Monthly Archives: October 2009

Stephen Chukumba says: “Buddha Bar, Gansevoort, Employees Only. Booooooo!”

I’m going to keep this rant short and sweet. Bouncers are corny. There, I said it.

 

Ajna Bar

Ajna Bar (formerly Buddha Bar) doesn't care for Black people.

Of course, I don’t mean ALL bouncer are corny. Just the ones that arbitrarily preclude me from entering their establishment because I am Black.

They’ll dress up the reason they’re keeping me outside of their vaulted halls of revelry, “You’re too casual,” (Translation: “You’re too Black.”)

Or “It’s a private party tonight.” (Translation: “It’s private. Everyone can get in tonight but you, Blackie.”)

 

Employees Only should be called 'Only Employees Who Are Not Black"

Or, my favorite “We can’t let you in looking like that.” (Translation: “If you weren’t such an intimidating looking Black person in your urban attire, perhaps you wouldn’t strike fear in the hearts of our clientele and make them uncomfortable partying with you.”)

You must know that I was attired rather hoodishly last night, so I take nothing away from gatekeepers doing their jobs and trying to prevent riff-raff from sullying the interior of their clubs.

However, since I have been barred from each of these very same clubs, when I was DRESSED TO THE NINES, their purported reasons for yesterday’s insult are singularly unbelievable.

The offending establishments are:

Buddha Bar, 17 Little West 12th Street, New York, New York. They are particularly racist in the application of their door policy, but always with a touch of class. I almost don’t realize that they’re being racist.

Employees Only, 510 Hudson Street, New York, New York. I realize that even my own people can be subject to prejudices. A brother played me out at the door last night. Hard. He barely glanced in my direction. I was cold dissed from the periphery!

 

Hotel Gansevoort

Beware, Hotel Gansevoort has a little trollish man at the door.

Hotel Gansevoort, 18 Ninth Avenue, New York, New York. I was turned away by a short swarthy Napoleonic gatekeeper numerous times. Wonder if it’s not my race, but my height.

I’m not really a club/late night kind of fellow, so last night’s meanderings were quite amusing, since ultimately, if I were permitted entry into any of the establishments which turned me away, I would have been spending greenbacks.

I guess if they can afford to discriminate, then they must be doing alright!

Black people, if you’re going out in NYC and you want to give yourself a fighting chance of getting past the gatekeepers, here is some advice:

1. Never wear sneakers or any kind of casual footwear. If your feet don’t look like they’re smarting from being forced into pointy, slippery cobbler torture cells, you’re not a slave to fashion, and they don’t need your kind.

2. Avoid jeans or other casual pants, such as cargos or camouflage. It makes you look cheap and says, “I’m not here to spend any money, I just want to rub up on something.”

3.  If, at all possible, avoid being Black. It’s a dead give-away that you’re not the patron they want.

4. Boycott Buddha Bar, Gansevoort and Employees Only. They’re far too uppity and they obviously don’t need our dough.

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Stephen Chukumba says: “My children are…peculiar.”

At the advice of counsel (the wife) the names of my children have been changed to protect their reputations, which will surely be ruined if anyone ever comes across this post in the future.

I don’t know what my wife did when she was pregnant, but she baked some weird strange peculiar kids. Of course, I contributed some genetic material to the mix, but in my opinion, the particularities of my children have more to do with the nine months gestation, than my little spermatozoa (aka “It’s the wife’s fault, not mine.”)

Take my oldest, Sasha Sming, who had the strangest habit of tying things in knots. Stuffed animals, toys and objects of all kinds were found bound and gagged in all parts of the house. (Not really gagged, but totally bound)

Teddy bears, bunny rabbits, Afro Barbies (we only get down with dolls in which the children can see reflections of themselves), Lego figures, tricycles, knitting needles, were all bound by Sasha Sming.

Literally anything that she could wrap a piece of string/rope/yarn/headphone cord/jump rope (you get the picture) around was enveloped in these elaborately tied knots. We were really quite disturbed (still are actually – gulp).

Clearly, in her former life, she was either a boy scout, longshoreman or a dominatrix with a bondage fetish.

My son, Nehpets, is a pre-pubescent Adonis. Women just find him incredibly appealing (definitely a trait inherited from his daddy).

From the day he was born, members of the female species have simply been enamored with him. As an extension of the awareness of his appeal to women, his peculiar habit is disrobing.

The wife and I have been regularly perplexed by the frequency with which we’d find this boy with his shirt off. As he got older and could articulate himself, he’d say (to justify being topless) that he’d gotten his shirt wet, or that he was hot, or some other equally implausible reason for walking around the house half-naked.

Nowadays, he regularly gets dressed in his pj’s sans top.

In addition to taking off his shirt, he’s fond of showing off his muscles, and has the most unusual ability to undulate his stomach like a belly dancer.

In Nehpets’ his past life, he must have been a Chippendale, body builder or male escort.

Without question and despite the unusual behavior of Sasha Sming and Nehpets, Darun is by far the most peculiar.

I could describe it in excruciating detail, but it’s probably best if I just show you.

This particular behavior started when she was about 9 months old. We’d find baby blankets and pillows stuffed into her onesies.  As she got older, more and more stuff was being stuffed into her clothes.

We theorize that she may have been a magician in a former life…or a shoplifter.

At the end of the day, I must admit (in the absence of a paternity test on Maury) that these kids are just lil’ bits o’ me, ’cause as hard as it may be to imagine, people say that I’m wild crazy peculiar too.

Go figure.

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Stephen Chukumba says: “Back to school night…ugh!”

With an apple for my teacher 'cause I knew I'd get a kiss. Always got mad, when the class was dismissed. Passing Me By, Pharcyde

With an apple for my teacher 'cause I knew I'd get a kiss. Always got mad, when the class was dismissed. Passing Me By, Pharcyde

The start of every school year inevitably brings about one of the more unpleasant parental rites of passage – back to school night.

I say ‘unpleasant’ because of the rehashed and canned speeches, and the ‘few words’ (read ‘never-ending soliloquies’) that each principal, superintendent, curriculum director and/or school counselor (and it’s usually a torturous combination of them all) force we captive parents to endure.

When the talking heads eventually release us, we’ll scatter like roaches, all vying to get ‘face time’ with the real targets of the evening: our kids’ teachers.

“Thank you for coming out tonight blah, blah, blah…”

I’m sizing up the other parents to figure out who I may have to elbow or shove out of the way to get to classroom 9. I try to stay focused on what’s being said, but invariably the mind wanders.

Hmmm, why’d that guy get up? Is he in Mrs. Carter’s class? Perhaps I should have sat closer to the door.

“And the next thing we’re doing this year, blah, blah, blah…”

Is that Jaime’s mom? She’s a hottie. Duran is definitely getting a playdate with her. Is that her man? What a duck! How’d he bag that?

“Just to piggyback on what Ms. J just said, this year is going to be very exciting, blah, blah, blah…”

Don’t piggyback on what anyone just said! Speak your peace and let us go!

“And this year, the PTA is blah, blah, blah…”

Eww! Some nasty bastard just passed gas! I’ve got to get out of here! Could this torture be any more exquisite?

“One of our primary goals this years is blah, blah, blah…”

I wonder if anyone will notice if I pick my nose. I can definitely feel a boogie up there. I hope no one can see it…but my nostrils are rather prominent…

“Thank you, please head over to your children’s classes.”

There is a God! Second person out the door, first one in the class…wait, where the f*ck did all of you parents come from? Did you skip the speeches? Why I oughtta…

“Welcome to class nine, blah, blah, blah…”

No more speeches! How the hell is my daughter doing? Will she be a Rhodes Scholar? What’s her IQ? What exactly is your teaching methodology? Will she be ready for kindergarten next year? Answers woman! I want answers!

Yeah, my baby girl is only in pre-school. So what? Can’t a brotha be concerned about academic excellence in pre-k?

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Stephen Chukumba says: “You know you are loved when you can fart in the bed.”

When sleeping with me, this is an absolute essential.

When sleeping with me, this is an absolute essential.

As a man, I’m often given to bouts of flatulence. All creatures pass gas, and I am no exception.

Passing gas is proof positive that the body is working properly, breaking down the food we intake, metabolizing it, keeping the stuff we need to generate energy, and disposing of the by-products.

Notwithstanding the fact that it’s a natural process, it’s generally frowned upon in certain settings. Flatulating in public, faux pas. Flatulating in private, not so bad.

Passing gas on a crowded subway or other means of public transportation, for example, is a gross breach of the public trust, and should be punishable by public lashing (or some equally distasteful public shaming).

Passing gas in private, however, is a different story. Case in point, passing gas with your boys, is usually a jovial experience. In fact, when you’re with your boys, the louder and stinkier the better.

However, with women, passing gas is something you must cultivate. Your ability to fart (in their presence) really depends upon what stage of the relationship you’re at.

If you’re dating, for instance, then suppress those stink bombs at all costs. There is nothing worse than passing gas when you’re being intimate. A fart is a sure way to dry thinks up quickly.

But this won’t always be the case. Once you get to know a woman, test the waters, pass an SBD while you’re watching a movie and see what happens.

Depending upon her reaction, you may have to initially deny it with every sinew in your body and the conviction of one (genuinely innocent) wrongly accused of a heinous crime.

Invariably (and with time), once you own up to it, she’ll tell you how disgusting you are, and her love for you will allow this offense to pass, without jeopardizing your future together.

After almost 10 years of marriage, I speak these words as truth. I am a flatulator. Make no mistake about it. Some are loud, others silent. Some slip out, others are forced out with authority. Some squeak, some whine, others bellow, but I own them all.

I realized that my wife’s love for me would withstand the test of time, one evening after we had a serious soul food dinner. Collard greens, black eye peas, fried chicken – the stuff of flatulation nightmares.

We were nestled in our bed headed off to la-la land when it happened – I passed the most sinister SBD gas beast. I knew the minute it passed the exit only sign, that there would be trouble. There was nothing I could do but wait and see.

Hopefully, she was already deep in REM sleep, and this gross nocturnal breach of civility would pass unnoticed, or as some distasteful smell-track to an unpleasant dream.

But twas not to be…

Chanel: STEPHEN! I guess she’s not asleep.

Me: What happened? Feign ignorance, Stephen, it’s the only way!

Chanel: Oh my God! Did something crawl up in you and die? Perhaps?

Me: You sure that wasn’t you? Nice one. Turn the tables. Who’s to say she wasn’t stinking up the place her damn self?

Chanel: Oh come on! You know you did it! True. In nine years of marriage, I’ve never smelled her fart.

Me: Something I ate doesn’t agree with me. That’s right. Keep your cool. Like the stink bomb, this too, will pass.

Chanel: You are so nasty! But you love me anyway, so who’s really the nasty one here, huh?

Me: Gimme a kiss and go back to bed. The next one will smell like lavender. The next one might actually be an actual poop. Maybe I should go to the bathroom.

Chanel: You are a fool. Good night stinky man.

Me: Good night Mrs. Stinky. All’s well that ends well.

Lesson? I have no idea, I just wanted to share a fart story.

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Stephen Chukumba says: “Myxer’s mixer rocks!”

Myxer, mixing it up.

Myxer, mixing it up.

I just arrived at the Ainsworth, and what is unquestionably one of the most well attended mobile events I’ve ever been to in NYC.

It’s being hosted by Myxer, the self-styled “leader in mobile content,” which offers ringtones, wallpapers, games and more. In fact, Chris Sniffen, the Director of Northeast Sales just introduced himself (he interrupted my conversation with Jeff Frank, but as the host of the evening, I’ll let him slide).

The event is part of the Digital Wednesdays series, and it is, hands down, the best I’ve ever been to.

Now this is not to say that this Myxer event is the best DW has ever hosted. By my own admission, I’ve probably only been to about three or four, so I’m not really the most credible arbiter of the Digital Wednesday offerings. But, of the mobile mixers (no pun intended) I’ve attended, this one ranks as the singular best.

Why? You ask? Because, first of all, it’s packed. The minute I walked in, I just knew I was in the wrong place, because the place was packed. And considering the fact that this week is CTIA, I figured it would be a ghost town.

Folks mingling at Digital Wednesday

Folks mingling at Digital Wednesday

Second, there are lots of sexy people in the cut. Ordinarily, the attendees are a mix (again, no pun intended) of geeks and squares, and cats pushing their business cards at you. There is almost a benign ambivalence towards doing business tonight.

Third, and most importantly, the people genuinely appear to be having fun. Usually, there is a hint of defeat in the air, as folks seem resigned to go through the motions. But tonight the air and energy is electric (maybe it has something to do with the fact that the Yankees are in the playoffs and the games is on every one of the 36 (count ’em 36) flat screens.

Max Ramirez, the dapper host of Digital Wednesdays, just pressed a drink ticket into my palm (Gingerale here I come!) and invited me to mingle (which I will do as soon as I finish this post).

All I can say is that if they keep this up, I may have to make a habit of this.

Hmmm. I wonder if the guy I’m supposed to be meeting is here.

Oh well. I’m sure I’ll bump into him!

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Stephen Chukumba says: “Take It To The Genius Bar”

An image I pray you never have to see on your screen.

An image I pray you never have to see on your screen.

Last night I experienced the blinking file of death on my MacBook. For the Mac uninitiated, it’s the image you see when you boot up your computer, which indicates that there’s a problem with your hard drive (and it usually means that all of your content is gone).

I tried to keep my cool and attempted every resolution under the sun to fix it. Restart. Restart holding the option button. Insert the install CD and restart holding the C button. Time machine backup. Macforum. Online support. Everything. But nothing worked.

After cussing considerably, both aloud and then under my breath (wife had fallen asleep mid-crisis), I resigned myself to the fact that I was no genius. It was time to call on the REAL geniuses at the Mac Genius Bar.

The Genius Bar is for me.

The Genius Bar is for me.

So at 1:40 am this morning, I made my appointment for 1:40 pm today, and I type this post (on my iPhone) sitting at the Genius Bar of the Apple store in the Willowbrook Mall, in Wayne, New Jersey.

This 16 year old kid confidently goes over the possible issues and resolutions, after listening (sage-like) to my frantic recollection of the night’s harrowing events, all the while plugging in an external hard drive to my defunct laptop (like he’s heard it all before).

He smiles as I recount all the steps I took to attempt to reboot the computer on my own (lest he think I’m some inept technophobe), and tells me that the hard drive appears to be intact (no scratches or defects), and that my baby (my word, not his) is going to be fine.

He recommends that I stroll through the mall for the next 40 minutes while the “archive and reinstall” brings her back to life, and I do.

40 minutes later, the smiling 16 year old hands me back my laptop, shiny and working, and all is well in the world.

As I complete this post (on my handy-dandy WORKING MacBook), I offer this one piece of advice: If at first you don’t succeed, take it to the Genius bar.

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Stephen Chukumba says: “I’m Getting Old(er)”

I’m 39. People are always amazed when I say that, because (apparently) I don’t look my age (or is it act? hmmm). I’m in media and many of the movers and shakers in the space are young(er), so I guess I often take it for granted that I’m not as young as I used to be.

Case in point – At an HBO meeting today, I made a reference to the viral nature of mobile. To illustrate my point, I said (something like), “And then the person who receives the link to the mobile site shares it with his friend, and that person shares it with their friend, and so on and so on.”

One of the executives we were meeting with picked up on my point and added (again, something like), “I get it. It’s like that shampoo commercial, ‘and she tells a friend, and so on and so on, and so on!'”

We had a collective giggle (ladies) chuckle (gents) at the reference, and I offered, “You know we’re all dating ourselves with this reference!” Which sent us all into another fit of laughter.

Now, if you’re a person of a certain age (as Wendy Williams is fond of saying), then you automatically know which commercial we were referring to, and you get the significance. If not, then the mixed emotions of joy and (the tinge of) sadness, we collectively experienced in that moment, escapes you.

Why sadness you ask? The shampoo commercial was part of an advertising campaign for Faberge from the early 70s. The fact that I made a reference to a 70s commercial (that several people in the room actually remembered) is irrefutable proof that I’m approaching ‘old as dust’ status.

It’s (the implicit acknowledgement of) aging, that puts little crows feet in the corners of (otherwise) smiling faces.

It’s the first leg in the grave. The first nail in the coffin. The ink drying on my will. The…you get the point.

At the end of the day, that dated reference helped make a point and seal the deal, so I’m not really twisted about acknowledging that I’m an old fart, but damn…Faberge! Really?

And for those of you too young to know WTF I’m talking about, here you go.

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Stephen Chukumba says (or asks): “Cheating vs. Murder, Do Women Prefer Killers?”

Do women really prefer murderers to cheaters?

Do women really prefer murderers to cheaters?

I was listening to Cipha Sounds and Rosenberg on Hot 97.1, and they were talking about suicide of the suspect, in the murder of the 20 year old outside of MSG, who was found in his girlfriend’s apartment. They went on to discuss a Woody Harrelson article that appeared in Playboy, in which Harrelson claims that women are crazy (which we all know).

As evidence of the loco-ness of women, he claims that women would accept a man murdering another, before they would the same man cheating on them. It sounds ludicrous, and I thought Woody had finally flown the coop.

Rosenberg was appalled at the claim that women were so shallow as to prefer a murderer to a cheater, and Cipha offered to put it to an instant survey.

He asked female listeners to call in and resolve the conflict in the studios, “who do women prefer, murderers or cheaters,’ with the opinions of the first five women to call serving as the representative opinion of all women.

The first caller: murderer. Geesh, she’s got issues.

Second caller: murderer. What the hell? Did she say murdered too?

Third caller: cheater. Finally, a chic with sense. Can you talk to these other two chickens?

Fourth caller: murderer. Uh oh. Is there something in the water?

Fifth caller: murderer. Dayammmm! These b*tches are hardcore!

4 to 1 in favor of murderers! I was shocked, but then again, we are in New York, and chics in NY are definitely harder than in other parts of the country.

But I’d like to conduct a survey of my own. For the four or five women reading this post, would you take a murderer or a cheater (and you’ve got to pick one)?

FYI.  My wife is with the murderous crew. Good to know I’ve got safe harbor should I ever decide on a life of crime.

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