Thursday, October 11, 2007

New Jacks Are Back

We (black people, or people of other cultures greatly influenced by Black American culture, born in the United States after 1980 and before 1990) are, quite literally, New Jack Kids. So many of our cultural references were spawned from this era that is largely credited to have begun with a newspaper article about the drug-infestation of Detroit.


Consider this:


-Journalist Barry Michael Cooper published an article in The Village Voice entitled "Kids Killing Kids: New Jack City Eats Its Young," in December of 1987. He goes on to write the movie New Jack City, loosely based on drug lord Nicky Barnes.

-The term New Jack Swing was coined by Cooper to describe the sounds of producer Teddy Riley. Popular 1990's groups like Jodeci, Guy, Boyz II Men, Color Me Badd, Digital Underground and artists like MC Hammer, Ralph Tresvant, Johnny Gill and R. Kelly all release hits under the genre.

-Ice-T released his hit "Cop Killer," after starring in New Jack City.

-Different World premieres in 1987 and is considered to be part of the New Jack era.

..........................Fast Forward to the 2000s:


-Bryan "Baby" Williams and Ronald "Slim" Williams found Cash Money Records after the Cash Money Brothers in the film New Jack City.


-VH1 Hip Hop Honors pays tribute to the New Jack Swing era.

-LL Cool J rhymes, "Now you Nino Brown/Rock roller wit' so much ice your cap's polar."

-Lil' Wayne begins a musical trilogy with Tha Carter, the name of the crack house Nino and the Cash Money Brothers use in New Jack City.

-Kanye West raps, "I ain't one of the Cosbys/I ain't go to Hillman."

-Young Joc puns on the move with his album titled New Joc City.

-Jay-Z raps, " Im like Pookie in New Jack/Clinked up with the roof back"

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Glam Squad: Brown Suga' Edition

There is an old adage that says (and I'm paraphrasing), "You don't where you're going if you don't know where you came from." I take this completely to heart and am always quick to give props to women that came before me that are doing the damn thing. I feel so fortunate because I am constantly bombarded with images and profiles of women of color that are slaughtering negative stereotypes and chucking the deuces to that passe glass ceiling of opportunity. And the best part is, they do it all with great skin, shining tresses and oh-so-chic stilettos. G-L-A-M-OR-OUS indeed. My top picks:

Tia Williams: I luv, luv, luv this woman! I read about her in VibeVixen mag a couple of years ago and instantly became a certified SYB (shame on you if can't decode the acronym!), ran out and copped both of her books and decided that I would be just like her, but only still me, lol. I met her when she came to D.C. two Springs ago and ran up to her and hugged her the instant she walked in. She was probably a little taken aback, as we were strangers, but I had to explain that I felt like I knew her and that she was my role model.



Mara Brock Akil: She created one of my favorite shows (Girlfriends) and successfully changed the television landscape to include successful, intelligent black women from all spectra. Take that "Lisa Turtle" stereotype! Following that success she came back with The Game and changed the TV game yet again. Most importantly, she's a former Journalism student at Northwestern. Now who says Journalism majors don't make any money?





Lisa Price: You guys know I luv everything Carol's Daughter (especially in the Ocean collection) and the affection does not stop with the line's creator. Queen and I were so honored to meet her last Spring when she visited Howard University and spoke about her early financial struggles and the arrival/influence of Steve Stoute (the m-f-ing dude that brought in heavyweight investors like Jay-Z and Will Smith). Plus, she's got that great balance of work and family with her husband and sons. Luv, luv, luv her.





Christina Norman: Four words-Doing the D**N thing. Let's run down her stats: President of MTV since 2005, former President of VH-1, credited with hauling the network out of financial ruin with hit shows like The Fabulous Life of... and The Surreal Life, undoubtedly one of the most powerful black women in Entertainment. Need I type more? Me likes.





Get inspired people!

Whitney :)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Happy October!


Happy October! I luv this month....there's Halloween, My Birthday, Oktoberfest, Boo at the Zoo, The Texas State Fair, My Birthday. Another happy event? DailyCandy, the fabulous style/lifestyle email wire-service thing, has FINALLY got a chocolate-y image (see pic). I realize most people do not view the website as a Life in the City survival guide, but I do, so it's big for me. The drawings are always so cute and chic but sooo very vanilla. Check out the Dallas version, the editor's a Brown Girl and extremely smart and funny.

Take this mini-post and look for longer ones soon. Guys, I have sooo many ideas in my head and actually have started no less than 4 blog entries in the last 2 weeks that I never finished....I think they call this, blogger's block?

Luv Ya Like A Play Cousin,
Whitney

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fashion This, Fashion That

New York Fashion Week is over. Sigh. But there have been some major developments in my world, fashion-wise, that beg to be blogged about.

Development #1: First glances of the Sex and the City movie.


Here we go! First off, can I shriek with enthusiasm over the Eiffel Tower replica? It's genius. Primarily because it tells me that they are picking up where they left off..no annoying gaps where you have to guess what happens. Secondly because it's hot and so absolutely Carrie. Again, can't wait, wait, wait for the movie.

Development #2: When It Comes to Accessories, Kate's Got It.

Way back in the day, 'round 1999/2000, Kate Spade was the former Vogue staffer turned It-Accessories Designer of the moment. Though she's kept a core "fanbase," she's definitely not an It-Girl any longer. I'm no expert, but I must say, when it comes to accessories, you are hard-pressed to find wallets, gloves, totes and paper products more chic, colorfull and still professional.

If erasers were that hot when I was in school, I would have made better grades in Math. I'm just saying.

Development #3: The New Generation of Black Fashion Icons.

This is really still developing, but is it just me, or have y'all noticed how wonderfully Rihanna, J. Hud, Tracee Ellis Ross, Gabrielle Union and Paula Patton have stepped into the shoes formerly occupied by Diana, Tina, Patti and Jayne? Maybe it's just me, but I dig what they wear these days.


Development #4: DVF's Pimp Hand Is SO Strong.


It is arguable that Diane von Furstenberg has never lost her swagger. From inventing one of the most important pieces in modern women's wardrobe (that classic wrapdress) to wedding a prince to revamping her company over and over again. But if one were to ever say that she has, she definitely got it back with her Spring 2008 collection.

From the pimp hats titled just so (see above) to the flowy dress in forgiving fabrics that scream summer on the veranda sipping ice tea and structured warm-weather sheaths perfect for the office, it was DVF at her best. Definitely my favorite of the week.


**Singing Fashion This and Fashion That, Fashion'll beat you down with a baseball bat**

Whitney

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Hudson In The City?!

Mes amies, you must know by now that there are fewer pleasures in my life greater than plumping (is that a word...) on the couch with chinese food and strawberry lemonade and watching some of my favorite episodes of Sex and the City. The FANTASTIC Sex and the City. The GROUNDBREAKING Sex and the City. Ahh...the good life.


Now, if there are any tragic flaws in the series, they must lie in the producers/casting directors ultimate refusal to portray any of the millions of fabulous, sexy, successful, single women of color residing in New York. Of course we had Maragaret Cho as the Runway Producer in Season 4 and Miranda's Black neighbor bitching about Brady's crying in Season 5 but it's a great stretch to say that they were characters...fillers really.


Sooooooo, imagine my utter excitement to find that Ms. Bradshaw would be hiring an assistant for the feature film version of the series. Someone young, gorgeous and a bonafide Fashion Plate, someone named JENNIFER HUDSON! When I tell you that I'm grinning like a mad woman and kicking my legs in the air with glee, please don't think that I'm exaggerating...because I kinda am! I mean, really, the levels. Any Black girl would have made my day, but y'all know how I feel about J. Hud (check this out).

My only concern? Jennifer is a tad....country. For lack of a better word. I am anxious to see how the writers will make her character align with the ultra-chic, sophisticated and worldy Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda. I will be first in line (ok, definitely not first, but I'll see it on the first day, ok?) to see it but I SWEAR if I see one roll of the eye, or pointing of the finger, I'll walk out and demand my $8 back. White writers have a tendency to think that accuracy in cross-cultural portrayal means writing a rude, ghetto Black woman or a spicy, slutty Latina. We'll see and I'll contain my pessimism....

But OH can you imagine the clothes? Hudson's been dressed by some of the best already (ALT, anyone?) but I can't wait until paparazzi pictures of the movie hit the 'net so that I can preview what Pat Field does with the girls, guys and Jennifer.

I predict there will be fur (no matter the season), diamonds (even on a lowly assistant who makes less than $30K annually) and high, high heels...perfect for running the streets of Manhattan on Carrie's bidding.

OK, enough about Jennifer...what are the rest of the girls up to? Are Carrie and Big together? Yeah he left California for New York but did they really manage to make it work? She put it perfectly when she said that, with Big, it's never different. How are the circumstances going to change so that those two can work out? But by far the biggest question is.....what's up with the kiddies??? SATC left us with the adorable Brady (about 1 1/2 when the show wrapped) and the cute little daughter that Charlotte and Harry adopted. Miranda can handle parenthood and a social life, but Charlotte? Definitely seems like the type to desert the clique for the baby...

Questions, questions everywhere and not a single answer in sight...

I'll keep you posted :)
Whitney

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Cultural Swaggerjackers: Beyonce Wants to be A Goat!


Beyonce wants to be Latina now that she's in Latina magazine. She's dumb, gullible and a bona fide publicity whore, but she's not the first to attempt to jack another culture. Because she's Black, oh excuse me, Creole, she is having a hell of a time trying to pull it off.

Latina magazine quoted her saying, “I’m just jealous that I wasn’t born Latina. I wish I had been because the culture is so beautiful.”

Latina.com, the online leg of the magazine, recently titled an article about her crossover attempt "Beyoncé and Other Wannabe Latina Divas."

The levels of ridiculousness can not be justifiably explained in this blog format. Suffice it to say that:

1) She needs to endure another round of media training.
2) She doesn't know who she is or what she wants to be. When Essence interviews her she is gushing about the beauty of Black women. If Hebrew Life magazine ever calls she'll attest to her lifelong ambition to learn Hebrew and visit the Holy Land.

After Bossip posted the quote a commenter accurately wrote that :

"
I think if Beyonce were talking to [...] 'Goat Weekly'..she would have been like, I wish I were a goat."

3) It's completely offensive. I mean we all know that Justin Timberlake tries his best to get as close to Black as he can get without getting constant harassment from the police but do you see him running around saying he wants to be Black? NO, because he (or his publicist/managers/etc) have enough sense to see that it's offensive. You don't have to be Latina to sell albums in Spanish, B.

Moreover, if Essence or VibeVixen or any other magazine for Black women deigned to call Beyonce a wannabe anything, the powers that B would swoop down from their publicity trees like "WooKaa!" I am certain that because they are published for the lighter sistas, las hermanas if you will, they have license to say whatever they want about Black women.

Trust, Christina Aguilera did not get the same treatment from them after her Spanish album. In fact, they named her their Entertainer of the Year in 2000 and attempted to drag Vibe through the mud after booting her off of the cover for Bobby Brown (read here). Sure she has a Spanish surname but has just as few ties to any kind of Hispanic culture as Beyonce. Repeat for Jessica Alba and Cameron Diaz.

The moral of this story? Beyonce should refrain from speaking and it's absolutely OK to say anything about Black women.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

How Many of Us Have Them?

FRIENDS! How many of us have them? FRIENDS! Ones we can depend on? FRIENDS! Y'all, I'm blessed. I have more friends than I do fingers on my left hand. In my eyes, this is a humongous accomplishment since I put few in this category. The other day I was IMing one of my HU friends and something she said sparked an internal conversation (yes, with myself) about different types of friends.

Carrie Bradshaw once said that you can't depend on any one person to give you everything. While she was justifying cheating on her boyfriend with her new gay guy pal, I think the rationale perfectly applies to a circle of friends. Like those essential components of any Flyy Gals tote bag



(you know, iPod, face framing shades, titillating novel, etc), everyone should have, or instantly make, one of these friends:




1: The Sista-Friend: My sista-friend happens to really be my sister, but she still counts. This is the person that you share everything with. You know you can tell her about your successes, faults, embarassements, hopes and dreams and she won't judge you, criticize you or kick you when you're down. But please don't get it twisted, she'll let you know when you're wrong and never hesitate to remind you of your beginnings.


2: Ryde or Die: One word describes this friend. Ghetto. She makes up words (conversate?), may or may not have a gold tooth and always suggests that you slash somebody's tires. Or jump them. Either one will do. You probably met her in daycare or the low-income after school program you went to because it was within walking distance of your grandparents' house and never lost touch with her. Despite the different paths that your lives have taken, she remains one of your closest friends and is never more than a phone call away. Another word describes her: loyal.

3. The Frien-emy: I stole this word from Sex and the City because it's so incredibly fitting. Everyone has a friend that is 1 part friend, 2 parts fierce competitor and 1 part mortal enemy. You love each other to death but something about the other really brings it out of you. To figure out which of your friends fits the bill, think about which one prompts you let out a litany of profanities while chatting on AIM with her or to constantly roll your eyes while you lunch with her.


4. The Publicist: This chap or chick knows about everything approximately 10 days before it happens. Whether club promoters text her or restaurants keep him on speed dial, I don't know, but everyone needs someone in their life that is an official Guy/Gal About Town. Don't expect the publicist to listen to you complain about your internship or meet you on the highway when your car breaks down, but he/she is one of the most fun people to go out with...word to the wise, don't even think about calling it a night before 4am and since the Publicist is a fabulous gay guy 79% of the time, don't even think about coming out looking an inch less than your best.




5. The Career Connection: Your "At-Work" friend..think Whitney from The Hills. You guys met at work (hey Nicole! Essence C/O '06!) but instantly began spending all of your at-home time together. You can dish about office gossip, your career goals and ask her whether beaded sandals are appropriate for Casual Fridays. Though you met her later in life she has become one of those life friends you never expected to make after the age of 16.

I'm friendly with lots of people but the few that I count as my friends I love to pieces...Kisses!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I Heart Chucks!



I luv my Chucks, yep, yep I luv my Chuck Taylors! And I'm not alone! This site says that 60% of Americans have owned a pair of the classic basketball sneakers.

Like so many other wardrobe pieces, Converse All-Star "Chuck Taylor"s began as a practical accessory for Akron Firestone player Charles "Chuck" H. Taylor in 1908. Now, almost 100 years later, B-girls, fashionistas and gals and guys around town alike can be seen sporting these sneaks.






Mine are old (circa 2004), beat-up, a little grey-ish and one of my favorite pair of shoes. I love wearing them with jeans and a sweater to Saturday brunches and this summer I was seen rocking them with sundresses and hoop earrings.

Let's make this week "Let's All Wear Chucks" week!

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Shopgirl Chronicles 1: What I've Learned In Retail


Like a lot of gals my age I've worked at more places than I'd like to think about, most of which have been at different retail stores. Most of the time I have regarded these positions as ways to get things that I want, i.e. extra change and a great discount. But as I was folding minuscule skirts at my current job, a sort of Gap for the under-12 set, I started to think about some of the important lessons that I've learned working retail.

Here they go:

You're Only As Good As Your Last Hit:

Yesterday is history, all anyone cares about is today. Retail is all about numbers and all about performance. While working at a semi-upscale store for professional women I was instructed to "sell" the store credit card to everyone. One particular afternoon the District Manager (the person that supervises all of a city's stores) and the Regional Manager (does the same thing for a larger area) visited our store and I secured a credit card during their visit. I was bombarded with accolades from all of the managers ALL day. I walked into work the next day with a certain spring in my step expecting to get the same treatment...NOT! No one remembers what you did yesterday, nor do they care. Hence the phrase: EVERYDAY I'm Hustlin', as opposed to ONCE A WEEK I'm Hustlin'.

You Get What You Give:

In my tenure in the sales industry, I've learned that "Associates," as professionals in the industry like to refer to sales people, have lots of power. Very few operations require the consent of anyone higher. Price changes, returns and exchanges, discounts and markdowns are virtually all at the discretion of the person at the register. However, rude or annoying customers (or bitchy associates) prohibit most of these from happening for customers. I love helping people (what? I do!) and I hate for people to be unsatisfied since I am so often the disgruntled customer so I always do my best to stretch the rules. In return, I find that when I visit other stores associates are more than willing to offer me promotions and help me when I've forgotten my receipt or something. I think people call it Karma.

Repetition Is the Key to Success:

You know how in science a theory doesn't exist unless it can be proven over and over again? Retail is the very same. You clean and you straighten and re-arrange and make everything look super nice only to have hoards of people come through and ruin your creation. You are then forced to re-do everything. Constantly. All-day. Everyday. Success is the same way. To finish college, get that promotion, build a company, you have to be willing to get up every day and do the same thing over and over again, better than before every single day.

Part-time jobs rock!




Saturday, August 18, 2007

Why I Hate Spoken Word/Minority Report


As a black woman this is a traitorous statement. As a graduate of Howard University, former resident of Washington, DC and a writer, this is a blasphemous statement. But I do! All of the shows I have seen (and I've seen WAY more than I want to, I'm always being dragged to one, it seems) have been boring and recycle trite, stale, over-sexed statements that make all the women in room OOOHHH and AHHHHH and Umm, hmmm, girl! Not really my scene. And another reason I hate it, there's always some ridiculous name for the va jay-jay being worked into every single performance. Like honeypot or ocean of chocolate or some other asinine euphemism. The men are always saying things like my beautiful black queen and the women seem to love using warrior, soldier, and African prince a lot when describing men. And PLEASE don't get me started on the smoking. Yea, not at all my idea of interesting, entertaining or enlightening. But, please, prove me wrong. Invite me to a half-decent spoken word event and I'll give you a crisp $100 bill. Well, actually I won't because I don't have one, but I will put a symbolic bill in your had.

BUT, with that said, I love to analyze the lyrics to my favorite music (ridiculous segueway, I know). The closest thing to poetry I'll ever actually enjoy. You also have to know that Jay-z is one of my favorite artists of all time. He made only one good song on his latest album, well, one good song that I liked.

Minority Report is Shawn Carter all the way and at his best exploring some of the issues surrounding Hurricane Katrina and his reaction to the crisis ("Sure I ponied up a mill, but I didn't give my time /So in reality I didn't give a dime"). The MTV video is here.

The song is so powerful, with Ne-Yo singing his remorse and sounds of wind and water in the background. But the lyrics themselves are even better. Read.



Jay-Z
People was poor before the hurricane came
But the down pour poured is like when Mary J. sang
Every day it rains, so every day the pain
But ignored them, and showed em the risk was to blame
For life is a chain, cause and effected
Niggas off the chain because they affected
It's a dirty game so whatever is effective
From weed to selling kane, gotta put that in effect
Wouldn't you loot, if you didn't have the loot?
Baby needed food and you stuck on the roof
Helicopter swooped down just to get a scoop
Through his telescopic lens but he didn't scoop you
The next five days, no help ensued
They called you a refugee because you seek refuge
The commander-in-chief just flew by
Did he stop? No, he had a couple seats
Just proved jet blue he's not
Jet flew by the spot
What if he ran out of jet fuel and just dropped
hu,That woulda been something to watch
Helicopters doing fly-bys to take a couple of shots
Couple of portraits then ignored 'em
He'd be just another bush surrounded by a couple orchids
Poor kids just 'cause they were poor kids
Left 'em on they porches same old story in New Orleans
Silly rappers, because we got a couple Porches
MTV stopped by to film our fortresses
We forget the unfortunate
Sure I ponied up a mill, but I didn't give my time
So in reality I didn't give a dime, or a damn
I just put my monies in the hands of the same people that left my people stranded
Nothin' but a bandit
Left them folks abandoned
Damn, that money that we gave was just a band-aid
Can't say we better off than we was before
In synopsis this is my minority report
Can't say we better off than we was before
In synopsis this is my minority report

Ne-Yo
So many times I'm, covering my eyes
Peeking through my fingers
Tryin' to hide my, frustration at the way that we treat
(Seems like we don't even care)
Turn on the TV, seein' the pain
Sayin' such a shame
Then tryin' to go on with my life
Of that, I too, am guilty
(Seems like we don't even care)
So we send a lil' money, tell 'em it's alright
To be able to sleep at night
You will pay that price
While some of these folks' lost their whole life
(Seems like we don't even care)
Now it wasn't on the nightly news no more
Suddenly it didn't matter to you no more
In the end almost nothing changed
What the hell, what was that for?
(Seems like we don't even care)

Peace Out, My Beautiful Black Brothers and Sisters :)

Old Men I'd Like To...

Ok, I was reading this blog yesterday and the author, whom I believe is in her early 20's, said that Harry Belafonte could get it. LOL! It got me to thinking about Old Men I wouldn't mind tapping, for lack of a better word. My sister likes to use the word "distinguished" to describe men in the over 50 set that could easily get it from any number of 20-somethings, however I prefer O-Milf: Old Men I'd Like to F***.

My Top Picks:



An obvious choice I know. But regardless of how often women of all ages swoon over this man he is quite beautiful. Smooth chocolate skin, that processed curl that only an old-y can pull off, those big white teeth. Mmm, mmm, mmm. He's sexy, and not just because of his movie star looks. He seems to be extremely devoted to his family, a humanitarian, educated, informed about the world around him. The complete package and a total O-Milf.









Who knew 58 was the age of total hotness? I have been crushing on Mr. Gere for years now (and I know I wasn't the only 5 year old plotting to marry him while watching "Pretty Woman"). The focal point of his hotness is, of course, those bedroom eyes. I've always hated that term but no other phrase better describes his slanted, crinkled, completely-focused-on- you eyes. Ladies and gents the almost 40 year age difference is NOTHING!








I know I might get flack for this one. I honestly don't think Hef does the F part of O-Milfs anymore, no matter what he claims. He is very sexy though. Clever, witty, successful, polite, he has that old-school charm that is completely lost on our generation. Plus the palatial mansion with a full staff on call 24 hours a day does not hurt is sex appeal ;)




Now you know mine, who are your favorite over-50 hotties?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Slackin' on My Pimpin'

Here's what EVERYONE should know about me: I'm a Libra. Sure we're charismatic, fair, loving and artistic but we can also tend to be quite lethargic. Some people would even say lazy, hence where the "Lazy Libra" nickname derives. With that said, I have to admit that it is, at times, almost impossible to do anything that is remotely productive. But, faithful readers of this blog already know this.

However, when I put my mind to it, I can do anything...please cue the UNCF theme music. So, yes, I have been slacking on my blog pimpin'. Content to read the brilliant posts of some of my brilliant friends, I have been known to neglect my little space of internet. Whew. There's my confession. I feel 15 pounds lighter (what? you didn't know guilt was dense?).


In honor of this change I have re-christened this blog to 1016. Hot, right? I had been growing weary of the Bad Girls title for some time, not because it was bad or anything, I just wanted to find a name that was more mature. You know, get my grown woman on and all that. 1016 is simple and indicative, like that Usher album 9701. But BG's don't worry, the content, I assure you, will stay the same ;)

*Whitney*


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Needles Are Fun!


I've been getting acupuncture, the centuries old Chinese medical treatment that involves (inhale deeply) long needles puncturing your skin. Devotees have sworn by the treatment's ability to solve everything from infertility (see Sex and the City Season 6) to an addiction to smoking.

I went to help with weight loss and I have to admit that it is slightly effective. But, I've learned that there is NO cure-all. Losing weight takes determination to change and dedication to an effective plan, above all. But I'm all about study guides and I think that all of that needling is just that. I've lost 4 pounds to date. I WILL lose more.

How does it work? The first time I went I reclined on a typical doctor's office bed and bared my tummy. Three ultra-long needles were stuck into my stomach before I even realized the process had started. The doctor turned off the light, flicked on what must have been the official Mah Jong soundtrack and left me alone for almost an hour. It wasn't painful, but it was a little uncomfortable, especially when I yawned and flexed my ab muscles. Ouch!

The most painful part came when he grabbed all three needles at once and took them out. Double Ouch! Then, if that wasn't enough, he stuck 5 tiny needles inside of my ear for me to "massage" when I got a craving. Umm, massage? Doc, whose humongo crack rocks are you smoking? It hurts to even sleep on these, let alone massage!

But, as they say, Weight loss is pain, oh wait, is that not right? Whatever. You know what I mean.

Til Next Time,
Whitney

Friday, July 20, 2007

All the World's A Ralph Lauren Ad...




I actually just love Ralph ads and plan to live a real-life version of them in the near future....

Peeps, I happened to take a gander at my alleged blog (only because I accidentally clicked the link at the top of my browser) and realized that it hadn't been updated in almost 2 months! ARRGH! It seems like just yesterday that I was regularly poring my heart out on this thing regularly.

Much has happened since I last posted...

-I've moved from my pseudo-home in Washington, DC to my real home in Fort Worth, Texas.

-The best magazine on newstands today, JANE, will cease production after the August 2007 issue.

-I've taken up the noble sport of running...pray for me y'all, I can barely do a mile and a half without having to practically re-charge my heart with those metal irons they use in movies.

-I've actually been paid to write A TON! Check out my latest spa review here.

-The fate of Harry Potter was decided! Call me a geek, but I love that little, orphaned, bespeckled wizard. I've followed his progress since I was a mere pre-teen and now am ANXIOUSLY awaiting the arrival of my pre-ordered copy...less than 24 hours!

Woo! Feels great to get some thoughts out...thanx to Mademoiselle M for encouraging me to continue to blog about my little life!

Luv Ya!
Whitney

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Good-Bye World! You're SO Real Now...

Hello, Good-bye. I sooo apologize for my frequent absence of posts, but guys, while being an alumna of the real HU has it's perks, the world out here is VERY real (so real that loans must begin to be re-paid the week before Christmas, ok?) and Bad Girl must make a living.

Alas, it was so much fun being an undergrad (the naps, marathons of Big Love on HBO, the HUB, did I mention the naps?), but that time is over and I am currently searching under every rock in New York for a job in media so my posts will be even more infrequent.

But before I go I decided to give you guys a survival guide, for those rough BGG-less nights!

BGG Summer Survival Guide:

5) Yahoo! Messenger:

The absolute only way to contact me. I am normally invisible, as I am supposed to be looking for jobs. But if you IM me, 99% of the time I'll respond.

4) Mossimo @ Target:

Some call it an addiction, I prefer passion. Since I've been home I've scored 2 of the cutest dresses I've bought in a long time AND the most perfect Jackie O. meets Nicole Richie shades. Perfection. Don't sleep on so-called discount stores!

3) T-Mobile Sidekick i-D:

I want the pink one. If you love me, you'll deposit the $99 + sales tax into my bank account. Now.

2) Strawberry Lemonade Frap @ Starbucks:

I've given up all drinks except water in an attempt to stop drinking my calories and lose a few pounds. Order one, take a sip, then pour a little out for the homie Whitney.

1) New York Biatches:

I'm moving there. Come see me if you visit.

Til Next Time!
Whitney

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Hello World! It's Me Whitney :)

So, I'm not dead, on bed rest or trapped under a 2 ton boulder. But I have been going to school, pulling double-duty in the part-time job department, ceding student organizational power and getting my ish together for my....drum roll please....GRADUATION!!!

Yes, ladies and gentle-man, I am officially an alumna of Howard University! Class of 2007, please stand up! And, to make things enormously better, Oprah Winfrey aka my Shero, was the Commencement Speaker!

Besides being her usual fabulous self, she was wonderfully inspiring. When President Swygert presented her with the honorary Doctor of Humanities degree, she cried beautifully stating that that the honor meant more to her than others because it came from her own :)

Her speech was poignant and exactly what I needed to here. The most memorable quote came in the very beginning when she told the crowd (over 27,000 including visitors in "remote viewing locations") that parents and grandparents all dream a dream for us, no matter how small. Her grandmother, Hattie Mae Lee, told her to grow up and "get you some good white folks to work for." Oprah told us that she only wished that her grandmother had lived to see that she sure does "have some good white folks working for her." Ballin!



Beyond that, she spoke of working as a news anchor for 8 years, even though she hated it. She stayed partially because of her father, who told her that she'd never make $25,000 in one year if she quit. The network hated her work, telling her that she was too much and threw her on a talk show, just to run out her contract. From there she was brought to AM Chicago (later the Oprah Winfrey Show) and the rest, as they say, is history.

She warned us not to worry about finding our perfect job (great because I tend to obsess over this!) and to just be ourselves which allows us to find what we truly love.

Already determined to let the world know what's what, I am now infinitely more determined to do me and let all the success and happiness I can stand shower over me! Thanks Oprah!

I promise not to stay away so long :(
Whitney

Saturday, March 24, 2007

What's Race Got To Do With It?

So, I am mildly obsessed with the HBO Original Series Rome. As with most HBO shows, it's wonderfully done. Great scripts, aesthetically pleasing cinematography, brilliant costumes. But something really bothers me about it. First off, the actress that plays Cleopatra is not African. Now, I consider myself an educated person and I know that the "real" Cleopatra's ancestors were Macedonians and that she supposedly descended from a long line of Greeks, beginning with Alexander the Great.

But here's the problem. No one on the show is of African descent, yet half of the second season takes place in Egypt. There are black slaves, attendants (including Cleopatra's wig woman) and soldiers, but every single principle character is white.




With Italy, Asia and Africa being so close together and the Roman empire being as vast as it was, I find it very hard to believe that no influential person was of color.

White historians say it was impossible for Cleopatra to be black. Impossible for an African woman to rule over African people? I understand. Anything great, beautiful, civilized, cannot possibly be credited to African people. The situation really makes me think about how incredibly subjective history is.
And let's pretend that Cleopatra was not black, but Greek, with no traces of African blood. Hollywood's version of her is completely accurate. Olive skin, silky black hair and blue eyes. Authenticity personified.

What then of the other African women of influence that history and Hollywood have robbed us of? The Queen of Sheba, who readers of the Bible, Torah and Koran know as a dark-skinned African women, but who viewers of the 1959 romance Solomon and Sheba saw as someone quite a bit more fair.







Or Mariane Pearl, the Afro-Cuban and Dutch widow of murdered journalist David Pearl? Angelina Jolie was chosen to play her in the movie version of her husband's life and death **the cynic in me is thinking "Producers will do anything to keep from giving black woman her shine!"**







But what does race really have to do with it? It's just TV! But, I think we all know that it's not just TV. There is a proven link. Suburban girls watch Britney Spears and starve themselves. Models see Tyra Banks and call their plastic surgeons. So what do Black girls do when they see Elizabeth Taylor and Angelina Jolie in roles that may have better suited a woman of color? Our subconscious must think that Black really isn't beautiful, intelligent or worthy. Hollywood and history have done us all a great, grave disservice.

Keep Hope Alive!

Whitney :(

Friday, March 23, 2007

Pon De Beating?


I really hate blogs that only post celeb pictures for us regular folk to comment on (i.e. rip to shreds), but I had a physical reaction to this shot that was posted by Reuters (and umm, since when did Ty Ty become a record producer? Whoever writes these captions should be shot...). Rihanna, step away, just step away. As much as Beyonce tries to play up that sweet Southern girl persona, we all know she'd man up and beat a biznatch down for messing with Big Jay. I mean, I'm just saying...

FYI: I just spellchecked this post...why do all the R&B singers have such ghetto names? Can we get one black celeb whose name won't make SpellCheck hyperventilate?

Til Next Time (Which will probably be in about an hour),
Whitney :-D

The Difference Is That Ciara Would Actually Be Mistaken For A Man...

MTV News recently ran down the drag king performances of Beyonce (in Upgrade U) and Ciara (in Like A Boy)...hmmm. Should I say it? Well, I've already named the post...

Ciara ALREADY LOOKS LIKE A BOY! Duh! Beyonce, on her worst most masculine day looks like a really good drag queen (see that overstated Golden Globes frock...)





but Ciara at her most feminine looks like a tranny only halfway through her transformation process.

I guess they didn't get the memo that it's cute for girly girls to dress up like guys (see Beyonce), but when you already have tranny rumors floating around and your sporting really long, uhhh feet, don't risk it.

Toodles (like Regine from Living Single)!
Whitney

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Puerto Rico: El Terre Del Ron

First things first, if you've never heard "Siente El Boom" by Tito El Bambino, download it now and listen to it while you read this post. It is officially the title track to my vacay.

Now, I WENT TO PUERTO RICO!! San Juan to be exact. Of course it was amazing! The papis, the daiquiris, la musica, it was all great. Though they are technically a part of the US of A, it's so different there and I learned A LOT. Here's the Cliff Notes version:











Things I Learned In Puerto Rico:

5: Manicured 'Brows are for Males ONLY:

Y'all, would you believe EVERY guy we met had dainty, arched, waxed brows! It was very weird considering the women probably wished that they were as well-groomed.

4: If You See A Street Sign, Please Ignore:

We rented a car (holla at that Hyundai Brio!) to get around the island and the very first thing that we noticed was the dual lack of street signs and virtual impotency of the signs that were out. To say that folks drive crazy down there is the understatement of the year. We saw people treating red lights like stop signs, backing their cars up for blocks and blocks and NO ONE had two working headlights. Once one of us pointed it out, we all started to notice it. Now everytime we see a car with one headlight we say, "Wink, Wink!"

3: Toned Bodies Are For Suckas:

Close your eyes and picture an island. Palm trees, warm breezes, women with flat stomachs. Well, San Juan has 2 out of 3. No matter how much jelly you have, or what various marks or imperfections reside on your belly and thighs, please have that stuff out. Do not attempt to wear a swimsuit cover up and do not even think about getting all that into a one piece. Buy your bikini and your 2-sizes-too-small booty shorts, NOW you're ready to frolic the beach.

2: Forget DisneyWorld, San Juan is the new Family Vacation Spot:

We saw children everywhere: at the beach where teenagers were openly smoking ganja and whipping up lethal, alcoholic concoctions; at the Bacardi Rum factory where everyone (children included) received two free drinks; at the club, where we saw a 2-year-old in a stroller entering the club around 3am, wide-awake and ready to get his drink on. We fulfilled the dumb tourist quota for the day, since none of the locals batted an eyelash. I'm sure the babies theme song was "Trap all day, Play all night, This is the life of a Go-Getta!"

1: Barcardi Makes The World Go 'Round:

For those of you not privy, Barcardi is the world's premiere rum and originated two of the most famous drinks: the mojito and the pina colada. Founded in Cuba during the mid-19th century, the factory in the suburbs of San Juan, Puerto Rico offers daily tours of the museum and factory. Of course, everyone gets their "Vitamin B," two tickets to drink bevys laced with Bacardi. My recommendations: Bacardi O with Cranberry and Orange Juices and the classic Mojito.

In addition to the factory, Rum seemed to be part of the national culture of the island. We nicknamed the island El Terre Del Ron, The Land of Rum.

Adios Amigos!
Whitney ;)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Let's Bury This Word...


Michael and I are self-proclaimed "word Nazi's."I realize this. And, frankly, as a writer, it would be more of a crime not to be. But as a Sergeant for the pen, there are some words that I absolutely abhor. Number 1 on my list right now? Outgoing. I have never liked the word. And as a grown-butt-woman I like it even less. It serves no purpose.
There are at least a hundred words that are more sufficient. Vivacious. Spirited. Luminous. Magnetic. The meanings are slightly different, but they all describe someone with a zest for life and a quality that draws people to her. Outgoing just reminds me of 5th grade. More specifically, my 5th grade campaign speech. "I should be voted President of Miss Ashley's 5th grade class because I will be a smart, outgoing representative for the class."
Let's do everyone a favor and outlaw this word...at least in written communication.
Love You Less!
Whitney :)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I Love A Good Diva-Off!


You're sick to death of Oscar coverage, I get it. Afterall, with no real fashion mishaps (I REFUSE to comment on J. Hud's Ghetto Jetson ensemble...BTW that's not my phrase but it is so appropo ;) the coverage is a little ho-hum anyway. BUT the highlight of the night came in the form of a true diva vs. diva battle royale when America's favorite Dreamgirl half-heartedly upstaged America's former favorite Dreamgirl! And they wore red dresses! What else could you ask for?

Now, I know they say that there's no beef, but I don't believe it. I wasn't born yesterday and I know a battle when I see one. It didn't match the great Houston/Carey match-up of the '90's but it was our generation's version.

Jennifer: I love you III dooo!
Beyonce: I looovee you IIII doooo!
Jennifer: Said, I looooovveee you IIIII doooo!

You get the idea...

Don't believe me, take a look!

*In RuPaul's voice* You Betta WORK!
Whitney :)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Hold On, THAT's who sings that song?

Southern rap is, almost by definition, underground. It's local, grassroots, regional, not national. So by the time things finally get to MTV, if they make it that far, they're normally old news to regional rap fans. Geto Boys, UGK, Cash Money, Swishahouse, Screwed Up Click, the artist formerly known as T.I.P. and many others have been around longer than any of them would care to admit.

But because of the local nature, it can be years after you've become a fan of an artist's music that you actually see what they look like. Now, most rappers are unattractive, but in my opinion, Southern rappers pretty much take the cake. More than once, I've done a double-take, like WHOA! YOU are behind my favorite-song-of-the-moment? I experienced this the other day, when I saw Lil' Boosie (of recent Zoom fame) on TRL...


















Perfect segue to Webbie, a labelemate of Boosie's. I luv Webbie a lot, he's probably in my top 20 right now, but I honestly grimaced when I saw him for the first time a couple of years back...
















Though he would probably vehemently disagree, this dude does NOT look the way I thought...Young Joc, Young Joc, O Young Joc.
























Let us also not forget the guys that obviously win the gold in this category...Franchise Boyz (I could also take this time to point out that their style "Snap" is not original and certainly not native to Atlanta as I have grown up listening to artists from the Dallas/Fort Worth region of the country produce music that is oddly familiar...but that's another post...)




























Southern rappers, if you're reading, don't be offended...it's just my opinion and what do I really know?

Whitney ;)