Friday, July 28, 2017

New writing on VerySmartBrothas and Cassius Life

Oh hey, I've been writing and such.



"Have Your Heaven Now: What Lupus Taught Me About Life" (Very Smart Brothas)
One. Lupus taught me that I may not have that undefined five, ten or 15-ish years to lollygag, gain and lose weight, have babies, move, work soul-crushing jobs, and fuck around before thinking about possibly maybe preparing to getting serious about chasing my dreams. I went from thriving to barely surviving overnight. Then from comatose to a decade of following my curiosity around the country hunting down happiness. Lupus could return anytime. You could awake tomorrow and melt from overexposure to Flo Rida fandom. Do the damn shit while you can. 
Two. I complain too much. After being diagnosed with lupus, chillaxing in a coma for a bit, and recovering in the hospital, I had to learn to walk again. My leg muscles atrophied and my dancer’s legs were less useful than a guest verse from Chingy in the 2000 and the 17. While dancing a hateful Harlem Shake with Prednisone, my bladder control went on strike at the worstest of times. The same steroid increased my already hyperactive appetite 21 thousandfold. It also gave me a lovely coat of acne that covered my face, neck, and chest. Those were problems.

"Hot Peas & Butter and More Slavery Merriment In Virginia" (Very Smart Brothas)
I lunged towards the grill, lifted its cover, and there it was. A long leather belt with a big silver buckle. Apparently, you’re supposed to yell out “Hot peas and butter, come get your supper!” but we were far too cool for that shit. I grabbed that motherfucker, spun around and there he was, the new kid who could never have company when his parents weren’t home without a lengthy logistical debate via house phone, likely because their house smelled like potpourri and dumpster juice-infused pot liquor, Kaymonn.

"Black Extraness: When You Do Way Too Much With Way To Little" (Cassius Life)
On one hand, I get the desire to impress and the urge to seek additional credibility to fortify thine pedestal or whatever the fuck via a Doctorate of Advanced Geometric Left-Handed Divinity from Sepatown University, earned after years of pondering the relationship of peanut butter to jelly and the problems of Tom and Jerry. And tithing $199 plus shipping and handling. 
Anyone who’s attempted to get a grown-up job in The Age of Needing Thirty Years of Experience For Entry Level Phone Answering is familiar with the often undue weight our society puts on The Degree. Though it guarantees neither riches nor competence, it is often the gold standard of achievement. It holds weight. It matters.
Here's the rest of my writing.

Let's keep the party going: The Extraordinary Negroes |The Colored Boy Store | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

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Passport Pimpin' (Feat. Evita Turquoise Robinson of Nomadness Travel Tribe & Darnell Lamont Walker of Passport Required)



In this episode, we're joined by branding/travel expert and Nomadness Travel Tribe founder Evita Turquoise Robinson and filmmaker and Passport Required founder Darnell Lamont Walker to discuss the keys to branding your business, the challenges of maintaining a self-care regimen despite a rigorous travel schedule, and what it was like to swag surf on the White House lawn before Cheeto-In-Chief took office. Additionally, Alex doesn't believe in generosity at award shows, Jay is gonna miss Tiffany Haddish doing free shows all the time in LA, and Tommy from Martin got a job before Colin Kaepernick did.

More Darnell Lamont Walker
: Outside The House documentary | Passport Required | Twitter | Instagram

More Evita Turquoise Robinson: Nomadness Travel Tribe | Instagram | Twitter

Listen and subscribe on iTunes, SoundCloud, TuneIn, or your podcast platform of choice.


Hear more episodes of The Extraordinary Negroes here.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

An Extraordinary Recap: Insecure - "Hella Great (Season Two Premiere)" (Feat. Tonja Renee Stidhum)



In our inaugural episode of An Extraordinary Recap, we're joined by writer/director, "Wing Chick" series creator, and Cinema Bun Podcast co-host Tonja Renee Stidhum to dissect the season premiere of HBO's "Insecure". Best Buy shirts sold separately.

More Tonja: Cinema Bun Podcast | Wing Chick Series | Instagram | Twitter



Hear more episodes of The Extraordinary Negroes here.
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Let's keep the party going: The Extraordinary Negroes |The Colored Boy Store | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

So I Just Became A Mental Health First Aid Instructor (for VerySmartBrothas.com)


I can breathe now. After spending the past 13 months trying to get accepted and five days powering through a dense curriculum and teaching simulations, I finally received my certification as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor. Therapy and chicken wings for everyone. I first heard of the Mental Health First Aid course as a recommendation from Chirlane McCray, writer, editor, and First Lady of New York City, as she explained the city’s ThriveNYC campaign at a mental health roundtable she hosted at her residence. The city intends to certify 250,000 people in Mental Health First Aid by the end of 2020, so I signed up for the eight-hour course a few months later.

The course teaches you to identify and engage with people developing a mental health issue or experiencing a mental health crisis, “how to offer and provide initial help, and how to guide a person toward appropriate treatments and other supportive help” per the manual. Fortunately, no matter how much your inner empath or goodest intentions lead you reach for that cape, it doesn’t require or empower you to diagnose and “fix” people or wipe people’s woes away. You won’t be a therapist after a week. Stand down, future Iyanla.

I learned a lot while soaking up the course material and interacting with the trainers and other students. Here are some highlights.

Read the rest at VerySmartBrothas.com.

Here's the rest of my mental health advocacy/writing.

Let's keep the party going: The Extraordinary Negroes |The Colored Boy Store | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

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Monday, May 29, 2017

So I went to Amy Ruth's.

photo: Serious Eats New York

Good morning, folks.

I come to on today with some very important news. I got the President Barack Obama (chicken) smothered with greens and macaroni and cheese with a tall glass of Purple, the Kool-Aid of the Day, at Amy Ruth's on W 116th Street in Harlem last night. Mister Man was craving gravy and comfort food, and I didn't want to waste my time at Sylvia's or Red Rooster or anywhere else so we took a chance. I went once back in 2008 or so with a group of friends who'd also escaped 1998, Virginia and landed in the land of knishes, cat-rats, and delayed trains, but all I remember is that I was famished after a day of classes at Broadway Dance Center and that we laughed a lot. Since I've had far more questionable macaroni and cheese in New York than good, I was skeptical. There is so much hateful macaroni and cheese in this world. I wanted to be a believer since a few friends and countless churched-up white stocking-wearing grandmas flock there regularly. I wanted to believe they all weren't being scammed.

However, I can officially report that the macaroni and cheese is a win, the smothering was well smothered, my mama would approve of the greens, and the Kool-Aid was diabeetusly sweet, just like the ancestors intended. Apparently the stuffing was good but "a little sweet," which was unsurprising because #theBlacks. I say all of that to say, mi genre, that it's a yes from me. I forgot to take a picture because I was starving. Just trust me on this. I hereby offer the #alexgottaeat stamp of approval and shall return. 

Good day. (Especially if you're coming to my mental health awareness event at the Schomburg Center this Wednesday.)

Other food adventures:
Alex Gotta Eat #1: The Maple Syrup and Bacon Cinnamon Roll
Alex Gotta Eat #2: Redemption By Burger
donuts and mouthsplosions
I Went to a Screening Of Underground In Memphis and Here Is What I Ate

Let's keep the party going: The Extraordinary Negroes |The Colored Boy Store | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

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