Sunday, December 28, 2008

Super C Strikes

Speaking of Ciara, what's up with this?

It's not that I'm mad about Ciara using the Diva theme and beat -- but why would she put herself out there like that...?

Ciara: I don't know... I don't think I want to put it on the mix tape. It's not that hot.
Yes man: Not that hot? Not that hot?! Girl, you sound better than Beyonce!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas to Me!

I know this won't seem like much to those of you who have fly phones. But for ME, getting a Sonny Ericsson Walkman was like hitting the lottery. For seven years I carried around my trusty Nokia with pride. No, it didn't have a camera phone, I couln't play music on it, and it was rather large, BUT I could drop, wash, and heat that phone with no service interruption. That phone was like a phone from the Twilight Zone and I loved it.

I, however, was the only person in love with my phone. My friends and family would get embarassed for me when I'd pull it out with loving pride. Now, I've had to retire the Nokia for my cooooool Walkman. I love it! I've been playing with this phone since I bought it. Whoo hooo! Welcome to 2009 Smokie!

Crys: what kind of phone is it?
Smokie: sony ericsson walkman
Smokie: i love it
Smokie: a whole lot
Smokie: i'm still playing with it
Smokie: it does so much.
Crys: alskjdfla;sjdflaskjdflsjd;lkajskld;fsdf
Crys: theasdfja;ldsfj;laskjdflak;sjdfa;lskdfj;alskf
Crys: i have NOWAY to make sure that statement is valid
Smokie: drfgdgfgfgfdgsdfghgjhjkllk
Crys: i mean - LOOK at what you were working with BEFORE
Crys: forreal - you went like LEAPS AND BOUNDS
Smokie: girl, i feel like i just bloomed or something
Crys: most people do phone upgrades GRADUALLY
Smokie: and i know totally how to work it. i been playing with it for over 24 hours
Crys: you just essentially jumped off the grand phone canyon
Crys: you just essentially jumped off the grand phone canyon
Crys: fosjdf;lksjf;ljasdfka;lsjdflaskdfjlsaf
Smokie: i seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Crys, don't worry: I know that copying IMs to your blog is your thing. I'm not trying to Ciara you.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Importance of Dating

“Are you dating yet?” I asked my friend Kim. She’d just broken up with her common law husband of 20 years. (I’d say she left him about 19 years too late, but that’s another post.)

She looked at me with a smirk and said, “Uh yeah. Dating. Whatever you want to call it.”

In effect this meant, “If you consider having sex and watching movies on my couch ‘dating’, then yes I am dating.”

Uhm no. I consider that ‘married’ - or selling yourself WAY too short.

Why do so many Black women laugh at the term “dating” as if it’s a luxury that they don’t deserve? Have BW been mislead into thinking that Black men won’t ask a woman out on an *official* date? Are BW only interested in BM who don’t respect BW enough to go through the very important formality of asking them out on a date?

But I don’t want to go on any dates!

Really? Why not? Are we so conditioned to not date that we actually welcome the absence of dating?

I just want to chill at his crib, have some drinks, watch some movies, and laugh and talk.

I think doing this when you first meet a man does a disservice to a potential relationship.


When we allow a man to date and court us (before the Henndog and Blockbuster nights begin) this establishes a tangible level of respect from day one. A man can not help but feel that a woman who expects to be courted is a woman of value. A woman who knows she is worthy of being planned for (men have to plan dates) appears more valuable - and more of a catch (he has to put in a little work) - to a man. Her self image is higher. Her expectations are higher. Her self esteem is higher. Simply put, she's a valuable quality. Those who have more to offer expect more in a potential mate.

A woman who only expects and wants a man to chill at the house with her, subconsciously says, "This is good enough for me. I don't expect or give more." This is fine if you want to play with men and truly don't want anything more substantial, but if you ever decide to get a real man who has something real to offer, you're going to have to switch it up and experience the formality of dating.

Dating allows you to see the guy in different settings, around different people. You can’t adequately gauge a man’s character if you just chill at his crib all the time. I’ve known women (self included) who have fallen in love with a man in the house, only to discover, later, that he’s someone she wouldn’t want to ever take out in public. Enter: Big Problem.

Dating makes a man feel more like a man and a woman feel more like a woman. Having a man pick you up (or meet you out for safety), open the door for you, dress up for you, and show you a great night on the town just adds a certain something to any blossoming relationship. A certain undefinable ingredient that both women and men need.

If you are a fully grown woman and your (new) man can not afford dinner and a movie or any random cheap date, he aint ready. A man of integrity and self respect will WAIT until he has a little money to take you out. It is not about the money, but about what the money and courting represents to a real man. Not to a boy -- but to a real man. If a man is 35 years old without the means to take you out, you must ask yourself: “What has he been doing all these years? Is he not taking care of his business at ALL?” If not… why do you want him? What does that say about your own self respect?

Note: I searched Google and Yahoo repeatedly for "black couples dining" and only came up with 2 pictures, kinda. When I searched "black couples" I ran into bed shots or downright porn. When I searched "couples dining" I ran into ONLY white couples in restaurants. There are plenty of those pictures out there. And hey, I didn't want to include yet another picture of Michelle and Barack Obama in this post. I come from a family where BM actually date and court black women, so I know we have more than Barack to represent how real men do things.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Seven Pounds: The Review

Magnificent! The trailer, above, can't possibly convey the cinematic masterpiece that is "Seven Pounds". Let’s just say that I went into the movie a little sour at Will Smith for whatever reason, and I came out a fan for life. Will Smith is fantastic. Everyone shines in the movie.

I don’t usually do love stories/drama. This was a drama and it was greeeat. Not to SPOIL anything for you, but the love scene between Will Smith’s character and Rosario Dawson’s was one of the most touching, poignant love scenes I have ever seen. Beautiful! Peep the tears dropping from Will’s eyes while he’s kissing around the 1:42 mark. Again, the trailer does NOT do the movie justice.

I can’t really say too much about Seven Pounds because I don’t want to give anything away; it’s a movie that you just have to see for yourself.

I’d like to thank God right now that Beyonce doesn’t have a singing or speaking part in this film.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Barack is the New Marley

I'm replacing my Bob Marley poster with this one.

And y'all thought Clinton was the first black president. Hmph!

Beyonce in "Obsessed" Trailer

It's like Beyonce just walked on the set of a real movie with real actors and injected herself right in the middle and fucked it completely up.

Beyonce know she wrong.

UPDATE: Click here for longer trailer. Even worse.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Now I See... Trina got an NBA player.

I don't really follow the Baddest Bitch like that, but I remember reading here and there something about "Trina dating an NBA player". In the back of my mind, I would always wonder, "How ole washed up Trina get a Baller?" THEN today, I finally paid attention to an article including the words "hip hop artist Trina." Whaaaat? Some NBA player named Kenyon Martin got Trina's lips tatted on his neck...? Word? Trina got it like that?

Then, I saw this:

Oh hell, it all makes sense now. Trina got her a retarded Baller. I call this the Brandy Route to a Baller.

Moral of the Post: Stay in your lane.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Perfect Steak

I don't want to turn into some Super Domestic Cooking Goddess, but I think I am turning into her to some extent. And because I'm sooo proud of myself, I have to share my recipe for the perfect oven cooked steak. I've been experimenting, and well...we're finally not wasting $30 on steaks!

I'm perfectly content with pork chops and chicken. For the most part, to me, food is just a means of survival. But living with two young men - my 12 year old son and my husband (using young loosely here) - has forced me to go over and beyond spaghetti, fried pork chops, and fried chicken.

Enter steak.

Bear loves to grill, but I'm not trying to fire up the pit, like, ever - but sometimes I want to cook steak. So I've learned the art of cooking a steak on the stove. Here's my recipe:

2 quality cut steaks (rib eye, T-Bone, NY Strip)
Vegetable oil
Course Salt
Garlic Powder
Fajita seasoning
Sliced Mushrooms

The secret to cooking a steak on the stove is a super hot, almost smoking, cast iron skillet.

1. Coat the steaks in a thin layer of oil.

2. Season the steaks with the course salt, pepper, garlic salt, and a liiitle fajita seasoning (this is not a powder; it comes in a shaker). I get kind of liberal with the salt and pepper, but not crazy.
3. Drop about a tablespoon or two of oil into a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.

4. When the grease is popping like fish grease, drop the steaks in the skillet. Make sure that the steaks are not overlapping and that the heat is fully under the steaks. You may have to cook one at a time.

5. Cook on both sides for 2 minutes.

6. Set steaks aside for up to 5 minutes.

7. Drop a container of sliced mushrooms into the skillet. Turn down the heat to medium. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of butter the center of the pan and let it melt and cascade under the mushrooms. Try not to overlap the mushrooms.

8. Turn mushrooms over after 2-3 minutes on each side.

9. Drop the mushrooms and a few pats of butter over the steaks.

10. Cover and Cook at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Love it!

Moral of the post: Cook like this for a man only when you KNOW he's going to put a ring on it -- or if you want him to put a ring on it!

Ladies: if you aren't already married to the man or actually engaged to him (nothing less than a ring + date = engaged) then you have to be careful to cook meals like this only eeevery now and then. These are just "teasers" for a man to see what kind of cook you'll be if he marries you. Boyfriends and baby daddies don't get this but once or twice a year, for the first 2 years only.

Obama: The Talk

After today's unfortunate event with President Bush, you can best believe Obama gathered everybody around (the girls being the ONLY exception. Suit up, Michelle) for a "Better not happen to me" talk.

Obama: I gathered all of you today to get one thing clear. The notion that you would let a reporter throw a shoe at me, not one time - but two times - is completely unacceptable. To be even clearer: Leather better be in y'all bellies before I ever know shit went down. Got it?

Michelle: [Looks around at surrounding Security, the Vice President, Hillary, Bill and anyone who happened to be in the near vicinity that day] What Barrack means --

Obama: -- what Barrack means is that a shoe could have been a knife and Barry will stomp a hole in any body's azz in this room who lets a knife or shoe or piece of LINT whiz past my head. Got it?

Biden: [Raises hand] So, I would have to take a knife for you?

Obama: Or a shoe.

Biden: [Steps back] I see.

Hillary Clinton huffs and puffs, rolls eyes, and folds arms across chest.

Obama: [Doesn't even look in Hillary's direction as he addresses her] Unfold those arms and catch a boot in your mouth if you have to.

Michelle: Bullet proof glass, Barrack -- you have bullet proof glass around you all the time!

[Biden breaths a sigh of relief.]

Bill Clinton: [muttering] this is bullshit....

Obama: [Raises eyes and touches chin]

Bullet proof glass 90% of the time, but the notion that 10% of the time is not the KEY factor in this equation is ridiculous. Under no circumstances am I to ever feel the wind of a flying shoe. When I come up for air I'm busting the nearest ally who let it happen. [Lifts suit jacket to reveal 45.] Hope I'm being clear.

[Everyone nods and security encircles Obama. ]

Obama: Chi-town baby!

Bush: On His Own

On an Iraq trip shrouded in secrecy and dissent, President George W. Bush on Sunday hailed progress in the unpopular war that defines his presidency and got a size-10 reminder of opposition to his policies when a man hurled shoes at him during a news conference.

"This is the end!" shouted the man, later identified as Muntadar al-Zeidi, a correspondent for Al-Baghdadia television, an Iraqi-owned station based in Cairo, Egypt.

Bush ducked both shoes as they whizzed past his head and landed with a thud against the wall behind him.

"All I can report," Bush joked of the incident, "is a size 10."

So, let me get this straight: While speaking in Baghdad to a group of reporters, President Bush had to duck and dodge a mad reporter's flying size 10s -- and security didn't show up until 'ALL CLEAR' ??? What is wrong with this picture?

You know, I don't really appreciate my President having to get his Bruce Lee on just to survive abroad.

Quick reflexes though. That's gangsta.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What I'm Listening To...

All of these songs are in heavy rotation right now. Don't trip.

Chopped and Screwed – T-Pain ft. Ludacris
I thought I was sick of T-Pain too, but the Houston in me couldn’t resist this one. I’ve actually been deaf to anything featuring Ludacris for quite some time now, but I listened to his punch lines this time around.... I think... I can’t remember what he said after, “Luda!” ... The song still works.

Bust Your Windows – Jazmine Sullivan
Men don’t like this song, and I don’t care for what it represents, but it is JAMMIN and I am in mad love with it. I downloaded the instrumental and sang my a-s-s off to it with absolutely no shame. I bust the windows out the car/you know I did it cause I left my mark/wrote my initials with a crowbar/and then I drove off into the dark./ I bust the windows out your car/you should feel lucky that that’s all I diiiid….

Diva – Beyonce
Sasha at her best. Love it. My favorite song on the cd. (There will never be another video like "Single Ladies", though.)

Green Light – John Legend
It takes a lot for John Legend to get in my playlist. I appreciate his talent, but I'm not buying concert tickets for John Legend. I have to admit the sweet crooner hit the mark with this one though. Andre 3000 makes it almost perfect. I want to dance, kiss, eat, sing, everything, when I hear this song. I don’t even care if John is singing to Kanye or pining after Andre3000.

Anything – Devin the Dude
It’s not new, but it’s always in my rotation. Devin just grooves. He could sing-rap just about anything – and has. He keeps it so real: You aint the only one who got problems/you aint the only one who knows pain/get up off yo ass and solve them/you still got a chance to try to change

High Powered – Scarface
If I ever doubted that Scarface was, is, and will likely always be the King of the South, my doubts were erased with his last cd, MADE. His latest effort, Emeritus, puts the nail in the coffin of any other rapper claiming to be King of the South. I don’t understand why Face isn’t everywhere getting his very much due props. Ugly aint got nothing to do with this.

Live Your Life – T-Pain and Rihanna
The song just makes you want to do the damn thing. Period.

Betcha Can’t Do it - Lil O
What can I say? I like the beat. It sounds good. Hell, I bet he can’t do it either.

Shawty Say – David Banner ft. Lil Wayne
The beat. The hook. David Banner. I love this song from top to bottom. For some reason, I was hooked when Lil Wayne said “Shawty say the n___ aint sh___” in Lollipop. So, when I heard it repeated over and over again in this song, I was like YEAAAH! And, David Banner is on there sounding all kinda foolish too?! Rap song dream come true!

Heartless – Kanye West
One of 2 songs that I like on 808s and Heartbreak. Kanye is mad and it's working...for this song.

Never – Jaheim
This is such a beautiful song! Jaheim is the most slept on R&B singer out there. I wish he’d get on his grind and give us some more hits. His voice is so melodic. He makes perfection sound so effortless. Love him.

Spotlight – Jennifer Hudson
As you can tell, I love sangers. JHud don’t play. I don’t think she’s even capable of messing up a song. That voice, Lord, that Voice. I want a gospel CD from Ms. Hudson so bad. I can not find an opening to mention her suspect fiancĂ©e or ‘tarded sister. So well, there.

Long Distance – Brandy
Whaaaat? Brandy has never been on any playlist of mine, so the fact that I have to put her on here because I have Long Distance in constant rotation is baffling to me. What happened? Brandy was like, “Enough of this ish, Beyonce Knowles - Carter…married for real ass….I’mma sing this damn song!” Well ok Ms. Norwood. DO THAT. Bravo.

This Christmas – Donny Hathaway
My all time favorite Christmas song.

Mary Did You Know – Clay Aiken
This song is one of my favorite songs. It’s so soulful and deep. The words are completely awe inspiring. It's so big yet personal. A masterpiece.

Ordinary - Wayne Brady
Yes, that Wayne Brady. If you've been sleeping on Wayne Brady's music, it's time to wake up. Wayne Brady is no Eddie Murphy, trust me. If you love quality grown folks music, you'll be so pleasantly surprised by Mr. Brady.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Are You In Denial?

Is your life peaceful? Are you content? Happy? Living the life you want to live? If you aren't, why not? What are you scared of? What have you convinced yourself that you don't have - and don't need - in order to be happy?

I work 8-5 Monday through Friday, minus 2-3 hours per day for lunch :-). I grind for Corporate America, and my job pays fairly well, but I'm by no means a 6 figure n____. I can save for a house, save for a car, save for this and that, but I can't go to the dealership and plunk down the cash for that new Bentley. I wish I could, but I can't. I have huge, expensive tastes and because I can't easily afford the luxurious items that I want, I've spent many years claiming to MYSELF and others that I don't even want all of that. Big mistake.

By not admitting what I really wanted in life, I was also robbing myself of the motivation to get to a place where I could comfortably afford whatever I want. I was in denial to myself about wanting the $20K purses. The $1K jeans. The diamonds. I wanted all of that, but I, Smokie, fundamentally believe that such rich spoils go to rich people who work hard at what they love doing (or win the lottery). I believe that a person should be able to easily afford to outright buy luxury items and debt is not an option in my life. I despise undo stress.

So, that belief, coupled with admitting to myself that I actually want to have nice things, made me get off my lazy butt and get to hustling to be able to afford everything I want. I got on my real grind, and my first self-help book for black women is almost finished. Y'all are going to love it.

I was also in denial about wanting a husband. I had to admit to myself that I wanted to be the right man's WIFE. I wanted the label and all the good things that come with it. I had convinced myself that I didn't nessesarily need a man. I didn't actually need one to survive, but at a certain age my soul really did crave/need who I was supposed to be with. So, I had to admit that to myself FIRST — before I could go through the process of becoming available for a good man. I had to do some self analysis and even a little work. This is what getting out of denial does for you: If you stop fooling yourself about what you want and need, then all that's left to do is handle your business and finally get what you want - whatever it is. After the veil of denial is lifted, work follows. The only reason your life is not what you want it to be today is because you're in denial about some area of your life. What is that?

In denial about needing friends because you don't want to go through the work of being friendly? In denial about being happy with your weight because you don't want to go through the work of losing weight? In denial about needing a real man at home because you don't want to go through the work of being a real woman? In denial about wanting children because you're scared you won't do a good job? In denial about wanting to be a singer because you don't want to work hard at your dream? The list can go on and on. What denial is blocking your joy?

I want women to pop out of denial. Admit what you want. Admit who you are. Admit who you are not. Admit who you would like to be. Admit how you want to live. Admit what you are supposed to be doing with your life and what you are not supposed to be doing with it.

Come on ladies - let's analyze ourselves and get to work to fix whatever aint working right. It's time to get to that place of real joy and happiness, and the only way to get there is through truth and popping the bubble of denial.

Lesser of Two Evils

So today I ran across this forlorn picture of Gov. Rod Blagojevich's wife, Patty.

Then this:

An unflattering portrait depicting Illinois First Lady Patricia Blagojevich as a modern-day Lady Macbeth who plotted against her husband's perceived enemies and backed his corrupt schemes emerged in court documents connected to the governor's arrest Tuesday. Her alleged ambitions and brashness are outlined in a 76-page federal criminal complaint:

She helped her husband hatch a plan to sell President-elect Barack Obama's old U.S. Senate seat. She angled to trade her husband's power for lucrative spots on corporate boards.

And she unleashed an obscenity-filled tirade suggesting Tribune Co. ownership should "just fire" Chicago Tribune editorial writers if the company wanted the state to help it unload Wrigley Field to ease its crushing debt.

"Hold up that [expletive] Cubs [expletive]," she is quoted as saying in the background as her husband talked on the phone, authorities alleged. "[Expletive] them." Patricia Blagojevich, 43, has not been charged with wrongdoing. (more here)

Finally, a woman having a corrupt man's back who is NOT in trouble for messing around. I can't even be mad at Patty. This is a ride or die wife all day, 100%. Hands on hip, and probably a Miller Light and Virginia Slim's in the other, Patty got her gutter on in the background. What!

You can tell by the way Patty jumped to his defense that #1) he is putting it down where he needs to be (not JUST the bedroom either) and #2) they are superclose -- she fully knows the man she married, for good or bad. She's backing him and she clearly wasn't caught off guard when the news came out because she stay in the know in her man's life. AND - this is the key: She's not the butt of his deceit. SHE is benefiting off of his corruption. Together they were about to come up. He wasn't tricking off his ill gotten gain on hooker's, random men, or random women. Not saying it's a good thing, but see the title of the post.

If you must be a ride or die chick, wouldn't you want to be Patty? Or one of these shamed lonely wives...? Pick and choose ladies. Pick and choose for YOU.

Moral of the post: If you must have some one's back who's doing wrong, make sure YOU aren't the one being done wrong. If you must be with someone who's not living right, at the very least, make sure he treats you like a queen by his actions, and not just his words. You may be too scared to strive for it all in a man, but you can at least strive for the man who places you first and treats YOU right.

Note: I'm going to post once a day and somehow I'm going to tie a "moral of the post" to it. Don't ask why.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Review: Cadillac Records

Beyonce is a fabulous musical performer. I think she was born to sing. Act? Not so much.

Why start the Cadillac Records review with a review of Beyonce? Why not just review the movie? Because Beyonce is the only reason I rushed to see Cadillac Records last night. I like my black musical history as well as the next person, but I doubt that I would have made it my business to be at the movies if it didn’t star Beyonce Gisselle Knowles.

Bey comes in during the last 44 minutes of the film. She plays a foul-mouthed, yet pretty and downright Deena Jones-in-a-wig-ish looking Etta James. Hearing Beyonce cuss made me cringe and that’s when I knew she wasn’t supposed to be on stage acting. When an actor’s real persona shines through and beyond the character they are portraying, it’s a bust.

There were positives in Beyonce’s character, however. I thought it was kind of cool to watch her strutting around with Etta James’s cowboy gait, and she even made me raise my eyebrows once or twice during an exceptionally angry moment in the film—but for the most part I was just watching Beyonce play dress up. And I only enjoyed the drugged out intimate scenes because of the close ups of Bey and my sick fascination with her. :-)

Mrs. Carter gained a little weight for the movie but it just wasn’t enough. The physical transformation was too slight. Why couldn’t she have just went from:

This to This?

I watched Monster and completely forgot Charlize Theron was in it. If you are as pretty as either of these ladies, you really do need to make more of a physical change than just stomping around, Beyonce.

As for the rest of the characters, I thought Mos Def was very entertaining and I wanted him in every scene. He played a very good Chuck Berry and I really appreciated that kind of talent in the movie.

Jeffrey Wright played a fine Muddy Waters, but I wish he would have spoken up a little more. (Or, I might just be deaf. You tell me.)

Gabrielle Union was cool. Yes, her top lip built up a steady sweat as usual, but she played a convincing role as Muddy Waters’ woman.

Columbus Short played Little Walter and he was an interesting character. He definitely made the physical transformation and he almost pulled off the whole tragic character. I blame the Director for not telling Columbus to remove some of the “retarded” from his voice.

As far as the story line and truthfullness of the movie, it was all over the place and it could have been a lot better. But all in all, Cadillac Records was OK. I give it a C.

Keyshia Cole Singing National Anthem: WTF?

I do not understand this whole Black Exploitation look going on. Prostitute? Diahann Carroll in the 70s after good sex with James Earl Jones? Shaky rushed singing? Make me UNDERSTAND.

Is Frankie behind this???

Monday, December 1, 2008

All Things Beyonce

Beyonce in Cadillac Records

Peep the clip below. I wish - wish - WISH I could call it, but alas...I can't. I need more to guage the full dramaticalness of it all. (Of course that's not a word but it should be.) The singing is on point.

Beyonce - Roc (ode to Jay)

Oh for real, Bey? I love Bey, but this new found openness is a bit startling and I just want it to stop. I liked not knowing all the business. Is she being so out with it because she just loves his dirty, expensive drawers? Or is it because she wants to sell as much I Am...Sasha Fierce as possible. Whatever the reason, put the breaks on, Bey. Mystery becomes you. (Love the song though!)