Category Archives: Uncategorized

I have a new favorite Podcast!

Let me first just preface this entry by saying, very few podcasts enter my inner circle of favorite podcasts. I’m a lover not a junkie. LOL! I subscribe to some podcasts that I rarely listen to but I’m a faithful listener to my favorites. And I’m never out here looking for my next fave because I feel lucky enough just listening to the few that I do love.

I found The Fckry through Conan O’Brien’s podcast because I was bored, prolly couldn’t find a new episode on one of my faves and saw that Leslie Jones was a guest on one of the “Conan Needs a friend” episodes.

I love Leslie Jones with a love that has grown over time. Her energy reminds me so much of my dear friend Khalilah who passed in 2018 and I really feel like I’ve been needing that energy in my life right now for many reasons. And of course, I love to laugh so I tend to have a special place in my heart for comedian podcasters. But I mean hardcore stand up comics, preferably seasoned, because…I’m…seasoned. I could write a whole separate entry about how much I love, respect and am inspired by truly funny women.

*note to self write a whole separate entry about how much I love, respect and am inspired by truly funny women*

Anyway, Leslie was funny asf on Conan’s podcast and it was there I learned about her own podcast, The Fckry with Lenny Marcus, and I flipped out. How did I not know this! I immediately found it, subscribed and was busting a gut in minutes. But I’ve also, deeply enjoyed learning more about Leslie, how she got her start, all the things she went through as a broke struggling comedian and much more. She’s the type of person who gives it to you raw and real in a way I have really come to crave and trust. She’s not for everybody and I’m very familiar with that. I didn’t think she was for me either the first time I saw her on the SNL Weekly Update News sketch along with millions of other Americans. But I’ve come to realize that Leslie is at her best when she’s working in a stand up format or in a context where she can truly be herself in collaboration with others who are not afraid of her strength. And I’m familiar with that too. SNL was not it. The Fckry is it.

I didn’t know anything about Lenny Marcus before listening to her podcast but I know that Leslie would never create something this intimate with someone she didn’t trust. And it’s clear to me from listening to the few episodes I’ve greedily binged so far that their relationship as comedians is rooted in the love of building each other up by challenging and sharpening one another constantly. If we’re only looking at things from the outside, which, lets face it, most of us do, it would seem to be an unlikely pairing. But in the realm of comedy, which ranges broadly in it’s collection of uniquely talented, dark, freakish, outcasts, black sheep, oddballs, junkies, loners, creeps and outsiders, the connection between comics is often singular, complex and varied but rarely superficial.

I also introduced my husband to The Fckry last week and this morning as we sat in the car waiting for my commuter bus he told me he loves it! I can’t describe how huge that is for me. We do listen to several of the same podcasts together on our morning commute but I wasn’t absolutely certain he would like this one. I just had to tell him about it because I love it so much. So it makes me happy that we can listen to this together as well.

YAY!

Are We All Just Holding it Together?

I was in Sephora today, (which used to be my happy place pre-Covid) and ran into the woman who works in perfumes. When I used to go in there with my dear friend and work colleague who will code name Regine, we made really good friends with this lady. Regine is very bubbly and out going and has made friends with people in every store we would frequent during lunch pre-Covid. So I was back there in the scents section spritzing some happy on when she walked up. We chatted for a bit the way we normally do when I see her. She asked about Regine. I told her. I asked her how she was doing and she was like “You know, hanging in there…”

Do you know how may times we’ve concluded conversations this way? And I mean hey, I get it. I’ve been “hanging in there” for longer than I care to say. But today, after I left Sephora excited with a fistful of perfume samples she was nice enough to present to me, I wondered to myself. is everyone just hanging in there right now? And I mean on multiple levels. Emotionally, mentally, physically…

Are we all just walking around the land mines of our unsustainable issues and challenges? My husband, a public school teacher recently told me that his lower back has been hurting for weeks and the only thing he takes to treat is muscle relaxers which made me concerned. No one has cured anything in ages! We’re just walking around treating shit and holding ourselves together with prayers and gauze.

And I mean, I’m no exception. I’ve been walking around (sometimes limping around) with a torn meniscus in my right knee for several years now and nothing but KT tape to help support it. I suffered a random bout of frozen shoulder in my left shoulder during the pandemic shut down and even after months of PT I’m still not able to fully lift my arm up above my head. I need to reschedule a dental cleaning and get a crown for a root canal I had months ago but don’t seem to be in any hurry to get that going. I could go on.

But I won’t.

I’m just too worn out by other more immediate seeming shit. Although what could be more immediate than your body screaming:

BITCH TAKE CARE OF ME BEFRE IT’S TOO LATE!!!!!

…well, clearly we’ve found reasons to neglect ourselves for some time.

Where does it end?

Where do Grown Ass Women Shop for Clothes?

Rumors of a nation returning to “normal” have forced me to do something I have long avoided while working from home the last two years:

shop for work clothes.

Pre-pandemic, I used to share stories and posts on my IG of myself trying on clothes in midtown Manhattan fitting rooms constantly. It was fun. I actually liked to shop. Post-pan, I won’t step foot into a fitting room and am loathe to stand in a line at most any clothing store waiting to purchase anything. I tried a few days ago. I made a return yesterday.

As one of millions of people who worked from home the last couple of years I’ve gotten more used to ordering clothes on line than I ever imagined.

But since we’re trickling back into our beloved normalized dysfunction, I’ve had to deal with the fact that I need new work clothes. It’s not that I don’t still have the work dresses of pre pandemic fame hanging in my new home closet still. It’s just that that I don’t have any desire to go back to wearing any of them. Even when I was going into the office once a week at the beginning of this year, it was such a ghost town that I was wearing sweatpants and sneakers each time.

Oh the glorious comfort!

But as MGMT would say, it’s time to pretend…again. That’s part of what it means for America to go back to normal. Always has been.

Though there are some things I realize I never want to go back to.

1: padded bras.

I swore off bras during most of the height of the pandemic because they are for the most part, uncomfortable, oppressive straight jackets for breasts and I was fortunate that I could just go without them for a while. And I’m well endowed so It’s not like I don’t understand the need for support but my god, when I put on a bra for the first time to go to some dr’s appointment or physical therapy, it felt so wrong and awful. I found like 3-4 bras with no padding or underwire that liked and just wore those when I had to.

2: heels

I have a meniscus tear in my right knee so even pre-pandemic, I was playing myself wearing heels but post-pan, after I found my first pair of comfortable ass Sorel sneakers, honey, I don’t even look at heels. And I never understood, as a working woman why every time I went to a shoe store, I would often see the kind of shoes only Carrie Bradshaw would lust after displayed prominently.

Like, no shade to heels to the working women who wear them but f*k, can I get some comfort with these style trends that I can’t relate to anymore? I already have a list of comfy flat sandals for this Summer on my pinterest board. Check it out for when you’re done with your red bottom stiletto’s. And don’t judge me for odd heel or two you might find on there. I can dream can’t I?

Sadly, shopping for new work clothes is another matter altogether more complicated and challenging than footwear and padded bras. Yesterday I went from Zara to H&M to American Eagle to….sigh Forever 21. Zero finds.

My haul: two set of cute plastic rings from H&M and some nude colored hair bands for my wigs.

BTW, why have so many women’s clothes been ribbed for the past 6 years? Anyone?

WHERE THE HELL DO GROWN ASS WOMEN SHOP FOR CLOTHES?

The fact is, although I continue to be a fan of fashion, I have pretty much aged out of fashion trends myself. I see cute stuff and all l think is, it’s only gonna be good for a season or for two washes or both and it’s not worth the investment. It’s frightening how practical I’ve become in my old age. I make up for that in wig and makeup purchases.

But seriously, I went home and after these failed attempts at “in person” shopping, and did what I always do, buy stuff online from Old Navy. And what’s funny is that although I never could find one thing other than jeans that I liked whenever I would shop in person at Old Navy, everything I’ve ordered from them online has been perfect. I ordered three pairs of loose drop crotch sweatpants from ON last year. Oh my God…and they have pockets!!!!!!??? Lived in them.

I would love to find comfortable stylish clothing I like at a Zara’s or and H&M but it’s just not happening. I’m not in that target market any longer and while having less luck at mainstream clothing retailers does save me some $$$, it leaves me with not many options to wear to the office. I’m often left wondering if there is some secret one stop shopping place that grown ass women in their 40s shop at that I don’t know about.

I’m starting get the feeling that that place is online. Drop the links in comments if I’m missing out on something amazing. LOL!

Surreal in The City

My husband dropped me off in the city this very early morning so that I could do my in person hours at the office for the first time in two weeks. The city is still sleeping when we roll in and so am I, even with eyes open. It feels very strange, especially since we don’t live in the city anymore.

It was still completely dark when we left. For a while, I feel hollow and edgeless sitting in the passenger side. I say nothing. Am I even alive?

We put on one of our favorite interview podcasts but it takes a while before anything said sticks. I don’t know who I’m supposed to be. I want to crawl back into bed.

My husband parks across from the school he teaches at in Hell’s Kitchen and walks me to the nearest Starbucks, which just happens to be next to what was once a 5 dollar movie theater that I frequented quite frequently with a friend of mine when we were in high school, literally entire lives ago. I order something although I never eat anything this early in the morning, find a table and kiss my husband goodbye. He’s picking me up after work so we can drive back to our new home together which might as well be in another dimension.

Life is happening…

(written on December 18th 2021)

My cat is sitting on top of the laundry bag. It’s 11:30am and I’m still in bed. Haven’t eaten anything yet. My period began yesterday on the Full Moon in Gemini.

My husband’s cousin passed away suddenly and instantly on Monday. My most beloved instagram accounts were hacked on Friday. The Omicron variant has sent numbers soaring in NYC again, causing people to flood the street testing sites and overwhelm resources to the point of shut down.

Life is happening…

We’re moving out the city this month. After several years of searching, we found a new home. It’s been the only thing I’ve been able to stay hopeful for. And sometimes, even that has been hard…staying hopeful. These brand new beginnings come with new responsibilities. And ready or half ready or a quarter of the way ready or not, here we come…or go.

Same difference.

We’ve been blessed even in the midst of tragedy. My in laws have been amazing. My husband is so beloved by his family and their friends that they have showered us with blessings, support and wisdom.

Also, my cat is a creature I can never really be mad at because he keeps me on my toes, keeps me playful and curious and I mean, we have to take care of him no matter what. The part pets play in the role of human health is vastly underestimated but those who know…know. They help the heart. They help you to smile when you feel like shit. Taking care of him distracts me from my own innate and destructive selfishness. And cat energy is always soothing and mysterious to me which I love and crave for whatever reason. I’m a cat person.

But that’s pretty much it for me right now. I’m too exhausted on so many levels to attempt to express, explain or describe much more about what’s been happening in my life. We’re about to embark on a journey and I’m excited about it in spite of everything fucked up thats happening. And I hope to share more about that when we’ve settled safely on the other side.

see you there…

NO MORE NORMAL PLEASE

Eventually, doctors will find a coronavirus vaccine, but black people will continue to wait, despite the futility of hope, for a cure for racism. We will live with the knowledge that a hashtag is not a vaccine for white supremacy. We live with the knowledge that, still, no one is coming to save us. The rest of the world yearns to get back to normal. For black people, normal is the very thing from which we yearn to be free.

-Roxanne Gay

This past weekend I went for what has become my reoccurring restorative walk through the park, which is just a block across from where my husband and I live. Since this pandemic began I have taken this walk about once every week or so.

As you know if you have been reading my blog long enough, I derive a deep sense of center, calm, inspiration, regeneration and healing from nature in a way I am ceaselessly thankful for. It’s free and it gives limitlessly, a truly actionable love. I am very much connected to the beings that exist in nature and it’s loving, functional and harmonious energy.

Since my husband is prone to respiratory infections, he has been vigilant at limiting his time outdoors, particularly in the city where Covid infected numbers are at their highest because of the high density of people in NYC. So I’ve gone on these walks alone always, with PPE on and defense at hand. But the more I love this walk, the more I want to share it with my husband and this weekend I asked him in my specially gentle tone (LOL!) if he might and he said yes.

This park has long stretches of wide path that go for miles and miles, breaking off along the way through miles of sky high tall trees, and lower leaning bushes that often create a thick tunnel of green overhead. There are Robins, and Blue Jays, Cardinals. There are large fallen trees that lay like majestic fallen giants in the woods which I have a deep inexplicable affection for.

I have been walking a path, about about 20 minutes long that leads to a crossroad. I take the left road just a few feet to where a long beautiful trunk of a large pale tree lays perfectly on the right side of that path.

There I sit.

There I rest.

There I reflect.

There I try to bring my awareness to the present.

There I dare to close my eyes.

There I breath in deeply.

There I sway to the sound of the trees swaying.

There I stare up into heavenly green canopy.

There, I am here.

 

My husband didn’t sit on the tree trunk with me. LOL! I was fine with that. I just wanted to be there with him, in a place where I have been able to feel free, feel relaxed, feel something like whole and even safe. I sat and watched him remove his mask briefly to take a few long deep breaths. He’s not used to walking this far or this long with his mask on. I’ve adjusted to it. When we got back to the apartment he told me he wants to go for a walk in the park once a week.

No one can take it from me.

 

 

60 minute full body massage thoughts…

My cellphone switched off in the pocket of my robe hanging near the door of the quiet room. Why did one side of my body feel different then the other as he worked on it? Was he doing the exact same thing on each side or was he instinctive about what was needed on each side as he went? Do masseuses get maturity training to stay focused and not get preoccupied by merely physical sensation? Is there kindness training? How do they pace themselves? How touch can be intimate and respectful. Other than force and perversion, what else can make touch feel disrespectful? The inner thigh space felt a bit dicey. Like I was hyper aware and sensitive about him working in that space on me. I wonder what kind of experience Francis is having with his masseuse. I hope he likes it. I think we need to do this more often. The gentle way he folded my hands next to me when he transitioned to a different part of my body. What might he be thinking? Letting my body go completely limp because I know this helps the therapist work best. There were times when I wanted to say that he could increase the pressure but I wasn’t sure how that would be taken. I don’t recall whether I’ve ever had a white male masseuse work on me before. If I did it was years ago, under a different administration, I a different person. I can trust a masseuse to do their job well but I can’t trust deeper than that in this respect, and I would like to but I can’t. It’s not just my body here, but my spirit. So many White men have problems, no matter how much work they’ve done.  It’s sad. It gets in the way. There is tightness near my right clavicle, a deep tightness when he kneads it that I don’t feel when he does it on my left. What does it mean? His touch is so low pressure that it’s almost shocking when something hurts. I can hear his breathing. It’s very pronounced. Changing with his movement. Which makes sense. It feels nice to have sheets tucked gently under me. Breathing deeper. I love long deep breaths. I feel as if I have inhaled all the way down to the bottom of myself and exhaled back up again. It feels amazing. Why does it feel so good to have certain parts of the body pressed, tugged and pulled? I’m glad I kept my underwear on. I went back and forth on that. I was raised in a naked house so I’m not super shy about that in a wellness context but I didn’t want things to be awkward for anyone. My breasts rocking side to side rhythmically when he pounded on my shoulders. Loving. What a loving act a massage is. What a loving way to impart caring, healing and loving energy exchange. How do you do this thing, which requires both closeness and yet respectfully emotional distance in the most beneficial way? I’m not sure I would ever be mature enough to make a good masseuse. I admire that quality very much. What if I chose to keep my eyes open the whole time when I flipped on my back? How awkward would that be? He called me sister when it was over. Which was nice. The tiny bottle of Clary sage tucked in my robe pocket.

Stay tuned for less stream of conscious thoughts on my Summer spa experience next week.

Silliness Makes Me Happy

My dad gets all the credit.

He is a seriously wonderful father who is also prone to silliness and has been since I was born. There was a lot of laughter in my family growing up, a lot of clowning and jokes and silliness. My dad was the one who had us watching the Marx Brothers, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder, Flip Wilson, SNL and many other truly ridiculous human beings. Just silly people who made me laugh until my stomach hurt. It cultivated a special place in my heart for comedy and comedians in general.

My dad used to pick me up, dance me around the living room and ask me in a snobby British accent, “Are you having a lovely time dahling?” And I would look at him and say “No.” We both fell apart laughing. I was aware of the irony of this routine and I enjoyed playing his straight man.

Sometimes there’s just nothing like laughter to diffuse darkness, to bring people together, to clear the air, to begin healing or just to take a break from the impending doom that hangs over each day in this diabolical administration.

My husband and I have been watching “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” on Netflix, a concept show created by Jerry Seinfeld which I originally thought was kind of an obnoxious vanity project. But the the thing is, when you’re as funny as Seinfeld, you could literally pick up comedians in a cheese bus and it would still be hilarious as long there was a camera around.

It’s exactly what it is. Comedians are an odd bunch of people who really only like hanging out with other comedians and this is that. Candid, coffee, cars, comics.

I like to laugh.  I need to laugh. I like to share laughter and I have always loved making others laugh which for a woman has always been a harder road as a profession. Tracee Ellis Ross has been one of my favorite silly people for the longest because she doesn’t let vanity and patriarchy stand in the way of getting a laugh. She is legit crazy and she utilizes that crazy in the most disarming ways. She also slays as a fashion icon. Those qualities in a woman, let alone a Black woman are very rarely celebrated together as strengths. To me they are personal goals.

For me silliness is fuel. If I can’t make fun of myself and situations that are often taken way too seriously, I often feel like I’m perpetrating the fraud of looking like I have a clue about what’s going on or that I am actually as cool as I occasionally appear to be, that I am not full of chaos, rage, doubt, sadness, loneliness and questions.

We are all performing in some type of drag most of the time, performing gender, beauty, respectability. When humor is used to crack facades and address the need for them at the same time, it’s a win win. Comedians provide a public service. They live to make us laugh and I live to laugh.

I need to laugh. Its part of my self care routine now more than ever.

Happy Birthday MJ!

Once many years ago when MJ was still with us, I remember being in one of my favorite music stores on Times Square. Virgin Mega Record Store. They had listening stations on the mail floor where you could listen to entire albums (if the headphones worked) before you decided whether or not to buy the CD. I loved it so much. I would go there and just listen to music and lose myself in a store full of hundreds of people. I would move down the line, listening to one album after the next. I remember on one particular day I was there wandering around when I began to notice that everyone in the store was facing the same direction, looking up at the large screens inside the store where they would play music videos. Like everyone! I looked up at the screen and a Michael Jackson video was on. I don’t remember which one. I don’t remember if it was new. All I knew was that I had never experienced anything like that before. Witnessing the attention and energy of such a large crowd of people be drawn to one direction was something I never forgot. At that time I probably felt that I had long since been flooded with Michael Jackson music and memories and as he was still alive at the time, whatever was playing on the screen at Virgin that day wasn’t that big a deal to me. But seeing all those people stop everything to look up at him was something to behold.

There are songs by MJ that move me in indescribable ways and sometimes I avoid digging back into the past because music can grab me and send me into a nostalgic wormhole for hours if I let it. But today I will allow myself to indulge in all the beauty that Michael blessed us with. I was so excited to hear Drake; track with MJ, “It don’t matter to me” off of Scorpion. It’s a beautiful tribute to all that MJ continues to contribute to music to this day. His work is universal, timeless, and unlike anything that ever came before it.

I remember seeing him moonwalk for the first time on TV and I think that I’ve never stopped feeling like he was this strange and beautiful and somewhat lonely human being (though he was often surrounded) who was never really understood but who made other people feel understood with his music.

Man, I am so blessed to have come up in the age of Michael Jackson. Yup, I’m starting to talk like an old person. LOL! As my physical therapist told me yesterday, aging is a beautiful thing.

Like Home

When I think of home,

I think of a place where there’s love everflowing.

I wish I was home.

I wish I was back there with the things I been knowing…

 

It started with “Love is the message,” episode 6 of Pose. I was crying through Billy Porter’s rendition of “Home,” which he sang to his lover who was dying of AIDs. That entire episode slayed my fucking life. Please stop reading this now and go watch it. I’m serious. It’s On Demand. I binge watched all the episodes until I was caught up.

The  episode after that ended with Electra Abundance and Angel being turned out by their respective sugar daddy/boyfriends and dancing in the peephole cages to Tina Turners “Private Dancer.”

Now,

I think I must have been like 10, 11 when that album came out? Remember, the one of Tina Turner sitting in a regular degular metal chair with a black cat superimposed at her feet?

Tina_Turner_Private_Dancer_US_CD_cover_art_1984_original

I-loved-that-song. “Private Dancer” just paints the whole scene like Mama Tina did her research! LOL! It’s a haunting and seductive and lonely but beautiful song. After that episode of Pose, I went and created a playlist of all my favorite Tina Turner songs on Tidal. Then I remembered Annie Lennox. Oh God, Annie Lennox. Man, did she get me through some times.

Whitney BW

Cut to last weekend when I went to see Whitney with my mom and dad and my God. All the feelings of what it was like to love Whitney Houston as a teenager just washed over me like monsoon. I remembered everything. I remembered singing her hit songs to my white wall covered with posters in my room. I remember singing songs about heartache I never even experienced yet. It was just that Whitney’s voice could do that, could take you there, could make you want to experience such heartache just so you have to this beautiful voice to lift in song to show for it.

Nothing will ever make me feel like “How Will I Know.” “I Get So Emotional” will always make me think of my very first boyfriend. “I Will Always Love You” and the entire The Bodyguard soundtrack will always go straight to my heart. I don’t care how much Cardi B, Drake (well Drake is different LOL!) or Migos I love and listen too. My music will always be the music of the 80s. “One Moment in Time” will always bring me to my knees. I think sometimes that this is the reason why I avoid the music of the 80s, because I know that just one note and I will be taken back in time, and I may never get anything else done that day. I’m dead serious. I can get shit done with Future and Big Sean or Kendrick Lamar on. But when Tina Turner sings “Beyond the Thunderdome” don’t you know I gotta close my eyes and belt it out? I never in my life even saw that damn Mad Max movie and never intend to, not it’s sequels, remakes, cousins or step-children. But when I listen to that song I feel like I understand all I need to know about it. Tina brought it the fuck on.

I guess I’m starting to age out of caring about keeping up with what’s cool. Who needs that shit when you came up at a time of artists who were legitimate megastars because they were talented as fuck with voices that, as Jackie Morena, the music producer on “The Get Down” were literally were a “public service,” performed actual factual miracles and changed lives?

Sigh…

Man, I can’t think of anyone who could ever step in their shoes, let alone walk in them.

Yikes, I really am sounding like an OG.

Well…I am.

I love singers. I always have. And frankly I miss them. Not the auto tuned, synthesized, sound engineered sound alike singers, but just a Mariah Carey ass diva and a mic with music, some back up singers, a band or orchestra and nothing else, just the power, the mastery, the heart and soul of a ballad that lives on forever.

Oh it’s definitely going to be a memory lane night.

 

Urban Eve