Feel The Burn

If you took Beyoncé’s favorite heel, dipped it in hell,  proceeded to have her given the Wayne Szalinski shrunk treatment and instructed her to step all over my face and neck, you’d get the kind of pain I’m experiencing now following laser hair removal treatment number three.

The following picture is from treatment number one. As you can see, I don’t see it for the pain. Like, after the first treatment I told the woman with the gun, “I’m sorry if I sounded like a bitch.” She says she’s heard worse. Say, like me today probably.

Silly, silly me. I didn’t realize just how painful the procedure was — and I have a high threshold for pain. I’ve had wisdom teeth removed without the novocain kicking in and even that felt better than the laser. I’m sure the same could be said of tattooing my long last name on my dick.

Naturally, people let me know that fun fact after it. “Well, you were so excited. I didn’t want to ruin it from you,” said one friend I cursed at not long after. “Uh, I mean, you are literally burning the hair follicles off your face and neck. That doesn’t sound painless,” said Captain Obvious to me, Officer Oblivious.

Fine. My bad. Damn.

For some odd reason, the $80 cream I purchased to minimize the pain did not stop me from the desire to scream out those high pitch, dolphin calls commonly referred to as the Mariah Carey high not in pain. I must’ve done something wrong, but you best believe that won’t happen again. I’ll be certain the one with the gun rubs whatever cream and plastic covering properly to minimize the pain.

Whatever, it’s worth it.

As much as some of my friends like to joke that I look like gumbo and Korean BBQ came together to create a joke – leading to nicknames like Jackie (Chan), Bruce (Lee), and Kim Jong Trill (a personal favorite) – the curly ass hair of my past paved the way for the garden variety Negro problems that is razor hair bumps. And oh, bitch, do I hate a bump.

I can admit it now, but those who know me well know how much this bothered me. To the point where I ducked suggestions to do things like YouTube videos, blah, blah, blah, over my insecurities.

I have done TV before, though. I know how to camouflage. Plus as some of my friends would tell me (constantly), it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it to be.

Whether that’s true or not, I’m finally doing something about it and I couldn’t be happier even if I have to hold back serving the woman with the razor fresh out the womb, wailing realness each and every treatment.

Case in point, this picture, which could easily be captioned “Fear of God almost trounced by woman with the laser gun.”

And this one, which is giving, “What in the hell have I done in the name of vanity?”

That sentiment goes away fairly quickly. After all, vanity has its merits. I mean, we’ve all heard “Nasty Girl” and “7th Heaven.”

To me, this is all an investment. HD is unforgiving, and while I’m well aware I’m not perfect, I’m not giving the Twitter and the Facebook and the thoughts tip toying in my head in ammo in targeting my aesthetic. I try to live my life like Beyoncé as much as possible, but there are moments when I give in to my Keri Hilson and Keyshia Cole.

I’m sharing this for three reasons. One, I now salute Kim Kardashian’s thug level. That girl has been nipped, tucked, snatched and scaled all the way back. Moreover, she’s by nature a hairy Armenian but thanks to nurture torture, a very happy hairless traditional-looking white. That could not have been easy. Slow hand clap for you, Kimberly.

The other reason is all of this has reminded me how silly I can be at times. I should’ve been done this procedure, but at the same time, it was ridiculous to let that curtail me from doing certain things because I’m so self-critical. Like, there are so many bugawolves doing it with no shame. Why did I hold myself back?

I don’t believe in fauxtivational speaking, but it’s amazing how much we can hold ourselves back over the smallest of problems that largely exist within the confines of our big heads. In the future, we should all think about the prophet, Kimbella from Love & Hip Hop and her profound phrase after getting sucker punched by that big ass, miserable bull, Chrissy Lampkin: “Still look pretty.”

Amen, girl.

Lastly, the shit works.

Me Yapping On Hot 97

So the other day I was fortunate enough to take part in a panel on Hot 97 about issues related to the gay in light of Pride week in NYC. The Gossip Game’s Vivian Billings and her transgendered daughter were a part of it. I didn’t mention the show on the site before, but I would like to say now that while the reality series needs major tweaking  I appreciated watching Vivian and Kayden opening up about Kayden transitioning into becoming a man. Black people deserve just as fluid imagery of our sexuality, gender and all its intricacies the same way whites enjoy it now. Ditto for Monifah and her boo thang displaying a healthy, loving relationship on R&B Divas: Alannuh.

Anyhow, do click “Gay Pride” if you’re interested in listening (or here). You might notice a twang, a gayccent, what have you. However, as long you as don’t think I sound crazy, we’re all good.

Oh, and of course a bunch of your cousins called pretending not to be homophobic only to say something homophobic right after. Same goes for the classics like “God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Stevie.” Together, I got them.

Enjoy…or not. No, enjoy. C’mon nah.

Don’t Fight The Feeling

It’s been a year since I first thought to write this post and after what feels like a million attempts, I still haven’t figured out the best way to start it. I’ve been putting off writing about my frustrations with – well, everything – for so long now. I imagine myself to be a pretty open person, hoping that even in some of my most embarrassing moments it may help other people in some way.

I just couldn’t get this out, though. Too embarrassed by my circumstances. Too angry about where I ended up and how this time a year ago. Not ready to deal with any of it.

In fried chicken terms, I aspire to be a Popeye’s combo but I’m relegated to KFC two-piece special by default. Meanwhile, Church’s Chicken giveaway on the other side gets treated like Mr. Chows. It’s so unfair.

I considered that fried chicken analogy one way of beginning this post. That or me just saying fuck seven or a hundred times to drive the point home.

But yes, I’ve been quite pissed with life.

Read the rest of this entry »

Out and About

Two years ago I had no idea that there was a National Coming Out Day. Then once I discovered its existence I just assumed it was one of those made up holidays on par with “National Boyfriend Day,” “National Catfish Day,” and “National Rick Ross’ Right Titty Lovers Day.” The right because that’s where the extra meat is.

Anyway, I started writing something for the occasion only to stop as I became fearful that I was going to offer too much and dive too deep into feelings that probably needed to be kept private. I’ve been doing that once again with another oft-delayed entry. I got over those worries and ultimately finished the post. It didn’t take long for me to feel better about that choice. I’m sure that’ll happen for that other piece I’ve purposely put to the side, too.

I can be so self-critical and now more than I ever have I wondered if I’m making any real contributions. Part of that comes with the frustration surrounding some of the things I’m currently doing for the bills. As I was trying to illustrate with that coming out post then, I know I’m capable of more. Still working on ways to prove it.

That said, if you didn’t read it before, you can check out “Accepting Where My Piece Blows” by clicking here.

Or read it again. Whichever. And of course, look around elsewhere.

Me On Mitt, Take 92

If Mitt Romney ends this race as one of the most despised presidential contenders in recent memory, we should all be so lucky.

As ideally as it might be to favor a civil, meaningful debate about the future of the nation and who’s best to steer it versus the nastiness we’ve been muddied in for two years now, one can’t help but take at least slight glee in someone who consistently goes out of his way to be contemptuous be given a dose of his own medicine.

The former Massachusetts governor is entitled, power-hungry, and remarkably wishy-washy about who he is and what he believes. In fact, to say Mitt Romney is spineless is like saying the cast of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is only a little bit uninhibited. Worse is that no matter what instance of legitimate form of criticism you level his way, Mitt Romney and the pacifiers he hired to run his campaign carry on as if nothing ever happened.

Actually, no, Mitt Romney doesn’t simply carry on – he turns the other cheek and proceeds to spit his troubles onto the opposition.

Therein lies Mitt’s latest campaign strategy: “I know you are, but what am I?”

More here.

Go Read, Big N*gga

You know, I thought to change the title of this post to something more politically correct. Like, “I Almost Had To Punch A Teenager In The Throat At The Library.” It didn’t have the same ring to it, though, and it’s not all that politically correct anyway. So I changed it back. Well, I added an asterisk. That’s as respectful as I am willing to be.

Now gather ’round, children, Michael’s got a story to share.

Read the rest of this entry »

On Identity and Gender and Sexuality and All That

 

My struggle in penning this essay is rooted in me trying to write it from the perspective of a man who resides in a place too many outside factors won’t let me rest in contently.

Initially, I wanted to kick things off with recalling how I was once told by a dear friend and lesbian friend of mine, “You dance like a f*ggot.” It was said as a compliment, but it struck a nerve because it was a realization I long held myself, which is why I used to not dance publicly. I didn’t want to be pegged so easily, you know? These days, as noted by other friends, you can find me twerkin’ with no shame at a tourist attraction or sidewalk near you.

I wanted to use that transition as some larger metaphor to explain how I’ve become at peace with some of the feminine traits attributed to gay men that apply to me in the midst of all the ones that don’t, and as a result, get me called things like “fauxmo,” “non gay-gay,” and the like (which make me laugh). The goal was to show I’ve meshed aspects of myself that are considered “manly” and “womanly” and became a better person overall – regardless of what anyone thinks.

It sounded so nice when I envisioned this piece and that sense of relief I wanted to convey. But I just couldn’t and finally it hit me: my anger lingers. Hauntingly so.

Read the rest here. ‘Twas hard to write so you should.

And then you should email it around. And tweet about it. And share on Facebook. And print and mail by pigeon — preferably to people who can give a boost. All that.

Thanks.

Edit: The link was changed apparently. Fixed.

I Forgot

In the midst of doing 9000 things at once, I forgot to actually note the honor this site got on the actual site itself. Yeah, I know. That said, was recently named one of The Best Black Bloggers to Know in 2012 by The Root. I used to actually be a blogger there in 2009, for “The Recession Diaries.”

Anyway, the write up went:

Michael Arceneaux of the Cynical Ones

There aren’t many pop-culture moments to which Arceneaux hasn’t lent his two sarcastic cents on his aptly named blog, the Cynical Ones. Confused by Brian McKnight’s dubious comeback? Curious about Beyoncé – whom he affectionately calls his lord and gyrator — and her new vocation as a journalist? Head to this blog for a perfectly mixed concoction of scathing humor, solid analysis and just good common sense.

Here he writes about his struggle with being a Rihanna fan. Follow him on Twitter.

You can check it out here. I’m the last slide.

The Stars, Evaders, and Perpetrators

So I’m updating the site, but I have to share a few of the recent essays I’ve been elsewhere this week.

For Ebony.com, I wrote about the lingering criticism about President Obama being the “celebrity-in-chief.” It is one of the few instances where I’m not bemoaning celebrity culture so cherish the day, I probably won’t go astray again. You can click here to read it.

I also wrote something in response to that letter Evelyn Lozada wrote to her seven-year-old self. It’s a little note to all of the cast members of Basketball Wives – okay, really mainly Eve, Tami, and Shaunie – at age whatever they are. You can read that one here.

As for Ms. Lauryn Hill’s complaints of “social cannibalism” in defense of not paying her taxes, penned a lil’ something for News One you can check out here.

And if you missed it the first time on this site, do read about Lauryn Hill Denial Disorder. Still relevant.

Oh yeah, I finally put my BlackBerry out of its misery. Some would call me a loyalist, others would call me cheap, but I held onto that phone for way too long. I have since converted to the iPhone. Like an old man, I complained about not liking touch screens. Fine, it’s not so bad.

Now I say all of that to say I joined Instagram. Oh my, y’all. It’s like where amateur photography and porn, gluttony, self-indulgence and randomness goes to have an orgy. Yes, late boots. Shut up. Anyway, I’m on there as @youngsinick. Find me and add and shit, mu’fuckas. That was said with love, of course.

Okay, back to updating.

Fears Realized

So today is my birthday and as mentioned in a previous post entitled “Birthday Fears,” I am now my scary age: 28. I’m sitting here typing this while sipping on Peach Ciroc. Let’s call it a birthday treat and a much needed stress reducer, no addict. Then I’ll sip an energy drink: a dubios follow-up if there ever were one.

I’m super busy this week, which I suppose offers a hint as to how I should judge my life and my career at present moment. If you missed it, basically years ago I decided that at the age of 28 I needed to stop, see, and surmise my life at 28 and decide how to move forward as I inch closer to 30. Now that I’m here, I have to say things are definitely in need of an adjustment. I feel good that I’m writing for new places and that I’ve finally found more work to supplement what I lost from a lay off months ago very recently, though I still have the same frustrations I had even before then.

I want more, feel like I deserve more, and won’t be satisfied until I get it. In the meantime, you know, I’m trying to cope with disappointment. If it helps, despite wanting to cry this morning I did manage to do a drop after enough sips.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled along an old post based I did after Esquire’s lovely “What I’ve Learned” series. I was reading along and a few of the items listed made me think, “Damn, what I was talking about? So I wanted to update briefly. Here’s to hoping I have a similar feeling when I look at this again in the future.

When the nightmare happens all you can do is suck it up and deal with it. Begrudgingly if you have to, but you deal with it as best you can. I am a dreamer and even at my worst, I’m still doing all that I can to make my vision for my life happened. It gets hard – depressingly so even – but what else can you do when you have nothing else to fall back on?

I don’t want to pretend things are good if they aren’t. I wish people would allow you to feel however you choose to. If I don’t feel happy, let me be in my feelings. Not talking self-pity, but self-realization. How else will I conquer my doubts and fears if I don’t acknowledge them honestly? At the same time, one needs to learn when to see that things are getting better…just not at their schedule. Such is life.

I have no idea what to believe when it comes to my faith. I know there’s something there and I’d like to think of it as God, but Christianity, well, what used to comfort me ultimately became something that caused my great harm. Or maybe it always did and I’m only now realizing it. Jesus is the homeboy, but his people have been a nightmare. How to straddle the line between not believing in fables and needing to believe in something greater than yourself has left me at a crossroads. And I already know that the poor way I’ve reacted to bad times is undoubtedly connected to a lack of faith.

I feel humiliated about where I am in my life at present moment. All I can do is hope I don’t feel this way in the near future.

I love him so much, but it will never be what I want it to be. That hurts me more than he or anyone else realizes. It also spurs my resentment towards religion, as I look to that as the root of the problem, and harkens on a lingering issue I’ve felt maybe since childhood: The idea of being unloved by the people closet to you. Or at least, feeling that way. My family loves me and I them, but damn, it took a long while to see that. For good reason.

I am increasingly oversharing, but people seem to dig it. It simultaneously is kind of cathartic. I spent most of my life keeping people’s secrets. It ate me up inside. There has to be a reward for this kind of honesty, right? C’mon nah, encourage the cynic, why don’t you?

Being prideful is stupid. Any day now I’ll not only realize that, but behave accordingly.

I’m a great fucking writer. It’s about time time I said it. Humility is grand, but if you’re giving people the impression that you don’t think you’re great, they’ll react accordingly. That has missed up a few opportunities and it’s a habit that’s gotta end.

One needs to stretch. You never know when you might have to toot that thang, daddy, might it roll for the rent. I’m going to finesse my fitness regimen. It’d probably do wonders for the psyche. Not to mention, down times remind you that it’s always best to stay in stripper shape. I gotta get there. In the meantime, I’ve found the song I plan to Diamond myself to on stage if need be: The Yes Ma’ams’ “What Girls Are Made Of.” I am a son of irony. I can’t help it.

Meanwhile, get into them and that damn song. They are my new obsession.

Alright, I’m done with this. Happy birthday to me. And again, thank you to everyone who reads or has even ever read this site. I know it’s not as updated as often as it used to be, but you know, I write elsewhere to cover the bills. Look to your right for proof.

As a matter of fact, now look below.

Here.

See that? It’s a link to my PayPal account called “Help A Skinny Black Man” fund. Go on and help. You can drop couch change, bus far, cab fair, car note money, or one night stand with a reality star rates. Shit, whatever.