Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year from Me & The Bourgie Baby!

Thanks for all the love, the follows, the comments, and just the outright bourgie rapport we've established in the last year. Thanks for the patience when the blog went radio silent because someone (pointing at self) had to deal with motherhood and ya know...that takes up a lot of time. I know I'm not the only one.

So how am I spending my new year's eve? With the bourgie baby of course, who is literally pulling one of my kitchen chairs across the floor into the living room, and the first ladybug to capture my heart, my niece whom I lovingly call Pootie. As they spaz out with the Wii and sour gummie worms, I am thankful for such a great year that really wrapped up perfectly!

So let me act like I'm receiving an award and rattle off my thanks and kudos...First off, Thank you GOD! Hallelujah! Thank you Mama for being the only Mama I know and got. That was a mouthful. I can't even begin to articulate the love and support my dear husband gives. He's just awesome and one of the joys God has given me to have in this lifetime. Much love for friends who got your back, pray with you, who I see growing and evolving before my eyes, and even cross their fingers and toes for your success! I have mad love for those who've shared a drink or two or three throughout this year, gave me a place to rest, and a shoulder to cry and scream on. I love you love you love you & I'll throw some OLAs in there too! O O O OLA!

Big ups to the writing community that sprouted out of love, afros, and Mississippi kudzu running for miles and connecting us, Memphis PEN & the Hansberry Baldwin Society! Big ups to the LoveJones Lifestyle Blog & the GioD's can be viewed through all things Love Jones. Best of all, I've had the privilege to read some really great blogs and writings from other like minded intellectuals who are going to rock out our generation.

I'm out! The Bourgie Baby will ride on in the V Dub into two thousand and lebben'! Peace,

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Keep It Simple, Sister: Beenie Weenies Rock Their Socks

There are some days where I can't put together a well-meaning, sophisticated meal for my tot. Sure...on Sunday I whipped up some ahi tuna steaks with a cracked pepper crust and Caesar salad...but this recent cold, blustery weather has me craving warm hearty meals that radiate warmth into my wide feet.

What can I say about Beenie Weenies? And I'm not talking about the ones with the unnaturally small weenie slices that have a strange, plump center mixed in a tomato slurry. I'm talking about the homemade kind where I boil my own weenies, open my own can of vegetarian beans (thusly, destroying their virtue), adding barbeque sauce and chopped bell peppers and BAM! Let it steep down into one delicious beenie weenie bechamel and you will have your own bourgie babe running to the table.

I knew my bourgie babe was destined for epicurean greatness, even in utero. I craved raw vegetables, well dressed grilled chicken sandwiches, hummus, and all variety of nuts, fish, and Thai food. But her gastronome leanings also lead her to appreciate the charm and bounty of Southern food and nostalgic staples. I remember when I was 2 weeks from delivery and my mother made me a huge pot of chicken and dumplings...she was convinced I had ate so many, Noodle would come out during her birth with one hanging out her mouth and one on her forehead. That would have been awkward, but, fortunately, she just looked like a dumpling in my arms.

As I watched my tot just pour herself over the beenie weenies, giving occasional mmmmm's and oooohhhh's, I was affirmed that my kid's exposure to the finest cuisines at places like Drago's or Byblos hadn't snootied up her palate. She rubbed her feet together and she did happy eating dances and wiggles just as she does whenever we take her out to eat. Obviously, I must be a good cook or I would have been like some moms on the opposite end of the spectrum who have to sue McDonald's in order to get her kids to eat healthy, if at all. A tough NO and the threat of starvation should fix that for ya'.

I always find it funny whenever I go out to eat with snooty types who couldn't imagine eating at a local BBQ haunt but end up swooning over a slow, cooked BBQ bologna sandwich topped with coleslaw. They usually end their gourmand session with, "I love how you Southern folks eat! This was the best meal of my life." It begs the question of whether they are starving at home or too busy laboring over snail shells and harvesting caviar in their basement. We can all admit that the best gourmet food isn't always the best, or well seasoned, or filling. In these lean times in America, we'd threaten the chef with mighty blows if our salad is a mere endive leaf topped with a tablespoon of ceviche and smear of cream sauce aesthetically placed on the plate and we're charged $30 bucks. But it is perfectly fine if your tot knows the joy of ceviche or who has the best charbroiled oysters or that tuna is best served rare to medium or how to spit their food out in the napkin or how to place their fork on your plate to let the waiter know you are done.

Folks, its all about exposure and appreciation; don't be afraid of relatives or friends reprimand of your kid's supposed "bourgie" ways (Texas de Brazil? Commander's Palace? Girl, just take their arses to McDonald's!). After all, it's about keeping it simple, Sister Moms, and cooking homemade meals as often as possible. Yet, its perfectly fine for training your kids to socialize and network in restaurants that are not mass marketed for quick in-and-out meals. Teach your tots balance, otherwise, those nitpicky eaters will throw that cabbage and corn bread back in your face and demand their French bistro inspired meal ASAP.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Feeling "Some Kinda" Way or Can I borrow #Dwele's horn section?

Since becoming a mother, much of my world view has shifted a tad. Being a motherless woman through the 90s and early 2000s, my womanist acrimony ran rampant against the ills of the patriarchy; the relentless hegemony on my people; the endless persecution of the Diaspora time and time and time again. My former Black, militant, grad school reading marathon rostrum has given way to weariness at times from how far we have strayed. My bourgie babe is growing up in strange times...from silence to leopard print...from the lone token Black girl in the Babysitter's Club series to The Cheetah Girls.

But in a time where I shield my Noodle from Nicki Minaj's "Barbie-face" and give her the fashion sense to steer away from 2T underwear with "Baby Girl" on the ass or the inevitability of toddler Apple Bottom jeans, it makes me feel some kinda way. Some kinda way about how we love our people...What are our intentions when we live in a world where everyone is out to get, rise, come up, win, exploit, destroy, embellish, fake-it-till-you-make-it? Dwele said it best: "Oh...what's your kinda love? Your some kinda love? What's your beautiful?"

There's so much that can muddle a mother's love as one raises their child, much of which is railed into the media we consume. I have been deliberate in my attempts to give my tot airplanes and Hot Wheels with her baby dolls, relish in the fact that her favorite color is yellow (TAKE THAT PINK!), that she openly lauded her afro puffs and braids long before lil Black girls had to wait on Sesame Street to tell them to. But thanks anyway, WE DO LOVE OUR HAIR!

But, I'm still feeling some kinda way about what my bourgie babe and what life has in store for. She won't be able to share with others about her "rise from the hood" story that the media loves to exploit because its not her reality. By then, the memories of Nicki Minaj's "Roman's Revenge" will be as faint as her career because she will have thus reaped the very seeds of her success. I want my Noodle to have her own voice, but still know that her voice shares the same melody as her mom's. The truth she spits is a homage to what I gave life to. If you remember my past revelation of raising myself or what I'd like to call baby mama karma (could be a Ben & Jerry's flavor), teaching the younger generation about heritage is more than just opening a history book and telling them to read. My life is that open book, and from time to time, we have to go back to the reference section in order to contextualize our experiences. Its a matter of teaching respect, a nuanced dance between telling the truth and willing to be wrong at times. I see many of my students wanting respect without learning the virtue of humility and silence. Like Nicki Minaj, they think it might sound cute to make comparisons to themselves as a frightful dungeon dragon (RAWR! RAWR!), but do you realize you are enslaved? Did anybody else catch that? Yet, she lavishes in the attention she gets: "Look at my show footage/ how these girls be spazzin’/
So fuck I look like gettin’ back to a has-been?"

Unfortunately, Minaj's blanket use of Busta Rhymes iconic RAWR does not suggest much deep philosophical digging...or did she even note Bussa Buss' homage to Peter Tosh in the same song...? Eh,...just put this in your pipe and smoke it:

Busta Rhymes - "What's the Scenario" by Tribe Called Quest
Watch, as I combine all the juice from the mind
Heel up, wheel up, bring it back, come rewind
Powerful impact BOOM! from the cannon
Not braggin, try to read my mind just imagine
Vo-cab-u-lary's necessary
When diggin into my library

There's that BOOM again...Once the upcoming generation thinks that we're all a nation of has-beens, then they think we are disposable. Wonder what that scenario will look like when they can't learn from the mistakes of the past or the very history that gave birth to much of the movements and genres they merely dabble with and exploit...makes me feel some kinda way...that leering I felt when I watched Tyler Perry's For Colored Girls, or when I cringe at Beyond Black & White/No Wedding No Womb's critical refrain on Fantasia, or the fact that what we all need is a little more love, a hug or two, a more positive way to ask for attention, and maybe an intense womanist roundtable with crudités and hot tea to get to the solutions of dealing with this generational dissension.

By pointing fingers and essentially, and unconsciously, yelling that we have forgotten to love each other, maybe we just feel we've been left behind, forgotten, lost, isolated, silenced...bullied, forced, poked, and pulled into our own dungeons. Lord knows Fantasia is not part of the problem; she's just one of the many stories we all share and do nothing about it. It all makes me feel some kinda way. Like the fight has left us a bit. Some of us can't even get mad over something like cupcakes gone blackface. They're just toying with us now...a dragon with no fight in them. Some kinda love...

I sure do need Dwele's horn section now more than ever. Hopefully we won't see anymore of his McCafe commercials anymore...the brother needs to get back to the studio. "Some kinda love in the Cafe...?" I do think that's what he said...

Still one of the flyest McDonald's commercials I've seen...

Let's remember, when we start to feel some kinda way about the world our bourgie babes are growing up in, we should not hesitate to express a "kinda love his [or her] kinda love so hopefully our children's, children sons and daughters will hear these expressions of our kinda love."