert. my fiance and i probably annoyed everyone by singing the words. you produced the show that i, too, have always wanted to see. if word had gotten to me about this block party, (in all sincerity) i would have cut a few classes caught a cheap flight and been there. for those who l(o,i}ve this music, you have given us a great gift. trust, as soon as the collector's edition DVD is available it will be in my possession. Dave Chappelle's Block Party will find a home, nestled safely among the likes of WildStyle, Beat Street and Breakin' 1&2. Thank you for being hiphop's Art Kane.
sincerest affection and gratitude,
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Monday, February 13, 2006
Saturday, February 04, 2006
in other news: i booked my ticket to return to atlanta in march for the toni cade conference. airtran ain't worth their weight in salt when it comes to getting me to jersey, but i can count on them to get me to atlanta for peanuts...so much will be different by march, i anticipate. i cannot wait to return.
Friday, January 27, 2006
and i'm out...
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Friday, January 20, 2006
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
the goods: the weather was beautiful, when we weren't fighting we were laughing our asses off, the gateway arch is magnificent in person, road trips in the midwest have beautiful sunrises, enterprise weekend rental specials, the st. louis science center is huge, crunk music is ideal for driving. the bads: we were swearing at each other when we did fight - it hurt so much, i got behind the wheel angry and damaged the rental, we drove around for over an hour looking for this club that the radio mentioned and never found it, lost the car keys, locked the keys in the car - in the ignition no less! the miracles: i got full coverage on the rental car so the bumper damage was a non-issue (plus i only messed up the paint), the lost keys were 'found' between the windshield wipers of the car, i saw said keys from the driver's seat because we had left the doors unlocked!, we found a wal-mart on the drive home to buy groceries (because there was no food in my house), when i locked the keys in the car it happened in the enterprise lot (a miracle more for me than them). the revelations: i embarass pretty easily, perhaps [sometimes] i am wound too tightly, my propensity for cleanliness borders on obsessive-compulsion, i am leaning myself more thoroghly all the time. so maybe this trip did give me something i needed, but not what i thought and not with a delivery i could have ever imagined!