Friday, March 31, 2006


Brunsli says the Soft Spikes lady wants before and after photos for her site. Well, I've been busy all week procrastinating so I'm just getting around to doing it.
I thought about going au naturel...but nobody said I had I put on some makeup...
I should have after pictures tomorrow. I'm going to touch up the color too...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Big Picture--The Politics of Hair

The Village Voice has a fascinating story about the international hair trade.
Many of us know all about some French Refined, Wet and Wavy. Check it out. The decisions we make about our hairstyles can have some very far-reaching economic and political implications. I'm not saying that should necessarily affect anyone's decisions, but it is fodder for thought.
Like all the other products we use, if we are buying hair, we should give some thought to where it came from and how it got our market.
Toward the end of my hair-wearing days, I was using mostly synthetic products--Viva Kanekalon--but I have purchased lots of human hair products. On wefts or in bundles, the trade of hair is a booming business. In the last five to ten years, I notice the market is accomodating an increasing range of hair textures. When I was in college, most of the product was "European" ranging from extremely straight to moderately wavy. Now there are kinky textures available to accomodate afrocentric styles like twists and afros. When I first got SLs, I found a faux lock fall made with kinky-textured synthetic hair and thought how much things had changed. Whereas the intial assumption was that women wanted to conform to a standard of straight, eurocentric styles, now the market has clearly received the message that many women want to preserve, enhance, or even mimic other ethnic looks as well.
In my college days, the scrutiny was directed toward discerning yak-synthetic hair- mixed into your human hair bundle, now consumers need to be aware of the process by which their hair was harvested and processed, even its place of origin.
Different components of the trade are establishing themselves in Asia--China and India-- and Africa, but North America--specifically the US is the largest consumer--over 70%.
Another change is the increasing market amongst white women--I saw yesterday Jessica Simpson may endorse a hair extension line. Who saw that coming? Not me...
Of course as the production and manufacture of hair products increases, we will see an increasing attention on hair care providers. Today I learned about a Chinese-Trinidadian weave master- Clem Lue Yat -he grew up and worked largely with women of color...But as the market begins to target white women, I wonder how it will affect salon and stylist culture. I already have seen methods of weaving that attempt to bypass braiding, I predict even more strange developments...
On a related note, I had a fascinating discussion with the head of the American Hairbraiders and Natural Hair Care Association...I'll blog about that very soon.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


I found my jump drive undamaged and was pleased that among the images on it was this one from my best friend's daughter's Muslim blessing. She is a delightful toddler now. This is one of my favorite pictures...not just because I took it, but because it really captures the spirit of that day.

I'm Trying to Do Better...

The truth is I just need some help. I look at other people's blogs--with multiple images and fancy hot links and --as the song goes--all I can do is sigh...
I can't get my AdSense to work. I've been trying since I set up last January (2005, mind you) to get a picture on my profile.
I consider myself a reasonably intelligent human being, with above average reading comprehension and problem solving skills. But I cannot make my blog do what it do...or even what I want it to do.
So, Help!!!!
If you give me some simple tips for posting multiple pictures for starters and how to post pictures from other sites, I'd really appreciate it I only have until Monday to get it together.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Changes Afoot!

OK...Just to show I mean business, I wasted-- I mean spent-- all morning when I could have been working setting up a new blog. As of next Monday, I will put all my personal-share-with-friends-stuff there and I will blog only about Sisterlocks-related stuff here. So we'll see how that goes, how often I post whatever. If you'd like to continue on with my silliness just let me know and I'll give you the other address.
All the old stuff will be here in the archive...but from now on if you're wondering about my cats or Katrina or if I feel fat...well, you'll just have to go over there.
At least I thin that's how it'll work. This is all sketchy right now...

Morning Call

So this morning, I am trying to figure out what is going to become of this week. Already I am remembering what it is like to share a house with two wacky cats. Yesterday they slept peacefully but these two seem to know it's Monday. They have been up spreading premature sunshine all morning. Now I don't know about you, but those last ninety minutes before I wake up are when I do my best work...real quality resting. Not this morning! Nairobi wanted breakfast at six! The litter box needed cleaning and when I got to the kitchen, I saw the little rugrats had pushed open my grandmother's bedroom door to give her some love too! I fed them and them the little noisemakers jingled their bells around downstairs while I tried to go back to sleep. There are two cures for this behavior...1) I will have to get them a pet feeder...I feel neglectful for about a minute whenever I set up a feeder for them...but I get over it. Why shouldn't they feed themselves? Especially if they want to eat at the crack of daylight! 2) This seems cruel and takes awhile to sink into their little cat brains, but you have to wake them up during their afternoon naps. It sounds cruel but if you've been awakened by a yawrling cat, you actually figure they have it coming. I used to actually wake Sam up and put him on his feet in the afternoons, otherwise he'd run laps while I was trying to sleep. It is essential that your cats understand and respect your waking hours.
I can't believe they didn't spare my grandmother. She claims they broke in and got in her bed yesterday too! Little rugrats...if they didn't mean well, you couldn't stand them. But they run from place to place, saying hello, joining people in bed...and you just can't stay mad at them. But you can wake them up...

Sunday, March 26, 2006

50% Photogenic...

So I added a picture of Sam and Nairobi to the end of the last post but I can't seem to get it in...this also marks the beginning of my heartfelt intention to begin regularly--as opposed to intermittently illustrating this blog. One reason I haven't is my technical fumblings. I often can't get things to work as I intend.
The other that bears further exploration, for a variety of reasons, is that I am convinced I am only 50% photogenic at best. From the fuzzy BPM photo, to candids, to driver's license photos, my pictures are either decent or unpresentable. And I have been so self-conscious about my photos (all in the unpresentable category IMO) that I haven't been posting any though I now have a digital camera as well as my Treo on hand.
I am going to take a deep breath and get over that. I am not going to grow a chin and hopefully the peels will improve my complexion, but beyond that, this is my face and I need to accept it.
I notice on the self-deprecating remarks on other people's blogs too. Why are we so hard on ourselves? I think you all are Cutie Pies ala Mode. Sometimes y'all look a little rough around the edges (smile), but always beautiful. I think we need to collectively get over it and accept the fact that we are devastatingly gorgeous and just live with it. Even on a bad day, we are definitely ready for our close ups...and as soon as I put on some makeup, I'll post mine...

Big Things Are Going Down

So I teased a few days ago about the return of Sam and Nairobi. Brunsli has Cello and Chicco-- and they are adorable...but they are dogs. I have an alternative for you.
After a six month separation...I have finally been reunited with my two cats.
When I last saw them, it was about 36 hours before Katrina hit. I made the difficult decision to leave them at home. Not because I don't love them or even because I didn't want to take them...I left them because Sam hates to ride in the car. I figured the stress of the car trip and then being cooped in a motel room for a couple of days would be worse then being home alone together. Little did I know that they would be stranded in the middle of Category 4 hurricane in a house that took on about eight feet of water. They were rescued from the house on or about September 29, a month later, when we still weren't allowed to go back. And that is where the story could have ended...
Since we got to Virginia, I have been scouring PetFinder, working with the Humane Society and a group called Best Friends, trying, trying to find my cats. I have looked at more mug shots of lost kitties than you would ever want to see. All heart-breaking and fruitless...
It was at the six month mark of our stay here that I said a little prayer that if it was God's will I never see my cats again, that they were safe and sound in a new home. And just like that...there was an email from a stranger.
Now usually I delete strange emails...they could be viruses at worst and usually they are Viagra ads...but this one...
It was a woman who swore she had Sam and Nairobi. She sent her cell number. I was intrigued, but cautious. When I got her on the phone, I couldn't believe what she had to say...
She had two black cats since October. Her friends went down to New Orleans to do animal search-and-rescue and saw two black cats together in a carrier and brought them directly to her. She KNEW they were mine because one had a rhinestone collar with her phone number and even more in their carrier was their vaccination records with their names and MINE.
Now I don't know who you pray to, but that sounded DIVINE to me. She emailed me a photo of a collar with a cracked bell that I knew belonged to Nairobi.
Since then, I have been secretly excited that I was getting my cats back. The woman-- Robyn-- and I exchanged emails about their behavior--naughty--and how we were going to get them from Michigan(!) to Virginia. Just when I had gotten through to Best Friends--who are donating resources to reunite people with their pets...How wonderful!--Robyn calls to say that the women who rescued Sam and Nairobi INSIST on bringing them back to me themselves! They all work at a veterinary hospital in Michigan and they wanted to see their efforts through to a happy ending. So I started talking with a live wire, young lady named Rachael...they decided to drive straight here and straight back to drop off my kitties and a chihuahua named Girl to a man from New Orleans.
So I was worried...Were they really mine? Would they remember me? Would they be angry that I left them alone? Did they have traumatic effects? Had they adjusted OK? Would they adjust to being here? Is it OK to have them here? Now what? Sigh...I'm good at worrying.
So after lots of calls...they are here.
They seem to recognize me and Mom and Gram, but they are really confused about the house.
But I know they'll be OK, because last night they got in bed with me and hogged the mattress. Just like old times...I have to get a king-sized again...
So I guess all's well that ends well...

Friday, March 24, 2006


OK...Gearing up to my Sisterlocks class, I said I'd clear the cobwebs. Tonight/this morning, I am having a mini anxiety attack, personal crisis, whatever. I am taking deep breaths, I cannot sleep, I am freaking out...
I was going to go into the details of what triggered this panic, but that really isn't the point. The thing is, I've felt this way before and I don't know what to do about it. For maybe the past four years, I have been experiencing these spells of I-don't-even-know-what feeling. It's like terror, fear, panic, nausea, hesitance all rolled into one. And when I feel it I don't know whether to forge ahead, recoil, freeze, double over.
It can last for a few hours...
I'm scared I'm going to allow this to start influencing my decision-making. And if I do, I'm not sure I should ignore it or listen to it.
I don't know if this is 'normal.' I have no point of reference. I've been afraid to describe this to anyone else and afraid not to...As I type, my chest is completely tight and I have to make a deliberate effort to fill my lungs with air. I just couldn't imagine falling asleep, so I got up to blog.
I just wanted to get this out...Maybe when I see it posted it will give me some perspective on how I'm feeling and what I should do next.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A Few Random Thoughts...

So I was kneeling over a bowl of vinegar yesterday and either the fumes or the tilt jogged some thoughts loose. When I got the email from Brunsli I had to comment. Isn't it weird that you can find a group of people online and discover a sense of community with them? I mean what are the chances that I would be getting my peels when Brunsli is about to blog about medspas?
What are the chances that I would visit BlaqKofi's blog and she'd be writing about the very haircolor I use?

So I am trying to drag my lazy butt back onto the health addition to the fish oil capsules I have been taking, I got a bottle for straight slugging. Sounds gross, but I'm not going to ingest enough via capsule. I've gotten conflicting advice regarding the benefits of flaxseed oil (plant-based) vs. fish oil. I went with the fish oil. So I'm loading up. I first started taking it last spring when I had the auto-immune tests. Fish oil is highly recommended for its anti-inflammatory properties and its great for skin and it allegedly helps with PMS. So I should probably have a fish oil IV drip.

I am also secretly drinking apple cider vinegar. Secretly meaning I am blogging about it, but can not confess to my parents. My father is addicted to the stuff and I have teased him mercilessly about it. Not that I don't believe its beneficial, but he takes it way too far. He would soak in it to soothe his skin. The bathroom smelled like a hot salad! My mother would use it to clean pots, furniture, whatever. There were literally gallon bottles of the stuff in the kitchen and the bathroom. So I can't tell either of them because they would think they had pulled me over to the dark side.

Drinking diluted, unfiltered, raw apple cider vinegar supposedly aids digestion. One website claims if you drink it twice a day for a week, it will kill internal parasites...I promise I won't share any stories about that. There are sites that claim it will aim with weight my dreams! If it does anything, I'll be impressed. My only concern is that I can't resolve whether it exacerbates or aids internal yeast levels. I have a sneaking suspicion I may have a yeast imbalance. But I don't know what to do about it. I can't imagine following the strict diet recommended for yeast/candida problems. No corn! No wine! Yipes! For thirty days or more! Yipes! I had been loading acidophilous tabs, but I don't think that works. I had been eating yogurt, but I'm nt a dairy girl. Even though yogurt is less irritating, I'm just antsy about it eating it. If you know lactose, you know why...Silk makes a 'yogurt' product and drink with acidophilous...So basically I am ramping back up to the healthy changes I had made in my diet last summer when...well you know.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Confession: I am...

a shameless consumer! I am a label conscious, trend spotting, vain glorious, eccentric/eclectic, spendthrift! Which makes for some fun, unusual excursions.
Since I have the excuse of replacing all my clothing, I have had the opportunity to re-observe myself in the shopping wild. I am a twisted miss!
My latest conquests were from Target. I buy a large parcel of my summer clothing from Target. This has been my way since I went to graduate school in Los Angeles and discovered I could ride the Blue Bus to Culver City and return with bargains galore. There were no Targets in Rhode Island while I was there, but I didn't have any I wore what I had already bought and dreamed about Target. When I got to Memphis, I picked up where I left off and even increased my habit to other seasons. I can say honestly that some of my favorite clothes, now lost were from Target.
When Isaac Mizrahi started designing for them...let's just say there were a couple of mornings I was outside when Target opened.
I juxtapose that with my new penchant, rack roving at Loehmann's. I had heard of them. But I never lived near one. I have bought all kinds of things there. And I LOVE H&M! Though I am near the end of their demographic...sigh. I saved my H&M suits. They are actually worth altering...
I am a MAC Addict! Nuff said.
I wear both Angel and Alien. God Bless Thierry Mugler!
I go to DSW more than I go to church. And for my ministrations, I got a pair of Prada platforms 80% off. I have no idea when I will get to wear them. But I got them. I'm sure I have something from Target to wear them with...
I have convinced the MedSpa to give me a better price on my peels. Yet I soaked my head today in half a bottle of apple cider vinegar from Dollar General.
When I first got here, my purchases were conservative...Lots of feminine, classic-cut suits. Still not corporate...definitely in danger of being inappropriate at any moment. But demure enough that an interviewer couldn't immediately tell I would be a troublemaker. The suit I wore for a second interview at a very large, very conservative firm, for example, was paired with a black cashmere sweater (from Target!), black pearl studs, Naturalizer pumps...but it (the suit) was lavender(!) in October(!)....The interviewer was openly intrigued, but she couldn't quite articulate my transgression. I'm sure it never occurred to her that half my outfit was from Target...that I would be so brazen as to inquire about a management position thusly attired. But perhaps that's why I wasn't
Is this unusual? This juxtaposition of high and low...this sartorial mismatch...
Friday we're going to the Leesburg Outlets!

Jean, Secret Saboteur

My mother, who appears to be a nice, demure lady, is anything but. In fact, my mother is a secret saboteur. She would never admit it, but I can draw no other conclusion about a woman who approaches me at 11:15AM with a box full of chocolate-covered brownies. This is the same little trickster who bought me a girdle for Christmas --she called it a smoother, but I'm not stupid. I'm on to her...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Cats are out of the Bag!

I was waiting patiently to write about this Saturday but Sam and Nairobi are already famous.Yay!

Some things on my mind...

You know, Dr. Phil is kind of a pain in the butt. I watch him and all, but really. He's kind of obnoxious.
And why do men lie about their height? Do they think no one will notice if they do? Is it wishful approximation?
It's 3PM and I still haven't washed my hair. I'm having one of those.
And they still won't sell me my book. I could have ordered it off Amazon...But now I have a coupon for it, so I guess I'll wait.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Book Lover....

I lost thousands of books.
It seems weird to type that. But I assure you its true. I owned and lost thousands of books.
Almost two hours ago, I got a bee in my bonnet about Colson Whitehead's Apex Hides the Hurt. So I jumped in my car and drove to Borders. They would neither confirm nor deny that it would be released tomorrow and they would not put a hold on a copy for me until it had, in fact, been put on the floor.
I've been to bookstores quite a few times these past six months. But tonight I was actually excited about getting a book. I was thinking I would replace my favorite novel (well, one of them) Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man. But I want to buy them together. If you're familiar with Ellison and Whitehead, you'll know why.
So instead, I bought another paperback copy of Sula. I still hold out hope that Toni Morrison will replace my autographed set. I left her a note the last time I drove through Princeton. Perhaps I should follow up with a letter of appeal. But I definitely wanted to have that book back.
I have carted books from New Jersey to Rhode Island to Tennessee to Louisiana. As I child, I always wondered why my grandparents didn't have any books. They had lost them because of Betsy and now I too have lost mine. I also lost my childhood books...from Little Golden Book titles on that were packed in our attic.
Books have always held a special place in my life. Some I read over and over, some I had never read, some were rare, some were trashy...but all of them connected me to a different time or place, a different aspect of myself, a hope, aspiration or realization.
Many of the books I can never replace. I think specifically of my catalog from the Whitney Museum show called Black Male. Even when I got it, they were in short supply. I hardly handled it, not wanting any harm to come to its glossy pages. So too my copy of a book called The Black Book, edited by Toni Morrison when she was an editor at Random House. Others will just be a pain to track down like my collection of 1890s African American literature, my coffee table books of Kara Walker's art...
But now I have Sula back...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Changing Directions...

There are a few topics that are always at the forefront of my mind and some of them actually get blogged about. And even though it seems I start, then drop, topics in my blog, I keep a tally of all the themes, topics,and tidbits I've introduced. A short while ago, I lamented again that my blog seemed to be having an identity crisis yet again. So I have made a decision. I am going to clear the cobwebs out of my head as I lead into the Sisterlocks Consultant class in April and then I am going to shift the focus of my blog to talking about my hair and its context.
That means I'll still write about all the crazy tangents I usually do, but I will take great pains to write from the perspective of sharing more about my Sisterlocks journey.
The first cobweb...Katrina. I haven't mentioned her name on this page for awhile. It seems almost redundant. My daily life is a reminder of how my life and family has changed by this natural disaster. My parents are separated (physically, not emotionally) and we are all 'homeless' because of it. But we are also knitted stronger together and defiant in its face. We are taking everything thrown our way and making the best of it. No storm will toss us off our course.
Two members of my family that I haven't mentioned in awhile are also due a mention. My cats, Sam and Nairobi.
I had to make the painful, and very difficult decision to leave them behind when I evacuated early Sunday morning before the hurricane. It was not an easy decision to make at the time and these months without them have been very hard. Some people see their pets as people, but we celebrate ours for their cattiness. And they have been sorely missed as a source of amusement, annoyance, and affection in our daily lives. After six months of being without them, I became resigned to the possibility I would never see them again.
Apparently that is not how the story is meant to end! If all goes well, I will fill in all the developments with Sam and Nairobi next Saturday! With pictures. I love a teaser!
I already shared, I believe, that I have decided not to look for full-time employment until my parents are reunited. I am spending my days helping care for my grandmother. If future employers have a problem with that....well then I wouldn't want to work for them anyway. My grandmother (and late grandfather) took care of me with such affection and selflessness, that there is nothing anyone could say or do to deny me the opportunity to reciprocate. My full-time job and first responsibility now is helping my family. In the meantime, I am exploring my new environs, making new connections and, hopefully, building a network for the future. A future that I will live on my own terms rather than those of others.
Which reminds me of FEMA...Oh how I rue talking to them. But I am due to call them and their more pleasant counterparts at SBA.
Today I am in the house, beholding what my peel Thursday hath wrought!
I really like the aesthetician at the medspa and the ambiance and the whole ladies-who-lunch vibe of the drive there. But, and I welcome input becuase it seems like a no-brainer to me, I found a dermatologist's office right here in Warrenton that does the same peel for a LOT less. Over the course of the five recommended peels I would save almost half the money. Can you comparison shop medspas? I've been trying to reach my sales associate to offer them the opportunity to match the other places price. Is that faux pas? I was going to give her the clinic's number so she could verify the price difference. Is that tipping the new place off to raise their prices? Sigh. I am pretty sure it is EXACTLY the same peel. The derm's office is no medspa, but it would be doctor-supervised. It's hard for me not to go with the price leader here. Any feedback?
Once the sun goes down, I'm headed to the supermarket. I hate sunscreen--it leaves this nasty metallic sheen on my face. I'd appreciate recommendations for product that don't do that.
Sigh...Ok enough rambling for now.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Dude, I got a Dell!

Since I started this blog, I 've had intemittent trouble gaing internet access to post. This latest dry spell was caused by hardware trouble. I wrote about taking my computer to a man named Gomer Pyle for service...but the prognosis was bleak and it seemed foolhardy to continue with a computer that was no longer spry enough for my journey.
So I have a new laptop! Strictly speaking it's my first PC. I got my other two PC-based laptops from Anna--it's in the mold somewhere!-- and the last one from The Derrick--bought refurbished, now with a damaged systems board. But this one gleamed right out the packing container.
What did I do while I was out? I enrolled in the April Sisterlock Consultant class in Newark.
And today I went to Reveal MedSpa for a chemical peel. This one was different than the beta peel I had mixed results with a few years ago. But for the gauze pads, I didn't feel a thing. I should experience shedding this weekend. I'm prepared to stay in if necessary. They recommended a series of five, and I was very near paying for the package...but I thought I could do better. I did. I found a dermatologist here in Warrenton that charges signifcantly less. So if I like the results I'll get the rest there.
Why get the chemical peel? Especially when I had mixed results last time...1) I feel like I'm at the age where I need to take care with my appearance 2) I always wanted an improved complexion but wasn't happy with the options available 3) I feel like I'm in a space of overall improvement and general upgrade.

Monday, March 06, 2006

And the Oscar goes to...

"It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp" by Three Six Mafia....

Just letting that sink in....I would have blogged this immediately but I was in New York City. So on the drive back I've had time to process. But really, that's the only thing I remember about the telecast.

My immediate reaction was, as Queen Latifah seemed to channel, WTF! My next thought was, "Well I guess they whooped that trick!" Cause I like a good joke...

But then I started thinking about Dave Chappelle. On Oprah, and then more expansively on the Actors' Studio, Dave Chappelle offered poignant and provocative explanations of why he became disgusted with and eventually walked off his show. One of his anecdotes was about being pressured to wear a dress for a movie scene...he rebuffed and the producers retorted "all the greats did it..." The dress-wearing, black (male) comedian has long bothered me. I find it misogynist. Chappelle's refusal could be read as problematic--he rejected wearing the dress based on an awareness that being identified as female was semiotically equivalent to being labeled violable...and his refusal, rather than critique, of that positioning could be seen as falling short. But I know what he meant. And I'm glad he didn't wear the dress.

What does that have to do with Three Six Mafia? Plenty...It also has to do with Brunsli's post about Damon Wayans' attempt to trademark 'nigga.'I figured it all out during the drive to Virginia this morning. Why, I asked myself, did I instantly and reflexively feel a sense of shame about Three Six Mafia's win? Well, there are several reasons. While I am admittedly a bit of a snob about my hip-hop, I don't think there are many who would argue that Three Six Mafia's track is the best representation available...Oh, you thought I felt a sense of shame for the 'race?' No, not so much...I don't ascribe to the good/bad representation dichotomy anymore where African American representation is concerned. No, I realized rather quickly my pain was for hip-hop.

I remember when Prince won an Oscar for the soundtrack to "Purple Rain." That was a worthy prize. While his music was not 'mainstream' for the Academy, the album was and remains a viable artistic achievement. "Hard Out Here?" ...well I can't figure out how it got nominated in the first place. Especially--and here's my sore point-- as the first nomination from the hip-hop genre. "Love of My Life" from Brown Sugar? Hell, I'd take "Lose Yourself" from Eminem...wait a minute, that was nominated, but didn't win. So there's one of my queries, what aesthetic value did the Academy find present in "Hard Out Here" that was lacking in "Lose Yourself?" Like the first hiphop forays into the Grammy scene, the Academy is just way off from a critical perspective here. Now I've heard the argument---there were only three nominations-- that the pickings were slim. And it's possible divided support to the other two songs (I was rooting for Dolly Parton--she, Mary J. Blige and I share a birthday)allowed for an upset. But it's also possible the Academy "chose" Three Six Mafia-- wholeheartedly embraced them, that they liked it. Which gets to the rest of my musings...

As I said, I am a bit of a snob with my hiphop. Even four years of living in Memphis did not soften my palette for Three Six Mafia (or LaChat and the other Memphis set). I just don't care for it. But I respect it, for the most part, as an organic regional expression. And therefore, I acknowledge that Three Six Mafia is at the forefront of that regional contribution to hip hop. But I don't think the Academy has a complex palette for hip hop. So if they liked it, and therefore voted it worthy of an Oscar, they did so on two fronts I can figure: 1) it did the best job of representing the film it was written for...on technicalities, if you will. Perhaps the Academy found the other two songs less resonant with their corresponding films--I can't say because I haven't seen any of them...but that's one 2) they thought the song in and of itself was meritorious...they--to channel Sally Field---really, really liked it.

So that gets me back to the representation part of the discussion...Why would the Academy really, really like a song --a not-so endearing tune-- about the difficulties of 'pimping?'

Why have black people spent the past two and half decades, at least, seducing and 'pimping' the pimp representation? Another bomb soundtrack comes to mind...Superfly. Not to mention Dolemite to Iceberg Slim to Street Smart to Ice-T to Too Short to Snoop Dogg. Black artists have taken a lot of time to extol pimpery. And I don't know why. It's hardly a heroic or sympathetic trope.

Granted it has a certain resonance with capitalism and racism, but very litte credibility. Who takes a pimp seriously? Only a ho...Which is why it's intellectually impossible for me to like the song. Its lyrics attempt to subjugate me...make me sympathetic to the difficulties of pimping and I refuse to go there. But many others have. So two and a half decades later, American popular culture has accepted that premise. And Morgan Freeman to Terrence Howard can be celebrated for their interpretations of that agony....pimping, the Academy understands, is not easy!

Some people argue that African Americans in the cinema are now feted for degrading roles...pointing to Denzel in Training Day and Halle in Monster's Ball. I reject that. White women from Elizabeth Taylor to Charlize Theron hae improved their Oscar chances by playing 'degraded' or 'demeaning' roles...and let's not talk about Hattie McDaniels. I think across race, it's easier for a dramatic role, especially a character occupying a taboo representational space, to be nominated. But it just sticks out like a sore thumb when African Americans do it. We forget, in that instance, that Denzel won for Glory first...and that African American artists are complicit in the elevation of the pimp character. But for the chalice-carrying rappers of our time, dude wouldn't have written a screenplay about a pimp with a dream and therefore wouldn't have birthed the need for a song.

So while I think the song is unbearable, I can't be anything but congratulatory toward Three Six Mafia. They wrote just the song that movie called for and were therefore properly rewarded. Perhaps from now on, we will hesitate before we applaud another unironic portrayal of pimping.

I will have to pick this up tomorrow...I'm exhausted!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I'm not squeamish...

but I'm having trouble watching my schlock for tonight. TLC is rebroadcasting a 'special' originally aired on FOX called "101 Things Removed From the Human Body." As I type, I am avoiding the video of the guy impaled on a length of rebar after off a ladder. Ewwww. Now they are showing x-rays of various 'rectal injuries.' Who would stick a jelly jar (with lid) up their butt? But there's the image. Now I understand the thief who stuck a $125,000 diamond necklace up his butt. That's crime. But jelly jars and bicycle pumps?
OK...I feel like a 13 year old boy watching this stuff. But I can't help it..."My advice to anyone who is contemplating inserting a foreign rectal to not do it." Who can turn off a program offering sound medical advice like that.
Sigh...I promise to read a book or something and elevate my discourse.
Meanwhile I did not wash my hair today. I did fast until noon. Maybe I'll keep it up through Lent.
And I strong-armed my own grandmother into the shower. I'm a cold-hearted snake, but I wasn't taking no for an answer. I promised her she'd feel better after and I think she did. Poor baby. I thought she was going to cry at the thought of having to walk to the bathroom. She tried her hardest to sweet talk us out of it. She had gotten to Mom, but I wasn't having it. She DID feel better once I got the hot water running on her and dried her off. And even more so once she was dressed, back in bed, and rid of the two of us for the night. Mom promises to pay closer attention to the monitor since I got up four times last night. I was so tired this morning, I could hardly think straight.
So be easy with me about the reality shows and talk trash. I need a diversion.
To my defense, I got a library card and checked out Colson Whitehead's John Henry Days. I read The Intuitionist and really liked it. I believe I'm still capable of erudite conversation. Maybe I'll order some titles from Amazon tonight. I always wondered why my grandparents didn't have books in the house. It was because of Betsy. Now I have to replace all my wonderful books. Some of them can't be replaced. They were rare editions, out-of-prints. Not to mention art...prints and the like.
Oh, has anyone else tried the products at Lush? I first visited one of their shops in Boston. Last week when Powerball was ridiculously high, I drove to DC to get a ticket and found the Lush store in Georgetown by accident. I got a great mask called Brazened Honey that I have to keep refrigerated. I love Carol's Daughter but whenever I go there--the Brooklyn store at the old Spike Lee location--they are out of the fresh product I want. What's up with that?
Ok, I'm rambling...Maybe tomorrow I'll wash my hair...or not.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Identity Crisis

I think my blog...and perhaps its having a bit of an identity crisis. There are many topics I'd like to cover but I'm not really sure what note to strike. I could go in any number of directions at any given time or I could focus. There's no wrong answer. But I am aware of the scatterbrained effect of my topic jumping.
That I finally got the monitor for Gram's room. Of course, her first question was how could she turn it off. I hope she doesn't follow up on that for awhile. As far as I can tell she's sleeping soundly. She had quite a busy day. We roused her out of bed a couple hours earlier than she usually gets up. And we double teamed her with wardrobe choices, breakfast options, and marching orders. Rather than go with them to the doctor's office, I decided it would be more efficient for me to run errands. As it turned out, from doctor's office Gram and Mom went to the hospital for x-rays of her hip to see what's going on there. So it's good I went on my own. I went to the Deathstar (Walmart). I know it's wrong. Don't bother chastising me. There's not many options here in town. I got the monitor there and the other household items I needed. Then I went to Home Depot. In the Sunday circulars they had some bathroom safety products featured. I was able to get a bathtub rail and these bars for the commode like seat handles. Hopefully, Gram will feel more confident about going in the bathroom alone when she sees all the improvements I've made.
I also got everyone lunch. Seafood for me and Mom...I fasted until after noon...but Gram got surf and turf. They were relieved that I had hot food waiting for everyone. Then I came upstairs but I'm told Gram busied herself all afternoon reorganizing her bureau drawers. This is why now all I hear on the monitor is her clock ticking.
I think tomorrow will be a good day to wash my hair!