The Joys of Life with Man-Influence

I haven’t blogged in a month and a half. Work, moving to Oakland, and having a man in my life suddenly, have all kept me plenty busy. As my bedroom hardly constitutes a hang out-able room, the ratio of nights I’ve spent in my new bedroom, to the nights I’ve spent at his place, are probably neck and neck. Here’s a taste of what we get up to.

Last weekend

Friday: Skipped the Oakland Art Murmur. Skipped the German avant-garde band in the city. We took the Keepin’ It Clean van just down to the Stork Club. Great, divey atmosphere. Sat and smoked out back before the live act took the stage. It was an “ironic” white kid, who covered “Poison” by Bel Biv Devoe, and otherwise, rapped about cell phones with a T-Pain effect. Stayed for his performance, danced a little and went home. Partied like rock stars. A party of two, but damn, was it crunk. Snapped photos like we’re fabulous celebrities (which we secretly are).

Saturday: Still high. Showered with Irish Spring. He poured his Rock Star into a red cup. From a basketball court, we listened to some Africans play music on the playground. Sunny stroll down Telegraph. Toured the student co-op he used to live in. I swung in the hammock on the roof. Blondie’s Pizza. Joints on the couch. Elephant beer. 6 pm and it was bedtime.

Sunday: 14 hours of sleep. Eventually, I helped clean the house by washing the dishes and suggesting the 409 orange-scented cleaner, over the generic window cleaner.

Wednesday night (?)

A list of our night’s keywords that turned into a poem:

1.) Safety pins and cigarettes

2.) Rap music and Charlie’s hiccup breath

3.) Orange helicopter with beatdown sleaze

4.) The dollar in my pocket brought a million to their knees.

Other keywords/themes with us include:

1.) NPR on the “Ian” radio

2.) News at 10

3.) “love note” IM’s

4.) Andre champagne, and the promise of champagne with a real cork someday

5.) the drawer of despair

6.) listening to The Zombies

7.) me getting paid lots of attention and loving it (who doesn’t!?)

So for those very few who have been wondering what I’ve been up to, that is what my life has been lately, regardless of whether it’s a weeknight or weekend. I can’t complain, for now.

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Shit You Should Be up on, II

Hot track: Wu Tang Clan’s new single“The Heart Gently Weeps”, featuring Erykah Badu, John Frusciante, and Dhani Harrison. In related news, RZA won the Hip Hop Chess Federation Benefit Chess Tournament! Congrats, RZA!

‘Ight track: I’d been waiting for “the remix of Alicia Keys’ “No One,”” since not long after I decided I’m feelin’ it. It had to be someone, might as well be Cassidy. His album “B.A.R.S.: The Barry Adrian Reese Story” is said to be droppin’ on Nov. 6th.

Old news?: Who knows when it came out (somewhat recently it seems), but fuckit, Lil Wayne’s got a new mixtape out. “The Drought is Over, Pt. 4.” I am in the middle of downloading it, but you know I’ll be praising it within the next week.

Video: Cassidy and Swizz Beatz “My Drink N My 2 Step.” It’s refreshing to see simplified dance moves, instead of people wilin’ out all over the damn video (talkin to you, Soulja Boy). Sometimes I’m fond of Cassidy, other times I can do without him, but when he’s gettin’ his drink and his two step on, I ain’t about to hate! Keep dancin’, boo!

Lastly: Just for giggles, I want to remind you all, Kid Rock got arrested at Waffle House!

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J-A-(ladies help me say it now)-Y-Z

Who’s excited?!! I’m gettin’ there. It’s like, “UGGHH, Son! UGGH!” (haha, Scary Movie 2)

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Posted on a Stoop in the Hood

One look at the neon signs in the same store front window, reading “BRAIDS,” and “FISH BURGER SPECIAL,” and I knew I was in the hood. Another block of storefronts with still more braiding salons, and questionable eateries, and it occurred to me that these are the kinds of places that the hood needs. Just the bare necessities without anything fancy about them. It’s straight-forward, no frills.

I had made the mistake of telling Cedric I was hungry, so when his friends pulled up to a bunk philly cheese steak place I had to claim that I was fine. There was no way I was going to consume anything from that place. Chris, the hyperactive, funny man, asked, “I thought you were hungry. What is this, some sort of miracle or something?” Laughing, he bounced outta the car and went into the store to fulfill his munchies craving.

When Cedric picked me up, with “Hood Nigga,” blaring, I had a feeling we were just going to a house. We went to his friend’s house in Hayward, on the border of East Oakland. “No, it’s West Oakland that’s really, really bad. You don’t want to go there,” Cedric clarified, after I said I’d heard bad things about East Oakland. Well, too bad I’ve already been there. “You scared of the hood?” I smiled because I was nervous, not about the hood, but about what he thought he was going to get out of me. Though I’ve never been to the “hood-hood,” I’m still too hood-literate to not know what you’re trying to do when you bring me to your boy’s house. True, I’ve made some bad decisions in the past, but I don’t get down like that. I’m not the average hoodrat that you’re probably used to. At the time, I wasn’t annoyed by Cedric; it’s the end of the evening that left me feeling frustrated about everything.

In all honesty, I was relishing in the fact that I was in the hood, sitting on a stoop with three Cameroonians, toking a blunt, while the car in the driveway blared Lil Wayne, Jeezy, T.I., and Gucci Mane. I stood out even more because of the interview clothes I was wearing, having just come from North Berkeley. Across the street people were doing the same thing, except with flasks of Remy in hand, and their music was coming from inside the house. Inside the house I sat on the stoop of, there wasn’t much. It was getting re-furnished. Only Cedric’s friend with the name I can’t pronounce lives there. Cedric told me they are moving into this house, but later I heard his nameless friend on the phone asking, “How long is this house off the market?”

Once his friends came back with the Swishers and we smoked, Chris started staring at the sky. “There’s something out there, girl. Look. Keep looking. There’s something more, you know what I’m saying? See the bat?” He was right. I could see clouds shaped like bats, flying into the evening sun. I thought of Mr. Paul and how he gets spiritual with me too. Maybe it’s because they come from such unfortunate backgrounds that they’re convinced to believe in something higher, to get them through this life, I thought to myself, high as the moon (Chris’ saying).

“Wanna kill this blunt?” Cedric put me in charge of unrolling it. That was a bad idea, and only after I unrolled it to a shitty, ragged-edged piece of paper, did I realize, “I’ve never unrolled a Swisher before. I’m used to Backwoods.” I’m constantly talking about Backwoods with anyone I smoke blunts with. I can’t help myself. We all had a good laugh over that, then Chris said he could still use it to roll with. He broke it in half so we smoked a mini blunt. When I passed him the roach he suddenly held it with a piece of tall grass that he picked from the yard. He had it pinched around the blunt like a makeshift roach clip. That wasn’t his only trick.

Before we even smoked I had given him a cigarette. He took it to his mouth and bit around the edge of the filter. With one whack against his leg, the filter came out. “What are you doing?” I asked. He peeled off the outside of the filter, then stuck it into the cigarette backwards. “That’s where the nicotine is. Here, try it.” I smoked it, not noticing much of a difference besides that the filter was very squishable. Once we were on the 2nd blunt he started to do the same thing to another cigarette. He started to explain how he learned it from watching the old men outside the cafes in Cameroon. When he got tired of talking he said, “Now, let’s take a break, like BET!”

Cedric fed me all this bullshit. It didn’t help that we were in his friend’s bedroom. “I wanna roll with you, girl, for real. How you feel about me? Cuz for real, you’re like the full package.” Ah, yes, nothing says “I wanna fuck you,” more than “You’re the full package.” He needs to calm his shit. Hanging out at a club once means you still don’t know me, and if you think you do, you’re wrong. Leading me into bedrooms isn’t going to work either: 1.) Oh, you think you’re that smooth or something and that I can’t wait to jump on you? Nuh uh! 2.) Way to make me feel cheap and uncomfortable. Part of me thinks it’s my Asian face. I refuse to make your Asian porn fantasy come true. Cedric’s last offense was repeatedly asking me when he can see me again. What does he want? An Excel spreadsheet of my social plans for the coming year? On top of that, he claimed I’m hard to get a hold of when he’s only called me twice. He was being really needy by the end of the evening, especially for a Virgo.

And so, my new guy requirement is that we’ve got to be on the same intellectual playing field, if we want to get anything accomplished. I should’ve realized this a long time ago, but until recently I was searching for something completely outside of myself. Looking at the hills from the front stoop, I was high. I was wondering how I get myself into these situations and why. I concluded that I must be scared to get close to anyone. Am I really one of those people?, I wondered. I’ve never been close to anyone, but I’m wondering if there’s something in my subconscious that won’t let me get close to anyone. Why else would I end up seeing guys that are from a different world than me, guys that will never figure me out? I might be too defensive, or I know that they’re not worth it from the get-go. I’ve never wanted to meet a nice, white boy more than right now.

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Hate/Like

Things I hate

1. waking up before the sun
2. Bishop Ranch buses
3. the suburbs
4. I don’t have my license (still)
5. I break promises to myself, regarding writing/zine things, so I have a million unfinished pieces of shit that maybe no one will ever even read.
6. being poor
7. every shitty piece of clothing I own
8. myself
9. talking on the phone w/ men that don’t get me and never will, cuz what’s the point?
10. whining like a little bitch
11. feeling bloated
12. uncomfortable shoes
13. not having an ipod
14. feeling like I’m going to cry
15. doing laundry

Things I like
1. feeling well-rested
2. bursts of creativity
3. the feeling of finishing a book, which I did yesterday (Valencia by Michelle Tea, I recommend it)
4. sitting in cafes
5. parks and walking
6. cities
7. music
8. good laughs
9. men who pay for me (yeah, I’m that bitch)
10. having projects to do at work
11. the Bay Bridge
12. feeling like I accomplished something in my day
13. sleeping
14. screening my phone calls
15. texting
16. meeting a new person and instantly feeling at ease w/ them (this is very rare, especially for me, but Cali is just like that sometimes)

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Saturday 3:07 a.m. Sept 29. 2007.

Mr. Paul took me to The Down Low in Berkeley. My second time there. I like it. There were a couple live hip-hop groups. Grad School Music (record label, maybe?) I wore my black Tramp dress, and Mr. Paul couldn’t get enough of my legs. “You were talking about your tan. I didn’t know you were gonna put it on me like that!” I’ve never gotten so many compliments on my legs before moving out here. Men are loving these short things! It’s news to me. After he picked me up from the BART station, we were sitting at the lake (Lake Meritt) while he took a break from driving and smoked a Black & Mild. Mm, love that smell. I told him I like the lights that surround the lake and how they reflect off the water. “Looks like icing on a cake!” he said.

We took off for Berkeley, passing a blunt back and forth. He sang his little weed songs (“Weed lifts you up where you belong!”) and we talked about his nieces’ and nephews’ love for hyphy. His Aries temper came out when the bouncer at The Down Low told him he couldn’t take the front spot.

My new favorite past-time is going to clubs with guys who pay for me! I saunter on past the money-taker and go right up to the hand-stamper, and follow him straight to the bar. If anyone says it sucks being a girl, this has never happened to them. I offered to pay this time, but he refused. I was relieved to be dancing to hip-hop with him, instead of reggae, which gets complicated, especially because I’m intimidated by his Jamaican roots. However, dancing is our best form of communication. On the drive home he addressed me in the third person saying, “She’s a dime piece, alright.” I sat proudly on that one. Damn, straight! I thought. I’m not sure what his deal is. He, for the second time, suggested I spend the night. “We told Becky’s parents that I’d be home later.” “You gotta tell them you won’t be home tomorrow night. You gotta spend at least one night of the weekend with me,” he laughed. I don’t think anything would happen if I did spend the night at his place. Maybe he would rather not have to drive me all the way home at 2 a.m.

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idk

My life consists of:

editorial internship M-W via Walnut Creek BART, via MacArthur station, via free shuttle. It’s a big plus that I usually write during the hour I have to kill before going in in the morning, while I sit outside with my Sbux, and that just being in the publishing office inspires me to brainstorm or write on my lunch break (sometimes). I definitely never felt that while temping in a financial office.

weekly check-in phone calls from Mr. Paul. Usually, like tonight, he’ll start out by saying he was on the freeway and just thought of me. Sometimes he tells me about how his grandmother’s doing in the hospital, but mostly when I hang up Becky will ask, “What’d he have to say?” to which I’ll answer, “I have no idea,” then she’ll go, “As usual!” and I’m like, “I think he said something about hanging out? …Maybe?”

giving my number out to various men, none of which I’m excited about, but who cares? Within two days, I gave my number out to three people. Two of them I met when I hit up the dance floor by myself down Crogan’s in da Creek, while Becky was on her date in the other room. Oh, did I mention they were friends with each other? Oooh, my b! Well, even though I was texting with one of them the next afternoon, I haven’t heard from him since, so it doesn’t matter. Plus, his myspace page failed to impress me (ie. skanky pics of chicks, and a weird typical Pisces thing for feet/toes..eww), but I love that his email address is @blackplanet.com. Also those two and the others they were with were pretty fun. I bet you can’t say you that you’ve been wiped down before! Sounds dirty, but for those of you squares not in the know, I’m talking about “Shoulders, chest, pants, shoes!” from Lil Boosie’s “Wipe Me Down.” We were all doing the wipe me down to each other and it was a highlight in my life. Shout outs to Crogan’s for a surprisingly good time on the Thursday night dance floor.

The other dude was an older white guy, total square, who talked to me while we waited ten minutes for the BART up until we transferred and got off at separate stops. I was headed out to meet Mr. Paul at the club, and I once I told the guy that I was going to a club, I had to hear the “Maybe you could show me how to dance sometime.” Show your own damn self how to dance, buddy! That ain’t the job for me. I bitterly told him that I’ve tried that many times before and it just doesn’t work. HA.

football and crabbing with Asians/Koreans (and Becky) on my 24th birthday. I sure as hell didn’t see that coming, but that’s what happened because I was, again, 3rd wheeling with Becky and her date (but no, I will not be that 3rd wheeling friend that follows a couple around. Please, shoot me with your gat before that happens). Earlier that day we went to a Cal game, which was fun for a quarter or two, and then went late-evening crabbing. The view was really beautiful though, because we were on a pier right next to the Golden Gate bridge with the pretty lil’ city and the Bay Bridge across the water.

the end.

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