everybody's got their something.

introducing the ornate pubic hair fashion show:

i can't say shit, cuz i have a vch, pierced nipple, tattoos, & will probably further explore both forms of adornment as i grow older.

the peacock thing was kinda dope, too. gives me ideas for halloween... but with a lot more clothing. lol.


file this one under f.

for massive fail as well as fuckery deluxe.


nkotb & new edition? i quit. just cuz they're from boston and maurice starr managed them, it doesn't mean this shit needed to happen. it's painful. noooooooo, lawd, WHY?

& now, for a little around-the-way shit:

new favorite:

love love love LOVE this.

& a chicago classic:

. . . i'm going to bed now. carry on, children.


my pussy is not for your judgement.

fuck bobby hemmitt:

1) i have earned every last hair on my pussy. so has every other woman on this earth. female circumcision, sexual assault/ abuse, loveless lives, babies, just the general drama that is encapsulated in being a black woman on this earth . . . man, fuck you and your opinions. i bet your balls stink though, right? with the obvious folds in btwn your head and neck, motherfucker, i am willing to believe that's a trend all over your body.

2) the "it's from africa" shit is so tired. SO beat. leave it alone. dry that bullshit up, & stop duping ppl into talking to your dumb ass. what's wrong, you scared? wtf did the pussy hair ever do to you? and again, asshole, worry about the cleanliness of your own genitals. hair doesn't make a pussy not worth eating or adoring. it just makes it hairy.

3) he's hilarious for the same reason that he's a thorn in my side: he's got that TKON brand of intelligence, that "let's call it african but maintain the same oppressive patriarchal bullshit" thing. hate it.

4) who's fucking him? really?


ooh he so sweet

make me wanna lick the wrapper.


for michael + courtney.

seen @ borders last night, captured w/ my cell phone.

i can't wait to visit y'all!


another music meme

i wasn't tagged. i saw it on someone else's blog & decided to do it.

1. Put your itunes/music player on shuffle
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer
After you’ve answered all of the questions, tag 5 other people and then let them know they’ve been tagged to do the meme themselves!

"when we were friends," cee-lo

"i'm out!!!," kissey asplund

"driving me wild (f/ lily allen)," common

"summer love (f/ nicky guiland)," shuya okino

"my same," adele

"fear not of man," mos def (it kinda is. see here.)

"floatin," stacy epps

"barry bonds (f/ lil wayne)," kanye west

"sesame street," goodie mob

WHAT IS 2+2?
"i (mikey) rock," the cool kids

". . . & on," erykah badu

"doghouse," bugz in the attic

"singing man," the roots

"o.g. bitch (speakeasy mix)," esthero

"ebony eyes," stevie wonder

"delirium (morgan geist tongues remix)," owusu & hannibal

"climb (f/ vinia mojica [WHERE IS HER SOLO ALBUM ALREADY?])," mos def

"cool world," georgia ann muldrow

"joy inside my tears," stevie wonder

"talk to me," anita baker

"e.t. (extraterrestrial)," outkast

"get closer," ben westbeech

i tag teeteezie, omi, morgan, michael, courtney, and as a bonus i tag bill.
not like bill reads this blog. some friend you are.


so i've been writing . . .

i left a comment over @ womanist musings responding to a post about physical punishment. it's pretty much a rant. but i figured i should post it here, too.

something that's become apparent to me while reading this post and the related comments: each person who's commented here has a particular amount of privilege that even allows them to be here talking about this. we all have access to the internet, whether at work, home, the library, a friend's house, whatever. maybe there are socioeconomic issues that play into physical punishment being used as discipline. as the blog owner and another sista mentioned, they're the products of fresh-off-colonialism parents from the caribbean. i definitely understand that.
for me, i see a lot of mothers and fathers (or other caregivers, like siblings) who lack one major thing: patience. they may have zero understanding of the way children (small children especially) function. when katt williams gave his thoughts on black folks publicly beating their kids, he wasn't really wrong. he said, "your child is three years old; he's supposed to like skittles!"
there's a lot of misunderstanding. some of us are treating our kids like really unfortunate consequences of sex. others of us think that love is compulsory in parent-child relationships regardless of a connection between the two. how many of us (urbanites especially) have seen someone who appears to be barely 2 decades older than the child of whom they are in charge? & how does that manifest itself? slamming the child into a chair, yelling, being disengaged from the child when something big-person-specific is going on, etc. smacking the child, beating the child really seems to be the easiest way to release that pressure. the pressure of being exclusively responsible for a little person who is fully and totally dependent upon you. that's a lot if you don't even feel like you have your own life together.
that may not be the case with our parents' generations, but it's glaringly obvious with these younger parents in our communities. the same systematic lack of education, the systematic removal or lessening of resources, the cyclical violence & other ills, in my opinion, help create a toxic environment. add to that the violent society in the united states (this whole country was built on the backs of ppl controlled by violence AND land stolen from folks with epidemics and slaughter) and i think you pretty much have a prime environ for the "kick ass first ask questions later" approach to parenting i've become accustomed to seeing.
this is NOT to say that there aren't exceptions.
this is NOT to say that we can't teach each other differently, especially by relating to what exhausts caregivers.
& real rap, it's not anyone's place to determine what another person's experience was or was not. renee, i could tell from the very tone of your writing in this post that you were exposed to something that in pretty much every circle would be considered abuse. levels of punishment, explanations for punishment, etc. are always a good idea no matter what your disciplinary approach is. there is no way to determine how punishments will affect your child.
but the bottom line is this:
the master's tools will not destroy the master's house. those of us who are the descendants of slaves are likely aware of the way that public humiliation & usage of weapons (whips, flip flops, shoes, ping pong paddles) tie directly into what happened to many of our ancestors. it's not a coincidence. this system did not belong to our ancestors; it belonged to those who were in charge in the days of chattel slavery. period. & i think if more of us are able to think of it that way (not just those of us who have the luxury, like myself, of talking about it on the web), we may be able to change some things.

yes homo.

jay smooth's done it again.


on a night like this

fall is whispering to me. soon, i'll have a birthday, & soon there'll be no reason to wear linen. i'll have to save mis chanclas for trips downstairs to get mail or let the pizza man in. favorite hoodies & jackets will be assessed for wearability & possibly replaced with new favorites. shawls, shawls, shawls, SHAWLS! trips to gary's on 49th for pedicures will become more & more infrequent; massive cups of tea will increase in number so i can take the chill off. i can finally fry the chicken heath & i were talking about, & perhaps i'll perfect my vegan/ soy free/ casein free/ gluten free "mac & cheese." my spontaneous trips to nyc will wane. it'll be turkey day before i know it, & i'll be yet again calling karas to tell her that i've been walking around w/ a mini bottle of grand mariner in my apron pocket to deal w/ the fuckery of unwanted company. & the pre-christmas shopping will begin as soon as the last trick-or-treating wraps up.

it's coming, most undoubtedly.

let's just hope i can feel this romantic about my least-favorite season, winter.


a lesson from the mind of my genius friend oyin:

she calls it the m&m conversation. it's what happens when you don't let go of old shit. i'm totally paraphrasing, but when/ if she posts up a specific example in her own words i'll be sure to post & share it here.

the beginning:

you have a particularly wounding conversation with your mom. she says some terrible things to you that pretty much make you feel like the lowest being on earth, like you aren't important to anyone, not even god. you remember everything about the conversation. you remember the look on her face, and you remember most of all what that day looked like. you were 10, so you weren't @ eye level with her. it was april, 1988 and that day was unseasonably warm. you were in the parlor and wishing like hell that picture of your dead great-aunt wasn't so spooky looking. you had on your favorite pair of la gears. your mom had on a yellow dress.

the middle:

you never say to your mom that what she said hurt you. you never tell anyone that she wounded you with her words/ actions. you carry that shit with you for years & years. you develop stomach problems. you become crippled when you end up in a confrontational situation.

the end:

one day, years later, you're hugged up w/ your boocakes on your sofa and he is fucking up a bag of peanut m& ms. you say to him, "boocakes, may i have some of your m&ms please?" your boocakes, being the kind of generous soul he is, shares the peanut m&ms with you. you look into your palm, and you see that most of the candies are yellow.

you throw the candy to the floor & begin to spaz the fuck out: "motherfucker, what the FUCK is wrong witchu?!?!?? yellow m&ms? i ask you for candy and you give me some terrible ass yellow m&ms? I HATE YELLOW M&MS AND I HATE YOU, TOO! rat bastard!" and so on and so forth.
because you never released that old hurt about the day your mom made you feel terrible, whether you told her later about that shit or not. whether you talked to a therapist or trusted friend or not, your lack of release put you in a position where the most random thing triggered you.

the moral of the story: let that shit out. before you end up doing something preposterous with the leftover negativity.


what if

every man i've ever known took a class with ted bunch? what if every woman i've ever known went to the house of womyn's power? what if every black reproductive health specialist started sharing opinions like this one?

it doesn't matter why i'm asking.
i'm just envisioning the world i want to live in, even if i'm there by myself or with a very select few.


if you didn't already know:

i'm a bit of an angela bofill fan. maybe a fanatic at some point. i've posted about her before. but peep THIS. angie & the late phyllis hyman. trust me, you'll never see anything like this from knowles & any of her contemporaries. or maybe you will. it looks like both ladies have on tina knowles specials in this video.

a vent. yes, another one.

fuck off, i don't have to consider anyone but myself (and by extension my landlord, the ppl who guarantee that i get paid, the utility companies, and on occasion my mother) in everything i do

stop asking me the same question repeatedly. it makes you look stupid and makes me see red. your ineptitude astounds me.

just because i said i'm not fucking anyone as of late doesn't mean i'm gonna jump on the first thing moving. that's lame. it's called a desperation fuck, or on that receiving person's end, a pity fuck. that's not okay. i'm better than anyone's pity.

stop that shit. now. leave it alone already. the dead horse can be pummeled but so much more.

it's really not okay to keep asking me about poetry readings. i fuck with sunni patterson and nobody else. dig? chances are she isn't what you want. love jones is a nearly fifteen-year-old film. quit already. shit.

i don't like sitting in a hot ass seat on the train. the only thing i dislike more: having a hotass person sit practically on top of me when they take the seat next to mine on the train. ew. i become slightly homicidal.

your man is ugly. that's why i'm staring.



compulsory heterosexuality @ the barber shop.

i'm a bit of a baldie as of late. and, after nearly 3 months without a cut (i swear it didn't look bad until 2 weeks ago) i made it a point to go visit the barber i've been going to for the past few months. he's a haitian dude who's lived in the states for almost as long as i've been alive (he's barely 8 yrs my senior, if that) and seems to have picked up a whole slew of traits that, to my womanist mind, are precise indicators of wtf's wrong w/ black folks: he's homophobic but passes off his thinly-veiled jabs (worded as questions) as curiosity about queer folk, he's sexist but masks it as speaking to the purported regal nature of black women (peace sista, how you doin queen, et. al), and he definitely thinks that children prefer fast food to freshly prepared food items. three fatal flaws. three counter-revolutionary, so-run-of-the-mill-i-barely-flinch flaws. sigh. so common, and so deeply wrong.
not that i expect an episode of the mclaughlin group out of the barber shop.
not that i anticipate some cheikh anta diop or frantz fanon goings on @ that place.
but damn. i also don't anticipate feeling attacked for not believing that queer women are such exclusively because of 'damage' done by men in their lives (molesters, fucked up boyfriends, rapists, violent/ substance abusing siblings or other family members). i never imagined that trying to have a bit of a conversation w/ the brotha who cuts my hair would make me feel like i'm being mocked or laughed at by virtue of some cat deciding to loudtalk me. the place never felt like home, but i feel like my guard has to be up higher than it usually is. i wouldn't say it felt like being surrounded by hyenas, but it wasn't like sitting on a mountain of cushions, either. i have trouble articulating it. maybe that's just my bullshit sensor working overtime to keep me out of the path of danger. i can't really call it. but it's an icky feeling to have. like i'm being written off, misunderstood, or simply humored by someone who doesn't take the function of human genitalia seriously. ugh.
it's cool, though. i stood my ground and reminded myself that i only had to pay him and leave.
scratching the surface is showing me more about these dudes than i really care to see at this point.
it's like stepping on what looks like solid ice and feeling the sheet crack under your weight, and praying you can make it back to the soil before you fall into a lake. i didn't expect all that. should i expect all that? wouldn't that be generalizing, then? that's what i don't want to do. that's what bugs me about the conversations i have w/ hetero-identifying, masculine-presenting biological men who aren't close friends of mine: they decide to apply what they learn in one or two instances to everyone who fits particular criteria. and i hate that.

it's getting harder for me to treat ppl like individuals, to treat them the way i would want myself or my child(ren) to be treated. it's a mess.
and my sleepy ass hasn't even tried to make this rant sound coherent . . .

an addendum:

knowing why they are how they are (why i am the way i am, why anyone functions a certain way) doesn't make it any better or easier. i just have trouble trying to look past that with some people. so, i'm staying over here in my little womanist corner and building community with like-minded persons. that's not to say that i'm fully isolated, but i definitely feel like i need to build myself up a bit more before trying to go play w/ the other, less aware kids.

i think i hate mario lopez.

he's smarmy.
like maybe he wants to fuck you & give you herpes or that tag team of chalmydia and gonnorhea. insincere, as if he only asks about how your job's going to find out whether or not you got paid on time (so he can get some cash). something is so very rotten about that motherfucker. and he's so bad at delivering his poorly-written lines on america's best dance crew. like, wow.

he sucks.

or perhaps i need more sleep and less booze?



in particular, these:

in gold as well as in black.

$74 and some change for both pair!
i stalked them on the interwebs, i got them off the interwebs, and will have them by the end of next week. this solves the problem i've been having, which is knowing what to wear w/ brown pants (i had been wearing birkenstocks, and not rocking brown slacks at all in this heat) as well as knowing wtf to do when my favorite bare traps wedge sandals finally kick the bucket, which they are definitely about to do.

this is part of my "learning to walk better in tall shoes" movement. you see, blog readers (all 4 of you), i'm pretty graceful barefoot but i can't say i've got the suaveness necessary to glide about in heels or taller-than-tall wedges. so i'm gonna practice. i have two pair of kickass winter-friendly suede heels that i must say i got good at traipsing around in before the weather broke. but i need to feel legitimately confident in what i wear. hence the summer clearance footwear. i'm tryin.

and maybe, just maybe i can pull these joints off once and for all...

shouts to laetiçia for the inspiration.


dear blog readers:

(all 4 of you)

i have a question:

is there EVER a good time to answer a cheesy text message that's a not-so-thinly veiled come-on?

i'm not gonna go into detail. please humor me in the comments with some kind of answer. thanks!


well, now.

atlanta tagged me. here goes.

10 years ago: about to turn 18. watching my summer waste away into nothingness. poor again. looking fwd to the escape of college. dreaming of what life would be like if i stuck to my script.

5 things on today's to-do list:
1. figure out wtf to wear to work tomorrow
2. eat at least one of these peaches
3. call that sexy malian, see if i can add him to the team
4. put some more stuff on my manifestation list
5. find my flippin checkbook

snacks i enjoy:
fresh fruit, especially a peach or a champagne mango
pita chips from whole foods. totally not good for me, but tasty as hell. with black bean dip or hummus.

things i would do if i were a millionaire:
pay off my debt
give my mom and sisters money for their debts
pay rent on this apartment 3 years in advance
donate to my favorite places/ charities
travel, travel, travel
shop, shop, shop
invest, invest, invest

5 places i've lived (why is this the most inane subject 2 be tagged with?): this apartment. the old apartment. the apartment on master street. my mom's. manhattanville.


i am a civil service employee.

(a rant)

i have been a civil service employee for what'll be 4.5 years as of this coming sunday. i work in an office where depending on what's happening, we hear dead last about the wild shit employees do. i've heard tales of fist fights at health centers, ppl in full work dress brawling on the msb concourse, social workers knocking over file cabinets mid-fight, and (my personal favorite) the dude who was slinging rocks out of the city vehicle he used to drive medication to different city health centers. there's been a lot. the civil service workforce, for 20+ years, has been built on one idea: they have to catch you fucking up before they can call you guilty. it happened during the goode and rendell administrations, and we all remember john "i'm one of the worst mayors in america" street. let me just tell you now: i'm accustomed to the bullshit. in so many regards, the stereotypical city employee exists. and then there are people who rise far above that generally sub-par status quo to do better than just doing their jobs. there's a huge gray area, too, of folks who really don't even know how it is that they woke up and were marking 10 or 15 or 20 years with the city, possibly in the same position they had when they arrived.
i call it 'that philly shit.' but that's quite possibly another post altogether.
we have a new mayor. he doesn't play that shit; people have been jumping ship altogether or getting canned consistently since he was inaugurated in january. but, there's much to be done and so much to assess. he's essentially trying to walk with his shoelaces tied together in some regards. it's the job of the deputy mayor of health and opportunity to make some things run more smoothly

(this is where the post gets iffy, so if you can't handle graphic language or images, please do NOT read this post . . . just find something else to do with your eyes)

and that brings me to the unfortunate death of danieal kelly. if you live in philly (or within a 3 hour drive of philly, for that matter), you already know: she died in august of 2006. she was starved to death and had cerebral palsy, was covered in maggots and flies and feces . . . and that she was one of nine children living in her mother's two-bedroom apartment. there are layers of dysfunction involved in this situation, the likes of which i only wish i could say i've never seen. it's really easy to wag a finger at every fully grown person (nine of whom are being criminally charged) who had a hand in her neglect and eventual death, particularly her parents and the four social/ case workers (two civil service, two contract) who were supposed to have intervened at the first sign of danger.

the grand jury report on danieal's death and everything leading up to it smacks of one thing to me: broken people, functioning as best they can (for lack of a better term), and only really being flagged or stopped cold when it likely too late. to examine it from all sides through or past my rage doesn't give me peace. but it shows me that as terrible as this situation was/ is (andrea kelly has 9 other children if my count is right), it's a major symptom of an immeasurably sick community.

i know that these are individual community members who were responsible for the lives and wellbeing of children. that doesn't change what bothers me the most: every terrible thing that led to danieal's death was in play long before she was even born. her mother and father did not magically become fucked up and/ or crazy on january 3, 1992 (her birthday). dana poindexter, laura sommerer, mickal kamuvaka and julius murray? all of these folks were comfortable with doing what they did, and there's no way to assume that these behaviors weren't old hat for each of them. the same applies for every person at the upper levels who let the DHS employees' shit go unchecked. and carmen paris, the former health commissioner? preposterous. there's no word (in the print media or in the various city worker gossip pools) on why she'd have gone and meddled in some shit like that. clearly, she felt like it was okay to do that and didn't hesitate in doing so. that is, again, some shit that had been in play for a hot minute.

so what's my real point? i'm gonna try to dig one out, since this is a rant and they usually don't have really well-defined points. actually, i feel like my point is twofold:

the things that need to change administratively within the ranks of philadelphia's city government are going to happen regardless. michael nutter, don schwarz, and the managing director are not in a position to play around with folks' lives; they've shown themselves to be dedicated to cleaning all of this mess up. and that's wonderful. if we can't depend on people whose jobs are to provide adequate government services to us, then i daresay we don't really have a city.

but this city is eating itself alive. there's just some deep, old, long-standing muck that seems to be what most of my fellow philadelphians are dealing with. it's something many of us have inherited and will pass onto our progeny. i don't have a name for it. it's the unnamed beast that allows our murder rate to be so high continually, it's the thing that seems to have eaten the best/ most humane parts of andrea and daniel kelly, it's the same monster that leads "friends of the family" to perjure on behalf of someone they know has done wrong. it's not so simple as moms wanting that social security check. i don't know what it is.

but if people who see the disease don't do something to keep themselves steeled against it, and do what they can to demonstrate a better life to those around them, there won't be anything but stories like this. it's all connected; this link is evidenced in the fact that the family members/ friends of andrea kelly and the social workers are being charged for the same ass-covering and lying, etc. regarding danieal's neglect. she had cerebral palsy. not a brain tumor. not hiv/ aids. she wasn't born with anything terminal. and all it would have taken was for someone to decide to stay on top of this shit -- even loose monitoring, as per the grand jury report, would have made an impact.

i don't believe for one minute that i'm "like" these other folks, the ones who end up before grand juries. i know i'm not; but the bottom line is that i'm in it even if i'm not of it. and it's my job the same as it is that of anyone else in the ranks to pull this shit together once and for all. i'm just glad there's an actual consensus and work being done to make it happen. it's not gonna be easy, and it can't be done by one team of ppl w/ six-figure salaries and their staff. it really is going to take the work of everyone who wants that change and will put in the work.


i could be writing forever. i'll probably revisit this sooner or later; i just have to make sure i won't get fired for doing it. accountability. it's what's for dinner.

i don't think it's okay

that i went all the way to 140th and brook to find the best peaches i've had all season, probably in years.

but i had a wonderful day.