Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bridges and Balloons. (i know.. No one cares but me)

i am utterly smitten with this song. i chose this user created youtube vid because it's so perfect, isn't it?

i have never written about a song. i love many, .. many. but there is something about this one. i'm sure my friends are over me bursting into this song on the street. it's almost never not on my mind.

i didn't know who Joanna Newsom was at all. how i discovered her is an interesting story. Pharoahe was talking to Nottz about doing some music. Nottz is notorious for having people come down to his lair in VA to work, but he had sent some beats for Monch to listen to. (BANANAS, that guy.) Among them was the track that ended up being Break Bread, the lead song from the Nottz/ Asher Roth project. Incredible track. We would listen to it on loop for an hour straight. We had a bit of difficulty figuring out what the sample was saying, though. My vote was for "should we raise the rent?" I had a ridiculously involved backstory about a group of orphaned siblings, 'Party Of 5' style, living in a huge house they'd partially subletted out, running out of their dead parents' savings and wondering how they would continue to pay the mortgage..

.. it was 'should we break some bread' though. From a song called Sprout And The Bean. Pharoahe found the music. he played it and i was blown away by her unique, quirky voice.. and her lyricism. she loves words, this chick (and she's the one playing the harp on these songs).

and then he played me Bridges And Balloons.
if i have children, this song will be my favorite lullaby to sing them.
i think it's a gorgeous allegory, an achingly realistic and yet somehow beautifully idealized love story.

the 1st verse lyrics go:

we sailed away on a winter's day
with fate as malleable as clay
but ships are fallible, i say
and the nautical, like all things, fades
and i can recall our caravel
a little wicker beetle shell
with four fine mast and lateen sails
it's bearings on Cair Paravel
oh my love
oh, it was a funny little thing
to be the ones to've seen.

this verse describes the embarking on the journey.. the decision to fall in love.. or, to be in love. there is doubt, and perhaps the situation isn't optimal, as suggested by the choice of season and the reference to the fallible nature of ships. but the vessel (trust, faith, hope?) is sturdy and properly adorned, and is headed toward Cair Paravel. I got hype at the reference on some nerdy elementary school ish... because Cair Paravel is the island kingdom where the Kings and Queens of Narnia ruled in the Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
isn't that lovely? *sigh*

2nd verse goes:

the sight of bridges and balloons makes
calm canaries irritable
and they caw and claw all afternoon
"catenaries and dirigibles"
brace and buoy the living- room
a loom of metal, warp woof wimble
and a thimble's worth of milky moon
can touch hearts larger than a thimble

oh my love
oh, it was a funny little thing
to be the ones to've seen
oh my love
oh it was a funny little thing,
it was a funny, funny little thing

this verse continues on in graceful exposition, describing the ride. i go back and forth on what the birds are to symbolize, if anything. birds can mean good, or bad news. (iono abt no canaries tho.) but i was incredibly impressed at the cleverness of the birds cries/warnings, as "catenaries and dirigibles" are just bridges and balloons. i think i may have at some point said out loud "haha... she rhymed 'irritable' with 'dirigible'".. because I'm a giant dork.

i love the suggestions of the sounds and sights in this verse. it puts me right in their moment, and i can absolutely imagine myself laying, braced and buoyed next to a lover on a gently shifting boat, listening to its natural sounds and staring up at a milky moon. or, to depart from the metaphor, fully living in a gloriously perfect moment with a lover, knowing and appreciating the beauty of just this, right now.

i get the feeling the relationship didn't last. and i relate to that too. it was still an amazing ride, though.

ok. now perhaps I can think about the song a little bit less. hopefully? sheesh.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mixtapes and Heartbreaks

Well, listen. Here's one of the many things I have learned since I last saw you: life turns man up and down. Peace to Kurt Thometz. Another thing I've learned, though? Who has time to sit and consider all that shit? Does a person standing in the middle of a four- lane highway have time to sit and lament the circumstances that got them there? You know how that person's gon' end up with all that cryin? A 2- dimensional past-tenser with their insides on the outside for some poor underpaid chump to clean up.

The thing about getting over the hump is this: the law of inertia dictates that all the energy you exert pushing and fighting your way up the hump will propel you forward, soon as you get the teeniest bit over. So keep pushing.

I got a mixtape coming in a few weeks. It's called "Hov Said It Best". This represents the first body of music I have released to the world that's solely my own. I got told ALL the way off by a man I am now in love with, for my slacking in this area over the years. (He don't know i love him. But how can you not fall in love with a man who is sick of you to the point of ignoring you, for not being great like you can be?) I'm excited about it. It's good stuff. Definitely different. What else can it be? I'm a giant weirdo. :) The first song you'll hear is called "Whatchu Want Me To Do" ... should I stick "Im Sorry!" in parenthesis in the title? choo think?

I've lost a friend or two, it seems. That's the heartbreak part of the blog. I like knowing, though. So I don't tell 'em no more of my business. :) Also, it's not really heartbreak. I find it difficult to be heartbroken over someone who isn't laying the pipeski, if you know what i mean.

I'm in the studio right now, finishing up one of the last songs on the mixtape. There's a fly issue. We have no idea where they are coming from. They're so big I can hear them buzzing on the microphone. We keep having to pause to beat them to death. More keep coming.

Fuck those flies. We will prevail. Life is good.

What's new in your world that you feel like sharing? Let me know! I read all the comments, believe me. That's what makes blogging fun!

Friday, June 18, 2010

At Least 1 Reason Good Black Women Can't Find Good Black Men.

.. as illustrated by a a story.

A Good Black Man and a Good Black Woman are at a bar.

The Good Black Man goes up to the Good Black Woman.

GBM: Hi, what's your name?

GBW: Shirelle.

GBM: Nice to meet you, Shirelle. My name is Lance.

GBW: You too, Lance. May I ask you a question?

GBM: Sure, shoot.

GBW: Why do Black Men always...... "

GBM: *tosses back drink* have a good night.

The End.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

To My Exes- Sorry About The VD.

Noooo.... I don't have VD.

(Its funny... Despite the hideous, life- altering malady that it implies, the term 'VD' is almost charming in its antiquity, isn't it? No? Ok. Maybe its me.)

I stole this blog idea from someone on Tucker Max's message boards. (He stole it from someone else.) Its an experiment that asks 'what would u say to any of your ex- bf/gf's, wives/husbands, unrequiteds, jumps, booty calls, etc, if u had the chance today?' It should be fun. I encourage you guys to reply with your own stories as well as your comments regarding mine.
Here goes-

(... They usually start @ the beginning...)

H- honestly, a girl couldn't ask for a better way to lose her virginity. You're probably the reason I don't have any weird hang- ups. You were a great guy, sweet first bf, better sex than I knew to appreciate at the time. You really set a bar. You were a fantastic counterpoint to my hyper, chatty personality. The last time we broke up, it was because you wouldn't drive downtown to get me ribs from the rib shack at 10pm on a school night. I threw a tantrum and stormed out and you (finally) didn't chase me. You were always too sane for me. I found you on FB. You have a beautiful family. Pretty awesome. You'd prolly be grey-haired if we had married. Ima still blog more about you tho.

A- We probably would've stayed together longer if you didn't cry so much. Like, heaving on my shoulder, snotting and soaking my sleeve crying. What was I supposed to do with that? My nigga i was like 17. You had too much goin on in your life for me to handle. I saw u about a year ago. You had like 7 kids. Im not surprised.

H- We should never have dated. We both knew it. We waited so, so long to consummate the relationship. It was everything I feared it would be. My friends and I nicknamed you "Thimble Boy". I later learned you had a rep for unsatisfied customers. We got along so much better once we got that pesky dating business out of the way. Bad sex makes me awfully bitchy.

J- You were The One Who Got Away for so many reasons. Now that Im more grown- up, if I could do it differently, I'd play it so I wasnt so totally the bad guy. I was messin up for sure. But. It wasn't all my fault. I still feel bad about saying that. But it wasn't. Not entirely. I want my pictures too. I looked GREAT nekkid. Dammit.

P- You are the devil. I actually have u saved as "Satan" in my phone. You inspired in me a lack of control I havent experienced before or since. You knew a side of me that no one else did, and you knew you did. And then one day i was over it, and it was like someone pulled back the curtain on the Wizard Of Oz. Talking to you is still funny.

W- You weren't nearly as smart as you thought you were and that ultimately ruined what I thought was a greatly functioning, situational friendship/ relationship. You were terrible at being slick. Terrible! Pity. You, like most men, should learn to shush sometimes. I think about you now with a strange mixture of wistfulness (for the great times we had and the great times we'll miss) and amusement (at what a silly, silly boy you were!) Eh. I might call u up sometime. You were fun.

I would tell more good, happy stories.. but they are far less interesting.

I think that's enough... YOUR TURN!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Friend Who Was Precious

I just watched Precious. I am openly weeping.

It took me a few weeks to even try. I read the book "Push" when i was a teenager. I read the reviews that called Lee Daniels a "pathology pimp" and that lambasted both Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry. This will address none of those reviews. That's a whole other blog.

I sit here typing and weeping for a couple of reasons. The lesser one (SKIP TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH IF YOU DON'T WANT SOCIAL COMMENTARY) is that I have been witness to a very callous, thoughtless group of people who have gone out of their way to make not only the character Precious, but the actress herself, the butt of cruel jokes. To some degree, it is to be expected. But i was honestly shocked at how thoroughly entrenched MY generation has become in the same self- hating psyche that has plagued generations before us. It has become clear to me that my peers, and even younger, have been trained to dehumanize the black tragic figure. I can name many characters in white movies- obese, considered unattractive, judged to be mentally deficient,- that have never received the treatment that this young actress has (Forrest Gump, Gilbert Grape, I can go on), & are held as heroes even. Sadly, we don't realize the self- hatred inherent in that sentiment. It's divide and conquer. She's not me. That's THOSE black people. Willie Lynch, anyone?

This point brings me to the fact that i knew a girl who had a lot in common with Precious. Except that she was thin, light-skinned and gorgeous. (Would they have felt differently about the movie if Precious were all those things?) So many times since this movie came to be, I've wanted to talk about her but i haven't. I have to now. She was my best friend, my 'big sister'. I hesitate to give her name because she was intensely private in life, and even tho I am going to try to tell some of her story here, I think she'd want me to hold that back. Spirit tells me so. So. We'll call her Veronica.

I met Veronica when i was 11 & she was 18. We moved into the same apt building in Williamsburg. I sweated her cuz she was older and fly and plus there weren't that many black people in the building. She saw something in me and let me hang out. (My mom is the coolest ever & took in all strays so Im sure that helped.) She had a young son, we'll call him Eric. They were both gorgeous. She took a liking to me, and eventually I became privy to her personal life, as well as all manner of shenanigans. We used to fight together (she was vicious in battle) flirt w/ boys together (she had a switch in TIMBS that i've only ever seen on Candace, in HEELS) sing together (I wrote and recorded my first song on her stereo), and more. She had some 'big sister' conversations with me that I am embarrassed to report I never 'man'd up' and had with my ACTUAL sisters.

Veronica's stepdad started raping her when she was 7. At 14 she shot him. She served time in a juvenile detention center (he didn't die). Was released when she was still a teen. Met the love her of life. Got pregnant. Found out that she was HIV positive late during the pregnancy. So Eric was born with HIV as well. Her mom was also infected with the AIDS virus from the same man, and passed when Veronica was about 22.

She was one of the baddest bitches i've met, to this day. She was gorgeous and sexy, fierce and scary (even tho she was tiny, she had hand skills. Actually, she had lots of guns too. I saw them. & i saw her shoot one once. She didn't let me be around for all that tho) brilliant and witty and funny and talented. Her poetry was awesome. We made songs out of some of her poems. And her capacity for love was amazing. It overwhelms me to this day. I would hate EVERYONE if i had had her life. She loved FIERCELY.

She had another child. That child was perfectly healthy. (yep, that can happen. btw) Then Eric died. I believe that with him went her will to survive. She died a couple of years later. She didn't live past 26. I think about her all the time. She always made me feel like i was so talented. I wanted her to be around to see me be successful. I know she'd be so proud.

I haven't yet been able to process whether or not i feel the story was told in a manner that makes a freakshow of this segment of the Black Experience. I'm not promising I won't feel that way. But right now I feel like Precious is a hero just like my friend was. And I am still crying.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Seinfeldian Bloggery

I promised myself I'd do at least one blog a month. September's gonna be over in 5 hours. So, here goes. 

Well. Here's what I've been up to (in case you don't follow me on twitter.. and even if you do)- this Hellpit Faeries album is coming along swimmingly! And all the fun's in the conception. This new apartment is chock full of ridiculousness, and we're both becoming more adept at harnessing this constant fuckery in a way that's gonna make us money. We like money here at The Scalpel. A lot. 

There's been shows (last night @ Santos with Skyzoo and Dujeous was full of awesome!) interviews (I hope that Soulculture piece doesn't make us sound quite as insane as I fear it will) drinking (took us 2 weeks of DILIGENCE to get thru the post- housewarming liquor.. we kept at it, though), daily man- related dramas (we love us some mens), and overall contentment. Life has been good! 

There's a porn star in our kitchen eating tofu. She ROOLS. Tonite the 3 of us are doing dramatic readings, interpretive dance, and opera singing of our various writings, live on ustream. 

On a related note, I have to say that for being lil ol' me, Ive managed to have some infuckingcredible ustream and tinychat moments. We're super exclusive with our tinychats, (there's like 8 of us. we aint nobody but we're tinychat snobs. if we don't know you, we scream "STRANGERDANGER!!!" & ban you) but stay tuned for the ustreams. :) 

Karl Rove follows me on Twitter. I suspect it's because i said I want Glenn Beck to die. I tweeted and asked him. I've yet to receive a response. I'm not afraid of you, architect. I've kept my nose clean. You got nothin' on me! 

My bday's the 16 of Oct. I'm gonna blog before that, about something more topical. Just, today is so chill. I got nothin to talk about, really. 

If there's something you want me to give my two cents on, please let me know. I probably have an opinion. I enjoy ranting, too. Give me something to rant about. This smiley happy crap's gonna get old soon. LOL

Comment yall!! talk to me. 


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fuck Your Prototype.

I am kooky. Fun- loving. Crazy. Super silly. I've done things lots of girls have never done. Some things some girls won't ever do. I long ago decided that my life will be what I want it to be,.. and at this point, i want my life to be smiles and shenanigans. 

I'm also bright. Sharp. Talented. Blessed. Focused. Experienced. My resume isn't to be sneezed at. I have quite a ways to go. But i eat and pay rent off what i do, and i do what i love. And frankly, you haven't seen ANYTHING yet. 

I am NOT ditzy. Not simple. Not your escape. Not your experience. Not a puppet. Or a cartoon. Or a reality tv show. I am a real girl. I cry and scream and feel badly about myself and wish i was better and wish i was chosen and loved. I do not wish to be the girl who taught you something about yourself, or the girl with whom you sewed your royal oats. I am not to be tuned into.. and tuned out of. I'm not your vacation from reality. I am not your holiday. 

I have a friend who without fail says these two phrases to me every time we hang out- "There is no one like you. I never have this much crazy fun with anyone." .. and then "Life is not all about fun and games, son." As if I have been given some sort of Get Out Of Real Life Free card that no one else has access to. Rest assured, I have to work and sacrifice and compromise for my life to work too. I bleed so i can laugh. I'm fine with this. 

As my roommate pointed out, "Prototype" is one of the most insulting songs ever. "If we happen to part... we met today for a reason. I think I'm on the right track now." Please fuck off, 3stacks. I am not the road you travel on the way to your destiny. I deserve more. 

I am a real girl. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Type Of Child I Was

When I was young, say around 8 or so, I thought the lyrics to 'Papa Was A Rolling Stone' went-

"... and when he died, all he left us was a LOAN."

This, to me, was a most grievous offense. To be a deadbeat father was one thing. But to then die- and leave us with your debt?! Boy did that really burn me up!


Just felt like sharing.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Suck It Up And Sin!

You know what I hate? When folks do thinks they know they're not supposed to be doing, while appearing surprised that they’re doing it and
complaining about it the entire time.

For instance, when a married man sleeps with another woman, and is in
the pussy the entire time plagued with guilt, half- erect and mumbling
to himself and the poor girl beneath him, "I can’t believe Im cheating
on my wife!!... I should stop this...this is wrong." Guess what? You’re
still cheating on your wife, homeboy. Only now you’re fuckin up the vibe
and nobody can cum cuz you’re running your stupid mouth.

Or the accomplice to.. Say, a bank robbery. He’s the lookout, but
instead of looking out, he’s shuffling nervously from foot to foot and
repeating on the walkie- talkie system, "guys, I got a bad feeling about
this... maybe we should just leave." Thereby blowing everyone’s
concentration and drawing out the bank- robbing process.
Does that guy think that if the Feds tap into the line and hear him say
that, that belated sense of righteousness will factor heavily into the Judge’s
sentencing? You goin to JAIL, fool!

Listen. I’m not condoning bad behavior at all. We’re all human. And for
the most part, we spend our lives trying to do the right thing. But we
fail and slip into sin. And sometimes we take a running leap into sin.

Now, if browbeating yourself into doing the right thing works for you,
then go for it. But. If you know you have every intention of doing the
bullshit you know you’re gonna do, then why not just enjoy it? Your
guilt DURING the act will not lessen your guilt AFTER. Only now you’ll
feel dumb cuz you still did it anyway, and u made yourself miserable
while doing it.

Here’s the thing. Guilt is not repentance. So. Either be strong and do
the right thing like Spike Lee, or fix it afterwards, if you can. But
don’t ruin the debauchery for everyone else with your bitching and
moaning. Its just.. well.... the wrong thing to do.

*This has been a Public Service Announcment from Mela Machinko*

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Throwback Blog- Dear Ashanti

Shout out to the homie Miss Cocoa Luv for the request.. this is one of my personal favorites... new readers, enjoy! 


Dear Ashanti, 

Let me begin by offering you a heartfelt congratulations on your semi- successful comeback efforts. You are certainly looking better than ever, and it's a joy to come across your photos on various urban gossip blogs, etc. As for your music, well.. it's no worse than your other albums, i suppose. And although I can't say I am a fan, I really respect your sticktuitiveness. 

Your career, however, is not the purpose of this letter. I have been feeling the urge to write this for some time, and after an afternoon of cybersurfing, I could no longer hold back. So, here goes. 

Ashanti- I want to bone your man. 

Don't get me wrong- I always thought you guys made the most adorable couple, and I continue to. You're height compatible, both gorgeous people, and despite the fact that I know neither of you personally, I feel like I understand why you get along. 

But your man... oh, that wonderful man of yours. Thoughts of that full, sexy mouth and washboard stomach keep me awake at night, fantasizing about derrty, derrrty things. 
Ashanti, if I ever got half the chance, if we happened to be in the same room and you turned your head for even a fraction of a second, you would turn back to discover that I had done a gymnast's tumble triple- flip and landed crotch- first on your boyfriend's face, arms proudly splayed as if I'm a shoo- in for the gold. 

'Shanti girl, you have to know that I am usually not the kind of girl who covets other women's men. But your other half- well, he makes me forget my good Christian upbringing. Yes, his Sean John photo shoot officially made me lose my religion. Just a glimpse of that sexy, muscled winged back, or that perfect V.... I make plans to do things I would have to apologize to my parents for knowing about. I begin to get creative in my mind. I want to lay your boyfriend's naked, glistening body down and do a flare going into a body glide going into a reverse airbaby on top of him. I want to pull out those little sticks with the balls on the end and beat on his tummy with them like a xylophone. I want to have a doctor install a flip- top head on me like the little cartoon dude from the Reach toothbrush commercial.

Now, you don't strike me as a punk. And you certainly don't look like the type to turn the other cheek and just hand up all that juicy goodness to whoever wants it. But I will say this- that's an ass- whooping I would happily take. And I wouldn't even swing back. After all, if all goes the way I want it to, then nobody deserves an ass- whooping more than me, from you. NOBODY!!! 

So, in closing I would like to say that I don't envy your position. Because I cannot be the only woman willing to risk face scratches and a black eye just to run their tongue across your man's... anything. It must be a challenging life for you, and for this I am truly sorry. Not sorry enough to not throw my lovebox at him like he's wearing a catcher's mitt, though. 

Sincerely Yours,