Saturday, May 30, 2009

Femme Fatigue

This is a diversion from my regular wonderful blogs...I have something else on my mind today gals, but I promise to make this one of few times that we go off course....

I heard him tell me, when I was in the 8th grade, that I am a female and will not be a CEO. I heard him say sorry when we spoke again in high school, after I heard him say he didn't remember saying that. I made him go to class because, face it, he was a super senior and needed to get out! I watched him go to the prom with another girl because she was a senior and didn't have a date. I didn't say anything..I didn't say anything to him ever for 2 years. I sent him pictures when he was away with the Army in Korea. I wore that hat because he said I looked like Mary J. Blige's My Life cover. I held the phone to my chest when he moved and never gave me a new number. I held the phone in my fist when he told me he had a girlfriend. I'm sorry? I'm your girlfriend. I gave him my nameplate because that's what you did when you had a boyfriend. He gave it back one summer while visiting from Atlanta because he was seeing someone else. Again. I listened to him tell me where he was born, what his mom did for a living, who his dad was, where his dad was, his age, his major, his year at Morehouse. They were lies. I held in my real feelings because he may not approve. I decided that was dumb and told my true feelings and he didn't call back. I saw him, liked him and went to him first. He liked that. I waited in the wings for him to seek me out, he liked that more. I didn't go to his house unannounced. I bought sheets for his bed. I hope she found them comfortable. I tasted vienna sausage because he said it was good. Sidebar: no it is not. I used to love to go to Houston's, but he didn't so, we ate wings from the corner. I felt him leave the bed when the Que's came by in the middle of the night. I didn't say anything. I asked him to drop me somewhere and he sent his pledges. On Valentine's Day he gave me candy, delivered by his pledges. I just thought that was part of the life. I was unhappy, but I stayed because we are supposed to go to college, meet a man and marry him. I went away to work and decided, on that day, to be happily ever after. But it wasn't with him. I threw the phone when he told me she was pregnant. I cursed him when he bought her MY ring. The one I described. I watched Love Jones on repeat. I ate dry cereal and kept a bottle of water at my bedside. Because I didn't leave it. Happy?? Not really. I went back. I met him. He was his friend. But we had a connection. He called. He called. He called. He called. He called. He called. I didn't know why, I hadn't made the connection yet. I visited. He kissed me. I went home. He argued with him. He told me it wouldn't work. I still don't know why. He was married. He didn't make the connection. I bought him shirts he might like. I picked out shoes. I made his plate. I cooked his favorite food. I picked up that dish he liked from the restaurant we went to. I baked his favorite cookies. I mixed his favorite drink. I blended smoothies. I ate tuna with no mayo. I ate bread that tasted like cardboard box. I didn't eat pineapple or mango because they had sugar. I didn't drink Orange Juice. I ate fake cheese. I poured fake sugar into my green tea. I took tablespoonfuls of Psyllium husks. I couldn't go outside that day. I drank cranberry juice. Only. I mixed maple syrup, cayenne pepper and lemons. Daily. I took water pills. I bought books to make me not eat. I drank soymilk. I didn't eat pork, beef, lamb. I ate pork, beef, lamb. I ate peppers, even though I hated them, because he said they are good for you. I used Gain because he liked the smell. I grew up on Tide. I bought his daughter a beautiful dress. He gave me a picture, but I have never seen her before in my life. I didn't wear red nail polish because he hated red. I wore red nail polish because he hated pink. I dyed my hair black, he didn't like it. I put hi-lites in my hair, he doesn't like light hair. I wanted to lift them more, but he really hates light hair! He's a legs man so, I did lunges. I hate lunges. He really just liked my face, not my body. In fact, he asked me if I was heavy all my life. Hadn't really thought about it, but I am sure these donuts will not help. He liked my hair out. It's hot, I really wanted to wear a ponytail. He liked my hair half up and half down. He liked my hair curly. He liked my hair bone straight. He liked me in business attire so, I wore suits. He liked to chill out so, I wore sweatsuits.

I watched baseball. At the field, on TV. Baseball bores me
I watched basketball. I haven't known a player's name since MJ.
I listened to his poems. I wanted to watch TV.
I helped him with essays. I wanted to sleep. I go to dance class, he wanted to go to a play. I didn't go to dance class.
I wanted Mr. Chow's. He thought that was "frontin' " so, we ate IHOP.
I wanted him to come watch me dance. He didn't like dance class. But he went to visit her at the beauty salon.
He incessantly freestyled rap songs, I would have preferred having a conversation. He didn't know that. I never said anything. Or did I??
I didn't want to date a man with children. His child stayed with me.

I wore a corset, the stilettos pinched my pinky toe, I wore MAC, it was too heavy, I wore Almay, I wore NARS, I just needed him to see me look perfect. I smelled like Issey, Dolce, L'Artisan, Creed, Kenzo..he liked Jamaican Punch so, I bought that too. I wore short hair, long hair, bangs, an MC Lyte hi-low, feathered like Pebbles, back shaven like Mary's circa Be Happy, and flat twists. He was short, I wore flats and just kept an image of Tom and Nicole in my head. I like the pinky toe pinching high heels. I almost caused internal combustion by holding in farts, I brushed my teeth and hair before he woke up. I fell asleep after him so he wouldn't hear me snore.

I gave him flavor. Variety. Everything he desired. Why didn't he stay?

I think Char said it best, " I've been dating since I was 15!! I'm exhausted!! Where is he?!!???!!

He is there. He may not be there right now so, watch for impostors.

When you settle for less than you deserve, you most certainly will get less than you imagined.
I know you're tired, but wake up.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Citygal Does Cuticles...Life After Lisa Logan

Well, Minx and Manes was a sure fire success!! Good looks K-La!! Alas, a week has passed so, my sexy, gold, fishnet french has fizzled...I am Bee no more....

Back in real life, I am sitting in the midst of polish bottles at my Asian owned, Latina labored nail salon in Midtown. The popular polish brands along with ROY G BIV and all his children are present with me. The one with an "E" has a new line out for the Summer, NEON. It is HOT!! Flirty Fuchsia and Perky Purple look right for the feet. I tried it on my thumb and they dry kinda funny. They are extremely matte. I will find something for the feet, no worries....I need to focus on these hands!! What will I do now that I have had gold fingers?? Well, I can take it down a notch this week and keep it simple sexy with a nice, regular French manicure. There are a multitude of pinks before me, but, like every other aspect of my life (most times to my chagrin) it MUST be perfect!! White-not too white; Pink-not a chalky pink, it has to be juuuust right!! Just call me Manilocks! Girls, rev your engines, we are on the hunt for the Perfect Pink and White Combo!!

This search has been going on for years. I was never ecstatic about a French, well, I was a few months ago but forgot to write the polish names down. (HATE that!) Then there was my stint with Ballerina, a pink by a certain French designer, that was nice. Unfortunately, that bottle is $15 a pop, I broke the jar to get that last corner, and no salons keep them in stock. Well, not the ones that charge $35 for a mani-pedi combo!

Another thing that affects the perfect French is your nail tech's technique. When I was a Southerngal, the techs would create the white tip first and carve out a nice shape with cotton swab, polish remover and a stick. They would then fill in the rest of the nail with the desired pink or taupe. With the right colors, this works well. In the city, I find most techs put on a coat of the desired pink, freehand the white tip and then top off with the 2nd pink coat, covering the white as well. This calls for a sheer pink or a nude color. As a cocoa-caramel gal, neither works for me!! A nude color makes my fingers look more like Reese's sticks instead of a proper mani! I know, I know " Use Sugar Daddy!!",they screamed. Not for me gals, even though it seems to be the mainstay for the darker hued gal in most salons. But it is still not THE pink. ( I told you I'm difficult!)

During this trip, after getting ice grilled by owner Amy for trying on all the polishes, I paired Pinking Up the Pieces and Cloud Nine. The Cloud Nine is fab!! It gives me the pearly white I desire and nixes the insane asylum white they usually try to give you. Pinking is not bad, it may be a bit too heavy over the Cloud. (they use technique #2of course!) This makes for a not-so-French vibe. But, upon further study, I am noticing I may have created a new look....Yes gals, this citygal may have stumbled upon greatness!! The slight pearl under the not-too-sheer pink gives a new look, French, but NOT French....Maybe I'll call it...Ah!...Martinique Manicure! French- inspired-due -to -matters- beyond -our- control BUT African all the way!!

**BTW- tried the NEON Perky Purple, GREAT!! It's on the feet as we speak! It is a MUST for Summer. Suggestion: 3 coats with a good, clear, top coat fixes the matte issue, get those legs lasered and those feet scrubbed and put on your sexiest open-toed shoes! Bright, but live a little! OR since we are in Obama-land and have choices, do the matte. A trusted Citygal consultant says it may look fly with the metallic gladiators that are in for the Summer.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Citygal Does Downtown

So, it's Spring, officially.  The weather in the city has finally caught up with the calendar.  This month marks new beginnings, flowers blooming, tax returns descent from girlie graces because I have no idea what the designer Summer lines behold!! 

It's been a rough few years of city fashion, especially for a thicker-than-most Citygal.  You get to a point where it's like, "Screw these pretentious designers and the size 8s they flew in with!!" So, while I swallow elephant portions of H2O and Hoodia, I have willed myself to get my swag back via footwear!

Shoes!! Sweet nectar of the fashion gods!  Sexy stilettos to funky flats, I will do you all!!  The lifelong lust has finally manifested itself into love after my ability to make an honest accessory of a few coveted clogs.  Mario, Gucci, Chanel, Chloe..they show love from my quads down to that damned big ass big toe and I show love through the blanketed warmth of multiple credit card statements.

Those damn credit cards!! Where does a gal go to be loved so....without breaking the bank??

One gal had on a shoe that I thought was okay. "Hey, where'd you get those?" I asked dryly.  They might do, I just wasn't convinced..."Payless!" she replied. Ummmmmm....

I have walked coolly past Payless, but never looked too hard to not lead it on. After all, I was in a pretty steamy relationship with Giuseppe Z.  But, for an instant I decided to dip out and see if 'Less could give me more.  I walked in to rows of the same grandma-chewy-caramel brown and the smell...What??!! This was not love!! This is where sleezgals come to have twisted, sordid affairs with shoes!!  As to not cover the cheap dyeables with a vomit color,I bolted.  Still no shoes...

But wait...there is that store Downtown, the one Auntie Lisa took me to when I was young.  They're still there! And guess what gals?? They sell high end shoes, in addition to bridge and entry designers, and no shoe price exceeds 200 bucks. Blissful! So, I went to see the new lover I had taken down on Reade St.

It's an O.C.D shoegal's dream!! Floors of color coded and sized labels.  I went thru each stack and each floor like a British butler with a white glove.  I had some oooohs!; cooed some aaahhhhs! but spat too many "Helllll Nahs" for my liking!  Whoever was charged with pushing these shoes off the truck into the stock of this heavily discounted haven must be a stylist for Condi Rice! If you like like Delman, Sigerson Morrison, or Franco Sarto fare, you're good this season.  If Gucci is your game?? Roll up your sleeves and get ready to dig through this seemingly lackluster Summer material (which is the final inventory until Fall rolls around).  The shoes are so plentiful, it feels like you would spend all day trying on. But, I looked up in horror as I made a too-soon approach on the final marker of the mental blueprint I had drawn up to conquer the store.  So, like any lover who wants their relationship to work, I went back again to make sure I hit every corner right!

I did manage to skip away with 2 pairs- a sexy Casadei sandal and a playful Missoni wedge.  I did see a few Giuseppe's, but they just didn't turn me on.  Maybe I'm growing and looking to more responsible ways to spend money and to more adult concepts to tickle my fancy....Naaaaaaahhh!!! It was just an off day Downtown!

Citygal Does Her Best Bee Rendition

No, I'm not a Buga-Boo, but I looove Beyonce!! So, when my friend K-La told me that Bee's personal nail specialist was coming to her house to do a Day of Beauty, I was all ready to be transformed into a Suga Mama!!

The set up was warm and relaxing-finger foods and wine with old and new friends present jamming to old school dance hall. After about 10 minutes or so, I sat before Lisa Logan. The true definition of a Citygal: she donned a dope haircut, was naturally pretty, dressed in all black and of course..had a hustle! We chatted about many things from how nails became her profession of choice to education in NY to the lack of nail techs of color. Everything flowed so smoothly, you couldn't tell me that I wasn't the megastar who just touched down on my private jet!

The nails are ab fab! When the company decides they want to pay me for advertising, I will post the name (wink), but until then check the photos and know this:these nails, a winning mega millions ticket, a pair of Louboutin boots and a few more crunch/plank combinations??? Jay would have an affair, act like an adult for once!

Well, all my single ladies, married ladies (and fierce guys, owwww!) the Writing's on the Wall because we are Speechless!! We are Crazy in Love with the woman and her work!! My gold metallic fishnet french got me feeling like a Naughty Girl! Now, I would be a Beautiful Liar if I said I'm posting Lisa's digits here but, google her and try to Upgrade U by Summertime!! (guilty! I don't have the latest album, clearly I need new material...)

Thanks Lisa for sharing your talent and Saturday with a few Citygals whose Mamas told them they are superstars, and thank you for treating us like everyone knows we are!!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mental Slave Emancipator Volume #2

That Show. You know the show. The one Bill Cosby redid..Kids Say the Darnedest Things. Well, Educators need one called Parents Say the Dumbest Sh*** and Need to Shut Up Talking To Me.

Picture it... Harlem... 2009 (RIP Sophia and Dorothy), a student shamefully disrespects my learning space [see Emancipator #1 Friday Fiasco). So, as retribution part one, I stripped her and her co-conspirators of all worldly belongings from cell phones to book bags. No one was leaving the building without going thru me!! Part of their sentence was to spend all of the minutes they missed that morning with me after school. One young lady didn't take her phone.

Her father called, her mother called, they called Friday, they called Saturday, they called in the morn, they called in the eve. Each time to the same voicemail! Such dedicated parents (after all a cellphone for 14 year old 7Th grader is of grave importance), they found themselves in front of the school Saturday afternoon, again calling me! My apologies for just WORKING and NOT LIVING there...Apparently she "really needs her phone for this weekend" says the father. Ummm..she really needs to be in the 8th grade, she really needs to read because her September diagnostic lists her reading at 4th grade level. When I informed you of these things you weren't hunting me down for a tutor! As for the mom, I didn't even know she was alive! ( But I got your number now! hehe!)

Now Monday, I am not usually one to hold grudges, the punishment ensued. They were each sent to a lower grade class to tutor a child during the 7th grade recess. ( I felt they weren't socially ready for the outside world yet, bad decision makers). Cellphone gal copped major 'tude. Once again, daddy was called. She complained about her punishment and the fact that I had her phone and TOLD me that her daddy said "I better give her the phone today." See, now she gotta get it! Had me get all Sabrina (hi Mommy!!) on her!! Pointer finger up, check, body close enough to instill fear but not molestation, check, teeth clenched, check...let the bad gyal games begin! I told her I have a daddy and HE won't tell me what I better do so she can let the masses know her daddy ain't saying anything to me!! Now, he can ASK me, but that's how that goes. I also informed her and this infamous daddy that I'm not giving her JACK and he can inconvenience himself and come GET the phone because clearly she has lost her mind and I would hate for her to lose the phone.

He arrived at day's end and we spoke. He basically informed me the parents were talking about me that weekend and were severely upset about the phone. Those ill thoughts from her parents must have transferred into cockiness from the idea of her parents coming to curse me out. That plan didn't go over well....

At the end, her dad asked me not to punish her. He said he would "prefer that he or her mother take care of punishment themselves." What??!!?? That's a nice idea, but for 7 hours a day, everyday, she is in MY HOUSE and her attitude and actions are NOT okay. She will be handled accordingly. If you do not like my punishments, I am open to suggestions. Keep in mind her actions and the repercussions affect 30 other watchful eyes.
I haven't heard a suggestion yet, but I have heard that a young lady in the 3RD grade needs help reading...
I'm on it.......

Mental Slave Emancipator Volume #1

So, my mama instilled in me early on that it is important to sustain the community from which you came by serving it, giving of your time.  I am doing the highest form, zero zing zing of community service...I am a teacher.

"What do you mean community service, shooooot you get paid AND summers off", they exclaimed.  To that I reply, and speak for all educators, What- the- f*%*- ever!!
Now, over the past 3 years of working with our beloved black and Latino babies, I have experienced every emotion: happy, glad, sad, mad.  BUT Friday, oooooohhhhh boy, Friday?? This was something new.....

After taking attendance, I noticed 3 of my darlings had gone missing! Out of 30 kids, you may say "Big Deal!" But these were unlikely absences from folks likely to be together.  Hmmmm......
Armed with my Blackberry, prepared to call parents, I taught my 1st period class...2ND period rolled around and Oh My! in strolls 3 little children of God [for lack of a better, OK maybe not better, but more suitable term]. They sashayed in with black bodega bags and matching pajama pants on [ they swear they are linen pants, but when your swag is on -5, they're PJs shorty]
Kicked out on impact, they found themselves exiled to the white line in the hallway awaiting my presence as I changed into Bitch-On-Wheels regalia.  I proceeded to seek out and destroy all black plastic bags like a government issued thermal missile.  And like a screaming-while-beating-parent I commenced to talk to the remaining students about thinking twice before crossing me with such blatant kiss-my-ass techniques.  

The other kids sat stunned, pencils in hand, as I raced through the maze of desks, wild eyed like a crazed discipline junkie, shrieking phrases like "YOU WILL NOT WALK UP AND THROUGH HERE LIKE YOU RUN THINGS, DO YOU UNDERSTAND??" In meek unison they replied,nervously, "yes miss Ayersssss", and nodded their heads uncontrollably.
They nodded, chorally answered my rants, and copied work from the board and pretended not to notice me winding thru the pathways collecting bodega bags, going to the trash bin, unraveling warm "chopped cheese" sandwiches and candy, squashing the sandwiches and disposing (because it will not be in tact for you to even THINK about eating it)
They pretended not to notice me float on my witch broom carrying soda bottles under more pressure than I was, trying to unscrew tops hastily while the soda exploded into the sink and the bottles flew into the trash.

As corn syrup and red dye #4 dripped through my weary, trembling-from -intense-anger fingers, so did 3 little girls' hopes of having a good day, week, weekend, hell, rest of the school year!!
The emotion that day?? Slaphappy. And no longer does that mean "extreme delight"...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mad Cow Desires: The Quest for the Best Burger

Following are the words of a bonafide city girl. Don't get me wrong, I looove to be in foreign lands, but I am a Brooklyn Babe at heart! I have cheated on The City and involved myself in fancy flirtations with Atlanta, San Diego and Orlando to name a few, but I have returned and am finding myself needing to get to know my beau once again...

I was a tourist in my own town, a sight for sore eyes wandering his windy streets. Visitors look to me for advice, something to soothe their souls in a spot that can, at times, be cold. What will I have to offer?

From this inquiry, the idea was born: I will set out on a journey to find all things at the top of their NY game... starting with food!

Why should you listen to me??

A wise City Gal once told me " there are TWO types of people in the world, cookers and eaters." Which one am I? I tried both to find where my niche lay! Cooking wasn't horrible except I felt I was setting women back 100 years staying in a kitchen that long (plus my curls wouldn't keep under the intense heat...) Eating? Well, that came more naturally. So, in the interest of suffrage and maintaining balance with the Universe, I hereby declare myself an EATER!

While there may be more important things to discuss in the world today, I plan to take a break from those worldly topics and discuss food and fun!! Of course, you are more than welcome to rant about politics and Niche over a suggested slice or that crab cake I recommend.

The 1st category: Where is the BEST burger??

As a child, my mother joked with me about how serious I was about food. I was adamant about flavor, decor and service from an early age. Over the years that trait has become fine tuned!I didn't just eat food, I savored it. One thing I did not sample living with my mom was red meat or pork. In undergrad, none of my friends ate pork or beef either so, I went along with life sampling a barrage of chicken dishes and relishing in succulent seafood until....

I was off on my own in Florida working at an office 5 minutes from a McDonald's. One evening, at the tender age of 23, I went and decided the cloud that suffocated my life, aka Mom (lol!), must be cleared away!! I was NOT ordering a fish sandwich dammit!! I would order a 1/4 pounder!! Freeeeedom!! One bite and I was ready to sue my mother for child neglect and ask for meat reparations. But if this 3 dollar beef treat was tasty, there MUST be better ones!! After a host of samplings it has been found that not all burgers are created equally, but here are a few created to keep you in bovine bliss....

5 Napkin Burger: This Hell's Kitchen diner-esque, trendy spot has one of the best burgers. Their burger menu is not extensive, but it is 10 ounces of goodness! The signature burger is placed on a soft, lightly toasted bun (no seeds) smothered in: comte cheese (Gruyère de Comté- a French, white cheese with a fairly mild flavor and smooth texture); caramelized onions; and rosemary aioli (basically this is creamy garlic mayo with a hint of rosemary) and served with thin cut french fries (the fries are OK)
They have other offerings besides burgers like Lobster Sliders, Ahi Tuna burger and sushi for your non-believer friends and they boast a full bar. The price is moderate, but probably thought to be expensive for a burger and fries at 14 bucks. You will abandon thoughts of recession once the juices and gooey cheese drip onto the plate!! I am sure you can ask for as many napkins as you want so, be ready to request at least 2!

Lyla's Cafe Creperie: Snuggled in the center of Harlem you will find this bistro modeled after life in Paris. It is not a burger joint, but they do it well. Their nicely sized burger is nestled within a brioche bun served with your choice of cheese (including Brie), a small mixed green salad or FABULOUS hand cut, thinly sliced fries. The seasoning is mild and tastefully blended and your taste buds will applaud once the morsels hit your tongue!! These prices are a bit easier on the pocket, especially for such obscenely good flavor, at 9 bucks. There is a pretty extensive menu, with breakfast served all day and their specialty is crepes. So, you can also experience this beefy goodness in a savory crepe (or "salty crepe" as we like to say in France, hi Clo Clo!!)

Honorable Mention (because it's not in NY, but if this will force a franchise opening so be it...)Backyard Burger-fast food that tastes like you came from a house party BBQ..amazing...if you're in the South go..NOW!!

While many folks visit NYC and hear wondrous tales of Jackson Hole, I will be the 1st to admit I was once a believer in their dry burger. But I have seen SOME of the light and urge YOU to do the same. Tell a friend! Let the revolution begin!! !
Whew! All of this tasting has me thinking I should probably do a sit up or two...Check back for a new section of Mad Cow Desires and look for future food frenzies! Off to the Wii!!