~*2Deep*~

Posts Tagged ‘book’

A Ph.D. in Her: Vanessa Hidary

In Writer's Block on 3 July 2011 at 3:54 pm

“That’s all that I really want….for someone to call me their girl”. Okay, deal!

That’s my girl, my girl, I can’t come out because I’m writing this bomb ass review about my GIRL! You go, GIRL!!!

The Last Kaiser Roll in the Bodega, the book by the poetically talented Vanessa Hidary, was unlike anything you could have expected. Then again, when dealing with Vanessa, to expect anything specific or standard is already your first mistake; she comes without instructions or a road map but will guarantee you a wonderful journey outside of your limited expectations of life. The Last Kaiser Roll in the Bodega read like Vanessa put to page. Her voice sprang from the pages so clearly that I thought I was hearing things; she IS the last Kaiser roll in the Bodega.

Kaiser Roll

-noun: a rounded, unsweetened roll, formed by folding the corners of a square of dough toward the center, often sprinkled with poppy seeds before baking

Her life experiences, via what  I have read in the book, have shaped her edges, rounded them from their original square corners; one experience folds into the next. And if you have ever seen a Kaiser roll, it looks like a swirl. And if you’ve ever seen or heard Vanessa, she is a swirl of viewpoints, of experiences, of challenges…placed in a “Bodega”, on purpose, by destiny. Much like the Kaiser roll, she doesn’t come sugar-coated. She comes as she is and you either like her work or you don’t, but she will continue to be placed on the shelf for others to come and taste her, become full from their intake of her, and be thankful that she existed as a substance to keep one alive if they so choose to partake. Also, there may be other Vanessas in the world, but the seeds sprinkled on them will never fall the same.  I could be thinking too much into this, but I don’t think she chose the Kaiser roll by accident, I think the Kaiser roll chose her….lol.

From the moment that I read the foreword by Vanessa’s mother, I knew that I would be in for something unique, special, almost forbidden, yet, granted an oportunity to view. I had already promised Vanessa that I would keep this copy to myself,even forbidding the Holy Trinity to view over my shoulder, and I held true to that promise as I felt like I was reading her diary (even though I think she’d write in a journal to keep her hood credit). The Last Kaiser Roll in the Bodega read like a biography; poetry and monologues blending rather seamlessly, weaving an intriguing timeline.  Portions of her one-woman play Culture Bandit gave the most insight into who she was as a person and not just as the poet that most of us have come to know and love.  I could hear her voice as I read and even though she wrote “culturally greedy”….. I put this on everything I love….I heard “culturally greeeeeee-dy” and understood the poem better now having read the excerpts from her one-woman show. It wasnt just a poem any more, it was a page from her life. And here I was, all these years, just thinking it was just another fabulous work of art, never knowing it was Vanessa put to page, transported to memory, and dangled before us as she stood behind a mic. Tricky shield that mic can be.

To name one poem, excerpt, or monologue that I liked more than another would betray my love for the work as a whole. This was something that I swallowed in its entirety, digested as a complete entity, and was nurtured by the overall essence of what was being spoken. Yes, I do have parts that stick out in my memory, but that doesn’t mean that any other part spoke to my soul any less. I think we’ve all had a “Papo” and miss those days when we “didn’t let men get too deep in our blood stream“. I took to heart her grandmother’s advice of  ” even when you heart is bulldozed in the desert….you get up“. Brilliant.  But nothing made me laugh as hard as, “Motherfucker, I was ready to wear a bob wig for your ass and chop cucumbers. Are you buggin’?” Outside of my ignorance of Vanessa’s obsession with cucumbers….I still understood. Substitute her cucumber for chicken, greens, or black-eyed peas and you would have me. Yet nothing spoke the words I had been unable to convey, even to myself, better than the words from the poem Everything but Nothing You Wanted  that said “…you didn’t even sweep me up. I had to reach under your couch to find my own chin.” I thank her for that.

There is sooooooo much that I could continue to say about this book, but I won’t. I wish not to taint your experience by my more than obvious love for the words found within its pages. I say this honestly and not just because I am acquainted with Vanessa. It also has nothing to do with my Wendy Williams-ish obsession where Vanessa is my big sister in my head…lol. Yet, it may have something to do with the first time that I sat on the couch and flipped the channel to HBO and saw her on Def Poetry Jam and loved her performance and now have come to the realization that it wasn’t a performance, but a retelling of experiences. And maybe, just maybe, it has something to do with the time I met her for the first time in D.C. at a poetry event and saw her love for life. Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that she autographed a copy of her CD for me and it has stayed in slot 2 in my truck’s CD changer for the past 3 years. It may be the reason why I reached out to her a year in advance asking if she would come be the feature at my poetry slam. She even performed Ga Bless You, Ma which foreshadowed my own Ga Bless You, Ma moment while walking down the U Street Corridors an hour after she backed away from the mic. HILARIOUS. I told her this when she came to feature at my show……she touches people with her real-ness. You get this sense that she has no reason to pretend when she comes into your presence and you’d be wrong if you thought that she would ever apologize for being exactly who she was designed to be. But I thank her for that. I thank her for writing The Last Kaiser Roll in the Bodega.  I thank her for speaking so openly. I know for a fact that she will be blessed. After all, being blessed for blessing others “is the price you pay for putting yourself out there.”

If you’re looking for my Siskel & Ebert/Roper, then you’ve come to the wrong blog. It is not my place to judge it, but to tell you my experience in the wake of reading Vanessa’s experiences that she chose to share. Yes, I love it. Yes, I would suggest that you read it. But that is just my opinion. I suggest you get your own copy and make your own opinion. 

To contact Vanessa Hidary or to find out more information about The Last Kaiser Roll in the Bodega, visit www.penmanshipbooks.com or visit The Hebrew Mamita Store.

Sincerely,

~*My Mother’s Daughter*~

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200 Men Said….An Independent Woman’s Place

In 200 Men Said.... on 22 February 2011 at 12:02 am

        So, while on Twitter I asked some of my female followers to hit me up with questions that they wanted my 200 men to answer and I have several questions to ask until I die…lol. But one was in reference to the place of an independent woman in a relationship. Other questions trickled from that one question, but this post will be specifically about an independent woman in her relationship.

*Cues Ne-Yo‘s Miss Independent* or read yesterday’s blog Lyrically Speaking:Lyfe Jennings~Hero [<~Click to Read]

        Often times we hear how you have to be an independent woman, learn to stand on your own two feet, don’t rely on a man because all men are dogs yadda, yadda, yadda. Then on the flip side, we must learn how to Act Like a Woman, Think Like a Man. How can I when no one is wanting to give up the man code? lol. Just kidding. But in all seriousness…. the world, right on down to the Bible thumpers, would have you believing that in order to be in a committed relationship you must relinquish your feminine family jewels and trade them in for a hot stove, bare feet and Kate plus 8. How 50’s is that. My last name is NOT Stepford. So, are we allowing the world to tell females everywhere that they cannot excel in order to make a man’s ego feel at ease just to have a relationship? I hope not, because then I am going lesbian.

        There has to be a balance, right? There has to be a time where a woman can handle business like a strong and independent woman during the day and be able to submit to her man. Notice I said submit.. not bow down to, not stand behind, not be belittled by. I left my father’s house because I was grown… I BE DAMNED if I go into another man’s house and feel as if I can’t be the strong person that MY FATHER raised me to be in opposition of many of these knuckle heads. So, you actually have the good fathers to blame…lol. And yes, I know I am exaggerating, but if the exaggeration can be handled then everything else will be cleared up in its path as well.

So…. 200 Men were asked:

 Often times black women are made to feel bad for being independent women. Do you think that there is a place for an independent woman in a relationship w/ a man or does she have to change? 

        Ladies, back away from anything that has breath and high levels of testosterone. TRUST ME on this one. I havent even read the comments yet, I never read them before I write my part, so I have no clue what is going to be said.

My men responded with:

  • DSMILEY1: I like independent women because it makes us grow faster & makes life easier on choices we make together
  • Chub L: There is nothing wrong with being independent, but also allow a real man to be the man. Hey it’s truly a new day in our wonderful society for different levels off independence, but chivalry does not have to die in order for independence to live.
  • Kycajrome L: I almost want to say this is a silly question but, I know better, LOL so i’ll say if  [you’re] independent you won’t feel bad about being you (with out an attitude)…if some else can’t handle it….
  • MIAMI’S SON IS BACK !!!:  are u serious !! you took the time to ask me that dumb ass question!! but its called self-esteem, meaning the esteem of ones self. so if you have to ask that question, then your not independent !!!! your a poor excuse of a person [2Deep: I had to rip him a new one separately. Funny how people assume that all of these questions are personally mine. I have women sending me questions on Twitter, and even if someone asks, it could be for research purposes and it doesn’t make them dumb.. like this ass! That’s why I am not going to correct his grammar errors. Because if you’re going to call someone else dumb you might want to know how to use “you’re”…lmao!]
  • !: Never a problem for an independent woman being in a relationship but when it comes to the household, she needs to realize the man is the head of household, it’s a reason God set it that way…just like in all other species. You [can’t] have 2 leaders.
  • dorrance: yes but u have 2 make time for each other if not then, no, it wont work
  • DJ Urban Cowboy: I don’t think any [man] wants a woman who can’t support herself. There is little room to flaunt or boast your independence. If  [you’re] so independent that you have to boast about it, then you don’t need your man.
  • Marcel: If a woman would allow herself to be made to feel in such a manner because of her independence then that is not at all a woman. A woman knows what its is in which she desires, wants and deserves.
  • Code Name Bigsexy: THERE IS ROOM.BUT I THINK THE WOMAN STILL HAS TO LET THE MAN BE THE MAN
  • Vince V: Yes there is a place for her. as long as she is not always throwing it up in the mans face like she doesnt need him for anything and vice versa. because that would be a lie. to make a “relationship” work it takes 2 people, being there for each other mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially. and no neither person should have to change period unless they want to for some reason. i embrace the independent black women. i think that Ne-Yo, Jamie Foxx, and Fabolous state it best in Ne-Yo’s “Independent Remix”

 My FAVORITE ANSWER CAME FROM:

  • CHRIST- O: I DONT WANT A WOMAN THAT CANT STAND ON HER OWN. AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN HAS A GLOW ABOUT HER THATS WHY SHE STANDS OUT IN A CROWD. TWO INDEPENDENT PPL MAKE A GREAT COUPLE.

Get your glow on ladies!!!

Okay… so I lied.. I ended up reading this one as I was going back and editing. I love this one too:

  • Prestige “The One And Only”: She never has to change, a real woman will never have to compromise who she is naturally. Independent, stubborn, opinionated…is sexy and a black woman will and should remain such while still being able to allow a man to play his role as a provider.

(This comment sparked another question that will come up in a future blog. [Will post link Here])

        And of course, when a response catches my attention, I have to jump in and get clarification. So I began a conversation below:

  • Mr. Mayor**DARKSTARZ INC PREZ**: I know I’m late on this one but I had to really think on it… I don’t think there is anything wrong with an independent woman in or out of a relationship but I don’t think some woman should get into a relationship if they just feel like they don’t want someone they can lean on when they need too. Some women take it to a certain level that can sometimes make their man or anybody feel unnecessary…. Just for example, sometimes the simplest thing like allowing a man to open a door for them… I have experienced women who actually give off an attitude when I have tried to do things like that… And I’m like “Wow, you don’t even want your door opened? That makes you less independent?” And I just think women go overboard with the “Independent Woman” thing.
  •  Me: How are they going overboard?
  • Mr. Mayor**DARKSTARZ INC PREZ**: They are going overboard because they are starting to take men being polite and chivalrous as trying to impede on their independence. 
  • Me: Oh okay, so how does it make you feel when a woman does that? And how can she be independent and make her man feel validated at the same time?
  • Mr. Mayor**DARKSTARZ INC PREZ**: Everybody wants to feel needed by the person they are with and any real man would be impressed with a woman who can handle her own but if she makes him feel as though he is unnecessary that’s when it gets to be a problem… It’s the simple things… let him open a door, lift a box, yes a woman can do it for herself but a gentleman should never let her. I’m begging women in my life now to do their part in reviving and keeping chivalry alive.
  • Me:  So it makes you feel needed? And you like doing those things? Do you ever think to give her emotional support too? Or must it always be tangible things?
  • Mr. Mayor**DARKSTARZ INC PREZ**: I’m not in a relationship now… but when I was I was more than capable of giving emotional support… but try giving that to a woman who feels like she being babied if a man is just concerned about her. For example I may say “baby are you alright?” because I sense something is wrong with her… her response may be something like “don’t worry about me I’m gonna always be ok… So what am I here for if I don’t or can’t do anything for you?
  • So, That is a testament to the type of woman who you chose to be with… that is NOT an independent woman. That is a dysfunctional female…lmao!
  • Mr. Mayor**DARKSTARZ INC PREZ**: Well when they are addressed they identify themselves as independent woman… and if that the case I would hate to view every woman who came off  “overly independent” as “dysfunctional women” But I will if I have too…LOL Now on the other hand if you are implying that “independent women” as a whole have perfect balance we would have to agree to disagree and I would do so purely from my personal experiences.
  • Me: I disagree because a person who must announce does not or is not. You don’t go around on a daily basis shouting “I’m a Man!” So, if she feels she is truly independent people will tell her, but you will never hear her cast that title on herself. It is the imbalanced and dysfunctional females playing dress-up in a real woman’s clothing that feel the need to shout how independent that they are. Because, in all honesty, an independent woman can’t wait for a man… THE RIGHT MAN…to come along and compliment her strength. When she feels safe enough, she will hand him her entire load and gladly let him have it so that she can be power woman at the office and a catered woman at night. So again… we mustn’t let our experiences overshadow the facts of the matter. If I let my experiences with dudes overshadow the facts of what a man is supposed to be…..we wouldnt even be having this conversation. So I’ll continue to separate dogs from men if you promise to separate faux females in dress-up mode from independent women. Because Independent woman does not mean independent from the love and support of a man, it means she is independent from the stereotypes placed on her by association with her gender and excels in spite of barriers.  Capiche?
  • Mr. Mayor**DARKSTARZ INC PREZ**: Capiche! You have my word and trust I’m not saying that I don’t have hope that I will one day find a woman of that caliber I just can’t speak on what hasn’t happened… But my eyes, heart and mind are open the very possibility of that opportunity…
  • Me: Until then… you can’t say that you have come in contact with an independent woman then. You have come in contact with women who are trying to prove that they are independent and failing miserably. lol

         And then it hit me….. these guys are responding the way that they are because there are imposters out there wearing an Independent Woman’s clothes! Yes…. just as there are boys out there sporting a man’s attire, we have imposters on the woman’s side as well. So, the guys aren’t upset with a true independent woman, but rather her flunkie; her wanna be. This is completely understandable. And unfortunately, there is no way to show him what an independent woman is because much like good men, by the time the people who need to them they have stopped believing in their existence it is seeming too late because the indepedent women have given up.  But there is hope.. I know there is. Like I said above, if I havent let me viewpoint of a man change because of a few bad ones, I just ask that men not let their view of the independent woman be tainted because a few imposters just can’t get it right. Each person is an individual and independent of your past relationships and experiences…. this is my belief.

Sincerely,

~*My Mother’s Daughter*~

200 Men Said….Words vs Actions

In 200 Men Said.... on 15 February 2011 at 10:24 am

If I read one more “Don’t Play Games With Your Man, But Fake an Orgasm to Keep Him” self-help book I think that I will crawl in a cave with Osama and start learning his techniques to torture relationship gurus! (ONLY RELATIONSHIP GURUS, people….its just a joke. And to the IT people on my job reading this… JOKE! Like, HAHAHA, funny.)

        Believe it or not, a ton of these books, mainly the ones written by men, are the most confusing books in the world! Dont play games, but keep him chasing you. You do know that suggests that I shouldnt be open about the way I feel because he may not be ready for that , therefore play like I am so hard to catch when I am really sitting by the phone watching Real Housewives ignoring his call. One will say keep the cookies in a cookie jar while another will tell you that a man loves intimacy and will not marry you unless he knows what ingredients your cookies are created from. Hmmm.. cant wait to see that on the Food Network. lmao! And my all time favorite source of advice is that you should watch what a man does and not what he says. What kind of schitzo fuckery is that all about? So my man says he’ll be home for dinner at 5pm so I don’t have dinner ready because I need to see what time he actually shows up? My man says he doesn’t love me but he sleeps with me every night so I should stay around based on what he is doing? LMAO!!! I know I joke a lot but My name is NOT Boobisha The Fool. None of that makes sense at all to me. I am trying to wrap my head around it, but it’s just not stretching.

       I think that a man’s words should match with his actions. And since no one is perfect, when they don’t match a woman should seek clarification and the lines of communication should be there to ensure that they are on the same note. If they never realign…then it is time to bounce. And yes, I know that nothing in life is ever that simple, but the principle remains the same, either you are or you are not…and there is no in between. This is why the status “Its Complicated” on social networks bother me… negro either you are single or you are not. Sneaking in the bathroom to call your jump off but whispering you love her is a pure contradiction because you should be man enough to say it out loud. YEH, I SAID IT… MAN ENOUGH!!! *wipes nose with back of hand thug style* AND WHAT?!

       So, while writing my blog 200 Men Said…. Let a Man be a Man [<~Come Back later for link] I came across a comment by Chub L where he said:

” Many swear that what one does or demonstrates declares what they feel. That is true BS – we as human beings still need to hear and feel what mere tangible things can never satisfy.”

       And it hit me….. time to ask my 200 men their opinion. I wanted to know that if their actions were the opposite of what they felt and their words conflicted…. which version of the situation should I pay attention to. So, I asked:

If your words and actions were to contradict each other after an argument, which would you want your girlfriend to pay the MOST attention to? Your Words or your Actions? Why?

       Yes, I can admit that this is a loaded, and seemingly unfair question to ask… but life isn’t fair.. lmao. I actually want to see who will fight against the grain and say “both”. I also want to see the reasons they give, if any for picking one over the other. So, after about an hour of asking this question…. the answers started to roll in. And the men said….

  • Nigi “Pistol Star” Pu Yi: Pay More attention to my actions first then my words. People may just do things without an understanding of saying to them or having it be felt rather than heard!
  •  Mr. Mayor**DARKSTARZ INC PREZ**: I just think you should put more effort in making the two meet… If you say for example that you love some… your actions should show that and if they don’t you should work at it, not just expect someone to accept that they don’t…
  • DSMILEY1 :  My words; because communication is the key 
  • Lateef25:  A combination
  • Vince V: If this was something that happened between my girl and I, I would want her to point this out so we could straighten out the situation. Because I like to back up my words with my actions so she can trust everything i tell her and i can stay true to being a man of my word.
  • James F: I want her to pay attention to both;words and actions. Both mean something
  •  …….: Neither,why would you take someone confused seriously?
  • rroyallty: They won’t contradict. When I say what I have to say my actions will follow. There is no in between. She needs to follow both cuz they will be in unison
  • Code Name Bigsexy: Both, because if I do something other than what I say there should be a problem.You got to talk the talk and walk the walk
  • MR. LOVING: Now if they were to contradict then it would be up to her.
  • James M: If they contradicted..pay the most to actions because actions don’t lie.
  •  CHRIST-O: MY ACTIONS, A MOUTH CAN SAY ANYTHING
  • Aries Brotha: My actions. I’m one of those guys that when I’ve lost my cool. I can’t convey what I wanna say. So it’s best to read my body language, and adjust yourself accordingly. More times than not I’ll just shut down and just sit there while they talk.
 
And my FAVORITE response came from my residential comedian:
 
  • Chub L: my words. I’m a firm believer that actions speak louder than words, but please be gutsy and work with both – women are famous for multi-tasking. Multi-task that.
 
        So, after a few examples, it is nice to see that my previous prediction held true. Majority of the men said both because their words and their actions should be in alignment. So i was validated in some way. A man’s words and his actions should be in accord with one another majority of the time. But as we all know, no one is perfect. A man will act out should his pride or emotions come in jeopardy and those actions may be in total conflict with what it is that he actually means. This is a defense mechanism. You’ve seen it. The guy standing on the block with his boys, sees a fine woman and she turns him down and he immediately yells, “I didn’t want your ugly ass any way.” We all know that he did and that the girl wasnt ugly…. but those actions didn’t match with how he really felt. So, what do you do with his words and his actions are in contradiction with one another?
 
       Some say listen to my words, while others say watch my actions, but who do we believe? People can do anything and say just about anything. I think it then becomes time for the woman to live in reality and not fantasy. What has his track record shown you? Has he kept his promises ( which, oddly enough, takes action after speaking words)? Has his actions been that of respect and integrity? And do you want a person who says things but doesn’t follow through? Or do you want a guy who never says the right things but puts things into action? Like “…….” said, why do you want to deal with such confusion? That coming from a man. It is up to you as to which to believe, or listen to more, and you have to live with the choices you make. But Like Aries Brother said, sometimes he cant say what it is that he feels but he may be open to showing you. So ladies you must be open to looking for visual communication as well. Every man will not be the best communicator and you have to adapt to that as well.  Every man is very different so what worked with the last man may not work with this man. But my 200 men have proven that a real man will seldom contradict himself. If he says he loves you, then he will show it. If he shows that he loves you…..be patient, he will eventually say it.
 
I thank my 200 Men for being honest.
 
Sincerely,
~*My Mother’s Daughter*~
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