Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Solo Cinema

I have a girlfriend who goes to the movies by herself all the time. That was something I thought I could never do. She would go as early as she could and see two, sometimes three movies. I wasn't sure if I thought she was brave or if I felt sorry for her. She didn't really care what anyone thought anyway, so it didn't really matter.

My husband and I have this thing about going to the movies. It's something we like to do together. We rarely, if ever, go to the movies with other people. A friend of his works at a movie theater and when we go we get to see as many movies as we want. He gives us the schedule and we walk in and out of theaters until we're ready to leave.

Some time last year there was a movie I wanted to see that my husband wasn't interested in. I asked my co-worker if she wanted to go and she had something to do. When she suggested I go by myself I looked at her like she was crazy. She even laughed because she's never gone alone.

I found myself thinking about her suggestion for a while. Looking back, I can't believe I put so much thought into something as simple as seeing a movie. It took me about a week, but I eventually bit the bullet and went alone. It was a big deal and I felt nervous the entire bus ride to the theater. When I got there, I wondered if the person who took my ticket, the people I passed in the lobby, or the people at the concession stand thought I was a loser.

I went into the theater and, to my surprise, it was filled with women, and a few men, who were there alone like me. I get off of work at 3:30, which is pretty early, so it wasn't a large crowd. I immediately relaxed. The movie was great and it was nice to have that time to myself. I understood why my friend went alone so much.

I've gone alone a few more times. I'm the type of person who enjoys spending time with myself so it's great for me. Going to the movies alone is very relaxing. I can't believe I stressed myself out over it.

The same friend who goes to the movies alone has also traveled to Aruba and Jamaica by herself. I don't think I could ever do that. She's awesome.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

If You Don't Know Now You Know

The film, "Notorious," comes out this Friday. It's the story of one of New York's finest, The Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls. It's hard to believe he's passed away over ten years ago. For someone who wasn't in the rap game long, he had a huge impact. He came along at a time when West coast rap was all the rage. People had almost forgotten that this rap thing started in New York. Big Poppa busted onto the scene and reminded them.

I'm a fan of the hardest of the hard rap music. I don't mean the bitch, hoe, I sell drugs and i'm rich version. I'm talking about hard beats and lyrics that come from the heart. Biggie Smalls was right up my alley. I never found his lyrics gratuitous. It always felt like he was telling a Brooklyn tale.

I was born and raised in Harlem. We moved to the Bronx when I entered junior high school. It was the beginning of this thing some people now call rap and the people who love it call hip hop. It was fun. It was not only about putting words to music, it was also about graffiti, break dancing, and the electric boogie. I remember going to jams in the park and having a ball. I even grabbed the mike a few times. My name was Tricky T. (It was cool in the eighties) The dance battles were amazing.

Somewhere down the line, hip hop turned into rap and I lost some of my interest. I still listen to it, just not all of it. I often find myself wondering what it would be like if Biggie was still alive. He was just about to blow up when he was killed. He had so much potential. New York mourned for a long time after he died.

I remember the day he died, March 9, 1997. My husband and best friend threw me a surprise birthday party the night before and we had a lot of fun. He woke me up the next morning to tell me Biggie had been shot and killed in California. I couldn't believe it. Hip hop had lost one of its best.

I don't really listen to rap music anymore. There's too much bling bling and look at me going on. That's not hip hop. I prefer to look back to the fun days. I'm sure that's how those in my parents generation feel about r&b. Don't get me started on that.