Monday, June 30, 2008

Hang Up Your Chick Habit

(for Derek)

Robert Rodrieguez and Quentin Tarentino's homage to 60's B-movies and the theaters that screened them, Grindhouse, had me squirming in my seat and hiding behind my hands. But this scene from Tarentino's half, "Death Proof," was by far my favorite part of the movie.

Just so you know, he definitely had it coming.

(The song playing during the credits is "Chick Habit" by April March.)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Move On and Smart Up

I'm laying in bed, enjoying the fresh "It's-just-rained" smell wafting in on the breeze and reading the New York Times. Obama and Clinton made a stop in Unity, New Hampshire to showcase the newfound unity within the Democratic Party. The name of the town is solid gold for the sound bite driven mainstream media and was chosen "for the perfect split of votes cast in the New Hampshire primary — 107 for each candidate."

One part of the article really annoyed me, however. People were at this rally still wearing Hillary campaign t-shirts and openly objecting to his presence and nomination:

Carmella Lewis of Denver chanted 'Hillary' while Mr. Obama spoke, smirked throughout his remarks and then stuffed her ears with scrunched-up tissue.

'I can’t listen to him,' Ms. Lewis said. 'No way are we voting for Obama. We're all voting for McCain.'

This is a pretty accurate depiction of the people who continue to cry "foul" over Hillary Clinton's inability to "clinch" the Democratic nomination. Won't face the facts or listen to reason.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Color of Change

Dear Friends,

Right now, Fox News is trying to paint Barack Obama as foreign, un-American, suspicious, and scary. They're trying to send Americans the message that our country's first viable Black candidate for President is not "one of us."

I've joined on to's campaign to push back on Fox, publicly demanding they stop their race-baiting and fear mongering. If that doesn't work, then we'll go to their advertisers and the FCC. I wanted to invite you to sign on as well. It takes only a moment:

Here's what happened recently:

After Senator Obama won the nomination, he and his wife gave each other a "pound" in front of the cameras. Fox anchor E.D. Hill called the act of celebration a "terrorist fist jab." Then last week, a Fox News on-screen graphic referred to Michelle Obama as "Obama's baby mama"--slang used to describe the unmarried mother of a man's child. It was a clear attempt to associate the Obamas with negative cultural stereotypes about Black people, an insult not only to Michelle Obama but to women and Black people everywhere.

After each of the incidents mentioned, Fox issued some form of weak apology. But what does it mean when you slap someone in the face, apologize the next day, then slap them again on the third? It means the apology is meaningless.

These aren't one-time incidents--they're part of a pattern that continues no matter how often Fox is forced to apologize. Fox has a clear record of attacking and undermining Black institutions, Black leaders, and Black people in general.

If we don't push back now, we will see more of the same from now until November. Please join me in helping to bring an end to Fox's behavior.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ralph Nader: Sour Grapes or Calling It Like It Is?

(photo credit: Judy DeHaas. taken from Rocky Mountain News)

Full disclosure: This is my first foray into political, op-ed writing so bear with me.

Admittedly, I know very little about Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader. To me, he's a joke cracked on the Daily Show, a Ross Perot character of sorts in his repeated runs for president. So today when I first read about his criticisms of Obama (claiming Obama is "talking white" and appealing to "white guilt"), I could feel my temperature rising. As a black person, I've heard the same criticisms lobbed my way for speaking proper English. To blacks, I'm either "trying to be white" or called "articulate"—that damning word for any educated black person—by whites.

But as I continued reading the Rocky Mountain News article, Nader made some points I had to stop and think about:

I haven't heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. Payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What's keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk white? He doesn't want to appear like Jesse Jackson?"
Basically he's coming on as someone who is not going to threaten the white power structure, whether it's corporate or whether it's simply oligarchic. And they love it. Whites just eat it up.
The fact that Barack Obama's campaign had originally shied away from The Race Issue is something that is well documented. I was really surprised in the beginning (which seems like a lifetime ago) when his blackness wasn't immediately spun into a problem with his candidacy, as it is now. In fact, it's my opinion that race hadn't become an issue in the Democratic race until the Clintons made the first of many racially charged comments.

Now that Obama has become the BLACK candidate, is his campaign strategy shifting to avoid rousing the fears of the ignorant? Is that why he hasn't spoken publicly to large groups of Muslim-American supporters or in a mosque? Is that why he started wearing the American flag pin? Is that why most of his rallies featured in the media have an overwhelmingly large white audience? Though I think the core part of his message is that there is no black/white/brown specific issues, but American issues, its been painted in the media as BLACK vs. WHITE.

Because every act of "blackness"—which is a highly debatable concept best saved for another day—is dissected to his disadvantage. His wife bumping fists with him after winning the Democratic nomination? Why, that's a "terrorist fist jab" according to the fine folks at FOX News. Hanging out with rappers, playing basketball, attending a black church (with a preacher who is voicing, albeit very bluntly, the thoughts of many blacks in the country)... it's all a negative for the Obama presidency. So maybe Nader has a point. Maybe he isn't trying to rock the white power structure....yet.

Don't get me wrong. I don't question my support of Obama, or his decency and sincerity. However, it does make me question politics. Obama's genuine message of change has had to be manipulated to avoid ignorance and media spin. Conversation has been hijacked of all meaning and replaced with baseless and seemingly never ending rants on his blackness, his elitism, and his "angry" wife. And so, to quell suspicions that once in the office he will lead a "Kill Whitey" movement, he has to play the game.

A game I hope he wins in November, before dropping it to bring about real change to this nation.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Long Way Gone

One of my book clubs read Ishmael Beah's, A Long Way Gone, this month. The memoir describes in gripping detail a then 12-year-old Beah's escape from rebel forces in Sierra Leone only to become a child soldier for government forces by 13. It goes without saying that these events are incredibly sad (descriptions of the death and killing in Sierra Leone are hard to get through and make up most of the memoir) but Beah's spirit and will to fully enjoy his "second life" are heartening to hear and watch.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

So Sew

I just got off the phone with one of my bests, Anna, and here is a snippet of our conversation which has added something for me to do in my Single Gal Summer (which will now be referred to as, SGS).

While in search of a dress I wanted to wear tonight...

Anna: You should buy that dress you wanted to wear for your housewarming party.
Me (digging through my closet): Yeah, but it's so expensive. I have just come to the realization that I am bougie when it comes to clothes.... it's really bad.
Anna: Yeah... you should learn how to sew!

What an inspired idea! I should learn how to sew! I immediately Googled "chicago sewing lessons" and found The Needle Shop (2054 W. Charleston). The Needle Shop offers lessons in fashion sewing, knitting, crocheting, upholstery work and more. Their Basic Sewing 101 course is $70 and acts as a gateway for other available courses: Hand Embroidiery, A-Line Skirts, Upholstery, Basic Curtains, and more.

I'm definitely adding classes at The Needle Shop to my to do list this SGS.

Worshipping the Sun Gods

June has been a slow month for blogging it would appear. I've been busy, moving out of Hyde Park and settling into my new Far North apartment. This week, the weather has been unseasonably cool (not that I mind, I don't have a swarthy man to help me install my air conditioner yet). However, it being the first official day of summer I still encourage everyone---Chicagoans and non-Chicagoans alike---to embrace the sun and celebrate.

I'm ringing in the season with a roof top party at a friend's apartment (with promises of bands and DJs) and dancing the night away at Sonotheque (1444 W. Chicago) to the sounds of Chicago dance-juke DJ phenoms, Flosstradamus. Hopefully you'll be spending the day doing something equally amazing.

Monday, June 16, 2008

My Morning in a Picture

Then why do I always end up having teary goodbyes at O'Hare?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Love Can't Pay My Bills, I Want Money. . .

My favorite website blogged about the website How I Spent My Stimulus Check today. The website allows people to take pictures of what they spent their stimulus check on and include a brief description describing their use. From the funny to the endearing to the achingly sad (i.e. people getting fired from their jobs because of the downturn in the economy that led to the need of stimulus checks in the first place), this website is an interesting read and lets you take a look into the lives of everyday Americans. Below are some of my picks from the site:

Scariest Use of a Stimulus Check

"Bought a CMMG lower reciever from a local gunshop. I figure with Obama's crazy gun stance, I better build a rifle before he tries to take it away from me! Hopefully it doesn't go that far...Thanks dubs!"

John, 32, Software
Bothell, WA

Most Common Use of a Stimulus Check

"Thanks G. W. Bush, I needed this gas so I can work and pay more taxes to contribute to the WAR we have no business being in!!!! "

Duane Anthony, 43, Project Manager
Guntersville, Alabama

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Set Yourself On Fire

While I was driving this morning, I heard writer and former Chicagoan David Sedaris on Eight Forty-Eight and laughed the entire way to work. Definitely take a listen. He (and his sister, actress Amy Sedaris) is incredibly funny and irreverent, making us laugh at old people losing their dentures in shrubbery or a foreigner crying on an airplane next to him in his essays. He's come under fire for the "truthiness" of his work—though much of his work is listed as nonfiction, he fully acknowledges his tendency to exaggerate—but I call those people haters and continue to laugh out loud.

He's reading from his latest book, When You Are Engulfed In Flames, at Barbara's Bookstore (1218 S. Halsted) tonight. If you attend, get their early: Sedaris can definitely pack a house.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Change I can definitely believe in. Barack Obama has officially become the Democratic National Party's nominee for president. Let's see the Hillary Clinton groveling for Vice President begin. Unity ticket, my ass.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

My Day in Pictures

Answer to all the spending in the city that works. CTA Red Line, Belmont Stop. Around 4-something in the a.m. Full question: Why are there so many CTA personnel at this station?

I went to an early book club meeting and then read the book I was supposed to have finished for the aforementioned book club at the park by my apartment.

The view from my bench before I decided to lay out on the itchy grass.