Thursday, July 31, 2008

Butterfly in Philly Part Deaux aka Butta flies in da hood 2

So while in Philly, my cousin and his bride planned an afterparty for their friends and family who were of a certain age that loved to partay without the need for BenGay. They reserved a VIP section at a club named Plush, complete with bottles (stress the plural) chilled and ready for our consumption upon our arrival.

I was kinda tired after the reception. I was on Prego-watch the night before until 2 am and then made the drive up to Philly very early Saturday morning(no, the little one is not here yet and her mother has absolutely no patience. ahahahahaha). However, my cousin threatened eternal silence if I didn't bring my ass to the club. For once in my life, I didn't overpack so I tried the "I have nothing to wear" to which he said "You can wear anything". This right here should have been clue #1. So I dumped my overnight bag to see what I could make work. While cute, I wasn't putting back on my dress, so that's out. I have the denim shorts I wore to drive to Philly and I have the silver grey heels I wore to the wedding. Okay I see the makings of a club outfit. But damnit no cute tops. I have a brown t-shirt that says "What you see is what you get", a wifebeater (yeah I know the term is derogatory but damnit I like it.....hahahahaha), and a blue fitted t-shirt. Okay the brown t-shirt won't work because it doesn't go with the shoes, the wife beater is too sheer (its one I sleep in hence its purpose in my overnight bag) and the blue t-shirt just screams too boring. Looking back, I know I was overthinking this but I hate going out not looking camera worthy. So I roll out of my hotel room in my denim short shorts, wifebeater, and the blue tee over it to break up the look. And lets not forget the shoes.
On the way to the club, my cousin (the groom aka Cuz), my cousin Nik (the driver), and groom-cousin's childhood friend, Young 'n' Fab, do what we do best - laugh and gossip ("I don't care if she used to be over 200 pounds, she should have worn more than a tshirt to a wedding!!!!! Your grandmother was complaining about seeing the girl's draws!!!!!!!! hhahahahahahahah). As we venture into the area near the club, I am reminded why one of my favorite bloggers, the Field Negro, calls Philly "Killadelphia". According to his site the murder count in Killadelph is currently at 182, and damn if I didn't think I might be number 183 that night. Sketchy is an understatement and seedy was a come-up when I thought of how to describe the essence of the neighborhood . Yeah, yeah I know I'm from the New Jack City Era of Harlem but damnit we always had street lights. hahahahahaha I got out the car anyway thinking a) the club is called "Plush" it must be nice and b)I don't think sitting in a SUV with out-of state plates in the middle of what has to be the hood is such a great idea.

Nik, Young n Fab, and I get frisked and bag checked to enter the club (clue #2) as Cuz waited outside for the rest of his friends and his wife to arrive. As we entered the cavernous club some big momma in cheetah print booty shorts (read too tight sausage cases aka clue #3) tried to jump on the bandwagon because we were waved in for free. Meathead at the door stopped me with "She with you?" I turned and looked. Now my initial reaction was to say "HELLLLL FUCKIN' NO THE CHEETAH WEATHER GIRL IS NOT WITH ME." But then I remember that saying something like that just might make me # 183 indeed, so I turned back and politely said "no, she's not." Now big momma cheetah weather girl did look a lil salty because I didn't give her a pass or maybe that was just her 10 inch fake eyelashes getting caught on her vaseline/lip gloss but I digress. So we enter Plush and the first thing that came to mind was this:

What the hell is "plush" about red painted wood walls, broken down couches, sheets for curtains and a black linolieum dance floor?? Chicks were dancing barefoot all around us. I looked down at the floor and saw all kinds of liquids spilled, and crap shrewn everywhere. I really was in the middle of the barn. With no hay to smoke. We stood out like the sore bourgie thumbs that we are. We waited in the common area for my cousin and his wife to point us in the direction of VIP. As we tried not to laugh directly at the ghettofabulosity surrounding us, Nik announces "I need a drink!" I started to follow her but there was big dude eyeing me like I was a cheese steak with all the fixings by the bar so I decided to stay my black ass right where I was standing. She comes back with a small dixie cup. You know the type that you used to have in the bathroom as a kid??? Yeah that. For 12 bucks a shot of Patron came in a dixie cup (clue #4). Yeah it was that kind of night.

We ran into a bit of trouble with the VIP Meathead but eventually we were allowed up to our secured very important place in the joint - a loft with circle "beds" (read a circular piece of plywood covered in craft store foam and a threadbare piece of material) overlooking the stage and the dance floor. After a shouting match or 2 with somebody, the bottlessssss were brought by the waitresses who were wearing black boyshort undies and tank tops as "outfits". Oh and instead of glasses for the copious amounts of champagne, wine, vodka, and jack present, we were given a sleeve guessed it dixie cups. But at least this time these were the grown-up ones.

Now you would think this would be a recipe for ghetto disaster. Mannnnn, we had a shitload of fun. From my perch in VIP, we drank, we danced, we clowned. At some point Cuz and I realized this was the first time we officially partayed together (as we both drank Moet...he from the bottle, me from the glass I got from the waitress). You would have thought we were in the most exclusive club in New York. We didn't care. It was a celebration, bitches!!!! By the time the needle slid across the record and the lights came up simultaneously (that is really how they ended the party), we were nice and tipsy. So tipsy, I borrowed (read stole) the wine glass I was drinking from, filled with the last of the champagne (email me to ask me how I did it. hahahahahahahahahaha). So tipsy I descended those steps from the VIP loft with the grace of a debutante at her ball with a wine glass secured in her bra and clutch held to chest to cover the "third boob" (oh dayumm, I guess I told you.....hahahahahaha). As we retrieved the car from valet and thought of the best way to get Cuz to his wife's hotel suite and us back to our hotel (not the same hotel), the grime of the hood began to fade in my twisted haze as the beauty of the day illuminated well into the wee hours of the night. I was profoundly happy for my cousin. And nothing could take me away from that moment. But ummm, valet dude, can you hurry up before I'm #183???? Thanks! :)

More pics....

(Wedding party, friends and fam in VIP. yes that's a sheet at the entrance to the right)

(the non-VIP down below. please note the couple dancing to the right. At one point he was banging her so hard from the back I thought she was gonna fly across the room. And yes she doesn't have on shoes. hahahahahaha)

(the newlyweds on the road to drunkville...hahahahahaha)

(me and the "bed".)

(the groom and me on the road to drunkville...hahahahaha)

(I love my shoes...hhahahahaha)

(the shoe game I play is addictive)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Butterfly in Philly....

(you know I love butterflies. Philly 2008)

This weekend I left The Big Apple and landed in the city of Brotherly Love. My presence was requested at the wedding of my cousin to his girlfriend, the mother of his 2 sons (notice I did not call her baby momma...hahahahahaha). I was more than happy to be there to witness this occasion. My cousin is like a lil brother to me. He, like me, is his momma's only child, and since our mothers are sisters, our childhoods are intricately woven together. I remember, at 7, wanting to take him to school for "Show and Tell" the week after he was born (and telling my aunt she didn't love me when she said no....yes I was dramatic even back then...hahahahahaha) I remember picking him up from daycare with our great-grandmother and his disgusting love for turkey franks. I remember his first real crush (Tina Turner - that Private Dancer album cover did some thangs to the tyke...hahahahahaha). I remember when he came to visit me at Hampton and was completely in love with the "black college experience" and couldn't wait for the day he went away to school. I also remember from that visit that when my boyfriend at the time came by the house, my scrawny 13 year old cousin came to the door with the broom like that was gonna do something (SIDEBAR: Oh, how I wish lil cuz had swept that sucka out the door...hahahahahaha). I remember surviving the torture of driving him from Harlem to Atlanta when he decided to go to Morehouse.

So here he is, 25 years old, graduate of Morehouse (I don't hold that against him...hahahaha), father of 2 sons, and now about to be a husband. The little boy I used to take to violin practice. The little one who used to cling to me and run from my mother. How can this be?? Life. That's what happened. Just as I have grown, he did too. I can't imagine at 25 being responsible enough to be married with children. (Shit, I can't imagine at 32 being responsible enough to be married with children...hahahahahahahah). But that's the life he has mapped out for himself. And as always I couldn't be prouder of him.
Now the only trepidation I had about going to this wedding was caused by the anticipation of what the hell my family would say to me. I already know how my grandmother feels about my single life but I knew this occasion would give her fair game to lay it on thick. And lay it on she did. She tried bribery ("I'll pay for it. Just get married already."), guilt ("I would like to see you married before I leave this earth."), interrogation ('well who are you seeing? and why isn't he proposing??"), prophesying ("You're next. I see it.") and bartering ("okay, I'll get my knee replacement surgery so I can dance at your wedding. You work on the wedding. I'll work on the surgery."). I thought I was gonna need my grandfather's flask filled with something potent to deal with her but luckily my cousin didn't sit us at the same table. (SIDEBAR: I owe you one cuz!). But he did sit me with my mother's younger sister and her 4th hubby and she of course picked up where my grandmother left off. Watching my cousin and his wife celebrating their nuptials, I get why I was getting the full court press (check out my sports reference..HA!). My family just wants to see me happy and to them happy means husband, 2.5 kids, white picket fence. But that's not my definition of happy. Happy for me is peace of mind. Happy is knowing that I am living as close to drama free as allowed. Happy is taking the time to figure me out. I have to reassure them that I am in fact happy. Life isn't perfect but it's mine and I'm working on it. I was tempted to give my grandmother this website address so she can see just how happy I am and to understand me better (because I don't think she has a clue who I am). But then I remembered my last post and decided against it. hahahahahahahahaa

This blog wouldn't be complete without pictures of the joyous occasion.

(the ceremony took place outside at a gazebo at WaterWorks in Fairmount Park in Philly. Each guest was given a pink umbrella to protect themselves from the beaming sun. tres chic)

(My godson apparently didn't like the attention that he got as ring bearer. )

(while his baby bro was chillin'...LOL)

(yeah!!! he kissed the bride)

(when his mommy and daddy kissed my godson stepped down from the gazebo to give his lil bro a kiss. awwwww how cute)

(I loved my dress but I was having Marilyn Monroe issues the entire time. I mooned the entire city of Brotherly Love. Thankfully I didn't wear a thong! hahahahahahah)

(the bride, groom, and bridal party getting down to You're All I Need by Method Man ft. Mary J. Blige. The first dance was the original song by Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell, and then they segued into the other version when the bridal party was asked to join them. That was hot - I equally love both versions. I wish I thought of that...guess I can't use that IF I ever get married...hahahahahahahaha)

I couldn't resist posting these songs. Like sweet morning dewww/I took 1 look at you/ and it was plain to see/ you are my destiny........

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Have you ever.....

Have you ever......

.....felt your entire body glisten with illuminating droplets of sweat and wondered is this what morning dew feels like?

.....laid there and listened to your labored breath and wondered is this what the wind bristling through leaves sounds like up close and personal??
......felt the tops of your toes and tips of your fingers get all tingly and wondered is this what shooting stars feel like?

......felt your heart pounding in your chest and wondered is this what a hummingbird's wings flapping against a summer breeze feels like????

.......had a pulse pulsating in the southern hemisphere and wondered is this what a volcano erupting feels like????

.......felt the remnants of a single tear dance down the full slope of your cheek when it was all said and done and wondered did I just fucking shed a tear??? DAMN! DAMN!! DAMMMMN!!! (I hope he didn't notice)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tell 'em why you mad, son.....

Okay, I'm not really mad/angry per se but lately a few things have been bugging me. These random rumbling have been irritating me just below the surface of my cheery disposition. And I can't ignore them anymore.

1. If you fucked up, pick up the phone. Whether you forgot to pick up the dry cleaning or forgot that you scheduled a date, own up to it. I'm not a screamer (unless you're the owner of the dollar store who told me to take my "bougie money" elsewhere). I understand life happens but own up to the mistake. I'm not going to berate you like a child who just wanted to do hoodrat stuff with your friends. If you call, all is forgiven. Honestly. It's that simple. I think I've proven time and time again that I can be more than understanding and I like to think that I am pretty easy-going. Shit happens and life gets in the way. But if I have to call you out on your bullshit, before you own up to it: Houston, we have a problem.

2. If your approach has worked on chicks with gold teeth, don't talk to me. Yes, Harlem is hood (despite the abundance of white people infiltrating). So by association, since this is my home, I too have some hood in me. However, I don't not wear it like a badge of honor, more like a container of mace in my purse: only bring out when absolutely necessary (like when I have to scream on the man in the dollar store for his deceptive business practices). With that being said, when I walk down the street, I'm in my own world, happily enjoying being a spectator of the stage play that is Harlem on a daily basis. So don't freaking approach me with some "Hey ma. You're gorgeous. I'm Thug Love." as you lick your lips like I'm a T-bone steak, cheese eggs and Welch's grape and expect to get a response. The "hey ma" only slightly annoys me. But do you really think a woman of my caliber (look at me get all siddified...hahahahaha) would respond to a man that calls himself "Thug Love". Are you kidding me???? Am I on candid camera??? And when you call out, "damn, I can't even get a name?!", don't throw a temper tantrum when I respond with "Sorry, I don't have a street name to give".

3. I am not my hair. Yes, that's a line from an India.Aire song (which if I recall, I didn't particularly care for it when it came out. go figure). This actually has inspired a longer post that I will post one day but damnit don't judge who you think I am because of the way I wear my hair. It's a hairstyle not a lifestyle. So don't act all flabbergasted and shit when you see me chomping down on a slab of ribs. Because you think I'm some earth mother vegan does not mean that I have to be. Whatever preconceived notions you had about me when I had a perm, go back to that so I will not have to put you in your place when you say idiotic shit about who I am based on my hair.

In other Butterfly news, Spalding's brother called me last week to ask me to help him with a business plan. I haven't spoken to Spalding since right before that last encounter. I'm not even sure if his brother knows what happened. While I do feel kind of awkward helping his brother, I'm still going to lend whatever advice/assistance I can. It's not his fault that his older brother played himself like the Philharmonic. And I get that Spalding's baby bro has always looked to me as some type of older sister (even though he has one). On some level I feel honored that he came to me but that honor has some weird edges. I just hope he doesn't bring up his brother. My plan is to get there promptly at 6 (okay maybe 5 minutes late...hahahaha), help him for an hour and then skedaddle out of there with my yet to be determined but I need to have some "other plans". No rememeber when stories, no faded pictures in a broken glass. Nada. Just get in, do what I do best (write people....what were you thinking??? hahahahaha), and get out.

I know this blog is kind of all over the place today, but that's kind of where my mind has been - all over the place.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

At Last.....

At last my life is mine again. As noted in previous blogs, this past Saturday was the Baby Shower for Prego (aka Zilla) and her husband. It was beautiful chaos. Over a hundred people in attendance. Air conditioners not working as great as they should. Tears of joy and gratitude. Laughter. Good food. Ahhh, good times indeed. But damn it's a lot of work. From conception to execution my hand was all in the pot. My friends and I worked together to pull off an event to remember. And by the end of the night I was so exhausted I couldn't even talk straight. And I truly believe that was the case for everyone who worked soo hard. But it was all worth it. Zilla cried from the moment she walked in the place (I was NOT surprised...and this has nothing to do with her unstable hormonal state...hahahahaha). And by the end of the evening after mountains of gifts were opened, Zilla and her hubby shed tears for the outpouring of love, support (and gifts) from everyone in the place. I had a convo with my girl Eve as we were on our way out to Brooklyn the next day about the emotional outpouring at the shower. She explained it best "a baby shower is one of those few moments in life when you really really know how people truly care about you because of the love they show you and your child. It's a rare opportunity to actually see how people feel about you." With that conversation, I finally got it. Sure, Twiggs, D. and I said throughout the planning and running around for this shower "[Zilla] is lucky I love her." And in our own way, that ties back into what Eve said. Trust and believe I wouldn't do 1/3 of what I did for someone who didn't mean as much to me.

So in the next couple of months I will once again be on the planning committee for D's baby shower. Sheesh. I need a break from this madness. While I love seeing creativity come to fruition, these visions rob me of my own personal creativity. No blogs. No book writing. Can't even recommend a decent restaurant for a friend or plan a nice bday evening for Hustle (technically he fell asleep when the subject came up but I had no energy - or money- to insist...hahahaha). So I'm asking all my friends near and dear to me: please just send me an invitation so I can just show up like everyone else.

This onesie pretty much sums up this baby. I know her momma. hahahahahaaaa

We started a college fund for the baby. There will be no pole dancing in her future.

Do you see this mountain of gifts??? And this picture was taken early. Man, this baby shower business is a racket. I think I'm going to throw me a Single Shower, celebrating my singleness. Where should I register for gifts???

Believe it or not this is actually a cake. The entire "bag" and its contents are edible. Now that's creative. We had to stop a few little ones from grabbing the "pacifier".

Start the baby's taste for the finer things in life early. Hmmm, I think I just found where I am going to register for my Single Shower. hahahahahahaa

So now I'm back. I slept for the past couple of days (okay I went out Sunday to a BBQ in Brooklyn but I slept all day Monday...more on Sunday later). Since I'm back there will be more of me on here. More Hustle stories (it was recently brought to my attention that I haven't written about him in a while...he apparently has fans....hahahahaha), more dating stories, more commitment-phobe wonderings. You know, the usual.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Easy Like Saturday Morning.....

Dear Friends, Fans, Stalkers, and Stans:
I know its been almost two weeks since my last post. I just have to two words to speak to my absence: BABY SHOWER. Man, I love my friends to death and into eternal life thereafter but I am pooped. And since I KNOW Prego is reading, all I will say is "I can't wait for this to be over." I promise one of these days I will blog about the experience in detail (and maybe with pics). You deserve better and I promise to do better. (I think I got that from that new Will Smith movie. Funny, I can quote a movie I have absofuckinlutely no desire to see)

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming (I've always wanted to say that...hahahaha)

On a sunny Saturday morning, I looked out the window for some out of the house inspiration. Since the view in front of me is strictly residential, I was looking more at trees, houses and a few cars drive down the street below. From the corner of my left eye I saw a couple walking down the street. It was obvious they were basking in more than the glow of the sunshine. He walked with his arm wrapped confidently around her shoulder as she snuggled in closer to his embrace. Left. right. left. right. Their steps were in tune as if they were competing on "Dancing with the Stars". Halfway down the street, just as they were directly in front of my view, he dropped his hand and reached for her hand in one fluid motion. Instinctively, their fingers reached out to one another and were intertwined before I could blink. And with the swing of their arms, their leisurely stroll continued down the street. I watched them as they faded from sight, but not from memory.

It's scenes like this that make me long for that easy breezy. The I'm comfortable with you no matter what stride, that we're in this together embrace, that you're all I need to get by swagger. The type of bond that makes people stop and stare from a window in a t-shirt and undies early on a Saturday morning. The kind of connection that......
Smack. "Here drink this."
Ow, stop smacking my booty. What's this?"
"It's tea. Now stop asking me questions and drink. It's good for you."
"Oh shit, it's hot."
"It's tea. What do you expect? hahahahahhaha"
"Ha ha - very funny."
"What are you doing?"
"Ummmm, just looking out the window, enjoying the view." (I can't tell him what I was really looking at)
"You have too much time on your hands. I'm getting ready for work." Smack.
"Owwww, damnit!!!!"

(Confession: I wrote this last summer after a visit with Hustle. I stumbled across it on my phone - apparently wrote it on the lonnnng train ride home that day and decided to post it today. No rhyme or reason. Just wanted to share) Now I'm off to handle baby shower details.