Just Another Girl On The IRT

Freestyle musings from a pseudo-intellectual hellcat in high heels with Huxtable aspirations in a ghetto fab world. Proudly sponsored by bouts of bitchy mood swings, one too many swigs of Turning Leaf, the letters F & U and the madness that is the Rotten Apple.

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Work in progress. Neurotic. Daydream believer. Bookworm. Addicted to the arts. Stubborn. Spoiled rotten. Lefty in more ways than one. Pop culture whore. Equal opportunity hater. Kid at heart.

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Previous Posts Diggin' in the crates... The honor roll... Sidewalk talk... Gossip folks... Know the ledge... The writing's on the wall... Subscribe & syndicate... As the page turns... Recognize the real... Speak your piece... Credits...

Thursday, June 30, 2005

All aboard! Destination: Hasbeenville

Passes for the latest train wreck/summer reality series are now available at Terminal 1 with the premiere of Bravo's Being Bobby Brown tonight. Like a horrendous three car pileup off the BQE, you just can't help but watch at the misadventures of a washed-up celebrity still grasping for the glory days long since ticked away. And overshadowed alongside by his more famous significant other? Well, that's just Emmy-worthy television. The chance to see music's Bonnie & Clyde at their unrehearsed best is just too irresistible to pass up. To quote a kernel of wisdom from that fountain of intellect, Britney Spears, "With a taste of a poison paradise/I'm addicted to you/Don't ya know that you're toxic.."

With an opening that finds Bobby in an Atlanta restaurant chatting with two White customers who fail to recognize him and he mocks a jail pose to the punchline of "look familiar now?", it's full speed ahead into a wasteland of tabloid-ready fodder.

Although the show's title bears the namesake of the 'Kang of R(ocks) & B(lunts), the evidence is clear as to who really wears the pants in the Brown household. The role of top dog follows the pattern of their marital media coverage by shifting all attention to his wife, Whitney Houston. Let's face it, with an admitted drug problem and a more celebrated freefall from grace, she's a riveting presence on camera. And with soon-to-be catchphrases like, "hell to the NAW!," "Be me for a minute!," "We in the steam room!," & "Uh uh, you too grown for that!," it's not hard to see why. Never before has a pop diva of her stature allowed herself to be captured in such a fashion which is light years away from her carefully cultured persona. Take that, Clive Davis!

Seeing Bobby smearing Preparation H on the Samsonite-sized bags under his eyes in Billboard lingo would ship gold...but Whitney's romantic declaration of love during a candlelight dinner ("Bobby, I WILL knock the s**t outta you at this table")? Multi-plat fresh out the gate, homie.

The promo bytes promises to give a multifaceted look at someone who's not only acquainted with the wrong side of the law, but aims for the "Aww, shucks" factor by presenting him as a family man of sorts. However, for every unexpected moment of real warmth (the good-natured ribbing of his eldest daughter LaPrincia and wistful embrace of his son, namesake Bobby Jr.) there's far too many instances where Brown leapfrogs over the line of good taste (slamming the door in daughter Bobbi Kristina's face to get intimate with Mama Whit at Atl's Grand Hyatt fresh out of prison).

I'm still recovering from the sight of the most jacked-up feet to EVER be caught on film and Bobby helping Whitney's constipation out in the grossest way possible...but the burning question is: will I watch again?

Like my man Barry used to say...

Sho ya right.

Being Bobby Brown airs Thursday nights on Bravo, 10:00 p.m. EST.

link | Shot from the lip by TriniPrincess at 11:30 PM | 4 said what?!

Same script, different cast

I awoke this morning to word of another Black man brutally beaten in the Queens neighborhood of Howard Beach. Déjà vu immediately clouded my mind like a shroud of bad karma you just can't seem to shake. If you switched the names around and removed today's date from the blaring cover of the New York Daily News, you'd think a time travel back to the winter of 1986 had taken place. That incident was one of the most infamous cases in the city's history which held a mirror up to the tears in the idealized fabric of race relations when 23-year-old Michael Griffith was killed as he staggered onto the Belt Parkway while trying to flee an angry mob of three White men who had harassed him and his two friends (Cedric Sandiford & Timothy Grimes) after their car broke down near New Park Pizzeria on Cross Bay Blvd. Almost twenty years later, the circumstances are murkier, but the outcome is eerie. Making an impersonal headline to an issue that hits home comes in the form of Jean Griffith, mother of the slain victim. Mrs. Griffith is a family friend and we share a bond of heritage kinship as both she and my mom have reminisced about life "back home" during quick hellos and the occasional run-in on the street.

The story this time centers around 22-year-old Glenn Moore of St. Albans who suffered a skull fracture after he and his friends were suspected of canvassing the area for a car to steal but decided against the idea after the spotted vehicle's motion detectors went off and a neighbor turned an inside porch light on. At this same juncture, a black Escalade driven by the alleged attacker, Nicholas Minucci, 19 and two other White males pulled alongside the bus stop at 159th Ave & 79th St. demanding to know what they were doing in the area. Moore's assault followed soon after with him being struck multiple times with a metal baseball bat, his earring being yanked out, his Air Jordans ripped from his feet and a separate bag containing items for his daughter taken.

Much will be made of Moore's association to two Brooklyn friends (Richard Pope & Richard Walker) readily admitting for prowling around such an area with unsavory intentions coupled with Moore's own 2004 arrest for car theft, however a highlight at an important piece of evidence from the NYPD is a crucial piece to unraveling this complex puzzle:
"...one law enforcement official said that at the time of the attack, the black men had done nothing more than be in Howard Beach around 3 a.m. And another official said that Mr. Minucci told investigators that after the beating, his companion said, "This is what you get if you want to rob white boys," finishing the sentence with a racial epithet." – New York Times.
For those in the know, the "they had it coming" stance is nothing new. A closer look at the underlying sentiments gives a clearer picture to the "us vs. them" mentality which has been bubbling under the surface by longtime residents there for years:

"No one should be beating up anyone, but when a black guy gets beat up, it makes headlines," said a middle-aged resident who gave her name only as Susan. "When a white guy gets beat up, nothing." Of Wednesday's attack, Susan, who lives near one of the suspects, said: "It was provoked. We are provoked constantly." – Newsday.
I'm taking bets to see how long it'll take Rev. Al to swoop down on this quagmire in the making. Stay tuned...

link | Shot from the lip by TriniPrincess at 2:00 PM | 4 said what?!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Don Cornelius, watch your back...

In terms of ghetto award show supremacy, you may wanna chuck that love, peace & hair grease out the window to reclaim your rightful place at the top of the heap. Last night marked the 2005 edition of the Buffoon Entertainment Television's annual festivities and if you were looking for a veritable potpourri of the ridiculous alongside flashes of real stardom on display, you were in for a star-studded treat at the Kodak Theatre. The theme of the evening turned into "how many no-shows can you count?" Among the list of MIA's were: Kanye West, Usher, Serena Williams, Shaquille O' Neal, Denzel Washington, Donnie McClurkin & Jamie Foxx. I was running late so I can't comment yet on Missy Elliott's latest stab at an overblown production or just how cringe inducing the Fugees reunion may have been.
"Do not thank God if you can't show or perform your work in church."
Co-host Jada Pinkett Smith's playful nudge to the fronting heathens in attendance soon proved prophetic.

So let's pick it up from the G-String Divas portion of the program, shall we? Of course, I'm talking about Destiny's Child (a.k.a. Beyoncé and 'nem) taking their cue from Magic City's best to raise eyebrows for an otherwise unmemorable rendition of that feminist rallying cry, Cater 2 U. The lucky contestants for their homage to the Pussycat Dolls were Nelly, Magic Johnson and Terrance Howard (who was probably diagnosed with an extreme case of blue balls after Bee writhed on him like a cat in heat). And poor Michelle Williams...best known as the emaciated, oft-ignored group member with the "gospel" side gig...of all people, did they have to stick her with Magic? She was about two decades too late for that to really be relevant. And bulletin to Ms. Knowles, please stop feigning surprise and a "whatchutalkinboutWillis?" incredulous expression when your lap dancing techniques are called into question. If the clear heels fit, wear them with pride instead of straddling the line between church girl and whore with a split personality (otherwise known as your alter ego, Sasha) when the Holy Ghost suits you.

Speaking of hoes, here's a heartwarming tale of ambition courtesy of incoming BET CEO Debra Lee. Don't ever give up on your dream to move up the corporate ladder, regardless of which married exec you have to lay on your back for...because you too can run your own cable station after putting in premium years playing your position as the HNIC's side piece. Sisters really are doing it for themselves!!

And of course, I would be remiss to ignore what an absolute jackass Bob Johnson sounded like... I'm having a tough time figuring out which was worse. The shameless plugging of his newest acquisition, the Charlotte Bobcats (that's right Emeka Okafor, stand up so everyone can see what a tall, moneymaking stallion you are! All that was needed was a damn auction block adjacent to the mic) or the R. Kelly-esque overtones of his attempt to hop aboard the Beyoncé grindathon. Ick + barf squared.

Memo to Mariah Carey: Since your pre-album promo slogan was "the voice is BACK!", you actually have to live up to that lofty statement instead of sounding rougher than a crop of fresh potholes on the Cross Bronx Expressway.

Quick, someone call the nearest Army recruiter and let them know Omarion's ready to be all he can be! Was that quasi-military getup purchased at the Neverland garage sale? How many more pretty boys are gonna wind up blowing Chris Stokes for a record deal? Now it's more important to devote more attention to refining moves for You Got Served 2, yet I've seen better voice dubbing during Kung-Fu Saturdays on FOX 5? STOP THE INSANITY!!

Of course not all was lost in spite of all the unnecessary antics. Alicia Keys accepted her trophy for Best Female R&B Artist with a well-received shout-out to "all my people who are really trying to dream big dreams. Let's think big. Let's think beyond what these people are trying to hold us down to. Doctors, lawyers, engineers, musicians." I heard that, sistah girl.

Gladys Knight again proved why she's an enduring figure in soul music and a bonafide legend. She shut all those non-sangin' heifers DOWN, you hear me? Backing tapes need not apply. Faith Evans and Toni Braxton couldn't exit stage right quick enough. Ladies you tried, but it was all about the honoree. Gladys had me ready to book a seat with Amtrak, because I wanted to be aboard that midnight train to Georgia. Too bad the majority of the knuckleheads in a throwback or saggin' ass jeans didn't bother to show Ms. Knight the proper respect she deserved by getting out of their seats while she turned that mutha out.

John Legend teamed up with Stevie Wonder for an inspired medley of the play-it-till-your-ears-bleed Ordinary People & My Cherie Amour. Queen Latifah getting the last word at Anthony Anderson's expense while presenting Best Male R&B Artist to reunite with Set It Off co-stars Vivica A. Fox, Kimberly Elise and co-host Jada.

Teena Marie's passionate tribute to her dearly departed musical maestro Rick James tugged at the heartstrings, even if she sounded like the aunt whose had too many sips of Boone's Farm at the family BBQ.

Is there any limit to the wizardry of the amazing Sheila E.? The much-needed jolt of energy she gave backing self-proclaimed "King of da Souf" T.I. was a welcome surprise.

Overall, repeat watchability grade earns a: C-. Looks like the no-shows had the right idea after all.

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link | Shot from the lip by TriniPrincess at 12:17 AM | 7 said what?!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Shit. Damn. Muthafucka.

Why is it every time I try to get my 007 on and sneak into my office on the incognito, I get busted in a way that would make Rick James say "cold blooded"? Got off the elevator...was tiptoeing towards my cubicle and like a pinch of essence from Emeril... BAM! Down the corridor comes the frigging director of my department (who already sizes me up like a clearance rack castoff)... damn, damn, damn!

link | Shot from the lip by TriniPrincess at 11:21 AM | 0 said what?!

Monday, June 27, 2005

It's been a long time coming...

Take equal parts Mavis Staples, Tina Turner and Betty Wright, blend till smooth and serve straight up on the rocks — no chaser. That's the introduction to this 24-year old L.A.-bred force of nature who's primed to take the music world by storm. The name: Leela James. The buzz? The new kid moving in on Neo-Soul Drive at the corner of Retro Lane. A quick glance at the petite sister with the Betty Boop speaking voice & boho blowout makes you ill-prepared for the potency of her gritty rasp. Faster than you can say Michel'le, you're knocked out by her raw talent. In other words: she's the next Big Thing. Since ingenues are being churned out like an assembly line, it's nothing out of the ordinary to be blessed with an impressive instrument, but Ms. James imbues a fiery passion that's gone AWOL in today's market. With a throaty growl that recalls the lost era of pre-Memorex, her chops make you stand up and take notice. I had the pleasure of seeing her tonight at the Tower Records' Village branch to perform cuts off her debut album, A Change Is Gonna Come. And while she earned her diva-in-training stripes by showing up an hour late, all was forgiven once Ms. James hit the stage to let loose vocals with the fury of a thunderclap. Setting it off with her first single Music and accompanied by two backup singers, percussionist and a keyboard player, James stomped and wailed her way to the core of her plaintive chorus: "where did all the soul go?/it's all about the video/we don't sing no mo'/where's the music gone?" Obviously she came armed with an antidote, because soul was in abundance as she sashayed to the hand-clapping grooves of Good Time (the roller-rink rhythms courtesy of Gwen McCrae's 1981 disco classic, Funky Sensation) then segued to the smoky blues of the self-love proclamation Mistreating Me. The store's rock/pop CD section could've doubled for Mount Bethel Baptist once the buoyant Soulfood was extended into an impromptu jam/testifying session complete with tambourines and holy ghost hollers. An unnecessary acoustic take on No Doubt's breakup anthem Don't Speak could've been left well enough alone, but she fares better and does justice to the Sam Cooke classic that boldly announces her arrival. A change has come indeed. Don't sleep.

link | Shot from the lip by TriniPrincess at 10:54 PM | 3 said what?!

The devil made me late...

And I mean, literally. I wasn't even looking to pull a "my train was delayed" or a "my dog ate my homework" type of excuse out my ass...who in their right mind watches The Exorcist at 1:00 a.m. from beginning to end and a 6:30 date beckons with an alarm clock designed by Battalion #17 to awaken even the most corpse-like of sleepers? Could you blame me for winding up over an hour late when "the power of Christ compels you!!!" lulled me into dreamland?

link | Shot from the lip by TriniPrincess at 11:40 AM | 3 said what?!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

What's up, buttercup?

"The rent... and I'm not paying."

Nothing like a snappy one-liner from a 90's cult classic to get me all verklempt. Every time I watch Party Girl, I get the immediate urge to channel my inner Lady Miss Kier in the middle of Union Square while munchin' on a falafel with hot sauce, a side of baba ghanooj and a seltzer. (If you haven't seen the flick, the joke's already whizzed over your head. So let it go.) Who else could make finding your niche as a librarian seem as cool as Parker Posey? Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to rearrange my CD collection according to the Dewey Decimal System. Rent this movie immediately!

link | Shot from the lip by TriniPrincess at 7:33 PM | 0 said what?!

Your love is better than ice cream...

Has Sarah McLachlan gotten the memo that her song is a damned lie? Yeah, yeah, yeah...I've read all the Hallmark greetings that go hand in hand with someone sending you over the moon and head over heels...but obviously Miss Sarah ain't had herself a double crunchie dipped vanilla sundae courtesy of Mister Softee. Now THAT my friends...is some serious shit worthy of an ode to complete adoration. Warm weather and I aren't the best of friends, but we've come to a mutual peace treaty that kicked off once the familiar jingle rolled through a block near you. And speaking of taking ice cream over that dirty 4-letter word, a certain on-again/off-again brotha I like to peg as Mr. Thinks-He's-So-Big (wink @ my SATC addicts) just got his bootleg T-Mobile turned back on to relay the message I've been waiting all weekend to hear! He misses it. No, not me. Just it. I guess *it* just magically morphed into a separate entity...science is a muthasucka! After the silence became deafening (I could hear his boys yakkin' like a pack of hyenas in the background), he quickly added, "c'mon, you know I miss you...why you trippin?" as a futile attempt to add some K-Y to ease his head out of his ass. Why the hell is it so difficult for men to quit puffin' out their chest for the sake of appearances? It's not necessary to get all Brian McKnight on me, but hang up the "I'm too proud to admit I'm anything less than a hardrock" act every now and then, will ya? NP: Kelis, Get Along With You. "Don't need no paper/Don't need no pencils/Don't need no love letters/Cause I just wanna get along with you"... Let the congregation say: yay-men.

link | Shot from the lip by TriniPrincess at 12:59 AM | 0 said what?!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Free to be, you & me

This weekend is a celebration of being able to love who you want without judgment. To my rainbow brethren, Happy Pride!

link | Shot from the lip by TriniPrincess at 5:27 PM | 0 said what?!

Spur of the moment

Fuck San Antonio. I've seen repeat episodes of This Old House more interesting than this band of merry cornballs. Led by the yawn-inducing Tim Duncan (does this guy even have a pulse?), I'd prefer to clip my toenails while watching fresh paint dry than to sit through a Spurs game.

Remnants of bitterness from the '99 Finals clouding my judgment? You bet your ass it is.

I needed to get that off my chest. Feeling better already.

link | Shot from the lip by TriniPrincess at 3:37 PM | 2 said what?!

Much ado about nothing

After all the hand-wringing, I headed across the street for pasta. I'm sure my hips will sufficiently thank me for breaking every Zone/Atkins/South Beach rule on a plate. Le sigh...

link | Shot from the lip by TriniPrincess at 1:38 PM | 0 said what?!

To be in takeout hell or not to be...

...that is the goddamn question. Good grief. Living in New York City, I embrace our greatest asset. Loads and loads of restaurant choices.... but today, my brain's in serious gridlock. Usually, I indulge my bourgie tendencies by ordering from this chichi shop on Wall St. (translation: it's patronized almost solely by White folk), but I'm in the mood to go full speed ahead into High Calorie Hell. Let's see, we have Mexican, Thai, Chinese, Greek, Indian, Japanese, Italian...all within a 4 block radius. If you think I'm uncertain now, wait till I have to make a real decision that actually matters.

link | Shot from the lip by TriniPrincess at 12:29 PM | 2 said what?!

Microphone check...1-2, 1-2...

Through bleary vision in my left eye and full-on caffeine withdrawal, I guess I should take the time now to informerly introduce myself to the wonderful world of blogging (took my ass long enough to get up on this). Who am I, you may ask? Just an opinionated, sorta quirky, twenty-something chick from Brooklyn that enjoys afternoon walks in the park, watching late-night infomercials, considers Red Sox fans the enemy, still makes a heart above the "I" in my name and longs for world peace after the next commercial break.

At almost noon, I really should be working like the other average Joes of the world, but when you have an annoying cast of characters surrounding you at every turn, you take zoning out very seriously. Anything to erase the sour taste in my mouth left by being stood up by my on-again/off-again boyfriend last night... but I digress. That's another bitching session for later this weekend. Knowing him, I'll have some more material to sufficiently sound like a crew-cut wearing cutout of a feminist.

NP: Jamiroquai's Cosmic Girl. How brilliant is Jay Kay? Stevie soundalike be damned, this is vintage "shake your booty to the ground" stuff.

Uh oh, massa's circling the corporate plantation again... I'll add on more thoughts after I've refueled at lunch. Whoever said a friggin' muffin bar is an adequate breakfast needs their balls twisted.

link | Shot from the lip by TriniPrincess at 11:57 AM | 0 said what?!