Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Things You Never Thought You'd See In Harlem - #237

I recently saw a special on NY1 about A. Philip Randolph's lacrosse team, the first in Harlem. In February there were a couple people on the story, like the NY Times, and this guy.

But in this particular report, what was great was the team practiced in an active parking lot. Meaning they would have to stop every so often to let a car actually drive throug their "field." Coaches and players said it was "better than nothing," but seeing the kids dodging cars and doing drills on a paved parking lot looked a lot like a Jim Crow afterschool special. Or something.

Here's what a typical lacrosse field looks like. Notice the grass, goals, and glorious sunshine.

Here's what the A Philip Randolph lacrosse field looked like. Notice the concrete, cars and lack of color. (old-school cars are a nice touch though)

But at least I hear they're actually using the sticks to throw, catch and cradle instead of just for relieving punk hipster types of their ipods.

baby steps, baby, ... baby steps

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Old Man TAN: On Friends, Family, And Face-Farting

When I’m out and about sometimes people inquire about my age. This is always a regrettable juncture in the social festivities. Inevitably my silky smooth conversational styze is completely knocked off kilter. I start panting, sweat droplets race down the side of my body, occasionally I pass out on the floor right in front of the person.

I haven’t even really begun to touch upon my feelings about aging in this forum. I’ve mentioned my disdain, and perhaps how my skin blisters from the thought of turning 30. But honestly, I’m still trying to find the language that properly communicates my disgust. English, Swahili, Sanskrit all lack the vocabulary. But while words are no help, I do cry frequently (and vehemently) in front of old people. I just can’t contain the pain I feel for their plight.

Anyold, this is not a rant about aging and my mortality, it’s just a little prelude to something else. And that something else is how I try and see myself as Old Man TAN to get a different perspective on a particular subject.

One subject that has come up relatively frequently of late is friendship and friends. I’ve had a lot of convo on what qualifies someone as a “best friend.” Or how many friends are close friends, how many are just acquaintances. Or how close do you have to be to freely fart in a friend’s face without significant consequences.

And in reverting to Old Man TAN mode it made me wonder, do female friends ever fart in each other’s faces? Why do guys get a kick out of that? And what about male dogs? Are farts in the face a big problem in the dog world?

After that gripping tangent, I also wondered if people gain friends after say 25? You obviously gain people you know. You add to the network, and it’s not to say you have an unfriendly agenda with them in any, but it’s just… how do you make friend? No matter how many e-harmony questions you answer, or how many e-mails you share, you need that in-person time. You have to experience some things together, preferably some sort of challenge or obstacle. And the thing is, after 25, careers and family become so dominant in a person’s life there’s no time for making new friends. You go with what got you there.

And we talk about friends and family as different. But the only reason family has a special place is they get maximum time exposure. From birth on, they know what you’ve been through. Of course families that fall apart don’t know each other, so they’re like acquaintances, or strangers. But traditional families earn a different designation than “friend.” They have so much time invested they’re “family.” But family is more a product of time than blood, therefore they're really just “advanced” friends.

Do you know anyone now from when you were ten years old? They’re probably one of your best friends. You might even consider them family. Then you go through high school, college, etc. After that new friends in your life are largely circumstantial. Or bloggers. Stay at one job long enough, you’ll get some good friends probably. Grad school also. They have access to you. Time. But at a certain point, it’s hard to squeeze others in outside of work and school.

And if you need new friends cause you lost old ones, then the onus is on you to make the effort. You have to apply the pressure – wanna go to the movies?, wanna go out to dinner?, wanna go tip over some hobos? (hobo tipping is the urban version of cow tipping, and it’s not to be confused with giving them money/tip). If you’re over 25 you’ll probably have to spend money and buy yourself some life experience with this person, i.e. two tickets to a dangerous deserted island where you’ll need each other to survive.

If you do have friends, anyone trying to break into your inner circle is facing an uphill battle. People sabotage relationships in a lot of ways, for a lot of reasons, but mainly it’s because they have other relationships. Yours is not necessary. If you’re looking for new friends that is the challenge you face.

A little twist in this is in the romantic context. The idea in a marriage is your best friend is your partner, your wife. Maybe this is the actual foundation of love/romance. It’s not the sexual reproduction angle. That’s there, but even more than sex you need someone with whom you can share life experience. A man and a woman, who are both best friends and lovers, is ultimate synergy, the maximum use of all our faculties. Why do we have this conscious mind? It’s so girls and guys can play head games. Keeps us mentally sharp. All these arguments are just mental sparring sessions. Every guy knows after trying to win a fight with his lady, a meeting with the boss, or having to wrestle a bear for food is nothing.

I recently dated a girl and tried to communicate this in our relations. We immediately formed this extremely competitive dynamic and would bicker over every little thing like an old couple. I started keeping score. After one argument, I said TAN – 1, Girl – 0. Then we bickered over the scoring system and rules of the game. Anyways, at some point around TAN – 238 Girl – 4 I stopped keeping track (fyi – this didn’t mean 238 victories, you could get multiple points for BIG victories, 20 max). No one wants to be reminded of big blowouts. And besides the score began to reflect my waning interest. Like any game, you lose interest if one side is dominating the other.

Hmmm I could save this for a separate post, I could call it SCOREBOARD DATING.

word.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Cracka CrackDown! - Enron Edition

HOLLA!

Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling were found guilty of five million counts of fraud today. "The Man" suffers a huge blow to the kidney, and virtue shines down upon us. Sentencing is appropriately enough scheduled for 9/11 also known as The Day You Don't Schedule Anything On Day.

I wonder if there's any living judge or potential jury member who'd be willing to overturn the Enron verdict in an appeal. No one wants to be in that position. You would legitimately have to be worried about assassination. And no one worries about assassination anymore.

(what's up with that, where have all the assassins gone? There's certainly plenty of people worthy of assassination...)

Anyenron, this is hotness. I feel like there should be tons of downtown parties with DJs and open bars celebrating Sticking It To The Man Day. We might have to make The Cracka Crackdown a regular feature...

pour a little liquor for guilty of five million counts.

tonight, ... we drink to justice!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Agent Dating Game

Towards the beginning of this year I started getting agents contacting me to inquire about representation. At the time I already had an agent. But as it turned out my agent and I would part ways in a few months, and this meant I was able to contact those who had reached out and tell them I was on the open market. So for the past month or so I’ve been meeting and talking with agents and I’ve been struck time and time again with how the process of choosing an agent is just like dating. Thus, The Agent Dating Game.

Of course, a large part of this is due to my romantic notion that the ideal agent-writer relationship is like a marriage. It's a serious committed partnership, where both parties bring things to the table and work together to achieve certain goals. In our case the primary goal is to line our pockets with some big time publisher's money. I bet real marriages would work better if they had a third party they’re looking to get over on together.

When I got my first agent, I did all the work. I went through the standard process you will see in any “How To Find A Literary Agent” guide. So I can say I quite enjoy now being in more of a pursued position. And consequently, I feel can relate more to the female perspective in dating. I get free meals and drinks. And I get to bat my eyes and say “all this attention over little ol’ me.” Before I meet agents I usually make sure to get a good night’s sleep with my mask on. As Borat might say, "iss niiice."

Sometimes, I feel like these agents are just in it to check out the goods. They ask about my site’s traffic like there’s not an actual person living behind this rack, err blog.

And of course you have the big shot types, giving off that “I date models and superstars all the time, so I could care less if you like me TAN, but I will check in to see if you’re giving up the goods real quick” vibe. On the flip side you have the earnest romantic who perhaps can’t promise success as easily or quickly, but can promise to give you tons of attention. I personally would love to date a girl who would give me head, errr editorial feedback while I’m watching the NBA Playoffs. Borat says, "Attention isss niiiice."

But success in the agent-writer relationship is, of course, the book deal. Which is sort of like a married couple giving birth. And therefore during the dating process, I equate talking about the book proposal to feeling out the sexual compatibility. It used to be couples got married all the time without testing the sex, but nowadays more people realize that’s just bunkum and balderdash. Unfortunately I’ve been so wrapped up in this metaphor, I recently told a female agent we should “test our sexual chemistry,” and by that I meant we should talk more about proposal ideas, but I think I scared her off. So heretoforwith, there will be no more unexplained sex references in my communication with agents.

But since we’re on the subject of sex, it’s always important to mention that you have to be safe out there. I recommend googling and testing any agent you go out with. No one wants to sleep, err sign with a dirty agent. If you send out a proposal infested with STD’s no editor or publisher is even going to look at you next time around. So be careful. Don't be the guy with the proposal that has AIDS. Wear a condom.

Of course so much of this is new for me. I’m sure it’s like any young lad just starting to date and get involved with people. Everyone who comes across is exciting, and if there are any sparks at all I get all bubbly thinking about a possible future with this person. That said, since I had this previous relationship that didn’t work out, I’m working hard to suppress those emotions. I have some of that jaded, cold, been-around-the-block feeling in me as well, so we’ll see.

Actually there’s one who’s caught my eye. And wouldn’t you know it this agent was referred to me by an editor friend of mine. I was set-up with this guy, almostl ike a publishing blind date, and he happens to have many of the things I’m looking for. I wonder if someone sets you up with the person you eventually marry, are they entitled to some reward. I bet they feel like that. I hope this editor doesn’t come asking for a percentage of my advance.

Anyways, I don’t know when this dating carousel will stop. I hope soon. Cause I’m tired of just being out there in these seedy cafes and sushi restaurants. Though one good thing in the agent dating game is that you don't have to worry about walking in with some stunning agent and have them get ogled the whole time. No one knows the faces behind the scenes, so there's no cat calls and people walking up saying, "damn agent, you lookin' good. why you messin' with TAN, my blog is hotter. You need to cut that zero, and come represent this hero." That happens all the time in regular dating, so it's nice it doesn't translate with agent dating.

Anyways, again, I do hope this rollercoaster of emotion stops soon. I want something and someone I can depend on in my life. Someone who cares about me and my words, my blog-boobs and my brain. And, of course, like me wants to get into a publishers wallet for as much money as possible.

So if you’re a single agent*, and you feel the same way I do, let’s talk, have a couple drinks (on you), and see if destiny rears her beautiful face. Send me your pic, and I'll send you mine (via a link to my blog).

(please post to craigslist personals, men seeking agent)

*this is just for the post, I'm not actually soliciting inquiries, my bed, errr plate is full.

TAN's Little Black Book

Monday, May 22, 2006

Subway Series = Hot Girl On Girl Action

A little behind on my bloggy doings.

In large part because the Mets played the Yanks and remain better than sex ...

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Roots & Friends: @ Radio City Music Hall

So last night was the first of a two night engagement for The Roots and Company at Radio City Music Hall. The first night had Nas, Common, Talib Kweli on the bill. The second has Erykah Badu, Mos Def, Angelique Kidjo, and R&B duo J. Davey. Which means the first night might be worth the $75-80 beans. But Day2 ... ehh. (UPDATE: this would be true except Day 2 apparently had a ten minute set by Dave Chappelle and a finale with Jay-Z, D'OH!!!)

This concert was promoting the release of their upcoming album, Game Theory, their first with new label Def Jam. In addition some of the proceeds are going to the family of revered hip hop producer Jay Dee, who recently had his life cut way too short via Lupus. He was remembered throughout the evening. J Dilla was one of the best to ever do it, I will have to dedicate more time to his legacy on a future occasion.

Now, the first notable thing that happened was TAN was recognized while on line getting into Radio City. I was there with my boy who hooked me up with a ticket at the last minute, and while walking in, someone points at me and says, "The Assimilated Negro?" I nodded and kept it moving in line, but my boy was like, "damn son, it's like that now yo. I didn't know you was blowing up like that." All I could say was, "now you know ni**a, recognize the light before your eyes."

So that was nice. And if that girl reads this, then here's your message -- hello there. sorry I couldn't holler at you mami, you was lookin' good and all that. But you know, i was tryin' to get in the concert, so you know, I couldn't really see what was poppin' with you and your crew. But next time mami, next time ...

Next notable thing was the start of the concert. Now the concert was supposed to start at 8. But these are negroes playing for negroes (and others), so I was wondering if maybe I should show up around, I don't know, maybe 10ish. But lo and behold, at 8:05, with Radio City Music Hall maybe half full, Black Thought came out and started holding court with no introduction. The party started promptly, without even waiting for the crowd to fully get in the theater. A bit of a shock, but with 2 1/2 hours of playing to go, it's quite understandable. UPDATE: Turns out if you go over your allotted time at Radio City you get 10K in fines, for every TEN MINUTES over. Obviously $$$ trumps CPTime every time.

The first guest artist to perform was Nas. Which was a bit of a surprise. You expect Nas to be a finale when playing in NYC. But he officially set sh*t off. The Roots ended up playing a couple of their new songs as the crowd filled, and by the time Nas took the stage to Made You Look, we had a full house rise to their feet and start giving some energy.

It was around this time that you could start smelling the weed smoke. Ain't no hip hop concert if no one is sparking, and sparking up in Radio City Music Hall is classic material.

Nas is an interesting artist. He's one of the best, if not the best, emcees and lyricists of all time. he has tons of classic hip hop material. But I've never seen him really deliver in a live performance. He's almost some sort of rhyme-idiot savant, because besides the live performance, in interviews, and basically anything outside of the vocal booth, he doesn't come off nearly as, umm poetic, as he does in his songs. I remember his performance for the MTV video awards (i believe) and he dropped half the lines in his song. In last night's performance, he lived up to the rep, as he couldn't remember the start to his song "the world is yours." Ahhh, sweet irony. When I haven't performed in a long time, and I'm wondering how I'm going to hold up, Nas always emboldens me because yo ucan say, "well i can't execute worse than Nas." That said he is Nas, and he still gets the party jumping regardless. The crowd can do his lyrics for him, so it doesn't really matter.

The other guests who took the stage with The Roots were: Big Daddy Kane, Madd Skillz & (somebody else), Common (good performance, great energy), Talib (ok), Rahzel (wowed the crowd with his vocal percussions, but went a little long), and Kirk Douglas (ten minute guitar solo was great). The last two were part of the band that hosted the whole set, but they got solo time later in the show worthy of being singled out.

All in all, the show was a good one. I was disappointed by the vocal sound quality. There was a broken mic on stage that no one realized wasn't working for way too long. And while you don't expect to understand the words too much at a hip hop concert, at Radio City I thought you might get a little more clarity. Last night it was like, nah son, this is hip hop, chill with the clarity ish.

I was also expecting more surprise guests, especially for such a hefty ticket price. Where's Jigga, where's Mos, where's Dead Prez, where's Kanye? No one really showed up that was a "surprise." Maybe they all come on Day 2 to help out on the R&B night. Dave Chappelle and Erykah Badu showed up on stage at the end of the night, however, to rousing applause, but they didn't do anything. Oh wait, actually Dave and Erykah had sex on stage, and y'all missed it.

Speaking of Chappelle, he was supposed to call me about the afterparty jumpoff, but he flaked on me (he flaked on 50 million, obviously he's not going to have a problem flaking on me). So that's the end of the report.

All in all, I haven't been to a real hip hop concert in a while, so it was nice to get back to my roots, so to speak. And it was nice to see hip hop in Radio City Music Hall. And there was no violence that I know of, so while you may have thought that smoke in the air smelled like weed, to me it smelled like progress.

I'll add other good reports/summaries as they come across:

The Checks Must Have Cleared [Straight Bangin']
I'm Sure There'll Be An Update On Okayplayer [okayplayer]
?uestlove Concedes Defeat [?uest's Myspace Blog]

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Of Naked Cowboys & Crackheads

So I dropped by my pops studio today to talk to him briefly about a project, and who was in the studio cutting some tracks?? No, not Jay-Z. No, not The Strokes either. Close ... but this artist was none other than The Naked Cowboy.

And yes, The Naked Cowboy is in the wikipedia.


What's interesting is that The Naked Cowboy puts on clothes when going in the vocal booth to lay vocals. But takes them off when he is preparing to leave. I believe he is the first person I've encountered who has disrobed and clothed themselves in such a counterintuitive fashion - putting them on when isolated, taking them off when in public.

As a bonus treat, I also saw and heard some crack-headish looking guy singing "No Delayin' by Nice & Smooth at the top of his lungs on the street:
"kickin' wicked rhymes like a fortune teller / had a dog by the name of old yeller / old yeller had a fiendish plot / schemed and dreamed for me to make a knot / ever since then booties clock me like Big Ben ..."
I don't know if it's funnier to be familiar with the song and know the lyrics, or to have no idea and just see some crack-headish looking guy exclaiming about old yeller and fiendish plots.

ok. that is all. as you were ...

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Bartending Muse - Part IV: The Chance Encounter

I have developed a crush on a bartendress. But it’s not a specific image of her that is distracting me, it’s more the idea of her. I think dating a bartender or stripper should be one of the items on every guy's "100 Things To Do Before I Die" list. So I have dubbed this vivacious and voluptuous vixen The Bartending Muse, and I am chronicling my pursuit/stalking/wooing of her.

Day 1
Day2
Day3

And today we talk about ... Day 4:

After marinating on Day 3 I was planning to give The Bartending Muse a little time to breathe. I would see if anything develops via the friend-of-"the friend" scenario from the previous encounter. Also, just pragmatically speaking, I didn't have time to go out of the way to check up on it, as Beyonce might say.

But, as it turned out, I did end up spending some time at the home of TBM. A few friends of mind sort of randomly decided to convene at her place of business. Unfortunately it was a total off-day for TBM, so this impromptu soiree was poorly timed from my perspective.

Anyhadda, after hanging out over drinks for a few hours, the group decides to part ways around 8:30 PM on a Sunday night. Usually I'd be preparing to watch The Sopranos, but this time I was caught outside, downtown, and far away from home.

I placed a call to a friend/acquaintance in the area trying to find a local tv, but I got no answer as the bewitching hour approached. I gave up and went to a pizza shop on the corner. I hadn't eaten dinner, figured I might as well do something productive.
Fated Decision #1: I decide to eat my slice in the pizzeria. Being downtown, by myself, I usually am of the mind to expedite my expedition back home as expeditiously as possible. This time, I decide to meander and loiter. I believe my actual frame of mind was focusing on the fact that this was my old neighborhood as a younger not-fully-assimilated negro, and I wanted to chill in this pizza shop that I used to frequent back in the dizzy.

Fated Decision #2: I decided to sit at the center table, facing outside, enabling me to see people walking by. Of course, when by yourself, facing towards the outside traffic may seem like a no-brainer. This would classify as the standard eating-by-yourself entertainment system (EBYES). But I'm sure you artists/creatives/...bloggers(?) can relate to having an impulse to sit facing away from the traffic, so as to concentrate on your thoughts and internal TURMOIL. Since TAN is full of both, this was a choice that could certainly have gone the wrong way.
So I sat eating my slice, at the center table, facing the traffic outside. And about halfway through my eating, lo and behold who should enter stage right? You guessed it, ... some strange tall guy I had NEVER SEEN BEFORE IN MY LIFE. He walked across my field of vision, not once turning to take a look at what was going on inside the pizza shop. He exited stage left never to be seen again.

But then, right after him, came The Bartending Muse. The titillating blog post come alive, walking, resplendent, in all her Bartending Muse glory. There was no question it was her.

As she walked across my field of vision (did you know there's no "real world," it's just your "field of vision?") I struggled to remember her first name.

She was now exiting stage left, like the strange tall guy never to be seen again. I couldn't let this opportunity suffer the same fate. But I couldn't remember her name, so I went with the next best solution and screamed out,

"BARTENDER!!!!"

There was no bar on the street. No chairs, no tables, no alcohol. And I thought it was a pretty good chance that no one in the immediate vicinity would actually be named "Bartender." If no one did anything out of character, she would be the only person who would respond to that exclamation.

She exited stage left. I left my seat and went to the door, calling out one more time, "BARTENDER!!!"

She was about twenty feet away from me, walking away. I knew she heard me. I knew I wouldn't call out again. I was on the fence after Day 3, this would be a make or break moment. I waited for a sign.

The Bartending Muse continued walking down the block. And then .... she slowed down. To a stop. And then ... she slowly turned around. Very deliberate, very begrudging, very unsure if she actually wanted to make this turn. And then ... she smiled.

And then I remembered her name. And I apologized for calling her "bartender." And I asked her if she'd like to join me for a slice of pizza. And she said yes. And so began the next installment of The Bartending Muse.

While I finished my slice (she didn't want to get her own), she told me that some girls had spoken to her a couple nights before and asked if she knew about The Bartending Muse, and if it was her or not. She was unsure of what they were talking about until they described me, TAN, and then she connected the dots and realized it was me. We shared a laugh at the little bit of "internet celebrity" getting back to her. She then let me know she was planning to meet a girlfriend of hers for a couple drinks. And if I wanted to make any progress on the story I would have to join her. And of course I did.

So we hung out for the next three-to-four hours. Got to know each other a lot better. I told her about finding a sister, my mother and that fateful cab ride. She told me her own crazy tales of mischief and mayhem. We laughed, we cried, we broke touch-barriers. We danced ... while sitting on bar stools. We drank. But not really. More talking, less drinking.

At some point in the conversation, after one of her more personal stories, she became acutely aware of the possibility of me broadcasting her personal details to the world. Or at least the infinitesimally small portion of the world that reads The Assimilated Negro (I love self-effacement). And she requested I not talk about the particulars of her life. I told her not to worry, and that I would only tell the cute little story about her being repeatedly raped by her uncle, and that was it. Scout's honor. Then I laughed heartily at my sharp, edgy sense of humor. Then I noticed her not laughing. Then I noticed her crying. Then I noticed me crying. Then I noticed I was crying because she kicked me in the nuts. Then I noticed me bleeding. Then I --

Ok. So the long and short of this is that there's not much more for me to tell. Nor much I'm allowed to tell. I don't know what the future holds for TAN & The Bartending Muse. Love? Doubtful. Friendship? Perhaps. Late-night booty calls? Perchance to dream.

What I do know is that, for now, the telling of this tale must come to an end. It's been a fun journey thus far, we've looked at life and love, and lapdances from leprechauns, and all the levels and layers in-between. But now the rest of this story shall be told only to the breeze, late at night, when no one listens except the stoic moon set above a pregnant sky. In a place where the cool mist dampens your face, and the wind rustles the wooly hair of The Assimilated Negro.

Fin. (holla!)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Bartending Muse - Part III: Mission Impossible

I have developed a crush on a bartendress. But it’s not a specific image of her that is distracting me, it’s more the idea of her. I think dating a bartender or stripper should be one of the items on every guy's "100 Things To Do Before I Die" list. So I have dubbed this vivacious and voluptuous vixen The Bartending Muse, and I am currently chronicling my pursuit/stalking/wooing of her. The saga begins here.

Here are the notes from Day 2.

(these days are non-consecutive by the way. Day and Day 2 were about a week apart. Day 2 and Day 3 were a couple days apart. Day 4 is another week after that.)

And now ... Day 3:

So after Day 1 I was unsure. But Day 2 seemed like a nice step forward. It had a weird abrupt ending, but still definitely more to work with. We had the name, what she does when not bartending, what's she passionate about and what she's trying to do with her life (if anything) ... standard getting to know you stuff. We had her raising the spectre of competition, vis-a-vis someone she's seeing, but also leveling the playing field by changing the title from "seeing" to "kind of dating." We had me respond to that with a mental arm pump, "Yes!" Gotta love title changes, very emboldening. We got some comped drinks, and the tab wasn't too bad. So there was a lot to like.

But there's still been a bar between us the whole time. And so the mission for Day 3 was to make a move on removing the bar. To that point we had yet to initiate the Great Information Exchange, so that was the primary objective.

Now I had a birthday party to go to further downtown, so the plan was to make this visit short and sweet. Just do a flyby to make an impression on her radar. A hit on her sitemeter. I would make a move for the information, but no hard sell. Very pliable approach. A lot of room to breathe. I'm less interested in the actual info, more in the enthusiasm (or lack thereof) in providing the info. This is reconaissance.

As it turns out, this would be the first time I go by myself, as my friends bail out on me for the evening, ensuring I won't have any company/wingperson until I get to the birthday party. But since we're in Day 3, that's not as big a problem.

So I enter the bar for dolo. I see the bartender is present and head on over. First problem: place is crowded, and to be even more particular, most of the crowd is around the bar. I survey the scene looking for a solution and run into ... Second problem: the second bartender on duty is possibly hotter than The Bartending Muse. Do I trade in my muse for an upgrade after two days? No, no ... that's not TAN's styze. The Bartending Muse is The Bartending Muse, the other girl is a hot bartender. Or bartendress.

But what I am able to do is use the hot bartender to play a little hard to get with the BM.

Since I just saw Mission: Impossible III last night (it's ok), I'm going to relay this next little part of the story as if I'm the leader on an IMF team, going over our strategy and objectives.
Mission: Ketel & Cranberry

TAN:
Ok, listen up!! Here's the deal. I'm going to go right through the crowd to the bar and order a Ketel and Cranberry from the target. I will then leave the center of the bar where the target works, and go to the other end of the bar, where it's less crowded, and where the other hot bartender is working. I will then drink my drink and gauge if the crowd is dissipating or not. If the crowd doesn't disperse I will explode the building across the street to distract the crowd. If I am still unable to engage the target, on my cue you will enter and kill all the patrons.

Team Member 1:
Are you crazy TAN?!!? There's NO WAY you're going to be able to penetrate that crowd and get to the target. The bar is protected by at least thirty five drunken early twenty-somethings. All strapped with pints of beer. No offense TAN, but now that you're in your late never-turning-thirties, drinking anything-and-cranberries ... I don't think you can handle that sort of pressure. We need something safer.

TAN:
You may be right. But no one in that crowd is sporting any melanin. I have melanin. If I can get the voice inflector to give me a little more bass, and I play it just right, I don't know, ... I think I can get the crowd to part.

Team Member 2:
You're going to play the melanin card!!!! The melanin card is so risky. Do you know how RISKY the MELANIN card is??!!? You may get through, but you could also end up in jail for no reason. is it worth the risk??? is there another way???

TAN:
There's no other way. If I don't make it back, tell my sister I love her. And give her the password to my blogger account, I have 500 more posts in the queue, she should be able to sell those on the streets and have no problem with making money or getting crazy girls to talk about me on their blogs.

Team Member 1:
is this story going to self-destruct?

TAN
: No, that happens when we first tell you about the mission and see if you want to join the team. There's no more self-destructing at this stage of the game.

Team Member 2
: Were there ever any black people on the Mission: Impossible series?

TAN: *very seriously* I don't know. I didn't really watch it. And I don't take notice of race as much as you think I might.

Team Member 2:
Really? hmmm ....

TAN: ok, I have to finish this post. I'm going in....
And go in I did. Kind of like the first night, there was a little friction to start. Just too busy in the bar. But she recognized me, and got my k&c. We exchanged a couple words while she served the drink. But the crowd began to close in on me, so I moved, as I planned with the IMF team, down to the other end of the bar, where there was an available seat, and the aforementioned hot bartender.

Luckily for the building across the street, and the patrons in the bar, the crowd naturally began to dissipate soon after I moved down. The BM came to my side of the bar and informed there was now available seating, closer to her zone.

This is great. She came to get me. UNTIL, she informs me I'm also sitting next to her "date for the night." Before moving I ask her if this is my primary competition. She tells me this is a friend of the guy she had mentioned before, and he's just hanging out. So the guy is sort of a negative, but the full disclosure rings a little positive. After all, she doesn't have to tell me the additional background information. Sometimes situations are a little more complicated. 4th and 1, at the 50, down 6 to the Patriots, three minutes to go, do you punt or go for it? Tough call either way, so you go with your gut and live with it.

So I sidled up at the bar next to the friend. I size him up and immediately let him know that I am there for The Bartending Muse. He immediately goes the stammering, self-effacing, "if there's any competition, you are winning it" route. This could be because he's a herb. It could also be because he's the friend and friends are conditioned to act herby around girls their friends are in relations with. Either way I exhale, and lower the terror alert. He's an affable non-threat. And it turns out he's a Giants fan, ... with season tickets. So I talk to him about the draft and the offseason, while stealing eye contact with the BM.

Eventually the bartender, the friend and I all sort of talk to each other over a couple rounds. Then I decide it's time for me to move on to the birthday party. I decide it might be a cunning tactic if I tell "the friend" about The Assimilated Negro, but in a way that the bartender also gets the information. So I mention it to him, and then as we're stitting right by a stack of napkins that the BM usually stands by him, I write the site down on the top napkin in big letters, thinking it would sit there and be a little advertising for the Bartending Muse ... and others.

What's he do? He waits a few seconds. Thanks me for the info, and tells me he's definitely going to check it out. Then grabs the napkin, reads it aloud again, and puts the napkin in his pocket. Of course, this all happens while the BM is serving some drinks.

Clever boy that friend, clever boy.

When the BM comes back, she asks me if I want another round, I say no, I'm taking off. But I point to the friend and tell her she should ask him about the site I told him about. I don't want to put her in a compromising position in front of the friend.

She says ok. I depart. I see the guy leaves to go to the bathroom - I'm quite certain to properly dispose of the napkin.

And I head off wondering if The Bartending Muse will ever discover The Assimilated Negro. And if The Assimilated Negro will ever "discover" her ... *cue deep sexist chuckle - heh heh heh* ...

Perhaps Day 4 holds the answer ...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Devil's Advocate: Steroids

"Devil's Advocate" is now a regular feature on TAN. I'm using the space to explore ideas for the column I write for Player Magazine. I hope the idea/premise is self-explanatory. The first installment was on Global Warming, this one is on steroids.


I love steroids.

I think there should be steroid cereal, steroid soup, steroid burgers.

I don't think it should just be me and Barry Bonds taking them either. Everyone. Little kids, kittens, old people, everyone should be taking steroids. Especially old people. Old people are fucking slow.

Go ahead, throw a plastic syringe at me if you like. People who don't take steroids throw things. People who do take steroids throw people (usually people who don't take steroids).

Do you know what the most well known natural anabolic steroid is? Testosterone. Steroids are about being a real man. So if you want to be a non-steroid girly man, be my guest.

But me, personally, I want to be bigger, better, faster, stronger. I don't want to be a pussy. Pussies don't get pussy. They get wedgies. They get sand in the face. They get defeat. That's not American. Being a pussy is un-American. It’s, like, in violation of the Patriot Act or something.

When we bomb the shit out of some country, we don't try and "play fair." We don't try and make sure "no one is cheating." No, we fucking step on their faces with our big brawny army. We make them say, "Damn, that American military must be on friggin' steroids. They are wiping us out."

Playing just to play is good enough for the next guy, in Canada. I want to dominate. That’s the American dream. Bigger, better, faster, stronger.

I love seeing Barry Bond's big body basically broadside the batter's box. I love seeing him wielding the bat like a toothpick, spitting on anything out of the zone, and launching everything else into the jetstream. This is Frankenstein perfected. The Six Million Dollar Man times six million. I want to see someone hitting the most homeruns ever. You don’t? We can see people playing games just to play in a park. If level of performance didn’t matter, the WNBA would be a hell of a lot more popular. But girls can’t dunk, so girls don't matter. Unless maybe they start taking steroids. And Lebron James? Forget steroids, tell me how surprised you’ll be when we find out he was created in a laboratory. We pay these guys to do things we’ve never seen before, we don’t pay them to be human.

This is the American way. This is our primal instinct. This is how we evolve. Take greatness, and enhance the performance. By any means necessary.

If you’re gonna do 500 pushups and be good. But you can also take a pill that makes the same 500 pushups yield a greater return. It’s a no-brainer. It's not cheating, it's maximizing your performance. Some kids pay a lot of money to learn theory like that in business school. Businesses like steroids. They all want to get bigger, better, faster, stronger.

Ok, sure, like everything in the world, there’s a downside. The cons in this case are the side effects. You might get nipples, you might lose nipples. You might get a deeper voice, you might get a higher voice. Your genitals could shrivel like David Blaine's hands and feet when he was Drowned Alive. It's horrible. But all that means is that steroids are a choice. And with any choice there is a risk/reward ratio to be evaluated. Fake tits are a choice. Botox is a choice. Eating a whole pizza pie is a choice. They all have their pros and cons. Steroids are no different. It shouldn't make us rethink history. Everyone has the same opportunity to cheat. We can’t look to take away choice/freedom. It's unconstitutional. It’s anti-human. Girls have a right to get peed on if they like it. You can drink bleach. Eat shit. Wear a blanket of genuine porcupine needles. Have a blast. Life is what you make it baby. And everyone makes different things.

*sound of birds chirping*

Alex Rodriguez signed a contract for a QUARTER of a BILLION dollars because he's good at hitting baseballs. If we empowered teachers in the same way, I bet we'd have people injecting super intelligence juice into their butts so they can get an edge on how to properly educate our future. But alas, ain’t no money in education.

But there is in baseball, and let's say you could make a QUARTER of a BILLION dollars, and the cost would be your nipples get big and your voice deepens, you're probably willing to live with that. Nipples and a deep voice aren't too bad for 250 MILLION. But if taking the steroids made you grow a second penis -- say, on your chin -- well you might decide to get “off the junk” and play au naturel. It's all about risk/reward ratio.

What’s really the big stink over steroids anyway? Is the problem that it’s a drug?

For a country that spent 235 BILLION dollars on prescription drugs in 2004, you'd think we'd be a little more understanding of someone taking a little something-something to get by/over. Drugs, performance-enhancing, debilitating, or otherwise are as American as theft and apple pie. It’s about the end result. We don't ask how – we Just Do It. We can’t start getting picky about our drugs. The drugs/pharmaceutical industry is currently the biggest scam running.

Maybe the problem is athletics are our sacred territory?

Or perhaps it's because of the children? The poor poor children....

These questions and others will be posed and speculated on as I flesh out the idea for 1500 words. But for now ... I'm Audi 5000.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Vagina Litmus Test


So a word I’ve been using a lot recently is “vagina.” I don’t remember exactly when I moved it up in the conversation playlist. I think I had it on shuffle for a while, and then at some point it got moved into permanent rotation. Another word I use all the time is “negro,” which, obviously, is probably more expected, by you, a reader of The Assimilated Negro.

Now while I don’t know exactly when I started using the word, I do know why I’ve continued to use it. It’s become what I think of now as “The Vagina Litmus Test.” Despite The Vagina Monologues having come out ten years ago, what I’ve discovered is that “vagina” is a word that still draws a reaction. One might even call it a “hot-button” word, if you will. When using the word vagina, particularly around women, some will cringe, some will slap you, some will just stop-and-pause, some will laugh, some will ask, “you have any crack?” Some won't bat an eyelash.

Now for me the word “vagina” is just a word. For me word choice always comes across as "a piece of the puzzle that is you." A person who uses the word “cooter” and a person who uses the word “vagina” are not the same person. I don’t want to rush to judgment about what kind of person uses each word, but again, it’s a piece of the puzzle. And when I'm acquiring puzzle pieces, there are four basic reactions I'm looking for:

The first reaction is the mortified/aghast/stupefied STOP. The person completely STOPS the conversation, looks at you in a manner that reflects the adjectives I used in the previous sentence, and usually engages in some sort of confrontation about usage of the word. I’d liken it to using the n-word around a militant black person. And the reaction can sometimes be physical, aka the stop-and-slap. These types of people, generally speaking, I will only be able to deal with in limited doses. I just don't have a lot of respect for getting fired up over someone's word choice. It's important, but you need more depth to work up a lather in my eyes. Now if I'm a known vagina-hacker, wanted in every state, that's clearly understandable cause for alarm. But, well, ... google me at your own peril.

The second reaction is the cringe-and-pass. This is a CRINGE that is just short of the full blown stop call, but the person gives you a PASS and doesn’t necessarily stop the conversation. They key here, however, is the cringe has enough flourish to indicate that the word should not be used again. This is the most common reaction. I generally respect any request to not hear the word, unless it strikes me as blatantly controlling/hypocritical. For example, I've had people tell expletive-laden stories and then ask me not to use that word. Bleh. I don't care about what inappropriate words you think are appropriate. And there's also the girl wearing the short-skirt and/or push-up bra, with her cleavage all splayed out, who hears the word and says, "ewwww." Bleh. If your titty-crack can be up in everyone's grill, I can definitely use whatever words I choose. For example, titty-crack.

The third reaction is a laugh. Self-explanatory. This is what you sort of expect if you're talking to artsy-types or hipsters. Also crackheads.

The fourth reaction is indifference. This one is the most disarming. Ultimately turning the whole litmus idea back the other way, because now you’re the one reacting and thinking, “what, she doesn’t respond to the word “vagina,” that’s crazy.” If there's no response, I proceed with extreme caution.

Of course a lot is dictated by the context and particular circumstances in which you use the word. There are too many variables to try and cover them all [now] but one scenario that always strikes me as an ideal opportunity for the vagina litmus test is when a girl is discussing some sexual scenario, and she has to indicate that area. She might point, or say, “down there” or use some slang term. That's when I like to interrupt and say, “oh, you mean your vagina …” and then proceed to the litmus reading. This is an ideal scenario primarily because she's opened the door on sexually oriented convo. So it's all the less reason to get in a fuss about word choice. In this case the reactions translate as such:

Stop/stop-and-slap – Stop is pretty much the same in all scenarios. But in this scenario, as she was discussing the subject, it comes off very poorly.

Cringe-and-pause – The key thing here is that she cringes, pauses, and then continues with the rest of her story. So you see she has to process it, but then she decides to not make a stink about it. There are also secondary metrics to evaluate i.e. the force of the cringe and the length of the pause.

The Laugh - The laugh is ideal in this scenario. In other scenarios the laugh might be a little "much," but here it's golden.

Indifference - indifference is always disarming, but a lack of response despite you interrupting raises a flag that is particularly red.

So there you go, get on out there and start saying "vagina” … with purpose.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Even Miss Universes Get A Little Boring

Your Assimilated Negro hero and mine, Derek Jeter, has been written about on this blog before. I even wrote something about his mail situation. And I just happened to turn on Mike & The Mad Dog today, they were interviewing Rick Reilly, and he relayed an amusing story about the great Jeter.

So Rick and Jeter are talking. And Jeter, as one might expect, has all this mail piled up that he hasn't looked at. Reilly is fishing for a potential story and tells Jeter, "look, you're not going to be able to open all this mail. Let me do it for you, see if there's anything interesting, and if I find anything I'll run it by you."

So Jeter agrees. And Reilly goes through the mail. It takes him all day to go through this huge bag of mail. And there's mail from all sort of crazy people, sending all sorts of crazy things. But the thing Reilly notices is a letter from a Miss Universe winner. Reilly tells Jeter, "Hey man, there's a lot of junk here, but you have what looks like a legit letter from a Miss Universe."

Jeter, who dated former Miss Universe Lara Dutta, says, "Rick, I am not going down that Miss Universe road again..."


Only the great Derek can "go down the Miss Universe road" multiple times, let alone get tired of it.

TAN's Terrific Tee-Slogans, They're TAN-Tastic!!!

We're gonna start merchandising up in here soon. Soon as I convince the goddamn man to give me a dollar.

In the meantime, in between time, I'm trotting out some potential tee-slogans, for feedback, or, if I get no feedback, for safekeeping in my archives. This way I can't lose.

I'll do these ten at a time. Here's the first batch. Linked when appropriate.

Get your melanin injection

Hide your fried chicken and polo shirts

Tears = Turds

The Quest for "Better" Racism

Vintage Distressed Jeans by Jim Crow

The Black Blog with The White Writing

Its melanin, not melanoma

Salt Water Taffy Sucks


the N-word is not for whites ...

Get Assimilated, Or Die Tryin’

*apples and oranges are not that different

So give me a shout. Ideally you'd rank 'em all, ... or tell me your top three, and bottom two. Something like that.

*bonus slogan

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

#1 Draft Picks Don't Go For Paris, #10 Draft Picks Do

Matt Leinart, the star QB for USC, who cost himself millions of dollars by staying in school for an extra year instead of entering the 2005 draft, has gone public about his romance with everyone's favorite punchline Paris Hilton.

TAN usually positions himself above and beyond the celeb gossiporium, but I couldn't resist a little jab at the guy who has obviously gone a little crazy after seeing his stock fall and his skills questioned. He's about to be a millionaire regardless, and Paris serves as an obvious quick-fix pick-me-up for Matt's, ummm, Trojan.

Paris & Matt [Las Vegas review-journal]
Matt is Ready For His Closeup [Deadspin]
Yes, That Paris, And That Matt (w/ video) [ohnotheydidnt]

back to what really matters -- TAN & The Bartender

TAN & The Bartending Muse (Day 2)

I have developed a crush on a bartendress. But it’s not a specific image of her that is distracting me, it’s more the idea of her. And thus I have dubbed her The Bartending Muse, and I am currently chronicling my pursuit/stalking/wooing of her. The saga begins here.

My notes from Day 2 are below:


----
DAY TWO
----

So we had the initial meeting a couple weekends ago. And the second encounter popped off about a week later. I didn't want to wait a week to resume wooing, but the schedule didn’t work out. I still only had access to the BM when she was working, which was a couple nights a week, so limited window. No 3-4 days waiting, full 7.

So on the night she was working, I planned to stop by. Again, I'm not completely obsessed by any means, just sort of intrigued by the challenge/prospect. So I can play it cool. Not planning to camp out at her bar, I'd just stop by, let her know what's up, flash some of the TAN charm, and then meet up with another friend of mine who was out also. But as it turns out the friend’s plans fell through, so he just joined me at the home of the Bartending Muse (incidentally, I don’t say “the bartending muse” with the fellas, lest I'm forced to escape to New Hampshire Vito style). Once my friend arrived, I settled in for a long night of poaching bartender.

The spot was significantly less busy than the first meeting, and my friend and I parked ourselves at the bar, right in front of the BM, and the quality time would commence.

Overall, it had the feel of a group date. I had my friend to talk to. And she had her friends (the other patrons at the bar), but we were still able to touch base and get some decent conversation time … over drinks.

We started off slow. I didn’t have a ton to work with in the first meeting, and after a week, I admittedly was playing it a little herby in the early going. Very passive aggressive. Non committal. Conservative. The most important step in any wooing is getting over the hurdle of putting yourself out there. The hurdle is labelled "rejection," and some people are natural hurdlers, some are not. But regardless, once you clear that hurdle, you’re good to go. Game on.

Now she actually made the hurdles a little higher by not remembering (or pretending not to remember) some of the "funny talk" we had going from the first meeting. This is where the partner/wingman helps out, as you can buffer the situation, and find the rhythm. By yourself, you might get a little sensitive or defensive when she doesn't remember how you used sign language to order your ketel and cran. But with a pardner, you can say, "oh word, you don't remember? Ok, well I"m just gonna talk to my boy about the upcoming NFL draft. You go serve drinks." And then pick it up later.

In hindsight the initial misfires seemed to be standard second-time-meeting-a-person-whom-you-first-met-serving-drinks-at-a-bar awkwardness. As we settled in, she started giving positive signs, remembered (or pretended to remember) our particular banter from the week before, I cleared the hurdle, and we were off and running.

Now even while running, there’s still a little bit of the “she’s the bartender working for a tip” question going. One thing with wooing the bartender is you have to be flexible. And have a high tolerance. It's a lighter version of dating or wooing a stripper. And it can be tough to get a consistent convo flow with the bartender. You might have a hot story, or the perfect retort, and just as you're about to unleash it, she raises her index finger and says, "wait, hold that thought..." and she leaves to serve a customer, or five. Sucks. On the flip side, if she's coming back to you, and you're getting a lot of eye contact when she's pulling the tap, and she’s sharing personal info ... then you feel special, maybe a little extra empowered because it's easy for bartenders to avoid a stalker. There are plenty of distractions. They're working. So those otherwise normal signs demonstrate a little more pro-active interest on her part. And that's the situation we had going here.

So after a couple hours, I’m thinking about the segue into the exchange of contact info. And that's when she decides to mention that she’s seeing someone. Not only that, she mentions it in the context of a story that had nothing to do with the guy. Something like, "yeah, I'm seeing this guy, and as it turns out the supermarket was all out of peanut butter AND jelly. Can you believe it?" So obviously an eyebrow is raised at that. But then she follows that up quickly by changing the "seeing" to "we're just sort of dating." And later interrogating reveals she's only known the guy a few weeks, so nothing too serious.

I make a few jokes about "eliminating" this other guy, which she responds to, and eventually we get off this subject, and into more casual banter/information reconaissance. But then some chaos in the bar led to us not being able to talk for the last hour and she left before I could push the issue or initiate the Information Exchange.

So we've got a "I'm seeing someone," followed by an immediate correction. We have eye contact and special attention throughout the night, but she left without saying a word. Though admittedly, I got a little distracted at the end.

At the end of the night we’re left with some positive, some negative, and an ellipsis that leads us into Day 3 of the saga of TAN & The Bartending Muse ...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

TAN Goes Glossy

So TAN makes his debut in the glossy magazine world today.

Avery Cardoza's Player.
It's what the cool kids read to stay cool [poor tag-line mine]

I always wanted to write for a magazine that had someone's name written in a nice small cursive over it in the upper left-hand corner. Or in this case, the smaller vertical type on the left. That design always gives a cover a little extra punch. Seriously. Don't you think?

Rumors about me being the first black man to write for a glossy magazine are false. I think the first guy's name is Arthur Ashe. Or maybe Medgar Evers. Some sh*t like that. I think I'm actually the 16th negro to write for a glossy.... but who's counting right?

Also, rumors about me killing myself for the byline are false.
But I do have to kill an important public figure in order to get paid. Apparently it's payment upon assassination. *rimshot*

(that was a "magazine world insider" joke, if you don't write for glossy mags like me you probably won't get it. sorry. don't take it personal. it's just way too complicated to explain all the details of what it's like writing for these magazines. It would take, like, five blogs posting non-stop for five decades to tell you enough information that would allow you to get the joke. But, like, Chuck Klosterman would get it. Cause me and him write columns for glossy magazines. Anyways, the joke is really funny, trust me.)

You can check out some of the mag online. But obviously it doesn't fully translate until you have the non-stolen glossy pages in your hands.

My column is: The Devil's Publicist ... unfortunately I couldn't get the TAN byline, and I didn't make the cover, nor did I sleep with Jessica Biel in the sink (she's not in the magazine). But I'm paying some dues and working on that.

And speaking of racism, whenever I tell people the name of the magazine, they always ask me if it's "Playa" or "Player" ... but the evolutionary cycle of the black man dictates that I currently find such racist banter highly amusing. Yet somehow I don't think they'd "double-check" the spelling/pronunciation of the magazine if I looked like this.


And while I'm doing all this ranting about global warming, I'd also like to thank the good folks over at The Gawk, which I believe is how this editor found me. Don't let anyone say that Gawker never inadvertently helped out a black guy. And for all you bloggers plucking the individual hairs off Jesse or Nick or Lock's ass for a little exposure -- you should know, it's all worth it.

*triumphantly raises single strand of ass-hair to the sky*
*cue single solitary tear*

So very, very worth it.

Monday, May 01, 2006

TAN & The Bartending Muse (Intro/Day 1)

So there’s this bartender, and as fate would have it, she works at a bar. One might even go so far as to say she "tends the bar" at this bar, making it just a wee bit ironic that she's called a "bartender".

I would tell you the bar, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let the paparazzi mess this one up.

Anyhäagen, I seem to have developed some sort of crush on this bartendress.

Now I’m not a player, I just crush a lot
… so, you know, whatevs, it’s not a huge deal. Ain't no thing but a chicken wing you dig. I ain't trippin', it's all good in the hood. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow creeps at this petty pace, knahmean? But I was struck by the fact that it’s not a specific image of her that is distracting me, it’s more the idea of her. And thus I have decided to dub her The Bartending Muse, and chronicle my pursuit/stalking/wooing of her.

It might last four days (I’m writing this having already been through three non-consecutive “mission days”), it might last four months. It’s kind of like the movie My Date With Drew except, it’s not a movie, and there’s no Drew, and the main guy is black, not white. There are other discrepancies.

Now I first interacted with this bartender a couple weekends ago, and she keeps popping up in my head (again, not her, but the whole notion of wooing a bartender). She’s a cute girl, but not the hottest bartender on the planet by any means (yes this line is planted specifically for your ego if you happen to read this). I’ve seen girls more physically stunning (this one too). And I don’t have a history of fixating on bartenders. I might discreetly ogle (if an ogle can be discreet) at the bar, but my mind doesn’t usually loiter for this long. In fact this might be the first time I’ve recalled a bartender after 24 hours.

So a couple weeks in now, I’ve decided to “diarize” my progress here on TAN. And even though this could start today and end tomorrow (if, for example, she happened on my blog, recognized me and e-mailed me to stop stalking her), I expect that this journey will open up new lushly-layered vistas on life, love, and lust for ladies and liars alike. There will also be lemmings, lasers, and limericks. Maybe a lantern. And a lasso. If nothing else we should be more familiar with the Do's and Dont's in lassoing (see, told you) a hot bartendress.

So go ahead and order a Ketel and Cranberry, fire up those lanterns, and let's dive in...

-----
DAY ONE
-----

I know every guy thinks the bartender loves them, I know this. But I think there's a connection here. I can sense it dammit, ... she likes the ol' TANeroni. It’s not like the girl licked her nipple for me or anything. She was affable. She served my drinks with a smile and pleasant disposition. When I actually think about it, it was pretty standard behavior for a bartender-drunk relationship. It just so happens that such behavior is more than enough to leave me confident Little Miss Bartender (L.M.B) wants to be Miss Assimilated Negro (M.A.N). If only for the better, cutting edge, multi-faceted acronym.

But really folks, I do think there was a little more than the standard bartender-drunk rapport. Not a lot mind you, but a little. I have two primary pieces of evidence. As Exhibit A I submit her enthusiastic playing along with my hand signal game to order drinks ( I had to order using sign language). For Exhibit B I submit her pro-actively expressing her displeasure when I ordered from a different bartender. (and yes, this written retelling is the extent of my "exhibit")

Again, it’s not licking her nipple, but a little territorial action is something to work with.

Unfortunately, on this day, I am also otherwise occupied with a crew of people. I am only able to engage briefly when ordering at the bar. No time for really testing the terrain.

BUT … I do ask about her work schedule. And she tells me. So that's a little nub to work with also. And so I plan to come by and see her again, when I can focus more on the task at hand.

And as it turns out Day 2 would indeed provide some quality time and plot thickener ...


On to Day 2 in TAN and The Bartending Muse chronicles
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