Thursday, February 26, 2009

"The Aughts Are Over"

I heard some well-dressed young men on the train discussing this...mourning the ends of the aughts.

"Next year will be 2010."

I didn't know young men thought of such things.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Shadow Knows

Last night I was on the phone with friends as the Oscars began and one of them took one look at the set and said, "It looks like a game show." She felt this was a sure sign of things to come. And she was right. To put a plug in for one of my favorite literary devices: the look of the set foreshadowed the many Oscars that Slumdog Millionaire would take home.

This sends my mind in two distinct directions--

Snarky: So does this mean that we will see Backyard Bollywood Billionaire and slew of other Slumdog imitators in the next few years?

Serious: How are thing things that are happening in my life right now foreshadowing what is to come?

Friday, February 20, 2009

In Place of Our Regularly Scheduled Programming...

I really do have some brilliant thoughts and most excellent ponderings to share with you--but they are not quite formulated yet, and I'm running late. So in the meantime, check out my writings about the brilliance of others:

Edward P. Jones and Panel Discuss The Known World

Celebrate Black History Month with Music That Crosses Borders

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

*Therapy Not Included

Last month when I traveled to San Diego, I went to the Sarah's Smash Shack. A place where you can go into a booth and break plates, glasses, etc. while wearing protective equipment and listening to the music of your choice. (If you bring your own mp3 player; if not you can select from what they have.) When you finish, they sweep up the broken pieces and they go to artists and others who will re-use the fragments of your frustration in some creative way.

Anyway, on the plane ride back, the business-man type who sat next me on the plane struck up a conversation. He was traveling to scout out houses because he was relocating, to Denver, I think.

So when he asked me what I had done in San Diego, I mentioned Balboa Park and the Smash Shack.

After I'd explained what it was, he turned with a bloodthirsty look and asked, "Can you go in there with your spouse?"

Sunday, February 15, 2009


As you probably know, you do not have to directly experience violent or unsettling things to feel worn out by them. When you mix the things you hear about with the things you actually experience, it gets to be tiring.

This past week I...

-Heard that a young pop star had been beaten up
-Went to a forum on the crisis in the Sudan.
-Saw an unexpectedly violent puppet show
-Read about a plane crashing near my hometown
-Read about a man beheading his wife near my hometown
-Got into strange disagreements
-Saw a car on fire

Friday, February 13, 2009

The National Zoo Talks Animal S-E-X

So sad, even I have been reduced to using those three letters to get people to read my stuff:

Woo at the Zoo: Let's Talk About Sex

I'm thinking this will be one of my more well-read posts.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Crisis in Darfur and Sudan REALLY is a Crisis...Some of This Other Stuff, Not So Much

I'm back from a forum about the crisis in Darfur and the Sudan as a whole. I learned A LOT and thinking about the atrocities that have taken place there helps make some things that I am unhappy about seem really small.

Out of Exile: Enough Project Present Forum on Darfur and Crisis in Sudan

Dave Eggers
(author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, What is the What) was there and one woman stopped her own question to ask the panel to excuse the interruption so she could say that Dave Eggers rocked and it was great to be there with him.
Sista Prez Does it Again

I was happy to learn that the President of my alma mater is now going to be the new director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art--

Johnetta Cole Named Director of Nat'l Museum of African Art

She was the first African America woman to be president of Spelman College, an historically black college for African American women.

Monday, February 09, 2009

High Profile Case Shines Spotlight on Domestic Violence

Last night, I was on Twitter and read a throwaway remark about Chris Brown and Rihanna being something like Ike and Tina Turner. Since I wasn't up on the latest at that point, I didn't want to jump to conclusions about what that meant.

Well, I could have taken a flying leap because that person had explained all in rather callous shorthand: Chris Brown Charged, Arrested After Alleged Rihanna Assault.

That makes me very sad.

Increasing Domestic Violence Really Scary

Domestic Violence Hits Home (Again)

Friday, February 06, 2009

New Math

So the first part of this winter has been the winter of my discontent (wait--don't I say that every winter?), but I hope the rest will be much better.

Part of my discontent included doing something I don't think I've ever done before--losing a library book.

And, this is rich, I lost that book, one of those Jane Q. Public-friendly tomes on economics, by leaving it at the bank. That'll learn me to try to brush up on economics.

So after looking for it everywhere (including the bank's lost and found), I gave it up for gone.

I went to the library to confess and was told I'd have to pay for it. That, plus I owed 80 cents in late fees for a different book (I doubt that I've lost a book before now, but my saintliness doesn't mean I always turn them on on time.)

They didn't take cards, so I couldn't pay for the lost book. And since the library cash register was down, they could only take exact change, so I couldn't pay the fine because I didn't have eighty cents.

Before I had been called up, the young woman who was ahead of me had been told to step aside to fill out an application for a library card.

To my great surprise she, a perfect stranger, offered up the eighty cents to cover my fine. Someone who didn't even have a card yet and had a clean record was covering my late fees.

So, go figure: 1 lousy winter and 1 lost library book + late fees = 80 cents of undeserved favor. (Although, since undeserved favor cannot be measured, that 80 cents adds up to a lot more.)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Catch Me If You Can...

It is great when I can post links to stuff I've written, but sometimes I write for pubs that do not put their content online and then you actually have to go a buy the magazine itself.

This month I interviewed DC power couple Morris and Jaci Reid for UPTOWN magazine

A review I wrote of Kinky Gazpacho appears in Fall issue in Mosaic Literary Magazine.

And an article I wrote on the NAACP Youth & College Division's "Vote Hard Bus Tour" appears in the Winter 2009 issue of The Crisis Magazine.

Monday, February 02, 2009

She's Got Legs...And She Knows How to Use 'Em

Last night when my niece,who was sitting in the chair next to me, hopped up from the table, I took that opportunity to put my legs up in said chair.

She returned to asked me in her curious, but also accusing way why women always do this. "You are just like my Mom," she said. " She does the same thing--whenever somebody gets up she puts her legs in the chair!"

A woman's work is never done, so if she she's the opportunity for a bit of rest, she should grab it.

Instead of really breaking it down to her, I answered in the cryptic way that tired adults do: "When you're a woman, you will understand," I said.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Extra! Extra! Read What's Left of It...

While most of the newspaper-y world is dismayed over the demise of The Washington Post's Book World, I am still in mourning for the Post's now-defunct Sunday Source section.
In part because I used to write for it, mostly because I miss reading it.