Friday, October 26, 2007

Just Fine!

Go Ms. Mary! I've been a Mary J. Blige fan since day one, and I am so pleased that she has grown into such a beautiful and classy lady. Ya'll know Mary was a lil thuggish when she first came out. I'm not knocking her swagger at all, cause like I said I was a fan day 1. It's just nice to see someone of her caliber and talent, evolve and realize her full potential in such a positive light. Get your shine on girl!

Friday, October 19, 2007

American Gangster Trailer

Oh, yes, my man is back and I am so there! I am always interested in movies which are based on true stories, and well, I would watch Denzel floss his teeth, just to look at fine self. I'ma stop now before I get in trouble with the mister. Enjoy the trailer!

The Miseducation of Chocolata

Back in April, I received notice that Lauryn Hill was going to be at the Paramount Theater in Oakland, CA. I was juiced! I loved the Fugees, I loved the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (the rawest female album of the 90's), I love Lauryn!

The day tickets became available for sale, I was right there, perched on line, on both my laptop and desktop computers. I had cleared my schedule to make sure that at 12:00 PM, when tickets went on sale I would be right there, and so I was. I jumped right in and purchased 4 tickets, 3rd row from the stage, cause that's how I roll. $400.00, later, I called my son, daughter, and my BFF Kim, to let them know that we were in the house for the June concert. We were all excited and anticipating the date.

At long last, the date comes. We arrived at the venue ready to get our grooves on. The opening act Jupiter Rising, was great but after about an hour of them playing, the crowd was getting restless. We all came to see Lauryn. They cleared the stage and we waited...and waited, and waited, and waited. People were leaving, booing, chanting Lauryn - Lauryn - Lauryn. It was beyond ridiculous. Finally after two hours of sitting and waiting, this is what showed up

What the Hell? My kids were like "Mom, who is that?" I was speechless to say the least. She looked like a homeless Ronald McDonald starring in Tim Robbins, The Nightmare Before Christmas. I was just stunned. My son was saying, "she on that powder man", and I could not justifiably argue his allegations. It was insane. She fell down on stage at one point, and continued singing from the floor. She did manage to recover, blaming the fall on the very high (5 inch) heels she was wearing. Ok, I could give her that, but her sound was raspy and crackling, very staccato. She played a lot of music that was completely unfamiliar to the crowd, who did not know how to react. She then began barking at her band to "give 'em something they can recognize." Yes, please!

Later in the show, she very coherently shared with us her woes with the industry trying to sculpt and mold her art into a product which is not reflective of her, and her rebellion to that process. Now, I don't want to see anyone oppressed but damn, I didn't spend $300 to see this ghetto hot mess.

I told my children and my friend that Lauryn needed our prayers, and proceeded to pray for her on the spot. It seemed the only Christian thing I could do. I was sorely disappointed with her performance and appearance, and will not spend two cents to see her again. I should have done my homework because there is a ton of information out there attesting to her having a reputation for showing up in this fashion. My bad! I will however keep her in prayer, and just keep listening to my Miseducation of Lauryn Hill CD, and reminiscing over better days.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

22 Months Sisterlocked - Girl, where have u been?

Well, I tried to hold out until my two year lockversary, but my absence had some folks thinking I had fallen off the face of the earth, so I figured now that I have some down time, it would be a good time to post.

It's a long story...

Back in May when I realized that the real estate market was going totally crazy and a sista has two daughters, both in their last year of college, (translation: bills, bills, bills), I applied for a JOB. Yikes! Having been self employed for several years now, that was a trip. I was really just testing the waters but as it turned out, I interviewed, and was offered a position that I could not refuse, and the company, despite the fact that they needed someone ASAP, was willing to wait two months for me. Great!

Well in June, three weeks before I was to start my new position, I was leaving for Las Vegas to attend a family reunion. The airport shuttle was minutes away from my door. As I was walking down the stairs with my "overweight" suitcase, I took a step and dislocated my knee, tearing my ACL. The pain was excruciating. I let go of the suitcase and immediately sat down on the stairs. Just in that moment, the doorbell rang. It was the shuttle, there to take my son and I to the airport. I had to make a quick decision. Do I cancel this vacation and go to the emergency room? Or, do I man up and keep it moving. I decided that if I could stand and hop, I would go, and so I did. I had to be escorted through the airports in a wheelchair, and I flew from Sacramento to Las Vegas hobbling all the way. I arrived in Vegas, and hobbled to the rental car terminal, drove to my condo and looked up the nearest pharmacy store I could find. I went to the CVS and purchased a knee brace, stopped by my aunts hotel to pick up some Vicodin, and was cool for the time being. I was only there from Thursday to Sunday, and once I got home, I saw my doctor on Monday.

I was diagnosed with a torn ACL which was going to require surgery. Wondering how my job was going to take the news, I hobbled in to my new position on July 2nd and assured them that they had not gotten a two for one. Now, mind you, I'm the only black, hell, the only minority in the office. I might meet their EEO requirement, but they could not double count me for ADA credit. I told them what happened and that I would be needing surgery in the weeks to come. They did not so much as bat an eye. I worked from 7/2 until 9/20, and had my surgery on 9/21/07, job still in tact. Is God good or is God Great?

So here I sit, re-learining how to walk, going to physical therapy, and having my son and my husband wait on me pretty much hand and foot. Just waiting until I can go back to work.

By the way, I work for a very upscale, conservative, high end life insurance company, and never have my locks been an issue. Now I will admit that I did wear them curled to my two interviews, and it was curled when I started the job. I would say about two weeks after I started and my curls started to fall, I went freestyle. I was swimming quite a bit and it did not make much sense to have to wash and roll it every couple of days. No problem!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

North Coast Sisterlocks Gathering #2

Mad props to GiGirl, who once again took the lead in organizing our second North Coast Sisterlock's Gathering. We met at Sofrito's PuertoRican Restaurant in Oakland - which was a last minute plan B, as our originally scheduled gathering place did not open as planned, and could not accommodate us. It was all good though, Sofrito, while definitely in the cut, proved to have delicious food, and one of the very handsome owners, Ali, himself attended to, and served us.

It was wonderful to see most of the ladies who attended our first gathering there, and some new faces as well. My dear friend Eileen although not yet Sisterlocked, came through sporting her braids. I'm working on her, and have enlisted the help of my Sisterlocked community to help her work through her OPH issues. She actually has a beautiful shoulder length head of natural hair which would look amazing in SL's, but those of us who've been where she is, can attest to the fact that it's not easy making the decision, and even harder seeing it through. Going from a glamour weave to plucked chicken baby locks, can be heavy duty on the self esteem.

Overall, we had a good time. My consultant came out, which was a first, and two of her other clients were there as well, as well as their sister, who is also locked but has a different consultant. My consultant has the most beautiful locks - she is featured in this year's Sisterlock Calendar for this month (April). Two of the ladies had a mini reunion as they went to college together and had not seen each other in years, but were brought together for this event through Sisterlocks.

What an awesome group of ladies! I can't wait until the next event.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Bible Drill

I can remember back in the day when church was a weekend long event. Saturday we had Usher Board meeting, choir rehearsal, BTU (Baptist Training Union), which included the infamous Bible Drill. Sunday we had Sunday School, Morning Worship Service, we had lunch in in the Church Dining Hall and went back for Afternoon Service or Pastors Anniversary, or some other acknowledgement service. We went home for dinner and came back for the Evening Service.

At 7 and 8 years old this was not exactly our idea of weekend fun. My cousin and I would always try to sneak off to the corner store to buy candy and would inevitably get busted. Our aunt would catch us on our way back in, and re-introduce us to the "switch".

By the grace of God, all of that church training, bible drills and such stuck. A friend sent me this on line Bible Drill, and I was amazed at how many times I answered 10 of 10 or 8 of 10 questions correctly. Each time you answer 10 questions, it will give you your score, and the opportunity to answer 10 more questions. It's pretty cool, check it out! Just click on the Bible Drill heading above, and let the games begin.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I'm It, I've Been Tagged!

So, Linda tagged me like a month ago (bless her heart), and well, here I am, better late than never. This is not easy, I had to dig a little cause I like to keep it real. Here I go...Five things that make me who I am:

1. I love, love, love the Lord, my Father, my Savior, Jesus Christ. I thank him for his mercy, his goodness, and his saving grace. You don't have to believe me when I say that I was wreckless and wretched from my teens to my early thirties (God knows). Through all of my trials and tribulations, he never left me nor forsake me, and because of that, today, deliverance is mine. Thank you Jesus! (I'm also a Christmas baby 12/25/67).

2. I am the only child of Precious and Myrna Allums, and am consequently spoiled, but not rotten.

3. I am married (5.5 years), to my soul mate (second marriages for both of us). Between us we have 7 children; 2 mine, 4 his, 1 adopted. Only one lives at home, my 16 year old son, who I home school. My husband is Mexican (born in Mexico) but I did not find that out until 2-3 months into dating him when I overheard him speaking Spanish on the phone). It didn't matter to me though as I believe there is only one race - human, but different cultures within the race. His brother used to be married to my cousin on my father's side who I had never met until after I married my husband. All three of them work for the same employer - but in different departments.

4. I am a loving and nurturing person who loves animals second to people. We currently have 2 dogs (a Toy Poodle and a Pitt Bull mix), and a Kentucky Mountian Horse. The pets I have had in the past: Birds (Conyer, Parakeets); Rabbit, Guinea Pigs, Cats, Tropical Fish, Turtle, 2 quarter horses.

5. I love to travel, and am trying to see the all of the places I want to go which are farthest, while I'm young and have stamina and endurance, and save the United States for the RV when we retire. So far, I've been to: Egypt, Australia, Thailand, St. Lucia, Mexico, Canada, Arkansas, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Arizona, New York, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Nevada, Oregon, Florida, and Georgia. Where I want to go: Africa, (Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa), Vietnam, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Jerusalem, Mecca, Jamaica, Martinique, The Maldives, Micronesia. Too many places to name!
Ok, that's a little bit about me. I'm tagging Sony, Ree-C, and Leighann

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sisterlocks on the Red Carpet - Styling or Freestyling?

Ok so the Red Carpet thing is only in my mind! See that's the coolest thing about the Internet, you can live out your wildest dreams, travel the world, all while sitting in your living room, wearing pajamas, using a laptop computer. But I digress...

This post is about Styling or Freestyling locs. In the past 14 months that I have had my Sisterlocks, I have never, until now freestyled. I was persuaded to try it by my loctician who duly noted that every time I go for a re-tightening, my hair is freshly washed, and always curled. She was like, "don't you ever freestyle?" Um, how bout no! I have still not gotten used to having short hair, or the perception of having short hair (see the last photo in the slide). I started wearing makeup (much to my husband's dismay and disapproval), big earrings, and felt compelled to at least coif the little wild locs sticking out of my head in order to preserve my femininity.

This all stems from a childhood trauma. When I was about 3 or 4, my mother cut her hair into a short afro. Being my mother's daughter, I asked if I too could have my hair cut into an afro, and she said "yes", though having no intention of cutting my hair. I would ask weekly when I would get my afro, and she would appease me by saying "we'll get it done soon." Well, soon was not soon enough for me, and one afternoon while quietly watching Sesame Street, I took a pair of scissors from the drawer, and proceeded to cut my ponytails at the rubber bands, and fashioned my version of an afro. My mother came home and was horrified! She blessed out my aunts and uncle who were supposed to be watching me, and marched me down to the barber shop; No, not the beauty shop, I said the barber shop, to clean up my fade.

Between my mother's horror at my appearance, and being constantly referred to as "what a cute little boy", I had/have some issues! I had to constantly reply "I'm a girl, don't you see my earrings?" That worked pretty good until we were in the grocery store one day and I spotted a man wearing an earring. I don't remember this part but according to my mother, I gasped, and flung myself into her legs crying and screaming "look mommy, that man has earrings, he can't wear earrings." And so the saga started.

My friend who is a Sisterlock Trainee sells loc jewelry, so I bought an Adinkra charm for my locs, to dress them up a bit. Low and behold, though very lightweight, it stretched my loc out to it's true length which you can see in the back view on the last photo in the slide show where I have on a black shirt. Now that was encouraging!

I am still tempted daily to break out my Soft Spike curlers and hook it up, but I kind of like spritzing, shaking my locs and being on my way. This is just another stop on my journey, and although I am not 100% comfortable with how my hair looks freestyled, I defy mainstream America's standard of beauty, and dare them to tell me there is anything wrong with it! I will love, honor, and cherish my locs!(shoot, they cost me $525 to install plus maintenance, thought I wasn't?). :o)

I've gotten mixed responses from family and friends, I'd love to hear what my natural hair family has to say... (place cursor over photos to read captions)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

How Can A Woman Not Love The Lord?

If you are dating, this is the best check list that I have ever seen. And believe me, I have seen plenty. Please share this with someone you know who may still need a check list.

How can a woman not love the Lord?
He is a gentleman,
He is confident
He is a provider and protector
He is rich and powerful
He owns everything, there is nothing He wouldn't do for me
He perfects all things concerning me
He anticipates my wants and needs
Every day He tells me and shows me how much He loves me
I don't have to perform in order to earn His love
He keeps all of his promises
No one can influence His opinion of me
He is the ultimate intimate partner
He can't "disown" me because I am a part of Him
He prepares a table before ME (Selah)
He covers me and doesn't expose me
He wrote his loving words down so that I'll never forget how He feels about me!

Any man, who wants pointers on how to love a woman, should study GOD!
Wake up every day and thank God for being the best "man" in your life!

- Author Unknown

My New Life Plan

I want to live my next life backwards:

You start out dead and get that out of the way.

Then you wake up in an old age home feeling better every day.

Then you get kicked out for being too healthy.

Enjoy your retirement and collect your pension.

Then when you start work, you get a gold watch on your first day.

You work 40 years until you're too young to work.

You get ready for High School: drink alcohol, party, and you'regenerally promiscuous.

Then you go to primary school, you become a kid, you play, and you have no responsibilities.

Then you become a baby, and then...You spend your last 9 months floating peacefully in luxury, in spa-like conditions - central heating, room service on tap, and then...

You finish off as an orgasm.

I rest my case.

- Author Unknown