Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Open Letter to Kim Porter

Hi Kim,

We've never met, but, I feel like I know you. I heard that you are preggers with twins and Diddy's the father. I think you should do what Charlie Sheen's wife did and LEAVE now! You don't have to wait until the children are born. You may be able to cash in some of those extravagant gifts, the Fendi Spy bags, the Birkins, the barely used Manolos, and set yourself up in a nice little apartment down in Georgia with your friends and family.

It's obvious that Diddy doesn't really love you. Or at least he doesn't love you enough to marry you. He says that he takes marriage seriously and just doesn't want to fail at it. On the surface that's understandable, but, if you dig a little it smells just like *cough*bullisht*cough. According to J.Lo, he proposed to her TWICE. Have you guys even had 'the talk' yet? I know the trips to St. Tropez, the all white parties and the shopping sprees are seductive, but are you really happy? I mean deep down inside happy. And since you are an educated woman, I don't have to tell you that happy is alot different than content, right?

Diddy is being self centered and to a large degree you are allowing it. He's not considering the example that he's setting for his sons. They will grow up thinking that it's ok to have several children with a woman without considering marrying her. That's unacceptable. I'm not a fortune teller, but I also predict that your sons may even lose a little respect for you if you stay in this situation.

Change is tough, and making your situation right isn't going to be easy at all. But, with plenty of prayer and support from people that really love you, I'm sure you can do it. I don't think Diddy is a bad guy, I just think he's like most people that pretty much get everything they want and then some. Of course, he's worked extremely hard to get to where he is in life. But, you're no slouch either. You have your event production company and you could always go back to the fashion industry.

Don't go out like this.


Monday, September 25, 2006

Is Your Glass Half Empty?

Have you ever found yourself in a conversation with a friend and then before you know it, you realize it's not a conversation, it's more like a complain-fest. I hate to hear complaints. I rank complaints in the same category as whiners and nags. Granted, we all have moments where life just gets the best of us and we have to let off a little steam. I call this venting. But, the operative word is 'moments'. Complainers see the world's glass as half empty all the time. They almost hope that things won't go right so that they can have an opportunity to whine about it. And then, because misery loves company they nag to you about their disgruntledness hoping that you'll feed into it and help them keep it going.

My personal way of dealing with complaining is to quickly figure out what I can control and what I can't. If a particular establishment always has poor customer service, I may complain about it once. If I experience the same behavior again, I'll boycott the place. I think right now, I've got about 3 places on my boycott list. I can't control how they treat me, but, I can surely control how I spend my money. There's no need to talk about it. Just do something about it.

Whiners are the woe-is me tribe. Everything is worse for them and you always have it better. "Well if I had what you had, I wouldn't be in this situation." "Of course they're skinny, they've got people helping them. I work all day."BLAH BLAH BLAH We all feel down and like we just can't get a break sometimes. That's a part of life but the glory is in figuring out how to get up. Figuring that out takes a certain amount of self empowerment and confidence. It's all in the baby steps. You have to figure out small things that you can do to get yourself out of the doldrums bit by bit. Then do them.

It's incredibly draining to be around people that see the glass as half empty. If you were in a good mood when you met them, you'll probably be sad or angry by the time they leave. And sometimes, these people actually have the nerve to feel better once they've transferred all of their complaints and whines to you. That's pretty selfish. The bottom line is that your view of the world is your choice. If you want to see your glass as half empty, recognize that you've made that CHOICE. It's funny how when you expect to see a thing, that's the ONLY thing you'll ever see.


Thursday, September 21, 2006


Ok don't laugh but I really like Lionel Richie's new CD. He has one song called 'All Around the World' that makes me want to stand in the middle of the room and just twirl. LOL

Just had to share that.

I'm swamped at work.

Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday and I get to leave early.

What I'm looking forward to? The Gray's Anatomy season premiere tonight.


Monday, September 18, 2006

Stripper School

There is a relatively new phenomenon in the fitness industry called Strip-Aerobics. There are dvd's, special classes and as I found out this weekend, whole gyms dedicated to getting you in shape and teaching you a lil somethin somethin. My girls and I went to Xpose on Saturday for their free intro class. As soon as we decided to go, there was a flurry of calls back and forth.

What do you wear to a stripping class?
Short shorts, tank top and heels.

Should you do any kind of before class prep?

So, in this class, there were about 40 women of all ages, shapes and ethnicities. Some were dressed modestly, a few, the Britney Spears wanna-bes, were not. Luckily, we were somewhere in between. Our teacher was an average looking girl with a stellar physique. She came equipped with her see-thru plastic platform hoe-stroll shoes, booty shorts and a t-shirt that said something like 'Real Girls like Poles'. We were impressed, she looked like a pro.

The class started off slow. She taught us the basics to get us warmed up. The dip, the rock and the hand trace. Then it was time for us to showcase our SEXYWALK. I've never done my SEXYWALK outside of my apartment. But on Saturday, I sashayed across the floor like the pro I am in my dreams. LOL Then, when I got to the poll I did this little dip I'd seen the girl do in Usher's Yeah video. It was awesome...a little runway with some Frederick's thrown in for spice.

After everyone practiced their walks, it was time for the floor work. We learned the cat, the figure 4, the Playboy, the butterfly and the peek-a-boo. I see why the good strippers earn the good tips, these moves are no joke. And to be able to do them without sweating and still look sexy is not easy. Once we had those mastered, the teacher showed us what they would look like on a chair. Impressive. Since it was the promo class, we didn't get our own chairs, so she told us to practice at home for our loved ones. I wonder how many babies were conceived that night?

The final demo was on the pole. The pole instructor was a cross between Serena Williams and Monique. Stop laughing! But yeah, that image you have in your head is right. An usual combo. Anyway, Serena-Monique strutted around that pole like it was The Rock. She gazed at it, then hoisted herself onto it and slid down like it had been greased with crisco. Then, she swung on it like a merry-go-round. We learned that pole work is really all in your arms. Those classes really build upper body strength. And get this, they have portable poles that you can practice on in your home! I heard many women inquiring about the logistics of that.

All in all, we gave the class a thumbs-up and we're definately going back. It was a fun way to get exercise and add some new tricks to the repertoire. Hopefully, I won't forget them before I have the opportunity to use them.

There is a side effect to being a woman of a certain age taking strip aerobics though. The next day, you ache in places that you didn't know you had. But, I don't think it's more than a nice warm bubble bath can heal.

...and why do I keep hearing Miami base mixed with that Kiya song in my head?

My neck,
My back...


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

My Hairstory

I'm obsessed with my hair. My hair, your hair, her hair. I'm obsessed with all of it. Over the past few years, I've been on a bit of a hair journey. I wanted to get to a place where I honestly love what's growing out of my head. It hasn't always been easy.

When I was a kid, I loved my hair. My mom would style my reddish brown hair in two afro puffs. I always got compliments on the color. So, I figured that must be special and what little girl doesn't want to have something special about her. As I got older, I tried to mold my curly kinky hair into a sleek wrapped bob. It didn't work. My hair would end up looking like a brown cottony beret slapped on my head. I hated it.

I thought I needed to go to a professional to get the look that my friends were able to get so easily. So, I tried every well known salon in my hometown. The first thing each wanted to do was slap a relaxer in my head, then charge me an arm and a leg.

"Ooh chile, your hair is nappy, when was your last touch up?"
"Last month."
"Well, it's time for you to get another one. Shelia, put her down for a super perm."

So, the stylist would perm my hair with the strongest relaxer she had available then 'trim' off all of my new growth. So, I'd leave with my hair actually shorter than when I walked in. Sure, the style was pretty, but where was my hair? Then, inevitably, within a few weeks, my hair would start to fall out. I had no idea what was happening. I was coerced into believing that I just had bad hair. It never 'acted right'. I began to feel like going to the salon was on the same level as a dentist appointment. It was the worst.

When I got older, I started reading more about taking care of my hair and I experimented with different techniques that would keep the hair on my head. I also learned that those super perms were way too strong for me, all I needed was a mild. I realized that I was fighting a losing battle by trying to wear those sleek straight styles. I have big hair and that's just that, why fight it. Now, I only wear my hair straight a few times a year just to see how much it's grown.

I've had many different reactions to my new hair. Some people love it and others ask me when I'm going to get a perm. The funniest reaction came from a security guard in my building. After complimenting me on my hair she said,

'You know, I've been thinking about going back to my jerri curl too.'

That really cracked me up. I might decide to relax it again next year or tomorrow, I don't know. But, I find myself attracted to people with big natural hair. I just want to reach out and touch it, on the subway, in the mall, everywhere. I also make it a point now to compliment women with natural hair. I think they get more criticism than admiration, especially women with a kinkier texture. I recognize that they are like salmon swimming upstream, when it comes to their hair choice. I appreciate that and it inspires me to care less about what others have to say about my 'fro.


Monday, September 11, 2006

Happy Birthday!

To my lil sis - Congrats on making it to through your first quarter century. I love you bunches! And I'm so proud of you.

To my BFF - Hope you feel better. Who gets sick on their bday weekend? We'll have to make up for it next weekend. Smooches.

We Need More Big Voices!

He grabbed my hand and led me to a spot on the dance floor.

"You ready?"
"Follow me."

Back 2, 3
Front 2, 3
Back 2, 3
Front 2, 3

"I've got an idea that will help us win this contest"
"Really, I thought we were doing pretty good like this."

Back 2, 3
Front 2, 3

"We are, but, we can take it up a notch"
"What are you gonna do?"
"Don't worry, just trust me. It's gonna be great."

With that, I looked into his eyes to see if there were any hints about what he was planning.
He returned my gaze with a confident smile.

Back 2, 3
Front 2, 3

"When I give you the signal, put your head through this hole."
He formed his arms into a circular shape at his side.

"Are you serious?"
"Yeah, trust me. I've got this."

Back 2, 3
Front 2, 3


I stuck my head through his arms and all I saw next was pavement... then sky.

Imagine a windmill. Imagine a human windmill. A 6 foot 2 inch human windmill.

I was the blade doing a 360 in the wind.
The crowd roared.
My knees were weak.

Back 2, 3
Front 2, 3

"Oh my God, that was incredible."
With a casually sly smile, he said, "I told you I had it."
"I believed you."

Back 2, 3
Front 2, 3

No, I was not a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. This was an episode straight out of the Adams Morgan Festival yesterday. There were salsa and meringue bands, lots of vendors with great food and as I found out, a man with a Big Voice.

The Big Voice (BV) is a term my friends and I have coined to describe that cool, confident swagger that some men have. Men with BV only need to say a thing once. Their delivery inspires a sense of trust and calm in the listener. Some people think the BV is big because it's loud. That's hardly ever true. The man with the BV doesn't have to raise the volume or be boisterous to get people to follow him. He's a natural born leader.

A man with BV can be charismatic, although that's not always the case. I've known male models, football players and nerds with BV. The defining characteristic of the BV'd man is that he takes care of things, gets the job done with little fanfare. He does what he says he's going to do and sometimes more. This sense of responsibility garners respect. He's also certain of what he knows and honest about what he doesn't know. You always know where you stand with a BV man because he's not afraid to share that with you. He could care less about what other people think. And did I mention that this quality is extremely sexy?

The BV man is an endangered species. With changing social politics and constantly moving boundaries a lot of men have lost their BV and a lot of women don't realize that they should want that in their lives. I think we should start a movement to Save the Big Voices. We need them.

Side 2, 3
Side 2, 3
Back 2, 3
Front 2, 3

"So, what are you doing tomorrow?"

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Scope of My Responsibility?

If a woman does not respect herself, why do I have to respect her? That is the gist of a conversation I had with a friend of mine last week. We were talking about that ridiculous Flavor of Love show. I think the show is a case study in mutual disrespect. The women get on there and pretend to have feelings for Flav with hopes that their camera time will propel their non-existent careers. I acknowledge there may be some women that really are feeling Flav, but I think they are in the minority. Then, on the flip side, Flav takes advantage of the situation. He knows that most of the women aren't really there 'for him' and I'm not sure if he's really serious about finding 'the one' on the show. To get his attention, the woman drop it like it's hot, make their butts clap and tongue him down whenever they get the opportunity. My friend thinks that if the women are putting it out there like that, then why shouldn't Flav take advantage of it?

My position is that if a man respects a woman, he wouldn't let her play herself like that in public. Respect goes two-ways, you have to carry yourself in a respectful manner in order to get respect from anyone. But, are you supposed to respect those that aren't smart enough to respect themselves? Again, I think yes. I remember when a man would intervene if he saw a female friend he respected acting un-ladylike while at the club. He'd pull her to the side and ask her to straighten up. Does that happen anymore?

I can't place all of the blame on the men, women HAVE contributed to the current state of affairs. All of that talk about being 'Independent' and 'Not needing a man' has made many men resentful towards women. I've heard guys say, 'let her independent @ss handle that on her own.' A lot of men are confused and unsure about what's expected of them by women. The female role has expanded and there was no equal change on the masculine side of the equation. So, we're unbalanced. I understand the rationale of the women's movement. I just think the effect it had on Black women was detrimental. It served to divide and conquer our families.

In conclusion, I think that while we may not have a responsibility to a particular person, we should feel responsible about the images and representations we unwittingly pass on to our young people. If men starting telling young girls that they are more interested in your personality than their ability to clap their butt cheeks, maybe a few young girls would stop bending over. And maybe if women would stop chasing after the local drug dealers with the phat whip and big wad of cash and instead gave a second look to the broke computer science college student, a few young guys would consider enrolling in school. It's within our scope of responsibility to respect even those that don't respect themselves, because we're all connected. Imagine where we'd be as a community if we actually practiced that. We can do it, one person at a time.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Schqueeek!! Schqueeek!!

So, last week I got these new shoes for work. I usually wear heels everyday and while that looks good, it was becoming murder on my calves. So, I went on a search for some fashionable but comfy shoes. I settled on these brown Kenneth Cole/Reaction wedges. The wedge heel gave me the height I need for my slacks, while feeling like clouds on my feet. I was soo excited that I planned to go back and get them in black in a few weeks. The first day I wore them, life was grand. On the second day, I realized that maybe they were too big. I wear a 6.5 and these shoes are a 6.5 but, they kinda slide off the back of my feet. Still, I held strong, better to have a shoe that's too big, than one that is too small, right?

Then came the sound...Schqueeek!! Schqueeek!!

I looked behind me to see where that noise was coming from. Was one of my co-workers playing a prank on me?

Schqueeek!! Schqueeek!!

Then, I looked down and noticed that the sound was coming from my feet. My shoes were making this noise that sounded like wet sneakers sloshing about. Schqueeek!! Schqueeek!!

Still, I held strong with my new favorite shoes. Besides, I'd worn them, I can't take them back now. So, I tried to remedy the situation by walking reeaaaaaaaaaly slow.


Or maybe walk faster...

Schquk!! Schquk!!
Schquk!! Schquk!!
Schquk!! Schquk!!

Nothing is going to help my noisy shoes. So, I'll just sit at my desk all day.

Nope, I'm not going out for lunch today.

Nah, I don't want to walk over to CVS.

It's cool. I'm fine...sitting right my cute...loud shoes.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Too Old For Top 40?

Popular music has become a joke. Maybe it was always a joke and now I'm just old enough to recognize it. We've got Fergie trying to keep her 'London Bridge' from falling, and the Pussycat Dolls asking Snoop to 'Loosen Up' their buttons, and each has millions of fans clamoring to buy their CD's. Cassie sings 'Me & U' to some guy that she plans on giving up her 'Goodies' to. Ciara has the whole Aaliyah vibe when she performs.

My elders would always say that everything goes around in cycles. So, it's alright for new artists to get inspiration from the artists of the past that did it well. But do we have to have duplicates existing at the same time? Does Gwen Stephanie have an agreement with Fergie to keep that suburban-white-girl-with-an-'urban'-edge image in the limelight while she tends to her newborn son. When Gwen comes back, will it be like an episode of Quantum Leap where the two selves can not exist in the same time dimension. Surely I'm not the only one that thinks these two singers are interchangeable.

Rihanna and Cassie, same thing. The good thing about the paper thin voiced singers is that when you sing their songs loud in your car, you sound JUST like them. How empowering is that?? I bought Amerie's last CD just so I could have something to sing in the car. I can't wait to go to Karaoke, I've even got the moves down. There are some CD's that I just refuse to buy. In fact, there are some that I wouldn't take if they were free. I'm not going to ever play 'Lean wit it Snap wit it' in my car and that song by Bubba Sparx, 'BOOTY BOOTY BOOTY EVERYWHERE' (I write it in caps because he yells that line), will not get airplay on my station.

The sad thing is that alot of these 'artists' are grown men and really should know better. Come on, how old are the Yin-Yang Twins. Shouldn't they be rapping about 401K's or taking their kids back to school shopping? Are they really living what they are singing? And if they are, should they be embarrassed? People always joke about the old guy in the club. But, in effect most of the popular rappers are just 'that old guy'.

And the women are no better. I don't want to see Toni Braxton try to outdance Beyonce. As impressed as I am with how fierce these older women look, I wish they'd just mature gracefully. Maybe give the young girls a glimpse of what longevity looks like. Pass the torch and keep it moving.

I would like to bring about a new rule in the music industry. Since most singers claim to write their own lyrics these days, I think they should only sing about things they are going through or have gone through within the last 5 years. So, if you don't have a license, you can't rap about your whips. If you are a 15 year old boy, then your songs could be about video games or pimples. If you are getting mail from AARP, stop rapping about hanging at the club.

Another new rule would be that two singers can NOT have the same image at the same time. I mean come on, where exactly IS Tearra Marie? She and Rihanna came out at the same time. Rihanna's image was all island girl. Then all of a sudden she broadened her image and bumped little TM out of the way. The record execs had to know that would happen. Why cannabalize your own profits? But, I digress...

Maybe my parents felt this way back in the day when the new music was hip-hop. Maybe they thought it was just as ridiculous as the song, 'Shake Somethin for the Camera Phone.' Nah, that song is just stupid.

I tried to get into it, but maybe I'm just too old for Top 40.


Been Away...

I hope you haven't felt neglected in my absence. It really feels like fall and I'm so bummed out about it so, I've been hibernating.

Here are a few things I'm into right now...

MTV Video Awards - Was I the only one that thought it was anti-climactic? Something about the heat in Miami made the show hotter. Beyonce's performance was hot. Besides the fact that she can actually sing, she really channeled my beloved Janet for that one.

The Wire - I caught the season premiere. It's on onDemand if you have digital cable. I still haven't gotten over the fact that there is no more Stringer Bell (Lawd that man is FINE!), but nonetheless, I'm excited for the new season. This is the best show on television. I wonder if people that are not from Baltimore appreciate how real it is. How much of the Carcetti storyline are they taking from O'Malley's actual ascent to Mayor?

Nip/Tuck - Sanaa Lathan is on the show now. She looks amazing. I can see it now, Christian is soo going to try to get with her. You'd have to be blind not to see this one coming.

Corrine Bailey Rae- I know. I'm soo late getting on this bandwagon, but her CD seemed really appropriate this weekend. It's kinda sad but soulful and heartfelt and earnest. It's my new day-to-day life soundtrack.

Garden Salsa Sun Chips - These chips are delicious. They taste kinda like Doritos, but they are better for you. The perfect accoutrement to a rainy day stuck in the house watching movies.

Sidney Poitier - I'd seen some of his movies, but with all of the movie remakes and other garbage in the theaters, I decided to watch some classics. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. To Sir, With Love. For the Love of Ivy. I wasn't surprised to realize what a great actor he is. But, I was surprised to find out how timeless the movies were. Aside from the wardrobe in some cases, the situations and dialogue could take place in present day. You almost forget that you're watching films almost 40 years old.

Well, that's all I've got for now. Maybe you'll look at my list and decide to try something new or maybe you have suggestions for me to try.