Monday, April 27, 2009

An Ode to Sharpstown Mall

This is probably one of the toughest entries that I've ever written. Why, you ask?
Sharpstown Mall, or simply Sharpstown as I know it, is near and dear to my heart.
I bought my first Bart Simpson T-shirt there. Remember those shirts? DON'T HAVE A COW MAN! Aye Carumba! I even fell in love with Helly Kitty there. Yes, more about that later.
It was one of my fave places in the city. That, and Astroworld. Oh Astroworld, you deserve your own blog entry. I wont even disrespect you by adding you to my ode to Sharpstown.

For my international readers, because I have many. Let me explain to you what Sharpstown is. Sharpstown Mall is located in Southwest Houston, off of Highway 59/Southwest Freeway at the Bellaire/Fondren exits.
Sharpstown Mall was a premiere mall from the seventies through the late 90'. Well, maybe mid 90's.
It was a great centrally located mall. It housed the major dept stores such as Montgomery Wards, Foley's, JC Penney, Dillards. Oh wait, how could I forget that elegant Palias Royal?
So, yes. Sharpstown had all of the best stores. Contempo Casuals, 579, Merry Go Round, Oaktree (soulful store for men), plus Gap, Limited, and all of the other standard mall fare. My sister and I used to catch the METRO to Sharpstown. We'd hop on the 2 Bellaire and head there with our allowance ready to paint the mall red!
Whew, I loved that mall.
It even had a Walgreens in the mall. That was pretty cool.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, went to Sharpstown.
Then, a funny little thing called apartment living and suburbia happened.
More folks started moving to the burbs and more random people started moving into town in apartments. As that shift became more prevalent, Sharpstown mall begin to change.
Sharpstown was where I first met Hello Kitty. They had a store called Rainbow Fair on the 2nd level, that had all of the Sanrio Products. See, this mall was chic! They had Sanrio going hard in the 80's and 90's.
Anyway, I noticed the Rainbow Fair store closed, then Contempo closed. Before, you knew it; all of the cool stores were closing.
Pretty soon, the mall only had sneaker stores. It was hooded out.
It's now a flea market. A true flea-market with knock off, bad knock off clothing, shoes, purses, 1000 tennis shoe stores, and many kiosks with fake gold teeth clip on's and fake diamond earrings.
It breaks my heart to know what was there and what is there now.
Up until two Saturdays ago, I still went to Sharpstown. Even though it is a flea market and I could very easily be murdered there. For real, there have been murders there.
Well, I kept going because of one place-Coastal Cookies. I would go to Coastal Cookies weekly.
CC is a cookie place. Not just any cookie place, but THE COOKIE PLACE.
They sold bags of flattened soft yet crispy cookies. I don't even know how to explain. You could get sugar, peanut butter, chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, and chocolate chip and pecans.
They sold them by the qtr pound for like 1 buck.
Up until two weeks ago, I'd take my 5 bucks and get as many chocolate chip cookies as I could get.
Well, I should have started to worry about a month ago. On a trip to CC, I noticed that the food court only had 1 operating restaurant. That should have been my tell tale sign.
But, I didn't take heed to it. I couldn't.
I happily walked into Sharpstown two weeks ago and saw that the lights were off at Coastal Cookies.
Literally, I wanted to cry. Those that know me know that I am a real life Cookie Monster. CC is a huge part of my life.
So, now I'm mad. I hate Sharpstown. I hate every normal person that moved to the burbs and started going to Westwood and West Oaks, and Memorial City. I hate all the gangstas that moved into the city and helped to transform Sharpstown into the gangstas paradise that it is now. yeah, gangsta. Not gangster.
I'm mad.

Oh, yeah, and Sharpstown also had this really cool place called Phymsical Whimsical, which nobody except me seems to remember.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Awkward Moments

I've said it once and I'll say it again, I live for awkward moments. If I am personally involved with them, I usually HATE them. But, once the awkwardness subsides, I usually love them.
Now, if it's an awkward moment with someone else, I immediately love them. Well, it's a love/hate relationship. It's one of those things where I want to run and turn my head yet I yearn for them.

I usually sing AWK-WARD in my best soprano voice, when something awkward happens. I'd like to share a few AWK-WARD moments with you...

I had a few guys over from church that are apart of a ministry that I am in. The group is all guys plus myself. So, the guys are all over for a meeting and our pastor came over to shoot a video. Our pastor is looking around the house for good places to shoot the group. The guys are milling around as well. Well,the video is successful. Done deal. EXCEPT... after everyone has left, I'm walking around; feeling pretty good about the video, the ministry, everything.
I walk past my bookshelf in the living room and notice a foreign object kinda floating on the bookshelf. I stop, bend down to examine. Guess what? It was my THONG. Literally. My thong was sitting on the bookshelf, crotch out. Just sitting there. Well, I immediately didn't think much of it. I'd recently unpacked my luggage in the living room, and realized that it probably flew out of suitcase and landed there. I kinda giggled and just picked it up.
Wait... It hit me. OMG. Marlon, my pastor and the guys had been walking around the living room. GASP! They saw my thong... OMG. Well, at least it was clean.
Still, GASP...
AWKWARD! Of course, I wont ask any of them. That's insanity.

Have you ever been to one of those ignorant passion parties? I have twice; never again. Well, I was invited to a dear friend's bachelorette party. The party was intertwined with a passion party. First of all, a passion party makes my flesh crawl. It's synonymous with UGGH; in the most UGGH way that you can think of.
So, I didn't want to be a party pooper and judgemental. I tried to be as polite, diplomatic, and as joyful for the bride as possible. We were encouraged to spend X amount of dollars, so that the birde could receive free gifts. I made my obligatory purchase of the safest thing possible. I had no intention of ever using the items.
Anyway, I come home and show Ray some lubricant that I purchased. please note: i DID NOT NEED NOR WANT THIS. It was just the cheapest and most generic purchase that I could make. I came home and jokingly showed Ray my newest purchase. He muttered an "uggh" and put the bottle on his night stand. My friend Erika comes over Sunday night. I was in the middle of changing the sheets when she arrived; so I asked her to come in our room and sit in this chair while I finished changing the sheets. Erika comes in, sits in the chair and that's that. Sheets changed, I talk to Erika, she goes home. Day over.
The very next day, I am in the room and look over at the chair and realize that it's very close to Ray's night stand. I then realize that the friggin lubricant is sitting out on Ray's nightstand. GROSS!!!
I was so embarrassed. AWK-WARD. I had to call her back and explain the entire situation, beginning with the passion party. I needed her to know how I met the friend, when the passion party was, why I chose the lubricant. The whole 9.
I was so embarrassed. I swear we've never touched that bottle. As a matter of fact, I'm throwing it out right now.

Now that I've written an epic novel I'm going to end this very awkward post with someone else's awkward moment. This was an awkward post. It involved underwear, ministries, lubricant, friends. Just all sorts of awkward topics.

So, I have a good friend. This friend is a very sharp, smart, likable good guy. he happens to be African. Actually Nigerian. Which in America, equals Black. Anyway, he's a Rice graduate and has a great career with a great company. He's worked very hard since he's been at this company to ensure that his White counterparts don't stereotype him. (Too all my non Black readers, you might be thinking he's a Rice graduate, of course they wouldn't think he's a "stereotypical black guy". Well, they still do. He get random fist bumps versus a hand shake. He gets random quips of urban lingo. Anyway, no big deal. No hurt feelings. All minorities including women have our own stories of having to help educate the majority on treating us like regular counterparts and not like characters from Good Times.
Anyway, so he's done very well and has great colleagues. He's made great strides and his work has spoke for himself.
Well, the other day said friend walks into a company meeting. A big company meeting. The CEO is speaking at this meeting. My friend walks in and a counterpart who happens to be White, says to friend, "Hey Man, you changed your look, huh". This colleague is practically shouting this. My friend, is like what are you talking about. He's thinking what could be different. The coworker says, VERY LOUDLY, "your earring.". My friend was so embarrassed. He wears his earring on weekends. It's his tribute to urban life. LOL. Anyway, he forgot to remove his faux diamond earring. He sheepishly removes the earring.
All that work, gone down the drain. Even with his fancy pants Rice degree, that earring makes him closer to a gang banger than Tiger Woods. Man, I feel bad for him.
Well, not really. He's super smart and very well respected at his company, so I'm sure it's no big deal. But, still that's awkward.