Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Commitment of an Artist

I haven't written in a long time, and I think the passion that I feel for my blog as an outlet of expression has waned. I began this blog for a number of reasons: because I love talking about sex, because I feel that women need an open outlet through which they can discuss their sexuality and sexual experience, and because I don't want anyone to mis- or reinterpret me as a something that I am not. Through this blog I have defined myself and it has made me very powerful in that I think I wholly control how I am perceived based on my lyrics.

Through the blog, I have made some really beautiful connections with very driven people around the nation through this thing we call the internet. There are people who are driven, passionate, and immensely talented all around me (people like singer/songwriter David Fuller and the W.A.T.I.A. conglomerate, Caesar Jackson and his clothing line City of Savages, Joe & Terrel creators of the clothing line Vita-Morte, photographer Floyd-From-Ohio to name a handful) who have really inspired me to be fearless. Funny, I just realized that everyone that I listed left college to pursue their passions, and I can imagine that it takes an immense amount of fearlessness and drive to make that move.

I'm the daughter of a musician, so the term starving artist is a life reality for me. I never starved, but there are times when food was appearing on our table like mana from heaven, times when my father was jobless, when we were buying school clothes at thrift stores, when eviction was eminent. In coming to college, I was trying to taylor my talents to fit a corporate existence, but in doing so I was denying my passion, my love, my drive.

As a senior in high school applying to college, most of the administration wanted for me to try Julliard, the New England Conservatory, and other performance schools. I avoided them, because I was afraid of starving. My mother and I had a tacit agreement that I'd go to college and somehow get rich, whether I had to marry a doctor or become one myself.

But my passion is music. I thrive on sound, to alter my mood and to express myself. I'm a writer, but my heart is where the music is, but sadly I haven't performed, outside of the Glee Club, since I was in high school. I need to get back to my roots.

A lump was found in my breast. I haven't had it checked out yet, so it very well may be fatty tissue. But when I was thinking about the possibility of breast cancer I remembered that I only have one life to live with an unknown term. That being said, it is important to be fearless in this life and to take steps in the dark with the faith that our feet will find ground. Find your passion and be unafraid of it.

This post is a commitment thank you to my friends and mentors - those listed and those in my head - who are fearless and driven. I truly look to you for guidance and inspiration.

These are the projects I want to begin to commit to. I will start performing again starting, of course, with Jazz Man's on thursdays. My name is already on the list, I just have to choose a song. I will scope out writing opportunities, hopefully Creative Loafing likes my pitch. I will travel more, without worry about money or security. I also will be working on something very special with my friend DaniRae. I won't drop any information on that except to warn you that its going to be ridiculous.

This is the commitment of an artist, love Alise.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Grown Ups Don't Let Grown Ups Pass STDs

A couple of weeks ago, my best friend caught Chlamydia. Actually, a couple weeks ago my best friend discovered that she had caught Chlamydia somewhere within the sixth month period between her regular tests, but she had no idea from whom it came. She had gone to the clinic that day like any promiscuous, yet healthy, adult, with the confident belief that her genitalia was uninfected and the desire to simply be proven right.

“Any symptoms?” the nurse asked.

“No. This is just my regular six month checkup,” she answered back proudly, with a smile. She always practiced safe sex, and whenever she left a clinic, she was never ashamed to take a handful of free condoms. When the procedure was finished, they told her she did not have AIDS, and that if she had any other infections, they would call her. She sauntered out of the clinic and decided that tonight, she would have sex just to celebrate.

A couple days later, she got that phone call. One of her whores had passed on Chlamydia...

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Brown Street Walk of Shame

You will only see them in the early morning hours floating among maintenance work and eight a.m’ers. They are ghostly hooded figures flashing down Brown Street making their return to education as usual back to their campus. These ghosts are our peers, and in an attempt to do the Walk of Shame discreetly, they only make themselves exponentially and comically conspicuous to the casual collection of sauntering boys. Conversely, these ghosts walk quickly at nearly Olympic speeds, with hoods tied tightly around their heads to conceal mussed up weaves and much of their guilt strewn faces.

They are a literal eyesore, but this article is actually an announcement to let these early morning walkers know that there is a better way to handle the Brown Street Walk of Shame.

1. Wipe that guilty look off your face – We know you weren’t doing anything as horrid as your expression may portray. In fact, you were probably tutoring your Morehouse brother before you accidentally fell asleep fully clothed at the foot of his bed. And as exceptionally intelligent woman, one is often called upon to lead some very crucial study sessions that happen to stretch far past reasonable hours. That is nothing of which to be ashamed. Think academic thoughts and your face will reflect the innocent disposition of a scholar and not that of a trollop, though one you very well may be.

2. Attire – Were you planning on giving an all night tutoring session? I suspect you were, that’s why you’re wearing your best most academic underwear. Keep the panties red, but I suggest you anticipate your early morning stroll and dress for the morning after. Wear slacks. Slacks are the attire of an academic, and when someone sees you peeling through the neighboring all male campus at the crack of dawn, they will without question assume that you had a meeting.

3. Timing – Morning classes usually start at 8 am on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and 9:25 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Time your walk accordingly by making your way back to Spelman when the only people who are awake have already settled in their respective classes. Further, it takes 10-15 minutes to get from Fair St. to Lee St. at a Northerner’s pace and perhaps 40 minutes for a Southerner. No one will see you leaving a dorm if you avoid peak times.

Take heed ladies, and turn that walk of shame into a regular and random stroll through an all male college at 8:18 on a Tuesday morning. And if there are still questions about where you’re coming from, you answer back “Karen’s house.”

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Pee After Sex

I woke up a cold, late December morning to a sore back and hips. My body had been the victim of my sexual appetite for past couple of days, and it seemed that nothing could stop me from pretty much nagging my boyfriend into making sexy with me. Thankfully his bathroom was about three feet from his bed, so it was only a matter of rolling myself to the foot of his California King and shyly venturing a warm foot onto cold tile to get to the toilet. My nude body tensed and awoke when it made contact with a frozen white toilet seat. But I relaxed and let it flow until Shit Mother Fucker Shit! It felt like I was trying to pass a burning match through my vagina...

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Chivalrous Feminist

Oh feminism. When the suffragettes were busy fighting for their right to vote, I don't think they anticipated creating the amount of confusion and discomfort that accompanies the discussion of money. My dad didn't have much to say on the topic of dating other than, "No." The only other pearl of wisdom was, "when you're out with a man, you don't have any money." Translation: make the man pay for everything.

Well, Daddy, I wish it were that simple, but I think men of today have caught wind of this feminist shift and are decreasingly interested in paying for shit. Now, I don't mind paying for my own things, but one often gets unsure trying to figure out when things are equal and when a guy is taking advantage.

My friend had only been seeing this guy for a few weeks, but he called and asked if she wanted to come over. He offered to cook if she provided groceries. "Kare, what does that mean?" she asked.

"I don't know," I answered. I was very skeptical of this boy's intentions, especially because, "I say this all the time, but it's usually because I have no groceries in the house."

She bought the groceries anyway and when she arrived at his house, there was another guy there. The friend stayed and ate and then left. Poor girl was the meal ticket to this hot guy and his friend. Perhaps the suffragettes were hoping, simply for equality, not that guys would turn into selfish ass holes.

As a girl who's willing to give in a dating setting, I am still trying to negotiate a middle ground where I feel comfortable, because their are social implications attached to money, which is why the conversation is so uncomfortable. There is the expectation that a man is supposed to pay for most everything. When he doesn't, then he's not a date and you are just friends. When he does, he's supposed to be making the effort to impress you.

My observation is that guys take a lot of responsibility when it comes to dating. Traditionally, they express initial interest, they ask you out, they organize the date, they are required to entertain and intrigue, and then they pay. We women just have to show up looking our best. It seems unfair that so much work is placed on the part of the male. Then again, the traditions of this dating ritual help to set the standard by which you want to be treated.

Men aren't the only ones putting in all the work. Male peacocks strut their stuff in order to impress a peahen in an attempt to prove that they are strong, healthy and good providers. Is not dating just a way for men to strut their stuff as well? Besides, what are a few dollars in entertainment to get to know a girl, particularly if that girl turns out to be a worthwhile investment.

While the dating rules continue to readjust themselves, consider taking a more active role in the process. Be the one to ask a guy out, choose the location, or opt to cook for him if he buys the groceries. Whatever you choose, make sure you feel comfortable. If you are afraid that you are being taken advantage of, then either cancel or use it as an opportunity to learn who the guy really is. No matter what you choose, happy dating.