Friday, March 31, 2006

March 31, 2006. No Pressure, Part 2

Hey, there.

Going to be in "Murrland" on Saturday, April 1 and can't find anything to do (Hardly likely, but humor me!)?

Come visit with me at Karibu Books at Prince George's (P.G.) Plaza, 3500 East/West Highway, Hyattsville, MD from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. There'll be cider, and cheese, and gourmet crackers...

Is it bribe or is it Memorex...?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

March 23, 2006: No Pressure... Really...

Hey, folks!

You know, if you're hanging out with buddies in DC, Maryland, or Virginia, and you have some free time on your hands and disposable income in your pocket, come check me out here:

March 24, 2006
3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Howard University Bookstore (The HUB)
2225 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, DC

March 25, 2006
1:00 PM –3:00 PM
6701 Frontier Dr
Springfield, VA

Just come, hang out, we'll talk, no big whoop...

Friday, March 17, 2006

March 17, 2006: Sitting Shiveh...

While everyone will be getting toe-up and blunted today to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, I will be wearing black and will have the mirrors in my house covered. Why, you may ask (Go on; ask!)? Texas A&M beat 'Cuse 66-58, knocking the Orangemen out of contention on the NCAA Championships.

This is almost as bad as being a Giants fan!

Carry on, selfish world...

Monday, March 13, 2006

March 13, 2006: Is Being a Pop Culture Vulture Time Well Spent?

This is the question I find myself asking myself. I think "vulture" is the apt noun to describe one who overdoses on popular culture. After all, vultures eat carrion, don't they?

I gorged myself last night on the visual equivalent to carrion, starting with the beginning of the end of The Sopranos. I feel like Michael Corleone. Every time I swear I won't give David Chase (the show's creator) another hour of my life that I'd never get back, he sucks me back in with stuff like last night. IT WAS AWESOME! And that's all I'm going to say about that. I'm sure, if you're a fan, Chase'll get you on the comeback.

Then, even though I TiVoed it, I tuned in for the last half-hour of Flavor of Love. I discussed how I got sucked in in my posting here ("February 24, 2006: My Latest Guilty Pleasure"). So, Flav picked Hoopz, huh? Him passing over Ms. New York renews my faith in men. No matter hot a woman may be or think she is, crazy is just plain crazy! Now, I can go back to more lofy pursuits at 10:00 on a Sunday... like Grey's Anatomy.

So, I don't know if I can help being a pop culture vulture, or even if I should. I throw up my hands. Me getting mad at myself for my oversized appetite for pop culture is like getting mad at the ocean. It is what it is. C'est la vie...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

March 8, 2006: All Up in Your "Errea," Part 2

More car crashes and excitement that All Up in Your "Errea", Part 1. I hope...

As I've told you all, I'm starting this mini tour throughout this month, to end on April 1 (I hope that's not foreshadowing!). I haven't done signings since April of '05, so, of course, I'm filled with a certain amount of trepidation. I know this may come as a shock to you, but I'm a tad anal retentive. I know; can you believe it?! :-) Anyhu, I plan and plan and reread the passages I'm going to share, pick out my clothes the night before, and generally make sure that the logsitics of the venue are close to perfection. This is the best way to ensure that something will, indeed, go wrong.

I've had some signings... wow! Let's not talk about a couple of signings at Nubian Bookstore in Morrow, GA, where the proprietor, Marcus, sets up the table next to a life-size cardborard cut-out of Tyler Perry as Madea. I'd need to take off my shoes to be able to count how many times people asked me -- sitting in front of my picture and a table full of my books, mind you -- how much the video for Madea's Family Reunion cost.

Speaking of Madea, February '05, I was at a signing at the Waldenbooks in Middlesex Mall in Piscataway, the home state (JERSEY!!!). This was after Diary of a Mad Black Woman came out. Tyler Perry and the cast was on the cover of the Jet magazine, which was apparently flying off the shelves. One of the workers, a lovely White woman whose name I won't mention, said she couldn't understand this sudden interest in Greek literature. I thought that was so sweet! Of course, I then had to step into my role as Negro Consultant and explain that, in this case, Madea wasn't Jason of the Argonaut's wife who cooked their kids and fed them to him. This Madea was a big black dude in drag.

I had a signing at Hue-Man in Harlem in '04, the same night that there was a fire on the A train tracks. My relatives, who are always front and center, couldn't even get there. I read to three people, in the same spot where, weeks before, Bill Clinton had killed! It also made for interesting going trying to get home last at night.

Then I had a signing at my Starbucks in Alexandria. This was in '03, just after that killer snow that dropped like twenty-something inches of the white stuff on the DC area. So, I had to cancel the first one. The snow-date, apparently, was less than convenient for the folks who'd initially RSVPed. So, it was me, my friend Jamie and her husband Steve, listening attentively -- Bless them! -- as patrons talked over my reading, which was bothering them, I guess. Then a barista decided that that particular moment would be the best time to steam all the milk they had in the store. After a while, I just threw in the towel and drank from the endless cup of coffee the manager had graciously provided. I was so wired, I felt like I'd eaten a defibrilator.

So singings... what can I say? Other than please, just come out tomorrow or to any of the dates listed here in the blog and on my website. If I get served, it'll at least be entertaining!

See you tomorrow (fingers crossed)...

Monday, March 06, 2006

March 6, 2006: It's Official: We As a People Have Risen -- A Postscript...


Grillz for everyone!!!!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

March 4, 2006: ALL UP IN YOUR "ERREA!"

Hey, folks!

If you're in the DC area in the month of March, come check a sistah out! Here's where you can find me:

March 9, 2006
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Barnes and Noble Downtown
555 12th St NW
Washington, DC

March 24, 2006
3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Howard University Bookstore (The HUB)
2225 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, DC

March 25, 2006
1:00 PM –3:00 PM
6701 Frontier Dr
Springfield, VA

April 1, 2006
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Karibu Prince George’s Plaza
3500 East/West Hwy
Hyattsville, MD

I'll be reading to you and feeding you with goodies, so come on down. Especially you, my sorors of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated!

You can visit my site as the dates approach. Can't wait to meet ya!


March 4, 2006: It is Official. We, As a People, Have Risen!

Welcome to March, everyone. Is spring coming anytime soon? Outside, it's 32 degrees, and the wind is howling. My skin has had enough. It's hard to get any play when you look and feel like Ashy Larry from the defunct (perhaps not?)Chappelle Show. Thank God for shea butter!

Before I start my rant, I need to give a shout-out to one of my best friends in the whole world, my Boriqua sistah Eileen Kennedy. Yes, she insists she's Puerto Rican, and I can vouch for her; I knew her Moms well. There will be stories about Coco in other posts. But Eileen hit that certain milestone age in her life today, the one I'll be staring in the face this December. I ain't skeered. What's the alternative, right? The Dirt Nap? No, thanks! So, Ei, smooches on your big day.

Chris Rock in Never Scared said that, even at his age, he loves rap. I share that sentiment. I love rap/hip-hop -- whatever it's being called this minute. Rappers -- the good one's anyway -- are social scientists, documenting aspects of our culture. I'm not down with the whole bitches-and-hoes aspect of it, but when a skilled rapper is spitting some lyrically conscious words over a tight beat, it's magic, and I'm there. But rap was always out on the fringes... until fairly recently. I knew when 18-34-year-old white boys started listening, it was all over in terms of keeping the stuff for ourselves. Now, two things have happened to herald a new day in my opinion.

One: It's hard Out Here for a Pimp was nominated for an Oscar in Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song). I can't wait to see if it wins tomorrow night. Can you see Jon Stewart and moldy old Hollywood throwing up gang signs and busting a move? Scary!!!

And two: The Smithsonian announced that they've begun collecting memorabilia for a hip-hop exhibit at the museum. Ice-T, MC Lyte, Kool Herc, and anyone who's anyone in hip-hop have started getting their stuff out of storage to donate. One of the reporters at the news conference in New York asked exactly what I was thinking -- how gangsta can you be if you're in the Smithsonian, for heaven's sake?! But I'm not going to hate. I hope that this leads not to exploitation, but to a deeper appreciation of what folks have been doing with a turntable, dope rhymes, and a dream for over 30 years now.

I will continue to keep hope alive...