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ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED? Bee’s Event Updates

Hope y’all are doing well! I wanted to drop a quick post off to let you guys know about some of the awesome events I’ll be taking part in this spring/summer! If you’re in the Toronto/NY area and looking for some dope events to hit up, I got you!

TEASE Fridays at Saviari

teasefridays

Are you single in Toronto? Do you want to meet cool folks in the city without the pomp and circumstance (and screwfacing) that many events here are known for? Starting on March 22nd, I’ll be hosting TEASE Fridays at Saviari Tea & Cocktail Lounge, where you can do just that! TEASE will be a happy hour mixer where you can come in, enjoy some amazing drinks and tea-infused foods, and mix and mingle with some of Toronto’s flyest. I’ll be there to help facilitate conversations and to maintain the flirty atmosphere of TEASE – and to ensure that you aren’t sitting nose-deep in a corner on your phone. This will be the first event in a while where we DON’T want you to tweet, Instagram, or Facebook promote – we want you to *gasp* actually talk to people! If you can handle that, then TEASE is the spot for you!

The Mystic Effect

themysticeffect

Rolling along with the hosting duties, I’ll be the hostess with the mostest at The Mystic Effect – an amazing art show that covers mediums like fashion, film, visual art, music, and dance. The brainchild of Stacy-Ann Buchanan Productions, this show will be on April 28th at Revival Bar, and I can’t wait! If you’re a fan of art in all its various forms, you’ll want to grab your ticket for The Mystic Effect ASAP! Even better? You’ll be contributing to charity. Part proceeds will support Urban Arts, a non-profit charitable youth organization that offers multi-arts based programs that serve to develop youth as artists and leaders. Do some good and whet your artistic appetite at the same damn time!

R Flavour presents Dead Wit Laugh ft. Donnell Rawlings

DWL Donnell

All of the events I’m involved with are special to me, but this one is on another level. I’ve talked about the Dead Wit Laugh comedy shows that had been held at Dazzling Lounge in Toronto last year, but this one is bigger and better – and it’s the creation of myself and my husband! Really and truly, it was his idea to put together a major comedy show  – teamwork makes the dream work, so him and I have been toiling (along with the help of some great friends) to make this show a success. The hilarious Donnell Rawlings (of Chappelle’s Show, The Guy Code, and The Wire) will be headlining the show on June 16th, and guest acts include comedians Nick Reynoldson, Dave Merheje, and Trixx, and spoken word artist Dwayne Morgan. Jay Martin will be our wonderful host, so we have the Toronto talent on lock! The NXNE Festival (Canada’s partner to SXSW) is on board as a partner, so our Dead Wit Laugh show will be the headlining comedy show of the festival week! Early bird tickets are available on Ticketmaster, so I’d better see my local (and international, if you’re making the trip up!) folks there to support!

Blogging While Brown Conference 

bloggingwhilebrown

Whew. As if I wasn’t feeling excited and anxious about everything I’ve written about so far, I have this news to add: I’ll be a featured speaker at this summer’s Blogging While Brown Conference in NYC! After attending for the first time last year, I took a leap and submitted a speaker’s proposal…and just when I thought I wasn’t going to be selected, I got the celebratory phone call to say I was in! I’ll be doing a talk tentatively called ‘Cross-Border Conundrums’ which will touch on various aspects of being an international Black blogger and how to maximize our connections across borders and overseas. The world of being a blogger of colour is so much wider in the US, and many people I met at BWB gave me the “There’s BLACK people in Canada?!” question – so I want to do my part to add a bit of diversity to the conference. If you’ll be at BWB this year, lemme know! I need a hotel buddy!

Like I said, a ton of things are on the go, and a lot of hard work is going into each and every one of these events!

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So, there you have it. There are a couple of other things in the works, but as you can see from this post, I’ll be keeping REALLY busy over the next few months! If you’ve got any questions about any of the events I mentioned, let a sista know!

AUTUMN HEAT: Hot Toronto Events On The Cheap

Toronto folk – I’m taking today’s post to let y’all know about a couple of dope events that are coming up in the next few weeks! If you’re looking for something to do, the city has something for everybody!

Dead Wit Laugh – The September Edition

My friends behind Fashionably Late Fridays at Dazzling Lounge are keeping the laughs coming with their monthly comedy show, Dead Wit Laugh. I was in attendance for last month’s special Caribana edition, and I’m definitely going to grab my ticket for this month’s show! On Friday, September 21st, hit Dazzling Lounge for Dead Wit Laugh hosted by Marc Trinidad. Marc headlined the August show, and was BEYOND hilarious and outrageous. This time, he’s holding up the hosting duties and is bringing a few of his comedic friends, so I anticipate the energy and the laughs to be on a hundred thousand trillion! Anyone that Marc Trinidad cosigns is a comedian I have to see. Best part of the deal? Tickets are only $10, and also include cover for the afterparty at Dazzling Lounge with DJ Ideal. Laughing and dancing the week’s stress away? I’m down.

The Curly Soiree

The lovely ladies of I Heart My Hair are holding The Curly Soiree on September 29th – this event is tagged as “Canada’s naturally inspired 1-day event that transforms Toronto into a casually chic atmosphere with a flair of sophistication.” Giveaways, product swaps, hair styling demonstrations, and goodie bags filled with enough treats to show your hair some serious love – you get all of this, plus the opportunity to mix and mingle with Toronto curlies! Guest speakers include Safiya’s House of Kreation, Curl Bar Beauty Salon, and Raw 4 Health & Wellness. Advance tickets are only $12 – head here to purchase and get all the details!

Manifesto Festival of Community and Culture

Ever heard of Manifesto, the non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to celebrating art and culture in Toronto? The annual festival touches down in the city from September 21-23. The full weekend lineup can be found here, but I know I’ll be most looking forward to the Fresh Arts 20 x Manifesto Summit on the 22nd. Panel discussions, keynote speakers, and mentor classes will be taking place throughout the day, and we’ll get to see what people like d’bi young, Shad, Kardinall Offishall, Jully Black, Director X, and Pharaohe Monch (Simon Says still goes hard in the whip) have to say about hip hop, art, and cultural expression. Oh, and a free concert at Yonge-Dundas Square headlined by Pharaohe Monch on the 23rd? I’m in there like swimwear!

 

 So, there you have it, folks! A few awesome and cost-effective events coming up to get this autumn season started off right! Will I see you at any of the above? Let me know! Have a great weekend, y’all!

FIGHT! SONYA BLADE VS. LIU KANG: Toronto’s Battle Of The Sexes Event Recap

The crowd at Toronto's Battle Of The Sexes event

The easiest way to turn into a social butterfly is to have awesome friends who plan awesome events that you just HAVE to support. This past weekend, I continued my fake Toronto socialite life by staying out way past my bedtime on Sunday, but for very good reason! Sunday night was Battle Of The Sexes Toronto, a live-panel event by my homie Telisha of Goddess Intellect.

After the success of last year’s Battle Of The Sexes event in New York City, Telisha was strongly convinced (see: forced) to create a Toronto edition. After weeks of hard work and planning with her team, the big night arrived, and it was DOPE!

My homegirl Gillian and I arrived to the super-sexy Peridot Resto Lounge early enough to grab prime seats, and in no time, the venue was full of good-looking Torontonians. We were all ready to see what this Battle Of The Sexes would entail, and (more importantly) who would win!

The event was described as follows:

Battle of the Sexes is a distinctive yet interactive social event for patrons to network and participate in lively discussions surrounding the topics of love, marriage, sexuality, dating, and relationships.  Founder Telisha Ng creator of the well known blog Goddess Intellect, saw a gap in the market for events of value that cater to young urbanites in search of answers on how to better understand the opposite sex while having fun.

Panelists included Telisha, author Stacey Marie Robinson, Dr. Vibe of the Vibe and Vegas Podcast Show, and Lincoln Anthony Blades of the blog This Is Your Conscience.

The men: Lincoln A. Blades and Dr. Vibe

The women: Stacey M. Robinson and Telisha Ng

Topics included: Safe sex – how do men feel about women who provide their own condoms? Living at home – how open are you to sleeping with someone who still lives at home with their parents? Stereotypes – how much truth is there to the stereotypes we often hear about men and women? The friend zone – how do you avoid it (if you can at all)?

Let me just say – the discussions were HOT. I knew the panelists (especially Mr. Blades) would come correct, but the audience came hard as well! When Lincoln said he’d have “questions” for a woman who pulled out a condom before he did, I thought some women in the audience were going to stone him. The hostess, HLBB from Her Little Black Book asked the audience “When was the last time you were intimate with someone who lived at home?” to which a woman yelled a resounding “This morning!” Not sure if her man, who was sitting next to her, was prepared for her to put it all out there! A few Americans in the house reminded us that the same complaints men and women have of each other in Toronto are the ones they have south of the border as well, so the grass might not be greener. The friend zone conversation broke the definition down in such a way that I wondered how many times I had been friend zoned, or how many times I may have unknowingly friend zoned someone else. I didn’t think the friend zone was that serious…but Battle Of The Sexes let me know that it most definitely was. Yummy drinks helped to loosen some tongues, and delicious desserts kept the convos as sweet as possible. All in all, the event (which was also live-streamed) was a wicked time.

Telisha and I

Want a sneak peek of the event? Here’s a video from Fiana Andrews of Approach2Link:

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Keep up with the Battle Of The Sexes team via their website and Twitter – BOTS will be hitting the road, with events set for Atlanta, San Francisco, and a NYC return!

As far as who won? Well, here’s what Lincoln has to say:

@ @ @ Think I Won Battle Of The Sexes Again! I'm 2-0..HA!
@lincolnablades
thisisyourconscience

Were you at BOTS in Toronto (or the original NYC event)? If so, what did you think? Have you had similar “battle of the sexes” convos with your friends? How heated do those get?

BLACK WEB LOVE: ABG Season 2 Premiere & Lessons In Opportunity

Photo source: Pharrell’s Facebook

In case your Twitter timelines and Facebook news feeds didn’t alert you, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl Season 2 premiered last night! I’ve been watching this web series since it launched last year, and I have not only been thoroughly entertained (like, laugh-til-you-cry type entertained), but I’ve also been inspired by the growth of the series.

If you didn’t see it, or want to watch again, here you go:

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If you need to backtrack and catch up on Season 1, click here.

Issa Rae, the creator of ABG, is a freakin’ genius. She’s managed to take something that is so common to so many of us (being awkward), and parlayed that into an online phenomenon that has followers all around the world. One of those followers? None other than Pharrell Williams.

Already a musical mastermind, Pharrell has created a new venture called i am OTHER – deemed to be a “channel and cultural movement dedicated to Thinkers, Innovators, and Outcasts.” However it happened (magical fairy dust? whatever elixir Pharrell drinks to not age one damn bit?), Issa Rae and ABG caught Pharrell’s eye, which led to him throwing his support behind her for ABG’s 2nd season, which will be hosted on i am OTHER’s Youtube account. Peep this “State of the Union” announcement:

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Issa is better than me. If I ever had Pharrell standing there with his arm around ME? Chile…anyways. Let me get back on topic.

After I quieted the butterflies in my tummy that crash into each other whenever I see/hear Pharrell, I was nothing less than motivated. Here was a woman who, not so long ago, was just like me. Creative, determined, with an idea in her head and a plan to see it to fruition one way or another. Now, because of her uniqueness, hard work, and quality product, she was now doing Youtube videos with Pharrell like it ain’t no thang. Being backed by i am OTHER like it ain’t no thang. And probably sipping on unlimited amounts of Qream like it ain’t no thang.

Issa Rae and i am OTHER have reinforced the notion for me that opportunity can strike at any time. With that in mind, I’m determined to remember a few key points with anything I put out into the world:

  • Provide quality. Take this blog for instance. The other night, I sat in front of a blank screen for a loooong time. I felt like I wanted to write something, like I had to write something, but had not a lick of something to write about. Instead of pushing out some blah-blah, I decided to leave it alone until I had something that I really wanted to say. Remember that in anything you do, do it to the best of your ability.
  • Be YOU. Always maintain your uniqueness. No one can do what you do the way you do it, and people will notice that. Your opportunity and blessings are meant for you, so don’t block them by continuously trying to be someone else.
  • Remember that anyone can be watching at any time. Don’t let this scare you, let it motivate you! I remember a time when I was putting out resume after resume seeking a job, and found an awesome position because someone saw the work I was doing, and thought I’d be perfect for something else. With today’s social media movements, you never know who’s reading your blog, watching your Youtube clips, or following you on Twitter. Your next big blessing may be just around the corner, about to show up in your email inbox or Twitter mentions…

No matter how dire things may seem, never forget that opportunity is everywhere – you just need to be prepared to seize it! Watching ABG continuously reminds me of this. From improved camera quality to a successful kickstarter campaign to partnering with i am OTHER, I’m excited to see where ABG goes next!

What was the best opportunity you ever received? What opportunity are you hoping comes your way soon? Put it out there! And how damn good was the ABG season premiere? I’m still rollin’…too many quotables! LOL!

Living Life The Way It Should Be: Things You Only See On The NYC Subway

I don’t know about you, but I needed a good laugh today, and this was it…

The title of this post came from my Twitter homie @seanpadilla (check his site C. Spaniels to get familiar with his music!). I think it epitomizes exactly what the dude in the following video is doing:

If you’re watching this at work or around small children, turn down the volume…he decides when he will and won’t censor himself!

Don’t get me wrong – I rock OUT when I’m good and ready…but my man took it to a new level! Reminds me that while the subway might not be the best location, I definitely need to “free up myself” every now and then (© the homie Lincoln Blades)!

Kids Say The Darndest Things…

Do you know a child who seems like they’ve been here before? Like they just know too damn much, to the point where it’s almost scary? One thing I love about children is that they have no filter, speak their minds, and are the most honest beings on this earth. With all the friends who currently have a bun in the oven, I can’t wait to see what personalities their kids will have.  While everyone is waiting for these bundles of joy to cuddle with, I started thinking about what’s going to happen when they get a bit older…a bit wiser…and they learn how to talk. That is when all hell breaks loose. And I know, because I was one of those kids who had too much mouth. I can laugh now, but it wasn’t all fun and games back in the day…

Take for instance, one Monday morning in grade 3 where everyone took turns sharing one good thing from the weekend. “Bobby” (names have been changed to protect the innocent and uninformed) announced that he was going to have a new baby brother or sister, to which Miss Teacher stated, “Oh! The stork is going to bring a baby to your house soon!”

Here is where my young mind went “eeeerrrrrrrrrkkksssss!” My mom was a nurse (still is). For fun (don’t laugh), I would hide and read her medical books after I finished my own homework. This meant that I didn’t know a damn thing about storks, but I sure knew a lot about eggs, sperm, fertilization, zygotes, and embryos…so I went right on ahead, put my hand up, and when acknowledged, advised Miss Teacher that storks didn’t bring babies. “Really? So where do YOU think babies come from?”

I decided to start from the moment of conception. I had just gotten through the definition of sexual intercourse, and was in my zone discussing how the sperm fertilizes the egg, when I realized that Bobby was crying and Miss Teacher’s face was as red as Mr. Goudas pepper sauce. She quickly hushed me up and calmed Bobby down.

This incident led to me becoming somewhat of a young Sue Johanson. I’d hold recess sessions and answer questions about babies, pregnancy, and sex – and if I didn’t know the answer, I’d check Mom’s books that night and report back to the adoring masses the next day. My parents had no idea this was going on, until the parents of one of my friends complained to the school that their daughter was using “explicit language” that she learned from lil ole me. What was that explicit language, you ask? Just the anatomically correct terms for private parts – they were still happy with her using “wee-wee” and “down there” to describe things.

Anyways, I won’t tell you how that story ends. I will say that the incident led to a debate in my family about if I knew too much, or if everyone else just knew the wrong thing. No wonder I’ve pursued a career in health care and health promotion…

For all you parents – are you ever worried when your children open their mouths to speak? Were you a child who had your own diarrhea of the mouth like me? Did you show interest in something as a child that’s stuck with you to this day? And what are your thoughts on sex education and using anatomically correct terms with children? Speak on it!

Type F = Type WTF: When Hair Advice Goes Wrong

The other night I was trolling on Twitter, and ran into a TON of tweets, dragging someone named @typeF through the mud. The tweets were hilarious in their disgust, but I had no idea who @typeF was.

I did a bit of investigation and found out that @typeF was the Twitter page for TypeF.com, Tyra Banks’ new beauty website. I thought to myself, ‘What did Tyra do so wrong???’ The tweets referenced a set of hair and makeup advice videos posted on the site, with claims that Tyra was “trying to sabotage the Natural hair movement”, and questioning the advice of so-called “professional” hair stylists and makeup artists. Not to mention, tweets CLOWNING the edges of one featured “professional” – I think most tweeters likened the state of her hair to that of Naomi Campbell’s:

Photo: thefashionbombdaily.com

Needless to say, I HAD to check out these videos to see what the offence was. See for yourself:

Update: these videos may be private by the time you watch them…if they don’t work, click HERE to see some of what I’m talking about.

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Miss Joanne Robertson: how are you giving styling advice when your hair looks like that? Edges a hot mess, hair looking dry as hell and nowhere near detangled…I weep.
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Girl. GIRL. You had to TEAR your hair apart to “gently section” it. You couldn’t even get the roller down to the root. And that 2nd roller was crying “GIVE US FREE!!!” You need to stop it.
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Tanya. How are you teaching us to do “natural locks” on your weave? You’re a hairdresser? Am I the only one confused by this?
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Determining your hair texture. Here are some quotes from Tanya:
“My hair is curly, so…” – NO. Your weave is curly.
“If your hair is straight, it’ll lay…straight.” – Thank you for confirming this.
“Does your hair wet when water touches it?”What???
These videos are only the tip of the boolshyt iceberg – check Youtube or Type F to see more of the tomfoolery. All I have to say is, if you need hair help, whether you’re relaxed, natural, or bald, DO NOT go to Type F. These women obviously don’t love themselves or their hair, and I’d like to see what credentials they have to be called “professional” or “licensed” hair stylists. And for Tyra Banks: either you’re a complete idiot to give these videos the green light, OR you’re now learning the lesson of what happens when you leave your brand in the hands of people with no clue of what they’re doing. Sigh.
What did you think of these videos? What’s the worst piece of hair advice you’ve ever received? Can someone please try the “natural locks” on their weave and send me pics? Thanks in advance :)
***Update: Here’s a tweet from @TypeF:
“Dear typeF fans and supporters, thank you very much for voicing your concerns about the specific videos found on our YouTube channel. We have disabled the videos in question and will have our editorial team review each one based on your feedback. If you have further concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us directly. Thank you for your patience in advance.”

Road Trippin’ to the Maury Show

Ever had an opportunity present itself that was SO GOOD, you knew you couldn’t pass it up, no matter what the cost was? One such opportunity presented itself to me last week, and now I’m here to tell you – I went to The Maury Povich Show yesterday. I’ll let you take these 28 seconds to bask in your envy of me:

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Anyways. A friend of mine sent away for Maury tickets back in March, and was finally contacted by the studio that her tickets were ready – it didn’t take much to convince me that this was a road trip I needed to take, so I packed a bag, gassed up the Pacer, and got ready to roll…

After a 9 hour drive, the Maury Massive reached Manhattan, where we would be picked up by shuttle and taken to the studio where the show is taped. We made our way through the labyrinth of one-way streets until we finally found a parking lot, and had our first encounter with the new stacking method of parking in NYC:

Cars on top of cars

Safe to say, we didn’t trust it. I’m always wary of leaving car keys with parking attendants, but we were getting closer and closer to our pick up time, so we said a prayer and handed over the keys.

We walked over near Madison Square Garden and after a short wait, the shuttle arrived and we were on our way to Stamford, Connecticut! Before we knew it (mainly because we all fell asleep on the ride), we were pulling up to the NBC Universal studio and got ready for the ratchet-ness that is The Maury Povich Show.

Just a note: both Jerry Springer and The Steve Wilkos Show are taped in the same studio…so you know that building is a den of boolshyt.

We were searched and went through a metal detector, then carted into a holding area where multiple flat screen TVs played Maury episodes while we waited…and waited…and waited…and waited some more. Three  episodes later, we wondered a) where was our free lunch, and b) where was damn Maury?? It was at this time that I finally got to observe the other folks who were waiting with us. There was one man, about 7ft tall, 700 lbs who kept snoring like a chain saw. Then there was the dude who ran for a front row seat when the episode showed a male stripper gyrating on stage. Then there was the girl who screamed at each and every person who took pictures in the waiting room. Then there were the scores of people who openly talked about coming to see Maury on the regular…I guess this was the new bingo hall/casino for some folks.

Finally, lunch was served:

Maury knows he's dead wrong for this...

 
That was it. One frowsy slice of cheese pizza. Want a drink? Buy one from the vending machine. The best I could do was go up for a second slice and hope no one said anything. I mean, come on. I’m sure there’s a catering company that would JUMP at the chance to have a contract with Maury. But what do I know…
 
So, another short wait after our lunch and we were directed to the lobby, where we would be seated for the show. Finally! Everyone’s mood lifted – we forgot about all the weirdos around us and the thin-ass pizza we just ate, and got ready to enter the holy ground of paternity tests and lie detector results:
 

The Maury studio - smaller than it seems on TV

Lights! Camera! Action!

 

The show was about to start.

One of Maury’s producers came out to give us the rundown. We were going to be on an “updates” show (insert groans from people who wanted the real deal paternity test episode). Maury would introduce the segments by playing clips of the guests’ previous time on the show – whatever the audience did in the clip, we were to do 10x louder. We practiced booing, cheering, gasping in surprise, groaning in disgust, and the standing ovation we were to give Maury when he took his seat at his throne as the king of television debauchery. We were promised tons of camera exposure, so I had hubby check my hair and teeth, and got ready to act a fool for Maury.

The show was HILARIOUS. I won’t give away all the details (watch Maury during the 2nd week in October to see your girl wild out in the audience), but we saw a ton of foolishness. A  16-year-old boy who lied to his mother about breaking up with his 32-year-old girlfriend; a woman who found out her man was cheating on her with her 19-year-old sister; and a grandmother who denied her grandson because the baby looked Norwegian (her son was Black), among other things. But even when it was a boring segment, just the sheer fact that we were asked to be ridiculously animated made it fun.

The man himself

Plus, Maury himself was a G. A chick screamed out “MAURY!!!” and he responded with “Yo!” He told us Connie was chillin’ and he’d tell her we said hi. At the end of the show, he told us we ended his week on such a good note that he was going to go and enjoy a 40 ounce. And let me tell you…I believed that man.

I left there hoarse, dying of laughter, and loving the fact that I got to see this nonsense up close. It’ll be interesting t0 see how everything gets edited, but I made sure that the cameraman found me doing my best boos and cheers, so hopefully you catch a sista’s TV debut in October!

Ever gone to a live taping of a TV show? Do you really think the nonsense on Maury is real? And please, if you happen to catch me on Maury, let a sista know!!

Shuckin’ and Jivin’ for Mickey D’s!

McDonald’s commercials.

Geared towards Black folks.

Keith Sweat wannabes singing to some McNuggets (tell me that’s not the girl from Carl Thomas’ “Summer Rain” video!)

Brothas rapping about mango pineapple smoothies.

Thank goodness someone shares the same sentiment as me:

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Hey! There’s cussin’ in this!

However, this commercial made me ready to pick up a drink at the McCafe stilllllllll……

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