Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Would You Hang Out With... ?

...Anyone in this photo?
I'd do Kim - then she'd have to leave.
Of the rest on this list... maybe Bethany.
She's not the best looking woman but I like that she seemed to interact well with her co-star's kids.
I like that she started a business or two.
While these are the ten highest earning reality personalities - would you hang out with any of them?
(Probably not.)

A Generation of Jump Offs ?

Is reality television creating a whole generation of Jump-Offs?
"If you wanna' get wit' me, I need a nail and hair allowance.", a Section 8 Diva with a $800.00 purse and less than $8.00 in it said to me as I walked away laughing at her.
When did a bottle of Henn and pair of Christian Louboutin's become more desirable than a nice family and a home?
When did some become comfortable with public assistance just as long as she could stay at The W for just one night?

No Fan of Whitney

 I will not see "Good Deeds" - I'm no fan of Tyler Perry.
This is not to say that his product is bad - it's just not for me.
Whitney Houston passed (Yeah, I know... I'm late to comment.) and I did not care.
If I had to choose - I'd pick Mariah over Whitney any day. (Her Morales re-mixes show off her voice in a way radio mixes cannot.)
Nothing against Whitney either - it's just similar to the way I had no feelings towards the death of Michael Jackson either.
I'm a Prince fan.
In fact, I'm a fan of Prince's women as well.

Cults of Personality

 While blog-rolling, I came across posts from FreeMan and Val which dealt with Blacks supporting Black-owned businesses.
Having a Black-owned business, I want to cater to as wide of a demographic as possible.
My club is doing very well at this time so I have to keep it evolving in order to keep it fresh.
I don't change what I offer (book releases parties, CD release parties, poetry nights, live music, DJs, fashion shows, art exhibits, business mixers, sponsored events, etc.) and I try to make the place the social and cultural hub for the area.
In fact, I even let other clubs leave their fliers at my bar.
The entertainment business (That's what clubs are - they are not primarily a sales business.) is not a zero-sum game.

Blockbuster movies get more people to the theaters which may enable smaller films to gain the viewers not able to get in to the big movie.
Anchor stores at the mall bring in traffic which may stop by the smaller shops to buy something to compliment an item purchased from the bigger department stores.
In the right environment, everyone can do well.
I have a Black-owned club - not a Black-only club.
But why fix what isn't broken?
People go to Del Taco for a burrito not for fried chicken - why try to offer everything to everybody?
As I gain more and more white patrons, most are amazed at the professionalism and the level of service provided.
Most (Black and white) have a diminished expectation when it comes to dealing with Black-owned businesses.

In my business, service is king.
I make less so that my employees can make more.
I pay more so that my employees are happy to come to work.
Happy employees deliver better service.
Better service translates to bigger profits for me.

When I took over the club everyone said that it could never be brought back to life - even with my good reputation for taking care of customers.
The bad word of mouth (and the inability of the previous owners to focus on the importance of their patrons instead of trying to let everyone know how important they, themselves, were.)  generated by the club had doomed it to failure.
Television, radio and print ads failed to overcome the ill feelings people had towards the place.
People were tired of the previous owners nickel and diming them for every cent.
People did not wish to spend money (even though it was the best venue in town.) at a place owned by the previous group.

But I did not spend one cent on advertising.
Since the club was destroyed by bad word of mouth - good word of mouth was the only way to rebuild it.
Mass text messages and a facebook account would generate gossip.
Posting photos of every event would generate traffic to our site.
The vanity of those in the photos would create even more interest in the club.
At a certain point, local media would review the club and end up providing free advertising for the club.
At this point, we cannot accommodate everyone who wishes to patronize us.

I hate running nightclubs - I'm just good at it.
I hate crowds - I just always seem to find myself in the middle of them.
I'm not a nice person - I just do nice things.
"Everyone loves John", is a common statement but I'm usually bored by most people I meet.
When the previous owners attempted a coup to take back the club - "John is the club!", one of their parrtners lamented.

This model is used an a larger scale by those such as Martha Stewart/MSLO and Oprah/Harpo.
When the image of the primary product suffers, the business suffers.
When the leader of the cult is seen in a positive light, the business prospers.
I have no desire do be famous - I can barely handle popularity - but I do like to do well (and good) in all that I do.
And my reputation enables me to get away with things which others cannot.
I eschew the limelight but I'm always being asked to sit front and center.
I'm just a regular guy but many people think that I'm better than I pretend to be.
I'm not particularly humble, I just grew up in a competitive environment where the best around ended up being some of the best in the world in their chosen fields.
(Superman was a regular guy on his home planet - he just became 'super' when he was around mortal men.)
When I try to explain that anything I do could be done by anyone with the volition, many assume that I am somehow different or special (which is not the case.).

Maybe I'll never understand why some become 'The People's Champ', a 'Sun King' or a 'light to the world'.
I'm no leader - I'm a follower of Christ and His ways and teachings.
Maybe it has more to do with the motivations behind ones actions than it does with the actions themselves.
And if the motivations are just as important - cannot everyone be motivated to have the same changes of heart?
If everyone can be motivated by good instead of profit - cannot everyone be thought of as being great?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Food Offerings

Invisible Black Woman laughs at me for listing Kung Fu Hustle as being one of my favorite movies of all time.I just liked the whole movie - it made me laugh.
There is a scene in the movie where the peasants offer a small bowl of produce to the fighters who had just saved them from destruction.
It is this scene that I am just recently beginning to better understand.

SeeNew says that eating together is a 'comunion of persons' (or something like that).
I do a lot for people and most cannot pay me (or else I refuse payment) but almost all of them bring me food.
Sometimes the local wild game is kind of a rough meal but I appreciate the effort.
It's a blessing when even the poorest of the poor offer someone the best that they have.

Food Fight !!!

 No not that kind - let me explain...
 I have a Jamaican friend who swears that the foods from her island are the best dishes around.
I have another friend from Puerto Rico who swears that the foods from her island are the best in the world.

Both of these women train in the same runners' group but each just recently found out that the other knows me.
One mentioned that she cooks dishes for me and the other mentioned that she does the same.
this past Sunday both women showed up at my house with their best dishes. Some looked and tasted the same but had different names. Some tasted different but had similar names and ingredients.
So who won this Food Fight"?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

NOT Ebony

Check out a magazine with a Black perspective that doesn't focus on entertainment news.


I felt bad as a young lady approached me to pin a one dollar bill to my shirt this past weekend.
In fourteen years of living in Texas I'd never taken part in the ritual of having money pinned on me for my birthday.
It just seemed so tacky, so declasse, so much like begging.
This year I decided to have my birthday party at my club and allowed patrons to pin money on me.
As the lady approached with her one dollar bill, she noticed that there were no bills smaller than a ten on the triple-layered, yard-long string of bills.
I asked her to put her dollar on top and thanked her for her gift to ease her embarrassment.
I then told my bartenders to take care of her tab for the rest of the night.
I'll never have money pinned to me again - it still feels like I'm begging - but I did manage to collect $3286.00 in one night.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What Is "Love" ?

Everyone I know needs something from me every time they see me.
I'm not a nice person - I just do nice things.
I'm not motivated by kindness, generosity, charity or even love - It was just the way I was brought up to be.
Most of the time I don't even feel like helping others - It's the effects from inertia - I'm just on autopilot.
I'm not even sure whether I possess faith - I do good because it is was one is supposed to do - I expect no reward.
Most of the time I'm not sure whether the assistance is even actually helping anyone.

Having a club, I meet lots of women - most say that they can do more for me than my current girl.
I didn't even take my girl out tonight for Valentines Day - we did the whole dinner and a movie with drinks and gifts afterwards last night when there were fewer crowds.
But I did check on all of my elderly ladies all day to deliver flowers and candy.
My girl's best friend thought that this was a major love-crime.
She thought that I should have spent the holiday with my girl instead of spending the day in my usual routine.
But my girl is different. She likes that I'll take care of those who have no one to care for them.
She understands when I get a call in the middle of the night to help someone without being jealous. She understands that taking pictures with lots of women at the club is just good P.R. and nothing more.
She understands when I have to stay at the club late or open early.

"Everyone loves you.", my girl always says.
It's odd, I don't feel love - I couldn't tell one way or the other.
I'm so oblivious that I can't tell when someone is showing me favor.
I was always treated well so I assumed that everyone had the same experiences.
I'm just a normal guy so I thought all the special people were treated even better.

I hate club women.
Most imagine themselves as being a 'Queen', 'Diva' or 'Princess'.
But I'm sick of Section-8 Divas.
I'm sick of regular women who think that they are Divas.
I'm sick of  women who take their social queues from The Real Hoodrats of the ATL, Tyler Perry Movies, Basketball Babaymamas or any reality television show.
My girl is a diva who thinks she is a regular woman.

I'm not sure whether I love her or not.
I do, but not in that lovey-dovey honey, baby, sweetie pie kind of way.
I just know that she is my biggest cheerleader and most constructive critic.
I just know that she has  my back - win or lose.
I know that I'm am dating up and that I am the lucky one in this relationship.

What Is "Love" ?

And when is it just lust?

What Is "Love" ?

What Is "Love" ?

What Is "Love" ?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I Didn't Really Care Who Won...

I'm a Saints fan.
But the Superbowl menu read;
Free Remy Martin V.S.O.P.,
BBQ AND Smoked Ribs (Beef and pork),
Chicken Gumbo,
Seafood Gumbo,
Baked Beans,
Dirty Rice
Corn Bread
Fruit Platters
Vegetable Platters
Pies and Cakes.

Two more weeks to go.
The "Fat Season" used to be from Halloween till New Years Day.
In most areas it has expanded till the Superbowl.
Along the Gulf it goes until Mardi Gras.

So the Giants won. Hooray... (But I do like the fan pictured above.)
I enjoyed the game because I had the party at the club sponsored by local businesses.
I had pretty girls volunteer to dress up and serve drinks without being paid.
I collected $15 a head and made a mint at the bar.
As far as Superbowls go - I had a great time.

Life Sucks

I still have bills, injuries, family problems and appliances to replace.
I still have disappointments, desires, dreams, ambitions and goals,
Life IS NOT all rosy and it rains on me just as it does anyone else.
 I could go through life with the conviction and piety of Paul - but what fun is there in doing that?
(Although Paul seemed to have more of an 'Eff-It' approach to the Gospel than did someone like Peter.)

My girl calls me "Tigger".
"He's a tiger - but he has fun with it.", she says.
She says that I don't seem to understand that there are some things which I will not be able to do.
There are some problems I will not be able to solve.
And there are some things that I will not be able to have.
"You're Special", she teases me, "Different rules seem to apply to you", the women seated at the bar agree.
"John' John, JOHN!!!" they say in the tone that Jan Brady jealously complained, "Marsha, Marsha, MARSHA!!!".

I know these things - I have failed a lot (A LOT).
But what's the point of focusing on life's difficulties when it's better to focus on ones goals?
What's the point of being depressed when it's better to just appreciate what one has and to focus on what one is working towards?
The economy may suck, the ecosystem may be about to collapse, isms (racism, sexism,...) may be at an all-time high, world war may be imminent - but why be so bitter and afraid?
Why live as though one has to suffer along with everyone else?
Why not live every day as though it were your last?
Why not fight hard as though one was predetermined to fail?
Why not just enjoy life?