Coffee Rhetoric: blog
Showing posts with label blog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blog. Show all posts

December 22, 2012

These and Those: Holiday Update


It has been a spell since I've logged a proper blog post. I know, I know. I was (and am still) hoping to make some vanity changes to the blog, to ring in this New Year, once I figure out the logistics. I've also been on somewhat of a mini-break from blogging.

(Very valid) excuses: I was sans a laptop for a minute because my old, crotchety one finally sputtered and died on me. It had literally been hanging on by a proverbial thread... wires would be a more apt description. Duct taping the screen to its keyboard simply wasn't passing muster anymore. It was a slow moving, perpetually freezing, memory waning piece of junk. I cringed at having to take it out in public to work on. Needless to say, in its final act of defiance it declared, "F*ck yo' couch!" and went bye-bye for good. It took some maneuvering to transfer my work off of it, but my (very necessary and relevant) files were saved and re-loaded onto the newer laptop... thank goodness. 
I've also been trying to work through a massive writer's block. A lot is going on in the world, most recently the tragedy that took place in Newtown, CT. Honestly, there are no words I could have written to sum up my thoughts on the tragedy, so I've opted not to publicly share them via social media. I will say that local (Connecticut) media, for the most part, has been respectful and protective of the victims' loved ones, and I think that it's definitely warranted and needed, to enable them to grieve and make sense of it in peace... especially since it's so close to the holidays.

That people have been making it a habit of using these sorts of tragedies to spew vitriol, make racist comments, peddle religious and political propaganda, or make it about themselves, on social media and other public platforms, is vile. Awareness, recognition of others' humanity, and courtesy seem to be disintegrating and I'm not here for devolution and ignoramus behavior... at all. I don't write things or engage others in discourse with an expectation that they need to agree with me; but people will rant (often on my social media platforms) about "Free Speech!" and say something particularly inflammatory, unfounded, and trollish, then scoff at others for being "too politically-correct" when they're called out because they think that will somehow insulate them from being critiqued, challenged, or from accountability when they spew nonsense. Not here for it. I'm old and have officially run out of patience for people who display off-the-chart levels of ignorance and who have a propensity for public stunts-and-shows or histrionics.

In short, my thoughts are running cyclical like a Mobius strip and filtering them into a cohesive blog post has proved to be a bit challenging. I'm also working on a few other writing projects (while drinking copious amounts of coffee of course) that have been usurping some of that creative-thought energy, psyching myself up so I can work towards meeting some personal goals, and have been surely and vehemently trying to steer the conversation away from that topic that shall not be mentioned again, since that is not the crux of what Coffee Rhetoric is about (but has suddenly become synonymous with). 

I'll be returning to my regularly scheduled blogging program after the holidays, and am looking forward to spilling open once again. 

In the meantime, here's wishing a safe, productive, fun, and reflective holiday this season to you and yours. 

January 27, 2011

These and Those: Winter Whinge

Things are moving forward... Life has given me a much needed break and decided to jabbing at me with low blows and sucker punches. We're working in-tandem. Me and life, life and me... Slowly moving in a similar direction, and this pleases me. The way the east coast is getting slammed with back-to-back snowstorms isn't very pleasurable, however. Everything can't sync ... and I'm okay with that... but it's downright depressing. Perhaps the sky has parted, dumping massive amounts of snow in the northeast pto signal the fact that the universe is aligned with my chi? Yes, I'm that self-important. My delusions of grandeur knows no bounds. 
In all seriousness, I've been busy... and busy is always a good thing. I'm hoping to be in the thick of things once spring rolls around. The spring will find me able to move freely down the street without experiencing the tension of hunching my shoulders and back against the cold, frigid air, as I take giant strides over massive snow banks, slush ridden puddles, and patches of black ice. My joints won't feel as stiff, my hair and skin won't shy away from its usual suppleness... spring ... spring... SPRING... I'm looking forward to it. My blogger gig at with the Hartford based theater group has bled into a PR/Marketing position that I hope not to flub. This is a balancing act I'm glad to juggle. The blogging aspect of it is going really well... the reception has been good. 
In the meantime, I've many other things I need to rant about.  A lot of ratched-ness (read: wretchedness) is unfolding in my midst... things that're 'SMDH' worthy... Stay tuned... Oh yes, and if you feel so inclined, please join the Coffee Rhetoric fan page on Facebook. I need to justify not deleting it and to help compensate for the flaky one or two who drop in and out of that particular social networking circle, like selfish lovers. That is all. ;-)
P.S. in a crazy test of my sanity and karma, I battled against the rage of the snowstorm yesterday... bloated, and weighed down further w/ my lovely, giant Sri Lankan handbag/case I feel compelled to stuff to capacity and lug around, and an umbrella in my quest towards CVS Pharmacy for tampons, Motrin, and other female-like provisions. Imagine my surprise when I found that I did not have my wallet in my purse. Despite the frosty air, I broke out into a sweat. Suddenly my coat and scarf began to constrict my breathing... I stumbled outside, fighting the elements, and made my way back down the street to re-trace my steps. ... I felt hotter... and so was about to cut my loss... The heat of my stress was almost too unbearable and I just wanted to go home out of the blizzard... but I needed the means to purchase armor against my impending, monthly doom. I could feel the pressure of its inevitable arrival on the cusp of cumming... What the hell would I use?? I pressed on and saw the free, downtown Star Shuttle rumbling up the street... The last place I pulled it out at clicked, and I flagged it down. I explained to the driver that I'd lost my wallet, and that it may very well be on his shuttle, and politely asked if I could run on and look... and look I did... There it lay in all its grand purple Coach-ness... on the seat I'd vacated moments prior... unscathed, untouched, un-ransacked... Thank you Karma... Now THAT.is.all...  

November 14, 2010

Alive! Plus some Coffee Buzz

(c) Coffee Rhetoric
I've been gone for a minute, now I'm back with the Jump-off, but not really...  I feel as if I haven't blogged in forever. In addition to being afflicted with writer's block, I've been caught up in the rapture of life. Keeping busy is definitely good, but I definitely don't want to immerse myself in productive happenings at the expense of writing and blogging. Aside from clocking in hours, I've been doing my version of schmoozing (Just like flirting, I'm not good at it), trying to make the rounds around town, and meeting other interesting people. I've also been shadowbox, duck, and weave the toxic energy that constantly seems to try to insinuate itself into my life. It's like a dense fog full of dead spirits or not unlike a noxious gas that cuts through the air. In any event... fighter, survivor... so forth, so on... I flail and jab with fervor and it seems as if the wheel is turning... it's creaking... but it's turning ever so slowly, and that works for me.
In any event, I've made what I hope turns out to be worthwhile connections with some really great people making moves in Hartford, and if there's one thing I've grown an affinity for, it's promoting my home city and spotlighting the people that advocate for it and help it prosper while trying to carve out their own niche here. Most notably are: John Ramaglia, a local film producer whose acquaintance I met at wine bar Bocca Rossa. His credentials sounded pretty impressive. He's co-creator of the Silk City Flick Fest (which I think I've linked in a previous Coffee Buzz post), and manager of up-and-coming talent in Hartford. John also mentioned helping bring Poetz Corner TV- which is an open mic poetry event, taped live every Tuesday night at Hartford lounge, Cloud 9 and hosted by Shireal Renee (star of the upcoming one woman show "Wide Open")- to Access TV on Channel 5 (Hartford). 
(c) MzIndgoBGM/Michelle Mowatt
I'm also pleased to know and mention fledgling freelance makeup artist (she's really good) and modeling recruiter for New York based plus-size sorority and organization BGM (Big Girl Movement) Inc. - (Which strives to encourage fuller-figured women to feel comfortably fabulous, healthy, active, and stylish in their skin)- Michelle Mowatt. Irreverent, gorge, stylish, and self-aware, Michelle is definitely a lady to look out for... as she does great renditions of the smoky eye (Glam Fairy who?), and is already amassing an eager and growing list of visages to beat into shape, armed with a great collection of makeup brands in her arsenal. Please contact her here, for more information on hiring her to do your makeup or BGM- mzindygobgm@gmail.com and twitter.com/MzIndygoBGM
There's so much going on in Hartford, with me, so forth and so on. I'm desperately trying my best to keep up and stay in the midst of it all. It's both exciting and exhausting. I think I definitely need to look into getting back on some sort of multivitamin lest I'll miss it all ... I also need to re-organize my own personal goings on, so that I can continue to spill open in earnest sans the long lapses. ... I also saw Tyler Perry's film adaption of Ntozoke Shange's experimental masterpiece, "For Colored Girl's Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Wasn't Enough" and am still working through how I feel about his handling of it. Overall, it wasn't terrible... but I am still working through how I feel. I know it has already generated obnoxious ramblings from what I've christened to be the Fraternity of Danny Downers who seem unaware of the movie's origins... post to follow real soon, once I organize my thoughts because I also feel like you can't be Black and say something in opposition to Tyler Perry's work without getting the side-eye from our community... So, yes... I need to think it through before I offer up my opinion for public consumption ... 

August 08, 2010

Maintaining

So far, I'm maintaining. Despite not being exactly where I'd like to be, not getting exactly what I want to have, so forth and so on, I feel somewhat at peace... somewhat. There're definitely intermittent moments where the weather forecast is fraught with cumulus clouds. During that those moments, Horus steps in front of me and angrily jabs his fist at the sky as Wadjet keeps me under her watchful eye... making sure I don't collapse in a dejected heap. It is then that I continue to flail and fight, the undeniable resolve of Sekhmet. 
Fringed ends are trimmed for good and I tightly knot the freshly shorn and intact ones. That is all the closure I need, because regressing is the interpretive dance form I'd rather not engage in. I'm exasperated, but I continue to trudge forth, shrugging off non essential baggage, lightening my load as best as I can, while holding on to those provisions crucial to my survival. I've got those neatly packed away in a trendy, brown leather hand bag. They sit amongst my lip gloss, hand cream, wallet, pepper spray, ear phones, and mobile phone. 
I'm sputtering forward, forcing my way through as many doors as I can push my way through... Please note the tip jar to the left. No bills lower than Good Karma and Well Wishes, thank you very much. 

July 17, 2010

Fatigued

It may seem like I've abandoned Coffee Rhetoric, but nothing can be further from the truth. In addition to brainstorming and exploring ways in which I can catapult this creative endeavor into something bigger, I am currently in the throes of life's trials and tribulations. Seems par for the course. Every year, a demon seems to crop up from underneath its moist rock to grapple with me. I slay in earnest. Life's ugly side seems to test the psyche and question whether one's intestinal fortitude is durable enough to triumph. ... I know this. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, so forth and so on. However, for once, I'd like things to be easy. As unrealistic and unattainable as that may be, I think I'm long overdue for a reprieve because I'm exhausted, coupled with intermittent moments of feeling frustrated, with a dash of anger. The anger I internalize. 
As a result, I'm blocked. I feel blocked in every aspect of the word... especially creatively and that is never good and it's not productive... but as usual, I fight the good fight. I've been proceeding with caution and have become somewhat solitary and reclusive, peeking out every now and again. Very introspective and extremely determined. This summer as been hot, and it has been long and sweltering... mirages.  
I deserve and demand a break though. ... That is my petition and I'm sticking to it. 

February 17, 2010

Be My Benefactor or Bust

Coffee Rhetoric is looking for advertisers. If you're, culturally aware, natural hair product, arts, film, wine, coffee, glam (and interests of the like) affiliated and you think you'd like to LEGITIMATELY advertise on my blog or acquire my writing services as a guest writer/witty observer/reviewer of wonderful things/blogger/columnist-- please email me at coffey0072@yahoo.com. If you're a local business, person, thing (local meaning if you're from Connecticut... Greater Hartford area especially), that'd be even more awesome.
SERIOUS and pertinent inquiries only. Don't be shy. I'm serious if YOU are. I've got manners. I'll only talk ish in writing, as opaquely as I can muster and behind your back. ;-)
**Blog sponsor appeal updated to add that I'm not just looking for any and every type of sponsor. My blog matters a LOT to me, because it's a reflection of my thoughts. An extension of me, so the hope is to garner attention from a sponsor, whose endorsement I believe in.  It's not about selling out or cashing in. It's about moving forward and branching out, so I can do this thing bigger and even better. Back to the regularly scheduled program. That is all. :-) 

January 01, 2010

New Year & The Best of Coffee Rhetoric

The New Year is upon us. Good times. After a night of drinking and debauchery, I've always felt a little indifferent about sliding into yet another new year. Somehow, I feel especially excited about Twenty-Ten. Perhaps because I'm getting a lot more serious about accomplishing some goals that've simmered on low, on the backburner, for a long while? Not sure, but I'm a little giddy about this new year. I don't want the feeling to end. In the meantime, while I mull over new and more exciting ways to spill open on my blog (I've been at this since 2004!), nostalgia has prompted me to re-post some of my favorite entries.
Like this one; Entitled "Like Water for Chocolate"

December 28, 2009

These and Those

I'll be back to reflect in 2010. I'll be back to relay some newer ideas here and there. Things are inching along ever so slowly, but surely... I think.
I have much to mull over. I have much to possibly share and relay. But I definitely need to take a moment, prior to my reflection. This blog here... it has been cathartic. It has been great. And I'm still here to spill open.

August 11, 2009

Getting On

Coffee, tea, wine, friends, me. Me, wine, coffee, he. He, she, a little poetry, family, books, and cultural activities... These things among other interests are helping me keep my sanity. These. things. are. helping. me. keep. my. SANITY.
I haven't inhaled any toxic or noxious fumes. My mind is still crystal clear. I have intermittent moments of frustration, but I'm still here. I can still hear. I'm can steal here. I have STEEL back there.
I'm rambling. But it's all incoherently connected. Thursday will find me spilling open in front of strangers, Saturday will find me a year older and ever the more wiser. Next week will find me still ducking, bobbing, and weaving as I shadow box. The week after next, I'll still be standing and tanner... my resolve stronger.
Needless to say, I've stumbled, but I'm none to worse for wear, despite those frustrating interludes. In SPITE of those frustrating interludes.
That is all.

July 15, 2009

Summer Symphony...

Summer Time, and the living is easy. Fish are jumping... and the cotton is high...
Spit globs on cement, neck tattoos... Lazy, disgusting and lumbering pigeons, camel toe.
Muffin tops abound, bubbling over too tight waist bands, ... crazies unhinged, mumbling on the bus and whilst stomping down steamy city streets... menacing almost, but ignored nonetheless. The pungeant perfume of b.o. on stuffy public transportation wraps me in a tight embrace as I choke down the sick rising in my throat...
Ill fitting denim shorts digging into fat thunder thighs... as they ride, ride, riiide up betwixt and between sweaty delicates... thighs rubbing together like sticks at a camp fire... ahh Summer Time and the living is easy....
Toddlers screaming down the street as agitated mothers jerk them about, men walking down the street topless, as their carefully nourished beer F.U.P.A.'s jiggle shamelessly in the summer breeze... tees slung over their shoulders, prisoners just released from the penn trying to sell inspirational poems, begging for any monetary contribution... Fish are jumping, and the cotton is high...
Teenagers in sagging skinny jeans and fitted graphic tees, non-chalantly gliding by. Tweens cursing up a storm out of earshot of parents. Free and careless. ... Oh your daddy's rich, and your ma' is good lookin'... So hush little baby, don't you cry...
Vendors peddling fake haute couture, luxury purses, and perfume oils as the smell of fried foods and hot steamy garbage circulate and dance a slow Tango around the city's landscapes...
"How you doin's" from rubber necking dudes you've no interest in....
Jazz festivals, ice cream trucks, Italian ice, and mosquitoes.
Summer in the city has defintely arrived folks.
Lily Allen said it best in this vid... That is all.

July 13, 2009

These and Those

In the midst of job hunting, relaxing, and re-focusing, I've been trying to engage in activities that keep me, well, engaged. Free Jazz in Bushnell Park on Monday evenings, The Cipher themed night at local micro-lounge Cloud 9, catching up on reading and activities of the like. Being productive allows no room for sulking or having a pity party about my sudden turn of events. Besides, my spirits are still high and that's not the type of party I relish attending. Socializing allows me to be around people of my ilk... creative and relevant types. More importantly it offers a chance for some networking! The Cipher inspired me to dust off and revisit unfinished projects, to READ again. To FEEL again. Being a working stiff, sometimes I lose sight of my creative core. Granted, being a working stiff is vital to my livelihood, but next time around I won't let it encompass me to a point where I don't write... where I'm too tired to write, to get inspired. To seek opportunities outside my job, in hopes of parlaying my craft into something exciting and lucrative.
Additionally, I finally got my hands on a copy of Sapphire's "Push." Very difficult novel to swallow about the effects of poverty, physical/verbal/emotional and sexual abuse, and illiteracy. By far, this has got to be one of the most gripping passages I've ever read in a contemporary piece of fiction written in the character's (16 year old mother to be Precious Jones) voice (upon going to register for an alternative learning, pre-GED program):
... There has always been something wrong wif the tesses. The tesses paint a picture of me wif no brain. The tesses paint a picture of me an' my muver- my whole family, we more than dumb, we invisible. One time I seen us on TV. It was a show of spooky shit, an' castles, you know shit be all haunted. And the peoples, well some of them was peoples and some of them was vampire peoples. But the real peoples did not know it till it was party time. You know crackers eating roast turkey an' champagne and shit. So it's five of 'em sitting on the couch; and one of 'em git up and take a picture. Got it? When picture develop (it's instamatic) only one person on the couch. The other peoples did not exist. They vampires. They eats, drinks, wear clothes, talks, fucks, and stuff but when you git right down to it they don't exist.
I big, I talk, I eats, I cooks, I laugh, watch TV, do what my muver say. But I can see when the picture come back I don't exist. Don't nobody want me. Don't nobody need me. I know who I am. I know who they say I am- vampire sucking the system's blood. Ugly black grease to be wipe away, punish, kilt, changed, finded a job for.
I wanna say I am somebody. I wanna say it on subway, TV, movie, LOUD. I see pink faces in suits look over top of my head. I watch myself disappear in their eyes, their tesses. I talk loud but still don't exist.
That passage rocked me. I had to re-read it several times, especially that last bit. Not since Toni Morrison's Sula and Saul Williams's prose in She, has a book made me swallow hard.
Anyway, the beat continues and this one-woman band plays on. Without a doubt, I'm sure I'll have my moments, but I'll continue to shadowbox with the force.

June 13, 2009

I Know Who Killed Me

... Time, life, work, lack of sleep, and various other things hindering me from laying back in the cut and collecting my thoughts. That's what is killing me.
Oh, but I have lots to share, pics to upload, anecdotes to relay. I am sooo far from spilling open. Please bear with me. I'm champing at the bit to get it all out. My belly is growing full from holding it all in!
I'll be back in a bit! My younger sister is getting married this afternoon, and I need to figure out how not to disappoint Imus. I'd hate to go looking like a nappy headed ho' so I have to go condition!
That is all! ;-)

November 26, 2008

Busy B

Ugh. I've been busy. STILL trying to settle into my new crib! It's in disarray and we simply CAN'T have that. Hanging up pics have been a nightmare. The walls are made out of concrete apparently and I've bent several dozen picture hangers attempting to do so. Now it's time for plan B.
I cannot WAIT to get the internet up and running in ma maison. La maison de Coffey. AND I lost my phone this Saturday and cannot WAIT to get it replaced TOOT SUITE (did I spell that correctly??). The details of how I lost it shall remain murky, for now. In any event, I had it deactivated, especially since someone found it in a snap and decided to start immediately texting to someone in Mauritania! I'm back to my poor bachelorette ways (not that I had any affluent or well off ones to begin with) and do look forward to gorging myself on free Thanksgiving food.
I shall return, and will update as often as possible in the interim. Bises. P.S. Read this

June 18, 2008

Please Beg My Pardon...

... I've had a fun past weekend on Cape Cod with my newly braced-up (she just got braces)- best friend Cat, and haven't had time to relay the sordid details. With various annoyances; irritating personalities, work related fatigue, agitation with my apartment search, wishy washy types, and the like- I'm literally drowning in a sea of foolishness. I'm none too worse for wear though. I'm fine but extremely tired. Dating and the opposite sex are a mere after-thought (if thought about at all) these days. Nothing but over-the-hill, married, middle aged men looking to play games and rap a wack verse anyway, to see if they still have it. Whatever it is. So I'm missing nada. I'm reveling in me, myself, and I. And oddly enough, I don't feel an ounce of remorse. Anyway, I'll be back in a minute. I'm exhausted and suffering from insomnia.

May 17, 2008

Hotness

This afternoon, I checked my email and got a notice that a post I logged: Hair Raising Tale, has been deemed Post of the Day, by a website called The Rising Blogger. How flattering! I consider Hair Raising Tale one of my more important posts, because it's an issue that hits close to home and affects many other Black women who constantly feel ignored, not considered beautiful or pretty enough or are criticized for having features conducive to their (our) ethnicity. I take pride in carrying myself a certain way and I'm even prouder to be who I am and HOW I am. I don't really give credence to the media or society attempting to dictate and determine my womanhood and beauty. Thanks again Rising Blogger for recognizing and being open-minded enough to respect my views! Pop by there (if you feel so inclined to do so) and see what they had to say about moi.

March 10, 2008

I'll Be Back...

... I am worked to the BONE. Literally. I'm tired, lethargic, and functioning on caffeine (not that it does a damn thing). Work is fast paced and busy-busy and to top it all off I've lost an hour's worth of sleep! That on top of apotment hunting.
I want to do stuff. I want to write stuff. I want to relay witty anecdotes here, oh do I have some witty ones stored away in my memory's bank. I want to go out and about during my downtime, but I can't bring myself to do so. I'm lazy. I've got stuff to share and I'm too lazy. I've got places to go, but once I retreat to the home front, my limbs turn wooden. I think about doing... but they don't move. I become a stone statue.
Spring is on the horizon and I sense slight lubrication in my winter-stiff joints. On a positive note, sleep isn't such an elusive idea anymore. For now anyway.
In any event, give me a few minutes or so. I'll be back... I just need to shake my lazy pelt off.
P.S. I stumbled upon some Absinthe, or Absente rather. ...

February 15, 2008

... Didn't You Know This?

That wretched, waste of time and money holiday... the one that starts with a V and shall remain nameless, is finally done and over with.
I always find it amusing when couples wait once a year to do something thoughtful and sexy for one another, before settling back into the routine of being jerks to one another. I smirked on the inside as a co-worker discussed how mean and cold his siggy other acted toward him, prompting him to consider calling it quits over the past weekend, before she called apologizing... all sweetness and light. Bitch knew that V day was on the horizon, that's why. Word on the street is that he got her an assortment of lovely gifts anyway.
I rolled my eyes as I listened to the frazzled bartender at restaurant Hot Tomatoes, sitting in wait for my lunch as he complained about the dozens of reservations overwhelming the restaurant for the evening... "people don't realize, we'll be extremely busy and they expect to be in and out in like 45 minutes!"
"Call me jaded, but I don't understand what all the fuss is about..." I opined. "It'll be done and over with in hours, and couples will go back to clawing at one another's throats on the 15th. But perhaps I'm just saying this, because I'm single..."
"Yeah..." he agreed before throwing up his hands at the ringing phone and rushing to answer it... Another hopeful patron probably wanting a reservation, no doubt. And then there was that attractive, young, sharply dressed and perfumed Hispanic couple I passed on the street later on that evening, after clocking off from work... arguing en route to Hot Tomatoes, as girlfriend struggled in her pointy-toed stiletto boots, to keep up with her agitated boyfriend, as they stomped to their destination over melting snow piles.
Ask me how deep my scowl furrowed, as I shook my head at the tacky assortment of plastic hearts, pitiful looking single red roses individually wrapped and contained behind cellophane plastic (for a whopping 5 to 10 bucks a pop), white teddy bears holding red heart pillows with the words "I Love You" painted on the front, and other stupid bric-a-brac vendors were hoping to hawk to desperate last minute shoppers, who didn't have time to order that delicious (and pricey) flower shaped cantaloupe bouquet from Edible Arrangements.
The most infuriating moment, however? ... Walking into CVS Pharmacy and discovering every last bit of fucking chocolate... every box of Hershey's Pot O' Gold (on sale for $3.88) sold the eff out!! The inconsiderate vultures. I wanted to push the shelves over in blind, white hot fury, but instead purchased a pack of cellulose facial sponges, black liquid eyeliner, and gum and stormed out into the damp, dark winter malaise, in a moue of glossy indignation and disgust.
The bitter ramblings of a young woman, never having been in love and cynical about the complex maze of dating? Perhaps. Or maybe just realistic and an staunch advocate of consistency in genuine behavior and emotions, just 'cause... not prompted by some corny holiday, that dictates you should go broke buying someone's affections once a year.
This morning, as I made my way to the entrance of my place of employment I came upon a sad looking, red, heart shaped mylar balloon, with Betty Boop on the front... flirty and dripping hearts lying on the ground. Dejected on February 15th. The last remnants of the previous day already forgotten and only remembered to begin with, due to some overwhelming sense of obligation. Half deflated and out of place in the backdrop of a crisp, bright, wintry-white morning as people hurried around it, rushing about in long, black winter coats... faces grim as they clutched their oversized Starbucks cups as if the 14th never happened. Clutching my own dark roast, I stopped and looked down at it. I shook my head. That pretty much summed up V-day. I stepped on Betty's face with my favorite pair of calf boots and rushed in to start my day.
P.S. to the man whose phone number I accepted a couple of weeks ago, because I thought you were genuine... TEXTING a response to someone's voicemail message, after "hoping" that they'd call: "Thanks! Talk to U Later" and then following up by calling at odd hours: 7:30 AM as you're getting in your car (I heard you unlocking your door), calling and then hanging up sans leaving a voicemail, texting "Are U up??" @ 12:20AM on a week day are NOT the proper ways to woo someone for a date and is rather dubious. Been there, done that... and the shirt I have to prove it? I use it to clean around the house. Strikes one, two, AND three. You're out!

October 06, 2007

Please sir, Can I have some more?

I was reading Rupert Murdoch's newly acquired baby, The Wall Street Journal this afternoon and apparently bloggers are not only making waves in the realm of politics and celebrity gossip, but in food critiquing as well. The paper's Weekend Journal section and its featured article The Price of A Four Star Rating penned by Katy McLaughlin investigates the relationship between restaurateurs (many of whom have newly established eateries) and food bloggers/food forum commenters. It seems as if some popular food bloggers are heaping praise on certain restaurants, after having had their gastronomic experiences gratuitement. Restaurant owners seem to value the written opinions of the average joe restaurant patron just as much as an accredited food critic's, and so will champ at the bit to make sure their dining experience is superior. And if that means hosting a four course meal complete with free open bar privileges or a special invitation to dine gratis (the case with one restaurant patron and his family after he blogged a negative experience at Le Cirque)- so be it. One woman suggested that her free experience during an event at Chicago restaurant Dine (it spent $1,500 feeding members of one popular food site where people post reviews and ratings )-- wouldn't have been as enjoyable had she had to pick up the tab. I'm all for a free meal, a free drink, a free make-out session or a free anything for that matter. In fact, one of my favorite words is free. But can a blogger or a self-appointed online foodie offer an objective review, if their meals are being comped 80 percent of the time at the restaurant they're seeking to write about? Anybody can have an enjoyable dining experience if they don't have to pay for their Roasted halibut with walnut crust, dressed with a side of melon relish, non? Hell, if I got a bland chocolate torte at a fancy restaurant for FREE, I'd probably blog about how great the service was too. I've shared my sexy times experiences with certain products on this humble blog on numerous occasions. But these were products I purchased and thoroughly (and genuinely) enjoyed. No one offered them to me for free, in exchange for a 4-star review (hint-hint). I've also shared pictures and fun times I've had at different local eateries as well as ones I've enjoyed off-site. Because the food and service were excellent. I can understand why food critics (who are known for using discretion and a certain level of anonymity when patronizing new restaurants) -- and top chefs are put out by this sudden explosion of food blogs being the word on certain eateries. What if a popular food blogger hates Bobby Flay's guts for whatever reason (maybe he doesn't like his on-air wardrobe), and decides to post a bunch of garbage about Flay's restaurants and personal life? That can have a negative influence on other people's experience, because they may patronize any one of his establishments looking for trouble. According to the article, Celebrity chef Mario Batali posted a rant of his own, in response to a scathing blog entry, that detailed an alleged dispute he was having with one of his restaurant's landlords. He opined--
Many of the anonymous authors who vent on blogs rant their snarky vituperatives from behind the smoky curtain of the web. This allows them a peculiar and nasty vocabulary that seems to be taken as truth by virtue of the fact that it has been printed somewhere. Unfortunately, this also allows untruths, lies and malicious and personally driven dreck to be quoted as fact. Even a savvy blog like the one you are reading now has strangely superseded truly responsible journalism. It is much more immediate and can skip a lot of the ponderous setup necessary in a news article. It cuts right to the heart of a matter, often disputing it as though real research has taken place.
I tend to stay away from celebrity gossip (thousands of those blogs saturating the web already) and being a self-described expert on anything, other than my own personal tastes, likes and dislikes. I keep things self-involved and narcissistic. The internet, the blogosphere in particular, is a powerful forum that carries enough force to humiliate, defame, and hurt. People look to bloggers as authoritative voices on politics, celebrity, popular culture, movies, hot spots to be seen at, and most other types of fodder. While bloggers have gained some semblance of legitimacy, I think we are still looked at with some level of skepticism. At this juncture in BlogLand, I think we owe it to ourselves and the public to keep shit genuine, and to proceed with stealth by being thorough in researching what we say-- (unless it pertains to our own personal lives or opinions on such matters)- or to relay information as any real journalist or bastion of information would do. If you genuinely hate someplace or someone, then cite specific reasons why you do, detail your own personal and HONEST experiences, and leave it at that. When you write for shock value or to generate a high volume of readers, well the subpar sucky and fug of the writing shines through, like a rainbow does at a gay pride parade (I actually saw a real rainbow during Connecticut's Gay Pride parade this year, no lie), and peoples' bullshit-o-meter (with the fake cough, thank you very much) goes off. If a restaurant owner happens to read the ways in which you found his establishment deplorable and wants to invite you back, on the house, for a better dining experience so be it. As it should unfold... If a place sucks hard, like a prostitute on a john (free meal or not) go the route of legitimate food critics, and just be honest about it. It's the only way to authenticate your voice, your opinion, your writing in the blogosphere and beyond.