Archive for May, 2009

So today is my 31st Birthday. Itactually view the 31st birthday as bigger than the 30th. 30 is kind of like an outpost of your 20’s. An overtime, if you will. But when you hit 31, you’re IN your 30’s. Like when people write about me in the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, or the Butt & Gun Enthusiast Quarterly, they’ll use phrases like:

“Brandon St. Randy, already a hero to millions in his young 30’s further cemented his status as a degenerate this weekend in Monaco when he…”

or

“Renegade financier Brandon St. Randy’s assets were seized by the federal government for the fourth time despite the fact that he’s only in his early 30’s…”

or

“Despite being in his early 30’s, Monsignor St. Randy was still trying to pick up 18 year old girls last week at the annual Fuquay Varina Watermelon festival…”

Nonetheless, like Prince Hakeem when he got off the plane, “I am very happy to be here!” So since I won’t be able to celebrate with all of you, I wanted to allow you to get a taste for what my birhtday party would look like in video form. I have selected the videos from my teens which when I watched, I thought to myself, “That’s the party I wanna be at!” These were the scenes of sophistication, cool, and debauchery to which I attempted, usually in vain, to pattern my life after. Enjoy and freel free to post your own

1. Spacehog, In the Meantime

This is just delightfully weird. The people look so hip and disinterested. I love it. Also, the bassline is bad as hell.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

2. Incubus, Are You in

Are you kidding me? This has that perfect combination of kooky sense of humor and sexiness. It’s been a while since hot ethnic girls licked cake off my face. I’ll have to do better this summer.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

3. Jimmy Eat world, The Middle

Who hasn’t been a little shy about taking it all off at a lingerie party? Rhetorical question, I’m shhameless and thus shyness does not fit into the equation. I know this video has a deeper meaning about estrangement and social ostracization, but my favorite is the fat dude with the tighty whiteys at about 1:15. He rocks!

4. Ghostface Killah, Cherchez La Ghost

Fuck what ya jeard, this where Little X went from being a Hype Williams clone to a grown man. I love the hangover theme with everybody knocked out and empty bottles of Clicquot everywhere. Reminds me of my middle school days. And Gloria Velez? Shit.

5. En Vogue, Don’t Let Go

I think this is what everyone thinks their life is going to be like when they move to New York. Before they end up working 70 hours a week to afford a 300 square foot studio that smells like chinese food and cigarettes in a bad part of town. No penthouse, no view of the Empire State building, no Dawn looking right. Damn shame.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

6. Notorious B.I.G. Big Poppa

I wanted to LIVE in the club after I saw this the first time. I was also like 14 or 15, so it seemed like a good idea at the time. The dude with the process and the three inch gap is my man!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I purposely left off some of more the obvious ones. Excuse Me Miss almost made the cut, but then so did like 7 other Jay-Z videos, these were just the ones that really stuck out to me.

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There’s no escaping it. It is the blob of our generation. The sweet smell of rock to a crackhead. That one last job that Don Logan made Gal do in Sexy Beast. Our version of “just when you think you’re out, they pull you back in.” Of course I’m referring to the two degrees of separation (max) that seems to separate every black person with a college degree in this country. The Clusterfuck was again brought to my attention when I was checking out another blog. Another commenter picked up on that we went to the same school, knew the same people, and more than likely, know each other. So how does this affect dating within the professional black world?

First, the positives: It’s easy to meet people because so many people know each other. Looking to date someone? Chances are your boy is friends with a chick who has a couple single girlfriends, you all go out for drinks at Coco Sala or Trois or Caftereia or whatever’s hot in your city and chop it up. Cool. Need to do a background check? My homegirl’s sister went to law school with old boy. I’ll let you know what comes up. Need to track down that cute girl that you were eyefucking with all night at the Hillman Black Alum party but didn’t get a chance to get her number because she left early? No problem. Me and her used to be cut buddies a couple years ago and we’re still cool. I’ll set up the intro.

Sounds great, no? An ever-expanding network of like-minded potential friends and lovers. What could be wrong with that?

Plenty. Like to hear it, here it go.

A friend of mine in law school once mentioned to me how she and her black friends at the school made a pact hen they came in that they would only date two black dudes in the school for their entire three years. Knowing how small the world is, they attempted to hedge the possibility of getting the “Slut” tag the only way they knew how: By instituting an arbitrary number. One of the biggest problems with the clusterfuck isn’t that everyone knows each other. it’s that everyone THINKS they know each other. They know a little bit about each other, and most of that comes from hearsay and reputation. So the natural thing for many people to do is armor themselves up with a carefully crafted PR message. Instead of feeling free to be themselves, warts, crazyness, bad musical taste, and all, there’s this diamondcutting pressure to walk the straight line in hopes of preserving a positive or desirable message for people they don’t even know yet.

And wo can blame them. I know way too much about a lot of people I don’t even know. I can tell you whose pussy stinks (at least it did 8 years ago, but you know how these rumors stick), who’s a closet homosexual, who gives good head, and who’s a gold-digger. Have I ever met any of these individuals personally? Nope. Or maybe in passing. But I know people who know them, and word on the street moves fast. And unlike they say in Carlito’s Way, if there’s one thing you can trust, it ain’t word on the street. So what if you were who you aren’t now? What if after having sex with most of the football team, you’re a reborn Christian? What if you used to be a gagster wannabe but you wised up? What happens when you grow up, basically? Are you still at the mercy of what the street says you were? I dunno.

The other problem is, ironically, the more people you know who know each other, the fewer people you can date. There’s no fresh meat anymore. It’s like 90210 with waves and weaves. Brenda fucked Dillon who fucked Kelly who fucked Brandon who fucked….but replace them with names like Jamaal, Tiffany, Sheretha, Keisha, and the occasional Lamar. I mean, do you really want to start a relationship with a woman who will have had sex with three or more of the dudes (and reportedly a chick) that are going to be at y’all’s wedding? That can create some pause. I dated a really great girl once who used to be cut buddies with a good friend of mine. I, in turn, dated a girl in college who she’s really good friends with. We didn’t have a title or anything and it was pretty light, but I do have to wonder, would we both have taken it more seriously if we hadn’t had the comingled relationship history we did. Who knows. I asked her what she thought about it once, and she said, sometimes she just shook her head. In her mind, it was like, “oh that’s just…., that humorous dude I went to school with.”

I think this is especially damaging for women’s dating prospects. While women can get over their beau having had a past relationship with one of their female friends, I don’t think the male ego is really built to take that. We’re a possessive gender and the idea that some dude we know “had” what we consider “ours” is a tough pill to swallow. I know women who have married guys that have fucked their friends. I don’t know guys that have done the same. And since women are constantly harping about the lack of qualified male suitors, it almost feels a little unfair to urther push that number down by disqualifying these women from competition because they might have had a certain kind of relationship with someone you have a relationship with.

I had a situation where a woman I had a very undefined relationship with maybe wanted a little more than that. I knew some dudes who she had dated before, and that didn’t really bother me. Although in retrospect after I learned about one, who I’m really close to, that kind of destroyed any possibilties that could have existed. But I’m friends with some of her good female friends. And I knew if we went crashed and burned (which eventually we did, spectacularly I might add), that would put us in a tug of war with them. since we both knew these friends before we really got to know each other, that’s a lot of potential fall out. After she and I parted ways romantically, she ended up dating one of my boys. And didn’t tell him, which I strongly encouraged her to do. It’s one thing if he knows and he’s cool with it. Even if he’s not cool with it, she knows where he stands. But is there anything worse than getting blindsided by the fact that a dude you kick it with on the regular used to mash down your woman? That’s not a good way to find these things out. After him, she moved on to a friend of, get this, both of ours. She told Dude 3 about me and Dude 2, but still kept Dude 2 in the dark about the both of us. Eventually, she was out with Dude 3 and Dude 2 happens to be in the same place. Awkwaaaaaaard. Now, imagine the three of us didn’t know each other. How cool would that be for her that she could have dated any of us independently and not have to deal with any of the interpersonal relationships we had? But try finding three pofessional black dudes in the same city who don’t know each other. Godspeed.

This all of course, gets even worse with the advent of social networking websites. What mystery there was about someone is pretty much dead after you see them tagged huddled up in the corner of the club with your boy in the facebook album “2003 Spring Break.” You can draw your own conclusions. My homeboy 2.0 loves to say “your friends aren’t my friends.” It’s his attempt to keep worlds separate, I imagine, but it’s kind of like King Leonitas trying to beat back all those fucking Persians. Eventually, the phalanx pretty much has to give, and your friends will follow his friends on Twitter.

So yeah, do I have a solution for any of this? Nope. But maybe you do. Feel free to comment and let me know how y’all get around it.

Vegas update

Posted: May 27, 2009 in Uncategorized

So yeah, after one of those, “are you busy, I really just want to hear your voice” texts today, followed by more lamentation that we didn’t seal the deal, I replied that it was time to quit this whole shebang. She’s married, and I’m really not about to try and either have an affair with her or have her leave her husband and then marry her. I talked to my married homegirl about this and she said it was the only right thing to do. She also told me about how many dudes have let her know that if she ever leaves her husband, they’ll be on deck to marry her. I wonder how serious they are though. Like when I was a kid, my cat would do anything to kill a lizard. He’d stare at one through the window, go outside and stalk it for an hour, then finally kill it. Then he’d paw around with it for a minute or two, and it was off to the next fast-moving small animal. Life gets strange as you get older. I feel like if you were less of a natural sceptic than I am, it might be easy to become disillusioned.

We done fronting yet?

Posted: May 26, 2009 in Uncategorized

So there’s an article today in the Wall Street Journal of all places on “The culture of bling clangs to earth.” As an avid reader of the J, I’m always somewhat amused at their coverage of the underclass. Particularly the illustrations of, oh, let’s call them, “urban” types. What’s interesting to me is that what we often privately think about some of the excesses of our culture are highlighted in ways that really let you know how ridiculous some of what we have come to accept as “black” culture is. When you see a Li’l Jon (fuck happened to him?) pendant festooned with cheap diamonds that weighs five pounds (Guinness Book of World Records holder for largest diamond pendant) across from an editorial about Obama’s economic initiatives to solve the largest economic recession in a generation, it’s hard not to look at the King of Crunk and wonder:

“What the fuck are you doing?”

or better:

“What the fuck are WE doing?”

It would be one thing if this was behavior limited to a small subclass of black folks “from the street.” There’s some nice liberal, apologist thinking that can justify a lot of this excess. I mean, if you grew up with holes in your Zapatos, you’d celebrate the minute you was havin’ dough (I made that line up myself). Who are we to rain on the parade of people who’ve made it from rags to riches by criticizing their showy displays of gemologic pride?

The problem as I see is that this whole “spend every dollar” mindset has migrated up the socioeconomic ladder to people that should damn sure know better. Which was cool and all during the heady times of the mid double O’s, but, uh, it’s a recession, everybody going broke. And since we’ve created a culture where so much of our worth as people is tied up in our ability to display the accoutrements of wealth (real wealth be damned as long as we look hood rich), what happens now that the rug has been pulled out from that particular little fantasy. What’s particularly interesting to me is the comparison to the way “others” of the same basic socioeconomic status and age group differ from us in their relationship to conspicuous consumerism. I’ve had the chance to interact with “them” for the past year in grad school. And I have yet to go to a party with them where bottle service is ever offered as a primary offering. They go to pub crawls and drink PBR. Clubbing for them is enjoyment, not a social status contest. But I remember going to homecoming last year and the STUDENTS were getting bottle service. Like seriously, you’re barely out of high school, haven’t made a dime of your own money, and are already setting up the public persona as a “baller.”

(I was looking for a picture to prove my point and all I had to do was go to any random party pic site and look  at the first page of pics for any given party. What do they show? Bottles, chains, and cars in the parking lot. That’s what supposedly makes a party worth going to. Not the people, just the accoutrements of wealth. In case you were mistaken, and thought it was the actual people. I threw in a picture of a girl with big boobs for good measure. I do heart big boobs).

So here’s the question: What now? I mean we all know that all of this was financed on easy credit which has disappeared. Are we going to run that Visa until we tap out trying to extend the fantasy for one last dance? Or is the point where we actually throw up the white flag and actually get our social status from our accomplishments and talents?

Just my thoughts,

B St. R

Wrote this a long time back and since it’s Sunday and you’re out looking for barbecues and cheap cocaine, instead of reading blogs, here’s an oldie but goodie, slightly updated:
So since Jay-Z came out with “Excuse Me Miss,” The term “Grown and Sexy” has been thrown around more than Karrine Stephens backstage at the BET awards. If you’re throwing a party, it’s for the Grown and Sexy. If you got a car that’s a sedan but not a lowrider or a Donk, it’s grown and sexy. You went and bought a shirt that’s not a XXXXXLT white tee, you guessed it, grown and sexy. Grown and Sexy has kind of turned into our generation’s “Whoomp, there it is.” Ironically enough, the most frequent overusers of this phrase seem to be 23 year olds whose parents still pay their car insurance. When I go to these grown and sexy parties, all I see are people in overdone tacky outfits who are trying to look too hard like they’re balling. So since I clearly don’t understand the accepted social definition of Grown and Sexy, I’ll provide my own list of Grown man shit:

1. I don’t have to drink Moet out of the bottle at the club. Or pour it into other people’s upturned mouths. I don’t even like Moet. It’s too sweet for my taste. And I don’t feel the need to pay triple the liquor store rate to do what looked cool in rap videos in ’93. As a High school Sophomore, that looked like the life, now the shit looks ridiculous. Especially, if you drive away from the club in a Kia. I mean, last I heard, dead cat bounce and all, the recession ain’t over. Which means for every one of you that can legitimately afford the indulgence, the other five of you are putting it on your 24% interest Capital One card and will be paying for that bottle until your kids go to college. Don’t get me wrong, if you like something, go to it. But making a huge show out of it: why? If you must be seen “popping champagne,”  why not do a Nino Brown and just shove a slurpee straw in that bitch? At least that would be ironic, and isn’t that what you hipster folks like? Irony?  If I’m going to drink out of the bottle, it’ll be at home with some Veuve Cliquot and I’ll be pouring the rest down the small of some cute girl’s back.

2. I reserve the right to slap the shit out of people who think they’re being cultured by calling Moet “Mo-way.” That’s not how it’s pronounced. I know words in French ending in -et typically are pronounced “ay” This is an exception. Look it up on Wikipedia. You sound so stupid, it’s not funny.

3. I show a reasonable amount of decency to people. I’ve learned you never know who someone else is, and who they know. I don’t try to inflate myself by putting other people down or not treating people well. it’s a small world. I might run into you again and need something from you.

4. If you don’t want to talk to me, I’m not gonna get mad. My little display of “fuck you bitch” or “You ain’t that cute anyway” I realize is not going to get me any closer to what I want, so I’ll just refrain. I don’t know why you’re not interested. Frankly, I don’t care that much. Whatever the reason, that reason might have vanished or been locked up for a few months next time I see you, so I’m not going to cut down my success ratio with you and the rest of the girls who are watching by showing my ass.

5. If after I buy you a drink, you try to order one for your homegirl too, I’m not gonna get mad and call you a gold-digger. I’m just going to motion to my bartender that you’re not on my tab, and keep it moving. I do reserve the right to talk about your triflin’ ass to whoever will listen, however.

6. If the shit says black tie, I’ll wear a black tie. Not one of them extra short, fat-knotted pink and yellow Murakami Louis Vuitton ones. Save that shit for the BET awards. This is not reflective of minority events however, because at an African American black tie event, you’re almost guaranteed never to be the worst dressed person there. I once went to a BET holiday party and I shit you not, one dude had a leather tuxedo and a rhinestone tie on.

7. “I don’t wear skinny jeans cause my knot too thick.” OK, that’s a lie, I don’t wear skinny jeans because they look really bad on dudes. Fellas, leave the tight jeans to the women. If someone can read your credit card number through your pants, that’s not a good look. Male yeast infections ain’t what’s hot in the streets.

8. I don’t wear sunglasses on inside unless I’m high as a kite and my eyes are too red to be appropriate. That shit looks mad pretentious.

9. I’m not gonna spend a lot of time talking shit and bucking up because one of us brushed past the other a litle too hard. Either one of us should apologize and the other accept it, or someone needs to take a swing. All them words are wasted energy that could be used toward finding a threesome to cap off the night.

10. I tip appropriately. I might want to come back one day.

11. I find out the bartender’s name early in the evening and hook them up a little extra up front. A lot easier to grab a drink that way then by pounding on the counter and yelling, “Slim, what’s up wit my Hennessy.”

12. I ain’t paying sixty to get in. That could go to my Scottrade account or a good steak. I’ll just come back next week with my little “get in free before 11:00” email printout and party with the same exact people for the freesky.

13. More than three buttons on a suit is never appropriate. A square toe two inches wide with a suit is never appropriate. If Slim Thug has a blue Impala the same color as that suit and shoe combination, it’s not appropriate.

14. I don’t lead with with buying you a drink. I’ve been around women long enough to know that being your drunk sponsor isn’t going to make you any more interested in me as a person. If we know each other or have established something, sure, but until that point, you’d better reach into that oversized Louis purse of yearn and fish around for $11. I mean, you do have an oversized Louis purse, I assume you can afford it.

15. That .75 carats of flawed fucked up ice in your watch bezel ain’t fooling no one. Either save up for the real shit or just get a moderately priced tasteful watch. All your ass is doing is contributing to the misery of one more African in Sierra Leone.

16. My business has revenues, a tax ID, and a business plan. You ain’t the CEO of shit if all you have is a cool un-trademarked name and a website with “coming soon” plastered all over it.

17. I give money to my alma mater, savings account, and candidate that I want to win. Money talks, bullshit walks. And complaining about how bad politicians are or how they need to build some new dorms is bullshit. Do your part to make it better.

18. I don’t try and act sophisticated by telling people that you should eat red wine with meat and white with fish. Drink whatever the hell you like.

19. If no one’s paying y’all to appear in their ads, magazines, fashion shows, etc., I will not refer to you or your homegirls as models. You’re recreational picture-takers. So when the conversation comes to occupations, and the first thing you say is “I’m a model,” This is what it sounds like:

To You: “I’m like super-beautiful and glamorous and stuff, and I kick it with celebrities. People should be jealous of my awesomeness.”

To Me: “I’m a secretary, but I let skeevy dudes take damn near naked pictures of me trying to get into King magazine. Oh they’re out of business? Maybe a Rick Ross video. I’m kind of a groupie, and I’m really popular with the Myspace crowd. People will think I’m more important than I am if I tell them I’m a model. I’m slightly ashamed of my day job. I have a sex a lot with guys that wear fugazi chains and say they’re producers.”

20. I don’t have to lie to get ass. I’ll show you what I got and you make up your own mind. If I tell you what’s what and you’re not down, cool. Saves me the stalker experience two months from now. My tires (were) twenty-inch Z-rated Run-flat Goodyears. I do not know how much they cost ( They cost $282 per. When I sold my car, this is what the dealer took off his offer because the fronts were a little worn) and I do not plan to prematurely find out because I fooled you into fucking and now you’re vindictive. And handy with a boxcutter.