Friday, February 25, 2011

Under Attack...

They finally took down this Pro-life billboard in SOHO.

It can be exhausting to live everyday under attack. Black women suck in a million ways. Ok ok we get it! and that is not just for Lamar Advertising and Life Always who placed the Ad.. it's for all media outlets. We get it! Statistics are one thing but there is a way to get a message across to some without insulting many.


2nd Avenue Station

The clicking of my heels
tap dancing along the damp sidewalk
I smile to myself
at nothing imparticular

Maybe it's the late February weather
offering foreshadowing cues of the coming spring

Maybe it's silly "young" love
filling my chest when I inhale

I enter the 2nd avenue station
catch a surprised straphanger off-guard
pissing in the corner
more due to the ingrained urgency of new yorkers
than the lack of public restrooms

I'm still smiling
this time while shaking my head

A slim, dreadlocked horn player
with coffee-colored, weather beaten skin
is playing my song on the platform

Despite my usual cynicism, skepticism and frugality
I reach into my wallet to thank him
for adding a soundtrack to Thursday night

A nod and half-smile of acknowledgement
I smile back
maybe more pleased with myself than with him

Here comes the F train

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lead, Follow or Get out of The Way Sheeple!

My father always says lead, follow or get out of the way. And as I got older I realized how important that statement is. For me it means, take a stand for something, be a good follower of someone who is doing something or... simply get out of the way. I immediately thought of this when I heard about 2 Libyan pilots who when ordered to bomb protesting citizens decided to defy that order and fly their jets to Malta and seek political asylum. They didn't kill innocent civilians and then hide under the idea that they were just "following orders". People can be like sheep and be way too comfortable just following the herd and releasing themselves of responsibility from the actions they take or don't take.

Most of us won't be called to lead the way these pilots were this week, but we can always lead something in our own lives. We don't have to risk our lives protesting in the streets as demonstrators have recently in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Bahrain, Jordan, Yemen, Iran and Morocco.. But what are we willing to risk? There has to be some middle ground between dying in the streets for an important cause and getting up off the couch and making one change for yourself.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day and The Case for Hating It

I think many people like to proclaim that they hate Valentine’s day because other people manage to turn love or expression of love into something obnoxious. Then they try to turn it into a contest. They try to reduce the depth of what exists between two people down to how many roses, balloons, gifts etc. did you get? How expensive was your dinner? yadda yadda.
I woke up this morning feeling just fine about Valentines day. I even wore a pink sweater. It was really pale. More like blush as opposed to pink. My natural instinct when I realized what I was putting on was to swap it out for something neutral for fear coworkers would accuse me of being festive.. something I try never to be. But then I realized the outfit is cute and I’m running late soooooo get over it. Blush colored sweater and chocolate brown pants.. this is getting worse. Now I look like a human box of valentine chocolates. But it’s ok. I said, why hate on love. I love Love. So what if someone thinks I am festive. Just roll with it.

Then I got on the F train. The crowded, standing room only F train during rush hour where I saw the youngsters in this image. Now by the time I had a seat and could dig in my bag for my phone and get a good view to snap the picture, the train had cleared out a bit so that is why it doesn’t look like they might be inconveniencing people. But take my word for it.. they were! They were standing with all this non-sense. Balloons bumping peoples’ heads, people tripping over the huge child-size red gift bag and all I could think was “geez, how obnoxious!." I kinda wanted to smack them into their 30's. And I realized this is where the hatred for Valentines Day comes from. I mean I know that in high school your worth is measured by how many balloons you get from your guy and these two kids were just being high schoolers in love and maybe I’m just hatin’ because I missed the boat on dating an overly affectionate Hispanic male back in my day who would ride the train with all this crap. So I forgive these two. But I realized that it’s the obnoxious displays, the obligation, the expectation, and superficial ways to measure emotion that makes this day so repulsive to so many people.
But as I said, I do love Love and I love the idea of letting that special person know how you feel and no it’s not enough of an argument to say “I could show you how I feel on any day” because most of us don’t.
So Happy Valentine’s day! Or Happy Monday. Whatever works for you.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Babies in Plastic Bags.. That is so ‘90s

This morning I heard about a 14 yr old in Coney Island who had a baby, her parents didn’t know she was preggers at all. She was rushed to the hospital with “mysterious” bleeding then they found a baby in a plastic bag somewhere in her house.
I have not heard many stories like this lately the way I used to back in the day so I don’t know if they aren’t reporting them as much or if most girls aren’t ashamed to be teen moms these days or what (I’m not optimistic enough to conclude that more kids are using protection but I’m sure you could find some statistics somewhere if you wanted to). But how 1990’s is that? Stuffing the baby in a bag? And since this isn’t the 90’s she couldn’t have just been confusing the lyrics of LL’s pink cookies in a plastic bag song and thought it was cool because she has probably never heard the song. So I don’t get it.
In this day of the internet she couldn’t look into ANY other ideas or options? How many times did she go on facebook during the 9 months?? And I didn’t look but I am sure planned parenthood has a facebook page. Or something.
But maybe I should not be so focused on her. It doesn’t really surprise me that she got pregnant and didn’t want to tell anyone and just sat in denial about it until she went into labor. My problem is that her parents didn’t know she was pregnant. Do you not even LOOK at your kid ever? Obviously her mom wasn’t hanging out with her or taking her to dance class or anything like mine was when I was 14. With me in a leotard and tights 4 nights a week that “wait it out” plan just would not have worked for me. Even if you have an annoying demon of a teenager that tells you they hate you and stays locked up in their room there is no excuse. My parents would have removed my bedroom door if I tried to lock myself up in there to avoid them. And again, this isn’t the 90’s so most young girls aren’t wearing Carhart army pants, Tims and extra large banana republic sweatshirts like I used to when I was 14 which coulda hid a baby bump on a slim chic like me for a long time. Somethings gotta give. So yes. I’m blaming the parents and charging them with neglect for not even looking at their teenager for months on end and therefore having to find their grandchild in a plastic bag… as a result of the 14 year olds with the pink cookies and the crushed buildings and the lack of guidance and all of that.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

If Your Water Can Do This...

Don't drink it! A Brita filter ain't gonna help this problem.

This is one of many disturbing scenes from the HBO documentary film GasLAND. Check it out. It explains everything you ever needed to know about the joys of natural gas drilling in this country. Whose doing it, where are they doing it, whose getting sick from it and who doesn't care who gets sick from it. I'm pretty sure you can answer that last question yourself. CORPORATIONS! Deny, Deny, Deny.
You don't have to be a tree hugging environmentalist to be concerned about this craziness.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Soldier of Love

This is a dedication to all my ladies whom I am now calling Soldiers of Love. The Sade song came on while I was on the F train last week and I thought to myself.. I said Self.. “Sade is a genius!”. Woman are like soldiers of love. This is for ladies because we do it so effortlessly.

In case you aren’t sure if I’m talking about you here is a little qualifying Soldier of Love questionnaire.

Do you dust yourself off and try again?

Do you wait up because you can't sleep until he gets home?

Does your vision of a perfect life include accomplishments for people that aren’t you?

Do you feel guilty when you buy something for yourself but don’t give a second thought to spending money for someone you love?

Do you prefer if unpleasant things happen to you and not to them because you feel you can deal with it better?

Do you love songs like “She Got Her Own” by Jamie Fox & Neyo or “Make Me Better” by Fabolous and Neyo? Just because they make you feel like someone gets it.

Do you find yourself acting like all problems can be fixed with even more love and understanding even when experience tells you otherwise?

Do you dislike the idea of internet dating because you want to meet your soul mate in an organic, natural, story book, happenstance, fate kind of way?

Does someone else’s story of heartbreak really make you feel sad for a while or make you wish you could give them advice or a hug?

Do you consider simple things like pedicures or a wash and set to be a special treat for yourself while everyone else takes care of their needs all the time?

If you said yes to at least 3 of these then you are one of us.

“I've been torn up inside (oh!)
I've been left behind (oh!)
So I ride
I have the will to survive” – Soldier of Love, Sade

You go girl!