It was a few months ago while going to the movies with my bestie, Steph to see that cringe-worthy—should have gone straight to DVD—movie, Unforgettable, where I saw the trailer for the movie, Girls Night. A movie about black women having fun and living life starring Jada Pinkett-Smith and Queen Latifah along with sexual chocolate men? Ticket for one, please. I was filled with a range of emotion such as anxiousness because I am always eager to see a funny comedy and anger that I had to wait a few months to actually see it. Therefore, I had two things to wait for in July: this movie and the dread that I’m an inch away from thirty.
The movie is about best friends Ryan, Sasha, Lisa and Dina who are in for the adventure of a lifetime when they travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival. Along the way, they rekindle their sisterhood and rediscover their wild side by doing enough dancing, drinking, brawling and romancing to make the Big Easy blush. I’m not going to lie, after reading the synopsis before actually seeing the movie, I thought it would be a black version of, A Rough Night starring Scarlett Johansson that came out in theaters a few weeks prior. One has to admit that they thought the same thing, too. It wouldn’t be the first time. From The Honeymooners starring Cedric the Entertainer and Gabrielle Union, to Death at a Funeral with Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence, Hollywood always dabbled in replacing white faces with black ones to add a little…flava? I’m not sure, but it appeared as though these two movies were going head-to-head. The plots were similar, but not identical. A Rough Night dealt with a bachelorette party gone wrong, which in itself was like a female version of The Hangover. Dead stripper, drugs, sex…and more drugs? Was Girls Trip the same?
Saturday night came and Steph wanted to make sure that we arrived early because she refused to sit in the front due to her height and her back. I get it. We managed to get our foods and seats (though Steph gave my seat away. Smh) before the crowds started coming in. The theater became so packed, I thought people would have to sit on the steps. By this point, my expectations were high being that my Facebook timeline gave the movie rave reviews and my mother, who is critical about anything and everything ACTUALLY enjoyed it. My aunt raved that she felt like a new woman after seeing it. Well, then.
The movie starts. It begins with introducing the four friends as the “Flossy Posse” in college, describing each of their different personalities. Ryan (Regina Hall) is a successful author and business woman, who alongside of her retired football player husband—Luke Cage himself, Mike Colter—is a force to be reckoned with. Both inspire women that they can “have it all”. HA. Then there is Sasha (Queen Latifah), the Journalism major who worked successfully as journalist for Times Magazine, before creating her own Gossip website. Lisa (Jada Pinkett-Smith) is the wild one, who transformed herself into a doting wife and mother. Then there is Dina (Tiffany Haddish). Dina, Dina, Dina. Dina is the wild card. She is like the black female Charlie of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. She is wild, crazy, and unpredictable. The fact that contracting a STD didn’t faze her because it was curable was both hilarious and a downright shame.
Apparently, over the years, things were said, issues weren’t resolved, and people lost touch. I get it. It happens. That’s life. Because of who Ryan is, she was invited to the Essence Fest to speak. This was the perfect opportunity to get the Flossy Posse back together. Each woman had their own issues and maybe spending time with their girls can get their minds off the stress of their everyday lives.
Let me be the first to say that I will not give any spoilers. I feel that takes away from the viewing experience for those who have yet to see the movie. What I will say is that this movie is comedy gold! I was dying with laughter. Tiffany Haddish is indeed a force to be reckoned with. She brings life to the screen and has you anticipating what other funny thing is going to come out of her mouth. Her character, Dina is as real as they come. I definitely felt like I was a bit of a Lisa, a mother with two kids who seems a bit out of touch when it comes to going out and having a good time. I definitely need help with learning how to dress sexy again because sweats are life now and dating seems foreign to me. Sasha was just trying to get by, but still had loyalty to her friends. Ryan was lovable, but was hell-bent on keeping up appearances for everyone; placing on a show of perfection to her readers. I get it. There they were, four different personalities, but were able to remain such great friends. Dina was ready to stab a mofo for her girl. Dudes get stabbed every day, B.
Can we talk about the eye candy, please? We have Mike Colter who is fine like coffee, the ageless Larenz Tate, and the delectable, scrumptious, delicious (I’m very hungry right now, by the way) Kofi Siriboe. When he stepped onto the screen, I almost choked on my slushy. If I were to have died at that moment, I would have died happy. This Adonis is…is…perfection! That wasn’t his arm? Say what? I don’t have anything to risk, but I will definitely find something just so I could risk it all. On top of that sexual chocolate, we have cameos from both Maxwell and Morris Chestnut.
This was indeed a great comedy movie to me, and I am very critical of all genres of film. The pace was neither fast or slow. It remained steady. The actors played their parts and they played them well. All the characters were highly relatable in that we all knew of a friend that was like a Sasha, that was a Lisa or Ryan, and I for damn sure knew of a few Dinas. Have you heard of “grapefruiting”? Well, you’re going to learn today.
The issues that these women face were real, something most of us experienced in our lives or knew of someone who did. It was raunchy, but not that kind that made you scrunch up your nose and frown, but made you almost spit out your overpriced theater food due to laughter. If I didn’t know better, I would have sworn that these four women have been friends for years. This movie displayed black women as carefree, who just loved to have fun and hang out. It makes me wish that I had more female friends to take a girls’ trip with. At least ones who weren’t married so we could do more wild stuff without all the guilt. From golden showers, citrus and fellatio, to friendship, love, and empowerment, Girls Trip was the comedy of the summer. I loved every moment of it. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, I advise you to do so now.
The fashion industry is a $1.5 billion industry and growing. Not many people know firsthand what it takes to start and build their own clothing brand. There are the challenges of severing snaps, die sets, and even the fabric be delivered marred. Fashion designers must acquire the originality that can lead to the success of their brand by creating an enthralling look that identifies with the market they wish to target. There is not only a need to really work hard, but the want to be good at what they do. The entire process is rather daunting in that one is willing give their all so that they can start their own label for there hold many risks. The main goal of fashion is to provide a unique visual in the form of clothing; however, as an ever-changing business, it still lacks the diversity both on the runaway and behind the scenes. There are not many highly-praised black fashion designers that one can name off the top of their head, but ask someone to name thirty Pokemon and they can do it without fail. In this industry, black fashion designers are a rarity. They are not like unicorns, mythical creatures that one has read stories about, but never seen with one’s own eyes, but they are rare, nonetheless. Sure, you have the rap moguls who create their own designs from P Diddy’s, Sean John to the homeless stylings of Kanye West. I am talking about the ones who journeyed into the fashion industry not because it was something to simply stick their toes in, but because fashion was their life; fashion was what they live and breathe. Out of the 470 members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, only twelve are African-American today. Oddly, there are less black designers now than there were in the 1970’s. It might not mean something to most, but it is troubling that there is a lack of diversity within an industry that is heavily influenced by the style of African-Americans—Rihanna, for example.
Nevertheless, black fashion designers like Armando Cabral and Carly Cushnie—to name a few—not only took great strides with their designs of underground subculture, they were also able to create opportunities for other designers of color trying to make their mark in the fashion world, like Chyna Nesby.
Chyna is a twenty-eight-year-old self-taught designer from Decatur, Georgia. Having sewn since the age of twelve, fashion has become Chyna’s life. At times, she would alter the clothes of her dolls and make them her own. In a sense, fashion chose her. In the beginning—like many young people—Chyna thought it would be best to choose a career that would gain her assured stability. Computer Science became her major starting school, the study of the principles and use of computers. You can’t fault her for that. In a day and age where computers are gods and not having one means that you are most likely were living under a rock, why not aim for the “safer” target?
But silly ol’ life had other plans. Chyna found herself placing school on pause, and after losing her job as a baker in 2012 and unable to find a job to save her soul, she used that opportunity to pick up the sewing machine. With the help from her best friend, Susie, both began to embark on starting their own business. It was the desire to create and the constant watching of Project Runway that gave Chyna the inspiration she needed to launch her own line.
“Seeing the finalists present their collections on the season finale would give me so much joy. I would constantly tell myself that will be me one day.”
After talking about life, love, and what they really wanted in life, both Chyna and Susie developed the name, FierceLove for their clothing line. The name stemmed from the fact that if one was going to do anything, be unapologetically fierce about it. Live Fierce. Love Fierce. And with that, boom! Fierce Love offers various collections from dresses to swimwear. Not excluding men, Fierce Love has created a few men’s items like coats, jogging suits, and a couple of custom pieces she designed for a few men in the past.
Who wouldn’t love to work for themselves? Set your own hours and being your own boss can tempt the most diehard 9-to-5-er. However, even when with working for yourself in the career you love, there are still some ups and downs. Chyna sees doing her own thing as an amazing feeling. However, with great power comes great responsibility, and with working for yourself, one hundred percent of that responsibility is your own. On the days when you want to just slack off, there is no one to tell you otherwise. In the fashion industry, slacking off is not an option; therefore, Chyna continues with a morning routine of showering, getting dressed, and placing her phone in the other room to keep the 9-to-5 mindset to stay on track.
Like many fashion designers, many grab inspiration for their designs whether it is from their personal style or styles that they observe. From the street styles of Atlantic Station and Little Five Points to iconic fashion eras of the 50’s, 70’s and 80’s, Chyna gains her creativities. She describes her own personal style as versatile, where she can be a pretty princess on Monday and be a ninja in all black on Friday. To her, fashion is a form of self-expression and individuality. Every chance she gets she is studying fashion; keeping up with all the high-end fashion shows as well as enthralling in its history. For how could we have a stylish future if we don’t know our stylish past? It is a feeling. When most people assume that having great vogue is following trends, Chyna goes against the masses. Though trends can have influence on what fashion designers create, Chyna stays true to herself by creating what makes her feel good.
“In turn, when people wear it, they feel good, too. That is what fashion is about.”
What feels good on her body is the deciding factor in the fabric and material she uses. The choosing of the right fabric can lead to countless hours spent in a fabric store. Her favorites are the stretchy, form-fitting for what makes her feel sexy and confident she knows will make her customers feel the same.
Though inspiration can be very valuable in the industry of fashion, having the right set of skills is also crucial, as well. A perfectionist when it comes to her garments, Chyna believes that it is necessary for aspiring fashion designers to have great attention to detail. To her, her lines must be perfect. To many, it can seem a tab extra, but Chyna believes that it shows through in her work. Along with technical skills such as pattern making and the obvious sewing. and having dedication, consistency, and integrity as work ethics, Chyna believes that one of the best skills to have is patience. If you do not have the patience that comes along with designing, then you might as well just hang it up.
Chyna wants to hang in there. Her goals for the next ten years are to own several boutiques that include a few high-end designs, several fashion weeks, and having her clothing being strutted on red carpets and the Met Gala for dream clients, Lupita Nyongo and Vana White after mastering gowns once she learns more about tailoring. Not selfish with her talents, she hopes to inspire less fortunate teens and teach them the skills of sewing thus guiding them towards the awesomeness of entrepreneurship. For them, she advises:
“Just be patient and keep pushing. It gets rough. There will be stress and there will most certainly be tears. There will also be those beyond amazing moments when you complete something that you never dreamed you could. Seeing a vision that you had come to life is worth fighting for. Also, never stop learning. We will never know it all. The moment we think we do, is the moment we fail. Remain humble, learn whatever there is out there for you to learn, and just grind it out.”
Black aspiring fashion designers like Chyna are paving the way in attempts to become a commonality in the industry that lacks their talent in hopes of influencing others and improving the history of fashion. Hopefully, there will be an increase of gifted originators like her so that the term of “black designer” will no longer be used in referring to an outsider in the same industry that they greatly influence.
We have all been there—working at a 9-5 job, slaving away eight hours a day in hopes of overtime while a fire breathing succubus blows down our necks, screeching bulls*** after bulls*** about something you couldn’t care less about. I’m not talking about something as drastic as Meryl Streep’s character, Miranda, in the 2006 film, The Devil Wears Prada. Oh no, I’m talking about the kind of b****iness that is not so glamourous or chic like when the poor sap of an employee gets expensive designer clothes and an opportunity to fly to Paris. It is the kind where your boss complains about the number of utensils in the breakroom and why you don’t shuck, jive, and smile for the mailman so that he feels less threatened. (Why am I so serious? Motherf****er, I’M AT WORK!!!)
Let me not paint the picture that all bosses as a bunch of Kevin Spaceys; evil and vile human beings hellbent on making the Justin Batemans of the world miserable. Oh, no. There are bosses out there who their employees love and admire; who they don’t hate. Take for example the Chinese billionaire, Li Jinyan—the leader of the Chinese Company, the Tiens Group. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the biotechnological and multinational firm, Li Jinyuan rewarded 6,400 of his employees with a free four-day trip to France and Monaco. The trip boosted the French economy by a mere $14,6…MILLION!
One question: Are they accepting applications?
I know that not all our bosses are millionaires. Many of them are supervisors living the same lives as the people they supervise, but being paid a few dollars more. However, a mere title should not give a person a reason to be a freaking a**hole. We all know how power can go to someone’s head. Unfortunately, in my case, it went to her head and made her lose her damn mind.
Can I fix my mouth to say that she is the worst boss I have ever had? Well, the jury is still out on that. In the military, I dealt with some petty and deplorable people. One of my senior petty officers yanked me from my chair because he thought I wasn’t getting up from the computer fast enough and he wanted to check his email. Apparently, checking one’s email is more important than slightly assaulting a someone half your size. Eh. Since that incident, I always had it in my mind that a boss in the civilian world would be much better.
After separating from the Navy, I had a few temp jobs here and there. The civilian workforce was a less stressful one, but still with drama. Like parents—even though they won’t admit—bosses play favorites. One of the jobs I was hired to right after leaving the Navy, the supervisor of my supervisor showed favoritism to my coworker. He was hired at the same time as me, we did the same job, and we were supposed to be paid the same. Well, he was constantly taking break after break; smoking and getting a little snack. I barely left my desk. When something needs to be done, I tend to focus on that until it is done. After a while, I found out that she was inviting him out to lunch and having private little chats. It was then I started to notice the double standards. Every time he was on the millions of breaks he takes a day, she never called looking for him, but when I leave one time from my desk for ten minutes after being at my desk for hours, suddenly, she is wondering where I am and why I am never around. The bull!
If you are observant enough, you can tell when someone neither likes or cares for you. It is painfully clear in their face. I saw it in hers with the rolling of the eyes whenever I talked about my daughter and the way she monitored when I left my desk, but allowed my male coworker to leave when he wanted. The icing on the cake? The finding out that the guy was being paid more than me. Talk about trying to close the f***ing wage gap!
The bosses I had after that were fine. A lot of them were very understanding with the fact that I was a mom, very accommodating to my situation. I thought that it would be the same way at my current employer being that many of the women were mothers.
Who knew that a workplace full of adults could be so high school? I didn’t. High school was some-odd years ago, for me. I didn’t like it then and I damn sure don’t like it now.
The first few weeks there, I was trained by someone who held the position before me. For lack of a better word, he was the most incompetent trainer in the history of office training. I would ask him questions about the tasks that I had to perform and he would have this confused look on his face as though he was seeing it for the first time, too. Dude, you were working here before me! He basically had me doing everything, which I didn’t mind because I was just happy to have a job. Then one day, he came to me and asked me to write the ounces on the stamps because he was in a rush one day and he couldn’t figure out which stamp to get.
WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH ME?!
I know that his incompetence should not be something I should worry about; however, his lack of training skills was getting me in trouble and getting me written up. I was only there for two months and already I was being written up from something I was NOT instructed to do. When I mentioned it to be supervisor that this guy was not training me properly, she said that she would talk to him.
Oh, I know what that means: She is not going to do a damn thing! It wasn’t until I overheard my supervisor asking him what he wanted for lunch that I knew…well…speculated. She never asked anyone there since I’ve been there for lunch. Hell, she never asked me. After a month of sitting in the cubicle before me, he was moved right next to her office. When I needed to ask her something, I would walk to her office only to find her in his cubicle. What they were chatting about? How he was a dingbat when it came to training me? Doubt it! I questioned if this was how it would always be—his dumb expressions for the simplest answers, getting written up because he continued to have a dumb expression instead of an answer. His lack of knowledge for the job he has held for six months and HIS DUMB EXPRESSIONS?! It was best that I buckle up and prepare for this long agonizing ride that was employment for Mama has mouths to feed.
Christmas came early. My trainer quit. Sure, that left me with all the work to do on my own, but at least I didn’t have to see that dumb expression ever again. Once he left, a few coworkers gave me the so-called “tea” and my suspicions were confirmed. Apparently, he was being harassed by my supervisor’s husband. He would wait for him in the parking lot. I’m just disappointed that I wasn’t there to scream, “WORLDSTAR!”. Adultery is a no-no in my book. Mess with a married person—especially when you know they are married and you just don’t care—you deserve your butt kicked and then some.
Smooth sailing after that, right? I wish.
I believe the lack of “side loving” caused her inner b**** to emerge in the most annoying way. Suddenly, I had to wait until she replied to my instant messages before I could leave my desk, I had to take a few minutes out to restock the breakroom, and after my shift, I had to email her and HR my “End of the Day” Report. Now, this really felt like high school. I placed my pride aside even though I wanted to do a Cleo and SET IT OFF because of my family I had to provide for. However, over time, it seemed like she was finding the smallest things to complain about. First, it was the number of cups displayed out in the breakroom. Then, it was taking too short of a time to finish task, and then it was taking too long to complete a task. Not wasting paper to print, taking too long to double check my work. Not double checking. I could feel my sanity and temperament slowly fading away. It was imperative that I keep my composure before someone gets punched in the throat. A real forceful judo chop!
It is understandable that we all don’t want to be in that plantation disguised as an office, but we must be; however, I believe that doesn’t give someone the right to make it more miserable for someone else. I mean, come on! The final straw had to be condescending instant message about me forgetting to put bubble wrap—which we didn’t have, by the way—in these packages to send to our employees who work from home for Christmas. She proceeded to go on about using common sense and how I made mistakes in the past. Well, ma’am, if you weren’t sexing up the guy training me so damn much, he would have had the time to properly train me!
My ears immediately became hot; fire. There was only pure rage at that moment. All I could see was red. I felt like The Bride when she saw Oren Ishi after four years. VENDETTA! A few deep breaths and I was able to calm myself. I gave her the simple reply, “Please don’t talk to me like that”. It was either that or “B****, don’t you ever try me like that again before you catch these hands!”
She replied with an apology for coming off rude, but I was not in the mood for one. Where do you get off talking to someone like that in the first place? That is what really bothers me, though. I am the type of person who is always kind and respectful, not giving you the b**** side unless you provoke me. It is infuriating when someone is just mean and vicious to you when you have done nothing to them. It is not like this is some desirable, glitzy job at Vogue, where you bump elbows—and hopefully uglies—with celebrities. She was no Meryl Streep and I damn sure wasn’t Anne Hathaway. If anything, I was Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse. I was James Dalton.
That situation alone is the prime example of how misery indeed loves company. When will some people in charge learn that the better your employees feel, the more productive they become. Why should they be subjected to your rage because your side piece decided to get back with his ex and now you’re stuck with your husband? They have nothing to do with that! They weren’t in the room! The entire ordeal is emotionally draining. Like Anne Hathaway’s character realized after Miranda sold out Nigel, that is someone I do not want to be. God forbid that when I become in a position of power that I treat them as though they are beneath me. How could I expect my employees to respect me when I do not show them the same respect? Wanting respect without giving it? Where do they do that? That’s not how that works. That’s not how any of this works.
This entire thing has shown me how a person can’t always be a “yes” and an “ok” person, that they must stick up for themselves and show certain people that they are indeed no one to be played with. That is how so many people mess up—confusing someone’s kindness for weakness. Just because a person doesn’t show you attitude, it doesn’t mean they won’t rip your head off like a female praying mantis after she is done with you. Ripping heads and not giving a damn about taking names!
In conclusion, everything comes down to respect. Our purpose in life is not to be liked, but at least be freaking civil. Our bosses won’t always be the nice, funny-loving people in charge that I envision the bosses of Google are, but they shouldn’t be a Miranda Priestly either. Should they expect a lot from their employees? Of course. Nonetheless, they should not be impossibly demanding. No one should travel throughout the city for a damn cheesecake (Shots fired at P Diddy). A person’s lucidity should never be compromised when all they want is to work at a job they enjoy and provide for themselves and their families. The world is stressful enough without a chick wearing yoga pants in a business casual workplace setting getting high in the parking lot making your life a living hell.
The turn of this year has really been an eye-opener for me; a real revelation, if you will. This year has already started with a bang with an orange grown baby reality star being the president of the United States and me saving a bunch of money on my car insurance. There is always a silver-lining, am I, right?
But with the all bizarre and wackiness of the election results and the next four years more likely to become the backdrop of a Mad Max movie, my feelings for this year is basically… YOLO.
Why “Yolo”? Because, damnit, I am a motherfing writer and I have nothing to show for it! I mean, yea, I have this blog and I love my blog. This blog is my little diary where I write about my boring, shy, mediocre life and create weird stories and poems that flow through my odd mind in hopes that somewhere…anywhere… someone would read it and say, “Hey, this crazy broad is all right”.
And I am.
I WANT MORE!
The love I have for film, television, and books is greater than Trump’s love for Twitter and Hilary’s love for balloons and pants suits. It is that big, people! All with those three pleasures I say to myself, “Hey, I can do that”. And I want to do that.
Screenwriting is a dream of mine. In high school, I wrote for the drama club. By my senior year, I was the sole writer. The play was a western comedy based in a saloon. My mom was so proud, telling people how proud she was that her black daughter was the writer for white actors (Awkward). It was at that moment that I knew that this was something I could do for a living. Of course, writing books will always be my number one, but there is something about watching people acting your stories out. No longer do you have to envision it in your head; daydreaming as you drive and forgetting how you made it home without incident (Am I a sorceress?). I wanted to be this famous screenwriter, making movies that leave people talking about it for weeks, I knew that I would have to either work my way to Los Angeles by either going to school or shaking it for dollar bills.
Well, I have been in Los Angeles for the past five years. Sure, most of those years I spent serving in the Navy and being deployed, but there is no excuse for the rest. NOT THIS YEAR! I guess that is what a breakup does to you. What a cliché that is: a woman breaking up with her boyfriend and then, that is when she decides to go back to school? Change her hair? Workout? Why in the hell was I in a relationship in the first place if I wasn’t doing all that while we were together?
Either way, after breaking up with my ex, I decided that I needed to “do me”.
A F***ING CLICHÉ! UGH!
But seriously, I decided to figure out what I am going to do with my life and writing is the only thing that came to mind. Ok, I already have my blog, but what more could I do?
Write a freaking, script!
I wrote my first television pilot (Certifiable, in Literary Works). I submitted it to Amazon Studios that was downloaded fourteen times before being rejected. Sad face, but the world still turns. I decided to not let that deter me. After Googling on how to get my script read, I discovered that entering it in contests can really help. The only problem? The freaking fees! Who do they think my father is, Daddy Warbucks?! I’m sorry, but I’m not willing to pay $60 for an entry fee to only find out that my script isn’t what they are looking for. I’m too cheap for that.
After taking some deep soul searching and some talk with my bank account, I decided to give in to two contests. Mainly because they were the cheapest. Sue me (don’t really because you and I will both be disappointed).
Why do these contests take so long to tell us the winner? I am still waiting for the list of winners and finalists. UGH.
No fear! Stage32.com is here!
What is Stage32.com? Well, this website is a great website that I happened to stumble upon in the forum of Amazon Studios. It is basically a website where people in the film industry can network and connect. Is this heaven? I joined in August and attended the first Writer’s Meetup down in Hollywood. It was held at this Tavern with football fans and drunkards. Classy. There, I talked to a few people who were veterans in the business as well as virgins looking for pointers. I was one of those virgins.
A conversation sparked between a screenwriter who recently created his own production company with his friend. They mostly do commercials and music videos; however, they were to fly out to New York in the next few days to make a short film.
I wanted his life.
As the conversation continued, he began telling me about how cut-throat screenwriting is; how agonizingly long writing the perfect script can be. He stated at he worked on a movie script for the past year, how he was so close to TNT buying a drama pilot he cowrote before they switched presidents and the new president wanted nothing to do with what the old one wanted. Cut-throat.
Two hours came and went, and the thoughts I had about screenwriting were forever changed. Getting your foot into the door was harder than what I expected. To me, all a writer had to have was a good story that was compelling and BAM, you are in there like swimwear.
Not the case. A new writer should be happy if they even find the damn door for their foot to get in.
I’m not going to lie, I was a bit discouraged yet excited. Weird, right? My mind was full of doubt and ideas. Either way, I knew that being a part of that website was the best thing for me. My craft needed to be perfected. I needed to find my niche; something that was the same but different. Does that make sense? The man became my mentor and he didn’t even know it. I was the mere grasshopper. Like a nerd, I was the only wrote who brought a notepad for notes. Well, I’m glad I did because there was a boatload of stuff I needed to do. First, I needed to redo my script. Of course, I think it is funny because I’m freaking hilarious; however, after leaving it alone for a week, I realized that it needs some… A LOT… of tweaking.
Another thing is that I needed more than that one script. Like, COME ON! I’m better than that! With this big head of mine, I know I can come up with something superb. It was the prime example of not placing all my eggs in one basket. In this industry, you cannot rely on one script to get you to where you need to be. One monkey doesn’t stop one show, but one script can make you SOL! Movie and television producers want to see a collection of your work to compare with what you first give them. I can just picture my virgin behind handing them one script and them, staring at me with their judgmental eyes asking, “That’s it?”. Then, I would look up at them with this dumb expression; clueless. This means that I need to really buckle down and put all these daydreams on paper.
Last, but not least, I needed the proper training and education. Yea, I can Google advice and information about the entire screenwriting process, but to get ahead in this world—world being the TV and Film Industry—I needed the required education. Like everything else in society, it doesn’t matter how good you are, if you don’t have that paper, you have nothing. I needed that paper.
In comes film school.
A girl I went to boot camp with posted on her Facebook how she was putting that GI Bill to good use and enrolling in The Los Angeles Film School.
That was perfect… however, with work and my kids, how would I find the time to attend a 36-month program?
Hello, Online Classes!
Good ol, Online Classes—classes for the overworked, the anti-social, and the mother who is trying to do it all. How does she do it? I’ll tell you—with online classes.
So, here I am, ready to embark on this writing journey for this year and I am ready! No more excuses. Yes, the journey will be a rough one. There will be moments when I won’t feel like writing. And yea, after dealing with work, kids, and the house, I will be tired as hell. I might even fight a b**** or two because of how tired I am, but I will write and write some more. The year 2017 will be the year that I can finally say I am a writer or second guessing myself. I will be able to say I am a writer and mean it; can back up my s***. Half of one month down, and eleven and a half more to go, America. I’M READY!
In a world, where pussy is grabbed, this p***y will grab back!!!
Halloween was here and now it is gone! Not a lot of scary specials on TV and the closest thing to a good Halloween movie this year was Tyler Perry’s, Boo! A Madea’s Halloween (don’t get me started on that). Apparently, Halloween is a time for laughs and not scares. F***ing ridiculous! Well, I guess the best thing to look forward to was the awesome trick-o-treating with the little demon spawns I call my offspring (Just kidding. I love my kids). My daughter was a Spider Fairy and my son was Robin. I, on the hand, will be what I have dressed as for the past 3 years—the Cowardly Lioness. Basically, I thought this Halloween—and the ones for the past nine years—would be only about the kids.
OR WILL IT?! (Dun, dun, DUN!)
I began working at this collection agency in August. Almost immediately, my coworkers were very kind and welcoming. I am initially a very shy person; guarded, if you will. Therefore, it takes me good, good minute to warm up to people. My technique is basically observing the people around me, taking notes of their behavior and personality in order to figure out how I should approach this “work” relationship. Well, I began conversing with a few female coworkers of mine and they have constantly asked me to go out with them. From what they tell me, they go out all the time and it is always a good time. I can see that. Both of them have teenage children; therefore, it is easy to go out because their children are old enough to fend for themselves. Me, on the other hand, I have two children under the age of ten. Leaving them unattended to fend themselves as I go out for a night on the town would ultimately end up with me being placed in jail. You might not know this about me, but I am not built for jail. I might be crazy, but I’m not “jail” crazy.
Anyways, after months on blowing them off because I was mainly stuck in a mindset of being a “homebody”, I decided to take them up on their invitation. One of the women–let’s call her, C– texted me the flyer for this Halloween costume party in Westlake Village, along with a picture of her costume as a scary doll. Awesome. We were to be there by 9pm. Now, back in my day (I’m not even 30, by the way), we didn’t leave the house until 10:30pm, having to drive like a bat out of hell to get there before the “Ladies free before 11pm” ended. Well, I met up my other coworker, M, at her house and we headed to meet C at the place. It was a Mexican restaurant where they transformed at area into a dancefloor. I knew the night would be a good one for me when the bouncer carded ONLY me at the door. I know that would annoy most, but I like to know that I look younger than I am. It also made sense to me why people were looking at me oddly when I ordered a drink at the bar (that or because I was the only black person there. But I digress). Everyone has on their cool costumes and boy, were some peculiar. Two white guys dressed up as Ice Cube and Easy E…WITHOUT BLACKFACE! That is how you do it, people!
The atmosphere did not feel like a nightclub. The music was that Electronica with a bit of Dub Step and I just can’t get jiggy with that ish. The deejay played a remix rendition of the theme song to Ghostbusters! What kind of madness is that? I ain’t afraid of no ghost, but I am indeed scared of the rhythmically-challenged people dancing on the dance floor. It was similar to a car accident in that it is indeed a horrible sight; however, you are unable to look away. It is also very inconveniencing. While C danced her little heart away to Rob Zombie, M and I stood on the sidelines, sipping on our Amarillo Sours. Finally, they started playing music that I like such as, Blackstreet, Ice Cube, and even some Britney Spears (It’s Britney, b****!). While trying to avoid any contact with the man dressed as the Naked Cowboy, I found my eyes fixated on the Batman who could not stay on the simplest beat to save his life (a one and a two, and a one, two, three, four, DAMMIT!). Listen, I was just happy to get out of the house and if they wanted to stay, I was down, but this was just not my scene.
We ended up leaving, driving to another bar that appeared to be as much of a dud as the first one. C decided to spring into action, desperate to show me a good time being it was my first time hanging out with them. She decided to call one of her guy friends, K. On the phone, K stated that he was at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood and said he could get us in. M placed the keys in the ignition so damn fast. I’ve never attended a party in Hollywood before, but I did not want to have these high expectations going in. Play it cool, you know.
We arrived at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and everyone was dressed in their costumes. Like stated in Mean Girls, “Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it”. Do you, boo-boo! Do you! I swear, Hollywood is where all the beautiful young people come and live until they get old and wrinkly, and then move to Miami to die. All the women looked like models and here I am trying to keep my stomach sucked in long enough without passing out. At the entrance, everyone wants to get in. You have the big bouncers in their black suits and ear pieces as though President Obama and Michelle are in there doing the “Stanky Leg”. C calls K and he meets us in the front. I’m not going to lie, on the phone, K sounded like a jerk. Howeverm in person, he was a nice piece of fine chocolate. I’m talking about Idris Elba type. Basically, he was staying there at the hotel and he had to explain to the bouncers that we were with him, going to get us the green wrist bands to get in. I swear, at each staircase and entrance way there were bouncers on full alert. If you did not have that wristband, you were SOL! We managed to walk out onto the smoke area in the back for a while because we had to wait for his “friend” to come down from the room and give us the wrist bands. While we waited, I glanced at all the beautiful people in their beautiful costumes—some drunk and some sober-adjacent— exit their expensive cars and head in to dance while Big Sean performed (Oh yea! He was there!). I was also able to hear the conversation between K and C. The man is a bit on the aggressive side; very territorial. It was as if he studied at the Ike Turner Preparatory School for Young Men. As long as he didn’t try no bull with me, we would be good. After a few more calls, his friend answered, but he sounded wasted. SURPRISE, SURPRISE! Nonetheless, we were able to get on the second level because apparently “there are levels to this s***”.
The second floor was designed like a carnival. There were games and even a photo booth where all the women could practice all of their duck faces. There was a dance floor playing music across the hall, but like everything else in there, you needed a certain type of wrist band and bouncers were guarding it, many looking down from the balcony. Was the Pope getting busy on the dance floor doing the Wop? K asked us what we wanted a drink. Of course, I went to my go-to drink, Amarillo Sour, but the bartender stated they didn’t serve those kinds of mixed drinks. I decided on Cranberry and Greygoose vodka. Ugh. I’m sorry, but I drink for taste. If it is not fruity, I’m not buying it. Well, I didn’t buy it, but I felt as though it would be rude if I didn’t. So, while K was apparently molesting C by the bar with all the booty grabbing and whatnot, M and I observed the crowd. I was already a bit buzzed, so I was feeling pretty good (two drinks are my limit). Looking around, Hollywood seemed like another world. Everything appeared all superficial, yet glamourous at the same time. I guess, that’s how they get you. Deep down I was hoping Charlie Hunnam would walk in dressed as Jax Teller from Sons of Anarchy, wearing those glasses I find oddly hot on him. I imagined he would see me amongst all the supermodels with their butt cheeks hanging out and approach me, striking up a conversation about how he was never really down with the “swirl” until he saw me. A girl can dream, can’t she?
Unfortunately, it didn’t happen like that. Instead, I was followed around by some drunk guy dressed as Clark Kent, who was too drunk to remember where he was, but not drunk enough to give me twenty dollars. Damn. K asked us if we wanted to go upstairs with his drunk friend. All there was up there was a lot of cocaine and sex. NO THANK YOU, SIR! What is this? A scene from Scarface? Season Five of American Horror Story (there was way too much sex in that season. Like, seriously! Too much). As the great Kilo Ali stated, “don’t you ride no white horse”. Oh, I won’t, Kilo. I won’t!
Although, I didn’t dance, I enjoyed joking with people. I expected Hollywood types to be all stuck-up and uptight, but they were the exact opposite. It might have been the alcohol or the cocaine that I suspect many of them were on, but they were incredibly chill. Striking up a conversation with a random stranger was as easy as a Sunday morning, especially if you are slightly buzzed. Apparently, I am a riot. People around me thought I was hilarious. Go figure! M found a cute guy to talk to and I was basking in being out of the house after forty years. The men were GOOD-LOOKING! Goodness! I was having a ball. However, for some odd reason, K thought M and I weren’t having a good time.
“Yo, when I introduce you all to my people, I need for you all to say “hi” and have fun. Y’all looking good and you are grow women.”
Oh…ok, Ike. First of all, I had to set him straight in that we were fine, that him and C were the ones that made us walk around behind them, making us lose our seats. Second, I had to tell him to stop staring me directly into my eyes because I feared he was reading my thoughts. Like, seriously! I swear, the way he was looking into my eyes, I thought the next thing that would come out of his mouth would be, “YOUR SOUL IS MINE!”, in his Shang Tsung voice. Speak to my ear, please. He thought it was funny, but I was serious.
It was almost 3am and the party was slowly dying down. I was surprised I lasted that long. Usually after wrestling with my toddler and arguing with my nine-year-old about her bedtime, I am exhausted. I deserve a medal. Well, we all went back to the smoking area and sat and chilled, observing all the beautiful people pick up their beautiful cars from valet. The entire time, I just sat there thinking about what a life it is here in Hollywood. It felt as though I was on an entirely different planet and I loved it—minus the cocaine and crazy sex that was taking place upstairs. Now, would I do this every weekend? HELL NO! Every once and in a while should suffice.
Well, it was time to go mainly because I was hungry and tired (Tungry?), and M had church in the morning. C said her goodbyes to K, as did M, giving him a hug. I was going in for a very hardy handshake because that’s how I roll, but in true Ike Turner fashion, he forced a hug out of me. It literally felt as though I was stuck between a rock and a hard place.
As we drove down the 101 toward home, all we three women could talk about was how much fun we had and that doing it again was a must. Honestly, I really enjoyed myself. No, like I REALLY did. The environment alone made the night out enjoyable. I didn’t feel like a celebrity or anything, but I felt good. It also made me realize that I need to start hitting the gym even harder! Well, hopefully C keeps in contact with K and there are more parties to attend. Hollywood, you beautiful wild, weird son of a b****! Thanks for the good time. Until we meet again. Christmas party with Drake, perhaps?
In the words of Drake, “If you’re reading this, it is already too late”. Too late for what? Well, my dear readers, the SPOILERS, of course. Now, if you have yet to see the season premiere of The Walking Dead, I advise you to stop reading right at this moment! Stop, I say! However, let’s be honest, a person would have to completely shut themselves off from social media in—no Facebook, no Twitter, NO INTERNET— in order to not hear about all that went down in the premiere last night. Are you a nomad? A Hermit? Highly doubt it. Oh, no, you’re a millennial or at least… a millennial adjacent.
In March, millions watched the sixth season finale of the incredible series, The Walking Dead. In that episode, viewers were introduced to the treacherous—yet sexy—Negan, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan. For those who have read the comic book like myself, you have waited for what seemed like eternity for this character to appear. Since the third season when The Governor seemed to the bad guy to top all bad guys, I had to explain to the non-comic book readers that they haven’t seen anything yet. Well, here he was in the flesh. Boy, did they cast well because Morgan seemed to really embody the character. Here was this bad-a** with his lightly seasoned beard, black leather jacket as though he missed the audition for the Michael Jackson “Beat It” video, and a baseball bat wrapped with barbed wire that he named, Lucille. During a mission to get Maggie to Hilltop to be treated by a doctor, the group is basically blocked at every turn by the Saviors. This band of cold-hearted SOBs are setting trees on fire, creating blockades, and being total a**holes. The group comes up with a plan. Eugene decides to sacrifice himself (surprise) by driving the RV while the rest of the group head to Hilltop by foot. Needless to say, that the plan lasted about five to ten minutes because the group was quickly captured. The Saviors captured Eugene and I’m like, “Damn, Eugene! You had one job! ONE!” Well, the group is reunited with Glen, Daryl, Michonne, who were captured earlier while walking through the woods.
The group is lined up on their knees, and then out walks Negan from inside the RV. Due to the smug look on his face, you can tell that this man thinks—and knows—that he is the ish. However, let us fast forward a little because Negan does this lengthy speech, but the gist of it is that because they killed some of his men that he would have to kill one of theirs—blah, blah, blah. NOOOOOO! But who? Sadly, their lives depended on a simple game of “Eenie, Meanie, Minie, Moe”. Rick is utterly helpless. There is no way his group could take out the Saviors. They are like a freaking army! Well, Negan chooses, but during the season finally, we only see the POV of the person being killed and not the identity of that said person. What in the hell, producers?! So, now we all had to wait seven LONG months before the identity of the person was revealed.
Fast forward those seven gruesome and agonizing months and the seventh season was upon us. I have never felt so anxious and excited with anticipation for a show before than I have with The Walking Dead. I made sure that I did not check my Facebook or any other source of social media because people love to spoil. I, at least, wait a day. A day is enough time. Nine o’clock came and I was ready. The first few minutes was Negan basically hazing Rick: making him retrieve his ax from a herd of walkers in a fog and basically telling him that he owns him now (Note to Negan: slavery is over, all right!). After the initial shock of everything, Rick looks back on the incident that took place moments earlier and there is where we see that ABRAHAM is the one who gets killed. NOOOO! Was I shocked? Kind of. During the last episode of last season, as Negan was beating this person, he kept saying that he was taking it a champ. There is no one that is as bad-a**– other than Rick—that I could think of other than Abraham. The one swing was bad, but no bad enough for Abraham to muster up the words, “Suck my nuts.” Yea, you tell him, Abraham! I mean, come on, Negan. You couldn’t make it a fair fight and square up with Abe? It was horrible. Negan continued to beat Abraham’s skull in as everyone watched. Sasha and Rosita were hysterical, and I’m like, “DAMN! CAN’T SASHA EVER BE HAPPY?!” Hasn’t this woman gone through enough? First she loses Bob, then her Brother, Tyreke, and now Abraham who let her know that he was down with the swirl. How much shall she take? Now, dating Sasha or even having any type of relationship with her seems like a death sentence. Black woman can’t catch a break even in the zombie apocalypse, I swear!
Ok, so now we know who was killed. Bad, but we can move on from it, right? WRONG! Daryl is pissed, using all the strength he has left to punch Negan in the face. Oddly, Negan laughs it off (sociopath much?) and spares Daryl’s life. He reminded the group that he told them that the first one would be free. All of a sudden, Negan swings his bat, hitting GLEN in the head! OH, HELL NO! Glen manages to lift his head up, bloodied. The blow from the bat was so powerful that his left eye is bulging out. Eww. Maggie cries out. The thing that crossed my mind was that he was still good and that he could live with a little eye bulge. Doctors could repair it, right? No, B. Glen looks at Maggie and says, “Maggie, I will find you.” Cue the f***ing waterworks! Negan laughs it off (psychopath much?) and continues to beat Glen’s skull in! Even with his brains in mush, his hand continues to twitch. I am at a loss for words. Seriously, I cannot believe this. Well…that is not entirely true. I can believe it because it was in fact how Glen died in the comic books, but I thought they would change up; kill someone we wouldn’t expect. Oh, but no. The producers and writers decided to hit fans with a double whammy. One word to describe them: monsters.
Fast forward a little, Negan basically almost makes Rick cut off Carl’s arm to save the group. When Rick is utterly a blubbering mess, Negan stops him, letting him know that they want their supplies in one week. Negan sees that the look to kill him is no longer in Rick’s eyes, and that is what he wanted (Crazy much?) Because he sees something in Daryl, Negan decides to take him, threatening that if Rick tries something that he would send Daryl back in pieces. Doesn’t Negan know that if Daryl dies, we riot? Did he not get that memo?
Well, the group is left emotionally battered, having to watch two members of their family be murdered before their eyes. Maggie doesn’t want to put anyone else in danger, feeling guilty that it is her fault that they are out there in the first place, but Sasha volunteers to get her to Hilltop safely for it was something Abraham would want. Sasha tells Rosita that she is taking Abraham’s body and she agrees. Maggie takes Glen body for a proper burial. How sad for Maggie. She has lost everyone! HOW MUCH ARE THE WOMEN IN THIS SHOW SUPPOSE TO TAKE? And she is pregnant which means her emotions are amplified. It is too much!
This episode really troubled me for some reason. The deaths of these two characters will indeed have lasting effects for the rest of the series’ run. This was a game changer. I am so used to seeing Rick as the leader; a boss, but now, Negan made him look like a biggity b****. No one makes my Rick look like a biggity b****! NO ONE!
I am excited and completely terrified for the episodes to come for this season. Negan is indeed a wild card; ruthless and a total attractive psychopath, but psychopath, nonetheless. There are so many questions I want answered. Where does the group go from here? How will Maggie recover from the death of Glen? Is the baby okay? Where in the hell is Carol and Morgan? Why didn’t they just kill Eugene? Will Rick reign supreme again? Is Negan single? Will Sasha ever find love…that lasts? Will they ever get Daryl back? WHY DIDN’T THEY KILL EUGENE?
Regardless, the episode left me in a whirlwind of emotions. Glen was always one of my favorites and I wished that this was where he escaped death like he has so many times before. I wish Abraham would have survived as well. Abraham was a tough son of a b**** with funny phrases. He was a complete and utter bad-a** who was a great asset to the group. The group of strangers came together and became a family. They genuinely loved and cared for one another. It is painful because I, too, grew up with these people for the past seven years. I might sound a bit dramatic because, yes, this is fiction, but it is devastating.
It is unfortunate that these two characters had to go, but it did make one heck of a premiere. But I must ask…WHY DIDN’T THEY JUST KILL EUGENE?!