Where to spend my first $15 of 2015?

Unknown-1I’m struggling with whether or not to buy Nicki Minaj’s next album….

I didn’t even know the name of the album until I googled it to write this post, but after hearing a number of singles (for free) from any number of radio stations, websites, and songbirds over the last month, I’m feeling like I just might make a purchase.  Oh, but there’s so much to consider.

I buy maybe 3 albums every year. Let’s not discuss how I have such an extensive music collection, but rather let’s talk about why I don’t bother to buy albums.

1) I usually only like 5 songs off of any EP.

2) With so many free ways to get music, making a purchase feels like a political statement I should really think long and hard about.

And 3) Apple already runs my life. Buying one more damn thing from itunes feels like I’m giving in to THE MAN!

What does all this have to do with Nicki Minaj? Not much, except #2. I’m a Barnard woman and I’m not supposed to want to buy music with a song cover that’s this purely hyper sexualized, with no pithy or sarcastic elements to mask it. And she’s got her own misogynist tendencies, which my $40,000 per year education tells me I’m not supposed to appreciate. If I put my money where my mouth is (or ears are), I’m supposed to stand by these feminist principles I paid so dearly for. Lord knows I don’t want my underage daughter or anyone’s for that matter listening to Nicki talk about ass shots, but… I am not my daughter, now am I? I am an adult woman who can appreciate a variety of content, even when packaged in a way that I would normally detest. Herein lies the rub…

Those Jordans are hot. She probably spent a whole $500 on that cover, sneakers included, which shows a business acumen I can appreciate. If it’s her natural butt or not really doesn’t matter to me. And I have a tendency not to like people – men or women – so I can relate to her words. Last, but not least, anyone who openly says they have NOT had sex with Lil’ Wayne is a woman I can believe in. (It seems like all the women he sleeps with have his progeny to prove it.)

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Let’s put this all into context. The last albums I purchased were back in February 2014 when I bought three albums in one week.  Majestic Casual pt 1, Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke and Rebellious Soul by K. Michelle. The latter 2 were purchased because I got cheap tickets to see them in concert and I couldn’t be the only one in the nose bleeds not knowing the words. And the first one is probably my favorite album of the year! It gets listened to wayyyy more than anything else I currently own. Revisit above reference to my approx. 3 album/ year quota. It’s been met. But, 2015 is just around the corner.

Do I want to start my year off like this?

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When she wore a lot of pink and was on that whole Harajaku negress tip, she was so lame to me I had no words to describe how little interest I had in anything she did, said or produced. Now, she’s a human again. She’s got a much needed make under, though she still sounds like an updated/remixed Lil’ Kim from Queens, and I kinda like her. I feel ashamed for even admitting that I want to hear more from “the Minaj,” (as Mama Dee would probably call her) but she shut down Iggy Azalea publicly and it got me to thinking… maybe she stands for something more than a butt squat in really nice customs. Shouldn’t I give her the benefit of the doubt?

I’m an almost 30 year old woman, with more degrees than a thermometer, and I’m trying to figure out what my inclination to spend my first $15 of the new year on tunes of “the Nick” (the other name that Mama Dee might call her) really says about me?

Am I ratchet?

Tourist Fatigue

I am tired. I am tired of hotel lobbies. I am tired of wake up calls from hotel lobbies. I am tired of people offering to take my bags to and from hotel lobbies. I am tired of guidebooks on the front desks of hotel lobbies. I am tired of the insinuation that I should see something outside of the hotel lobby. I am tired of being a tourist.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. Please don’t confuse my fatigue for blame against this lovely town or country. I remember having this same feeling when I lived in Spain. Around month seven I was pretty sure that I had seen every Catholic church in the entire north east. And I was also sure that if I saw one more rendition of Mary and baby Jesus, I would jump off the rock of Gibraltar. These days it’s not the Holy Trinity that makes me want to drown in the Indian Sea. It’s forts and palaces.

But, I didn’t realize how exhausted I was until I arrived in Hyderabad and decided that I didn’t want to see anything. I didn’t leave the hotel all week, actually. My friends chided me for not being more motivated. They wanted to take me out, but chose the inopportune time of 4pm during an Indian summer. So, we all quickly undecided and postponed for cooler times to come – neveruary.

I don’t know how to break the rut of tourist fatigue. I don’t think there’s a way, exactly, except to just give in and be exhausted. Forgive yourself just this one time. Know that the city won’t collapse around you just because you didn’t see the Mecca Masjid. You’re not a bad person because you came to town and didn’t see the Golconda Fort or the Falaknuma Palace. Being a tourist is supposed to be enjoyable. When it stops being fun, you should stop yourself from faking like it is. Here are the top five things I do when I have stopped being a tourist. Maybe you frequent fliers will recognize this in yourselves and prevent the guilt from hitting you like a ton of Fodor’s guides. Just open up a Lonely Planet book on the plane ride back, read about it, and say you did it.

This is how I know it’s bad…

1- I swing by the grocery store on my way to the hotel.  Straight from the airport, I have the car drop by a grocery store along the way, so I don’t have to ever leave the hotel once I check in. I don’t pretend like I want to try the newest restaurants reviewed by Food & Wine magazine. I really just want to eat cereal out of the mugs they left in the room for self-brewed coffee. I don’t kid myself.

2 – Download free episodes from itunes. A girl can’t live on BBC World News and CBeebies alone. I load up on all the free episodes that itunes is giving away. If they’re giving, I’m taking. And I watch with reckless abandon.

3- Always keep the door on DO NOT DISTURB. Always. Do you hear me? Always…except when they catch me in the hallway and ask if I’ve run out of potable drinking water. Then, and only then, do I consider taking off the prohibitive sign. But even then, I think long and hard.

4- Tip well. When I’m not planning to spend much time in the hotel, then screw ’em. I’m not making that much trouble anyway. I’m out being a tourist! But, when I plan to stay camped out in my hotel room, wrapped in the hotel bath robe, using up all the shower gel and asking for boutique pillows at odd times of night – I tip well. We’re going to be seeing an awful lot of each other. And I don’t want them to steal my stuff or spit in my food.

5. Carry lots of books. I know I sound like a dinosaur for saying that I read books at all, but some of us actually enjoy paper. You people with thick corneas can perhaps handle all that backlight. I digress. On this last trip, I brought one self help book, one book of short stories, one novel, and two autobiographies. Two books, I had already read before I arrived, but I needed to write an article about them while on the road – done by day three of week one. In that same one week, I read two of the other books and kinda gave up on the last one. I’ll get to “Dreams of my Father” one day, but on this trip it too was fatigue enhancing.

My traveling friend, don’t be bullied into being the good tourist. You don’t owe any city the effort needed to get over your malaise. It can certainly be inconveniently timed, but being tired on the road isn’t an indication that you must fight through it. Just like when you’re at home, sometimes fatigue is a good indication that you should rest and be still. 

May the power of the do not disturb sign be with you.