Sunday, February 28, 2010

"We're not campaigning. The election's over."

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Did you readers see the Bipartisan Health Care Reform Summit 2010 this week on C-SPAN? Neither did I. But I did watch the highlights on The Daily Show on Thursday. The funny comes at 7:42, when John McCain starts babbling about change and the Louisiana Purchase (was he in Congress back then?), and then Barack Obama reminds him who the President of the United States is. Oh snap.

I also like the video below from Jay Smooth, who is now blogging at Nil Doctrine (clever), about the reaction Chris Matthews had to the State of the Union:





"To me, being black is an important part of who I am, that I'm proud of. And the word 'black', you know, people will say, 'I don't care if you're black or purple or orange.' But, even for you to say that is insulting to me, because black is not like purple or orange. It's not imaginary. Black describes a particular culture and history that's really rich and that I'm proud of."



Happy Black History Month to you, Mr. Smooth!

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

"Pink Elephants"



Six chapters completed in the sequel to to Steve the Penguin! The title of the second novel is now under construction as well. An excerpt from Ch. 12:


“Is your necklace new? You weren’t wearing it at the taping.”

This guy remembered what I did or did not have on my neck a day ago?

“It’s not new.”

His fingers slid across my collarbone as he touched the gold pendant. “Why an angel?

“Because of . . .”

“Winn-Dixie?”

“Oprah,” I sputtered. “The angels.”

He lifted the pendant with his index finger. “The angels?”

“On one of Oprah’s shows, she said she could never find any black angels. Then her fans sent hundreds of black angel statuettes to her studio.”

“I would have sent her a picture of you.”

“Laying it on thick, aren’t we?”

“Me?” He placed the warm angel back on my skin. “Never.”

“I don’t know why I’m telling you this Oprah story. It’s the first thing that popped into my head. But for reals, I like angels because they are flying people.” That was enough about me. “What about your neck?”

“What about my neck?”

“What is the deal with the constant whimsy on your ties? Yesterday it was the shamrocks. Today it’s dancing elephants.” I tugged on the black strip of silk. “Why are they pink?”

“Short answer: they match my shirt.”

“Long answer?”

He breathed in my ear with more heat than actual sound. “I like being unpredictable. I’m full of surprises.”

Dude was full of something. “How could you possibly continue to surprise me?”

He popped a chicken nugget in his mouth. “If I told you, then it wouldn’t be a surprise.”


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Friday, February 26, 2010

"If you can't beat 'em, Sweetums!"



I have now watched this episode of Parks and Recreation four times. The best part is Tom's DJ Roomba, which I have finally find a clip of:



The episode's closest rival is "Hunting Trip", which I have watched three times. I would have watched "Pawnee Zoo" more, but NBC restricts my ability to view what I want. :(



.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

"Almost Right, but Not Quite"


Five chapters completed in Hot Penguin Action! An excerpt from Ch. 15:


“What if that other guy weren’t in the picture?”

He was cutting me deep. “Dude, this has nothing to do him.” Though I wished it did. That would be a great excuse. “This is about you, and me, and . . .”

I was trying to concentrate on delivering my message. Why was he distracting me? Even though the other guy had blown me off, and I had absolutely no other prospects, I would rather be alone than poorly accompanied. I was willing to wait for the right person, instead of settling for a convenient, comfortable, yet unhealthy relationship.

“I have to respect what’s right for me. I want more. I need more.”

“You deserve more.”

“I do. In completely unrelated news, I’m not in a relationship of any kind with anyone.”

“Bianca, there is obviously something going on with you and—”

No. “If there ever was anything with him, there isn’t any more. He hasn’t talked to me since the night of the Rec Room taping, so his silence has made that perfectly clear.”

Jenny continued giving me sympathetic looks from across my desk. For some reason, I was glad she was there.

“I’m sorry, Bianca,” he said. “I’m not sorry he’s out of the picture. Although if we had to compete, I know I would beat him.”

“So cocky!”

“But I am sorry you’re unhappy. I thought he was a better guy than that.”

So did I.

“So you’re alone, I’m alone,” he lamented. “Where is the bright, shining light in all of this?”

“I did have fun meeting you for the first time at the taping.”

“The second time was even better. Even though that’s when I discovered my life is a mess, thanks to you.”

“What am I supposed to say to that? You’re welcome?”

“I meant it in a good way.”

“Explain please.”

“I have to accept that life I tried to create myself has failed. The first step is admitting that you have a problem, right?” His voice expressed a growing weariness. “So I admit it. I need to start over. I don’t know how, though.”

“And this is my fault because . . . ?”

“I’m not blaming you. I’m thanking you, because I can talk to you. I haven’t had to explain the situation to anyone else yet, not my family, not my friends. Not that I would have known what to tell them. It’s easier with you.”

“Because we just met?”

“Because I trust you.”

I trusted me, too.

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"Needs more Jaleesa."


Sinbad Politely Requests That You Do Not Refer to It As a Comeback, Vulture via Jezebel.

My favorite part of the interview:


When you were doing Jingle All the Way with Arnold Schwarzenegger, did you foresee a political career for him?

He was always going to run for some kind of office. I wish he had not! I liked Arnold as an entertainer. He did a lot of things as an activist. He had a fitness program for kids I was involved with because of him. I just think right now as governor, man, he screwed up the education system out here. He cut the summer program. With summer school now, it takes you seven years to finish college.


I can!

1. Regina King on Southland

2. Wanda Sykes on The New Adventures of Old Christine

3. Niecy Nash on Clean House

4. S. Epatha Merkerson on Law & Order

5. Keke Palmer on True Jackson, VP

That was not easy. What is Dawnn Lewis doing these days?

And yes, readers, at the top of this post, that is Ray J in the poster for The Sinbad Show. The same Ray J who gave us a second season of this:




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Friday, February 19, 2010

The back pocket girl



"Are their standards too high? Or are the pickings too slim?" via ELEV8.

First of all, watch the video. Meanwhile, I will look for a transcript, or summarize the important parts.

Second, Mr. Steve Harvey: how many black women--or people in general--are corporate executives making $150,000, and then demanding that their partner make more than that? I would love to make $150,000. That is the end of that sentence. I must have missed out on the growing problem of black women running corporations and making six-figure salaries. I need to become a part of that problem. I might be alone, but I'd have some money.

~


"[Steve Harvey's] advice [for these women]? Go for the older man."

No. Not everyone wants to date a 53-year-old Steve Harvey. I don't think that is a compromise that group of women in their late 20s and early 30s want to, or should have to, make.

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"Denise is the other black woman who works here."



I never have that problem since I'm usually the only black woman in the room. :( But I sure could use some of that specifically branded Excedrin.

~

Here is another of my favorite SNL clips from the 2000s:



Oh, Larry Craig. You embarrassed so many people, and provided laughter for us all.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What Daria means to someone else


Daria..., by Calhoun Kersten, confessions of a self-proclaimed megalomaniac. Emphases mine.

[ . . . ]

For those of you who don't know (and I can't imagine who that would be) Daria was everyone's quintessential angst-ridden sarcastic teen from the late 90s to the early 2000s. In a weird way, she sort of came to represent the disenfranchised in the high school caste system. I say that it's weird because, popular or not, most people I know felt marginalized in high school at one point or another. But there was something so empowering about the character who chose to be a spectator, rather than involved. It may not be a healthy way to live life, but high school's not always the healthiest environment either and yet, most of us still go.

Anyway, back to the show and less about the emotional validation I received from a cartoon... Daria was one of those rare moments in television where there was no real stigma placed on being unhappy or dissatisfied with the way that things were. Life wasn't sugarcoated, because let's be realistic, sometimes things just aren't how you'd hoped they'd be. Sure, a lot of the times Daria painted an excessively dismal picture. It wasn't always true to life, but at least it had the audacity to suggest that wanting something more wasn't as awful as most people would have you believe.

Keep in mind, this show was also way before the whole jaded anti-hero became a television staple (if you're confused about what I'm talking about, watch just about any Bryan Fuller show and you'll see what I mean) . . .



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Monday, February 15, 2010

Kittie, no!



"Get out the Girlfriend Handbook," is right, Jacque. So sad. But she is bringing the drama!

.

If only I were less bossy.


My Race-Based Valentine., by Jenée Desmond-Harris, Time via Yahoo! News. Emphases mine.


This Valentine's Day, more of us than ever will be looking for love online. And if recent studies are any guide, relatively few women on mainstream dating sites will bother to respond to overtures from men of Asian descent. Likewise, black women will be disproportionately snubbed by men of all races. Yes, even though America has been flirting intensely with a postracial label for some time, color blindness is not upheld as an ideal in the realm of online romance. On some sites, it's not even an option. (See the 25 most important films on race.)


Chemistry.com requires users to identify their ethnicity; like eHarmony, it considers members' racial preferences when suggesting matches. Match.com lets users filter their searches by race. The site's profiles include space to indicate interest (or lack thereof) in various racial and ethnic groups. But after Jennifer House, a black woman in Los Angeles, perused one too many profiles only to find the guys had checked off every box except African American, she changed her strategy. "Now I look at that section first so as not to get my hopes up," she says.


[ . . . ]


. . . a study published last year in Social Science Research examined 1,558 profiles that white daters living in or near big U.S. cities placed on Yahoo! Personals, which, much like Match, lists 10 racial and ethnic groups users can select as preferred dates. Among the women, 73% stated a preference. Of these, 64% selected whites only, while fewer than 10% included East Indians, Middle Easterners, Asians or blacks. (See a nerdy Valentine's Day guide on Techland.com.)


The story is a little different for the men, 59% of whom stated a racial preference. Of these, nearly half selected Asians, but fewer than 7% did for black women. Why? One theory offered by the study's lead author, Cynthia Feliciano, a sociologist at the University of California at Irvine, is that men's choices are influenced by the media's portrayal of Asian women as being hypersexual and black women as being bossy.




I keep explaining this phenomenon to my friends. I express to them that it affects me personally and how unhappy it makes me feel. Yet half of my friends still deny that the above situation is an actual problem. So I doubt that they will ever be convinced, even with an 87-year-old American institution acknowledging that racism continues to be a problem in 2010.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

"Snow in 49 states at one time."


"Which state is holding out?"

Is it Hawaii?

49 states dusted with snow; Hawaii's the holdout, by Seth Borenstein, AP via Yahoo! News.

I was right!


More than two-thirds of the nation's land mass had snow on the ground when the day dawned yesterday, and then it snowed ever so slightly in Florida to make it 49 states out of 50.

At the same time, those weird weather forces are turning Canada's Winter Olympics into the bring-your-own-snow games.

Who's the Great White North now?


Who? I'm still going with Canada:




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Friday, February 12, 2010

"I think the world would be better off if I stopped doing interviews."



WARNING: Graphic words ahead. May not be suitable for children or for sensitive readers (like me).

There are times when I think to myself, "Am I being the best Bianca I can be? If I just work a little harder, maybe people would see how great I am, and things will turn out okay."

Then comes the John Mayer interview, and I no longer feel there would be a payoff from my working any harder at all.

When I first read about John's apology, which was featured on Yahoo's front page, I was confused. I don't keep up with the regular day-to-day nonsense of John Mayer, from his mockings of paparazzi to his incessant tweets. I'm not even sure when his last album came out, or if anyone would care about him if he hadn't done two famous blond ladies. So I had no idea what John was apologizing for, or why it was headline news.

Tonight while I was watching The Soup, I read John Mayer's entire March 2010 Playboy article. None of it is flattering to John, but here is the excerpt that made my skin crawl:


MAYER: I grew up in my own head. As soon as I lose that control, once I have to deal with someone else’s desires, I cut and run. I’m pretty culpable about being hard to live with. I have had a good run of imagining things into reality. I’ve got a huge streak of successes based on my own inventions. If you tell me I’m wrong or that I’m overthinking something, well, overthinking has given me everything in my career. I have a hard time not looking at anxiety disorder as being like an ATM. I can invent things really well. I mean, I have unbelievable orgasms alone. They’re always the best. They always end the way I want them to end. And I have such an ability to make believe, I can almost project something onto my wall, watch it and get off to it: sexually, musically, it doesn’t matter. When I meet somebody, I’m in a situation in which I can’t run it because another person is involved. That means letting someone else talk, not waiting for them to remind you of something interesting you had in mind.

PLAYBOY: Masturbation for you is as good as sex?

MAYER: Absolutely, because during sex, I’m just going to run a filmstrip. I’m still masturbating. That’s what you do when you’re 30, 31, 32. This is my problem now: Rather than meet somebody new, I would rather go home and replay the amazing experiences I’ve already had.

PLAYBOY: You’d rather jerk off to an ex-girlfriend than meet someone new?

MAYER: Yeah. What that explains is that I’m more comfortable in my imagination than I am in actual human discovery. The best days of my life are when I’ve dreamed about a sexual encounter with someone I’ve already been with. When that happens, I cannot lay off myself.



Okay, so that wasn't the statement he apologized for. It was still creepy, though. Dude has is-sues!

Here comes the super skin-crawly part:


PLAYBOY: If you didn’t know you, would you think you’re a douche bag?

MAYER: It depends on what I picked up. My two biggest hits are “Your Body Is a Wonderland” and “Daughters.” If you think those songs are pandering, then you’ll think I’m a douche bag. It’s like I come on very strong. I am a very…I’m just very. V-E-R-Y. And if you can’t handle very, then I’m a douche bag. But I think the world needs a little very. That’s why black people love me.



Oh, really? Am I the only one who missed the throngs of black John Mayer fans? He's not freaking Justin Timberlake. By looking at his fans, sadly John is more akin to Hootie.

The oversharing continues:


PLAYBOY: Because you’re very?

MAYER: Someone asked me the other day, “What does it feel like now to have a hood pass?” And by the way, it’s sort of a contradiction in terms, because if you really had a hood pass, you could call it a nigger pass. Why are you pulling a punch and calling it a hood pass if you really have a hood pass? But I said, “I can’t really have a hood pass. I’ve never walked into a restaurant, asked for a table and been told, ‘We’re full.’"

PLAYBOY: It is true; a lot of rappers love you. You recorded with Common and Kanye West, played live with Jay-Z.

MAYER: What is being black? It’s making the most of your life, not taking a single moment for granted. Taking something that’s seen as a struggle and making it work for you, or you’ll die inside. Not to say that my struggle is like the collective struggle of black America. But maybe my struggle is similar to one black dude’s.



And which black dude's struggle would that be? Malcolm X's? Medgar Evers's? Michael Vick's?

The best is yet to come:


PLAYBOY: Do black women throw themselves at you?

MAYER: I don’t think I open myself to it. My dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I’ve got a Benetton heart and a fuckin’ David Duke cock. I’m going to start dating separately from my dick.

PLAYBOY: Let’s put some names out there. Let’s get specific.

MAYER: I always thought Holly Robinson Peete was gorgeous. Every white dude loved Hilary from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. And Kerry Washington. She’s superhot, and she’s also white-girl crazy. Kerry Washington would break your heart like a white girl. Just all of a sudden she’d be like, “Yeah, I sucked his dick. Whatever.” And you’d be like, “What? We weren’t talking about that.” That’s what “Heartbreak Warfare” is all about, when a girl uses jealousy as a tactic.


Yeesh.

For the record, I have never thrown myself at John Mayer. I have never loved John Mayer. I don't love John Mayer now. And unless he saves some babies from a burning ship, I doubt I will ever love John Mayer in the future.

The twisted, yet honorable, part of the whole debacle is that he was telling the truth. And I know from personal experience that he is not the only guy--regardless of color or fame or nationality--who feels that way. Hence, the skin crawling, the resentment, and the heartache. But mostly, this reinforces the persistent sick feeling in my stomach when I encounter people who deny the privilege that they have, simply by being born into the right demographic.

Finally, a quote from a commenter on the thread following the article, "When Racefail Meets Playboy: The John Mayer Interview," by AJ Plaid, Racialicious:

"The bitch of it is Mayer’s comment is–yet again–another pop-culture 'confirmation' that Black women are undateable, which translates to utterly undesireable and unfuckable."

And the world goes to great pains to make sure black women never ever forget it.



Happy Black History Month!

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

"He's not just Rosa Parks or Gandhi . . ."

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Alpha Dog of the Week - Markus Bestin
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"He is Jesus. Think about it. He lives in the desert, gives of his body, and hangs out with prostitutes."

Stephen bringing the funny. :)

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"Friendship is born at that moment"


"when one person says to another: 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'"

C.S. Lewis

Thanks, latest US episode of Being Erica!

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Musings from a Black Woman: Classy People on VH1


I can't find a video clip of the VH1 commercial in which Fantasia, Pepa, Kittie, and Jacque talk about black women. So I have transcribed what they said below:


Fantasia: How would I personally describe the modern black woman?

Pepa: Strong.

Kittie: Determined? Resourceful?

Pepa: Getting an education. Not taking no for an answer.

Fantasia: Independent. Confident.

Pepa: Women today, like the Oprahs and Michelle Obama, are, you know, living example
of that.

Kittie: I don't need a big S on my chest. But I would like to be acknowledged.

Jacque: Amazingly resilient.

Fantasia: Yeah. That's our black woman of today.


Why the baby picture? Because who doesn't love a happy baby? I hope she grows up to be a happy black woman.

~

Now for some not so classy people on VH1:




Happy Black History Month!

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Daria DVD Excitement!


Daria - Here It Is, MTV's Release Date (and Extras) for Daria on DVD!, by David Lambert, TVShowsonDVD.com.


Since last summer we've known that MTV and Paramount Home Entertainment is preparing a 2010 DVD release for the animated series Daria, the 1997 spin-off of Beavis and Butt-head. This morning Paramount has officially announced the title, giving us a release date of:

May 11, 2010

Daria - The Complete Animated Series on DVD will, according to the studio, contain "ALL FIVE SEASONS PLUS BOTH MOVIES!" The running time is 1606 minutes (almost 27 hours!), and video is listed as full screen.


Yippee!

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Sunday, February 07, 2010

"Who's that?"



"I have no idea."

Ha!

~

Next, haven't these guys heard of the "Death of Auto-Tune"?



~

Third, Ed Begley, Jr.:



"When do we let them know? When does that happen?"

"Absolutely."

I could done without the "mmhmm" from the otherwise silent black lady. :(

~

Fourth, VW:



See, it's funny, because he's blind.

~

Fifth, Intel:



That robot needs a hug. But why does he have an orange?

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Hooray for Scott Fujita!



Boo for Cosmo.

Here are the two articles I am referring to that I liked today:

Reasons to Love Scott, by Irin, Jezebel via Feministe.


1) He diplomatically but firmly opposed the message of the Tebow ad, which will air during the Super Bowl Fujita is playing in Sunday. "The idea of focusing on the family - who wouldn't agree with that?" he told The New York Times. "But the means of doing so, he and I might not see eye to eye all the way." Fujita was adopted, and his biological mother was a teenager when he was born. "I'm just so thankful she had the courage and the support system to be able to carry out the pregnancy," Fujita said. "I wouldn't expect that of everybody."


2) He lent his name to the National Equality March and has been outspoken about gay rights issues.


3) He supports an orphanage in New Orleans and started speaking out on gay rights in part because of his objection to laws limiting gay adoption. "What [such laws] are really saying is that the concern with one's sexual orientation or one's sexual preference outweighs what's really important, and that's finding safe homes for children," he has said. "It's also saying that we'd rather have kids bounce around from foster home to foster home throughout the course of their childhood, than end up in a permanent home."



Warning: The Cosmo Flirting Guide Might Turn You Into A Total Lunatic, by hortense, Jezebel.


An article titled "50 Ways To Become A Legendary Flirt" presents itself as a guide to getting what you want by flirting your way into the hearts and minds of others . . . Let's take a look at the most insane flirting suggestions, shall we?

[ . . . ]

17. Get the indie music guy hanging near the jukebox to help you pick out a song.


LOL what? Where is this mythical place where the "indie music guy" hangs out near the jukebox? The Max? The Peach Pit? The Peach Pit After Dark?


22. Hit up a sports bar and ask the guy sitting beside you what his favorite team is so you'll "know who to root for."


Oh, this is so sad! And so transparent! Doing this will just make you look stupid and desperate and pathetic. Especially if his favorite team is the Yankees and then you have to act like you like them for a few hours. So sad!


[ . . . ]


Here's the problem with the majority of these tips (aside from their ridiculousness): they rely on a woman dumbing herself down in order to appeal to some dude or to get what she wants. To get your coffee fast, you need to moan like an idiot, to try to meet guys, you need to ask them what they like so you can mold yourself around their idea of the perfect woman, and to impress your family members, apparently, you need to make vaguely incestuous comments.


For all the "fun, fearless" talk Cosmo pushes, its articles often revert to the notion that a woman has to play it safe and stupid to get ahead in the world, using her boobs over her brains and discarding all self-awareness in an attempt to appear "sexy" and "daring." The results are often a display of idiocy and transparent attempts to be what she believes other people expect her to be: the Cosmo girl has to try to flirt her way into the hearts of others with her underwear tied in her hair because she doesn't know how to just stand up, be herself, own her sexuality, and say what she means. There's a difference between being a flirt and being completely insane. Someday, Cosmo might figure it out.



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Thursday, February 04, 2010

"It's a difficult time to be a man in America."

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Male Inequality
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Especially a man who gets to be a published author and appear on an Emmy-awarding winning, critically-acclaimed talk show to spout his nonsense, er, talk about his feelings. Or men who have finally found a safe place to gather, since men's group have been "socially unacceptable" for so long.

Wait, what's that? Men's groups have never been socially unacceptable? In fact, they have highly rewarded and lauded throughout all aspects of American and world cultures? Oh, okay. Thank you for the clarification.


Dr. Warren Farrell: "Men today are probably where women were in the late 50s. We're about a half-century behind women in terms of being understood, in terms of having options."

Samantha Bee: "He's right. Men run just 485 of our Fortune 500 companies, and only three branches of government. And there are more doors closing on them all the time."



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Monday, February 01, 2010

I need some Dr. Tom in my life:




Where can I find a practicing physician who moonlights as a chef and wants to prepare me a four-course meal in my home? Though he could leave out the watermelon salad, especially during Black History Month. :|


Being Erica's Dr. Tom is cool, too, but I doubt he would feed me chocolate:




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