Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

it's the good times' "black jesus" episode!

not exactly christmas but it is their "black jesus" moment, it's all 3 segments...and with spanish subtitles!

i remember watching this particular episode when i was a little kid in the deep south and wondering what the ghetto up north was really like. now that i've lived in harlem for lo these many years, i think i have some idea.


part one

part two

part three

Sunday, December 14, 2008


now that i think about it, i kind of have to:
  2. sign up for a spring '09 biathlon or triathlon
  3. get more pictures taken
  4. have brunch at Prune. or dinner. or anything, really...
  5. bake a cake for my favorite girl at Barrio Chino (for Kwaanza!)
  6. get at least one more guitar lesson from Kelvyn Bell
  7. grow some paperwhites for my kitchen table
  8. NOT make new year's eve plans
  9. get ready to relaunch my website in january
  10. fast and pray

Thursday, December 11, 2008

stuff i have to do before the end of the year

i don't have much time, now do i? let's see now...
  1. get my upright piano tuned
  2. get some friends for my pet catfish fred
  3. run a mile in less than 8 minutes
  4. carefully edit all the clothes in my closets -- especially the vintage dresses and gowns
  5. finish a very rough draft of the jazz burlesque musical
  6. renew my museum memberships
  7. make a medical narration voiceover demo
  8. clear all the junk out of my second bedroom and scour my apartment
  9. spend all morning and most of an afternoon at my favorite day spa
  10. donate a ton of stuff to the salvation army

Saturday, December 06, 2008

okay, this is more like it...

i understand why this music -- and sly stone in particular -- is so mindblowing, especially now. so many teens and twenty-somethings have absolutely no idea who he is. my cousin still thinks he's that freak that outfreaked everyone at the grammys. when i played this song for her and told her that it's where janet jackson got her song rhythm nation, she actually got interested.

playing an instrument in the wonderful world of r&b isn't as commonplace as it used to be. and neither is songwriting. or singing. or performing without being surrounded by what visually amounts to a mini las vegas floor show. if an r&b act has a band, it's a gimmick, a novelty item. it isn't par for the course. can you really do r&b nowadays if you don't have a stylist?

what are we expecting when we go to see a show? the majesty of rock? the mystery of roll? what is r&b, anyway? is it "urban"? is it hip-hop incognegro? is it black pop music? so many producer-driven hybrids, so little time.

one thing is for sure. unless more of us start taking the time to learn how to play and develop our own ideas, r&b by whatever name you call it will continue to eat itself -- head first.

there is much to be learned from the past, and knowing your rock and roll history as a musician is always a good idea. that's why videos like these matter so much. i love this one -- the feel of it, the way it shows the stage turning and opening up to the audience, what their gear looks like, how enthusiastic everyone is. the band is so in sync with each other, and the music sounds as good as the best of anything that's out right now.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

my beauty spot

today as i count my thank yous, i am especially grateful to jeniette salon in union square.

most city girls i know of have their favorite beauty spot to get themselves all dolled up. then again, most city girls i know of are in the business. it took me awhile, but i figured it out when i started doing on camera work, and the process kind of bled into the rest of my life and gave me strange habits, like parafin wax treatments for my hands. the deal is, if you want to look a certain way, you have to get professional treatments. all the time? once in awhile? every blue moon? that depends on what you want to look like -- or rather, how much you actually need.

in a city this saturated with salons and such, the search can get hair-splittingly specific -- this place for facials, that place for eyebrows, and so on. i'm afraid i've become one of those women who bounce all over the city to get what they really want. a great end result is always worth it but i'm especially obsessive about these things because what i look like is what may get me work.

sometimes it takes awhile to find them but when you do, you can't really go anyplace else. it's like a weird compulsion. or maybe it's a new york city thing. why am i always going to the same restaurant and ordering the same thing over and over again? same reason. i know

i've been in and out of jeniette salon for so long that i can't remember when i started going there in the first place. it started with the eyebrows but after my first pedicure, i was addicted. time and time again they have made my rough, ugly misshapen feet beautiful. when i show up looking like fred flintstone from the ankles down, it's almost shocking, how soft and supple my legs and feet are when i leave. i have my own numbered box, too -- with my nail supplies and everything. how cool is that?

frankly, i wouldn't think about letting anyone else touch my eyebrows except rosa. i don't know what i'm going to do if i ever leave the city.

on mondays and tuesdays, they have a special -- manicure and pedicure, only $30. cash only. so yeah -- i'm skipping out of the house right now to see marguerite. i'm so grateful that i've found my beauty spot. here's to you, if you've found yours.

Monday, December 01, 2008

thankful n' thoughtful

for some strange reason, i'm doing NaBloPoMo this month -- like i'm not busy enough: auditioning hither and yon; working on new songs and other material; scouring the apartment and donating old clothes and whatever else i can get my hands on, for the year-end tax write-off; decluttering for the holidays and the get-togethers that may happen at my place; working out everyday (and seriously thinking about doing a triathlon in february).

this month's theme is thanks. when i had a moment to give this some real thought -- what am i thankful for, anyway? -- this is what immediately came to mind.
  1. God's presence in my life
  2. God-given favor
  3. God-given talents
  4. my intelligence
  5. my good health -- physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually
  6. my permanent boyfriend
  7. my family and my friends who are my family and my soon-to-be family
  8. my place in the south
  9. my southern upbringing
  10. my ability to make things with my hands and to make things grow
and then there's other stuff:
  1. a strong sense of personal style
  2. the steam room and the sauna at NYSC on 125.
  3. freakin' FAIRWAY, and all the incredibly delicious stuff in it. (and so nearby...)
  4. i've lived in the same 2 bedroom apartment in west harlem since 1999. (wow.)
  5. i can play the guitar now. never thought that would ever happen.
  6. i've never been arrested/i've never spent the night in a jail/prison/holding cell or hospital.
  7. great ideas come to me all the time. i don't have to look for them. they come to me.
  8. my hair in its natural state
  9. my permanent boyfriend's appreciation for my natural hair
  10. and last but not least...those crispy fatty duck rolls from my favorite spot in chinatown. oh, heck. chinese roast duck, period.
i'm sure i'll be writing about more of this stuff in detail. but for now, this is what jumped out at me.