Photo of Kid Sister © Antwan Duncan
By Mawuse Ziegbe
So, why has my life recently been ...bizarre? A couple weeks ago, I'm living my little Mawuse life, logging hours at the day gig when my left eye bubbles up for no reason. It starts swelling and I can feel it growing by the second. Have you ever felt the skin around your eye expand, puffy matter festering exponentially until your lids are swollen shut. Sexy, right? Well, I decided to go the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. Now here's why I hate hospitals: the needles and sick people thing is no big deal but it's just the horrible inefficiency of the place. The hospital is an event for the patients but for the workers, it's just hump day. So, your eye can be in your hand but your ailment is just adding time to the clock. They've got a TiVo full of "Grey's Anatomy" they need to tear into so you're just eating up McDreamy time. When I asked the receptionist a question, it was all, "oh I don't know."...Er, but the website says... "oh, yes, I have no idea." You...what? Why don't I just ask that vending machine for info, at least a can of Fresca is pleasant. Oh, and the good doctor was no better. He sent me home after a 4 hour wait and said, "Um, I think it's an allergic reaction to something, maybe. Take some Benedryl and if you have a problem, see another doctor." What??? Dr. Pepper would have been a better diagnostician and he's fucking fictional.
A bizarre experience we can all share is this rowdy monsoon season. It started innocently enough as the hipsters invaded the upper east side a couple weeks ago for Kid Sister and Vampire Weekend at that venerable New York Central Park tradition, SummerStage. Born Ruffians opened up with their biggest fans getting all nutty in the audience. I'm amped to see Kid Sister and then...the rain comes down. At first, there were little weak-ass play drizzles but then it was straight-up rainy season. Central Park looked more like Manila than Manhattan but after an hour, someone up there decided to knock it off. The clouds parted, the angels sang and DJ A-Trak kicked off his set with Fat Joe's "Make It Rain." Har effing har. KS hit the stage with these extra sassy back-up dancers in day-glo harem pants and foam core football gear. She performed a 30-minute set including her songs "Let Me Bang" and "Telephone."
Photo © Antwan Duncan
Then another hour goes by and I'm beginning to think Vampire Weekend is a myth scared up by Columbia alums out for a lark. I stayed relatively dry, climbing in every free nook I could but when VW came on I got drenched. I was enjoying the preppy hi-life rhythms but the rain was quickly too effin' much. I punked out and went to sleep and ignored all calls. Lucky I did too since not only was DJ Spinna's legendary Stevie Wonder tribute party going down that night but this happened...
You know those yokels who go through life screaming "no regrets!" If they missed this party they are lying monkeys.
But the bizarre stars aligned while in L.A. last week when I got to attend the 2008 BET Awards. Watching an award show in the actual theater is completely different than checking them out on TV. When the performances end, there's no dynamic camera pan up into the rafters as we go to commercial so T-Pain, Rihanna et al, just walk off the stage all anti-climactic-like. Also, you can't change the channel during commercial breaks so you just sit around gettin' your thumb-twiddle on. But Alicia Keys brought back teenage memories of voguing in my living room when she sang with not only SWV but the original line-up of En Vogue and TLC during her performance of "Teenage Love Affair." And to cap off my surreal evening, who else did I run into, looking extra dapper in basic black, but BET Best Female Hip Hop Award nominee Kid Sister and her brother Josh from DJ duo Flosstradamus. We gabbed about the source of addictiveness in Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles (I say it's the waffle mix, they insist it's the syrup) on the vacated red carpet. It was soooo on the verge. Elephantine eyelids, flash monsoons, red carpets and 90's girl-group sass - I take it all in stride. Because, for serious, if my life continues to veer towards the bizarre, I'm cool with a healthy dollop of "WTF"