Urban haps of a grrrl on a mission to be a better writer, a new music master-blaster and a wonderfully brilliant razor-packing, MAC LipGlass wearing feminista...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I am now blogging at theHotness.com. I may come back to this special lil space, but for now, I'm catching wreck over here.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Foaming At The Mouth

So the other night I decide to finally open one of two bottles of Hypnotique that I was given as part of a pretty decent party gift bag. I choose the small bottle first figuring that if I don't like the aquamarine colored potion, I can still re-gift the big bottle and give it to one of my unsuspecting liquor loving buddies.

I pour the syrupy concoction in a lowball glass and immediately notice it has the viscosity of Nyquil. I'm already turned off because as much as I love the color blue, I feel it should never, ever be on my plate or in my glass. The last time I drank something blue was probably 20 years ago when I could not get enough Bonton BBQ chips and Bodega Blue quarter waters. The chips were literally fuschia-- Red #10, Orange #3 and a smattering of Yellow #1. One dollar would get me two bags of chips and two quarter-waters-- the perfect snack serving size! Afterwards my mouth looked like a Heatherette dress with a hot pink tongue as the flouncy skirt and bright blue teeth as the accompanying feathered boa. Tre chic; tre unhealthy!

As I raise the lowball to my lips this awful chemical smell rattles my olfactory senses burning my nostrils a bit. Ew, it smells like Top Job. What the hell? I stick my index finger in the mix just getting a drop on the tip. I put it in my mouth. Yuck! It tastes like Top Job too! This can't be right. Oh my God. Someone must have tampered with this bottle. This is poison! I freak-out. Does Unik (the host of the benefit) know that someone is trying to sabotage him? I can't find his email so I leave a message for his publicist to call me back asap. I'm still freaked out as I search my Yellow Pages for the number of Poison Control. I have to alert the authorities. Someone is using toxins in Hypnotique to sicken and even kill the masses. The media has to be alerted to this crime. Oh hell, it just occurred to me, this could end up being more catastrophic than Jim Jones.

As I stand in my kitchen smelling the bottle of Hypnotique, trying to see if I can determine whether it's Mop & Glo or Windex that's turned this tonic into toxin, I decide to search the label for anything out of the ordinary. I look for an expiration date cause you know, maybe I'm overreacting. Maybe this ish, which alleges to contain fruit, has just gone bad. Instead of ammonia that I thought I tasted maybe it was salmonella. Taunting death, I dip my finger back in the deadly tonic and then take a lick. Nope, this is poison fo' shizzy! But everything checks out. The bottle states "An exquisite blend of premium vodka, fine cognac, and natural tropical fruit juices." The thing is there is nothing natural about this toxic tasting elixir. I examine the cork top to see if it had been stripped or mishandled in any way when I notice a tiny clear sticker on the side of the top. As I lean in closer to read it, I literally fall back against my kitchen counter, my body spasing out. There it was in tiny blue lettering: Bubble Bath. My body is convulsing from laughter. I can't believe I almost drank bubble bath, but as you can see from the pic below the bubble bath bottle is identical to a regular pint-sized bottle of Hypnotique. Damn, all of this had me literally foaming at the mouth and thirsting over a simple night cap! From now on when I desire a drink at night, I will delight in my collection of herbal teas ...Yeah right, I'm making a Screwdriver as we speak. Good night!

Shout outs to my sister Dimitri for the title of this post and to the book Straight Up & Dirty for inspiring my own literary voice.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Susan Taylor's Love

The weekend before last I was invited to attend a special book party celebrating the release of former Essence Editorial Director, Susan Taylor’s new book, All About Love.

I thought it was special because the party was held at Susan's home in Sag Harbor. All snazzied up in a beautiful boheme French Connection sundress, I was ready to go and luxuriate in that glow, that all encompassing warmth that Susan oozes even with just a glance, when 45-minutes before the event was to start the heavens opened up and Mother Nature just saturated the earth with her goodness. But me and my crew had been looking forward to this soiree all weekend so we just packed it in and yeah my toes were soaked, but it was all good. The party was still on and we were still going to show our support come rain or high water. The reading was moved indoors, which made for a cozy affair in the "play room" of a beautiful house that sits back in the nook of a beautiful block off of the beach. Her granddaughter excitedly let us and all latecomers in through the sliding doors. It was just that intimate, that chill.

My connection to Susan and to Essence goes way back. Outside of being a summer camp counselor and working after school in the NY Public Library, working at Essence was my first real job. I started as an intern supporting the Editor-- Stephanie Stokes Oliver. But then halfway through the school year Stephanie's assistant (and well known Poetry Editor), Angela Kinamore, had to take a few months off from work to take care of her daughter. Initially they were going to hire a temp to assist Stephanie, but then Stephanie said, "Why not just hire Nicole and put her on payroll? She knows the job." I'm sure there may have been some doubtful looks given from management, but in the end I got the job. Oh yeah I forgot to mention, I was only 17 years old and at the time the youngest member on staff. I was stoked! I went to class in the morning and was sitting pretty in my cubicle at 1500 Broadway by 1pm everyday. You couldn't tell me a damn thing. What I remember most from that experience is the support, trust and absolute belief in my abilities that I received everyday from Stephanie, Ionia, Elsie, Cheryl, Nicole and yeah, Susan too. I was mentored and learned proof correction marks in three days. Both Susan and Stephanie used purple pencils. They had their own style and were serious about the business. It was a beautiful experience that forever changed my plans to be a pediatrician and totally led to my career as a writer.

Seeing Susan that Sunday brought all of those memories back to my mind in a flood. She read from her book and it was like coming home or at the very least coming back to the middle. She lives and breathes every word of her "In The Spirit" columns. Still. Please buy the book cause like me you will adore and be humbled by the various interviews and stories about love, respect and commitment. My fave of course is her talk with Alice Coltrane.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Murakami, Mommy, & Me

On Sunday my mom called to ask me if I would go to Brooklyn with her to visit a close family friend who was ill. I was already planning to catch the last day of the Murakami exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, yet I wanted to see this "auntie" of mine too so I played let's make a deal with mother Ruby and she agreed to go with me to see Murakami and I would go with her to the rehabilitation center. After I hung up the phone I was excited and anxiety ridden. What da hell did I just concede to? My mom is going to hate Murakami with his animated vulgarity. There's going to be hell to pay in the art world or at least in my world come Sunday evening. As soon as we park the car on Eastern Parkway I immediately let loose the goose and tell her that she is probably not going to like Murakami. That his work is a tad fresh and not like Krush Groove fresh, but Playboy fresh. She says that she’ll wait in the car and I feel awful. I convince her to at least see what else is showing at the Museum or in the Botanical Gardens next door. When she sees the crazy long line of folks at the museum’s entrance and the diversity of the masses—old, young, anglo, asian, black, boheme, big-boned big-mammas, and mohawked mulattos, she states "oh hell I gotta see what all of this about" and so we proceed. In the first room we are met by three different versions of this robotic femme whose breasts are exposed and retractable. By the third version her body has morphed into this flat missile like plane. It was outrageous and I loved it! Moms: "eh, that's interesting." In the next gallery there are the canvases for which Murakami is so well known- the skittle hued Louis Vuitton LV’s and his iconic DOB. Both mom and I were under impressed.

Our dulled senses were quickly charged for better and for worse by Hirpon and My Lonesome Cowboy--Murakami's gigantic fiberglass sculptures of a spurting sperm dilznack holding boy and another of a busty Pam Anderson type girl squeezing her nipples and using projectile breast milk as jump-rope. Classy.

But baby when we hit that room with the flowered wallpaper and this beautiful 13-foot resin and fiberglass flower ball it was all smiles. The children that were there (traumatized no doubt by the previous room of body fluids) now yelped with glee. It was the Magic Garden to the nth power. Tan Tan Bo Puking was also crazy fresh! I gotta give my boy M-kami dap for that-- the little details, the colors, the drama of it all. Whoa! Moms and I made a beeline for the giftshop. We just had to get Murakami T-shirts to mark the occasion (cause of course that's what we Moore women do)! So glad I have the kinda mom that can hang and who wants to expand her artistic boundaries beyond Charles Bibbs and Paul Goodnight.

Click here for more photos (Wired)

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Holidaze: Just Chillaxin

Oh yeah, there's nothing like a lil vacation time! I've certainly been enjoying my week off from blogging. I'll be back next week, but meanwhile I wanted to wish you a Happy Long Weekend. I'll be making this here Limeade (courtesy of NYAM) and eating barbecued chicken. Going to the movies to check out Hancock and Wanted (did y'all know that Wanted is based on a popular comic that features a Black woman-- I hear Jada was supposed to get the role but somehow Angie scores another Black leading lady role. Is it the lips? Dang Black actresses can't catch a break!) I'll also be downloading these soulful mixes from Qool DJ Marv while I chill out, read my horoscope, and do absolutely nothing for a change.

Anyway have a good one. Peace!

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Friday, June 27, 2008

3 Things To Do This Weekend

1.) Check out the Waterfalls. It may not have the authenticity of the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe or the grandness of Niagara Falls, but the New York City Waterfalls like the orange Gates of Central Park back in 2005, is a public art project largely concerned, (if not solely), about juxtapositions. Waterfalls with the Brooklyn Bridge serving as backdrop and indeed as its canvas is something every New Yorker should wanna behold.

2.) Check out FLOW at The Studio Museum of Harlem, which closes this Sunday. Flow focuses on the work of a dynamic generation of young African artists. I peeped some of the works from Flow when I was in South Africa last fall and believe me there’s some really creative joints on exhibit.

And here are 7 Other Cool Things To Do While In Harlem.

3.) Pray for all of the young girls being stabbed, raped, and, in the case of this 3-year old, shaken to death. Then write a letter to your local politicians demanding tougher legislation against child abusers and, in some cases, against the parents of these victimized children. This nonsense has got to stop!

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

So Sneaky Freaky

(my kicks)
I love rocking heels and wedges and especially love kickin up snow in my pumpkin orange platform boots, but really I'm a sneaker freak at heart and in earnest. Living in NYC I've been blessed to have access to some of the best sneaker spots in the world. Not like I've ever paid more than $100 for a pair of kicks, but it's so nice to try on the classic, crazy expensive limited edition joints every now and then. And wow, when they opened this spot just for us grrrls I was in 7th Heaven.

But lately like in the last few years I've noticed an awful trend that's got me pulling my laces out in frustration. I don’t know if it started with Sex & The City and Carrie's addiction to Manolos, Choos and all manner of 4-inch heeled shoes, but now it seems that wearing sneakers is deemed so unsexy, so uncool and so unfemme by men and by society at large. It's like when I wear my Pumas or my newest purchase-- the Nike Court Force Lows-Copper Pack from their Limited Edition 2008 Olympic series (that's a mouthful), I get dudes saying, "Yo ma why you being such a hard rock today, what happened to the sexy lady I saw yesterday?" I'm like 'she's right here baby!' Dang, when did wearing sneakers render us grrrls frumpy, hard and asexual?

I remember when hiphop first emerged and grrrls weren't considered funky fresh if we did not rock a pair of Nike Pegasus or suede Pumas with big fat pink or baby blue laces. That was instant hotness back then that kept the boys coming to the yard. Oh yeah! Now I go out for a drink at The Mandarin Oriental and I'm rockin' my red Nike Sprint Sisters and they tell me I can't sit in the main lounge cause of my kicks. Whut da? Now I must say for awhile there was a double standard (and there still is to a large extent) where a woman can wear sneakers to clubs and lounges and be allowed in, but men cannot. I guess those days are fleeting. And it’s funny because down South "tennis shoes" are relegated just for the kiddies, and for garden work or sporting activities if you are an adult. I guess BBQ isn't the only thing we are assuming from Southerners.

Even when I reflect on today's pop music scene, it's like the only chicks that rock sneakers are the ones that people allege are gay or either tom-boys (i.e. Teyana Taylor, Lil Mama, Missy Elliott, Da Brat). Then there's those paparazzi shots of fly women like Beyonce or Alexis in their stilettos and/or beautiful high-end designer gear lounging on the arms of their significant others that are dressed in jeans, t-shirts and Air Force Ones, err I mean Bapes. I guess this is the other double standard whereby industry jiggas get off wearing rubber-soled kicks and its considered appropriate evening attire. Don't let Janet Jackson get caught out at a party in a pair of Adidas. It would be considered another wardrobe malfunction, no doubt.

I'm seriously pissed on one hand and I don't give a swoosh on the other. Living in Harlem, which is the sneaker capital of NYC, gives me firsthand, up-close, intimate moments with some of the hottest kicks out there and so that makes the double-standardized backlash tolerable and well worth it. ATMOS, the Japanese-based sneakeria has a boutique on 125th Street that carries a small, yet very exclusive selection of sneakers. On 116th there is the currently under-constrution Training Camp Store where I copped those copper Court Force joints. And then there's the newest and probably greatest sneaker emporium to grace Uptown's streets-- House of Hoops, a retail marriage between Nike and Footlocker to promote the NBA-- the game, the players and their apparel.

Needless to say, I'm going to keep on being the sneaker fiend that I am and rock my sneakers with pride. I'm a B-Girl at heart and everyone knows that a woman who knows her heart and loves herself in Louboutins as much as she loves herself in New Balance is the sexiest kind of grrrl there is!

Other sneak freak grrrls: (female-sneaker-fiends)

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