Nov 282008
 

I’m still in Connecticut for the holiday weekend. Trust me; that sentence sounds much more bougie than I actually am. Before I moved to the east coast, words and phrases like Martha’s Vineyard, Manhattan, New England, The Hamptons and Connecticut sounded so rich, white and preppy. It’s weird to actually live and work in this region now. (Sidenote: I saw Trey Ellis — the dude who wrote The Inkwell — read at Rachel’s series, In the Flesh, the other night. He’s actually pretty funny!) But, back to CT. One of the weird things about this place is this: they don’t sell booze on holidays. Seriously, we went to the grocery store to buy a bottle of wine to go with dinner, and a big fucking green curtain blocked all alcohol in the store so you couldn’t even see it. What the fuck is that??? Seriously. What did they think would happen if people actually *looked* at a six pack of Corona?? I miss Manhattan — home of liquor stores that not only sell booze in single-size servings 24/7, they also deliver. Whatever. Anyway. Because we couldn’t buy wine, we bought sparkling cider to go with dinner … and we polished off a bottle of leftover rum hanging around the house. See how that works? Stupid blue laws barred us from buying wine, so we were forced to drink hard liquor instead. :) Such bullshit.

I hope you all had good Thanksgivings. Last night at dinner, we did the traditional thing and went around the table saying what we were thankful for. I said I was grateful for my life in New York. The first three years were really shitty at times, but the most recent one is going well … so far. Best wishes that life is going well for you, too. By the way, I kinda sorta wanted to live blog my Thanksgiving holiday. In the end, I only posted a few things. The transcript is below if you’re interested. Be well. Sending love e-booze from Connecticut …

Nov 262008
 

I just got a fantabulous email from that woman in Negroshire, Peggy Brunache. “Ok, I got a question for you,” she starts. “Do you or your black female friends find a white man ‘all of a sudden’ attractive once you find out he’s married to a black woman?” Here’s the backstory … Apparently, Peggy saw a TV interview with British actor Luke Goss. She thought he was just another dude until she found out he’s been married to a black woman since 1994. “All of a sudden,” she says, “he became attractive to me. I want to know more about the guy and what makes him tick.” Peggy says she’s more impressed when white dudes marry their black women.  “Anyone can screw someone from another race or ethnic group. It’s definitely another thing to take on society’s issues when you publicly state ‘I married this woman of color for better or for worse!’”

Essence magazine did a photo slideshow called “Famous Sisters Find Love In Interracial Relationships” highlighting black female celebrities with white boyfriends or husbands. Go look at it. Moving right along … I totally agree with Peggy, and I’m not sure this is solely about race. I’m attracted to people who understand and have things in common with me. If I find out a black American man speaks another language fluently and/or spent a significant time living abroad, I think that’s gorgeous. If I find out a white dude has (or had) a black girlfriend or ex-wife, I suddenly think he’s a little bit more attractive. Why? Because I’ll assume he’s open-minded, liberal and down with the brown. All good things. It’s not just about how someone looks, it’s about who I perceive that person to be. I know I’m not alone on this because I’d say at least 42.8% of Robin Thicke’s appeal among black women is the fact that he’s married to a black woman. Gabriel Aubry was gorgeous (to me) anyway, but he sizzled a bit more when he linked up with Halle Berry. “Big” from Sex and the City (Chris Noth)? Same thing. And, yeah, I’m sure Robert DeNiro has dated white women at some point in his life … we’ve just never seen them. ;) Is it a coincidence that I think all those boys — Thicke, DeNiro and Noth — are hot? Would they catch my eye as much if they had white girlfriends? Honestly … Probably not.

Nov 252008
 

“Ooh goodie,” I thought as I read Metro during today’s commute, “the publishing industry is getting smart.” You don’t have to work in newspapers, books or magazines to know the industry isn’t making tons of money & people don’t read as much as they used to. Back in grad school I read this report called “The Alliterate American” or something like that. Basically, the gist of it was something like: yeah, adult illiteracy (people who can’t read) is bad and alliteracy (people who can read but choose not to) is just as bad. I blame our 24/7, instant gratification culture; but, I also, in part, blame the publishing industry for not making a half-ass effort to make reading sexy. Every other industry, company and brand (Sephora, Rihanna, Nike, MTV … fuck, even milk) has put their product out there and, in essence, gone to great length to create demand. What did publishing do? They print. The thought pattern seemed to be: if we print it, they will come. People stopped “coming” and starting “going” online long ago. Why? Because it was easier, cheaper/free, more fun, hip, up-to-date, new and interesting. And, oddly enough, the publishing industry seemingly only discovered that in recent years.

But, back to the point of today’s post.

Did you see the Sex and the City movie? If so, you already know there’s this part where Carrie reads from a book called “Love Letters of Great Men.” Supposedly, people lustily ran to bookstores craving the title. “The problem? There was no such book — until now,” writes Dorothy Robinson in her Metro article How “Sex” Helped Sell “Love”. (Great, catchy title by the way.) “There are plenty of movies that have been ‘novelized’ but this is the first instance I know of in which a book that was a figment of a scriptwriter’s imagination has subsequently become real,” editor of the newly published “Love Letters of Great Men” Ursula Doyle is quoted in the paper. There was demand so, the publishing industry sought to fill it. Oooh, smart! Very smart. Ursula kinda sorta says her book is the only “Love Letters of Great Men” (e.g. an anthology of men’s love letters titled “Love Letters of Great Men”). After, like, 0.53 seconds of research on Amazon.com, I discovered Love Letters of Great Men, Love Letters of Great Men and Love Letters of Great Men; but, Ursula’s book (Love Letters of Great Men) indeed appears to be the only “real” book (i.e. a hardcover title printed by an established, heavyweight press: St. Martin’s Press). Sounds like an interesting read; I’m gonna try to get my hands on a copy.

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Psssst! Shout out to Little Brown for embracing Twitter; follow them! I love it when publishing houses use social media. Also, speaking of books and Amazon and shit, did you know you can support my blog without paying me a dime? Next time you shop on Amazon.com, please use this link. It won’t cost you anything extra. For every dollar you spend, Amazon will kick a few referral pennies my way. To date, Funky Brown Chick readers have purchased 61 items totaling $763.10 — granting me $34.91 to buy more books. I’m not getting rich off this stuff; I just appreciate support (and the books!).

Nov 242008
 

Hmmm, a little birdie told me the newest GQ is the 2008 “Men of the Year” issue. It doesn’t hit newsstands until tomorrow but, because it’s Manly Monday and mama loves ya, I nabbed pretty little advanced copies of the four covers for you. Obama’s face doesn’t quite look like him and Jon Hamm looks like he’s wearing a toupee, no?

Nitpicky stuff aside (…What the fuck do I know about cover art? I’m neither a photographer nor designer…), I really gotta hand it to GQ for their awesome list of men. Phelps CERTAINLY looks hotter draped on their cover than he did on that goofy Sports Illustrated thing and Leo‘s lookin’ sexier than usual in the image above. If you wanna drool over more pics, watch a slideshow of the rest of the honorees online. Here’s the list:

  • The Boston Celtics – Champions of the Year
  • Thom Browne – Designer of the Year
  • Chicago – City of the Year
  • Aaron Eckhart – Villain of the Year
  • Brandon Flowers – “Killer” Year
  • Shephard Fairey – Artist of the Year
  • Megan Fox – Obsession of the Year
  • James Franco – Screen Idol of the Year
  • Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers – Comeback Kid of the Year
  • Senator Ted Kennedy – Legend of the Year
  • Seth MacFarlane – “Mogul” of the Year
  • John Malkovich – Mad Genius of the Year
  • Danny McBride – Funny Man of the Year
  • MGMT and M.I.A. – Radio Gods of the Year
  • Rafael Nadal – Court King of the Year
  • Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets – Breakout Athlete of the Year
  • Sean Penn – “Drama Queen” of the Year
  • General David Petraeus – Leader of the Year
  • Gordon Ramsay – “Prick” of the Year
  • Alain Robert – Daredevil of the Year
  • Philip Roth – Icon of the Year
  • Jason Statham – Action Hero of the Year
  • The Men Behind The Wire – Tough Guys of the Year
  • Neil Willenson – Local Hero of the Year
  • Mark Zuckerberg – Boy Genius of the Year

I’m not gonna comment on every guy; I hate long blog post. But, I wanna mention a few quick things. HIGH FIVE to the magazine for naming my hometown “City of the Year.” I live in New York City, but I’ll always be an Illinoisan at heart. My eyeballs can’t ever get enough of Rafael Nadal’s body, so I’m thankful they included him in the group. (SIDENOTE: Hat tip to New York magazine for their delicious Nadal cover earlier this year. Total deliciousness.) And, finally, aren’t we glad Sean Penn is getting the accolades / big ups he deserves? I can’t wait to see him in Milk. Hmmm … as the year winds down, more “Men of the Year” lists will probably pop up. How do we feel about GQ’s list? Diverse enough? Are the guys hot enough? Did GQ leave anyone out? Feel free to size up their goods then share your thoughts in the comments section using the link below. Who’s the REAL man of the year?

Nov 212008
 

God, what a sad story. :( “In a striking display of the power of live video,” NewTeeVee tells us, “Abraham K. Biggs committed suicide on Wednesday while broadcasting himself on video site Justin.tv.” The 19-year-old little black kid, Biggs, left a suicide note in which he says he hates himself and hates living. “I am in love with a girl and I know that I am not good enough for her,” he explains. He says a bunch more; you can read the full suicide note if you’re into that.

I’m not surprised someone would kill themselves on live-stream video. Public suicides are not uncommon; Brandon Vedas (a.k.a. “I told u I was hardcore” ripper) comes to mind, and Wikipedia has a whole section about filmed suicides. But, I guess the Biggs story really touches me for a couple reasons. First one? He was sooooo young. :( Age 19 seems like ages ago. God, the pains, desires, wishes and dreams I had back then have grown into different things now. Seriously. When I close my eyes and try to picture the guy I dated in my teens, I can see his dark hair and pudgy chin but I really struggle to remember what his face looks like. Shit, I don’t even know where the guy lives now. That aside, the other thing that’s so sad (to me) about Biggs’ death is this: In his final note, he talks at length about his love for his family & the relationships around him — even in the midst of sheer hatred for himself. “The only thing I dread, besides the pain, is the way my family will suffer. I do not want my mother or father to think that it was anything they did that lead me to kill myself,” he wrote. “I love you all and will forever live within the memories we created. Forgive me. Love always and forever [...]” I can’t even imagine the sadness those who know him probably feel. :( Though I don’t have children of my own, I’m the auntie of two beautifully brown nephews I love so fucking dearly it’s ridiculous. My heart goes out to Abraham’s loved ones and those who knew him.

To end this post on a positive note ( … because it’s Friday and because Funky Brown Chick is a space for positive things … ), I wanna send a shout out to Jamy from the blog Grateful Dating. “Keeping a gratitude journal is supposed to increase happiness. I find something to be grateful for every day, which is harder than it sounds,” Jamy explains. “I’ve been doing this for a while, and I have to tell you, I think it’s working.” Online, I love my readers and I’m grateful for the people who take time out of their busy days to stop by my site and see what I wrote. I’m happy I’ve got a solid group of friends in New York and elsewhere. I’m utterly thankful my family supports the decisions I’ve made in life — even though they disagree and/or don’t understand most of them. Though we’re taking it slow and seeing where things may lead, at the moment I’m thankful for that boy (who’s never mentioned on the blog) who comes from that place and gives good kisses; like everyone, I can be  neurotic and overthink things when I’m dating, but I’m looking forward to seeing & spending time with him on Saturday, too. I could go on, but this post has been long enough. Happy Friday everyone. Feel free to use the comments section to answer this question: What are you grateful for?

Nov 202008
 

My first trip to New York was spring break during my sophomore year of college. The UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women was coming up, and a bunch of us flew here to volunteer at headquarters. We also wanted to learn about sex, gender and the United Nations. It was a HUGE trip. Although I was born in Chicago, I was raised in a small town in the middle of the cornfields. New in NYC, I was 20 and it was the first time I’d ever been on an airplane. I hated New York. The buildings were tall, crowds of people and loud noises swarmed around me, and I felt totally out of my place. I still have my journals from back then, and it’s funny to read how badly I wanted to go home at the end of that trip.

Fast forward. I’ve been living in New York City for almost four years now. It kinda feels like a small town because everyone’s connected by a couple degrees of separation. Ten years ago, if you would’ve sneaked into my hotel room during that 1st New York trip and told me I’d eventually call NYC a “small town” I would’ve thought you were crazy. But, it’s true! Take my most recent Sirius Satellite Radio interview, for example. (SIDENOTE: Again, ten years ago, if you would’ve sneaked into my hotel room and told me I’ve eventually do national and international radio spots … ah, life always surprises me. Topic for a different day.) Follow me here … Last month, I did a piece for Turner Broadcasting System‘s site “The Frisky.” They (Sirius) asked me to come on the show and dispel myths men have about women. From their site:

There are certain things you guys believe to be true about women. Some of these are accurate — yes, we do tend to be cleaner and chattier than you — but some simply aren’t. They’re myths.

Myth #1: Girls masturbate rarely — if ever;
Myth #2: Girls don’t like porn and only watch it with you because they’re being nice;
Myth #3: Girls can go without sex for long periods of time and not care.

In studio to help dispel these myths and more will be Amelia McDonell-Parry, the Editor-in-Chief of the relatively new site thefrisky.com.

When I saw Amelia (The Frisky editor and fellow Sirius guest), I was like, “Heeeeey, I just wrote something for your site not too long ago.” Basically, we all looked at each other in the studio, smiled and said: “New York’s a small town.” Indeed, it is. Anyway. In case you want to hear what this small town girl ( … who moved to the big city and made it her new small town …) said about the things men believe about women, sex, porn, masturbation and other stuff, I got the audio for you:

:http://funkybrownchick.com/audio/Sirius_Satellite_Radio_Maxim_Radio_Sex_Files_Twanna_A_Hines.mp3|slider=f9a7b0|leftbg=f9a7b0

If the audio player above doesn’t show, here’s the direct link. If you don’t subscribe to my feed and you’d like to, here’s my feed. If you don’t know what the hell a “feed” is, read this post.


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Credit paid: Image of microphone is by that handsome hunky Swede Peter Suneson from Norrköping.

The former Maxim Radio co-hosts have lovely internet homes: Anna David and Amy Spencer. Fellow guest Amelia McDonell-Parry can be found hanging out online at The Frisky.

Listen to my previous Sirius interview:
:http://funkybrownchick.com/audio/01-Sirius_Satellite_Radio.mp3|slider=f9a7b0|leftbg=f9a7b0

You can read, listen and watch me elsewhere. And, finally, you can watch John Mellencamp’s video Small Town on YouTube.

Nov 192008
 

Last weekend, one of my lovely Twitter followers (I follower him, too), TabooLaRossi, asked me if I’d ever done a do’s and don’ts post for couples who take nude photos. Hmm … I don’t think there’s anything vulgar or unnatural about naked bodies. So, here are my “tips” for couples who wanna take nude photos of themselves:

Do decide how “naked” you want to be online. For personal reasons, I’ve never posted revealing (i.e. boobs and crotch shots) pics on my Flickr or a sex tape on my YouTube … though I have posted pics of myself in my bra and panties. My rule? I don’t show more Twannaflesh online than you’d glimpse if you saw me wearing a swimsuit on the beach.

Trust, like relationships, often changes. The lover holding the camera today might be your ex tomorrow. So, if you don’t want anyone / everyone to see your nude pictures, don’t make them available to others. Don’t give copies to your lover or friends. Don’t post them online — e.g. Flickr, blog posts, email forwarding, etc. (Note: Another option? Don’t show your face.)

If you decide to go full monty, do wear makeup and shave if you’re into that kind of stuff. Primp, smile and practice your facial expressions in the mirror before your photo shoot. Remember, pictures last forever; so, go at it full hog. Relax, have fun and enjoy!

I know a couple bloggers in town who’ve uploaded naked photos of themselves. I’m proud of my body and nudity isn’t a bad thing; at the same time, I think the only way I’d ever post nude pics online is if everything was like totally covered up because I’d feel odd about past or current employers and my family finding the pics. Since I don’t have personal experience to share on the public nudity front, I’d love to hear from someone who does. If you or someone you know has a great personal story about naked pics, a sex tape or other other fleshy stuff, tell us about it in the comments section.

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Suggested reading: Naked on the Internet: Hookups, Downloads, and Cashing in on Internet Sexploration

Credit paid: Photo of Canon EOS is by Kacper Marzoch

Related link: Follow me on Twitter.

Related link: My YouTube video “naked”.