Oge Nwaozuzu is the Coolest Black Guy Alive

Coolest Black Guy - Oge Nwaozuzu
Coolest Black Guy – Oge Nwaozuzu

A black ’Lamborghini Aventador eases smoothly into a parking space, and Oge steps out.  He spits out a toothpick and grinds it under his heel; Oge does not need to smoke.  He smiles.  It is raining, and yet the rain does not seem to touch him as he walks through the lot.

 

Oge is the coolest black guy around and he is shopping for groceries.

Striding manfully into the produce section, Oge picks up a basket and sets to work selecting vegetables.  A man of his talents has prodigious need of food, and besides, he’s entertaining guests tonight.  Oge never shops hungry, though, because he is sensible.

Sensible and sleek, like the car he maintains so faithfully.  It is impressive, spacious, and makes him think of pirates, which Oge has always found appealing.

 

A young woman finds herself staring at Oge as he passes her and she accidentally rams her cart into a case of fruit.  A pyramid of cantaloupes collapses and a single fat fruit begins to roll down the side of the pile.  Collision with the floor would mean certain splatting for the fruit, and the woman scarcely has time to shriek before Oge is there, ducking down and smoothly cradling the cantaloupe before it hits.  He gracefully places the cantaloupe on top of the pile and it returns to stability.  He smiles at the woman and nods very slightly, and then walks off towards the potatoes.  “Wow,” she breathes.

 

The first course will have to be a leek and potato soup, Oge decides, with a hint of dill.  He is impressing a lady tonight, but it will scarcely be a difficulty, he thinks.  She is so into him.  He is confident but not overmuch; this lady has been a particularly delightful challenge to woo.  She has now consented, after a few dates, to have dinner with Oge at his apartment.  When she comes over, he thinks, picking out a leek, he’ll have put on a Charles Mingus album, because Mingus is her favorite, too, and they’ll eat the chicken roulade he’s been intending to make for her.  He takes a bag of spinach for the chicken.

 

Lamborghini Aventador by Oge Nwaozuzu
Lamborghini Aventador

Returning to the car with his purchases, Oge finds that someone has slipped a note under the windshield wiper of his car – it is still raining, but whoever left the note took the effort to put the note in a tiny plastic bag: “This car could only belong to the man who caught my cantaloupe.  Call me,” and a number.  Oge chuckles at the double-entendre, perhaps intentional, and puts the card in with his groceries.  He may show it to his date tonight, he may not.

 

At home, Oge begins his preparations for dinner, so that he’ll have time to jam a little before his friend comes over.  All of Oge’s knives are beautifully sharp, and he makes short work of everything – before he knows it, the leeks and onions are steadily sizzling away in a saucepan.  The bird is trussed and ready for the oven, and the soup is simmering quietly now.  Oge washes his hands of the kitchen and goes to practice in his studio.  He flips a switch and hears, in his headset, a playback of a drum track he’d laid down the night before.  He plugs in his electric bass and plays against the track in his ears, slowly building a bassline until it forms a polyrhythm with the drums.  He begins to lose track of time as his playing grows more and more intense, a yellow wave cresting in the back of his head, growing larger, fatter, until finally it is a full-on symphony of funk.  And then the doorbell rings.

What You Can Learn from the Finest Black Men

Sexy Black Man - Oge Nwaozuzu
Sexy Black Man – Oge Nwaozuzu

Have you ever talked to a woman about what she looks for in a man?  The chances are that you have been too scared to ask.  After all, what would you do if she described her ideal man and it turned out you looked nothing like him?

 

While we can’t all look as good as Denzel Washington and other heartthrob black men, we can take a look at who the ladies consider to be the finest black man in order to take some pointers.
What to Learn from Denzel Washington
Sure, Denzel Washington has naturally good looks.  Still, one of the things that makes him to be considered the finest black man by so many women is his quiet confidence.  Denzel doesn’t walk around talking about how good looking he is.  He doesn’t come off as cocky.  He doesn’t try to be a bad boy.  Rather, he is suave and sophisticated.  So, if you want to learn how to be like Denzel Washington, one of the things you need to do, is to keep yourself looking well put together and to create an air of quiet confidence.

Sexy Black Men - Oge Nwaozuzu & Osi Nwaozuzu
Sexy Black Men – Oge Nwaozuzu & Osi Nwaozuzu

What to Learn from Billy D. Williams
Billy D. Williams also has an air of sophistication.  Not only that, he isn’t afraid to be a sci-fi nerd, as he demonstrated in his Star Wars role.  So, what you can learn from Billy D. Williams is to be sophisticated whenever possible, but don’t be afraid to let your geeky side show on occasion.
What to Learn from Laurence Fishburne
Laurence Fishburne has the ability to look like a sophisticated gentleman one minute, and then to look like a tough and jaded gangster the next.  Just like you may be looking for a woman that is a good girl at your parent’s house but is a tiger in the bedroom, many women are looking for a man that has the ability to be a bad boy one minute and a gentleman the next.  So, from Laurence, you can learn that changing it up is important to a woman.  With your different personas, which you are able to use in different situations, you can keep things interesting for her and you won’t embarrass her when she shows you off to her friends.
What to Learn from Morris Chestnut
Morris Chestnut has mastered the ability to come off as a “regular guy.”  He is good looking, yet he comes off as if he is just some regular guy that you would meet on the streets.  At the same time, he has played several heroic roles where he has helped save the damsel in distress.  With that said, you can learn from Morris Chestnut that you shouldn’t always come off as if you are some big, bad superhero.  At the same time, when the moment calls for it, be there to rescue your lady when she needs you.
What to Learn from Tyson Beckford
Sure, Tyson Beckford has muscles that just seem to go on forever.  That is certainly part of the reason why so many of the ladies love him.  Still, part of his appeal is the fact that he doesn’t come off like some big-muscled idiot with biceps bigger than his brain.  Not only that, he doesn’t treat women as if they should be lucky to breathe the same air as him.  It doesn’t matter how physically appealing you are – if you come off like a jerk, the ladies might be attracted to you at first, but the interest will quickly fade.  While you may be willing to put up with a queen that acts like you aren’t worthy of being with her, most women are not quite so accommodating.

Steps to Becoming a Fine Black Man

Have you ever taken a look around you and noticed the guys that all the ladies seem to swoon over?  Do you ever find yourself wondering what those guys have that you don’t?  Why is it that some men are looked at as being sexy and fine, while others are looked past and don’t seem to be noticed by the ladies?  Well, my friend, if you are wanting to know what it takes to be a fine black man, then you might want to keep reading this guide to becoming a real lady killer.

 
It’s in the Attitude
One of the first steps you need to take in order to become a fine black man is to have the right attitude.  I know, I know, it can be hard to determine the exact attitude the ladies want.  If you act like too much of a jerk, they don’t want anything to do with you and they call you a dog. If you are too nice, they walk all over you or they put you in the “just friends” department – which is a sure sign that you will never get yourself any action.

 

The key is to avoid coming off like you are desperate.  Be respectful and kind, but don’t come off like you need what she has got.  It’s like negotiating for a new car.  You might really want to drive that Caddy off the lot, but you have to play it cool if you want to get a good deal.  The same thing is true with a fine woman.

 
Check Yourself…with Your Nose
Before you even bother taking a look at yourself in the mirror, give yourself a once-over with your nose.  If you are pulling a wrinkled up shirt off the floor and sniffing the pits before you put it on, the chances are you won’t be considered a fine black man by any fine black women.  Make sure all of your clothes are freshly cleaned and don’t settle for “well, it doesn’t stink.”  Women like their men to smell fresh and clean.

 

On the other end of the spectrum, don’t try to mask your body funk with cologne.  If you do decide to put on cologne, make sure your body smells good underneath.  Nothing turns a woman off more than the smell of nasty funk mixed with sweet cologne.  When you do put on the cologne, use it sparingly.  A woman that can’t breathe because your cologne is so strong is likely to look somewhere else for a man.

 
Get the Right Clothes
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t necessarily have to have designer clothes on in order to attract a woman. In fact, if you are too dolled up and if you look too pretty, most women will just assume you are gay.

 

Don’t worry about putting on clothes that are in a style that you don’t like.  Rather, make sure your clothes express your personality and that they are clean and well put together.  At the same time, many women can’t resist a man in a nice suite or a man that looks like he really cares about the clothes he is wearing.  Make sure your clothes fit the situation.  If you are going to a bar, a suit is going to be too much.  At the same time, you don’t want to show up with your steel-toed boots and your dirty jeans from work still on.

 
Keeping the Hair Looking Good
Whether you have short hair, long hair, or dreads, the key is to make them tidy and neat. Even a wild hairstyle should look purposely wild rather than “I just rolled out of bed and put some product in my hair.”  Don’t try to cut your hair yourself – go to a professional and get a real hair cut.

How To Be Cool

In the recorded history of mankind, it has never been harder to be cool than it is today.  When I was growing up, it was easy to be cool.  You found the coolest kids in school of your gender and you did exactly as they did.  You wore what they wore, ate what they ate, watched what they watched, and listened to what they listened to.  Provided you weren’t born with some hideous physical defect, such as red hair or freckles, you could rest easy.  You were cool.

It’s not as easy today.  With the advent of the Internet, a thousand television channels and countless streams of information flying in from every available wavelength, the definition of cool changes from minute to minute, if not second to second.  You cannot simply locate the cool person in your age and gender group to emulate any more.  By the time you find them, they will be out of fashion.

Never fear.  There are a few unassailable guidelines for how to be cool.  These immutable laws of coolness never change, and as long as you adhere to them, you will be at least chilly, if not downright cool.

The first rule of cool is that appearance is everything.  If you look cool, you are by definition cool.  This is not as easy as it sounds.  For instance, what is cool for a 13-year old is not necessarily cool for a 33-year old.  When traveling at the mall – where you must appear at least once a week in order to keep your cool quotient – you will note that most teenage boys wear their pants about halfway down their thighs.  For them, this is cool.  For you, this is an excuse for mall security to post your picture on a bulletin board in their office.  The general rule of thumb here is to always dress as if you were going to visit your mother.  If she would tell you to pull your pants up, pull them up.

Your clothes should have someone’s name on the outside of them.  Preferably that of a one-named entity that you’ve probably never heard of like Sean Jean or Tommy Hilfiger.  If your clothes have your name on them – on a tag inside – that is definitely not cool.

Shoes are essential for coolness.  Canvas high-tops are very cool, as long as they are from Chuck Taylor and not Target.  Velcro is okay on pants, but not on shoes.  Velcro shoes prevent coolness in any male between the ages of six and sixty.

Technology is cool, as long as you don’t admit that you know how it actually works.  Having an iPhone is cool.  Using it to text is also cool.  Complaining that it doesn’t access the 3G network is definitely uncool.  Speaking of texting, it’s very cool to be able to type with your thumbs.  It’s extremely uncool to ask your kids what “OMFG” stands for.  It’s even less cool to be shocked when they tell you.

When it comes to digital entertainment, the following are cool: YouTube, TIVO, The Office, IPod, ITunes, Face Book, MySpace, TMZ, The OC, Gossip Girl, Lost and Bit Torrent.  If you can speak intelligently or at least cogently about these topics, you will remain on the cutting edge of cool for at least the next twenty minutes or so.

Not as cool are MTV, MSN, The Simpsons, South Park, stick phones, American Idol and WWE.  The tricky part is that all of these things were cool within the last year, so you have to be careful.  Being current is an essential part of being cool.

The last rule of how to be cool is “cool is as cool acts.”  If you act cool, you will likely be cool.  Exude coolness in all you do.  Never doubt yourself for an instant, for if you do, all is lost.  Do not question your coolness.  If you have to ask if you’re cool – you’re not.

How To Be Funky

Gentle Reader:  Perhaps you are sitting at your computer now, feeling kinda square.  Is there something missing from your life?  Do you feel out of touch with the world?  Do you find yourself unappealing to the sex of your preference?  Do you, in short, lack verve, style, and/or pizzazz?  Perhaps, sir or madam, what you need is a healthy dose of funk.  Oh yes.  A funknoculation is precisely what you need – it does the body some good.

 

I might reasonably assume at this point that you’re interested, since you’re still reading.  You might even be thinking, “Sure.  Tell me how to be funkier, if you’re so special.”  So I think I will, Reader.  The following is a Simple Guide for Learning How to Be Funky.

 

It all starts with listening to funk music.

 

No discussion of funk or funkiness would be complete without addressing the notion of the music itself.  So, first of all, get hold of some; something seminal, and preferably something with some horns; James Brown and the Famous Flames is a good place to start.  I’m not asking you to buy albums, here.  If your local public library (libraries are funky in a nerdy kind of way.  Nerd-funk is legitimate.) has a music section it’s bound to have James Brown.  What is special about funk music and the way it is performed is that it’s very impromptu, strung-together in an off-the-cuff kind of way.  Aspire to be a little bit more improvisatory.

 

You’ll notice, when you listen to James Brown, that he’s actually structuring the song as the band plays; he’ll have the rhythm section go through a given musical phrase another few times, or he’ll signal a change in the structure.  It’s like building a house out of prefabricated materials; the pieces are all already there, but someone has to decide how they’re organized.  Something you’ll hear a lot out of the Godfather of Soul is “take it to the bridge!”  Now that is funky.

 

If you’re not familiar with how many popular songs are structured, frequently they contain bridges: these are melodic passages that bring the listener out of the chorus and into a final verse to prepare you for the end of the song.  So Brown calls out “take it to the bridge,” and that means he’s placing blocks of song together to form a cohesive whole.

 

Take this as a larger approach to your life.  If you find it difficult to be spontaneous, try a funkier tack, and do the James Brown thing: organize your time in prefabricated blocks.  Come up with a general idea of how to entertain yourself but don’t tie yourself down to an exact point in time.  Say you’re looking at the business end of an upcoming weekend and you don’t know what to do with yourself: pretend you’re doing a funk arrangement of your life and write out the charts, man.

 

Maybe you were gonna go check out a neighborhood you’d never explored before, or maybe you were gonna try cooking something new.  Don’t tie these events to a given day, don’t say, “On Saturday I’m going to location X”.  No, you’re not.  You don’t know that.  Anything could happen between now and Saturday!  Take it to the bridge!  Bring in your old pal Maceo (you’ll notice Brown says his name a lot, too) for a blazing saxophone solo.

 

And take care of your body.  Just because you’re trying to be funky doesn’t mean you gotta smell funky. So check yourself, wash yourself, and get out there and groove with your bad, funky self…

How To Be Romantic

When guys think about their relationships with women, they are often confused when told they need to inject a little romance into the proceedings.  This is because most men think of being romantic as an event, like climbing to the summit of Mount Everest.  Women think of being romantic as a state of being, like left-handedness or civil libertarianism.

Men, if you are going to overcome this difference in philosophies, you are going to have to learn how to be romantic every day.  You have to think romantically, speak romantically and act romantically in all that you do.  In short, you have to become a romantic.  This will require a whole new set of guidelines for living.  You will have to redefine your entire thought process.

The first thing you have to learn is that spontaneity does not necessarily equal romance.  In most cases where men are concerned, the word “spontaneous” is synonymous with the word “forgot.”  So, when you’re on your way to pick up that special lady, and you “spontaneously” remember that it’s her birthday, do not stop at the nearest retail market to buy her a gift.  She will know where the gift came from, and at which point in the day you purchased it.  Women are very smart.  “Convenience store” is not another name for “spontaneous store.”

Some men will tell you that the most romantic gift you can give any woman is a gift you made yourself.  These men are utterly full of crap.  Unless you can squeeze coal into diamonds with your bare hands, your lady friend is not interested in seeing your art project.  She may say something like, “Oh, how sweet!”  What she’s really thinking is, “I know somebody who is not getting any tonight.”  The most romantic gift that you can give any woman is a gift that comes with either a lifetime warranty or some form of insurance.

When it comes to gifts and romance, there’s a simple rule of thumb.  If it can cook your dinner, take wrinkles out of your clothes, clean any portion of your house or yard, or excite you sexually in any way, it’s not a gift for her, and you get no credit for purchasing it.  You don’t even get credit if you use it to cook her dinner, take wrinkles out of her clothes, etc.  No romantic gift makes work easier or makes more work.  Save those gifts for after you’re married.

When learning how to be romantic, men must take note of how to properly plan a night on the town.  Most women will be pleased with dinner and a movie.  Before you breathe a sigh of relief, remember that that the phrase “dinner and a movie” means something significantly different to a woman than a man.

For instance, if the restaurant where you take your lady has a tablecloth, you are probably doing well as far as dinner goes, and will receive credit for a romantic evening.  If the establishment has a placemat, you are on shakier ground, and may or may not receive credit.  If the placemat comes on a tray with your meal, you will not receive credit for the “dinner” part of “dinner and a movie.”

The movie part of the equation is much simpler to figure out.  You do not get credit for any films that feature car chases, explosions, or kung fu fighting as major plot devices.  You get extra credit for films with foreign subtitles, young lovers who die of painful diseases, and any movie based on a book from the Oprah Book Club.

It’s not really hard to learn how to be romantic.  Put it in terms that most girls understand.  Being romantic is like being involved in a sporting event that never ends.  Every time you look at your watch when out on a date, you lose a point.  Every time you bring her a single flower “just because,” you gain three.  The goal isn’t to win.  No man can win at the game of romance.  You just want to send the game into overtime.

Cool Gifts for Guys

Ladies of the world!  The traditional gift-giving season is past you, but perhaps you have a male friend with a summer birthday and you’re looking to get him something cute and perhaps inexpensive.  Well.  What is it that Men are always thinking about, that concept that plagues the male mind and never wants to leave?  You get three guesses and the first two don’t count.

That’s right, I’m talking about bacon!  … What?  No! Definitely bacon.  Get your mind out of the gutter.

 

Bacon may be one of the finest confluences of Salt and Animal there ever has been.  Its aroma is an intoxicating liquor, its mouthfeel a tone poem of fat and protein on the tongue, and its gentle, yielding crunch is a testament to the gifts of the Pig to Man.

 

 

Excuse the pause.  I may have drooled slightly on the keyboard.

 

So now, though it is no longer the Year of the Pig, I humbly present bacon-themed cool gifts for guys that you might want to get for the men in your life.

 

1.  J&D’s Bacon Salt: http://www.baconsalt.com/ourstory.php

And you doubted the existence of a loving God, didn’t you?  This is not to be believed – salt that tastes of bacon, in three flavors (Original, Hickory, and Peppered).  The brainchild of two self-dubbed “bacontrepreneurs” (this may be the word of the year); Bacon Salt is, according to their website, a “zero calorie, vegetarian, certified kosher seasoning salt that makes everything taste like real bacon”.  Hope springs eternal.

 

2. The Wake N’ Bacon alarm clock: http://www.mathlete.com/portfolio/wakeNbacon.php

 

I first heard about Matty Sallin’s Wake N’ Bacon on Lynn Rossetto Kaspar’s Splendid Table podcast, and I was delighted.  I am unsure if this is something available for purchase, but it’s certainly something worth investigating.  It’s an alarm clock that wakes you not with a blaring noise but with the gentle sizzle of bacon.  You put a slice of frozen bacon in the special cooking basket the night before, and when the alarm goes off, twin halogen bulbs slowly cook the bacon until you are awoken by the scent.  And what better way to start the day than with a piece of bacon before even leaving bed?  Don’t answer that.

 

3.  The Grateful Palate’s bacon-related offerings: http://www.gratefulpalate.com

 

These guys aren’t kidding around.  There’s a Bacon of the Month Club, bacon soap, and my personal favorite, BLT votive candles.  The candles come in a set of three, each with a delightful little icon of the sandwich component the candle imitates, with a little legend that reads “Bacon = Freedom; Lettuce = Love; Tomato = Passion” on each successive one.  You really can’t lose here: buy your guy friend a Bacon of the Month subscription if you feel like splurging (it’s $150 for a monthly shipment of ‘artisan bacon’), or, if that’s too much, get him a bar or two of bacon soap, and send it to him wrapped in the Grateful Palate’s Bacon Gift Wrap.

 

4.  Joanna Pruess’s Seduced by Bacon cookbook, by The Lyons Press, a subsidiary of the Globe Pequot Press: http://www.globepequot.com

 

At 25 dollars in hardcover, this book, with glossy full-color photographs of the food in question, is definitely worth consideration as a gift for your bacon-crazed buddies.  The publisher’s website lists a few example recipes that sound odd, if not enticing: “Candied Bacon Bites”, for one, and “Sweet Potato-Hazelnut Rösti with Apricots, Bacon, and Watercress” (Rösti are Swiss potato pancakes.).  Even if the guy you buy this for never makes anything in the book, it’ll still make a great coffee-table tome, and he might amuse himself by looking at the pretty pictures.