I Feel Ya: Andre 3000 Benjamin’s Exhibit at SCADMoA

By Nichelle Stephens

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I have been a fan of Outkast for over twenty years, since I heard  ”Player’s Ball”.  When Speakerboxx/The Love Below came out, I listened more to ‘The Love Below’ which is Andre 3000‘s side of the double album. Anyway, I was really excited to see his exhibition, “I Feel Ya” at the SCAD Museum of Art.  He created black jumpsuits with poetic, quotable phrases that speak to his experience  and his Southernerness.  I was reminded of what he said when Outkast won Best New Rap Group at The Source Awards in 1995, “The South got somethin’ to say.”

Check out my album of photos from the exhibit on Flickr.

categoriaart, savannah commentoNo Comments dataJuly 21st, 2015
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SCADMoA Exhibition: A Retrospective Of Vivienne Westwood

By Nichelle Stephens

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The Savannah College of Art and Design Museum of Art (SCAD MOA) is hosting the premiere exhibition honoring acclaimed fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood, “Dress Up Story – 1990 Until Now,” curated by SCAD Trustee André Leon Talley. Vivienne Westwood is one of the last independent global fashion companies in the world. I went to the exhibit last Friday, and I loved it. Check out the slideshow of the photos I took of the exhibit.

categoriaart, savannah commentoNo Comments dataJuly 20th, 2015
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A Meal In Savannah: Homemade Veggie Pita Pizza

By Nichelle Stephens

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I made a vegetarian pizza with veggies from the Forsyth Farmer’s Market and a few items from Kroger. I used onion-flavored pita as my “pizza crust”, and tomato and roasted pepper soup as my sauce. The soup is a little too thin for a typical pizza sauce, but it will do in a pinch. If I had flour or corn starch, I could have employed one of them to make the sauce thicker. The parmesan cheese was the store brand from Kroger. Although mozzarella cheese is the norm for pizza; in my opinion most grocery store mozzarella is bland unless there is smoked mozzarella which is great. I topped the pizza with fresh arugula, onion and banana peppers from the Farmer’s market. The pizza was delicious!

categoriafood commentoNo Comments dataJuly 17th, 2015
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These Are My Boobs From 10 Years Ago

By Nichelle Stephens

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I like to think that my boobs look the same now. I don’t wear cleavage bearing tank tops and dresses as much as I used to. On Flickr, I had a photo group called The Beautiful Divide which featured the cleavage of my friends and myself. I took down the group, but I keep the photos up. I still get likes on the photos. One person remarked that this photo was “chocolate milk”. Some people are immature.

categoriaphotography commentoNo Comments dataJuly 14th, 2015
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Saturday Chilling: Library and Blueberry Maple

By Nichelle Stephens

It’s hot out. Errands should be done early in the morning. I went to the Forsyth’s Farmer’s Market to get some veggies. I got some kale, squash, banana peppers and arugula. BTW, Instagram’s trending tags show that #farmersmarket is trending hashtag. I wonder if that is trending every Saturday.

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Today, a library opened in Savannah. It’s a tiny lending library between Brighter Day and The Sentient Bean. The Flannery O’ Connor Book Trail Group debut the latest little library. I left a cookbook. I’m sure someone is enjoying it now.   I stopped by Back In The Day Bakery and had a blueberry maple pie bar. The flavor combination of blueberry and maple reminded me of Anarchy in A Jar’s Easy Like Sunday Morning preserves. Leana McCarthy had a jam party one summer and I remember how I loved her preserves. Now she’s an author and food artisan. Leana even brought some of her jams to a scone party I organized up at Matt’s old garden apartment in Harlem. Anyway, I digress. The blueberry maple bar is delicious.

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categoriafood, savannah commentoNo Comments dataJuly 11th, 2015
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An Old Top Ten List I Created

By Nichelle Stephens

I wrote this back in November of 2006, and I don’t think it is all that funny now.

Top Ten Things That Are Too BLACK for Me

10. funerals
9. ink
8. holes
7. charcoal
6. kohl eyeliner
5. tuxedos
4. magic (especially David Blaine)
3. Goths
2. gangsta rap
1. penguins

categoriacomedy commentoNo Comments dataJuly 10th, 2015
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I Did Five Minutes of Funk AKA Stand-up Comedy

By Nichelle Stephens

Savannah - 21 Photo by Kevin Christopher Burke

(Photo by Kevin Christopher Burke)

 

I did it. Tonight I did five minutes of stand-up comedy at an open mic in Savannah. I have been on stage in the past. I have hosted a comedy show. I have MCed a charity event. I have done storytelling; however, this was my first time doing strictly stand-up. My takeaways:

  • Stand-up comedy in Savannah is pretty strong. I laughed a lot.
  • Rabbis are funny. A rabbi did some storytelling and some jokes and he was great. He made miss New York a little.
  • The only group that is apparently OK to make jokes about are white women.  Male comics, whether black or white, have  a few “white girl” jokes in their arsenal.  I will totally cut Amy Schumer some slack now.
  • I have to be louder. Louder is always funnier unless you are Steven Wright.
  • I have to pause more, so slow people can get my jokes. (JK)
  • I have to repeat myself, so slow people can get my joke. (Again, kidding).

I think I may do it again. The second Thursday of the month, the Sentient Bean hosts an open mic at 8 PM. FREE!

a few “white girl” joke

categoriacomedy, Nichelle, savannah commentoNo Comments dataJuly 9th, 2015
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Update on The Women of Chicks and Giggles

By Nichelle Stephens

Every other year it is like clockwork that some famous man says that “women are not funny”. I am not even going to address Michael Eisner’s comment, but it gives me a chance to highlight the work of beautiful and funny women who are comedians that performed at Chicks and Giggles, the comedy show I used to produce.

Michelle Collins

Michelle Collins was just named a permanent co-host on The View.

Michelle Buteau is the co-host of another morning show, Big Morning Buzz on VH1 and she’s taping a Comedy Central special.

Lang Fisher who also worked at The Onion is now a writer on The Mindy Project.

Abbi Crutchfield is the co-host of People Now and she writes for Someecards.

Brooke Van Poppelen has a show on TruTV, ‘Hack My Life‘. She also does a hilarious webseries with Giulia Rozzi called, Seeing Other People.

Giulia Rozzi is a touring comedian. She is in the webseries, Seeing Other People with Brooke Van Poppelen, and she also has a one-woman show, Bad Bride.

Desiree Burch is staging her play, Tar Baby, at the Edinborough Fringe.

Negin Farsad is not only a comedian, but she’s an activist and a filmmaker. She was in a documentary, The Muslims Are Coming. Her latest film, 3rd Street Blackout, was screened at the Los Angeles Film Fest.

Jess Wood is the co-host of the funny R-rated podcast, The Ratchet Hatchet, and an auditioning actress.

Ophira Eisenberg is the host of NPR’s Ask Me Another and the author of a memoir, Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy.

Carolyn Castiglia is hosting a live monthly talk show in New York, Right Now.

 

Note: I will continue to add more updates to this post. The alumni of Chicks and Giggles are always doing cool stuff.

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Savannah: One Month In

By Nichelle Stephens

The mission: better, more interesting blog posts for “Future Me”. Today was great!  It’s my one-month anniversary of living in Savannah.

Old Savannah Cotton Exchange

I have spent one whole month in Savannah and I love it. The locals and the transplants are very friendly.  I am not around tourists too  much, but I guess they are cool too. I joined the Gratitude Circle this afternoon. It’s my fourth week of giving gratitude. I feel abundant. Then I walked around River Street and then I went to the library on Bull Street to read.  Later I met up with Linda at the Wormhole, the local bar in my neighborhood. Then we walked over to Occugarden, an urban garden, and chatted briefly with Frank who was watering vegetables. The garden is growing a lot of stuff including eggplants, tomatoes, oregano, and even black bell pepper.

Black bell peppers at SUGA. #occugardens

Then we headed to Green Truck Pub for a burger and a couple of beers.  I had a delicious hamburger with pimento cheese.   I talked to the bartender about wood pellets.  Highland Brewing out of Asheville, NC brews some nice beer. I like the IPA.

categoriaNichelle commentoNo Comments dataJuly 1st, 2015
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I Use To Write On My Blog, Then I Just Posted Links

By Nichelle Stephens

Back in 2005, I use to write on my blog. Where I went, what I read and the like. I would state opinions, rant and even mention my friends. At some point I stopped. Reading blog posts of mine from 2007 are just links of stuff I thought was interesting. It pretty sanitized and boring. Well if ten years from now I am reading my blog, I want it to be interesting. Entertain the “Future Me”.

Anyway, today wasn’t entertaining. I had a writing deadline since today is the last day of the month. I made pasta for lunch and had a spinach salad with avocado for dinner. The good news is that I finished my work and my Wednesday can be less stressful. I am waiting for checks to come in. Somehow I signed up for a magazine subscription to Cosmopolitan. I don’t know how it happened, but I don’t want it.
I want to do more yoga. I hope “Future Me ” is satisfied with this post. I am getting ready to go to bed.

categoriaNichelle commentoNo Comments dataJune 30th, 2015
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Dogwood Alliance: Save Our Southern Forests

By Nichelle Stephens

Kid climbing a tree before the SOS Forests event.

The British are coming! The British are coming! The British are coming to take our forests! I am surprised to hear about how Southern forests are shrinking because Europe is importing wood pellets from U.S. forests to use as fuel.  I care about the environment and climate change though I wouldn’t call myself a “treehugger”. However when I heard about Dogwood Alliance’s campaign to bring awareness to the destructive impact on a faulty European policy, I got fired up.  The policy is this: European countries import wood pellets from U.S. forests (mostly from the southeast) to cut down on their  carbon footprint.  This is insane since it raises the carbon footprint here in the south. There’s a great article in the Washington Post about the wood pellets issue.

In reality, these scientists say, Europe’s appetite for wood pellets could lead to more carbon pollution for decades to come, while also putting some of the East Coast’s most productive wildlife habitats at risk.

The Dogwood Alliance is taking action by highlighting the urgency of the problem and letting the community know what’s going on.  Last Friday, they held an event in Savannah where locals made a human sign in Forsyth Park.  A drone was used to take a picture of about sixty people who came out to make the word “SOS”.  I was in the first “S”.  Follow The Dogwood Alliance on Facebook for updates.

Savannah says #sosforests !!

A photo posted by Dogwood Alliance (@dogwoodalliance) on Jun 26, 2015 at 3:23pm PDT

Update: I susbcribed to the USDA Farm Releases which are press releases from the Department of Architecture. It just so happened that today I got an email promoting biomass retrieval incentives. In fact these incentives will begin June 30th.

According to the farm release:

For 2015, USDA has reserved up to $11.5 million to assist with the cost of removing woody or herbaceous residues from farm fields or national forests and woodlands for delivery to energy generation facilities. A majority of the funds are expected to support the removal of dead or diseased trees from National Forest and Bureau of Land Management public lands. Orchard wastes, and agriculture residues such as corn cobs and stalks, also qualify as energy-producing feedstock.

This is an incentive for farmers and foresters to deliver produce biomass that helps Europe’s carbon footprint but may cause problems with our environment. We don’t need to facilitate more carbon dioxide. Even dead trees are better than no trees.

categoriasavannah commentoNo Comments dataJune 29th, 2015
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By Nichelle Stephens

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