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All posts for the month March, 2012

My Lame Ass Movie Review

Published March 31, 2012 by Sandee

 

Wanna know in what movie white folks say ‘nigger’ five-hundred and ninety-nine thousand times?  In Tennessee Williams’ ‘Baby Doll’.  The black people sit around playing blues on harmonica, propped on trees, shaking their idle heads at crazy ‘ol white folks.  Carl Malden’s character is the big fool in the movie.  Eli Wallach is in it too, a Jew playing an Italian, or a ‘wop’, as is also loosely expressed in the movie.  Carol Baker (one of those sexy flat-chested woman I refer to in my other blog) is Baby Doll.  All three — great actors.

And I fucking loved this movie!   It’s well-acted and has a great script.  It’s risqué, original and more importantly genuine.  There’s an underlying context with all of these black folks in the periphery.  They’re a running commentary on the idiocy that occurs in the film.  And their presence is 100% authentic.  I don’t give a flyin’ fuck about the prolific use of the word nigger – in that region in that era, this is the way that the people spoke.  In the movie there are some blacks in action, working, but mostly they just sit around looking simple.  But there are white folks sitting around looking just as simple.  Oh my, and what about that character, Aunt Rose Comfort?  If she isn’t simple, I don’t know what simple is.  Boy, she was a trip!  And Carl Malden’s buffoonish character (buffoon, my favorite word) could certainly be labeled a smear on southern-hood for those quick to say something’s a stereotype.

In the context of the movie it all works.  But this kind of language, ill-placed in a badly constructed film would be offensive.  Which brings me to the pretentious director, Madonna’s ex, whasisname, uh, Ritchie, Richard, oh yes, Guy Ritchie… Yes, Guy Ritchie and Madonna please beat me over the head with the “ironic” idea that you’re so hip and naughty by going to a Halloween party in a priest and nun costume – come on.  I’m afraid so many people are blinded by what they think they should like, and by media trends, that they thought it was hip.

Guy Ritchie’s movie, ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ did everything it could to cover up the fact that he really wanted to say that black people are stupid, disorganized and not even smart enough to pull off a crime.  I saw it so long ago that I don’t remember the whole thing, besides, it was a piece of shit.  My boyfriend and I looked at each other at one point and shook our heads.  I said, “We should leave,” he agreed, and we left in the middle of it.  Now, THIS is a movie black folks should be offended by.  Guy Ritchie, this kind of a person is the scariest kind.  After this movie, and knowing that Guy Ritchie operates from a place of entitlement with regard to this “hip” illusion, I will never see another one of his movies again.  He’s one contriving motherfucker.  I don’t go to a movie, concert, museum or read a book to be told by the artist what to think and what the work is about.  If you need that to happen, go to my boy Guy Ritchie, because he’s thoroughly inauthentic, because he sucks like that!

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Portuguese Love

Published March 30, 2012 by Sandee

 

At the Wave Hill gallery Sunday I explained Teena Marie to an artist from Portugal.  Why?  Be-cause, Teena Marie sang the Portuguese Love song !  I told her, “Teena Marie was a white American who sang like a black woman and she was a very popular R&B artist in the black community.  She went to Portugal and fell in love with it, and with this guy and she wrote this song.”   I sang with my eyes closed in passion and played air guitar to illustrate:   Come on in Por-tu-guese.  Say you love me baaaa-by.  Come on in Por-tu-guese, say you love meeeeee…  Saaay it to me, say it to me, say it to me, say you love me ba-by, Por-tu-guese love…

“Ohhh…,” she says when I finish.  “Yeah she really loved him, and on the beach and everything,” I told her.  We talked about other things too, but what started me on Teena Marie was our discussion of the Portuguese landscape.  I thought of Teena Marie on the beach with this sexy Portuguese guy playing his guitar.  By the way, I don’t think Teena Marie plays the guitar in this song.  I just played air guitar in my version, plus everybody knows Teena Marie did play the guitar anyway.

The artist was really friendly.  Her artwork by the way was kick-ass, photographs of trees completed by her sketch imaging.  She was intrigued by Teena Marie, so she got a pen and a piece of paper.  In her heavy Portuguese accent she asked, “How do you spell the first name?”  “Oh yes, it’s T-e-e-n-a,” I said.  I’m thinking, Holy shit!  She’s really gonna listen to it?!  I’m sure my fine air guitar and song rendition had everything to do with it.  I wonder what a woman from Portugal would think of a song about Portuguese love written by a white woman who sings like a black person…

Remember in the Exorcist They Thought it Was Rats in the Attic and It Was the Devil?

Published March 29, 2012 by Sandee

 

Well what the hell is that scratching, scraping and skittering I’m hearing in my walls?  Listen, I know I’m a Halloween enthusiast (I only just took my Halloween decorations down a couple weeks ago, and I’m already planning this year’s Halloween festivities.) and I’m attracted to dark things — let’s just say, euphemistically, that I’m a fan of “life’s mysterious aspects.”  But I don’t think this warrants a visit from you-know-who. I went to church two years ago, and I’ve been known to say a few prayers.  I told management for my building that I think it’s squirrels in the walls and on the roof – I live in the penthouse, that is, the top floor.  I stopped myself from making a joke about you-know-who being in the walls, because I didn’t want to flesh that idea out too much if you know what I mean.  But hell if I didn’t see hide nor hair of any small furry animal on the roof when I went up there.  SO, WHERE THE FUCK’S THAT NOISE COMING FROM!!!!  Just so you know, other neighbors have heard it too – so it wouldn’t be just me who’s targeted to be his personal minion.  Hey look, like in the movie when they’re throwing holy water on Linda Blair, the power of Christ compels me, and my daddy bought me a bonafide crucifix from Italy, and I WILL use it if I have to!

I’m Late for Shabbos

Published March 28, 2012 by Sandee

 

I tell my buddy at work before leaving on Friday evening that I’m exhausted because I don’t get much sleep.  I want to run, but don’t know if I’d survive it.  This young woman’s a big runner, so we often discuss running and the races she participates in.  She’s much younger than I am, so of course she says I should go on ahead and do it.  “It energizes me when I’m tired,” she says.  “Oh all right.  I’ll try,” I say.  “Yeah, just run real slow,” she tells me.

I don’t know that I can refer to my running as running anymore, it’s more like jogging these days.  As years pass, I get slower and slower.  I watch young bunnies pass me by and remember the old days when I sprinted along with the wind in my youth.   I think with pride – “I’d beat your ass right off if I was your age!”   I do what I can now, sweating like a pig, taking forever to jog the few miles I try to tackle every week, swallowing my pride about how I look.

Having left work, walking on the path to the bus, I feel like I’m trudging through molasses I’m so tired.  My senses are dull, the color green in the trees and grass doesn’t seem that green, and my hearing is muffled.  Walking irritates me.  I stop an impulse to start whining, and my pocket book feels like a bag of rocks.  I hope I don’t run into anyone I know on the bus.  I work in the lush area of Riverdale, where you don’t find the heavy traffic of people that you find in midtown.  There you can hide from people in the throng of suits.  The idea of small talk overwhelms me and makes my chest tense up – the energy it demands, the cheerful façade you have to put up.  I am sure that a grimace would seep through the conversation and that the other person would think:  “Sandee is finding this conversation painful.”   At the bus stop, I prop myself on the garbage can, which smells like a dead rat, but I don’t care —  either that or I’m stretching out on the grass behind me.  The BX7 pulls up, I get on and think, ‘How the hell’m I goin’ runnin’?…zzzzzzzzzzzz…’

At home I put on my running clothes right away before I change my mind.  Should I drink coffee first why hell yes!  This’ll do the trick to propel me down the street.  I’m doing it, jogging down Seaman, toward Bennett now.  I’m on that stupid incline turning from Broadway onto Bennett, shit!  — This is the part of the jog where I start sweating — I’m sapped.  I coach myself, ‘Fuck it I’ll walk-jog, I ain’t fittin’ to have a heart attack’.  I’m fine as long as I don’t think too hard and don’t worry about how I look – the ego’s a bitch like that.

Four blocks into Bennett I hear the clacking heels of shoes.  It’s just a few yards behind me.   It doesn’t sound like the heels of a woman’s shoes.  The sound is a solid stride that comes from a man’s shoes.  It gets louder.  No, I think.  It’s louder now.  NO, NO!  I say to myself.  This person is merely walking.  I turn around.  He’s an…interesting, well, he’s a young Jewish/black kid, wearing a yarmulke.  He’s got kinky blonde hair, full lips, and other partially African features – I think, I know this kid – could life be weirder.  When I worked in midtown years ago, there was a black woman who’d get on the train with her obviously biracial son who was about three or four at the time.  She was dressed in orthodox Jewish clothes and the kid was wearing a yarmulke – this was that same kid now grown up, a teenager.  How many orthodox black/Jewish kids with kinky blonde hair could there be?  He’s walking faster and faster I can hear — race walking.  I look him in the face now as he’s side by side with me!  Through my huffing and puffing in my version of running, I say pointing at him, “You’re trying to make me look bad!”  I start laughing then.  He smiles and says, “No, I’m just late for Shabbos,” and he continues to walk past me.  He leaves me in the dust by two whole blocks!   The rat bahstid!  I’d just been passed by somebody walking?!  This is the funniest shit that’s happened to me in quite a while – I’m so invigorated by the humor in this that I don’t even feel tired anymore!  Between laps, I’m laughing my ass off when no one’s looking.

You Called Me a What?!

Published March 26, 2012 by Sandee

 

I had planned to write about the crushes that I’ve had on the men in the Hasidic community on Bennett Avenue, or on how erotic armpit odor is (hey look, it has raging pheromones in it, I think – or something like this).  But as I was getting ready to broil my meat, thinking of phone calls I had to return after eating, I thought about one woman on the list, and how she was the first woman who had affectionately called me a bitch.  Now this was back in 1993.  Because I am mad corny, or shall I say, incredibly corny, (okay, really, I’m not that corny) I was absolutely taken aback when she casually said in the most laid back, sexy voice, ‘Okay bitch, so I’ma call you back tomorrow aight’.  ‘T-tomorrow – oh, okay’, I stammered.  I’m thinking, she called me a bad word but in an affectionate tone.  Does this mean, like, I am her bitch, or is it a new way of saying honey, or baby, or dear?   Did she mean to offend me?  Should I get on the A train to her house and invite her downstairs for a round of fisticuffs?  This apparently is some newfangled way of speaking that I haven’t been acquainted with as of yet, I figured.  Maybe when she calls back tomorrow, I’ll show her I know what time it is and say ‘Why, good morning to ya bitch!  How are you today?  So, bitch, what’s on the agenda?’

Since then I’m everybody’s bitch.  ‘Bitch!  You drank all my Jack Daniels’ – ‘Hey bitch, what’s up,’ they all say.  And I’m down with the program today, reciprocating this term of endearment with the utmost jocularity.

Peace out bitches!

I Don’t Need Titties Because I’m That Good

Published March 25, 2012 by Sandee

 

I like it when people tell you that you don’t have any titties.  I forgive them.  My sister, who’s 18 years younger than I am, was only 10 when she pointed at my chest and said ‘you don’t have NO tit-tays!’  And my mom, she’s extremely complimentary regarding everything about me, so it didn’t really count when she said, while I was getting dressed:  “Oh my, you didn’t get any at all.”  At the café where I work, as I approached the register with my grilled Panini, my friend, the worker in the cafe teased, “where your titties at girl?”  So I told her with a bravado-tinged inflection, “I don’t need titties because I’m that good.”  Sometimes when I see a sexy flat-chested woman (Hey, buddy, they do exist!) I’m thinking, wow, you know it’s kind of cool to not have any because all the energy is focused you know, down there.  Well, this is what I tell myself.

I do have something there.  I’m not flat as a board – they just might not be that noticeable if you’re standing far away from me and your vision isn’t good.  Maybe then I could be mistaken for a man.  Back when, I used to get really thin for a period of time – I’d smoke lots of cigarettes, run, walk and ride my bike everywhere – you can do that in your twenties without keeling over.  My figure might have been described as boyish.  A woman quite a few yards away in the locker room at the gym yelled out “There’s a man in here!” as she pointed in my direction.  I have a sense of humor so I didn’t cry over it.  As a kid, the boys called me “Chester.”  But damn if I wasn’t confused when the neighborhood early-developed girl with the big ones said, “Wait, they call me “Chester.”  These little dudes needed to get their shit straight – how in the hell do you recycle an epithet like that?!

When I was eleven I was with my little friends who talked about just getting theirs after winter.  It was springtime.  My one friend — this is so sweet — she says to me, nodding, “Don’t worry, you’ll get yours too, probably after next winter…”  Well, I’m waiting.  Though I hear that there is time because sometimes in menopause they grow.  But then it would be too fucking late!

I had at one time, long ago in my youth, thought about breast implants.  I figured God didn’t program me for big titties because it would be too much for people to take, why, with me being such a nymph already – I jest!  But seriously folks, I learned not to give a damn, which is the attitude most older people have to take about shortcomings, because we’ve reluctantly accepted that we don’t have a @#*! choice anyway!  Dad told me not to get breast implants.  He said that I needed to surround myself with different types of people and to expand my mind and to be more creative about the way that I perceived myself – I really only just added that last part – because it seemed to be in the gist of what he was saying anyway.

The titty-less thing happened when I put a curse on myself.  When I was 11, I told my cousin Nay Nay that when I turned13 like she was then, mine would be bigger than hers.  Somebody shoulda tol’ me — could this not be more hilarious?!  My cousin didn’t let me live that one down for a while!  I guess my cousin could say that karma’s a bitch, but I’ve got another word to the wise for the prepubescent girls of America – okay now look this up – it’s hubris!

Subway Car Break Dancing Hate

Published March 24, 2012 by Sandee

 

Hey, I’m all for self-empowerment.  I like the mindset of the entrepreneur, especially the young entrepreneurs on the train, the ones selling candy, the comedians, those a capella guys.  At times the entertainment value of these performances leans towards the alternative — hell, I even like that tone deaf guy who bangs on the bongo with the hole in it, and that guy who sings with the two-stringed guitar that he found in the garbage.  And who says you need teeth to be a subway car performer?  The subway car break dancers, they’re the ones that I’m on the fence about.  I’m a very nervous train rider.  I have panic attacks in tight places where I’m confined for a period of time.  When I start thinking that there isn’t enough air in the car, I start hyperventilating.  And most of the cars you can’t walk through, so you’re trapped.

The break dancers, a jaunty bunch who tend to burst in on the scene suddenly, while you’re preparing to read your New Yorker.  On the A line, they generally come in on 59th Street where the train going uptown is non-stop express all the way to 125th Street.  So for 66 blocks, over three miles, you’re part of a captive audience.  They engage in lightening speed acrobatics to the chants and yelps of their fellow break dancers, and of course to the accompaniment of the boom box.  That screaming, the sudden movements, the loud music in the tight car — now this is enough to make me take my clothes off and go screaming up and down the aisle – for some reason claustrophobics like me think there will be more air if they take their clothes off.  Yeah, I know it doesn’t make any sense…  My neurosis, it also involves a fear of being kicked in the jaw by the one doing back flips to ‘It’s Just Begun’ by Jimmy Castor.  What am I supposed to do if he breaks my jaw with his flailing foot?  This ain’t Cirque du Soleil, but a rag tag bunch who probably don’t give too much thought about the precision of their movements.  Ah, see – I’ll bet you never thought about that one.  There are people who are amazed at the spectacle of these performers, and some who find them novel.  But I watch through fear-widened eyes.  I strain my head as far back as I can into the wall of the car, take shallow breaths, and pray for the performance to end without anybody getting kicked in the face.