Celebrities, Events, Important People, New York City

MUSIC REVIEW – Class is Now in Session! Apollo Music Cafe Presents “The New Class”

Likwuid commanding the stage.

Apollo Music Café’s The New Class concert featured Likwuid along with fresh young underground talent served up in a classy speak-easy setting. It has a VIP environment with a black backdrop, similar to a small black box theatre. Some of my favorite performers for the night were: Cuzimdope, which were the skate boarding-attired duo that reminded me of the backpacker crowd that would pepper the audience back in the day when Likwuid and I would perform at the Bowery Poetry Club. One of the performers from the group donned an afro and looked like a young MJ. They performed three fun and highly energetic new cuts, “The Cable,” “We Get High,” and “Cold Cut Gyoza.” On stage they look like two kids on the playroom floor beating sticks on pots and pans, creating music for the first time. Their music harkened back to simplicity of the bass, kick and snare of early hip hop. The Cranberry Show was another duo that brought out the carefree youngster in all of us, having us bounce around the floor during their Indian influenced “Slumdog Millionaire Bollywood Flow.” This stream of consciousness came from Milwaukee from all places, where apparently black men sound like white boys when they talk. A real mind opener it was. That’s the not the only taste of internationality we got that night, Rich P was a lone rapper who was very nicely dressed in Denim from Paris. It was radio ready music that would fit right in with the harder production of say, someone like Rick Ross’ music. I liked it because it was current. The true throwback of the night was Justine Sky. Her lithe 17 year old frame was clothed a basketball player embossed t-shirt and yellow biker shorts with tall socks and sneakers. Her pressed and curled hair swung about as she goofily introduced herself. But when the music came on, she reminded me of Brandy, music that I grew up on. I was immediately proud. She had that naivety about her that made you want to protect her but the potential that made you want to sell her out to the highest bidder because you know you’d make a killing off of this double threat. (She wasn’t much of a dancer, but who is these days?) I don’t remember ever feeling as vivrant as her though; blending the perfect mix of innocence and sexuality may be something reserved for younger souls, but I’ve got an old one. She explodes with attitude when singing and her voice is solid enough. She takes it as serious as a heart attack but when the music is off she’s back to being a teen girl, reminding us to keep at least a bit of ourselves young forever.

The part of the night I was most excited for because it was why I had come was Likwuid commanding the stage. With her androgynous swag and trademark afro I screamed until my voice cracked for fellow South Carolinian. The first song she performed, “Queendom Anthem,” spoke of the struggle for women to regain their original power. It was fitting, because Likwuid strikes me as a feminist even while having a boyish flavor. Her conscious flow is sick, the beat was hard, and her lyrics are spiritual…and relatable. On the second song she performed with more heart than I had ever seen, and why wouldn’t she… “Give the Drummer Some” was her sliver of the story of her journey to being committed to being a music artist.  As she stood up on the shakey table with one leg, I could imagine the house manager cringing, but all I could do was smile inside and squint my eyes in disbelief. My mouth was agape. I was proud more than anything else, because Likwuid has been in this game for a while, and I’ve seen from the outside looking in her many hustles to be free of the chains of the “man.” It worked. She now flourishes as a DJ and lyricist in New York City, one of the toughest cities to make it in.

There was one more group that started out with a doo-wop acapella type of vibe. As soon as I heard it I liked it. It’s worth mentioning because of it’s Sweet Home Alabama/rock n roll tinge along with a healthy heaping spoonful of hip hop. As a  bonus, the girl on the guitar looked like me and I wanted to kiss her– I’m in love with myself like that.

As the cherry on top, Amanda Seale was the hilarious host for the concert, or should I say “class.” She spoke of preserving hip hop and talking about it intellectually in order to raise it to the level of Jazz, where it could be studied in Universities and such. It truly is a national treasure that we should take more seriously as a possible catalyst for change rather than just a way to make money and an excuse to make a fool of ourselves. But we should still have fun. Yes, I think Amanda Seale is right about that PSA she made that night. I’ve got my pen and pad ready to take notes. I hope I see someone from the New Class there. They’re sure to bring a new level of understanding to hip hop to the world once they graduate.

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Culture, Events, International Relations, Life, Nature, New York City, Personal Liberation, Politics/World Issues, Sprituality

Peace in the Midst of the Storm

Grounded in Mother Nature

I went out into the forest today. It’s a place I often end up when I’m lucid dreaming. Today, I went there in real life. After Hurricane Sandy, I wanted to see the damage that was done, if any. I was really oblivious to the storm. I was cozy in my room, only knowing that the MTA was down, so I wouldn’t be going to work. (My sister and her wife too. Major cause for celebration in this house.)

I expressed these sentiments on Facebook, and most people were concerned for the practical issues: will you get paid while you’re out? My response “Not in money, but in happiness and orgasms.”

The storm brought deep personal shifts for me. I became orgasmic with someone that I wasn’t able to cross that threshold with in the past. Something truly opened up. They say Oya brings winds of change.

To give thanks for being spared anything but more rest, more time to myself, and deep relaxation and all the other blessings the storm brought, I decided to go to the park and commune with Nature. When I got there I found some trees lying about the ground. They looked like they were resting. As you read in my last post centering around the wonders of Nature, “Nature is the New “Church”, trees talk to me. And this is what they had to say this time:

This  part of the tree was laid to rest

That tree in the distance was completely supine.

We are one with the events of Nature. We are not upset or phased when a tree is broken or uprooted because of the storm. What we say to humans is Use Us! There is still good wood here. We understand that we are here as resource to humans that you have taken for granted, but this storm is not a bad thing. Things change. Nature is change. God is change.”

Now, maybe you’ll think about that the next time you decide to count the death toll instead of your blessings. If even the trees who have been snapped off their base or maybe even ripped from the ground are not phased…why should you be?

I thank God that I was spared. For every storm, even since Hurricane Hugo I was spared. I slept through it, curled up like a baby at 6 years old on the living room couch. Maybe that’s why I feel that there’s nothing better than falling asleep on the couch, to this day. That little house built from brick and that little girl inside was kept safe from the wind and rain. It brought my family closer, and I was thankful even then. So, I don’t too much get caught up in the monsoons of life for others. I have work to do here, and although I’m compassionate…I know there’s a reason for every season, every tragedy, every disaster. For my family, even though I am the biggest cryer, I am also the one to take a detached emotional approach to death when someone transitions…since even a pre-teen, saying, “Don’t cry Mom, there is no death…they’re in a better place.”

I don’t take anyone else’s suffering lightly but I also know what to take in and what to block out. That’s why I never watch the news. To each his own. That flooding in the streets became my own when my orgasm flooded out of me, this is how I make the storm personal for me…I won’t take on more hardship than was given to me, not now. I’m OK and believe that everything will BE OK. This is what it means to have peace in the midst of the storm. Thank you, Sandy.

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Friendship, Life, New York City, Personal Liberation, Relationships, Sex, Sprituality

Tears for Fears

Ull find ur way… I promise

This was my latest facebook post before writing this article. I don’t know why or for what reason, but for some reason the tears just came. I thought I was happy. I guess I was wrong.

I knew the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s would make me sentimental, especially after people had said it was the story of my life, and that I should read the book. Several signs had pointed to me needing to have watched this movie for a while. Namely, a good friend mentioned it, and then a woman came into the salon wanting the signature French roll. Moon River, the theme song of the movie, has taken me on ride since the first time I ever heard Sarah Vaughan’s version on a jazz cd.

A quarter of the way into the movie, I was in tears. They would stop…and then I was convulsing…muffling my screams wanting to let it out, but afraid someone would hear me and come and ask me what’s wrong. That’s just the thing…I don’t know.

But I think it has something to do with “birthing pains.” I’m becoming a new me, and I’m startled at how swiftly and seamlessly it’s all happening.

My morals and values just aren’t what they used to be.

I always thought I was a good person, but really I’m not, I’m just selfish. And I do what feels good at the time; I do what benefits me and feels good to me.

But at least I’m admitting it, which is more than I can say for the rest of you.

That friend, that same friend who mentioned the movie, I slept with him. He has been in a relationship for 8 years. They even have a baby. And afterwards, we both sat there trying to figure out why we didn’t feel a lick of guilt.

I kissed a married woman and one day, I want to make love to her. I realized I don’t give a damn about whether or not she’s lying to her husband, its me who I care about. Already she has been an incredibly good influence on my life…I think she has that affect on people.

I’ve got to live my life for me, you see.

The scared child inside wonders about my life.

Lol, I remember one time I was unknowingly with a man who had separated from the mother of his child. For 5 months I loved this man, and probably after that too. When I found out he was lying to me though and was planning to buy a house while him and I were still living together, I sent her pictures of him and I kissing to their new apartment (to which he told me the address, or maybe he left some mail out?) and the keys to the apartment him and I shared. I was 20 years old and 7 years later I saw him in the train station. After all we had been through, he said he always remembered me, looked me up on facebook often, and he learned so much from me. He said he especially loved the way I cooked, and his favorite dish…one time I put lemon juice, herbs, and honey on fries.

I guess what I’m trying to say is…I’ve bared my soul to many…and what is it worth? I cried not because I’m afraid to be who I am and do what I want…but because I’m afraid that I really don’t give a damn that this is the woman I’m becoming.

I was supposed to be manifesting Goddesshood. I guess I better start revolutionizing the definition of what that means for me. Everyone has their cup of tea, and I guess mine just involves public nudity and sleeping with people in “committed” relationships. What is a Goddess? I guess I should come to terms with the fact that change is good, good is God, so God is change.

And what about what others think? Maybe the true definition of freedom is simply not giving a fuck about that.

But then there’s my parents…someone said your parents must be blamed for the waywardness of a child. I wouldn’t want them to be involved in any of the ways I live my life now. They’re from a different time. They’re good church people, who believe in God and pray. They love me, and they did the best they could. I’m so sorry we don’t even believe in the same God anymore…I’m sorry that my ways would eventually disappoint them, but I don’t even think they could begin to understand.

I won’t stop…despite the tears and fears. I feel fiercely determined to defend my right to go on this journey and discover my personal liberation along the way. Now, I’m not that naïve, I’m not like Holly Golightly in this case, thinking that anyone who loves me is trying to trap me. But, I do think that when they do, it’s not really love. I had this conversation with the womb choice…love doesn’t equal ownership. When he spoke of relationships, he disagreed saying there is a sense of belonging to the other person involved. I’m sure if there was anyone I could give up my freedom for, it would be him. I woke up one day completely feeling like I wanted to devote myself to him. Why? I don’t know. It’s not like he was going to give me anything I said I wanted. But, maybe he knows better. Maybe I didn’t want the marriage and kids the way I said I so desperately did… Maybe I just ain’t the marryin’ kind.

They say if you were ready for what you wanted, you would have it. And…I don’t.

But I’m ready for discovery. Connection. Stimulation. Vulnerability…and Truth. I guess these things could be the makings of Goddesshood…

Won’t you continue on this journey with me…to wait around and see?

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Culture, Life, New York City, Personal Liberation, Relationships, Sex, Sprituality

Sex at the Sinks-The Hidden Sexuality of Touching a Stranger

For the longest time, I have been able to see sex in everything I do, sexual energy that is. Some people call it “having your mind in the gutter,” but I think there is something terribly wrong when a society associates sex in general with a place that is considered the bowels of the big city. Think about that. I have long thought I was sexy and exuded or oozed sensuality. The studying of various attitudes towards sex I’ve been doing lately has confirmed it: sexuality is apart of our everyday lives and is not just when we’re having intercourse. As a newly aspiring masseuse (among other things) and a receptionist at a hair salon who occasionally does shampoos (I like to think of them as high quality professional scalp massages by a woman gifted and talented with her hands), I wasn’t surprised to feel the familiar exchange of energy that goes on between two bodies when one is helping the other to relax and feel good. I hadn’t touched a stranger in that way in years,  with no re pore established prior to (even one night stands have that, and I haven’t done one of those in a while either).  I’m sure I had given random massages to fellow colleagues in the hotels overseas when we were overworked from flying, but that was a few years ago, and I had pretty much tried to forget many details from that flight attendant sham of a job. (Although by it’s sheer novelty I’m sure I’ll be forced to write about it sooner or later, down the last gritty fascinating detail.)

Touching someone in this way felt right and natural and I soon remembered the power I had to make someone feel better than they did before they met me. A man came into the salon and wanted a shampoo only. I was confused and said so out loud. “Basically he just want’s a scalp massage,” a stylist told me. I was on it. I wanted the tip. I knew I could swing this and it would be more than just a monetary exchange. This was an opportunity for me to practice my juju.

I hung up his jacket and dressed him in a robe. I told him to have a seat while he tied the ties of the robe around his waist and buttoned it closed at the top. He sat down and prepared to relax. I was in charge of his experience and I felt fully confident and capable. I was serene and peaceful so that energy transferred from my body to his. I walked behind him and placed a towel around his neck. Pressing the button on the chair to make it rise, I watched as his body levitated to a more supine position. I turned on the water and when it explodes from the hose it always sounds like a static-y radio or a crackly record. The woosh of the water as it runs over my hand and I test the temperature…”Is the water ok?” I say in a soothing, syrupy tone. “Oh yes it’s peeerfect,” he replies. After his hair is thoroughly wet, I turn the water off, reach behind me, and pump the shampoo bottle two times. The creamy ecru colored liquid forms a blob in the palm of my hand and I spread it all over the man’s hair. Now that it’s completely slathered in the shampoo, that’s when I begin my massage. I vigurously scrub his scalp using my fingertips and I make sure to go in a circular motion, touching every centimeter of his skin. As I feel the tension in his scalp releasing I feel a different type of tension in my body rise. And it’s funny, I can’t really describe it, I just know when I’m hitting the right spot. The signals are not always detectable, but later I found that someone else saw him tenting from across the room. I talked to him a little bit after hearing him moan once…he tells me “Oh, that feel’s so good. I’m getting such a good vibe from this place…It’s my first time.” I peered down the length of his body while my hands seemed to move all over his scalp without me thinking about it, and I wondered how I could have missed the slight bulge in his crotch.

I rinsed his hair of all of the soapy suds and I a thought occured to me that I really love working with the water element. It must be in my chart somewhere…(the person I would usually ask about this has drifted away from me, by choice, but I digress…). I reached behind me once more and pumped the conditioner from the bottle…twice. I smoothed it all over his hair and this time I went slowly in circles, making sure, as I had done during the washing, to massage behind his ears and  and the back of his head down to the top of his neck, where a ton of tension is stored. I made sure my fingertips slid all over his slippery scalp. I took my time, after all, there was no stylist with a full appointment book waiting on him, I had no one to rush me, and this was all he came for.  I felt fully responsible for his relaxation, and I wanted him to get all that he was paying me for. I knew the more comfortable I made him, that he would ask for me, look for me, seek me again, give me his money, which is another exchange of energy. This was magnetism fully at work.  I was devoting my talent for making people relax to this man for 10-15 minutes, and I took it very seriously.

After I rinsed him for the third and last time… I dried him off gently with the cottony warm towel, and silently pressed the button that made the chair upright again. He was telling me how relaxed he felt before his big meeting, and I felt like something of a mistress, prostitute, healer, and goddess. As I continue to delve into my femininity I’m beginning to realize there is no difference between any of them. He pressed $10 dollars into my hand and I felt like a million bucks…he asked for my name and his name was similar…he looked at me like I wasn’t real, with great appreciation. I wondered how much I could get for other types of massages. If I could make this man feel this great in such a short amount of time in front of everyone, I wonder how much more I could affect him in a private, intimate setting with candles, essential oils and meditative music?

This is the power of touch…this is the way we are having energetic exchanges with people we don’t even know. Now, the first time I had that same affect on a woman, I nearly recoiled at the thought that I had that much powerful over another creature who had the same type of magnetic power I have. I didn’t expect it, and it made me think about the Power….the power to make someone relax…it is truly something I’ll have to get used to if I’m going to be touching people skin to skin for a living. It’s something I’m considering…Wanna be my guinea pig? Hee hee hee…

I feel men who are not fully aware or cognizant of their power or sexuality may be fearful of their power to make a woman totally relax…more on that in another post about the mystery of femininity and attraction. Stay tuned in and turned on!

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Culture, Life, Personal Liberation, Sprituality

The Baptism

I waited until everyone was asleep, and things were quiet. I had been waiting over two weeks to receive instructions as to how to go about the external things I needed to do to activate an internal change. I knew that something had happened, either now or in another life, that had caused me to fail to live up to my full potential, that of a Goddess or Queen. I thought that these blockages were something outside of me, but I am slowly learning that nothing good or bad ever is. I thought that I was going to remove an unknown curse from long ago or even now, but my Spirit would reveal to me that I was wrong. Tonight, I would cast out my own demons.

Fears have been following me all my life. They showed up in my dreams and in my waking life in the form of jobs that had always frustrated me and relationships that left me said and broken instead of empowered. Only recently, maybe last year, had I really begun to tap into the Essence that is God in Me. And tonight, as I prepared for my ritual I knew that after I wouldn’t be the same.

I took lemons, sea salt, bay leaves, essential oils and eggs. I had heard of eggs being extremely absorbant, and sea salt being a powerful remover of negative or lower energies.  This is why people go to bathe in the Dead Sea, there are spiritual reasons for that as well as physiological.

I blew over the water as the instructions had shown. And although aware that the eggs were fragile and could not be broken or else the ritual would have to be done again because the negative energy would be released into the water again, I had no fear of that.

Little had I been realizing, my ENTIRE life, was that if I didn’t have to fear eggs breaking while I bathed in the dark, I didn’t have to worry about whether or not my food stamps would run out, or how I was going to attract the abundance that is my birthright.

I am done with public assistance by the way. I will never again be like the women in the park when I was topfree, fighting for my own oppression. It’s beneath me now because there truly is a better way.

The eggs kept making their way towards my womb. I thought that was interesting. Soon they became like little children to me, always floating back to the womb…the place of their origin. They wanted to be near there because they hadn’t finished their journey. Sad fate for them, but then again, all is well.

I had to move gingerly and delicately like a dancer in that water, so as not to break the eggs. I felt…Divine.

I felt protective of the eggs, taking them out of the water when I had to stand up to scrub my entire body, washing away old ideas and limiting beliefs that no longer served me, I placed them gently back in the tub, and when I stepped out to take a look at myself in the mirror and wonder how I’d look figure modeling naked and covered in soap, I had to place my toe ever so lightly back in that sacred water, so as not to step on the tiny compared to me eggs. Fragile, yet so strong.

After I rinsed, I was ready to be baptized. I did as the instructions said, and spoke the special word. It didn’t feel particularly different…until I just began to cry…a little fear came to me but quickly went away…and then Spirit said to me, “You remember the last time? You will have many baptisms.” I just kept crying and said “Thank you.”

Renewed, Rejuv’ed Revitalized

I rinsed off in cool water once more just to get the salt water off of my hair and body.

I stepped out and said “It is finished.”

I really did feel light.

I wore white to bed.

Something has changed and I’ll never be the same. Then I heard a voice say “This is just the beginning. We have a lot of work to do.”

So, there it is…The Baptism.

I’ll sleep with the eggs in my room, whole, until I can leave the house without disturbing anyone to throw them away. I actually want to spend more time with them this way. They remind me of how gentle you must be with someone who is fragile, even if, especially if, they are carrying so much negative energy inside. It’s a lesson to be learned. I know I’ve been there. A thin shell can only take so much.  And there are some things even John Mayer’s music can’t fix…

If you’d like to know more about the ritual, I can tell you where to go to get more info. It’s a great way to remove blockages so you can go on to live up to all you know you can be. And you don’t need the Army to do that. Be your own Savior.  (Blasphemous? Only if you don’t believe that you come from God. All the separation is totally silly. I see that now.)

Love y’all.

 

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Culture, Dating, Events, Life, New York City, Politics/World Issues, Relationships, Sex, Technology

Had to Repost: The Kissing Sailor, or “The Selective Blindness of Rape Culture”

This is so well written and concise, and I would have written it had she not…so I’m very happy to present you with this article about a “pretty picture” and it’s ugly truth:

 

The Kissing Sailor, or “The Selective Blindness of Rape Culture”.

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