The Birthday Monster

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We all have monsters. Little gremlins that live in and around our lives and psyches that seem to know the contents of the emotional file cabinets we keep locked away from prying eyes. The cabinets that have the details of our insecurities, mistakes from our past, and nuggets of Kryptonite that kill our dreams on contact. For some people it’s the Addiction Monster. For others it’s the Love Monster. Lady Gaga’s was (is) the Fame Monster-that overwhelming need to be famous and adored at any and all costs. Mine, is the Birthday Monster {insert “Psycho” scream here}.

I remember having problems with my birthday shortly after starting Kindergarten. I land on the first day of Virgo, which is just when summer is wrapping up. Inevitably, I would spend the rest of the school year awkwardly standing by idly while everyone else got to spend their special day with classmates, have their moms bring in assorted goodies, and get the VIP playground treatment. Since my birthday was in the summer, not only did I not get any of that, but most of the friends I would end up making throughout the year wouldn’t be around to help me celebrate when the time came. Sure, this was just a matter of timing and circumstance, but try explaining that to a six year old who was forced to participate in the fete of others all year long (even people who made his life hard). At least I had my family. My Mom made an effort every year, no matter where we were, even if she was working overtime to buy that new bike or pay for the coming year’s dance tuition to tell me how much she loved me and how proud she was of me. My brother would always do something to show his ass, and keep tabs on exactly what I received and the general comparison in cost so he could blithely bring it up come Christmas. Annoying, but I appreciated his consistency. Somehow, something just didn’t seem right.

It could be that another member of my family who’s approval I was actively seeking( and felt completely inadequate without) had a serious aversion to using a phone. I accepted early on that it was just who he was, but each birthday that passed without proper acknowledgement seemed like a harder, more fierce slap to the face.It could be the dog days of summer wrapping up and knowing that even the people who were in my company couldn’t fully enjoy themselves because they knew that fall was beckoning and it was time to get serious again.

As I got older, the monster grew. Every year around this time I begin to feel overworked and under appreciated. The reality is, I’m likely overworked and under appreciated most days of the year but don’t really notice it until my birthday rolls around. And it seems like every year, the monster escapes from his cage to wreak havoc all up and through my emotions, chewing every piece of foundation that’s kept me going 364 other days of the year. It’s always this day that I end up having to battle the monster because I can’t ignore that he’s there anymore. Armed with everything I wish people didn’t know about me, and things that I truly loathe about myself, ┬áhe’s a formidable opponent. I vainly attempt to soothe him every year, only to be flaked on and forgotten about, which in turns feeds the monster, making the task at hand even more difficult.

 

We fight. He usually kicks my ass for about 16 hours, then he becomes tired. The next thing I know, it’s the following day. Bloody and sore I’ve managed to banish him back into the dungeon knowing that he’ll be back. I’m not quite sure how to kill him off completely. I try to ignore him but that doesn’t really work as people start to ask about him like he’s some docile puppy when he’s really a beastly bane of my existence. I tell myself that next year I’ll slip him a tranquilizer or something a few days before so he can’t get out, but life gets the better of me and it’s that time again.

I consistently try and come from a place of gratitude. If you told me at 15 that I’d live to see 30, I’d roll my eyes and call you a liar. Getting older is far better than the alternative, and I realize that. It’s this whole “aging gracefully” I’ve yet to conquer or understand. As of right now, I’m just pretty numb. Closing a stressful chapter of my book, and stepping into uncertainty barefoot, wistful, and slightly agitated.

I’m also one step closer to saggy skin and a senior citizen’s discount. I’m going back to bed.

Beiber Boutique

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The Grove in LA keeps adding reasons to avoid shopping there. It was announced that a new Justin Beiber shop will be opening at The Grove this year. While slated for an original bow of Spring, it’s allegedly supposed to open it’s doors during the holidays (how convenient). The shop is expected to carry Beiber branded merch like skateboards, apparel, and candy and to contribute to downfall of civilization. *gag*

LVMH Approved? I Think Not…

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Gucci Mane's Tatt
There are the obvious things I could say about Young Money rapper Gucci Mane’s newest tattoo. Most of it could be summed up with phrase: “Sets us back 50 years”. But I digress.
I really would like to delve into the rationale of tatting up your face, especially with something as bizarre as an image that could be used for your local Cold Stone Creamery. [I use Cold Stone because I really detest their ice cream, but that’s another post entirely]. For someone with a name like Gucci, it isn’t particularly high end. And while I can’t claim to be a Gucci Mane fan, I have heard some of his music, and the last thing I would associate him with is ice cream. Had this move been done by say, Pharrell Williams, it would have made more sense. He has a shoe line called “Ice Cream”, and the imagery is very similar to that which is now a permanent part of Gucci Mane’s visage. As an aside, if Pharrell ever rolled up with a face tat, much less one as heinous as this, I would probably just die (I’m a Skateboard P Stan).
I could sit here and try to figure out all of the reasons that this man, who makes more money than some people with multiple degrees, willingly slid his ashy behind into this chair and paid to be branded in this way. I could also run a marathon but I’m not trying to do that either, so I’ll just chalk it up to the lethal cocktail of too much money and too much free time, with a splash of mental illness (allegedly, the rapper was committed to a mental institution less than three weeks ago). If I could market a pill to eradicate black shame, I would.

Lady Gaga Unveils New Polaroid Products

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When it was announced early last year that Lady Gaga was the new Creative Director of Polaroid, more than a few people scratched their heads. The announcement came shortly after Polaroid decided to stop production on their instant cameras, so it seemed a little far fetched for a pop star to sign on as creative director of a company who no longer produced their flagship product. Gaga and the the Polaroid team went beyond offering Polaroid products branded with her visage, but really spent the last year developing new products that would connect with her target demographic and tech fanatics everywhere. At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show they unveiled three brand new products that will be available for purchase by fourth quarter: A pair of sunglasses with a built in camera and detachable usb stick hidden in the arm, a new digital photo printer especially for cell phone shots, and a new take on the classic polaroid instant camera.

From The Archives: If You Seek Amy (Winehouse)

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This post is from my archives, dated Feb.2009

Amy Winehouse
Grammys. Bring.A.Book. Fuck that shit is boring. I saw the early arrivals, took one look at the clothes and just turned it off. You see, I was out of carbs after witnessing the douche fest that was the red carpet. So I started thinking back to last year, and just thought: “AMY!” Last year was the best ever…Little Crackie Camden’s made a mess of an already messy existence, but her last semi sober wish was to be on the Grammys singing. Crackie pulled it together in enough time fly to LA and do her thing. Crackie got about as far as the nearest sweets shop before the USA tapped her on her malnourished shoulder and said “Ummm…No Ma’am. You’ve still got crack dripping out of your pores”. Crackie was crushed. Her Visa was DENIED. What’s a pipe licker to do? She performed Via Satellite. And wound up winning record of the year, best pop vocal album, song of the year, and best new artist. She was overwhelmed and screamed for her father on stage. We thought we had seen Amy’s triumph.
Humph. The crack pipe waits for nobody! She got back to the UK and just began to lose her mind. Her obsession with beehives, bloody ballet flats, speedballs of heroin and cocaine, the minty fresh taste of crystal meth, and talking through the mail slot to anyone who would show up at her door ultimately began her demise.
I miss Crackie from 2003 who looked more like a healthy Persian girl and less like a Gremlin in a bad Annie wig. I hear she’s quit the hard stuff and is on the mend. I hope she finds all the teeth that fell out of her head before she gets here.

If I could, I’d grab Crackie, shake her hard and just scream “PLEASE RETURN AMY!!!”

All of that really just to say, this Grammy broadcast made me wish that I was doing what Crackie is right now…

Chillin’ in St.Lucia in a too big bikini, smoking joints in a jacuzzi.

MUST SEE: Marsha Ambrosius “Far Away”

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Just when I spent the last two days lamenting the state of the music industry, I’m reminded that there are true artists out there, doing real work. Marsha Ambrosius (One half of duo Floetry) just released this video from her long overdue solo EP and is creating dialogue all over the internet. The video is thoughtful and touching, and the fact that it was debuted on World Star Hip Hop is even more incredible. Tackling Hate, Bullying, and homophobia, particularly in the black community is still very much an uphill climb. I’m struck by the simplicity and quality of the clip, and hope it’s a step in the right direction.

Product Passion: Cetaphil Cleanser

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Cetaphil Cleanser
Today’s Product Feature is a staple to my skin diet. It’s like green vegetables to me. Cetaphil Cleanser is a gentle, no frills cleanser that I use just about every day. It’s perfect for all skin types as it’s non drying, non comedogenic (meaning it won’t aggravate existing acne), does away with excess oil and tightens pores. The bigger size comes in the pump (hygenic!), and it’s truly a “less is more” approach to cleansing. I usually use it first thing in the morning, and anytime my skin needs a refresh. Let’s be clear though, if you’re a heavy make up user (meaning waterproof mascaras, heavily pigmented shadows, or medium to full coverage foundations) this may not be the product that you’ll want to use to get all of that off. You’ll want something much more dense (Like Philosophy’s Purity) that will cut through the paint. If you begin using Cetaphil regularly, you’ll also want to make sure that you’re exfoliating twice a week with a different product as Cetaphil has no exfoliating properties. On the flip side, if you’re just using a moisturizer (even tinted), maybe a little powder, or you find that you have oil build up throughout the day, or your skin is extra sensitive, this is exactly what you’re looking for. It’s fragrance and dye free, doesn’t foam, and rinses clear. It’s also fairly cheap and dermatologist recommended for cleansing post procedure like IPL or a chemical peel.

UPDATE: One of my beauty girls just informed me that you can indeed use Cetaphil to cut through makeup, but there’s a technique involved. You’ll want to rub the product over dry skin, let sit for about a minute, rinse, reapply to wet skin, then do a final rinse!

Kim Kardashian: “Recording Artist”

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Kim Kardashian
Well, we knew this was coming.
Famous friend? Check. Sex Tape? Check. Pages of content on wireimage? Check. Reality Show? Check. Endorsements? Check. Playboy? Check. More black dick than a urinal at The Apollo? Check. What’s left for a famewhore to do?
Drop A Deuce Single. On New Year’s Eve, Kim Kardashian and her pimp Mom previewed her new single at her paid appearance at the Tao nightclub in Las Vegas. There have been rumors swirling that Kimmy Cakes had been trying to get into music for a while, and when confronted, she claimed that they weren’t true. On Friday night before the beauty debuted the track she claimed “I didn’t mean to…but I made a song with The Dream…”.


I’mma Let You Finish Kim, but let’s just talk about that statement. How do you NOT mean to learn, record, then release an entire song? And this clearly wasn’t recorded at the Kardashian Compound in Garageband, it’s produced by a man who charges hundreds of thousands of dollars per track for multi platinum artists (The Dream was the executive producer of Mariah Carey’s last studio effort). There’s also the little known fact that Kim’s ex husband was music producer Damon Elliott, so she’s no stranger to how this all works.


On to the track: “Turn It Up” (Which is ironically the same name of a Scott Scortch produced track off Paris Hilton’s Debut) is a Euro-Dance track with vocals more processed than a bad relaxer. Did I mention that the video’s already been shot?
I find all of this particularly depressing because of the fact that real artists are having a hard enough time getting by and breaking through. This very well may be a one off, but I seriously doubt it.