Sunday, August 29, 2010

How @IdrisElba almost ruined my relationship and a review of Takers

(Blogger's note: If you never watched The Wire, you won't take half the references in the post. Don't worry about it, it still makes sense.)

Let me start out by saying it wasn't my fault. Okay, I know that sounds like the cry of the guilty but let me explain...

At some point last Thursday I was shocked and dismayed to find out that New Dude (Derrick) had never watched The Wire, arguably the best series to never win an Emmy or get its due. I sat there with my mouth open giving him the BetaMax "they still make you?" look. He said he had meant to start watching but by the time he got to it, it was mid-season 2 and he didn't get it.

I cut him some slack. Season 2 was the weakest of the five in my opinion and if you didn't see Season 1 you don't get why McNulty is on a boat, Kima's on a desk and Daniels is in inventory. You don't get Stringer's power plays. We decided to go get the box set and watch. Then we figured out we could go to Amazon Video On Demand, buy the set and download the entire series to a TiVo or PC immediately. Score. 

I created a monster. I watched two episodes with him Thursday night. By the time I got there Friday, he had watched seven more. We finished Season 1 and I made it through about three episodes of Season 2 before I gave up. Saturday most of Season 2 and a start on Season 3. He was hooked.

At some point he says, "What is the deal with the Stringer Bell dude? I don't see what you see. He doesn't seem that handsome." I'm not stupid, I know my lines. "It's not his looks, he has an aura about him. Gives off a certain something." <~ See what I did right there?

"So all this Idris love is because he gives off a certain something, hmm?"

I shrugged.

"He certainly fits your profile."

That he does but I say nothing. Don't start none, won't be none.

Like dog to bone, he will not let the subject drop. "Do you only date tall chocolate dudes with athletic builds?" 

Le Sigh. Three ways to answer this. 1) Fire with fire: Do you only date light-skinned top heavy women? 2) Question with question: Why do you ask? or 3) Straight honesty: No. I went with number 3. 

"I've met two of your exes. You have to admit you have a preference."

"Everyone has preferences."

"So what happens when you meet a height-challenged light-skinned brother who sweeps you off your feet? Would you change up your preferences?"

"I'm not that worried about the packaging if I'm being treated well."

"Are you saying I'm not treating you well?"

Let's press pause. Here's what happens. Thirty hours straight of The Wire and folks start picking up Balto street mentality, conspiracy in waiting and Omar coming. Chris and Snoop on every corner. Or maybe he just felt like picking a fight? Then I remember that the SEW (Shady Ex-Wife) had cheated on him and maybe there are a few latent insecurities still lingering? I don't know where all of this came from but I was squashing it.

"When I'm not happy, don't I let you know?" 30-second stare-down before he shrugged and dropped it. 

Sunday we go see Takers. It's enjoyable. Guys will like the action, girls will like the eye candy. It's pretty up in that movie. A whole lotta gleaming teeth and twinkly eyes. Something for everybody. If the plot seems a little familiar.. it is. It's Armored meets The Italian Job meets The Score with a prettier cast. Matt Dillon has played this part several times since Crash. Broken down old cop with domestic issues. And there is definitely a point and time when you just have to suspend disbelief and enjoy. Realistic it is not. I was also so glad to see Marianne Jean-Baptiste (black woman from Without a Trace) in a small but pivotal well-done role. 

So there's this one scene when Idris' character is awakened in the middle of the night. He gets out of bed in some really tight 'leave nothing to the imagination' black cotton drawers and half of the theater gasped audibly. My heart may have stopped for half a beat. Goodness gracious. I got the laser beam side-eye and the whisper. "So he comes to your door like that and says, 'Let's go.' Do you go?" Brother Derrick loves to test folks. But I'm not so brand new. "You know what? I'm not the girl who keeps eating when she's already full." He nodded and went back to the movie. Made me want to hunt down SEW and kick her ass all of again. One of the most confident men I've ever met except when it comes to stuff like this. Thanks to her I can't let the drool fall out of my mouth. Le Damn.

Anyway, I gave it 3.5 out of 5 with heavy points for eye candy and things that go boom. Who watched The Wire? Who is going to see Takers? 

Oh - I'm on blog hiatus until after Labor Day. No fresh bouge this week. Speak amongst yourselves and I'll be back in September. Thoughts, comments, insights?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Video Shout-Out: Brad Pitt and the Make it Right Foundation

For those of you that haven't had a chance to watch Spoke Lee's documentary If God is willing and da creek don't rise, he highlighted the unselfish efforts of Brad Pitt's Make it Right Foundation.
More than 4,000 homes in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Two years later, when actor Brad Pitt toured the city, the neighborhood was still deserted and devastated. Pitt promised the families he met there, that he would help make it right. He founded Make It Right to build 150 affordable, green storm resistant homes for families living in the Lower 9th Ward when the storm hit.

It's nice to see celebs in the news for honest-to-goodness charitable works rather than a photo op. Hat tip to you, Mr. Pitt.

Friday, August 27, 2010

What do Elin Nordegren, Glenn Beck and Fantasia have in common?

Answer: They all need to go somewhere and sit quietly. Like right now.

1. Elin former Woods now Nordegren: Ma'am - what happened to wanting privacy and not wanting to put anything negative out there that your kids would read later? What happened to that? We get it, you were a victim. Tiger done did you wrong. Now take your money and go sit down. [that sound you hear is me gritting my teeth against what I truly want to say but won't because I was raised well] 

2. Glenn Beck: I'm sorry, do I hear this correctly? You are "taking back" MLK's legacy and "restoring honor" to the dream? And it just so happens to be on the anniversary of the "I have a dream speech"? Now matter well I was raised, I have to say this: Sir, you need your ass kicked. Repeatedly. [that sound you hear is MLK flip-flopping in his grave and shouting down from heaven, "I died for THIS? What part of the dream is this shiggity?" Yes, he said shiggity]

3. Fantasia: Baby girl, no. Whoever is pimping handling you is doing you wrong. You do not need to be all over the TV and airwaves talking about your woes. You need to relax, relate, release and refuel. Stop letting them make you the victim. Please take your life back and get some help. I'm begging you. [that sound you hear is me paging Oprah or Dr. Phil or somebody to intervene on this girl's behalf]

Okay, I'm better now. Thoughts on my thoughts? Got anybody else you would like to sit on down for a minute? Do share. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dear America, I'm confused...

So maybe I completely misunderstand my American History? But er-uh, wasn't this country founded by some folks that fled their homeland, sandwiched themselves into a tiny ship for sixty-six days and endured all manner of hardship so they could have the freedom to pray to whatever flavor of God they desired? This is America, right?

This is the same country with the constitution that folks are so fond of bringing up. That very constitution with the First Amendment that specifically "prohibits the establishment of a national religion by the Congress or the preference of one religion over another, non-religion over religion, or religion over non-religion." For example, Christianity over all else. This is America, right?

So what in all that is holy (pun intended) is all the hullabaloo over 1) Obama's preferred religion and 2) the building of a mosque a few blocks away from Ground Zero in New York City?

1) I'm confused as to how the very same people who condemned Obama for his relationship with Reverend Wright (a Christian minister) are now so determined to call him a Muslim. How does that work? How is he a Christian zealot two years ago and now a practicing Muslim since birth? Even if he was a Muslim (which he has so clearly stated he is not), who gives a damn? One of the talking heads asked for proof that Obama was a Christian. You mean beyond attending a Christian church for all of his adult life and not sending men in black to eradicate your bloated shiggity-talking ass? I consider myself a Christian but er, um - I'm not far enough along in my aith walk not to wish that Beck, Limbaugh, Palin et al. would just mysteriously disappear one day. (never to be heard from again)

2) I'm confused as to how we are supposed to be all for religious freedom but not if it's in the wrong location? I mean, folks do get that not all of Islam is Taliban/Jihad/Extremist? The same way not all Tea Partiers are idiot racists... right? Opponents of the Islamic center project argue it's insensitive to the families and memories of Sept. 11 victims to build a mosque so close. Supporters cite freedom of religion. Newt Gingrich has suggested that building the mosque near ground zero is akin to putting a Nazi sign "next to the Holocaust Museum." Dramatic much? Some idiot at the grocery store asked me how I would feel living next to a plantation musuem. I shot him a look and said, "Most of Texas is a plantation musuem." GTFOH with that.

So who can explain these glaring contradictions to me? Are we only allowing civil liberties when they come wrapped in the right package, at the right place, at the right time? Thoughts, comments, insights?

A BnB Milestone: Five Hundred Posts!

As with most milestones here on BnB, I blew right past this one. Wouldn't you know out of all the intelligent, insightful stuff I've written (just agree with me) that crazy post on the Usher Wedding was number 500?! 

For the newbies, here was my first post ever. This was my Bougie Manifesto post. And this epic rant one was the most popular as far as readers, comments, links and re-posting. It was posted on and fourteen other sites. For some reason my three in the morning rants are always the most popular. Anyway, thanks for visiting the Black 'n Bougie blog. Do I have 500 more in me? Whew! We'll have to see...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Random Bouge - RIP Aaliyah, Spike, Ebonics, Mexico and more

Bougie Confession... I got nothing today. Nada. Zip. Goose Egg. And my brain is not cooperating. You know what that means... it's Random Thought day on BnB.

1. I stayed up into the wee hours of the night to watch the entire If God is Willing and da Creek Don't Rise documentary on HBO. Spike Lee, I believe, has truly found his voice with this series. I found myself elated, saddened and left frustrated by what was shown. I don't know what the answer for New Orleans is - but someone has got to do better than this.

2. Since Raylene and Tariq messed up There Goes My Baby for me, I had to get a new theme song. Currently rolling with Donell Jones' new cut: Love Like This.

3. Next in my WDDDA files: Tourists in Mexico want to experience an illegal border crossing, visit slums and take a human trafficking tour. No shade, but I will guaran-damn-tee none of those tourists are of African descent. We have no desire to pretend to break for freedom or get sold into slavery. :-/ It's all fun and games until some blonde girl gets kidnapped for real. Idiots.

4. How cute are the Obamas on date night?

5. RIP Aaliyah - I was such a fan. And I believe the Ciara/Rihanna/Letoyas are poor (very poor) imitations. Yeah I said it. Lord knows she was one of the few who knew how to be sexy without coming across skanky. And she could actually sing. Rest in Peace, Baby Girl. A little flashback with Rock the Boat:

6. Last but not least: Ebonics is NOT a language. I don't care what anyone tries to tell me. I call bullshiggity. So all those years learning Spanish, French and Italian were a waste, huh? I guess I should have minored in AAVE. Check this from MSNBC:
Federal agents are seeking to hire Ebonics translators to help interpret wiretapped conversations involving targets of undercover drug investigations.
The Drug Enforcement Administration recently sent memos asking companies that provide translation services to help it find nine translators in the Southeast who are fluent in Ebonics, Special Agent Michael Sanders said Monday.
Ebonics, which is also known as African American Vernacular English, has been described by the psychologist who coined the term as the combination of English vocabulary with African language structure.
Some DEA agents already help translate Ebonics, Sanders said. But he said wasn't sure if the agency has ever hired outside Ebonics experts as contractors.
Any comments, thoughts, random insights of your own to share?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Are you Social Media Sexy but Real Life Ratchet? 5 Ways to Tell

Do you know folks that are all Facebook fabulous and Twitter terrific, then you meet them in real-life and it's so very womp, womp, womp? I've had the misfortune to both meet and discover some Facebook frauds and Twitters twits. Here are five ways to tell if you're faux fab:

1. If you spend all day talking about your fab life (instead of living it) and the headquarters of Fab Inc are in Big Momma's basement. What is fab about living off of Big Momma's social security check? No, you don't have to be ballin' but quit acting like you're living the Champagne Life when it's all Red Koolaid round your way.

2. If your gorgeous online picture bears absolutely no resemblance to you. As you appear in real life... today... not five years ago. Here's a thought: Avatar. Get you one and hide behind it. But don't use Denzel's picture if you are Flava Flav's twin. That's false advertising.

3. Fellas, if you have 900 female "friends" you are trying to holla at online but no hope of a significant other in real life. Like none in sight. At all. Can't buy a coffee date. Twitter trollin' is no bueno, tricks are for kids. That goes for you pimpin' playas too: the truth will out. 

4. If your 140-character game is tight, all wit and whimsy but you cannot string two intelligent sentences together face to face. I admit my letter writing is tight but ask me a question and I'll bet I can come with a decent answer. How you tweetin' Ritz Carlton level and speakin' like Rodeway Inn?

5. If you are "keyboard brave". This means you talk a whole lotta self-righteous yada-yada about what's wrong with the world, women, men, music, movies but never affect a single drop  of change. Calling out other folks, talking all sorts of smickety-smack with no means or plans to back it up. Hope no one calls your bluff. Then again, they probably have and you de-friended/blocked them. Um-hmm.

Y'all know who you are. Cease and desist. Immediately.

Bougieland - thoughts? comments? insights? Know any folks like this? Have any to add to the list?

Monday, August 23, 2010

New for the S.No.B. (So Not Bougie) Files: Usher-themed wedding

Sometime around 1:30pm Sunday, I tweeted that I was at the most ghettofantabulous wedding ever. I take that back, it wasn't ghettofantabulous. It was... unique. Tell me what you think:

My plan for the weekend was to do as little as possible. That did not work out at all. It was Tax-Free Weekend and I ended up running around making sure BougieNieces/Nephews had a few new outfits for school. So I decided Sunday would be my day. I had a book, iced tea and a sofa calling my name. New Dude called at mid-day to say he forgot he had a family wedding to attend and did I want to go? Not really. Wedding meant cute hair, cute dress, heels, make-up and polite conversation... in other words: effort to pull it together in 103° heat.

He laughed, "It's not that serious, this is the Ray side of the family. You're good in a ponytail and whatever you throw on. We won't stay long. You come to this wedding and I'll go to the man-candy movie with you this week." Hmpfh, like he wasn't already planning on seeing The Takers? He doesn't miss a Zoe Saldana sighting. Not. A. One. 

Moving on. "What exactly is the Ray side of the family?"

"You met Big Ray."

"The whole family is some form of Ray. His dad is Ray Senior, the two daughters are Rayetta and Raylene. There's a Rayquan, a RayNell, a RayJean and at least four other variations I can't keep track of on that branch of the family tree."

"Uh-huh. And whose wedding is this?"

"This is Raylene's second wedding. She is marrying Tariq who is the father of her second child. They are getting married in Ray Senior's warehouse. Quick ceremony, we drink a glass of champagne and we're out. You in?"

Like I would miss Raylene and Tariq's happy nuptials? I needed to know what a wedding in a warehouse looked like. In less than fifteen minutes I threw on dress, wedge sandals, semi-cute ponytail, mascara, lip gloss - done. 

Surprisingly, even though the outside of the warehouse looked industrial as expected, someone had taken considerable time and effort to transform one section of the warehouse to look like a wedding wonderland. It was a little too much white and silver everywhere for me, everything was covered or wrapped in white polyester that had been bedazzled or glue gunned with silver glitter and rhinestones but considering we were inside a moving and storage company, I was impressed. Then I glanced at page two of  the twelve-page program. "Um - Derrick, what is an "Usher-themed" wedding?" I asked as we sat down.

"I have no idea." We soon found out. The wedding started out just fine. Mamas and Daddys walked down the aisles sedately. The fact that the groom's mama came down the aisle in fluffy bright pink bedroom slippers - I decided to let it go. Maybe her feet hurt? The fact that the bride's dad (Ray Senior) was carrying his bottle of Corona down the aisle - I let that go too. Maybe he was thirsty and it was his warehouse after all.

The flower children were dressed in jeans with white T-shirts and had on Usher style sunglasses but okay they went on down. Then everything went dead silent before the music came on. From the loudest speakers ever blared the opening bars from Usher's OMG. The groomsmen all dressed in jeans, white t-shirts and striped vests with the Usher sunglasses came jammin' down the aisle. They had a routine ya'll.  Complete with skipping, hopping, bumping, grinding on the floor, booty poppin', the whole nine. Brothers were sweating and breathing heavy by the time they reached the altar-type structure. The groom brought up the rear dressed in all black (jeans, t-shirt, tennis shoes) with the Usher fedora tilted to the side. He had his own step to cut. His Usher glasses had the rhinestones in the shape of a heart on the sides.

Next came the bridesmaids, the music changed to U Remind Me and the ladies, dressed in dark denim capri pants, silver sequin halter tops and bright red patent pumps had their own jam session down the aisle. Sunglasses in full effect. Now some of the sisters were not well-equipped to drop it like it was hot and pick it back up in five-inch heels on a concrete floor but um - they did what they could do. It was a Soul Train line from the hell 'n hoochie side of the tracks. They made their way up the aisle.

Now, a quick confession before I get to the bride's entrance. Derrick had started doing something every time I walked in his house. It took me to the eighth or ninth time to realize that it wasn't a coincidence that Usher's There Goes My Baby happened to be playing each time I walked in. The first time he played it as a joke because we said how cool it would be if everyone walked around with theme music. Then he kept doing it to see how many times it would take until I caught on. I'm slow apparently. Corny but cute. So back to the wedding...

When the music started back up and it was There Goes My Baby, he leaned over and whispered, "I'll never play it again." Old girl came in with a silver micro-mini dress and clear heels that laced all the up her leg. She too had the special rhinestone heart sunglasses plus half a leather driving glove. She sidestepped, twirled, gyrated and shimmied her way up the aisle. It was quite uncomfortable for about 80% of us in the room. Behind us, the lone Caucasian couple were seated and they looked like they had landed in an episode of the Twilight Zone.

The vows were lyrics from Usher songs melded together with his song titles: "Baby, I'm so caught up, U don't need to worry about gettin' no papers. Every night, I'll be your lil freak and you'll always be my boo." I cut my eyes to Derrick and mouthed, "Seriously?" He shushed me, "Let them speak their truth." But I noticed when they had the ceremony of swapping sunglasses (no, I'm not joking); he had trouble keeping a straight face. Finally, the officiant (I don't know whether it was preacher, deacon, judge, disc jockey) pronounced them man and wife; they did all but dry hump each other before Tariq raised up his hand in the Usher peace wave and yelled, "DJ - cue that song!" Can you guess?

Um-hmm. The club beat of Yeah! started up and the whole group had an exit dance back up the aisle. We followed (more sedately) out to the next warehouse which was set up to look like a club. We were told that the wedding party was taking pictures and would be in shortly. We sat down and kept a straight face when they passed a basket for donations for the wedding fund. The "basket" was a white trash can with a picture of Usher superglued to the side.

Ladies dressed in denim mini-skirts and white tank tops came out and passed each of us a card. We were being asked to select our meal. Let me give you a clue - we were asked to check a box next to white or dark, spicy or mild. Our beverage choices were Big Red, Dr. Pepper, or Tap Water (yes, it was capitalized) with or without ice. For a small fee, we were invited to the "adult beverage station" where we had a choice of beer or wine cooler. Glancing over toward the three red igloos, we noticed the two-tier cake that had what was supposed to be Usher on the top but it really looked more like Michael Jackson from his Man in the Mirror phase but with short hair. 

"Okay, that's enough." Derrick said to me. He dropped an envelope into the donation basket and we hightailed it out of there. As promised, we were in and out of there in less than 30 minutes. We climbed in the car and got back on the highway. It wasn't until he turned on the Heart & Soul satellite station and three songs in Love in This Club came on that we started cracking up. 

"Bless their hearts, I'm not going to judge but there is such a thing as taking a theme too far!" I said.

"That was... something to see." He said diplomatically before dissolving into laughter. "I'm scared to know which song they picked for the first dance."

I know one thing, I told him to order the video. The size 30 sister with the curly weave down to her hips outdanced ev'body up that aisle. 

BougieLand - ever been to a wedding that caused you to bite your tongue and wonder WDDDA (Where Dey Do Dat At)? have you seen a theme wedding gone too far? Do share... the floor is yours.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Good News Story: It's never to late to re-kindle that flame

Got an old flame from Junior High or High School that you never really forgot? Well as long as life lasts, apparently you have a shot to go back and make it happen. 

From MSNBC/Today: Fifty years after Karen Wilcox dumped her eighth-grade boyfriend, Mike Wilson, she married him. They tell TODAY's Jenna Wolfe that they kept in touch over the five decades after they met in junior high school. They both had two unsuccessful marriages prior to reuniting. 

On the one hand, this is very sweet. Love that endures over time, never as good as the first time and all that. On the other hand if you're telling me that the person I was meant to be with, I met in eighth grade? That's kind of scary. Congrats to Karen and Mike - third time's the charm?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Saturday Video Shout-Out: If God is Willing and da Creek don't Rise

Monday night at 9:00pm eastern, Spike Lee continues his brilliant look at the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the city of New Orleans.

From WashPo: Lee returns to Louisiana and Mississippi with the same inquisitive anger that so eloquently became "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts," his award-winning 2006 documentary about the immediate aftermath of Katrina in and around New Orleans. This sequel is four hours long, split between Monday and Tuesday nights on HBO.

He also touches on the BP oil spill and follows up with families from the previous documentary. Let's support Black artists and give it a view, Monday and Tuesday night at 9e/8c. Who saw "When The Levees Broke" and what did you think?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Why Obama should just bounce.

Vanity Fair wrote a long, detailed article on all the shiggity our 44th President has to deal with right about now. Apparently, never in the history of the Presidency has there been one under this much duress, attack and financial uncertainty.

Washington, We Have a Problem

How broken is Washington? Beyond repair? A day in the life of the president reveals that Barack Obama’s job would be almost unrecognizable to most of his predecessors—thanks to the enormous bureaucracy, congressional paralysis, systemic corruption, and disintegrating media. Inside the West Wing, the author talks to Obama’s top advisers about the challenge of playing the Washington game, ugly as it has become, even while their boss insists they find a way to transcend it.
The article details the obstacles Obama faces including the fact that the GOP has decided to spend their time and efforts blocking his policies rather than getting anything done: the G.O.P. has spent most of the period since the inauguration in near lockstep refusal to give the president votes for any of his major initiatives, from the economic-stimulus bill to health-care reform.

A large portion of the media (talking heads) have decided to make names for themselves by saying the most inflammatory and incendiary thing possible (regardless of fact). The article says: He faces the most hyperkinetic, souped-up, tricked-out, trivialized, and combative media environment any president has ever experienced. The long-building trend toward coverage of the presidency and politics as pure sport has reached absurd levels. True.

Add to this the war, the economic forecast, the gulf coast drama, and countless other real-time problems the government is dealing with and all you can really say is, "Wow." I'm exhausted for him. He's in there battling and actually getting quite a bit accomplished yet his own countrymen are calling him everything but a child of God and plotting how to strip what accomplishments he has been able to make away from him. His wife can't take a vacation, he can't share a sports opinion and his daughters have to wear t-shirts without a hint of a slogan or brand. Seriously - who needs it?

I have a solution. I've decided Obama (called Obeezy in a recent Boondocks cartoon) is too good for this. He's too talented, intelligent and gentlemanly to be forced to shovel crap morning, noon and night. In a speech at Netroots Nation 2010, Van Jones said "Obama is the guy who volunteered to steer the Titanic after it had already hit the iceberg."

This is a sinking ship to which I tell Obama, "Save yo' self." In fact, I think he should call a press conference and pull a "JetBlue exit" - Step to the podium, turn on the mic, tell America to kiss his entire black ass, say "Obeezy out", grab a beer on the way and slide down the emergency exit chute flashing the peace sign the whole way out. I'd still respect the hell out of him. And Im dying to see who thinks they could do any better than him in this political and economic climate.

As someone on Twitter said yesterday - you can say all that you want about Obama but somebody still has to beat him in 2012... and no one's even close to the horizon. Bless his heart, he's out there fighting because he firmly believes he can make a difference for the better regardless of the personal cost to his well-being and peace of mind.

Just my little rant of the week. What do you think? Who's up in 2012? Is Obama fighting a losing battle? Would you want his job? 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hook-up Hijinx: A Cautionary BougieTale

Bougie Hook-up: An introduction to a like-minded bougie person.

To the 117 of you that have contacted me looking for a Bougie Hook-up to help you find Mr/Mrs Right... I hear you. And I'm working on a solution. I throw great parties. My "hook-up" parties are responsible for 6 marriages, 9 long-term relaionships and more dates/smash-n-grabs than I care to think about.  So I can at least put you in the right place to meet the right people. But before I do, let me share a BougieTale:

A little over a month ago, I received a request for a Bougie Hook-up from one of our Lady Bougienistas. It just so happened that I received a request from a male BnB reader the same day and the two of them used the exact same language style and phrasing. After a phone conversation with each of them, I had them fill out a short questionnaire. I asked if they wanted background checks or not. They declined. I put them in touch with each other.

They live in the same state but in different cities so the interaction started out by phone, email and text. It was all smiles and giggles between the two of them. In his words, "Virtually, this woman is everything I'm looking for." She sent me a note saying, "I'm very excited about what I see so far." Excellence, I told them, the rest was up to them. My only advice? Take. It. Slow.

So what happens? After three weeks, they decide to meet in the middle of the state for dinner. Dinner goes great, wine gets consumed, pheromones get to working and next thing you know they're in a hotel room doing what drunk happy single people do.

Awkward morning after, promises to talk later and they go back to their separate cities. He sends her the "we're moving too fast" text, she sends back the "I didn't hear you complaining when I was naked" text and the whole thing unravels from there.

Then they both have the good nerve to get back at me to ask, "What went wrong?" Le Damn, people. What did I say? Take. It. Slow. That means coffee, during the day, with no king-size beds or room service. 

I'm not saying the sex on the first date kills any chance of a long-term relationship, I'm saying in this situation you put an additional stressor on a fragile situation. I know, I'm old school. I still think a first date should end in handshakes and hugs not hotel keys and humpin'. You didn't know each other well yet but you both knew the other was looking for something more than Mambo #9 at the Marriott. So the morning after both of you were wondering - how often does he/she do this? 

But I turn this over to you, BougieLand... what should they have done differently? Why do you think they freaked the morning after? What would you do in the same situation? 

The floor is yours...

New design, no drama

Okay BougieLand... much as I loved (loved, loved, loved) the last design; over 25% of the BougieLand Faithful couldn't comment or access it at work. We can't have that. So here's a more stripped-down, simplified design. I've tested on IE, Chrome, Firefox and Safari... so far, so good. Also, this appears to load much faster. Let me know if it's working for you. Drop it in the comments!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Check me out on today!

I do have a post up today, just not here. Flip over to and check out my post: Five Facts about Fidelity and Fear of Faithlessness. Drop your comments there!

Due to circumstances beyond my control...

We are without post today. Marry internet drama with electricity drama and blogger drama. What you see is what you get when you type a post on your BlackBerry and hope it shows up. Please tune back in tomorrow for fresh BnB goodness... or more of this.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday Top Two - Actors

Introducing a new recurring series today - The Tuesday Top Two - where we discuss the best two "fill in the blank" and why. Let's talk actors and actresses today. We have polls!

I think Denzel is at the top of his game right now. Someone tried to come at me with Will Smith but when I watch a Will Smith movie, I see Will Smith playing superhero. Will Smith playing fighter pilot. Maybe that's just me. For my next pick, probably Don Cheadle. What do you think? 

As for actresses, this one really stumped me. Alfre Woodard isn't doing a ton of movies lately or she would make my list. Neither is Angela Bassett. Angelina Jolie has been playing a variation of the same character since Lara Croft. But Kimberly Elise and Kate Winslet would be my top two today.

So who gets your vote? And why? Do share...

Monday, August 16, 2010

In Search of Blackness: Yo Black, what flavor are you?

Although it's been going on for longer than I've been alive; it appears to me that in the time since the "Obama Ascendancy" there is a mad scramble to define what "blackness" is. Black may be the flavor of the month but no one is quite sure what that means. From Michael Steele inviting Republicans up to his "heezy" to the right-wing talking heads seeing reparation conspiracy theories everywhere. We're witnessing a crazy scramble to put blackness in a box, therefore containing and subduing any thoughts of getting ahead of ourselves. (i.e. re-electing certain brown-skinned folks in 2012)

This cycle seems to rinse and repeat no matter how many times we grit our teeth and repeat one of the following:
  1. We are not a Monolith
  2. We come in multiple flavors
  3. We're a group of diverse individuals with varying experiences who happen to share a racial chromosome
  4. Don't put Baby in a corner
  5. We can't be defined, quit trying
Someone always has to try. And I feel the sentiment behind this is summed up well in the classic Black Sheep tune, Flavor of the Month:

Let's see what kind of flavor I want...
Do I want, vanilla?
Or do I want a taste of chocolate?
Hmmmmm... I want something different, I want somethin slammin'.
What's the slamminest flavor out this month...
Let's see...
Yo black! Hmmmmm, what flavor are you? 

Let's start with the curious case of Antoine Dobson. For those unaware, Antoine Dobson is a young man living in the Lincoln Park projects somewhere in Alabama. An intruder attempted to rape his sister and the local news interviewed the entire family.

From this clip, folks made remixes, bands played the remix, Antoine got him a website, a Twitter account. It went viral. Most interesting though was the mixed response from black folks. Some people were mightily offended that the news put this bandana-wearin', syllable-choppin' negro on blast. Others were highly amused and added "Run tell dat, homeboy" on the end of every sentence. I fell somewhere in between. Antoine spoke his truth as best he could. The only problem came when a random non-Black person asked me about him in the check-out line at Target. I was like - hold up, are all Black people required to speak on the actions of the whole race? I missed that meeting. Antoine Dobson no more represents me than I represent him. And I think we're both happy that way.

Slate Magazine's writer Farhad Manjoo attempted to write a thought-provoking article on "How Black People Use Twitter". The first problem was that it was illustrated with a brown bird rocking a fitted cap and clutching a smart phone. The article attempted to get to the bottom of some popular trending topics. Never you mind that a lot of those topics are generally started by a younger subset of black "youth" who tweet from smartphones. A great breakdown of the article  was over at Black Snob's place last week. The problem with the article is that not only does he paint all Black Twitterati with the same brush but he behaves as though Black people are a curious species to be studied like pet projects for biology extra credit. As referenced by my first link about the "Monolith" above, Alicia from, took the article and turned it into something witty by creating a range of #browntwitterbirds and the term #tweegros (Negroes who tweet) was spawned. Hilarity.

And finally, Dr. Damn Laura. I actually didn't know Dr. Laura Schlessinger was still on the air. BougieMom put it in perspective when I asked her what she thought about this. She said, "WHo is she and why is she important to me?" Exactly. Anyway, Dr. Laura is still on the air and took the opportunity to drop the N-bomb six times in one show using the time worn argument that black people say it to each other so it's hypocritical for us not to want to hear white people say it to us. Yeah, not a good look. How many diggity-darn times do we have to tell folks - just don't say it. But the worst part of her rant to me was the phrase: 
And what I just heard from Jade is a lot of what I hear from black-think...
I had a minor aneurysm reading that. Just what in the holy hell is "black-think"? To me, the idea that there is a group "black-think" ideology that each and every person included in the race subscribes to makes me absolutely crazy. Seriously? In 2010, we still need to say some of us play chess, some play bidwhist? Some like T.I., some like Tchaikovsky? Someone is still letting a phrase like "black-think" fall out of their mouths? In Public? On a syndicated radio show? Arrgh. Makes me wanna holla, throw up both my hands.

So let me just say it one mo' gin as clearly as I possibly can: Blackness is not a state of mind or a state of being, it's a skin-tone or a genetic marker. You can no more group us all into one pot than you can distinguish raindrops during a torrential downpour. To attempt to do so is futile, serves no one and just reveals an appalling lack of intellect. 

Who can tell me what "black-think" is? Do share your thoughts, feelings, comments on all of the above... the floor is yours.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

New design, new drama part II

Okay, the new blog design is up but I already know there are issues with my Disqus (comments) integration. If you're having drama loading, adding comments, etc please (try) entering in comments below or email me or send me a tweet as @OneChele. Be sure and include your platform (IE, Chrome, Firefox, Safari) and operating system.

How's it looking?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday Video Shout-Out: Fall Shows - will/won't watch

Gearing up for fall TV. I talked briefly about a few shows featuring people of color that I'll take a look at. Let's see what else is out there.

Well, I'll watch anything with Jimmy Smits. This is at least worth a glance:

This gets a look:

I like Matthew Perry and James Lesure but I don't know about this one:

Won't be watching:

Seriously won't be watching:

Any have recommendations for the new season? Anything look good?

Friday, August 13, 2010

This letter is a thing that makes me go "Huh?"

As many of you know Carolyn Edgar, Yvonne Bynoe and I have been conducting a Summer Series on Blog Talk Radio. We had a show this past Wednesday. For the most part, the show was well received. We had about 15 people in the chat room, 114 people listening live and since the show aired we've had over 450 listens and downloads. The link to listen is on the left sidebar. Anyway, as I'm scanning my email Thursday night, I ran across this little bit of goodness:
OneChele, Carolyn & Yvonne, 
I listened to your radio show Wednesday night and I was really disappointed that you are encouraging people to leave their wives and husbands. AND you seemed to be laughing about it.

If the three of you want to push your lonely lesbo agenda, I don’t think you should market it as empowering women to be their best selves. Carolyn was a little too happy to tell stories about emasculating her ex-husband, Yvonne seemed angry and I guess Michele is way too stuck-up and old-fashioned for this century.

Good luck,
Woman Not Impressed in Sedona
Can someone explain to me what a lonely lesbo agenda is? I forwarded the email to Carolyn and Yvonne. We cracked up. If y'all could only hear the conversations we have before the show goes live... Anyway, Carolyn has decided to abandon the law and start an all-girl rock band called The Lonely Lesbo Agenda. Okay, she was joking but wouldn't that be a cool name? All jokes aside, let me respond to Sedona Sister...

Hey there,
Carolyn, Yvonne and I carefully reviewed your finely-worded letter and try as we might, we cannot find a polite way to tell you to kick rocks. Did you even listen to the show? We responded to seven or eight questions that had been sent in. One was from a woman whose man stole from her, another was from a guy who moved cross-country to live with a woman he didn't know, another woman expected advice on how to be a Sugar Mama. So yes, to those folks we told them to break for the border and not look back.
Might I respectfully request that you read any (or all) of our blogs or tweets or in fact just listen the whole show before deciding who and what we are. Yvonne is rarely angry (though she was irritated by the Sugar Mama question). Carolyn saying her ex-husband was not on her mortgage was not emasculating - it was practical. She lives in New York City. Do you personally know her ex? And as for me... stuck-up? Not hardly. Bougie and selective, yes. Old-fashioned? Well, if by that you mean adhering to some traditional gender roles? Okay, you got me. I own pearls. Mea culpa. 
But hey, glad you enjoyed the life lessons... too bad they didn't sink in. We had an entire section after the music break about how we were speaking from our personal experiences and coming from a place of love. At any rate, we thank you for the listen and especially thank you for the letter. It was one of the most entertaining things I read all week. And I've had quite the week. 
Michele (on behalf of Carolyn and Yvonne as well)

BougieLand, have you ever had someone assume things about you that were just so way off-base you had no idea how to respond to it? Why do people feel the need to vent this way? Those who listened to the show have any thoughts to share? Who else is looking forward to wrapping up this week? 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Overheard at the next table: "Oil Change Sex"

(Disclaimer - y'all know I do not like to talk about sex but this overheard conversation gave me pause. Tell me what you think.)

New Dude and I caught a bite to eat with some of his sane, less dramatic friends. Six of us sitting around a table. Lovely restaurant, upscale neighborhood, dimmed decor, quiet low-key jazz piped in the background. The company was great, food was excellent and a good time was being had by all.

Somewhere in between salad and entrĂ©e, a couple came in and sat at the table next to ours. I put them in their late twenties, early thirties. She was a red-head, waif-thin in a dress that would have been gorgeous if she was fifteen pounds heavier. He was straight out of the Banana Republic catalog and had a death grip on his iPhone which he checked every minute or so. The tension around the two of them was thick. She ordered a bottle (not a glass) of chardonnay and he ordered a double scotch neat. Day-um! They proceeded to sit in chilly silence while we probably annoyed the hell out of them with our laughing and easy conversation.

During a lull while we were waiting for the check to be brought back, she (had by now emptied the wine bottle) said in a loud whisper, "Can you put the damn phone down for ten minutes and talk to me?"

"What do you want to talk about?" He asked not looking up from the phone.

"Us, that's what we came out to talk about right?" Her voice was kinda whiny.

We start shifting around a little uncomfortable to be cast in the role of witnesses. Really, do you go out to a public restaurant to talk about your relationship? Really? Only if you think the conversation is going to go well. And I suspected theirs wasn't.

"What about us? That we don't really like each other anymore and the sex is terrible?" Wow no softening of the blow, just right out there with it.

"Terrible how? You seem happy."

"Not terrible. Adequate. It's oil change sex."

By this time we weren't even pretending not to listen. She said, "What are you talking about?"

"Oil change sex - it has to be done for maintenance but we put it off as long as possible. We grumble on the way, wait impatiently for it to be over, pay the bill and get out of there as soon as possible. Oil change sex."

"Can you lower your voice, please?" She glanced over at us and we looked away.

One of the guys at our table said under his breath, "Ouch."

New Dude said, "That's harsh."

The other woman at our table said, "Sounds empty and painful. Why bother?"

The third woman shrugged and said, "It happens." The guy with her sent a side-eye and she added, "Oh, not with you!" Uh-oh. 

Never have you seen people so happy to grab a receipt and scatter. Talk about awkward. 

I recall once telling an S.O. that I didn't want to be treated like something on his "to-do" list. Work out - check. Buy groceries - check. Do girlfriend - check. No thank you. Some things should be done well and with enthusiasm or not done at all. In my humble opinion.

Me and a friend of mine had a conversation recently about Happy Meal/Snack Pak sex - just enough to tide you over but not enough to fully satisfy.  You wouldn't want that all the time but every now and then, it hits the spot. (pun intended)

What say you, BougieLand? "Oil change sex": worth it, not worth it? Why do it? Do you talk about it? (At a restaurant?!) Happy Meal/Snack Pak sex - bueno or no bueno? I'm curious as to your thoughts, comments, opinions. Oh um, try and keep it PG-13 we have folks reading from work.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How do you "tame" an unrepentant playboy?

No, not the start of another uber-dramatic BougieTale. This is the question I'm struggling to answer as I prepare to flesh out my outline for my third book. For those of you who read Heard It All Before, I introduced a character named Beau. Beau is a natural born charmer who has skated by on looks, charm and his talent for making women very, very happy. My third book will be about the redemption of Beau. Brother Beau brings to mind this classic hip hop/ R&B song from the late Big Pun and Joe (How hard did I have to search for the safe-for-work version? Whew!):

Anyway, I need to kick-start my brain so I'm throwing it out to BougieLand. If I use your idea in Book Three (as yet untitled), you will get a shout out in the acknowledgements and my unwavering thanks. So I ask, besides "the love of a good woman" - what makes a player stop playing? Can he ever fully "reform", turn in the playa card for good? Thoughts, comments, insights.

The floor is yours...

Tonight on Blog Talk Radio: Roadblocks, Ruffnecks, Detours and Drama

Join me, Yvonne Bynoe and Carolyn Edgar for Episode 4 of the Diva Summer Series. 8:00 pm central/ 9:00 pm eastern time. To listen in, go to You can also call in at (646) 378-1171.

One thing you will find is that the closer you get to achieving your goal, the more obstacles will appear in your path. Setbacks in the form of financial challenges, relationship drama, family meddling or peer rivalry will appear out of no where. Join us as we discuss how to get past it and keep pushing. 

We're also answering questions, we had quite a few sent in. Much to our delight, someone already called me unrealistic, called Carolyn sexist and asked Yvonne for Sugar Mama advice... we are thrilled we are getting through to folks on how to elevate their game. :-/

If you have questions you want answered, drop them into the comments below or email me at or call in!

Yvonne Bynoe is the creator of Her mission is to teach professional women how to go from being underpaid to earning their worth. Carolyn Edgar is a New York City lawyer and writer. She is a frequent speaker on legal career and workplace issues, and writes about single motherhood and divorce on her blog Come join the Divas while we talk about life, love, health, wealth, music, men... to name a few. See you there!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Soap Opera continues: B & E, Brawls and Bullshiggity (part 2)

When last we chatted, New Dude's Ex-Wife and soon-to-be-Ex-Best Friend had broken into his home for reasons unknown. Words were exchanged followed by punches and next thing you know some of North Texas' finest were at the front door. Let's continue...

All four officers and a sergeant came inside. They saw a chick that looked like a hooker (but is actually a vice president at a bank) sitting on a sofa, one black man bleeding from his nose and mouth, the black man that opened the door flexing his fist, and a paint splattered chick in a t-shirt that read “Black by Birth, Bougie by choice” sitting at the the bar gulping wine with her laptop open.

“Good Evening everybody, does somebody want to tell me what is going here?” Said the last officer to enter the room. He looked at me, I looked back and we started laughing. “Michele RealLastNameHere – is that you? Oh my God, I haven’t seen you in 20 years. Look at you, give me a hug.”

Yep, I went to high school with Sergeant McHottie (We’ll call him Bryant) I had the biggest crush on him back in the day. He was the cool white dude that hung with all the black folks. Bluest eyes, wavy brown hair, blingy white smile, kind of JFK Jr hot. We sat next to each other in two classes and I recalled that we got busted for passing notes in homeroom.  He passed me the lyrics to Erotic City and as punishment, I was forced to get up and read them out loud. Not my proudest day. He had even come to University of Texas for a semester and there was a moment when we kinda  sorta thought about maybe hooking up but I don’t remember why that didn't happen. The next semester he transferred to TCU. 

Now he was in New Dude’s living room. I jumped up and gave him a huge hug. Over his shoulder I saw New Dude raise a brow like, “Seriously are you hugged up on po-po right now?” I patted Bryant’s shoulder one last time and took a step back. “Hey.”

“You look really well, did you ever marry –"

I cut him off, no need to go all there. “How’s Suzie?” He had married a cheerleader and Miss Texas runner-up.

“Oh we divorced a few years back, two kids, you know the drill.”

Now everyone else was looking hella uncomfortable so he cleared his throat. “Why don’t you tell me what happened?”

“Why does she get to tell her side of the sorry, she’s brand new anyway. She doesn't even belong here!” SEW commenced to mouthing off and those of us that live in Texas give her the big eyes. This is TEXAS, sweetie. We don’t talk back to law round here. We smile pretty and say, “Thank you Officer.”

McHottie told his dude to calm her down and turned back to me. “So who lives here and what’s going on?”

I recounted the tale as I saw it. At one point Bryant interrupted to ask, “Wait, your boyfriend’s ex-wife is a stripper?”

SEW lost it and started cursing and threatening to fight folks. Vince tried to intervene. She and Vince ended up in handcuffs, New Dude was handing out beer to the officers and came over to sit down right next to me. 

Bryant said, “So Michele, it’s up to you. We can haul them off for breaking and entering, disturbing the peace, assault, the whole nine or we write this up as a public nuisance call and bury it. Up to you.”

Ooo-wee. You know the cartoon where the devil is on one shoulder and the angel on the other? I felt just like that. High road? Low road? What to do, what to do? Send old girl to the pokey wearing an ace bandage and a bandana? So. Very. Tempting. New Dude put his hand on my thigh, “Up to you.”

“I want that key back.” I announced. Everybody nodded. “And you and I are going to have to talk about your friendships.”

“You’re the only friend I have in this room.” True dat.

I turned back Bryant, “Okay, just write it up and send them on their way.”

Derrick said, “I want a copy of the citation.”

As they were being ushered out, Derrick got the key back from Vince and announced, "You know you don't need to come back, right?" Vince tried to argue but Derrick shut him down. Then he looked over at SEW. “And you might wanna re-think that transfer.”

She went all blinky eyed – “What?”

“I can go over your head and have it stopped, seeing as how I’m holding a copy of a police report with your name on it in my hands or you can go in and tell them you changed your mind. You either want to continue working or is it more important for you to hang around here effing up other people's lives?”

Oh damn, not the blackmail!? New Dude was all parts of testosterone laden this evening. I started to get up and happy dance but I held it back. SEW just flung her hair around and walked out behind Vince. 

Bryant said, “Michele, can you walk outside with me for a minute?” He and New Dude exchanged the ‘don’t start none, won’t be none’ look.


We weren’t even out the door two steps when he said, “You okay here? I don’t like him for you.”

Le Sigh. “I'm fine. Why?”

“You can tell a man by the friends he keeps and I don’t like his friends. Not at all. With the exception of you, he made some poor choices.”

Food for thought, though these were friends he'd made over fifteen years ago. “Thanks for your help tonight. I wish I’d seen you under better circumstances.”

“Well you can.” He handed me his card and leaned in a little, lowering his voice. “My cell’s on the back, give me a call. We’ll catch up or whatever.”

I kinda blinked like – what just happened right there? He smiled and backed away towards his car. “Y’all have a nice night, ya hear?”

I turned back towards the door where New Dude was standing with his hands on his hips and a scowl on his face. “What was that about?”

“No sir, don’t bring it here. Not after your half naked ex showed up trying to get her freak on.”

He shook his head, “What the hell was that outfit?”

“Why are you asking me?” We walked back in the house and shut the door.

“Are we going to fight? If so, let's get it in now. Because I’m tired and hot.”

“You seem a bit tense and on edge too. Does your hand hurt?”

“Hurts like hell, hard-headed bastard.” (he used some words stronger than bastard)

“Aw, were you in there fighting for my honor?”

“Among other things. It was probably a long damn time coming. Gotta call a locksmith in the morning, apologize to my nosy-assed neighbors. It's been a long day. Can a brother get some love?”

I sent him the side-eye, he ain't slick. “We’ll see what we can do."

Here endeth the portion of the tale that I shall be sharing on this here blog. I suspect I've just made two enemies for life and as we know, evil never dies it multiplies. I'm cautiously optimistic that the worst of the drama is behind us. Contrary to these blog revelations, I prefer life on the calm plateaus not up on the mountains or down in the valleys. Here's hoping for some plateau time.

So what say you BougieLand? Do share thoughts, comments, insights.


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