Thursday, April 9, 2015

Its been a long while since I left a fresh beat to step to....

Its been a while since I last entered anything into the blogasphere. 

Quickly.... since that time ... I've aged, gained a few pounds (I include in that calculation my 200lb husband and 20lb 7 month old), become a reluctant landlord thanks to the housing market collapse, moved to a new city, paid off a car, desired a minivan (for ease of car-seating said kid mentioned above), settled into a new job, made a few lucky but good career moves, as a result made less than optimal progress on a dissertation, worried above said progress, changed topics twice, finally settled into a topic to play catch up and last minute "get er done", purchased a home, learned the game of craps, and joined pinterest and groupon(yes these activities are noteworthy). 

Here is what I have learned since my last entry in high level bullet points:

1. marriage is more work than any rational person would agree to if they had all the facts before they said "I Do."  

this leads me to number two...

2. people who practice polygamy are either profoundly intelligent or extremely ignorant  ...I wrestle with this often in the shower when I am cooling off from a lovers quarrel.... Really, would things be better if Idris Elba were in the shower with me or would they be worse? Would he be helpful to the little village of us, bringing a fresh "swag" for me to run to when my "main" is acting up or would he be like a twist on a Biggie lyric ... "the more [men] we come across the more problems we see"  I just don't know..............

3. References to Biggie, once an icon of my 20's, now date me. Such quotes qualify for TBT on Facebook which is apparently something you must do when you cross over into your late 30's and early 40's .... the "throw back" is real.

4. Motherhood is the single most courageous thing a person can do .. to have your hopes and dreams wrapped up in another person so completely, and to trust the world you are simultaneously preparing and preparing your children for, takes courage and strength of heart............

5. If you have made it to 40 without counseling or the serious need of counseling you are likely a zomby walking dead and you were bitten before age 30, having children, middle age anxiety, aging parent stress, or marriage.................  

6. it is true if you love your career you won't work a day in your life  

7. Oprah defined happiness well...happiness is the joy we feel striving towards our potential... what we have to reconcile often is our potential and our perception of barriers in our current situation or station. Though arguably with her money everyone would have a lot more potential joy :) 

8. Laziness is the habit of quitting before you are tired. 

9. Parents are some of the truest friends you'll ever have 

10. Life is wonderfully complex but to not enjoy it is a shame. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Earth Friendly Do-Over the theme for this week's GBE post is "Do-Over"

This blog is an explanation of my favorite kind of do-over and even it you don't have a Rocket, you can do an earth-friendly do over in your own home (see link at bottom). Here is all you need:

#1. COLLECT YOUR SLUDGE (aka nitrogen producing organic material). Who said a healthy diet couldn't be good for you and the earth? Take your organic materials and set them aside in a container that doesn't offend you or your house guests - you can buy one online for cheap to keep close by as your prepare food in your kitchen or opt to use any air tight container (which is what I do because I am cheap). If you are lucky, as I am, you have earth-conscious friends who don't find containers of sludge above your sink to terribly offensive and you can leave them in view for easy access. They are also a great visual check for the type of things you have consumed during the week. No sludge - can trigger the "maybe I need to eat something green tonight health-o-meter."

(depending on the composter you can compost all organic material ... left over food scraps, peels, rinds, egg shells, and even q-tip brand q-tips. Some heavy duty composters allow for small splintering bones. But I pass on those.)

 #2. SELECT AN APPROPRIATE COMPOSTER. I am lucky we have one at work and I take my scraps weekly into the office and feed the "rocket" with my favorite compost buddy across the hall. This machine is hard core! There are smaller home versions that are more practical and far less expensive than a commercial grad composter like the one seen here. 

#3. DUMP YOUR GUNK. This really is the fun part! :) 

 #4. ADD CARBON. You remember this from chemistry class right? At its base all energy is a direct descendent of carbon and carbon is heat.

Here we use saw dust and chips from a local woodshop floor (yeap, it's all pretty darn "green" in the country). The darker the carbon the greater potential for heat. If you were composting at home spent bark (in fine chips), leaves, and mulch would be acceptable carbons to add to your compost.You could mix them and your scraps in a aerated garbage can or on a common pile (rodent warning)
 (the ratio of carbon to scrap really depends on how wet the mixture is. You want moister but too much water can make the end compost far too wet and slow down the decomposition process. finding the right balance in composting is mostly trial an error. For home composting there are kits that include chemicals that help to break down your organic material, so that you can get your composting down to a "science" and done quickly)

#5. ADD TIME AND ROTATION. Most home composters will require you to turn them occasionally by hand. The Rocket automates that process, siphons off excess water and "spits out" the finished compost.

#6. DO-OVER COMPLETE. Nitrogen rich goodness.

this blog is dedicated to a special 8 year old who reminds her papa to  "love the earth" :)

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Let me say, I loved the idea of blogging a review --on Monday. Throughout my week I had a ton of inspiration for this post, everything from the mundane review of local eateries to the more obscure, "review of appropriate bathroom etiquette" crossed my mind. As my week is winding down I find myself with a dear friend hounding me to blog something and post it to GBE 2 before the deadline..I  also find myself pooped and no longer jazzed about writing anything. But then it happens.......said dear friend (doing the hounding) opens her mouth and lets a "frizzyism" fly and I am immediately struck with inspiration to write a review of, you guested it, "frizzyisms."

Let me explain, "frizzyisms," which I will not longer mark with quotations because after this blog it will be an adopted part of speech (my speech anyway). Such is the nature of words, they are created to explain phenomena and are purposed once they are necessary. No one knew what to call hip hop unit the 1980's, or  flip flopping before Gore, and I never knew I needed frizzyisms until I met my dear friend Frizzy.

Frizzyisms (adj) - a. observations made verbal with sincere and honest candor; often erupting from the speaker without thought or effort [made popular by Frizzy (1971-present), 21st century African American female genius who often provides unsolicited insight on popular culture]. b. superfluous chatter best housed within ones interior monologue. c. Cerebral whit.

Now that you understand Frizzyisms, let me give a review of my FAVORITE, "Frizzyisms" (from today)

note: don't read if you get offended easily:

1.) While watching a Bollywood film: " I love Bollywood films they have so much energy, and Indian men have the best noses."

2.) When discussing my desire to organize an auxiliary group for young black inner-city girls with my sorority sisters: "Have you ever considered approaching the parents of young black girls in suburban school districts? You should, because black parents in the suburbs want to get their kids in organizations just like their poor cousins in the hood. Best yet, they will pay for the experiences that they don't have time to give their children."

3.) When discussing a co-worker who was not returning her calls for weeks because she was on leave for treatment of cancer: "Wow that is sad, but she is going to have that for a while so can't they get somebody to answer her phone?"

4.) When she didn't know that I hadn't hung up when I told her I had to let her go to write this blog after being hounded to do so: (in a low mutter) "Jerk."

5.) When I discussed that we should watch the movie "Diary of Tired Black Man" on Netflix: "Is he really tired?"

6.) When discussing Chinese movies: "I don't like Chinese movies, someone always has to die at the end. Now the Koreans they get it right ... I am crying while I am reading the subtitles."

7.) When I asked her if she knew how to swim: "Yes, I know how. But it take to much effort and I don't like my body. When I get it together I will buy a swimsuit and then think about it."

gan bei to frizzyism and long live my blogging inspiration, Frizzy!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Oh just apologize already....

I find it ironic that Jay Z publishes a song about how tragic it was to have a miscarriage, when he and his diva wife take over an entire floor of a hospital, reportedly restricting access to a parent of twin premature babies being cared for at the hospital. I guess empathy ends at the end of the Carters' own personal tragedies? 

Let me just say...

Although, I have never parented a premature child, I am sensitive to the emotional and physical demands of having premature babies having seen several mother go through the experience. Often these parents are discharged from the hospital (because of insurance limitation) without babies. If that is not a complete killjoy; they then spend, days, week, and often months recovering physically from labor, traveling anxiously to-and-from the hospital, and on pins and needles at every phone call.

Even if these weren't the parents of premature children -- there is something drastically wrong with the above the law, diva-inspired, and completely narcissistic behaviors of both the hospital and the Carters.  So I say to big nose and the diva, who covered up cameras so no one would see baby Blue (or more likely, not see the diva without her wig);  "issue an apology to the parents who were restricted from seeing their sick children while you decorated an entire hospital wing in honor of your healthy child!"   It is the human thing to do. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Korean Strip Clubs

I know its January 2, 2012 - a relatively new year - and I should do the obligatory "resolutions, predictions, or shout out post" in honor of 2011 and all my many blessings, accomplishments, births, deaths, lessons learned, close friends proved true, trials overcome, tribulations rendered obsolete by faith, car repairs in the nick of time, bad sew in weaves witness, hours of mindless entertainment watched, articles published, or some other matter of silliness. But the truth is, 2012 didn't inspire this blog! 

"What has inspired me to write?" Well, the Hooker and I went out Friday night and as I discussed a recent proposition that I quickly filed under "aint going to happen" in the love-life folder, she said "you really should write more on your blog." Obviously referencing said blog, she must think that someone wants to read the "tom foolery" I go through in my love-life. True, it would make a good comedy sketch or at least a snappy blog these days. But not today - you'll have to come back later for that dish. Today I have to talk about what did inspire me to write - Korean Hot Stone Bowls and Strip Clubs! 

Friday night me and the Hooker were rather indecisive on what to eat for dinner. We started discussing Sushi at 2p.m., by 6p.m. we diddled with Italian briefly before we considered low-carb diet restrictions;  flirted with American fair Five Guys before deciding their inconsistency in quality was rather insane since -- its a darn HAMBURGER; and we thought about Thai  briefly before a lukewarm final decision on Indian around 8p.m.

So we headed out to the choice of Yelp diners, Masala, which received  slightly more stars than Tandoor. On our way down Reynolds Road, the lights from a strip club caught our eye, and nestled next to the Boob bar,  in said strip mall was a small Korean restaurant. Like a stripper who notices a dollar bill on the floor we backed it up and headed over to Koreana, a place neither of us had been before which made it 100% agreeable! We were immediately greeted at the door and sat at the booth of our choice. (Likely because we were the only ones dining there that evening, which is the most tragic note in this blog). 

Our waiter was the owner of the restaurant. He quickly made a suggestion of  ginger tea and the  Duk Bok Ki appetizer...and well the rest our meal. The food was amazing!  Photographic evidence below:

The spice, flavor, presentation, and ambiance, were amazing, but surprisingly were not the most inspirational elements of our dining experience. What was supremely impressive was our WAITER, who was also co-owner with his wife. During our meal he treated us like queens, including a table side rendition of  "Silent Night" played on his soprano sax (and instrument he had started learning only one year earlier)! His service was a complete throwback to what it meant to have a dining experience, and stands in stark contrast to the modern day, 20 minute or less guaranteed of speed and no quality that permeates the service industry. In addition to playing for us, the waiter actually asked about us, not just the food. Through the conversation he discovered where we worked (former and present) and we quickly learned a mutual friend and colleague had been a student in his martial arts studio (second business we discovered he had during the conversation). Our degrees of separation narrowed.  After our meal the cook, his wife (who accordingly spends 4 hours a day making just the side dishes), let us know that her husband, our waiter, had crafted every table and cabinet in the ornately decorated establishment. 

Here is what inspired me most; in one trip the waiter/manager/owner/martial artists/sax playing/wood maker had cultivated a relationship with us substantial enough to repeat and talk about again!  

So often we miss opportunities to cultivate relationships with the people around us. We fail to listen and be inspired even when we are standing in the presence of a genius. We discount that the person serving us, working by our side, or standing next to us at the gas pump, was divinely created with purpose and power and that if he or she is walking in the light of that purpose, we are certain to learn something, and occasionally inspired! 

Even though this isn't a preachy 2012 blog, I am hopeful and I look forward to finding inspiration in odd places in 2012; eateries next to boob bars, complete strangers, and long time friends, alike! 

Here's to the waiter/manager/owner/martial artists/sax playing/wood making genius who inspired me to write for the first time in a long time! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Natural Hair Advice - Take One

I received an email today from a friend who recently went natural. Her question was a common one so I thought I would go ahead post my response here. Now Prior to reading this "blog" if you want to refute what I say here... free country .... I am not an expert and this isn't a peer reviewed journal ... this is an unsolicited, non-peer edited "blog" which general means I can say what-so-ever I please based on my lived experience. You can like it, love it or step off.


Dear Loving it and Leaving it Natural,

I have a quick question for you. I moisturize my hair everyday and do the deep condition and all, but I was wondering if there was something I could do about the fly aways ( for lack of a better term) it is almost like frizzy ends, but its not all of the hair. I have some definite curls, then I have this frizzy flyaway stuff in other areas. Any suggestions?


Newly Natural

Dear Newly Natural,

Here are a couple of possible "reasons" for the fly aways.

Reason #1.) You are sporting a shorter cut and you may have split ends. This is GOING to happen with no way to avoid it if you get a traditional barber cut using the "clippers". Clippers pick up hair stretch it (just a bit) and then cut it away, in many cases this tears the ends. So if this is how you are getting your hair cut, you'll have the little fly-away's in certain spots. The best suggestion is to limit clippers as much as you can to "framing the face" and neck and ask that the barber use sheers on the long part of the hair you style in curls (typically the top). If you will continue to get a buzz cut... i say skip wearing a curly style often and just rock it out all natural with no product. (that's what I did ... see picture of fly diva on the left of this photo for an example)

Reason #2.) you have different textures of hair in different spots. Yeap colics, are not just for babies. They last forever sometimes! So you may just have a patch of straight hair amidst curly hair. I have one section of my hair on the left of my head that DOES NOT curl in the same pattern as the rest of my hair and resists curling like a two year old resists potty training! I finger curl/brush and style this section if I wear a curly style (i'll get to how to do that in a second).

Reason #3.) All the perm is not out. If you have a little perm left on the ends... it will stick out fuzzy style like a sore thumb especially as the hair dries during the day. Unfortunately even when you get buzz cut to next to nothing, it may not be until the second cut that you resume or begin growing your "natural" hair. Perm/Relaxer penetrates the scalp. I only noticed my true hair texture after a few cuts at Big Mommas - yes that is a shout out. See Geraldine for a great fade/line (2101 Door St.). Bottom line, the permed portion of hair won't curl like your natural hair. If you think this is the problem, opt to have a little more taken off next time.

Here are my suggestions and recommendations:

1.) Use a curling product (without alcohol). Many products, like gels, contain alcohol. Alcohol is going to dry your hair even if it at first provides a little sheen. I avoid alcohol based products in my hair. If there is "some alcohol" I make sure its not in the first 3-5 ingredients listed on the label. Just like food, hair products typically list the most used ingredient first and each subsequent ingredient (chemical or organic) is less a percent of the total mixture than the ingredient proceeding. My favorite is hair milk by Carols Daughter - original formula.

I know some people (Fuzzy Hooker) who say they are allergic. I have had no problems. I use the original formula and it helps provide a nice soft curl. It dries quickly however and you may use a lot of it for an all over natural style which will begin to get pricey.

So if this is the case alternate between it and organic root stimulator's hair mayonnaise as a leave in conditioner and hair pomade. GUNK warning: this hair mayo smells wonderful, holds your curl once it dries and dresses the hair to a decent shine, but it provides a build up on your scalp! You'll find yourself desiring a nice shampoo every two to three days or so, in addition to the morning wet and wear with the hair mayonnaise, which is how I used it. Good news ... it helps with breakage of all sorts.

Water naturally hydrates the hair so regardless of what we were taught its not the water that dries our hair out from daily washing... rather it is the chemicals in shampoos. If you go to an every day wet-to-wear style don't be afraid to pile on the water and have a spritzing bottle full of high quality H2O on hand - but be careful of "shampooing" hair daily or too often, which may dry your hair and cause more damage than good. Find a mild conditioning/shampoo that you like and can fit into your budget. I have to shout out Lush Cosmetics, Rehab bottle shampoo. I can't get it often - but I love the stuff.

2.) You may still be to short for this but your going to need a curl defining brush - and it may even help now to define your curls and tame fly-aways. I find any paddle brush with a rubber binding will work but others swear by the denman brush. I must admit the little costly sucker is cool as a curl definer ($15-20).

You'll use this brush (or a cheaper alternative like it) to paddle through your hair in small sections, curling your wrist up like you are using a curling iron to define the curls. Finger style to add more definition where needed. The brush, on damp-to-wet hair with a product of your choice should give you all day hold and rid you of pesky fly-aways because the pad and product will force strands together as it curls. Even short it may be worth a try. If you have to section it ... you can finger place your hair back into style if you see gaps in your hair.

Here is a video on the denman:

I hope this is helpful. Feels like it should be a blog... maybe I will copy it into my blog.

Good luck!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Inspiration Just in Time for Lent....

Ah, Ash Wednesday! This marks the oversimplified time of "sacrifice" by many followers and non-followers of the catholic church who in seemingly sincere parody embark on 40 day of "giving up" something frivolous like carbonated soda or swearing in homage to Jesus' 40 days in the wilderness before public ministry. Sorrowfully many people miss the original intent of reflection, prayer, alms giving (i.e. disposing of some material wealth), and taking on the Ministry of Christ. I guess giving up soda is easier than ministering to anyone! Happy Lent.

Here is a little of my own reflection...

I must admit, one thing I desire to change in myself is the comfort with which I can start a project and as quickly as I began it, leave it alone. Granted there are some things so critically important in my life that I don't "skimp" or duck out of them i.e. my education, my career, washing my hands while I sing the birthday song twice, maintaining natural hair, and needed home repairs that if not tended to might end with the mail lady falling through the front porch (and yes, a US postal carrier did fall through a porch to her death today). But other things like dating and dieting are often "projects" for the discard pile. Began .. and quickly abandon.

Yes, I consider dating a project and all at once a chore. Think back to the last time you had cheese on a lactose intolerant stomach during a date, or held your tongue as he "forgot" to leave a tip, or glossed over that fact that he said "pacific" instead of "specific" and you'll know exactly why I consider dating a "project" or chore.

Dieting is another entirely torturous project. I am of the belief that diets should have their own alert system, much like the Department of Homeland Securities' terrorism notification system.

Punitive diets like the cabbage soup diet and the lemon cayenne pepper diet could be ranked Severe (red), and The Cookie Diet could be green. You might even be able to supplant the words "risk of terrorist attacks" in the graphic with "risk of pooping on yourself while sneezing".

I think with both dieting and dating my tendency to not follow through on them is less about my willpower and more about my inability to see their immediate benefit. Both dieting and dating are rather non-orgasmic in the onset.

A'last my long term goals dictate that I have to make some immediate changes in these area. While the benefits might not be "readily" identifiable ... long term goals like children and not testing three times a day dictate I have to take a more active and committed approach to dating and dieting?

But where can I draw inspiration to stick to dating consistently and a diet and exercise regime? Riddle me that web-gods?

Luckily, I have solved on side of this quandary. Admittedly the simpler side... dieting!

On a recent trip to the mall, I stumbled upon a charity group offering used formal wear for sale. I wasn't impressed - prom is a distant memory and non-commitment to the 'dating thing' means my solo trips to the symphony don't require a little black dress and waxed legs. But as I sat their(eating) the dj officiating the sale from the center of the food court drew my attention when he announced "everything now $1.00".

Exit stage left! I snatched a gently used size 12 summer dress from over the shoulder of an elderly woman who was unaware of my cat like reflexes and I made no apology for nearly knocking her wig off. She gets a senior buckeye discount at Cracker Barrell, I get a dress - in the end I think we are even.

I snatched a few more finds before exiting the sale. Back at the table where I had left my food, I discussed with my friends the $5's worth of goodies in my brown bag. Then I looked back at the racks, bear hangers swinging, wracks full 15 minutes before now scantly clad - and I saw it! My $1.00 inspiration. A vintage 1950, green satin, frock with a ruffled collar. It screamed "Sarah-Jessica-Parker-Vintage-So-Ugly-Its-Too-Darn-Cute-To-Be-Left-Behind-Because-Few-Can-Pull-This-Off-And-You-Are-One-Of-Them!"

I raced back to the rack, hugged my dream dress, handed one dollar to the volunteer and miraculously I had found my inspiration for a daily instead of twice times weekly work out routine, a low carb diet!

Three days in, all water, beating the snot out of the elliptical and on my way to a size 8!

Wish me Luck!