Tuesday, October 22, 2013

CrazySexyCool or..Young, Dumb and in Love: The TLC story

Like many folks, I was pleasantly surprised by VH1's "CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story." Thanks to this movie, I now know that Left Eye was originally from Philly, Lil' Mama can do more that keep her lip gloss poppin' (seriously, Lil Mama got acting chops), and that "No Scrubs" and "Creep" won't stop playing in my head anytime soon (I miss the 90s. *sigh*)

In addition to getting a kick out of seeing a college friend in the movie, it was interesting to learn more about the ladies' love lives, or their adventures into the Land of Young, Dumb and in Love, and its suburb, Dumb and Sprung.

The TLC ladies, T-Boz, Left Eye and Chili, all stayed in relationships way too long  that weren't good for them until they finally woke up and got a clue (some might say that Chili is still sleeping, but I digress). Raise your hand if you've been there, are still there or on your way there. Yep, that's pretty much every woman EVER. 

What's crazy about the Land of Young and Dumb, is that it's not just the young that are taking up residence. Case in point, I ain't exactly young (Generation X stand up!), but I'm finally starting to come out of a situation that could have been, but never was because of certain choices and wanting to believe that I was special enough to change the unchangeable. Never mind that a lot of beautiful words were said, and a lot of flowers and messages were sent, it was never going to be me, and it was probably dumb to think otherwise. After all, actions are a LOT louder than words, and I got a lot of words. 

I don't know why it wasn't me, and I shouldn't care, but it still bothers me. It's effing annoying. It also doesn't make a lick of sense. The "I didn't know how to tell you..." and promises of explanation probably won't amount to much because: A) How do you not know how to tell someone something? Open your mouth, speak and tell the truth. It really is that easy. And B) Men and communication don't really get along. God forbid you ask a man to express his feelings, with, you know, words and ish.  As my married girlfriend once told me, "Is it stupid? Yes, but that's just how men are."  Sorry to generalize guys, but you know how you like to do. 

So while everyone else focused on how Pebbles and L.A. Reid took advantage of TLC's naivete and left them broke (Beware the wrath of Black Twitter, Pebbles.), I obviously focused on what Chili's mom said in the movie: "We've all been there."

Yes, we've all been there, but we don't have to stay. 

Stay Random,


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Scandal Indeed: Olivia Pope and her Daddy Issues are a Motha!

They say that all girls marry their father. If that's the case, are some of us screwed? On this week's episode of SCANDAL, we got a little peek into what makes Olivia Pope tick and apparently it's a complicated relationship with her father, Rowan, aka, Daddy Pope, formerly known as Senator Whitley's Byron, played perfectly by Joe Morton.

Rowan is an extremely powerful, terrifying, ruthless, abusive individual who will literally put mofos in a hole if they even think of stepping out of line. Despite being the CEO of Goon Inc., he's still a father, and when Olivia is outed as the president's sidepiece, he swoops in to save his baby girl from herself. Whether he's doing it because he loves his daughter, wants to control her, or a combination of the two remains to be seen, but it's classic father behavior. Like his daughter, he's a fixer (albeit Rowan's methods are a tad more extreme),
so naturally he comes in to rescue Olivia and tries to "fix" what's broken.

But, he can’t just be a savior. Nope, he has to yell at her, denigrate her, insult her, and reduce a grown, intelligent, powerful woman in her own right to a scared, trembling child. I mean, in the first five minutes of the show, Daddy Pope read Olivia for FILTH, and Olivia couldn't do anything but deal:

Rowan: “You raised your skirt and opened your knees and gave it away to a man with too much power. You’re not rare. You’re not special. Your story’s no different than a thousand other stories in this town so you know how this goes. You could call this in your sleep. First they’ll smile, be warm, sympathetic, on your side, letting you know that they will fight for you. They will pull you into a false sense of security. And then, once your belly is exposed, they will gut you. And they will be swift about it. And by the time you realize you should be fighting back, well, you’re already bleeding to death. That is the presidency versus you. Whose victory do you think they will fight for? Whose body do you think they will bury?” Olivia: “He would never do…” Rowan: “He would never. You and I both know that he is not in charge. He is never in charge. Power is in charge. Power got him elected. I know more than you could possibly imagine about things of which you cannot dream. He told you that you would be first lady, and you believed him! Did I not raise you better? How many times have I told you, you have to be…what? You have to be…what?” Olivia: “Twice…” Rowan: “What?!” Olivia: “Twice as good.” Rowan: “Twice as good as them to get half of what they have. Sleeping with that…For God’s sake! You know to aim higher. At the very least, you could have aimed for chief of staff, secretary of state! First lady! Do you have to be so mediocre?” (Source: http://loveniaimani.tumblr.com)
Unfortunately, for some people, this is also classic father behavior.

During the episode, we discover Olivia may have a penchant for older, powerful men. Fitz (in all his awful, selfish, manipulative man child glory), certainly fits the bill. Rowan is also extremely powerful. See the connection here? Olivia may not be here for her father's God complex, but there’s a reason she’s attracted to power and a reason why she doesn’t exactly get along with Daddy Pope, and it’s deeper than just “all girls marry their fathers.” Maybe it’s more like what Iyanla said on a recent "Fix My Life" episode, all women marry their fathers. We marry who our father was, who we wanted him to be, and we marry the father of our fantasies.

This is so real for me because I too have a messy relationship with my father. I’m not a “daddy’s girl” by any stretch of the imagination. Now, my dad is no Rowan, but he ain't Cliff Huxatable either. Let's just say that some fathers have no concept of anything but the tough-love-with-a-side-order-of-fear approach without any regard for a little thing called self-esteem (Love you, dad, but let's keep it 100).

The thought of marrying anyone remotely like my dad scares the crap out of me. However, like Daddy Goon, my dad will swoop like Captain-Save-A-Daughter in a heartbeat to "fix" something. He'll just make you feel like ish while he's doing it. The "twice as good to get half of what they have" stuff? My dad never said that directly to me, but it was implied like a mug (I think many children of color of a certain generations can relate to that one). I love my dad, but I don’t want to marry anyone with the characteristics that make our father-daughter relationship so complicated. So does that mean I want to marry the man I wanted my dad to be? Does Olivia? What camp does she fall into? If all us gals who want to get married are really just looking for our dads, aren’t we just setting ourselves up for disappointment? Can we just take our dads out of this, and just be open to a good guy?

Man, they don’t call them Daddy Issues for nothing.

Stay Random,


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Have light-skinned brothers finally made a comeback? The Sequel: Now with more chocolate

Back in 2012 I wrote a post about light-skinned dudes making a comeback. It was all in fun, but for whatever reason (you know who you are), it remains my most popular post.

So, in the interest of giving the people what they want, I decided to do a sequel...kinda. This time I'm not only talking about high-yellowness,but all shades of the chocolate rainbow.

First up, the 2013 class of Team Light-Skin:

    Colin Kaepernick 
    Did I know who the heck 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick was before last year? Nope, and neither did you. Ever since he burst on the football scene he's been everywhere, naked in ESPN the Magazine, half-naked in GQ, commercials, etc. Some might say he's overexposed. Others, like me, are enjoying the view. Oh, word on the street is that the 25-year-old football star is dating the lovely 42-year-old Sanaa Lathan. Discuss and be jealous!  
    And while we're on the subject of naked athletes in magazines, I'd like to give a shout out to ESPN's Body Issue.

    Last year we got Tyson Chandler and his glorious glutes on the cover, and this year we get Colin in all his tatted-up glory. ESPN's Body Issue: the gift that keeps on giving.   

    Dewayne "The Rock" Johnson

    Who doesn't love Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson? He's BIG, tall and gorgeous and seems like a cool guy. Hence, his placement on this list. However, I do so with a bit of hesitation because of this ESSENCE cover. Um, I've never heard of The Rock dating a Black woman, but there he is in all his fineness talking about what he likes about Black women (slight side-eye). Uh, OK boo. Hopefully you weren't lying to ESSENCE, and we'll see a sista on your arm in the near future. Until then, stay fine.

    Daniel Sunjata 

    Who remembers Daniel Sunjata as Louis LeRoy on Sex in the City? If you don't, you ain't no real fan of this pretty piece of man candy. Seriously, he was one of the reasons I watched Rescue Me for as long as a I did. He's got a new show called Graceland on the USA network. I'm at capacity with my TV shows, but check out the show (I hear it's good), if nothing else than to peep what you've been missing.

    Matt Kemp

    Anyone who knows me understands how much I HATE, HATE, HATE baseball. Seriously, it's like chicken pox. It's painful and takes way too long to go away. So, how do I know who Matt Kemp is? All praise be to Rihanna for introducing the world to the cuteness that is Kemp. If baseball is chicken pox then Kemp is calamine lotion, making the pain go away, at least for a little while. Oh Matt, this would be so much easier if you just played a sport that I liked. Why won't you cooperate, with your cute self?

    Lenny Kravitz

    Lenny Kravitz is almost 50 and putting most of these young bucks to shame, and not just in the fine department. In addition to being a rock star, he's acting career is on 10 with roles in The Butler, Hunger Games, and more. He also has his own design firm...and an island in the Bahamas. Get. Yo. Life. Lenny is doing the damn thing, and he's doing it well.    

    Derrick Rose

    If ever there was a light-skinned dude making a comeback, it's Derrick Rose. D. Rose hasn't played in nearly 18 months due to a torn ACL and put everyone on notice that he wasn't going to play again until he was good and ready. Well, he says he's good to go, and I'm sure fans everywhere can't wait until he steps back on the court. Chicago stand up!

    Honorable Mention

    Laz Alonso

    Don't you wish you saw of more of Mr. Alonso? I mean, look at him. He's FIONE and he's bilingual. If that ain't sexy I don't know what is. Hopefully he'll get the TV or movie come up he deserves, and all of our wishes will be granted.

    Light-skinned Oreos 

    Yeah, I'm putting cookies on this. Why? Because they're light-skinned, and I hear they're really good. It's my list and I can do what I want.

    Now, I promised a broader spectrum of fine in this post, and I'm a woman of my word. Next up: the 2013 class of Team Chocolate (milk and dark): 

    Idris Elba

    You can't have a proper Team Chocolate list without Idris Elba. I mean, bloody hell, do we even need to discuss this? Nope, I didn't think so. Keep calm (if you can), and carry on.

    Lance Gross 
    Lance has beautiful skin, pretty teeth, a new TV show, impressive photography skills, and seems like the type of fineness you could take home to your moma. Now, after you leave your moma's place...well, this is a family blog but you get the idea :)

    Columbus Short 
    Oh Harrison, you gorgeous gladiator in Gingham. For many people, Scandal is all about Olivia and Fitz. But when they're not having hate sex, it's all about Harrison, his tailored suits and his raspy yet sexy voice. Now, from what I hear, he isn't exactly the best husband (marriage #2 recently went kaput), but Harrison, I mean Columbus, is an actor, so just enjoy the fantasy.

    Morris Chesnut

    I am so excited to see The Best Man Holiday in November and part of the reason is because Morris Chestnut is STILL fine after all these years and all his hairstyles. Morris and Lance are in a tight race for the prettiest teeth prize, but Morris has been holding it down for dark brothers with pearly whites since the early 90s, so advantage Morris. 

    Blair Underwood  

    Like Lenny Kravitz, Blair is aging like a fine wine. He's also knocking on 50 and has a lot going on. Last year it was the revival of A Streetcar Named Desire, and this year it's a new show called Ironside on NBC. Do I need to do a post on older, sexy brothers? If I do, you already know who will top the list.

    Dolvett Quince

    I don't watch The Biggest Loser often, but the last time I did, I noticed they had a new trainer that was chocolate and fine, with pretty teeth (Are you sensing a pattern here?). Good call, Biggest Loser! It takes a lot to motivate me, but handsome trainers certainly help.

    Honorable Mention

    Serge Ibaka

    Serge "Air Congo" Ibaka plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder and is quite sexy as you can see. Singer Keri Hilson peeped his chocolatety African goodness and snatched him off the market. Smart girl! Now if she could only make equally smart decisions about her singing career.
    Dark-skinned Oreos

    You can't go wrong with a classic. And like I said earlier, it's my list and I can put whatever I want on here, including cookies.

    So, there you have it, the 2013 All-Inclusive Class of Fine. If you disagree with my choices...uh, OK. If you agree with my choices, maybe we can be friends. Until the next list...

    Stay Random,