Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Legacy Not to be Forgotten

In honor of one of my favorite episodes of Sex & The City which aired tonight on the CW, I have decided to post an article that I wrote in college that will always ring true...

The Phenomenon

Dazzling Chanel suits, Prada and Cavalli ensembles, Fendi and Dior handbags, the signature Manolo Blahnik stilettos, and the endless jewelry ranging from a gold name plate to the large colorful plastic earrings of the 80s. But for trendsetting and fascinating fashion ideas, we can all just turn to an E! Red Carpet or the Style Channel.

Sex and the City is a guaranteed 30-minute vogue runway, but that’s not why we are drawn to it week after week and buy the DVD sets. So it must be the amazing, multiple orgasm, “scream his name” sex the ladies talk about in every episode. Actually, it is the exact opposite. Carrie Bradshaw, Miranda Hobbes, Charlotte York, and Samantha Jones are your best friends. They don’t sit around talking about their unattainable love lives, because they don’t have them. Besides Carrie’s thousand-dollar shoe fetish, little about them is unattainable. They are four women whose experiences cross emotional, sexual, heterosexual, and racial boundaries. Beyond that, they cross television boundaries. Since 1998, Sex and the City has been like watching a 5-year movie. But their sexy anecdotes definitely don’t go unnoticed.

In the book Sex and the City: Kiss and Tell, writer Amy Sohn discusses the way the show’s creator, Darren Star, refused to deal with sex as an awkward topic. “He didn’t like the way networks tended to handle adult sexuality: in a wink-wink, nudge-nudge style, euphemistic and adolescent. Instead he wanted to create a true adult comedy in which the sex could be handled in an upfront and honest way.” And what followed was an epidemic.

The show can be easily criticized on the surface for its blunt sexual narratives, but that is also its charm. We tune in to get an objective view of situations that affect us every day, both in sexual and platonic relationships. Oh, and please believe the opinions are objective; There is a tendency to accuse television of inaccurately representing people and subject matter because their goal is entertainment. However, Sex and the City’s writers, directors, producers, and actors base the material on real events and experiences in their own lives, which personifies why we soak in every word. These four ladies really are human, because their stories are based on human experiences.

In Sex and the City’s six seasons, the themes and development of each character have been a major component of its success. They talk, they disagree, they laugh (at one another and themselves), and they fight loudly and honestly. They also cry, and we understand each moment of each emotion, not just because we relate, but because we know them. They’ve tackled anal sex, phone sex, baby talk, marriage in your 30’s, and alternatively, death, abortion, cancer, divorce, and adultery. Nothing is too outlandish and nothing is too serious for these ladies.

So, in season 4, in an episode called “Time and Punishment,” when Aiden asks Carrie never to talk to Big again after she has cheated on him and she tells him she can’t do that, we gasp having expected her to lie and promise him whatever he wants. Instead, she stands at her door repeating one statement, “You have to forgive me.” She never touches him. She is begging Aiden for his forgiveness with her sincere eyes, fearing he will leave her doorway, but overflowing with honesty. And with that truth that she repeats 7 times, we watch Aiden realize its magnitude as Carrie accepts that she has to forgive herself as well. He walks forward and embraces her, slowly pasting their relationship back together. While we breathe an enormous sigh of relief, as the end of another episode clutches some powerful emotion from us, and we are reminded of the marvel that is Sex and the City.

Monday, February 12, 2007

For The Little Person in Our Lives

“If it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t even know where to pee.”

That’s what I plan to say to my godson when he gets grown enough to talk back and have dates, you know, just to put him in his place. For Christmas, I bought him a potty training kiddie toilet picked out by his mother, my lovely friend, Erika.

Last Friday, February 9th, Anthony Crenshaw Jr. turned 2-years old and I wasn’t able to be there because they are in Texas, but Erika made sure to include me in the festivities. “We are going to have a party with ice cream and a C-A-R-S cake,” she said, Anthony playfully screaming in the tub while she bathed him.
I didn’t get it, “What? The cake is shaped like a car?”
“No, like the movie.”
“Girl, he loves that movie. We can’t even say the name of it in front of him or we’ll have to watch it.” We laughed.

Don’t you just love the little people in our lives (especially when they don’t belong to us)? Chervonti has Michael and London. Kim has Trey Trey (and Jordon, new baby Nyla, Isaiah, Alyssa). My boyfriend has 5 cousins under 8 (that I know) and probably 100 more (he has a huge family) and they make such an adorable difference. They give us someone to invest in, someone to nurture, and someone to remind us of innocence. So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my baby (as I adoringly call him, thanks to my baby’s mama, Erika, and my baby’s daddy, Anthony Sr).


As tired as I am of hearing the song, “Listen,” I sat through it one more time just seconds ago (I am writing this as I am watching the Grammy’s). [Sidebar: Fergie looks a thousand times better from a distance and does Will I Am has a Swarovski crystal Bluetooth earpiece?] I am overwhelmed with a feeling of awe for Beyonce Knowles. You may have feelings about her talent as actress, House of Dereon, or any of her many other endeavors, but she is a staple in our culture, our generation, and musical history. Her voice is incredible, her very natural beauty: undeniable, and her image of sincere kindness and purity is remarkable. SHE is breathtaking – and maybe I don’t feel it every time I see her, but whether she is singing “Freakum Dress” or “Dangerously In Love,” her voice, her passionate energy reverberates within any critical music lover. I respect her for that and was totally moved by her performance no matter how ‘over’ “Listen” I am.

WHAT A F-ING TREAT! I am currently pacing back and forth from my bed to my computer totally enthralled in John Legend, Corinne Bailey Ray, and John Mayer, dying to listen and absorb every word, note, and melody but also trying to write about this emotive experience as it is occurring. Thank God for music – that’s all I have to say. What an awesome trio they just made. I hate to be such an entertainment groupie, but I absolutely love award show performances and wish that the Grammy’s, Academy Awards, and other shows would make an album of the live performances and see them! Wouldn’t that be a huge money-maker!? There has to be a reason that it hasn’t happened yet. Ah well.

Unfortunately, I only got to experience the first hour of the show (and tivo-ed the rest), but check out this site for a nice breakdown of Grammy night.

**Also, for an entertaining, but very truthful look at the "day of love," Valentine's Day, view RAW Magazine's HE SAID/SHE SAID column. It's dead on!

Monday, February 5, 2007

It's Whether You Play The Game

While my beau has left me for Spain (not permanently; He’ll be back Sunday), I occupied myself with a couple of friends, a great movie, and the artist formerly known as-and then re-known-as Prince.

On Friday, I celebrated 24 years of the life of my friend of almost 10 years, Chervonti. We had a birthday dinner at the mexican restaurant, Lauriol Plaza, complete with balloons, ice
cream cake, and fajitas! Every minute of the weekend was interesting and productive, but it was also one of reflection. I was finally able to see Little Miss Sunshine and it was a fantastic movie! I couldn’t be more pleased and enthusiastic. I worried that it would be the dry humor of, say, The Royal Tenenbaums, but it wasn’t at all! It was downright hilarious with an adorable little girl and message of family and life. It centers around a 10-year old girl getting to a beauty pageant without being a flowery PG film (it's rated R). The film was a reminder that, “It is not whether you win or lose…” The film focuses on winning versus losing, fulfilling people's expectations, and going for what you want. Life is an everyday test of courage and determination – SEE THIS FILM.

I was happy to stay awake past 12 (which is late for me) laughing at Little Miss Sunshine even though I knew I had to get up early for another activity that I don’t participate on often - I went to church, y’all, and the message continued. The sermon discussed the "warrior spirit," and the mountains we can move with faith the size of a mustard seed. It was a perfect touch after Little Miss Sunshine.

A couple of hours later, I was geared up for the most exciting time of the new year: Super Bowl Commercials, but I was met with an unbelievable surprise - Prince! It wasn't that I didn't know he was the halftime show, but DAMN. That was no ordinary halftime show! Prince SHOWED OUT, as we say in Texas. That concert was amazing and it reminded me that (a) Prince is the greatest entertainer alive and (b) Prince is so damn feminine, I think I'm a lesbian. How can a petite man who wears 3-inch heels, has hair straighter than mine, and sings songs like "Do Me, Baby" in a high pitch be so sexy all the time? There is no rhyme or reason to the phenomenon, but he is an outstanding performer and musical genius. Who would have thought a 10-year old girl, church, and a tiny Minnesotan would make my weekend?

Found It In A Magazine

The January In Style Magazine (with Beyonce on the cover) had an outstanding story called “The Bargain Hunters Guide to Style” which confirmed some of the shopping rules I already know as well as gave me some amazing tips to share.

First, thanks to Mark Gill, I have already got this one down: Invest in shoes and handbags. Spending your money on some beautifully crafted shoes can make a simple outfit look immediately chic. I have been shocked at the countless people who are drawn to my $--- pair of shoes and compliment them.

In Style quoted “How to Be a Budget Fashionista” author Kathryn Finney on valuing your purchase. If you think about how many times you will wear something, divide the price by that number. She says, however, “If you got something on sale for $5, but you just don’t use it, you just wasted $5.” So true! And sometimes we don’t mind the waste because we think, “Well, I may wear it,” but that money adds up and it’s just not smart shopping.

When shopping at the Forever 21s, H&Ms, etc, neutral colors work best. The magazine recommends chocolates, nudes, or whites. They quote stylist George Kostiopoulos, "Wearing a color like hot pink in a cheap fabric is like holding up a sign that says, ‘I didn’t pay anything for this.’" If you don’t believe him, think about anything you have every purchased on a designer level in a bright color and think about the vibrancy of that piece. Again, it’s about the quality of the materials.

I won’t quote the whole magazine, because you really should read it, but between my pre-Paris shopping trip and In Style’s tips, here are a couple more suggestions:
  • When shopping, write down your findings. You may be able to find it cheaper on the web.
  • Check department store jewelry for great items that sparkle and shine like the real thing. At Lord & Taylor, I spent 40 bucks on an amazing pair of Betsey Johnson earrings that dangle like no other! They are dramatic and classy showstoppers. (See the ghetto picture of my earrings to the right.)
  • If you don’t buy something, but you can’t get it off your mind, go back. Destiny calls! I bought some boots that I'm totally in love with after I saw them several times without making the purchase - it was fate. When I finally bought them, they were half the original price.

Say what you want about Diddy. Say what you want about Kim Porter. But the two of them made some beautiful babies and you can't say these pictures aren't adorable!