Friday, August 29, 2014

If you could design your man....

I have no real point to this blog post besides sharing my own amusement or bemusement... or both. I came across this journal entry of mine not too long ago, after a year or so full of dates and flings I'd rather not remember. I do remember, though, discovering all the things I did not like in a man and from there deciding what I wanted in a man and made a pledge to myself to not compromise on these things. What do I think about this list now? Well, I think it's funny that I actually sat down and made it. As far as its usefulness... Iuhno, some of the things that I listed were naive and/or shallow, so the verdict is still out.  I will say #29 is still an absolute must!! Although my current amour passes the 28/37 rule ( I have no idea what logic I employed to come up with that rule)... so maybe I was on to something. Either way I find it amusing..

My next boyfriend/eventual husband…. 28/37 Required must be demonstrated before entering in official relationship This is the pledge I make to myself.

1. Will love and treasure the beauty this is in found black women
2. Will love my natural hair
3. Will be wonderful in bed and " Follow the Leader"
4. Will be honest about his feelings and intention to himself and me
5. Will be family oriented yet still independent of his family unit
6. Will love and be loved by my father
7. Will have a salary that exceeds mine
8. Will support and encourage my career goals and aspirations completely
9. Will propose to me within three years of dating
10. Will be taller than me with heels on
11. Will be strong and supportive
12. Will be my shoulder to cry own
13. Will let me know when I'm being ridiculous
14. Will be confident enough to put his foot down when appropriate
15. Will be fit, healthy and universally attractive
16. Will quickly recognize that there is so much underneath the surface and be eager to explore and get to know me better before making any decisions about me
17. Will have a sexual appetite to match and compliment my own
18. Will be a fantastic kisser
19. Will be a simple yet complicated man that intrigues me
20. Will actually be a "grown" Man
21. Will have his own place where he lives by himself or just one roommate
22. Will know how to communicate in a relationship
23. Will be an intellectual
24. Will be faithful and trustworthy
25. Will have eyes and lips to die for
26. Will find my strength and independence as one of my better qualities
27. Will be generally curious about what I do even if he doesn't fully understand it
28. Will be able to hold an intellectual conversation with me
29. Will love football
30. Will be understanding of any friendship I have with other men
31. Will share some of my favorite pastimes and hobbies
32. Will love to travel
33. Will be past worrying about what others think.
34. Will find my tattoos intriguing
35. Will love dogs
36. Will challenge me and himself to always do better and  accomplish more
37. Will see my sacrifices and things I do for him and be worthy of them

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sisterlocks at 2 months

The Journey Stage

Month 2
So I am now two months in! Woooooo! J/k... it's not that exciting but whatever... I'm looking forward to completing 3 months soon. I have an unspoken bet to myself that my hair will lock after 4 months. Yes, I know that's terribly ambitious of me. And yes, I know I should sit back and let my hair do its thing. But what's a little friendly competition with yourself? lol My consultant confirmed what I knew, my locks are beginning to lock up. Some still have just a bud on them others are half way locked.. others are somewhere in between. As you can see shrinkage is definitely factor and I don't mind it. My ends have definitely curled up and are matting up for the most part.

Day 2
One thing I didn't think about before I got sisterlocks was the questions and attention it brings. Now some people may like this, but me... after the 2nd time I was stopped by a random stranger, I was already over it. Now in my defense, being questioned about something that is inherently "me"  is a pet peeve I've unfortunately developed overtime, mainly because of my name. My name always starts a string of questions and after a couple of decades its become annoying. Imagine trying to talk to a patient about something important and the only thing they have in response is about the origin of your name... But I digress... well my fro that I wore so fabulously for 7 years has, no joke, caused complete strangers to run up to my car while I'm pumping gas to ask for hair advice... really tho? I'm pumping gas... who are YOU! Well looks like SL's are not going to be any different. I got stopped at a toll booth and questioned for 5 minutes... I mean really. I'm at a toll booth... I'm in my car... clearly I have places to go... lol.


So I had what might be a bit of an allergic reaction to the sisterlocks starter shampoo. The verdict is still out on that... But until I start to add back on three of the suspected culprits slowly and separately to see which caused the reactions, I have to stay away from it. So obviously I started to do some research to see if I could find some alternatives shampoos. I was looking preferably for an all natural, or close to all natural shampoo, that was residue free and as simple as possible (ingredients wise) and without any conditioner.

I had originally settled on Trader Joe's Tea Tree Shampoo. I saw a few other sisterlockers (is that a word?) who loved the shampoo and it was only $3.99 in the store. However, I guess everyone in the world also likes it because it was out of stock in my time of need. So I headed over to Whole Food's knowing that I saw a recommendation for Alaffia black soap. Because I hadn't completed my full research on the black soap and was worried that it may leave some residue, I then followed it with a quick apple cider vinegar rinse to clarify. I liked the Alaffia black soap. My biggest worry that it would leave residue was unfounded.  Therefore I could/should have skipped the apple cider vinegar rinse.

 In fact, I wouldn't recommend anyone starting out use an apple cider vinegar rinse at all. While it does remove leftover residue in the hair, it also does a fantastic job at making your hair soft (wish I would have discovered this when I was a loose natural). Because the rinse I did was very dilute, (because I WAS worried about it making my hair too soft),  I didn't let it sit in my hair long at all I luckily didn't have any slippage, but I can see how that could easily happen. I do like how the ACV made my  hair feel though, soft, fluffier, fuller... However, I also know that this is counterproductive to the locking process. But I  think it may be a go to when my locks mature.

But in other news I've been good with staying away from moisture and oils. After that first month of rebellion and now that my ends have started to matt up I don't see the breakage I saw at first. My scalp also is no longer flaking so no need to jojoba oil to the scalp after a wash.


Various Styles 
So obviously during different stages and throughout your life of having SL's everyone is gonna wanna play with a new hairstyle here and there. Me? Not really. I really just wanna get up and go and look cute. However, the length and stage of my locks right now don't really make that possible. If I were to just get up and go I look like I'm wearing the helmet of Darth Vader. I hate curls so bantu knots are out. I really like it in the kinky stage after a braid or twist out. But A) I'm always too lazy at night to do either one of those and B) I don't want to continually manipulate my hair that much to achieve that look.  So I've found myself embracing variations of my natural hair protective undoes. While it was a time consuming process as a loose natural, now it's one of the quickest things I can do to it. Mainly due to the fact that I don't have to make it look so neat, in fact I sort of enjoy the messy looks. I also really like it because they are protective styles and my ends are tucked snuggly away . I can accomplish them without pulling my edges (which I typically let out of the style anyways) and it takes as little as 4-5 bobby pins. My apologies that you can't really see a good picture of the back to really see the actual designs, but I have no one to take if for me, lol.

Sisterlocks and the Beach 

Now I was warned by my consultant to at least cornroll my locks if I decided to go swimming. WELLLLLL..... feel free to refer to part of this post as what not to do with baby locks. I most certainly did not cornroll my locks before I took a swim in the Atlantic Ocean.  But nothing terrible came from my walk on the wild side. In fact it was kind of the opposite. I L-O-V-E-D the way the salt water has made my SL's feel. Now this is counterintuitive because prolonged exposure to saltwater causes hair to become dry, however, although I visited the beach several times I had one excursion alone (sans little kids) where I was able to enjoy the water fully. So my hair only got wet once. The only "bad" thing to occur from all of this is some left sand I still need to wash out of my hair.

Monday, August 25, 2014

I'll Smile

I'll smile in the morning after the cold night has passed
I'll smile in the morning after I've cried my last
tear soaked satin pillows soft as clouds
I'll smile in the morning when the demons aren't so loud

I'll smile in the morning to make the day seem brighter
I'll smile in the morning and done the spirit of the fighter
of equality, sexuality, femininity, minorities and above all humility
I'll smile in the morning and embrace my vanity

I'll smile in the morning after I've laid my dreams to rest
I'll smile in the morning after I've snuggled to your chest
Following making love, a love that does not exist
I'll smile in the morning... well, only if you insist

I'll smile in the morning and justify my actions
I'll smile in the morning and piece together the fractions
of my soul that I am told I'm forced to behold
I'll smile in the morning and pretend not to be so cold

I'll smile in the morning and forget the one that got away
I'll smile in the morning and won't wish that they hadn't stayed
in my bed where he held me and whispered softly in my ear
I'll smile the morning and forget the sweet nothings I did not hear

I'll smile in the morning and send the angel away
I'll smile in the morning and listen to the devil say
bliss awaits me if I give into the temptation
I'll smile in the morning and into my frustrations

I'll smile in the morning and stare at the body I abuse
I'll smile in the morning and suffer through its misuse
from hands not my own that worshiped every inch of it
I'll smile in the morning a little narcissistic

I'll smile in the morning while looking in the mirror
I'll smile in the morning and squint to see clearer
the person inside the person that stares back at me
I'll smile in the morning and realize I'm blind and cannot see

I'll smile in the morning and think positive things
I'll smile in the morning and wish that I had the wings
I've been promised and are certainly overdue
I'll smile in the morning after I dream that I flew

After I've smiled in the morning and move through my day
I'll smile in the evenings shortly after I pray
for a brighter sunrise in which I don't hide
The frown that I have clearly hidden inside

Tomorrow I will smile in the morning with dry eyes
I'll smile in the morning and repeat my lies
to the universe, to myself, to my forgotten youth
I'll smile in the mornings, until my lies turn  into truths

Written June 2012

Monday, August 18, 2014

John Oliver, Ferguson, and Mike Brown

I've been thinking about doing a post on what's been going on in Ferguson. But really the words escape me. The problem is so complex that I know my words won't do it justice. However, John Oliver does a beautiful job summing up the problems behind what's currently going on in Ferguson. It's definitely worth the 15 minutes.

My mind keeps going back to Mike Brown and my heart just breaks for him.  18 years old. I remember when I was 18. You haven't experience life at 18 yet. There's just so much you just haven' seen, done, or experienced. You haven't had even a decent heartbreak yet. There's already such a senseless waste of life in the young black male community for treading down the wrong path. I don't know Mike Brown, I don't know the type of kid he was or the man he would become. But he was on his way to college, to try to better himself. That just doesn't seem like the wrong path to me.

There are a lot of questions left to be answered. But no answer will be able to justify shooting an unarmed 18 year old. If he were white, no answer would be able to justify shooting an.... unarmed 18 year old. If he were Asian, no answer would bel able to justify shooting an.... unarmed 18 year old. If he were Latino, no answer would be able to justify an.... unarmed 18 year old. What I am pleasantly surprised to see is that this isn't lost on the public. While it's unavoidable to discuss race in this situation, I'm finding that all communities are upset by the situation.  This is a human rights issues as much as it is a racial issue.

But again, my mind travels back to Mike Brown. I was thinking about him when I was driving for hours and it finally dawned on me. Mike Brown is my brother. I mean that Mike brown could have been my brother. I look at him and I see my little brother. I see Treyvon Martin and I see my nephews. I see Eric Garner and I see my brother-in-law. And suddenly I have genuine fear in my heart. Will one of my brothers get pulled over one day and scare a trigger happy cop? Will one of my nephews walk to the store for candy and take a short cut down the wrong street and scare a white man and loose his life for it?

Suddenly I'm afraid of having a son.  How will I protect him from a world that seems to be built against him? Is there a city I should move to where he would be safe?  Should I move to the best neighborhood with the best schools and white-wash him? Would that make him safer? Less likely to be racially profiled or discriminated against? Would I have to teach him how to talk to cops. How not to seem intimidating. Make sure to say yes sir and no sir when you're unfairly stopped while minding your own business. To control your anger when you're being treated a certain way because of the color of your skin. To make sure you're unassuming and not to hang out in large groups of black people unless you want to draw the attention of cops. Should I teach him that although he is as American as the next person, his right to bear arms would likely get him killed or arrested? How do you raise a black son in America?

Maybe I should just pray for daughters. While the black experience is still filled with challenges, it's easier for females. I don't carry the same disdain and fear as black males do for cops. I don't think about whether or not I appear threatening when walking down the street. I'll take being perceived to have a bad attitude any day over being shot unarmed for walking down the street. Maybe I should just pray for daughters.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

To give.... or to pour a bucket of ice on yourself... That is the question.

So, probably like many of you I have been watching the slew of ice bucket challenge videos being posted on Facebook recently.  A large part of me has been watching them with curious bemusement and fear that someone will extend the challenge to me. It's interesting to watch. I wonder what motivates people to participate. Does it stem from complete altruism? A desire to help a cause? Or is it the attention and "Likes" you get from doing the challenge and your perceived charitable intentions. If I were a gambling person I'd bet it's the latter.

But I'm willing to play devil's advocate and believe that people aren't inherently self-serving but truly altruistic and charitable. Even still... assuming that this is true I'm still bothered by the ice bucket challenge videos. In my opinion, true altruism doesn't strive to be recognized. True altruism doesn't ask other people match their level of altruism. Believe it or not, I think the bible, Matthew 6:1-4, describes the best practice for charity.  It reads:

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
Now whether you believe in God or not has no matter, the message that is being conveyed is still valuable. Doing something good with the ulterior motive of being recognized by others is essentially doing something for yourself. It just looks prettier. It's kind of like donating to charity so you can have a tax write off. Well... who are you really serving here? The charity or yourself? 

Getting back to playing devil's advocate, I suppose the ice bucket challenge is bringing awareness to a charity largely forgotten in the world of charities. ALS has reported that it often suffers with a lack of donations during the summer months and this year, with the help of the ice bucket challenge their donations have increased. So clearly people are actually donating and not just saying that they are or just putting up videos. There is clearly some good being made from this challenge, I won't even think to deny that.

After being challenged whether or not I choose to donate will be my choice, a choice you won't find me announcing. I may have already donated... or not, that's not important. You definitely won't find me pouring a bucket of ice on myself and posting a video of it. You also won't find me challenging anyone else to either donate or pour a bucket of ice on themselves (or both). We don't know each other's financial situations. Some of us may not have the luxury of surplus money to donate at the moment. So no, I don't challenge anyone to donate. I do encourage people to donate if it's something they want to do and are in the position to do so. Charitable work after all... is good for the soul. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Calling an Introvert

So I'm sitting here, minding my own business, watching a movie that I've seen a million times before, while googling whatever random thought is passing through my head when all of a sudden.... The phone rings. I stare at it sidelong. My inner voice groans why--eeee? I stare at it. Then I commence a debate I have with myself every time my phone dares to ring.

Me: What is that noise???
Myself: Phone
I: Oh sh*t.... the phone. 
Me: Are you going to answer it?
Myself: I dunno, I haven't decided yet
I: Well who is it?
Me: Does it matter...?? don't answer. 
Myself: It could be important, tho... 
I: I mean, can we just check the caller ID at least?
Me: Why? I don't feel like talking on the phone, no matter who it is. 
Myself: Eff it, I'm checking the caller ID.. 
Me: Don't do it!!
I: I don't know this number  or alternatively: (crap it's [enter name here])
Me: Yep, defintely don't feel like talking to them 
Myself: But why are they calling?
I: No one calls us... so it really could be important... 
Me: Well answer it then..
Myself: You answer it!
I: Whoops looks like it went to voicemail...
Me: Yessssssss
Myself: Hope it wasn't important.
I: What were we doing again??? Oh yeah...
Me: Wait... so who's gonna check the voicemail... 

Introverts have a preference for their internal worlds vs the external world. This doesn't mean we're total recluses now without need for social interactions. We just need... less of it. Now with regards to the phone scenario, I'm sure not every introvert is like this and I'm sure some extroverts can be like this. In fact, I'm not always like this. When I do choose to answer the phone it's usually out of curiosity, however. But more often then not the interruption in my internal world by the external reality of the phone ringing makes me want to runaway. 

If you're friends with an introvert be cognizant of their inner worlds they live in. Some of us require less time in those worlds then others. But when we're ready to come out, come out we will and we will reach out to you. We'll make it known in our own way that we're ready to play! So to sum it up... Don't call us... we'll call you... probably... maybe.. Well never-mind, no. We'll text you! Yes, in fact, it's probably just best that you text us... even if it's an emergency. You'll probably get a response sooner.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Unplanned Vacation

"Chillaxin" in my big hat! 
On Monday I packed up some bags, got in my car and drove south for 5 hours for an impromptu vacation. It's not the vacation I had planned. In fact, at this point in time, had things gone according to plan, I would be shacked up in the Caribbean in a cottage. Life, however, has had other plans. While I haven't been much of a fan of them lately, not in the least bit, it has forced me to go where the punches take me. So when I was given the opportunity for a week away I took it. Why not?

It was really nice to not only be on an unplanned vacation but to be on vacation with no plans! That may sound odd at first,  but this vacation made me realize that more than often we go on vacations dragging along an anchor's of worth of plans. We want to maximize our time spent viewing the sights and attractions while minimizing our money spent. So of course, we create itinerary. Some of our itineraries are rock solid with scheduled naps while some of our are loose with things we are going to see this day and things we are going to eventually do that day.  

However, this planning is often the cause of tensions and frustrations that occur while on vacation. When plans go astray of course we often get frustrated, its natural.. or even worse, when plans are unknown, we can become frustrated. That frustration is sometimes taken out on poor unsuspecting waitresses who had no idea that the show you wanted to see starts in 15 minutes and she should, of course, be moving at lightening speed... But, more often then not, our frustrations are taken out on the ones we are vacationing with. That's when the bickering in arguing comes into play where we should be enjoying our vacation. We've all be there.
Sunrise over the Beach during my vacation 

So this got me thinking.Why do we go in vacations with PLANS anyways?! Vacations are our chance to get away from our structured and routined lives. So why routinize our vacation which is supposed to be the anthesis of our every day life?  If we go on our vacations with no plans there's no plans to argue about, no plans to mess up, no unknown plans... cause plans don't exist. You get up and enjoy whatever comes at you that day. If you feel like visiting the local national park, you do it. Feel like catching a show... you catch one. Don't feel like looking up something to do. Well Chillax on the beach or in your hotel room, who cares? As long as you're enjoying what you're doing and you're relaxed, then you are accomplishing the true purpose of a vacation. 

Now on my vacation I didn't have that luxury. My traveling companions had plans in mind. And of course, any discord that happened was due to something going wrong with those plans. But I did have a day in which there were no concrete plans to be had. I think that day was the best day of my unplanned vacation. I think I shall do it again. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Ancient Art

The smell of cinnamon in the fall
Sounds of lustful laughter says it all
The feel of desire's embrace and kiss
Changes a moan to a silent wish...

The courting of lips, skin and tongue
The dance of hips that sin a song
Of beating drums by thumping hearts
The careful caresses of an ancient art.

The exchange of breaths from soul to soul
Come together making them whole
The tickle of hair on satin skin
Turns wandering hands deep within

The arching backs and quivering legs
The rake of nails that plead and beg
The bite of teeth that pierce the flesh
Feeds the need of desire’s distress

The tango of passion in tangled sheets
The climax of bliss where two bodies meet
The chill of sweat and whispered names
Replaces the moans from wench they came

The quieting hearts in intimate dance
The tangle of limbs in embrace, enchant  
The blanket of pleasure heavy & sweet
Lures the mind into a quiet sleep

The trickle of light from the setting moon
The beginning of love to blossom soon
The ballads of birds will coax the sun
Who soon reveals where two are one

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Cogito Ergo Sum

I lay in bed hoping to sleep but the only thing I accomplish is to think... I think therefore I am? I am tired. I am stressed, I am worried, but I am blessed...

I think of questions that I cannot answer. I think of solutions that will be ignored. I think about love and I think about pain and I wonder why both feel the same. 

I wonder about the future. I wonder about the past. I wonder about the many things I fought for, but did not last. I wonder about the present moment and I question how it's possible that I'm living... but not living in it. 

I question who I am. I question who I was and I question who I am to become. I question The Lord and his plans for me. I question whether my dreams will just remain fantasy. I question my feelings and wonder how something inside of me could be so foreign. 

I wonder about the world. I wonder about humanity. I wonder about compassions empathy and the definition of sanity. I wonder how people can cry at a heartfelt video tribute of a dying person then think thoughts brewed in hatred because a person dared to be different. 

I think about tomorrow. I think about today. I think about those less fortunate and where their heads lay. I think no one notices me, like no one notices them. I think about the different battles we all must be fighting within. I think about a lot. I think it doesn't matter if no one gives a damn about what I think. The point is, is that I think.. Therefore I am. 

Monday, August 04, 2014

New Habits

So the dirty 30 birthday is a few years off but for some reason it's been looming over me with this big *WARNING!* sign flashing in my head. I have no idea what to expect for my 30's. But I do know that I want to start them with good life habits and healthy habits in tow. Essentially a healthy life routine. New habits, especially a new routine can be hard to establish. Especially for someone like myself who naturally shuns all things routines in favor for randomness of life. But now I've found as friends and family get more involved in their own respective lives that randomness includes too often me cuddling with my couch with Netflix to keep me company. Don't get me wrong now. I do not disdain that habit in the least bit. But what I cannot stand for is doing the same thing day in and day out. But even more importantly, when I saw that the hamburger I ate one night didn't just disappear due to the magic my once extraordinary metabolism pulled, but instead started showing up in my a$$.... Yep, it's time for a change.

So for the last 2 months I've been on a mission. Essentially at the end of the day I want to enhance the complete trifecta, Mind, Body and Spirit

Mind - Forcing myself to get out the house to do something that isn't work or errands whether that's pampering myself, visiting a friend, strolling through the park. As along as it's an activity that reduces the stresses of every day life.

Body - Establish better eat habits such as replacing simple carbs with complex carbs. Eating more protein and fibrous meals. Establish a exercise routine, even if that only means getting up and walking around the neighborhood. But really, I want to be able to run 1 mile comfortably and keep basic muscle tone to keep a lean and slim body.

Spirit - This is probably the hardest routine to establish thus far. Its so easy to allow our spiritual lives and health to lapse. For me I want to start attend church again on Sunday. Sounds simple. I have the time for it. But it wasn't until yesterday that I was able to go to church for the first time by myself. Why did it take so long. Well it was the going "by myself' part that was so hard for me. It wasn't until I set out on this mission that I truly appreciated how family and faith are so closely connected. Church is a family activity and when you're away from family then friends are a nice substitute, but it harder. But when you have no friends who share your faith... there's only you. You to keep yourself accountable. You sitting in the pews alone while everyone files in with family members and loved ones. For a introvert like myself, this thought was so terrifying that it took more more than 8 weeks before I could put on a face brave enough and walk into, what is relatively a new church for me, alone. I am so glad that I did though. The relief I felt as I sat there was indescribable. I felt a decent burden lift off of my shoulders as soon as I did.

I'm excited for the opportunity to live a new healthier and more spiritual life style. I know it's not going to come without its challenges. I know its not going to be an easy routine to establish. But the important part is that I've started, which can be the hardest part. I'm excited to see where it takes me :)