Month: February 2012

A Smattering of Things I Probably Shouldn’t Have Been Thinking During Ash Wednesday Mass Today

As I’ve mentioned before, I really do appreciate the ritual involved in going to mass. Even though it’s only 45 minutes or so, reciting the lines from the Book of Common Prayer and hitting the descant in a pretty hymn makes me feel that for a few minutes, I can do something correctly. This feeling is in direct contrast to every other moment of my life when I feel as emotionally sure-footed as a buttered up newborn giraffe trying to navigate its way across a freshly waxed ice skating rink.

ohmygaaaahhhh! I forgot how much I love giraffes!! I want to eat her face!

But as much as I like the stillness that happens under some rocking gothic arches, I can’t shut off my daydreamy brain entirely. And sometimes, somewhere between the Nicene Creed and the exeunt, it wanders. Here are some of the wanderings it took today and what it forced me to think, very nearly aloud:

  • Holy Sh*t there’s parking!!
  • Ohmygoodness, these pews are so adorable! They only seat 3. It’s oddly romantic
  • Oh yeah, I could totally get married in here.
  • Yay! I’m not the only one who was late!
  • Why the f*ck am I thinking about getting married?
  • Is is bad that I thought “f*ck” during Eucharist? I put an asterisk in it.
  • That woman totally just breathed on me.
  • This man has the nicest hands in the world.
  • Wait! Is that ANOTHER black person in here? Serves me right, I didn’t check the memo.
  • Coffee. Please. Coffee.
  • I would have made an awesome altar girl!
  • You know, $1200 to rent a sloth for a day really isn’t that bad.
  • Awww, I like having my face touched. Should I have not worn bangs today?
  • Hmmm, wine at 8:45 a.m. is not so bad…
  • Holy sh*t! I can still get to work before 9!!

Tucked in and among the manic-ness were all the reasons that I was in that adorable pew. I don’t pretend to have even one answer for anything of import. But I know that when I’m there, I feel like I’m a smidge, or in Ash Wednesday’s case, a smudge closer to maybe, maaaaybe figuring something out…even if that something is just how to get through an hour or two with a smattering of silly thoughts instead of a deluge.

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It’s no surprise that an Oreo finds herself in an Anglican congregation. So click here for the rest of that story.

In the event that anyone I go out with in the next 40 days reads this, I’ll refrain from describing my Lenten discipline this year. But click here for some other Oreo-tastic options!

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What are you giving up (or not) this year? Let us know in the comments!

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For Mor-eo! Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!

Diary of a Mad White Black Woman – Comedy Central Betrayal

Dear Diary,

I have been watching TV and movies for a long, long time. And thanks to the mass distribution of shows like these, these, these, these, these, and these, I have been able to recognize the trouble with being an RBP and have spent a lifetime working against my skin’s desire to force me to like rap, be a magical sage with no interests of my own, die first in conflict (good job newest member of the family: season premier of Alcatraz!) and support Tyler Perry (by the by, the TPSD support group meeting for this week has been moved to room 304). I have spent a good chunk of change wiping the ethnicity out of my hair so as few people as possible insist on singing at me whenever Baby’s Got Back comes on (it happens) and I have eschewed spending time with many an eligible non-white bachelor lest someone ever feel they can refer to me as “gurl.”

And the Comedy Central goes and does this.

This week, the network announced that they picked up another season of the sketch comedy show Key and Peele. The show features two black men doing comedy…and not in obese drag!

No, I don't have an Oreo crush on either of these men. Why on earth would you make an assumption like heyguysi'llbeattheequestioncenterthisweekend ifyou'retheretoonobigdeal

DoubleYew. Tee. Eff.

Just look at these sketches! They’re hilarious and don’t rely on trite racial stereotypes to get their points across.

Comedy Central seems to be ignoring decades of programming done by people who clearly  know what they’re doing. If folks of color could actually display a diverse range of talents, make clever social commentary and have a good time while not speaking Ebonics, don’t you think someone would have figured that out by now?

And…fine, let’s just say that the above statement is correct. That you can be an RBP and also be layered, middle class and appreciate Gordon Ramsey…what am I supposed to do now? Enjoy being of color? Stop feeling ashamed every time I stumble past BET? Believe that comments made by presidential hopefuls about how black people just don’t know how to work hard or maintain a family are, what? Misguided/Incorrect/Totally fucking crazy? Sounds like someone’s really asking for a lot!

This country runs on self-loathing and marginalization. That’s why we have advertising and a political system. Just imagine the chaos if more people of color saw themselves “fairly” represented in film and TV. There are entire political structures built around the assumptions that Comedy Central is busy disproving with every high-quality, well-produced, finely performed sketch on that show.

Well, I hope that the network is ready for the inevitable fallout. I’ve got my eye on them. And just so I can totally enjoy a show that accurately portrays what people of color can bring to the table photograph the lightning when it strikes…I’ll be watching.

4 Reasons I Will Always Love

I try not to take it too hard when celebrities pass away. I feel a bit guilty mourning for someone I don’t know. It feels strange to me to bond with people over a tragedy that didn’t actually occur personally to any of us.

I also didn’t go to my grandmother’s funeral, so maybe I just feel guilty about not having mourned properly for something that did actually happen to me. (In my defense, I was still a teenager when she passed away, I wasn’t anywhere near home and from what I heard about the event, my absence probably protected me from many things on many levels.)

But I woke up this morning and realized a couple of things. One, that though most of us don’t know most celebs, the whole point of celebrity is that they in part belong to all of us. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be famous, so maybe it’s okay if I get down about it. Two, that I’m very sad that Whitney Houston is gone.

It’s always tricky for an Oreo, even in difficult times, to show allegiance to certain celebs. That’s why for all of middle school, I had to lie and say that no, I didn’t think Taye Diggs was fuckingsexyasfuck. It was made somewhat easier to deny that charge, because I hadn’t learned the word “fuck” yet.

But Whitney, I realized today, touched my spirit and life in very important ways.

1. She made out with Kevin Costner. I have exclusively been in interracial relationships–this is not news. But there was a long time when I honestly felt like a complete freak for being attracted to the red-headed kid. Shows like Boys Meets World where Black Irish looking Shawn fell in love with Angela (who I’ve been told I look like…which is a lie) helped me feel better. So did The Bodyguard. It looks silly to type it out, but it meant a lot to me at the time. And still does.

(source)

2. She was in a movie where black people were regular. I remember when my mom bought home a VHS (I’m old) of Waiting to Exhale. I was furious and refused to watch. I knew that per society, the kids at my church who told me I wasn’t allowed to like opera or French and the casts of most prime time TV shows, that I was supposed to like the movie because it was black and so was I.

I finally watched the film…and it was pretty good! It’s no Dead Poet’s Society or Chinatown. But for a “chick flick,” it was layered, well-done and still holds up. Whitney was delightful in it and one of my favorite things that she did was not overpower the group when they sing Happy Birthday to another character. It’s a super short, quick moment and in no way integral to the plot, but as a kid I always thought about how intimidating it must have been for all those other actresses to sing with her and how sweet Whitney was to keep her voice close in that scene and give focus where it was due. If she had busted out with a powerful rendition of the song, no one would have faulted her. I still think it’s neat that she didn’t.

(source)

I also think it’s neat that once upon a time, a movie with an exclusively black cast could be regular and Madea didn’t have to have a cameo. I hope to bring such a thing to the screen again soon.

3. She gave me something beautiful to creepily sing at Mike R. at prom. Run to You is gorgeous. So was Mike R. I didn’t always make the best decisions.

4. She reminds me of how but for the grace we’re not all parodied. It was no secret that Whitney had a problem with drugs and a troubled marriage. Comedians, writers, TV and tabloids had their fun with that and many people had a good laugh. It probably seemed relatively harmless at the time.

But as someone who has struggled with eating disorders, anxiety attacks and more than one bout of dangerously dark thoughts; as someone who can be labelled the “survivor” of a couple of unsavory things, I can empathize. I don’t know why I was lucky enough to never stumble upon most controlled substances or why I had the good fortune to not take to the ones I did try. I do know, however, that just because someone else didn’t have that luck doesn’t mean they’re bad, doesn’t mean they’re shameful, doesn’t mean they deserve any of it. Just means they do deserve to be loved the way they let us know they would always love us.

zzzzZZZZZzzzzz

So, per the fact that within 15 minutes of coming home from work Friday, I passed out on top of my bed, fully dressed in work clothes and stayed there, motionless, for the next 15 hours…it would seem that I’m “tired.” I’ve heard of this “tired” before and have mostly managed to avoid too much contact. Not sure what exactly brought on this bout of “tired,” so I looked at my typical evening routine to see if I could cut something out.

But everything I do after work seems really really necessary. I mean, take a look at a typical evening for The Oreo Experience. Really not sure what I could possibly do without.

  • Leave Work
  • Gym: Zumba, Boxing or Step (yes, I am a fiery retiree, why?) depending on what’s avail
  • Feed cats
  • Cook” dinner
  • While dinner gets a little too cold for yumminess, anxiously decide if I should read the industry-related book Monster, nurture my growing love for Philip K. Dick and read Dr. Bloodmoney or watch The Biggest Loser (will save episode of Intervention for post-dinner wine)
  • Eat cold dinner too quickly
  • Fret over whether or not dinner was big enough to eclipse the workout I just had
  • With self-esteem all nice and low, look at facebook pictures of 1 or 2 ex-boyfriends
  • Do yoga DVD to relax and revive self-worth
  • Look up (again) the name of the studio who makes those yoga DVDs and make a mental note to send an email of support.
  • Remember that I also need to write two thank you notes
  • Decide not to write the thank you notes. Instead, put “write thank you notes” on tomorrow’s to do list
  • Review 1st quarter goals and check against 2012 general goals
  • Go to productivity website to check on that one article
  • Look up other productivity websites to see if they’d be more helpful
  • Look at clock, decide to get in bed in the next 10-15 minutes
  • Clean cat box
  • Wash dishes from dinner
  • Rub sore muscles from work out.
  • Take hot shower
  • Decide to start taking better care of nails.
  • Realize that obvious acts of self love still make me feel tender
  • Watch this Tim Minchin video
  • Stop crying.
  • Look at 1 or 2 more ex boyfriends on facebook
  • Wonder if having 4 facebookable boyfriends makes me a harlot and why I never look up the ex-h
  • Stop crying.
  • Watch this Tim Minchin video
  • Watch Act I or II of PBS’s version of Company.
  • Look up Raul Esparza’s wikipedia page
  • Wonder if I could date a guy who was openly bi sexual and if I couldn’t, if that makes me a bad person
  • Watch this video of sloths
  • Look at tomorrow’s work calendar
  • Set alarm clock for 5:30 a.m.
  • Re-write morning to do list
  • Watch this video of aerial hoop fantasticness
  • Stretch
  • Look up circus arts classes again. Decide not to register tonight, put “register for circus arts classes” on tomorrow’s to do list
  • Lie down
  • Break up cat fighting
  • Read one chapter of The Artist’s Way
  • Make list of things that make me happy
  • Price Troxel helmets and riding habits
  • Watch some puissance videos
  • Stretch
  • Look at ING accounts and re-jigger budgets
  • Wikipedia “jigger” to see if it’s one of those sneaky mean works like “gyp”
  • Put on cuticle oil
  • Lay down on bed with fingers splayed so cuticle oil can dry and watch Modern Family episode
  • Find and graph Modern Family scripts online
  • Google myself to see if finaling in script contest still comes up
  • Check youtube comments
  • Stop crying
  • Set alarm clock for 6:15 a.m.
  • Fill 45-oz bottle with water
  • Rummage around for mouth-guard
  • Drink 3/4 of the water
  • Watch Intervention
  • Bathroom
  • Lay down and put The Core on very quietly
  • Bathroom
  • Switch from The Core to affirmation records
  • Wonder if that conversation meant what I thought it mean
  • Take Melatonin
  • Stretch
  • Bathroom
  • Set alarm clock to 6:45 a.m.
  • Plan and write out rebuttal for that conversation
  • Dig up old emails to dudes to see if communication skills have improved
  • Bathroom
  • Relax with in the bed yoga
  • Think about how awesome it would be to go kayaking on Saturday morning
  • Watch kayaking videos
  • Watch hand-balancing videos
  • Hope that someone asks me to go see Cirque du Soleil or Billy Elliot
  • Chastise self for silly girlie thoughts
  • Remember “Dating Myself” essays
  • Add “pitch ‘Dating Myself” essays” to tomorrow’s to do list
  • Stop cat Bobbie from eating plastic
  • Wake up cat Marilyn because her wake up meow is hilarious
  • Snuggle both kitties
  • Wonder if snuggling kitties or taking Step Class makes me seem more like an old
  • Become embraced by the sound of stereo purring
  • Remember what I really wish I would have said during that convo
  • Wonder if this list would make a worth blog post
  • Find tomorrow’s to do list and add zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzXZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
  • Wake up at 7:15. Rinse. Repeat.

Seems very reasonable to me.

What’s your evening routine like? Too much? Too little? Let us know in the comments!

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For Mor-eo! Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!