|People, Places & Things||
Meanwhile all the shit they tell you, you're suppose to do in event of an earthquake, totally went out the window. I was in the office when the quake happened and started shaking the building. I grabbed my purse, my car keys and my cellphone and got the hell out of that office - early. *Shrug*
Vogue Italia, is back again with their fashion-backwards take on hoop earrings or as they call them: Slave earrings:
"Jewellery has always flirted with circular shapes, especially for use in making earrings. The most classic models are the slave and creole styles in gold hoops.
If the name brings to the mind the decorative traditions of the women of colour who were brought to the southern Unites States during the slave trade, the latest interpretation is pure freedom. Colored stones, symbolic pendants and multiple spheres. And the evolution goes on."
Anna Bassi, Vogue Gioiello n. 109, March 2010
I swear, this magazine is a never ending facepalm. If you thought that Vogue Italia couldn't get any worse, I got breaking news for you. No seriously. I got a scoop from a friend of a friend, who happens to know the cousin-brother-sister-uncle of the guy, who mops the floors late night at the magazine's main office. Yes he is Black. And no he is not a slave. But while rummaging through the desk...er...I mean, emptying the trashcans around the desk of Giovanna Battaglia, fashion editor for Vogue Italia, he happened to come across a company memo, which lays out in detail other trends in fashion, which Vogue will be featuring in upcoming issues.
So in the interest of keeping you abreast in all that is white entitlement-chic, I present to you Vogue Italia's top five fashion swank, as told to me by the cousin-brother-sister-uncle of the guy, who mops the floors late night at the magazine's main office:
Last Thursday, I had been alerted to the likeliness that I, quite possibly, have an attitude problem.
What? A black women with an attitude? How original.
Well, the person telling me this was another black woman. And adding insult to injury, the black woman was actually my boss, who decided to drop this bit of "constructive criticism" on me after a meeting. Then she offered to help me solve this "problem." Eye roll. I'm not the one with the problem.
I didn't appreciate that at all for two reasons: First, how she came to this conclusion and secondly, where she got the information from. I'm not going to go into too much detail because saying too much might get me trouble. And times are too tough to be fired over bullshit. But I will say that I work my ass off at my job. Not only do I put in long and very strange hours but also a lot of mental and spiritual energy I exert to find new ways to get people to work together for the good of their community - even when it feels that they fight me along with way. If anyone has ever dealt with the public, such as I have to daily, you understand that it takes a lot to keep from going off on someone. And despite her estimation of my supposed inability to control my temper, I think I do a pretty good job of managing what can often be a stressful situation.
Anyway, I was pretty bummed about that discussion and I had contemplated going into work the next day and showing them what a bad attitude is really about. But what would that accomplish other than playing right into misconceptions about who I am. I also thought about quitting but again, it would be like conceding to her belief that I can't control my emotions. But by late Saturday evening I began to cool off a bit, especially after I burnt off the negative energy doing housework. And I after some reflection, I began to appreciate her words and thoughts of me. Not because I thought that she was right but rather how the conversation just reaffirmed and put to rest anxieties and insecurities I had about myself for years.
She is not the first person to suggest ways in which I could alter myself in some shape, form or fashion to meet their liking. There have been times when folks have labeled me too fat, to which I went to great trouble to lose a bunch of weight including starving myself. I was thin but I had dark circles around my eyes and my hair was also falling out in clumps. Then there was the time when I was told that I acted too smart, so I spent a year playing stupid and clueless - often to my own detriment. Some of the other labels I have endured over the years includes: too ghetto, too bougie, too quiet, too loud, too, too, too....At each point, these labels threaten to tear and ripe at the fiber of my being. And at each time, the consequences of those forced alterations did a number on my mental health and well-being. And that is just something that I can no longer risk.
I'm not against reexamining yourself and fine-tuning things in your life which you feel are wrong. But what I am oppose to is changing and rearranging yourself to fit the needs, purpose and/or agenda of people, who really don't give a rat-ass about the real you. I spent all weekend listening to my own self talk and my self told me that there is nothing wrong with me. My self told me to take ownership every part of myself including my flaws and my imperfections. Those flaws, imperfections and mistakes are a part of the reason why you had been able to bounce back and stand tall in the face of adversity. And you know what? I decided to heed the words of myself over everyone else opinion. And I for the first time in a while I felt both empowered and comfortable in my own skin.
So today, I came back to work and picked up right where I left off. No changes, no alterations, just content on doing what I've known has worked for me in the past and will continue to work for me in the future. In the words of Marilyn Monroe (or at least that is how it has been attributed online): "I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." Yeah I may have an attitude sometimes but I also have a huge heart. And those two combine are my Yin and Yang, which gets me out the bed every morning and keeps me working late for the good of the organization and the community.
Don't get me wrong, I like my job and I like the people I work with. But I like myself more. And if I have to choose between the two: I choose me.
So, today I decided to make a Shepherd's Pie. Why? Well, because I was watching Kitchen Nightmares and saw Gordon Ramsey make one from scratch, so I said, "what the heck. Why not?"Anyway, the recipe I found online called for ground lamb, which sounds delicious but I don't know the first place to go to get ground lamb. It's not like the supermarkets around here carry it. Believe me I checked several. While they had plenty of ground pork, beef and turkey; nada to ground lamb. And I guess I could have substituted but both Ramsey and the online recipe I'm using said ground lamb. And who don't want to cook like Gordon Ramsey?
Well, while I was in the supermarket, mulling over my options in the meat section, I remembered that I had a meat grinder. No seriously, I do. A very old - or as my hipster friends like to call vintage - steel grinder that you have to crank with your hands. It was something I found in my house years ago. I think it belongs to one of my great-aunts or perhaps an Amish person or something. Anyway, I decided that if I couldn't buy ground lamb, I would do the very best, next thing and grind it myself. Sounds like a good idea, right? Actually no.
Maayynnnee, grinding meat is no joke. Seriously my right bicep is on fire right now. I was cranking and sweating so much that I had to stop, go upstairs and change into some workout clothes. Of course, I didn't [think to] use lean meat so the fat kept getting caught in the wheel and I had to stop every few seconds to cut it out. It was certainly a relationship with animal meat I wished not to ever partake in again. But that wasn't the worst part: so I was cranking away, trying to push the meat through the little holes when a big piece got stuck in the wheel. Normal people would have probably tried to fish it out before proceeding on. But then again, normal people wouldn't try to grind their own meat neither. So anyway, instead of doing what normal folks would do, I decided to use all my strength - or whatever I had left - to crank the wheel around. I lean into the wheel, grunting, pushing and sweating. Then it happened. The piece of meat popped and a some lamb juice squirted out of the feeder part and right into my eyeball. I'm pretty sure I got E coli of the eye now.
Now I'm sitting here, applying and reapplying Visine, trying to do my best not to turn into a zombie monster. Not to mention that I totally broke two nails, which I am totally pissed about. And I'm tired, which means that the Shepherd's Pie will have to wait for another day. I think I will just eat a sandwich tonight - or brains.
Oh yeah, fuck you Gordon Ramsey.
Well somebody pop a hole in my top and tell me it ain't suped up Kool-Aid.
I was thirsty and craving something sugary-sweet so I walked around the corner to the Chinese store for one of their $1 quart juices. But what do you know? The "homemade" lemonades, Iced Teas and Fruit Punches all went up a quarter.
Who said that we're not still in a recession?
So for the rest of this week, I will be down in Miami on vacation attending the 15th annual American Black Film Festival. So far, my vacation has gotten off to a rocky start. Flight cancellations and delays made my welcome into Miami less than pleasant. And when I finally made it to the festival (because for a minute, I actually thought that I wasn't going to make it), they ran out of program booklets, so I don't know what's playing and where at.
I spoke to my father, right before getting on the airplane (finally) and I chewed his ear off about all the airline issues I was having. He reminded me that this is my vacation and that I should not be worrying about keeping schedules. I'm trying to keep that in mind.
Oh, I did manage to make it to the opening night film screening, which honestly the way my trip was going, I didn't think I would. I saw The Hive, which was written and directed by Robert Townsend. Even cooler: he was sitting right across the aisle from me. How cool is that?
Anyway, I'll have a full rundown of the film tomorrow (here's a sneak peak: it's like Precious but with boys) but right now, I am in desperate need of an attitude adjustment. I am in Miami. I am on vacation. So why not play in this Miami nightlife?
My full time gig as a community organizer has been dominating my time as of late. I feel like such a bad parent, leaving my blog to fend for itself. I hope you all were kind and gentle. She needs alot of love in my absence. But I will be back, starting next week. I promise - but hold me to that ;)
I still owe you guys some audio of Sam Greenlee, which I recorded a few months back. I haven't listen to it yet but it's coming. Oh and in July, I will be at the American Black Film Festival in Miami, so expect some new content from that trip.
But in the meantime, in between time, here is some inspiration to hold you over until we meet again...
...You may have seen him on the What's Going Down episode of That's My Momma...Ladies and gentlemen. Please put your hands together for Sexual Chocolate.
Sexual Chocolate, everyone. Yes, yes. *clap, clap, clap*
...with Plum Wine.
Anyway, I am here in New York this weekend for the Tribeca Film Festival. We managed to get tickets to a couple of film screenings - unfortunately Beats, Rhymes and Life was not one of them.
But I'll be checking back soon with some quick reviews of what we did manage to see. In the meantime and in between time, pick yourself up a bottle of the good stuff (see above) and chillax.
As I said in an earlier post, last Sunday I had the pleasure to stand with a group of ladies (and two gentlemen) during the First Annual Anti-Street Harassment Day, which coincided with the international Anti-Street Harassment Day. As part of our outreach, which consisted of "taking-over" the intersection of 52nd and Market streets in hopes of creating a safe space for women to not get sexually harassed (you know, cat-calling, grouping and all that unpleasant jazz), we interview passersby, of all ages and gender, about their thoughts on street harassment. As such, I got some interesting points of views, most of which really illustrated why this issue is important.
And after a minor delay (thanks in part to fiddling around with Windows Live Movie Maker, which after hours in vain of trying to get the piece of shit program to work, I dumped for Windows Movie Maker 2.6), I finally got the video done. I won't go into too much detail, as I have already written extensively about it for The Atlanta Post. But I would like to just reiterate how important it is for people, of all genders, to take a stand against this type of harassment - not just for the sake of our young girls and women but also for young men, who (as you will see) have been conditioned to believe that this sort of behavior is alright. I would also like to thank Nuala Cabral, for organizing this great awareness campaign in Philly. Can't wait to do it next year.
Also note that the young men in the video are also the same guys in the picture (above), so they are not necessary bad kids, just a little misguided.
Just wanted to share this pic from the first annual (?) Anti-Street Harassment Day in Philadelphia, which happened on Sunday, March 20th 2011. The ladies and I met at the intersection of 52nd and Market streets, for a day of community outreach in hopes of raising awareness to the point that sometimes, what some would consider playful flirtation borders - if not crosses - the line of harassment.
I will have a video of the event sometime in the next day or two - once I figure out how to use the new Windows Live Movie Maker. *scratches head*