Saturday, October 28, 2006
Friday, October 20, 2006
What the F&CK?
so i went on a date 2 nights ago. i had a great time. he looked as dapper as he did when he asked me out. i had on something cute. we were both on time. the restaurant was intimate, the perfect setting for a first date. the wine and conversation flowed. it was almost too good to be true.
after the date we took a walk. we talked about the future. we talked more about relationships. he revealed to me that he'd been checking me out for a few months and just never felt comfortable approaching me because he was intimidated by my popularity. POPULARITY? am i really that popular? c'mon! that was such a cop out. i can't believe that someone would think that i was anywhere near unapproachable. i'm one of the easiest going people i know. i try to be drama free so what the hell?
anyway, we parted ways that evening and promised to call each other when we reached our respective homes. we talked on the phone for about an hour and ended our call around 2AM. he promised he would call me on Thursday. when i hadn't heard from him by mid-afternoon i called and left him a message. i wanted to know when we could connect again because i had such a great time and he said he did as well.
i hadn't heard from him, however, i woke up this morning with the above written in a text message. WHAT THE F&CK? how am i supposed to respond to that? i feel somewhat disrespected. are the brothas talking to each other like that these days? is that all he sees me as? was that his motive all along? well i dunno. i haven't responded yet and i'm not sure i will. but, how am i to react when i see him out. i mean he does frequent my parties. this is awkward. what would you do if you got a text message like that on your blackberry, cell phone, sidekick, tre-o or whatever device you have?
Post your comment. i want to know what i should do next. oh yeah, did i mention that the boy is really attractive, has a great body and from the way he dances it seems that the sex would be off the hook. but i'm saying!!!! can we at least have 3 dates first... dang!
Sunday, October 01, 2006
interview with DERRICK BELL
1. Tell me about your background. Where were you born and raised and how did you end up in New York City? Originally from Cincinnati, OH. Moved to Atlanta, GA in 1994 to attend Morehouse College. Received my BA in Studio Art, with a concentration in Furniture Design. I moved to NYC in 2004. You know how everything has a time and season? Well, my time was up. I appreciate Atlanta for the college experience and growing up but I felt that I wasn't growing creatively.
2. What excites you most about a blank canvas? The fact that you don't know where it's going to take you. Creating something from your thought process, to sketch, to canvas, to the finish product is a beautiful journey, personally. Now, I'm going to be honest, every canvas has not been an easy journey due to various circumstances....lol. If anyone knows anything about me, I'm an emotional person whom sometimes I feel like it's a curse (good and bad). I've always treated all of my work with emotions involved. One reason, I believe if I can't feel the soul in my own work, then I can't expect anyone else to feel it either. I truly believe that the human soul is our eyes to what make us laugh, cry, and feel pain.
3. Who are some of your favorite painters/artists? I absolutely love Kara Walker. She's known for her controversial silhouettes. Elizabeth Catlett is another great artist. Her background is in printmaking and sculptures. And Frank Lloyd Wright, known for his unique architectural houses and buildings. They're others I truly respect and love as well, such as Charlene Holloway, Keith Haring, Aaron Douglas, and the list goes on. One thing that I think these artists have in common is their appreciation of simplicity.
4. How long have you been developing your craft as an artist? Being creative, I believe I've always had in me and just embraced it. I can remember drawing and painting in grade school. I wasn't taught how to craft this from the very beginning either. Sort of learned on my own. Over the years growing up, my mother exposed me to various cultures, which definitely help me in becoming a better-rounded artist. What college made me is stronger in the technical aspect of using various tools, paints, and techniques. And learning the history of phenomenal artist throughout time.
5. How challenging is it being a Black artist in New York? Well, I'm speaking for myself. I have not had a challenge yet being a black artist in New York. I've truly been blessed to have met great people and continuing to meet wonderful people. Someone told me that it's really hard to get a show in New York. And that followed me before I moved to New York. But let me tell you how God work. I moved here in July 2004, met two show producers (Nathan "Seven" Scott and Raymonde C. Green) in August 2005, they liked what they saw and I became part of a group art show in October 2005. So a little over a year, my work was introduced to New York. How about that........
6. Do you have any projects in the works? I'm working on a project starting in October for about 5 months. The project is called "The Dance: The fight against AIDS". It's a five part series done all on canvas. I can't really discuss too much details but I'm so excited about this project and eager to see the finish product. Also in October, I have a show on the 7th at "Soundz Nightclub". Mostly all new work. So, I'm pretty much tied up till the end of the year and beginning of next year.
7. Does your sexuality influence your art in any way? Some pieces are inspired by my sexuality. Depends on what I was going through at the time. Actually there is one piece in the show for October that's based on a previous relationship. But you have to stop by the show on the 7th to check it out. Usually when I'm going through my creative thought process, so many influences are combined. I remember I did a painting for my ex to give to him as a gift. It started out to be about him but ended up being about my best friend's mother who died from cancer. At that time, I was involved in a relationship and she died around the time that I was working on the painting. My energy totally shifted to her. It's weird but it's amazing how your emotions can take over when least expected.
FLAWLESS - OCTOBER - LEALAND
1. Tell me the top 7 songs in your Ipod right now.
"Irreplaceable" By Beyonce
"Sexy Love" by Ne-Yo
"Right To Be Wrong" By Jose Stone
"Give It Up To Me" By Sean Paul
"The One That Got Away" By Natasha Bedingfield
"Imagine Me" By Kirk Franklin
"Ghetto" By Leela James
2. I know you are a pretty serious writer, are you currently writing anything that we might expect in the future? Still working on my major project my Fantasy Novel; I've been writing a few poems lately as well.
3. Who are 3 of your favorite writers, past and present? Tananarive Due, Phillip Pullman, & Philippa Gregory
4. What do you think about all this talk about tops and bottoms? If you choose to live your life as a label and you are comfortable being referred to as such then more power to you. For me I believe in love and whatever love requires if me I will do. When you label you confine. I am free and want to stay that way.
5. What do you do for a living?I'm a Respiratory Therapist that is what I went to college for. But I am focused on writing now so I am doing that. My mother wants me to practice but I see a bigger picture. Anyone can have a salary but very few people follow their dreams. I am dream chasing now.
7. Have you ever been in love? Yes I have, my first was real love but ever since I've always missed something and I am trying to allow myself to find that special person to show me what it is once again.
Karl & Le'Son's Reception
Karl: In the last year life has changed for the better. When I look at where we were a year ago and where we are now, what I can see is growth. And I know Le'Son is the luckiest man in the world! (smile)
Actually, when I got into this relationship I thought I had something to give. Never did I imagine that I would receive and learn so much. Many people try to define what love is. We know it is a feeling, but there are many misconceptions about love. We keep trying to do love right by placing demands, restraints and conditions on our love and on those we love. Then wonder why it doesn't work. In the past I thought the measure of love was how much a couple was willing to sacrifice for each other, and I measured love and the depth of love by the amount it cost.
What I now know is love is wanting someone else's happiness above my own.
Le'Son: I think life has been great! Now-a-days one year in a relationship seems like five years, So it's hard to give you a short version of that, but one thing that stands out to me the most is going from just loving someone to being in love and understanding each other.
2. You had to post-pone your wedding from Memorial Day to Labor Day, what prompted this decision?
Karl: Well Le'Son was working very hard with his cheerleading team in Greenwich, and planning the wedding. The stress and strain got the better of him and he came down with a bug and wasn't feeling well just a week before the event. After working so hard it was important that he be at his best to enjoy the event so we worked with the wedding planners to change the date.
Le'Son: Well as the day was quickly approaching, I started feeling under the weather. I think between planning the reception and working, I stopped taking care of myself and started focusing on everything else that had to be done around me. Nathan as you know being an event planner yourself it can take it's toll on your body.
I had been planning and looking forward to this day for so long, I said "I be damn if I am going to have it and not feel well at the same time". Karl and I talked about it and decided to post-pone the date to Labor Day weekend. We wanted to make sure it was on a three day weekend for those who had to travel.
3. Have your families been supportive of your union?
Karl: Our families have been more than supportive, even to our surprise. When we sent out the invitations we invited all of our family (out of obligation), never did we imagine that all of them would return the RSVP cards indicating that they were coming. We then had to revise the guest list because we assumed most of them would not make the trip. All of Le'Son's family is on Cleveland and mine in Detroit. Le'Son's mother, aunts, and uncles all made the trip. As well as my mother, grandmother, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins. It was a great family reunion. More important it was a time for our families to meet and enjoy each other.
Le'Son: Yes! Both of our families have been very supportive, more than we expected. I think when we started our initial guest list we had more friends than family on it, but as soon as we started to receive our RSVP cards back from so many family members responding "YES". That list slowly changed.
You know you have to be honest with yourself when you're having a same sex marriage celebration and you want others to be a part of your special day. You just don't know how they are going to respond to that. Some people are just not ready.
4. The reception was absolutely fabulous. Which one of you planned it?
Karl: Le'Son did all the work. He worked with the wedding planner at the Westin Hotel in Time Square, as well as wedding planners from Detroit and Chicago, who flew in for the event. The theme was brought to life by Amy Guzzardo, of Guzzardo designs (DBA: 1-800-FLOWERS Detroit). Peach was the signature color. Roses are Le'Son's favorite flower, so over 1,000 peach roses as well as Calla Lilies, Orchids, and other exotics were shipped from Latin America here to NYC. The vases, linens, and other accessories were shipped from Detroit and Chicago. The place cards were gold 1/2-lb boxes of Godiva Chocolate for each attendee. No detail was left to chance. The music was very important so the DJ was hand selected and traveled in form Detroit. Our dog also attended wearing her peach dress. Custom peach lighting was built by a local Manhattan firm. And to compliment the ambiance everyone wore white. There was an open bar serving a signature peach martini, and a peach bellini.
All I had to do was write the check--(smile)
Le'Son: I would have to say I did most of the planning! But Karl was very much involved when it came to crunch time.
Karl: Even with a year of planning and all the hard work no wedding would be complete without the disaster story. Since so many people were traveling here to NYC we planned a three day event. The first night was martinis in our suite in Time Square, the second night was the actual event, and the third day was a Polynesian-style barbeque at our home in Greenwich. Well we had one additional guest that changed all of our plans, Hurricane Ernesto.
Since the third day was going to be hosted in Greenwich, we planned to have all of our guests stay in Greenwich near our home. On Saturday there were still some travelers arriving and that is when Ernesto made his entrance. Planes were delayed, roads were closed, and just hours before the ceremony the host hotel in Greenwich lost power...
Picture this... black women, rain/humidity, and no flat iron! Need I say more? The phones started ringing. We had no other choice but to reroute all of our guests to our suite to get dressed. What was supposed to be our time to reflect before the ceremony became a dressing room for a New York fashion show. But it gets better. After the dust cleared we noticed Le'Son's family was no where to be found. They were not able to get out of Greenwich before the roads were closed by the police due to fallen trees.
So we started the cocktail hour, where the guest arrived and enjoyed platted hor de'vours passed by butlers. After cocktail hour Le'Sons family still had not arrived. At this point the program had to be changed. We decided to allow the guests to enter the ballroom and take their seats. Le'Son and I went back to our suite and finished getting dressed so we could be announced into the ball room.
Once we returned to the event we were announced. The program was changed and we decided to have dinner served and do the ceremony at midnight to end the evening. We assumed by that time the his family would be there and we could get back on track.
Well dinner came and went, still no in-laws. Once we realized we were not going to be able to control the situation we decided to let everyone party and drink and when his family got there we would just do a toast.
It did not go as planned, but it was exactly what it was suppose to be!
Le'Son: The Reception was great, but if I could change anything about that day, it would have to be the late arrival of my mother and other family members due to the bad weather we had that weekend.
6. Did you guys take a trip? or should i say HONEYMOON?
Karl: Me being the person that I am needed to get back to the office. We had planned to take a trip over the holidays. After the ceremony all we wanted to do was rest. We did not realize until after it was all over, that it was alot of work. We spent most of our time over the three days attending to the needs of our guests. We wanted to make sure they had what they needed, and enjoyed themselves.
Next time I am going to elope! (smile).
Le'Son: Not Yet! But we plan on doing that real soon. I think after the weekend was over, we were both thankful just to relax and enjoy each other.
7. What's next for you guys?
Karl: Now we are focused on the next step. Le'Son wants to have a child. So as soon as he can figure out how to induce labor, I guess we will be parents.
Seriously, we have contacted some adoption agencies and we will be starting the process shortly. We will also be focusing on how to encourage others to take the steps we have taken to help build a community of families within the "family". We are going to be working with GLAAD, and other charitable organizations to make that happen.
Le'Son: I think that there are so many things in store for Karl and I, a list load of things we want to accomplish together. One that is at the top of are list is adoption. I feel we both have so much to give to a child who has had very little in life so far.