Thursday, July 31, 2014
I didn't know Hip Hop until I was a sophomore in high school. I mean, I had heard rap before, but I didn't understand that the whole thing was a culture--including dance, art, poetry and music. But that all changed when Scott's family moved into our neighborhood from San Diego.
Scott was my age, drove a motorcycle and graduated from high school early. He would invite me over on Sunday nights where he'd battle with his brothers in break dancing on a pummeled cardboard box in their backyard. He fascinated me. His brothers fascinated me. Their pants held up by leather belts around their mid-thighs fascinated me.
They introduced me to The Sugarhill Gang, Coolio and LL Cool J. Scott taught me how to read graffiti when we'd ride around town on his yellow motorcycle. I didn't understand the background he shared with his brothers, or the culture he left behind in moving to the most white and conservative place in America, but everything they taught me was intoxicating. I liked how being around them and their culture made me feel interesting...and sort of dangerous.
From that friendship I learned to love the beats of Hip Hop. A few years later I found The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and devoured it over and over. From there I listened to Alicia Keys. When I found Christopher I also found Jurassic 5. More recently I've been devoted to the amazing Janelle Monae.
And I have to thank So You Think You Can Dance for turning on my admiration for Hip Hop dance. Hip Hop, Lyrical Hip Hop, the Popping, the Breaking, the Krumping. (Basically all things Twitch.) I could watch it for hours and hours. And in fact, sometimes I put the kids to bed and do just that.
So, we're putting on Provo's first ever downtown Hip Hop show on Friday. And yes, I know it consists of mostly white performers, but it's full of people who have a lot of heart and a lot of respect for this art form. And hopefully their representation will inspire more like them to come here. And in a small way this show is a tribute to Scott and his brothers, and the great Hip Hop Pioneers decades ago, and anyone who turns marginalization into something magnificent.
Warming up the stage tomorrow night is Mimi Knowles, check him out here:
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Welcome to Hip Hop Week: the second day.
For this week, everyone that comes to my house is required to break out in a spontaneous Hip Hop jam. Today I jammed with my nieces Emily and Lindsay (above) in the carport. They are both dancers. And they also work at Station 22 and Gap (respectively) to earn the "Benjamins". And no, I don't mean dates.
So I was thinking about what I could do for you, because we're all celebrating HIP HOP WEEK together, right? I came up with a very generous offering: for 24 hours if you comment on my blog and tell me your name and age, I will give you a Hip Hop name. Like this:
Hi C. Jane, I am Alison and I am 42.
And I reply:
Hi Alison, your Hip Hop name is: B Flat.
Don't be mad at me if you don't like your name. Just move on with life.
While you are trying to decide if you want a new Hip Hop name (or NOT) you can watch CAN'T STOP WON'T STOP's Scrape the Sky featuring Fresh Big Mouf :
They'll be headlining this Friday at the Rooftop Concert.
Oh did you want to see the poster again?
Wouldn't be cool to come to the concert with a new Hip Hop name? You could even engrave into the new set of grills you ordered for the night.
Did I do that right? "A new set of grills?"
Remember, you have 24 hours to get your new name, so act now!
Monday, July 28, 2014
In honor of the first ever hip hop Rooftop Concert show this Friday (at 7:30 100 N 100 W TOTALLY COMPLETELY FREE) we've declared it Hip Hop Week at our house. We started today by updating our wardrobe (see above) and vocabulary.
My children are requested to call me Mizzle.
The baby drinks only drizzle.
When my children want me but I'm working on something I say, "Ask me later, I am too bizzle."
You run to the bathroom if you have to wizzle.
If you wanna a treat you ask for a cookizzle*.
Ok, you get the idizzle.
Because I am the host of the concert series because of this blog(izzle) I thought it was only natural for me to declare this week Hip Hop Week here too. This week stay tuned for videos, links, and some crowd-sourcing opinions for my outfit the night I host the concert.
(You'll help me get dressed won't you? You don't want me to look like a stooge that night, right?)
Now listen, I don't proclaim to know a lot about the hip hop culture, but I really do appreciate it.
How much? Well, like this much:
That's me dancing like a fool a few days ago with my boyz from House of Lewis. I know their tunes by heart. They'll be performing this week at the Rooftops. Just after Mimi Knowles and right before Can't Stop Won't Stop.
Oh, look here's the poster:
See you tomorrow Homies. Homeboys. Homebabies. Sugars. Sweet Sugars.
*Thank you to our nanny Hillary for making the cookizzles in the photos above. Having a nanny is SO hip hop. Ask Blue Ivy.
Friday, July 25, 2014
I woke up this morning and googled Pioneer Day Utah because I really didn't understand if we were celebrating the day Utah became a state, or the day Brigham Young said "This is the place" or the day the pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley. I am 37 years old and I never really got it.
(The answer is B, by the way.)
We went to our ward Pioneer Day breakfast at the park where we celebrated our foreMormons by eating pancakes the young men cooked and playing tug-o-war and three legged races. I think there were more games but my girls ran off into the depths of the park and I couldn't find them for about fifteen minutes and after that I was sweaty and sorta swear-mouthy and so I headed home.
Funny, I complained about walking home from the park, which is--across the street, with a stroller containing a crying baby and two young girls who also complained about riding their little bikes up a slight incline and also that the bottles of orange juice the ward supplied were warm. WE WOULD'VE MADE HORRIBLE PIONEERS.
After that we headed to my sister Page's cabin where we continued to celebrate with BLTs, frozen fruit bars and Cheetos. Oh my gosh, can you imagine walking the plains without Cheetos! That's literally what our ancestors had to do.
Then we went home, watched Honey I Shrunk the Kids, ate Ramen Noodles and had a little photo shoot with our newest pioneer princess, Iris, in a hat and booty combo our friend Cari knit, on a quilt our friend Gretchen made:
Then we made her sit in a wicker basked that Kmart made:
During that exercise my neighbor Paula yelled over the fence and asked us if we'd like some string beans from her garden and then hoisted a huge garbage sack over, and that turned into everyone's favorite Pioneer game which is called "Cover the Baby in String Beans."
Which for some reason reminded me of this outfit I used to wear every Pioneer Day evening when I was first married to Christopher. It was a vintage, red lacy pair of bloomers with a matching red lacy fringe top that I bought in a boutique in Haight and Ashbury which I LOVED and Christopher HATED but somehow became a tradition in our marriage that I'd wear every July 24th...until I couldn't (ahem) fit in it anymore. But anyway, I think my Pioneer sisters would've given me the fist bump for that thing.
Have a nice weekend everyone.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
I write this down because this is how I am living my life right now:
I wake up every morning, plant my feet on the grass outside my bedroom door, and say to myself, (fully recognizing I sound like Stuart Smalley) :
"I like you. I accept you. I am going to take care of you today."
Then I say it to the earth.
"Earth, I like you. I accept you. I am going to take care of you today."
And then, I systematically go through each child and say the same thing to them. And add,
"Will you help me by taking care of yourself as much as you can?"
(And I would say it to my husband if he were here and not in New Jersey or North Carolina or somewhere. And then I'd ask him to repeat it back to me. THIS IS ROMANCE, EVERYBODY.)
But today I was thinking I could actually add a long list of things I could say this mantra to in my life--even things that aren't living:
"House, I like you. I accept you. I am going to take care of you today."
I won't dwell on the many many many many home improvements I fantasize about on a daily basis.
"Minivan (Dragon's Breath) I like you. I accept you. I am going to take care of you today."
Even though I'd prefer maybe a white van with doors that close by themselves and a DVD player that actually worked...
"iPhone, I like you. I accept you. I am going to take care of you today.
I won't let you distract me all day long.
"Provo, I like you. I accept you. I am going to take care of you today."
I am NOT going to spend the day wishing I were on vacation somewhere...ANYWHERE...else.
"Food, I like you. I accept you. I am going to take care of you today."
I am going to taste you and notice your texture and not abuse you or restrict you for vanity.
"Blog, I like you. I accept you. I am going to take care of you today."
Which I guess means, I am going to keep you freshly updated, and delete ugly comments.
Anyway, you get the idea.