Tuesday, April 26, 2016

RIP Prince, RIP my adolescence and more Crepe Hanging

So just to remind you, this is a blog about being over 40. So you should expect some crepe-hanging about aging.  Because despite my grandmother's admonishment : "don't get old", sometimes moments happen and you realize, wow, I'm not young anymore.

Prince's passage was a just one of those for me. Not that I was a particular fan of the "Artist" as a performer per se, but his music decorates my adolescence like ubiquitous purple wallpaper. Yes, "Let's Go Crazy" and "1999" are songs that are perennial New Year's Eve favorites, but so many of his songs color my youth. Memories that are actually framed with his songs in them. Not just the songs he sang, but also the songs he wrote.

"I guess I should of known
By the way you parked your car sideways
That it wouldn't last"
I mean I can remember sitting in Missy's Dark Green Ford El Camino, drinking wine coolers on our way back from seeing Purple Rain. I can remember the music, the vinyl seats and listening to "When Doves Cry" and knowing every word, but not really getting the lyrics.(still don't) I just remember it feeling "sexy" and wanting to make out with someone, anyone, including Missy, even though we both became really gay. (Well I did anyway, she's not as gay as me, being lesbian and all.)

His androgyny was unapologetic and he had the ability to define his manhood on his own terms. Purple cat suits, high heeled boots, and stylized hair he still gave off a sexual charisma when compared to other gender benders like Boy George and RuPaul.  They came across as asexual or as pretty eunuchs. Which gave hope to us "less than butch" types who struggled to compensate our masculinity with our gay inner selves and realize that in the end, what's sexy, is confidence.

My personal gay theme song: "Do you think I'm a nasty girl?"
And the coterie of women who translated the gift of his music, fierce, good girls gone bad, like Sheena Easton's "Sugar Walls" and Sheila E's "Glamourous Life".  He brought color into music, not just purple, but a parade of Lesbians, Latinas and African American artists who exuded his confidence, pride and sexiness without apology.

Finally, he gave a soundtrack to my first heartbreak.. Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U " written by Prince. Every line punctuated my 20 year old heart. The song actually made me want to wallow even more because it was just too good of a breakup song.  Listening to it again makes me realize, nothing compares to Prince.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

What's Miami's Favorite Dessert? Eye Candy.

"Why are they all staring at me" was one of the first questions my Mom asked me when she came to visit me in my small efficiency apartment on South Beach in 1990.  They were probably staring because my very fabulous and attractive mom was way out of place in the still grungy, un-gentrified neighborhood south of Fifth street. The other reason they were staring was because in Miami, that's what you do.

A human being is amazing in its ability to determine friend or foe, gender, age in a fraction of a glance at another. In milliseconds snap judgements about a person's status are processed. Miamians have taken that basic instinct and honed it to new levels. Miami is a city where showing status is important. By showing status I mean wearing cool and sometimes expensive things. Now I know someone would equate this as "shallow". Which is fine, Miamians are a fun loving bunch, shopping is a sport and looking your best is not such a bad thing. "Fabulous" is usually what Miamians are going for.  New Yorkers try to be "captivating", Washingtonians try to be "interesting" the first group being grossly opinionated the second group spouting their resumes at every opportunity.  I understand that being "captivating" and "interesting" costs a lot in student loans, However you can spend a lot of money being "fabulous" too. Just different values, that's all. 
Just a normal Miami family at the beach.....

So getting back to "eye candy",  nowhere in the world will you see a better selection of it. Miamian's highly developed senses are drawn to the beautiful men and women that populate our city. Not just young ones, Miamians continue to preen throughout their entire lives.  Rarely do you see women who just decide to "go frump" and just wear the latest beige offerings from Walmart. Colors and style to rival the tropical beauty that is Miami. I mean there's nothing wrong with a knock-off Chanel or Prada to add the perfect touch to an already bright outfit.  Miami's men are also style conscious and that style tends to lean toward the mechanical: watches and cars.
What does this outfit say about him?

Our highly developed taste for eye candy also informs a lot about who we're looking at.  For example, expensive watch, white guy, probably Russian. More than five designer labels in one outfit: undoubtedly Venezuelan. Halter top, tight white jeans, hoop earrings: Cuban Girl from Hialeah. Board shorts, pale skin: Midwestern tourist. Male, long hair, has the face as if someone farted : Argentinian. Brown eyes, scrubs, beard: Cuban MD.

So of course with the consumption of all this "eye candy", proper digestion of it requires an ongoing internal and external commentary.  I mean you can't just look a big butt and say "nice" you might want to say "hang on ass we're going to town."  Or you see someone attractive and think "hot", a proper riposte might be "he's so hot I want to slap his mother." In Miami you can say it out loud or not, it's all part of the sweetness of eye candy. 
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