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Wednesday, October 29

We Gets Busy 

"I aint no perfect man, I'm trying to do the best that I can with what it is I have"
Mos Def:Umi Says
Today marks day 4 of my fast , fast for cleansing, fast for healing, fast for spiritual growth, fast to understand the importance of sacrifice. I didnt even realize that it's Ramadan until sukaynah told me. This makes it even more significant because it's not just about me anymore, it's a communal movement that I'm sharing with tons of people all over the world. that is an intense energy.
I'm excited to see what manifests.
So I'm fasting for endless reasons and usually by day 4 I am feeling quite comfortable and sublime not distracted by or even really noticing food but it was different today I have been soooooo crabby and annoyed and when I'm crabby and annoyed I like to eat, I use food as a real comfort, a piece of fresh cornbread is like a nice big hug, rice noodles cooked in heaps of garlic, basil and tomato can be like a foot massage. yea it's real we do get busy up in here. I stuff my face and feel soooooooo happy stuffing my face, smelling the food, the wonderful gestures and/or ways I can come up with putting it in my mouth, fingers, spoon, fork and that special favorite - chopsticks. They are real fun and I can use them to eat almost anything. LOL. Eggs. Pasta. Greens.. Chewing slowly and tasting all the flavors dancing with each other in my mouth. I love to eat. .
Anyways its Day 4, three more days to go and my lil' homegirl is driving me INSANE, (thus another strong reason for the desire to eat) I am really understanding why they call it terrible twos. She is so DEFIANT. I can totally understand my other sister mamas out there who are going though it. Props to yall, cause I swear this child is like Dr.Jekyll and Mr how can some one so cute and sweet and charming and funny and lovely can be so MUCH. TOO MUCH. But see how crazy is this I want her to stay defiant just not so much towards me.LOL. How crazy is that? She gets so loud and so stubborn I know I know she's two testing her boundaries blase bla but ALL the time. She's so funny though.
Today we had to get up mad early cause we had a doctor's appt, I was so nervous we were test driving a pediatrician that came highly recommended open to holistic remedies, alternative forms of healthcare. The kind of doctor that is not in a rush to treat you or medicate you, he'll ask you questions about your lifestyle, sleeping patterns, etc. He takes our insurance and he also treats adults. Perfect . He asked me why we haven't immunized yet I said because we haven't wanted to, he said - aha ok and we moved on. It was a good visit the only thing that wasn't cool was the wait, it was an hour. Girlfriend got a little bored with the books and snacks I brought and got as busy as a bee. Finally, we met with the doctor had some laughs, the goal now is to find out what triggers the allergic reactions. I'm guessing its peanuts but I hope not. To never have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Then off to the party store to look for a Halloween costume. I decided yesterday we're celebrating it. I'll be Zora Neale Hurston I need to find a cool hat and those colored beaded necklaces and she can be either a lion or Queen Nzingha . I didnt even know that there is a childrens book out about her life as a teenager.Cute For her to be Queen Nzingha would require making a shield and spear, an African warrior princess has to have her weapons. I'm not feeling that visual for a two year old though. But I cant find a lion costume and she has a lot of beautiful African outfits so dressing to play Queen Nzingha would be sooooo easy.
After the doctor we went to the party store and she freaked out because of all the scary masks and bloody pictures and eyeballs and basic Halloween crap. Duh, Mommy so quickly we left. We went to Janovic Paints , I love home stores. I looked at paint chips this was fun for awhile. I engaged in my typical fantasy of her having her own room painted hot pink with gold trim, chocolate accents. ((((((sigh))))) So we're looking at Benjamin Moore's chips display, I'm babbling something to her about the difference between colors, hues, shades, and tints. She's half listening and then this older, over privileged, funky acting man is behind her. Towering over her, invading her space with his bag, his body, his presence. So she says,
"Hey!",
I looked at her to see what was up and in that split second again she raised up her little hand and said again
"Hey!" I said to him
"You need to say excuse me, there's someone standing there" and then I say to her
"Some people don't know how to say excuse me there mama never taught'em"
and then he says
"Sorry, she needs to move, I'm spending money she's not."
WHAT! BLACK MAMA RAGE kicked in! ASSHOLE! I said
"First of all her mama is spending money here and even so she is a human being and she deserves respect and personal space."
I have a big thing about personal space :0, not sure why.
So he goes
"I said, sorry that was the first thing I said"
I said
"you saying all that other shit kills that sorry", and then I called him an asshole.
Not loud though cause I don't think he heard me at least he didn't react but I knew I didn't want my bebe to hear me go that far I didnt want her to hear me so i said it kind of low. But then I stewed about it, wishing I'd said it loud enough for the whole store to hear me. I thought maybe I should have made a spectacle of myself and him, shamed him to the point where he left the store. But I called myself letting it go, not in front of the child, dont make a scene.
It might have turned inot something deep and awful.
There was a real nice ice cream parlor right around the corner and a good looking sushi spot right up the block. Dulce de leche. Brown rice sushi with spicy tuna and avocado, hmmmm wasabi.
I'm over it now. Privileged fuck.
After that we went to the bank cashed in her CD. 7 frigging dollars is all it made in 9 friggin months. Bullshit Interest rates. Some friendly customer service bank folks tried very hard to get me to sign up for some life insurance. I said what if you have no income and no money. That subject was dropped. haha
We zoomed over to another bank and tried to open an account they wouldn't let me not enough ID. ARGH after waiting almost an hour again, to be turned away in the end was the part that sucks. I need two picture IDs to open a bank account, I think I only have one. I need a bank account I will spend this money. Since I cant eat, Ill be more tempted to shop. Heehee. We went and hung out with another mama and child who wanted me to give her some design ideas for her place. Which is strange cause she is sooooo creative, it turned into a play dte for our girls hers is three and very much a Scorpio, vibrant, emotional, sweet. Somehow our girls got along really well, which shocked me, mine seems to clash often. They played, danced, snacked on baby carrots and blueberries and graham crackers and 'Dragon Tales'. The mamas talked about anything and everything, NYC, food, PBS aka childrens television , my theory on children's shows : I think the writers and producers are all a bunch of ex-hippies who went on one too many acid trips. Some of those shows are very bizarre. Can someone tell me why George Shrinks is so damn tiny? Whats up with that 2 headed Dragon, that litle whiny Canadian brat
I flashed quickly and thought maybe I've made a friend and then I got nervous, dont.get.too.attached.people dissapear.
From there to my "How to start & run a business workshop" a free 7 week entrepreneurial series. I'm learning a lot in this class although I'm still not sure what my business is. It just feels good to be doing something that is not related to mamahood although everything eventually is. The woman who presented to us tonight talked about marketing, the importance of marketing, how to market, knowing your target consumer. It was excellent. One of the many brilliant things she said was make sure to treat your business like a business, not a hobby. Like I said I'm still unsure of what my business is, so I say fuck it my business is life and I need to stop acting like it's my hobby. Live it focused, streamlined but still aggresively. Like Newports "Alive with Pleasure"(Irony) Haha but it sounds good when I think about it like that and the cool thing is I won a book in class tonight, a book I would probably never be drawn to picking up in the bookstore or library. It's a self helper, I like that shit but I never seem to have the patience to sit through all of it. Ive started The Artist's Way 4 times. and I still have not finished Mastery of Love.
Whatever, it doesn't matter I love books, I LOVE to read. I even read real crap sometimes just cause it's funny to see how bad stuff can be I mean I'm not a writer at all but I know when something is bad.
It was kinda funny, the woman handed out one of your basic 'anonymous' feed back forms and she said I'm going to shuffle them around and then pick one and the one that comes up gets a prize. I didn't know it was book but I have a silly side so I closed my eyes and said pleasepickme, pleasepickme..............I needed to have something happen to make up for that awful episode. Lo and behold. She pulled her pick and it had my name on it. Yay, some light handclapping, me being very appreciative and somber on the outside but jumping up and down on the inside and thinking ok so the world does not suck all the time. Now I'm tired and writing this has been a good distraction from food and even further irony because now i know I'm not really pyhsically hungry at all.
Tomorrow I will focus on 2 new crafty projects. Crocheted slipper socks with leather or suede fabric superglued to the bottom. I'll think theyll be very comfy for the winter. Apron and oven mitt sets in funky, bright colored fabrics.
Thanks for stopping by folks.
Oh and before I keep forgetting an extra special shout out to all the folks that link me on their blogs, yall are fresh. Thanks for staying connected.
Holla.
Getting sleepy, Bedtime.zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz:)

Wednesday, October 22

Tuesday is Sweeps in Manhattan 

Every Tuesday Night the New York City Police Department floods its urban neighborhood city streets with what seems like all of its cops.
Each borough and/or area has a specific day of the week in where the various precincts within that borough or area has decided to literally pull out the heavy artillery. Literally pull out the big guns and take no shorts.
In NYC, that day is Tuesday.
Cops are on foot patrol in pairs or fours, they parade up and down through the streets and throughout the subway. Looking for people to arrest for petty crimes things that I think are considered quality of life crimes(?), loitering, jaywalking, drinking in public, buying nickel bags of weed on the street. Tons of traffic cops writing tickets over and over and over. I got a ticket today in the blink of an eye and so did my friend who watched my child while I worked. Cop cars parked on every corner of each block, all up and down Lenox Ave/Malcolm X double parked or up against fire hydrants. A pair of cops in each patrol car chilling, waiting under busted street lights like little bats in the dark ready to pounce on each and every random car for any reason they deem necessary, running a red light, going too fast, going too slow, broken taillight, failure to signal, boredom, fancy car, whatever. Sirens, pull over, flashlights in eyes, license and registration - step out of the car SLOWLY. No sudden moves. Reach for nothing. Be extra humble. Don't look them in the eye. Sound famaliar.
While waiting at a red light I witnessed a cop car speed off and slam into another car that was innocently going its way, some older black women that witnessed the incident yelled out at the police "God don't like ugly" Ha, even the old folks know.
I saw over forty cops within a 30 block radius today. It felt oppressive and abusive. How could folks not see this as a police state. I drove home with a lump in my throat and did not feel like exhaling until I was inside my apartment.
this.is.not.normal.
the fact is I am quite resentful AND afraid of the NYPD seeing a cop every five seconds in my crazy but beautiful black neighborhood troubles me more than words can say its totally akin to throwing a lit match into a bucket filled with kerosene. Guaranteed explosion.
Its bad enough that we have these enormous creepy looking big brother type cameras on some blocks monitoring our every move. It becomes twice as bad when forced to look at the cocky boys in blue. The fact is for me seeing a cop every five seconds marching through my hood is a constant reminder that I can easily be shot and maybe even killed, beaten and hurt or at the very least arrested over some bullshit.
I am not paranoid, this is my reality and most specifically on tuesday nights in manhattan, I know my chances of being damaged in some way by the local police increase greatly.
Seeing a cop every five seconds is a constant reminder that despite how free folks would like to think they are if you're black and living in the ghetto there will be nights where you'll feel like you're living in occupied territory
October 22nd
8th Annual National Day of Protest to Stop Police
Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation
4:00pm Rally at City Hall Park South
5:30pm March to Union Square

In a final comment, the October 22 Coalition spokesperson said, "2003
started with a certain tone with the NYPD killing four men in the first 48 hours of the year. This October 22nd we need to set another tone for the year to come, to make clear that we've had it, we don't want more Stolen Lives, and that the resistance needs to be firmly re-established."

Saturday, October 18

BBQ Spare Ribs with Pork Fried Rice and Egg Roll 

I don't eat that shit but I do think it's funny as hell that this is something that you will always see offered on your average NO. 1 Chinese Restaurant menu in da hood. Don't debate me on it I checked.......Do they even eat spare ribs in china anyhow that leads me down the path to discuss the fresh and fascinating art exhibit I saw this week. "Black Belt". (how's that for a twisted and quirky segue?)
I went to the opening of this intriguing exhibit at the Studio Museum of Harlem. It's an examination of the Afro-Asian connection. The emergence of which I guess started in the 70's, I only have a surface level of understanding of this intersection of 'black' things and 'Asian' things.
Honestly my knowledge of it pretty much starts and ends with the all mighty Wu-Tang clan one of the best hip hop groups in the world, hands down! They were obsessed with martial arts flicks and the themes that pervaded them, they used sound bytes and metaphors on their albums all the time.
36 Chambers of Death, that was da bomb.
I was hoping that there would be some literature for me to read that would deconstruct the concept for me even further. Some kind of historical/cultural iconography breakdown. But there wasn't...:(
Like "The Art of War" being required reading for the Black Panther Party...................... Bruce Lee's last film co-starring Kareem Abdul Jabar....................
..............Everybody was Kung-fu fighting...........
Is there a mutual fascination/connection between the two cultures as the exhibits art implies? I would say definitely yes
There was a tower of several televisions each of them showing various clips of both Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali in action. Very cool. Instantly I got it both men of color, icons, charming, masculine, sexy, cool, they each blew up around the same time, both politically controversial, kick ass they each broke barriers and forced the world to stand up and pay attention. Of course I liked this piece. Alot. I like anything that encourages me to examine things from a different angle. A sister named Iona Rozeal brown did a series of Kabuki drawings with same subtle and not so subtle urban elements, like one of them had the curvy cornrows with a half smoked blunt in hand. Here's another example of her work which I found interesting and beautiful
. In this one homegirl's got tips on her nails and an afro with two black fist picks in it. Note the X's on her kimono. :) She even had one in Sean John laced with the stereotypical urban bling bling. I love this sister's work, once again because it's forcing me to look at something in a whole new light. I thought ....hmm interesting what it looks like when very specific worlds collide.
I am a big believer in art for arts sake but I definitely appreciate art that forces a thought process more than anything else.
I encourage folks to check it out there's plenty more but I dont want to ruin it for yall. Also I must say I love this museum they have gone through a heavy transformation and are doing big things and making me love the fact that I live in NYC. I have no idea how I got on their mailing list but for some reason I get invited to all their parties/openings, free drinks, thought provoking art and they're child friendly too.

work 

it's been a very busy busy week
I'm working on an independent feature right now the script is pretty humdrum and basic but it's a good credit for me - Assistant Director.
This is a new title/postion for me usually I am the Wardrobe/Costumes Designer or the Set Decorator. Being the AD is not deep at all but it sounds good right? They got my ass running though it will be like this until next week but i still feel the need to blog. LOL Even though I should be on my way to Bed, Bath and Beyond to pick up some ncessary props for tomorrows shoot. I met with the director this week she's from California seemingly cool she did not freak out when she realized that I brought my baby girl to our meeting. She even offered to watch her while I tried to find a better parking space. Point for you California girl!
The DP seems like he might be an A-hole I hate when people dont look you in the face when they talk to you this is a very mannish thing that I can not stand!!!! Our very first pediatrician was this way I would speak and he would answer my questions but look only at my daughters daddy when he answered them, the daddy who hardly ever says a word or asked a question!
Not acknowledging that I'm speaking or even that Im standing there that shit is one of the top ten things that pisses me off I. am.not.invisible.
I'm hoping I dont lose my temper with him this is why I cant keep a normal job I never know how to deal with fools
But anyhoo somebody gave homegirl a hundred and something G to make a film that she wrote and like I said the script is basic but wo knows maybe the world will love it they way they loved "Welcome to the Dollhouse" or " Pi" she'll get some type of three picture movie deal and w'll all blow up as a result. Stranger things have happened
For instance all the excitement and hoopla over Kill Bill. I saw it and I think it's a piece of crap......more to come

Saturday, October 11

Brainy 

It is official my child is a genius! In the superfly ghetto that we live in there is an icee vendor on every corner. Especially on a day like today when it's a wonderful 70 degrees outside. They tend to be 9 times out of ten strictly Spanish speaking folks either Mexican or Dominican, this is not a diss that's just how it is. Getting icees was one of our primary reasons for leaving the house today. I always get a 50 cent cherry mango mix and my baby girl always gets a coconut. She prefers rainbow but since the coconut is clear and doesn't stain she always gets coconut
So when the Mexican icee vendor hands my baby girl her coconut icee, she says as clear as day
GRACIAS
I was floored, the vendor was floored, in spanglish the woman said to me something along the lines of "she speaks Spanish?"we ended up talking in some form of Spanish/English and then each going our merry way. It was a cool little moment to have I try my best to speak whatever words I know in Spanish to her but I never thought it was consistent or even enough to make a real impact on her brain but somehow it sinked in a little bit. Whenever I do speak to her in Spanish she never ever responds. Hole, como esta? Blank stare.
The thing I'm tripping off is not only did she know it was the right time to say thank you, she knew to say it in Spanish. So the question is did she a)recognize the woman as being Mexican, IEEE Spanish speaking or b)does he just equate all Icee moments with speaking Spanish or was c)she just in the mood to speak Spanish at the time. I'm excited and perplexed by her thought process. I'm thinking the answer is A because the other two don't really make sense
Either way the child amazes me, pure genius.

Down with the Cool Kids 

Recently I was invited by the super cool zeebah
to get down with this recipe blog I feel so special!!, Yipee I'm in the club. I'm officially a contributor to something. Yay. It feels good to believe I have something to bring to the table. And when it comes to food I always do.
I posted my first recipe today (after much technical difficulites) for spicy greens, one of my favorite things to make cause it's easy, super healthy, super fast, super yummy and so hmmm.........SPICY.

Friday, October 10

The Ghetto Homeschooler  

(Please note that when I use the word ghetto I am only affirming the ultimate super cool things that we do in da hood, it's a very cool place to be)

Art Class: Circle'o'Beans
Materials: Construction Paper, Glue, Pinto Beans, Black Eyed Peas, Lentils
Squeeze a circle of glue on the construction paper. Put beans anywhere glue is on paper thus creating a circle of beans.
Objective: Hand Eye Coordination, Comprehending Circles, Sticky Fingers

Music Class: Rhythmic Beats
Materials: Glass and or Plastic Jars filled partially with beans, rice, corn, chopsticks, maracas, tambourines, tiny piano or any other basic noisemaker/instrument you might have in the house
Song selection: Donnie "Turn Around", Erykah Badu "I want you" Shake, bang, play your instrument of choice to the music. Try your hardest to listen to the music and catch or create a beat/rythm and play it to your hearts content. Improvise with words and movement.
Objective: Understanding that music is just about creating systematic patterns of beats, tones i.e. sound within specific chunks of time or as Wynton Marsalis more succintly stated "it is sound organized in time".

The 31st 

I'm really conflicted about whether or not I want us to get caught up in this
some folks say it's no big deal but since we're anti-candy anyway whats the point?
it is fun to get dressep up though
I need to read up on the history of it all first

you gotta have friends:part two 

so we did the playgroup thing yesterday i was so nervous im not good in group settings, fairly okay at one on one. but in groups i always fel like a freak of nature, geeky, akward, different.
but hello it's not about me right? it's about the bratty diva having some folks of her own to chill with and she was into it - for a minute. 5 mommys, 7 children (ages 9 months to 5 years), lots of toys, playdough, music, some chips, a little fruit. light conversation. no drama with the mommies no drama with the kids. it was cool. i don't want to get my hopes up but right now i'm commited to.......and a little excited about........going every week.

Thursday, October 9

Mini Movie Review 

Bringing Down the House with Queen Latifah and Steve Martin - lowbrow nonsense, white folks and black folks c**ning for laughs was an assault to my eyes there is a long winded fight scene between latifah and a skinny blonde character I guess it was suppost to to be funny because of the contrasting physical frames of the actresses but it was really the totally opposite of funny and Steve in homeboy gear slapping fives, popping and locking in da club sandwiched in between two of your atypical black homegirls, one very big one very small, not feeling the visual at all. Especially the 50 something year old stevie in skull cap and basketball jersey. Not only does it get zero black fists, it gets the middle finger. I tend to find the whole street smart hip black character being placed in the rich uptight white person's world and the rich uptight white person being placed in a position to act 'black' so damn stupid. Does any one remember BAPS, what a disaster
in fact not only was it an assault to my eyes it was an assault to all my senses of being. recently they tried again with Chris Rock in Head of State, which I might end up watching if it comes on cableand I adore Chris Rock but seeing all those crusty white folks running at the party just because chris says the roof is on fire is not funny to me. It's 2003 and the film industry has not been able to tell the "when worlds collide: type story in a smart way. besides from where I'm standing theres been such a tremendous blending of races and cultures that this story isn't even relative anymore, i know tons of upper crusty rich conservative black folks as well as tons of white folks who live, breathe and die for hip hop and all things urban.
why did I rent it you ask, I guess I thought the comic genius of Steve Martin and the fly girl flava of the Queen might have been enough to take it somewhere, I was SO WRONG. But then again what do I know it made over 80 million in two weeks

Wednesday, October 8

Friends, how many of us have them............? 

the only thing that concerns me about homeschooling is the lack of social interaction that's happening for my baby girl. it's quite minimal if she were in school she'd have friends automatically by default just like folks who work everyday tend to have friends by default unlike the stay at home mom who has to make an extra effort to not get sucked to the domestic mommy vortex............but thats another story
so far i haven't been able to get down with one of those homeschooling groups or a playgroup. it kinda sucks her not getting to interact with people her size, age and stature. she's learning everything at such a rapid rate, it's a little freaky sometimes it feels like she remembers everything, but social interaction is another very important aspect of development that children, people need to experience. to learn how to share, talk to, play alongside, coexist
right now she seems very conflicted when it comes down to hanging out with other children it gets very challenging for both of us so when little people do come by she's all super excited that they are there but is soooo super selfish with every single one of the toys we have in the house everything is "MINE" every other minute and then when folks break out she gets all sad because she doesn't want them to leave or better yet wants to leave with them (yea that makes mommy feel real good)
true it might be just becasue she's a selfish spoiled brat but i dont want to think about that scenario or maybe she's just posessive and doesnt want other kids touching her things - MY LEGGOS!
im not liking that option either she threw a horrible fit today when we got an unexpected visit from another toddler that lives in the building MAJOR MELTDOWN more so than ever
she usually has a very sweet and loving temperment i swear but
she's also used to playing alone, entertaining herself with leggos, clay, blocks, crayons, books, animals, she can sit for hours by herself with any of these things with some school house rock playing in the background or hanging with just mommy for some reading time or playtime or music time or art time - this is so fun but then when another child is added into the mix it can be DRAMA- i really want her to learn how to hang outand have a good time, i am totally psyched and pleased with her level of comprehension,speech, reasoning, and motor skills. thats all excellent, but you can't teach or learn social skills if you're not placed in a social setting
so we need to find a playgroup i found out about this one that meets tomorrow im nervous about going though i havent had sucess with playgroups in the past so im going with much hesitation actually im not sure if im going i really don't want to go
i should go for the sake of my baby girl i guess you gotta have friends besides your mama

i almost had a vegan week  

know it's only wednesday but i didnt make it over that hump im eating chicken teriyaki as we speak take out chicken teriyaki i might add unfortuantely it's not vey good i should be ashamed of myself im going to need to add some spices to it for it to make sense i wish i had some rice vinegar i had every intention of starting my seasonal raw foods fast this month in honor of autumn most likey ill start monday raw foods (salads, fruits,nuts) and fresh yummy juices and smoothies made with my favorite kitchen appliances my juicer and blender, carrot apple ginger, pineapple melon lemon, bananas berries, spinach beet carrot - i need to get tons of fresh produce for this
monday i made rice noodles, i sauteed garlic, bok choy, orange peppers,tomatoes, olive oil(should have been sesame), soy sauce, cooking wine, cayenne pepper, basil, pored this entity over rice noodles that i had mixed in chili oil AB FAB
tuesday ravioli stuffed with spicy tofu instead of cheese covered in a garlic and basil heavy marinara sauce this was aight i missed the cheese but my baby girl LOVED it i need to find ravioli that's stuffed with spinach but no cheese for her this would be the perfect meal for her
so see i had the healthy thing going for a minute

Tuesday, October 7

Interesting Cinema 

Movies I've seen recently with CRAZY moms who attempt to ruin their daughter's lives
1. White Oleander
2. Real Women have Curves

Movies I can't wait to see even though they will no doubt be violent and gratuitous
1. Kill Bill
2. Matrix:Revolutions
3. Wonderland

Movies I'd consider seeing if someone else paid
1. Gothika
2. Out of Time
3. Intolerable Cruelty
4. Matchstick Men


Movies I will have to see alone which is totally cool with me :)
1. Lost in Translation
2.Once Upon A time in Mexico

Movies I refuse to see
1. Good Boy
2. SeaBiscuit

Movie I'm taking my daughter to see ASAP
1. Whale Rider

Friday, October 3

ALICE WALKER GAVE ME A FLOWER 

.
Today my little buddy and I went to Barnard College for a Zora Neale HurstonConference, Alice Walkerwas the key note speaker. It was interesting hearing her speak but what was much more interesting for me at the moment was just being on a college campus - a place of higher learning. Smart preppie people with big books talking using big words. All so studious and serious, discussing theories and symbolism and policies and structures and societies and movements and cultures. It's been a minute since I've been around people who are just about getting their learning on. All the scebarios came flashing back, running from class to class, adding and dropping courses, dealing with advisors, professors, the registrar, the bursar all that hectic shit just to get that special piece of paper. That paper that says hey I know some shit you know how I know cause I studied it, read books on it, wrote papers on it, had lengthy discussions on it. That paper is your proof that you know that shit. I hated the idea of it when I was in it but I envy those folks now. Lucky bastards they get to learn shit all day.
I want to go back to school.
Thinking about taking classes online although being in the classroom is really what I enjoy (but where's the baby go when I'm in class) I want to LEARN some new things, maybe get a masters degree in the study of HUH. I feel like my brain has been on pause since the day I got pregnant. I just need to decide what I want to study so many things interest me, African history media studies, architecture, religion. There has to be a way I can connect it all.
But back to Alice after her speech on Zora, there was a funfilled reception with spicy vergetable samosas(YUM), coconut chicken, mini quesadillas, pita bread, hummus, the dessert tray had brownies, lemon squares, cookies, canolis. There was red and white wine which I could not have because I was driving with my little one and I have the tolerance of an ant. Regardless, it was quite a spread, very fancy and delicious. Me being the ghetto hustler that I am I took my hats with me and set up shop with a small table a couple of feet away from where Alice was signing her books for people. I put my wares on display, feeling slightly nervous cause it was obviously not that kind of vibe. I prepared myself for the possibility of getting royally booted on our arses for soliciting.
All of a sudden Alice the Great got up and started walking around with a beautiful glass bowl filled with cut gardenias. Such a pretty picture I think they're called gardenias, the flowers that Billie Holiday used to wear in her hair. She was walking around handing them out to certain people. I'm not sure how she picked who got one and who didn't. There were so many people there. My heart was beating so fast because I WANTED one, I love flowers! I have never seen a gardenia outside of the Billie photos. She had one left, she walked towards me, took that last one out and handed it to me. "here" she said, quite unceremoniously I might add - but that didn't matter It's amazing how that one word and small gesture meant so much to me. Symbolized so much I'm looking at it as a good luck omen, she is one of the people who has inspired me as an artist and helped me to understand the power of words and self expression. Books like "The Color Purple",
"TThe Temple of My familiar , "possessing the Secret of Joy "I read them so long ago My spirit was SO OPEN when I look on that time now it feels like a past life - before baby, before stress, before shattered dreams, before feeling betrayed and beat down. I read her books over and over again because I was SO open to the possibilities of whatever. I also had a thing for her because we are both Aquarians, supposedly late bloomers. Somehow I've become jaded and quite cynical, a little cold and closed not as loving as I would like to be
................................Anyways her giving me her that flower reminded me of a part of me that I have not paid attention to in years. Although it might have meant nothing at all to her, it was a grand moment for me.
But since I read into everything and think there are no coincidences and everything happens for a reason I am filled with some hope for the first time in a long time and I actually felt my spirit open up a little.
Oh and I sold a hat!, and not one meltdowns from the bratty diva during the entire event. She was on her best behaviour.
synopsis :october starting off on a real good note.

Thursday, October 2

I have a confession to make. I have a weak and very shallow side (hangs head in shame). That being said a friend just graced me with the Vogue magazine issues for September (Nicole Kidman Cover) and October (Gwyneth Paltrow cover). I'm about to sink my superficial teeth into over 900 pages, (no joke the September one is over 800 on its own) of blank staring emaciated looking chicks in overpriced potentially slave labor made merchandise . ALL of this shit is so FAR removed from my reality, it really doesn't make any sense. Why would a nappy headed, thick bodied financially challenged brown skinned girl get amped over such nonsense. Goddess only knows.
The women in these mags are usually super pale, super thin and super w......well you know the rest. I mean look whose on the cover of both issues. The top two women on my list of the most bland and boring, really I mean come on "dry like toast"
For some reason the fashion industry insists on feeding society this nonsense about this being a real standard of beauty. Not feeling that at all. So I'm wrestling with some issues. I used to buy fashion magazines all the time, it became a real problem. I began to realize that they were a waste of money, they all suck and they are just plain offensive to me, anyone that looks like me and pretty much all women in general. Divas like me don't even exist in their world, not even a little bit. Yea, wrestling with some issues because on the other hand drum roll please........I am a fashion whore. I love looking at clothes, shoes, handbags, jewelry, lingerie, just fucking things..........it's not a game. I get excited, overwhelmed and inspired. Sparkly, soft, bright, sparse, colorful, pretty, sexy, warm, sleek, dramatic THINGS. Sigh. Like this for instance I could easily get caught up in this skirt . I will be making one for myself once I have some spare crafting time.
I can also picture myself working these heels .
And then I also end up just being mesmirized by contraptions like this . It's all so damn trivial and shallow and dumb.
I wouldn't have to feel guilty about any of it if the women didn't look like they were all starving to death and if the clothes didn't cost so much damn money. And if these friggin magazine pictures weren't often gratuitous and objectifying. Ugh!
Is there a chance that there might be some kind of revolution within the beauty and fashion industries, some kind of shift in thinking which results in presenting women of all shapes, textures and hues as DE-LOVELY. Have these fly honeys showing me the 'prettiest cocktail dresses, the sleekest suits, the hottest trends for spring, winter, fall'l...whatever.
What exactly would it take to cause the whole thing to just be revamped, make folks say, hmmm maybe we need to rethink this whole only skinny white girls are beautiful thing. There wouldn't need to be any overtly grand statements made they could just start out slowly with some size 10 models hee hee in fashion spreads, fashion shows then a gradual sprinkling of sizes 8, 12, 14, 16 an on and on and on until we see all kinds of chicks in fly shit everywhere we look and it's shocking, unique or different just plain normal
Meanwhile I'll take the next couple of minutes to ignore the fact that I know better and check out the '26 accessories to wake up your wardrobe' I need help but just in case you happen to be as shallow as me check out two of my favoritetres chic designers.


Monday, September 29

BRAGGING RIGHTS 

So it looks like the homeschool lessons are working!!
Animals
We've spent the past six months focusing on animals mostly with books and the monthly trips to the Bronx Zoo . This place is so awesome and the animals are beautiful. It's huge and they have donation admission costs on Wednesdays. This means we get to see tigers, elephants, monkeys, polar bears, and on and on for a dollar or less if momma's feeling broke. On other days I think it's eleven or twelve and children over two have to pay full price! We spend hours there looking at animals, naming them and then attempting to make the noises that they make. This is always hilarious. Of course I have some mixed feelings around the whole zoo thing, animals being in captivity and not being in their natural element. But I pacify myself by acknowledging that this particualr zoo has a lot of endangered creatures up in it and technically they have no cages. The designers of the zoo have tried their best to make it look like the animals are in their natural habitat, so you feel like you are stepping into their world instead of feeling like they have been taken out of their world and placed in yours. I know it's still a zoo though and I try to make sure she knows that too. She was actually very scared the first time we went, seeing all the animals up close freaked her out. Now she talks about going to the zoo all the time even in her sleep. It's important to me that she have a real respect for all living things so I'm hoping that by paying so much attention to animals now will instill that in her in some kind of way. I know she loves any book, TV show, or song involving animals. Her favorite thing to do during animal time is roar like a tiger, it's very cute.
Shapes
This is a challenging area for me not sure why. This book has helped a little bit, it's got nice graphics and it rhymes which is always a plus. I've been trying to come up with creative and interesting ways to teach her the definitions and differences. I was thinking it was important or her to be able to draw them too but I'm focusing more on recognition for now. We were stuck for a minute on the circle, now we've graduated and moved on to the triangle which I know will take some time as well.
Letters
We go through the alphabet almost everyday I got these awesome alphabet cards from Bank Street Bookstore this is one of the best places in NYC to get books and other various childrens learning tools. They are big glossy cards with uppercase and lowercase letters with an animal of that letter doing something that applies to the letter. They're so cool. Like the Dd is a dog working as a detective, the Ii is an iguana ice skating, the Ww is a worm pulling a wagon filled with walnuts. She's starting to recognize a couple of letters, we focus on one a day and look through the house finding things that start with that letter or doing thinks that begin with that letter. This is also a very slow process but the freshest thing is that she can sing the ABC song pretty clearly!! I would really like to be able to explain to her why the letters are in the order they are in but I havent figured that out yet. This bookmight help although the reviews of it are not very favorable.
Numbers
The icing on the cake she can count to four!! I made her a sandwich the other day cut it into four squares and gave her the plate, she pointed at each individual piece and said "1, 2, 3, 4" WHOAH! It was a real moment. I had a whole night of continuos mommy pride and really overdosed on the kisses and hugs.
Anatomy
I made up a body parts song that pretty much covers the body from head to toe, we dance to music, singing it and holding onto or wiggling that body part if possible. I feel very silly doing it over and over and over again with the same level of excitement. This is the physically tiring lesson. She always wants a repeat performance of this one
Music
If I had to guess I would say her favorite thing is music 'class', she's got tons of little instruments so I'll put on some Donnie, Erykah, Old School Soul. We each pick one, tambourine, maracas, drums whatever and we both try our best to catch a beat or duplicate a beat. I think she likes this because she get to be really LOUD. She not only catches a beat but she sings along with much emotionand manages to get in some booty shaking. This is a real performance, that is priceless not sure how she figured out the whole singing in the fake microphone thing.
Arts and Crafts
So far this has been coloring with markers and crayons and doing silly things with clay. I need to get glue, childs scissors, fingerpaint so we can really get busy. Since it's been so windy, I'm thinking maybe we can make kites and then go fly them in the park. I also want to get some cheap pasta noodles, paint them and string them on yarn, faux jewelry. I know this will be a big hit because homegirl loves jewelry, specially if its sparkly which just requires me getting some glitter. We will be making playdough very soon, probably only two colors to start.
Extra Credit
I went looking for more books on tape for her she knows "The Cat in the Hat" by heart already it took less than a month. At any minute of the day she'll just start reciting lines from the book, 'a game that I call up up up with a fish' I reall wish I could retain information this easily, she is a human sponge. Instead of another book on tape I ended up getting The Schoolhouse Rock Compilation on DVD, all 46 songs from that same Bank street store, we've been jamming to 'em ever since....."Conjuction Junction whats your function, function?...Verb that's whats happening.....unpack your adjectives...three that's the magic number.......Interjections show excitement, or emotions.....". I'm very proud of this purchase. I can't tell you whose enjoying this more me, her or her dad, but it's been in heavy rotation since it got here. It's very comical. The old school animation is so refreshing, the songs are funky, and I'm relearning basic grammar and multiplication rules as a result. I'm not feeling the Pilgrim, US history songs regarding the pilgrims and the american revolution though, thank goodness for that trusty fast forward button Lolly, lolly, lolly get your adverbs here..... thats the jam.
If anyone has suggestions or ideas for more lessons/projects that we can do, don't be shy holla at me

I'm so annoyed I just finished writing a perfectly incohesive barely readable post on why I find blogs so doggone fascinating, very strange but oh so comforting at the same time. Just when I felt it was trife enough to post I clicked the wrong button and it vanished. Dammit. I hate when that happens especially since crazy as it sounds, I actually don't like writing anything especially if its supposted to make to make sense but hey one of the many beauties in this land of Blogolia is that posts dont have to actually make sense, right? Anyways I'm going to attempt on rewriting it again, so here we have

WHAT IS THAT ABOUT? (2nd draft)
Recently and once again I have become entranced by this area of the world, the world of blogs. I fell into a vortex, an internet keyhole if you will and have had hours pass. The amount of time I have spent reading blogs is INSANE, these past couple of days have really been out of hand. Political Blogs, Mama Blogs, Music Blogs, Crafty Blogs, Race Blogs and on and on and on. I hold on to that mouse for dear life and clickety click myself into a frenzy, look up and hours have gone by - not good. I find it so strange because there is something very distinct about a persons who is willing to record their life experiences, viewpoints, emotional mishaps, mental musings, opinions, rants for all the world to read, analyze and respond to...........WHAT IS THAT ABOUT?!?
People are tired, hypercritical, angry, self-obsessed, anal retentive, frustrated, stubborn, vulnerable, and pretty much just plain looney. This is the comforting part, since I feel slightly looney almost 100% of the time. Taking a trip inside the heads sometimes even hearts of the the next random human is affirming in a way. {Note to self: Rent Being John Malkovich ASAP} Bloggers often times invite faceless strangers into the machinations of ther brain, a mental trip into the mind of me and with the very brave going beyond the cerebral. Folks get real deep and personal around here, don't they?
And the joy that you get out of seeing a comment on something you've written or being added as a link to someone else's page. The power of a couple of words from a mysterious place compiled on your computer screen validating your existence, altogether now .......you are not alone, i am here with you......or maybe it's just me and no one else gives a sh*t I just can't believe that's true (face in a grimace)
I havent read any of the articles or essays on the sociological implications behind blogging - I'm sure there are many, I wonder what the great media and society analyst Marhsall McLuhan would say about this place - Blogolia. He's the one that coined one of my favorite terms the GLOBAL VILLAGE, in where because of the advancement of mass media we are being led down to a place where there are no barriers of space and time in human communication. So now I am a full fledged citizen of Blogolia and loving it but trying to not get too overwhelmed and ahem, sprung. I would love to hear other folks opinions and or reasons as to why they blog and what they think it means about their personality/character.

I have several ideas for what I want to do with this page but my HTML skills are very primitive. Eventually I want to have a link to a page featuring all my completed craft projects, the crochet stuff, the knitt stuff, the home improvement and design projects, the sewing stuff, bla bla bla then maybe I could make some money and not feel so guilty about being online for hours and then I would like to have a link to a recipes page categorized, vegan or non, desssert, kid friendly, I would love to have music playing I discovered that on someones page - tres cool.

Creativity Class
Because redhead dread mentioned this book in a recent post
and then
because it came up spontaneously in conversation with TWO totally different people, TWICE (superstition)
and
because it's been lounging on my bookcase for the past five years
and
because I have been feeling very blocked, clueless, unchallenged, kind of stifled the creative me has been very sedentary, lethargic, atrophy is slowly but surely taking place- she needs a workout
and
because I didnt finish the book the first time around , I barely made it halfway through, shame on me
I'm spying all these various occurences and seeing them combined into one big nudge at making another attempt at doing the various creativity exercises in the book, so I'm starting it over from Chapter 1.
I'm determined to finish it this time. Character Flaw Alert: I'm the kind of fool that gets really caught up and gungho about something, Little Ms. Enthusiasm but never follows through completely. I am determined to do it this time though so here goes. I need some self imposed creativity training in my life right now, I spend a lot of my days doing the most boring, monotonous tasks, washing dishes, changing diapers, sorting, mopping, folding, cooking, putting toys away, arranging, putting out the trash, paying bills, organizing our lives most leisurely and creative activities rotate around the little one, which makes for a very bored and slightly resentful mommy. The crafty stuff doesnt happen as much as it used to and when it does it's more financially driven than anything else so I can't count that anymore. I'm hoping doing the ENTIRE book will take me down a much needed road of self discovery.

Friday, September 26

SOUNDTRACK 

A friend of mine came over two days ago to cook brunch and play Erykah Badu's new CD "Worldwide Underground" for me (did you get it yet?) - I just discovered while putting my other CD's away that she left it here by mistake!! So guess what my ears are falling in love with right now. I really dont think I can give a real objective album review on this one, firstly because she is on her way to get it back very soon, secondly my ears are too overwhelmed with joy for me to even make sense. I can't be objective I've always had a soft spot for Erykah ever since I saw her burning incense in her then tradmark sky high headwraps at SOB's in NYC. This was over five maybe even six years ago. I might attempt to write something about it later the album's feel, influence, point, significance, blablabla, - share my own little humble opinion. For now I can do nothing but let this sassy homegirl rock my world - once again she has provided me to a perfect soundtrack for my life right now just as she did before with her first album "Baduizm". (And Lauryn Hill with the "Miseducation.... and Jill Scott with "Who is...?"" There is something about a soul sisters singing that makes me feel like I'm being hugged. I will say I give it FOUR BLACK FISTS, it is is destined to be on a lot of people's top ten lists of favorite albums of all time. Gosta have it!

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