Friday, August 18, 2006

Time is running out...

I told you a while back about my girl C. Coolstein training for the October 22nd Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco.

She has spent most of her summer running and lifting weights and running in circles and running up hills and running on concrete and running on the beach and running in dirt and running..........

...and time is running out!

She has met 50% of her fundraising goal and needs to have the rest of the dough by the first of September (yikes!). So if you wanna donate to the cause, or see how her training is coming, you can check her out at

Thursday, August 17, 2006

the randomest ever

I don't think I could be any more random than I am right now. (Ok, I probably could, but I'm dramatic. Work with me.)

It has taken me this long (it'll be 4 weeks on Saturday) to physically & mentally recover from Hawaii. The first week I had to constantly remind myself that not only do I have a job, but they expect me to show up at 8:00am, Eastern Time and they usually like it when I do some actual work. That was a tough sell during week 1, to say the least.

So I got the whole
(1) get up,
(2) get it together,
(3) go to work,
(4) work
thing down pat and then I had to deal with being physically exhausted. I mean pooped. Sleep at 8pm. Knocked out. And still tired in the morning.

At the same time I was battling constant fatigue, I was embracing the reality that my most recent (not-so) imaginary boyfriend does not have what it takes to be my future husband. And for the first time in roughly a year, I got really sad about my alone-ness. My frequent, confident talks to self suddenly weren't so effective.

Telling myself (and others) that "my man is out there, he just hasn't found me yet" suddenly made me want to scream to myself (and others) "well why the fuck not?? All he has to do is Google me. I'm right here. And I am fabulous. Is his MapQuest broke? Jeez!"

When I remind myself (and others) that "I am more interested in being in a healthy relationship than just being part of a couple for the sake of not being alone", I find that I am questioning my list. "Is it unreasonable to want my man to make at least $30k a year? I mean, is it too much to ask that he come to me already earning a (barely) living wage?" "I have my own communication issues that I'm trying to work out - when I say that I want my man to be able to express himself honestly and directly, am I being hypocritical?"

When I revisit the reality that "I need for my man to have some culture and depth about himself...he has to read, and appreciate theater & visual art, he ought to be able to watch some indie film with me and share my love for food, and he needs to understand that my spirituality and my upbringing and my interests and my friends are not strange, they are not weird, they are not "different" or "unique" or "white"(sarcastic, condescending tone implied), they are beautiful and valid and relevant." I wonder if I blew it when I broke up with the guy who was 100% with me on the culture & depth tip, but when it came to the emotional maturity and the living wage / career goals part......not so much.

And when I find myself thinking about this stuff for more than ten minutes at a time, I get mad. So today, instead of continuing this dumb ass day-by-day cycle of sad ~ mad ~ sad ~ mad, I'm going to get over it and find something else to do. People are dying in Iraq and Lebanon and Ethiopia - my problems pale in comparison.

Moving on.........

I'm trying to prepare for auditions this Sunday. I'll do a monologue from Who Will Sing For Lena, of course. And I've got about 70 hours to learn a monologue from The Shadow Box. Hopefully the directors will be awed & dazzled by me and there will be a small fight over who will cast me in their piece. There are 3 that I would really like to do, and as always, they are running consecutively. We'll see what happens.

Saturday I'm getting micro-braids. I will be a walking, talking example of "never say never", 'cause I sure said I would never get those things again! I was ok with the amount of time it took (back in the day it was 22 hours; hopefully this time will be closer to 8). It was the removal of said braids that made me want to shoot myself. Why is it that when you need help taking your micros down, nobody wants to step up? Well, the only reason I agreed to do this again is because my regular beautician agreed to take them down for me, as well as maintain them for as long as I keep them in. Ok, well there's more reasons than that I guess. I don't do well with new growth. I dig & scratch at it. Since I'm trying to transform myself and there won't be any chemical altering of my natural coils, I'm gonna need to wrap those coils in some $40-a-bag, 20 inch, Yaki Perm, human, made in China hair.

Dr. Dyson has redeemed himself, as I knew he would. After reading the Bash Cosby book, I felt like I needed a palate cleanser, so-to-speak. So I picked up "Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster", knowing that this would do the trick. One of the things that I like about Dr. Dyson is that he structures his writing so that all the facts get laid out in plain view before he starts drawing conclusions. So whether you agree with those conclusions or not, you've got a full set of facts to work with. Now, I'm not sure how anybody could disagree with the fact that there was an enormous failure on the part of government at all levels. Enormous and more than a little fishy. "Come Hell or High Water..." does an excellent job of slowly exposing the details & history of what seemed fishy to the naked eye. And surprisingly, he was able to do it without getting me all riled up, like I usually am when I think about my people down there waiting and suffering for days. As difficult as I find his writing style, I was able to finish the book in 4 days. But now my brain hurts. I'll read "The Devil Wears Prada" on Saturday while I'm getting my wig busted, then that's gotta be it for a minute. I need to watch some Oprah (my TiVo is getting dangerously full) and start watching The Wire.

So there you have it...yet another post about how positively random (and sad and mad and over it) I am. Perhaps something noteworthy will happen in the coming days & I'll be focused yet again.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Like all of the major changes in my life, this one happened with almost no effort on my part. Sure there was months of talking, thinking, imagining, retreating, dismissing and reading. That's always my Phase One. Phase Two typically involves creating a timeline, determining the financial implications of my endeavor and executing my thoroughly thought through plan. Phase Three - completion.

I don't think I've ever gotten to Phase Two. Typically I go straight from Phase One to Phase Three and friends marvel at how I got to be so lucky as to skip the hard part.

Without me realizing it, this journey began on April 1st. I had survived winter coat + wool scarf. I had recovered from too tight at the edges. I was coping with stress + digging (no, not scratching...digging...with whatever was pen, metal letter opener...whatever). The morning of April 1st, however, I found out that I was NOT coping well with winter coat + wool scarf Part Deux.

I pulled out all of my trusty coping tools. I avoided looking at myself in the mirror. I reminded myself that it would grow back and it would be healthier. I promised myself that next winter I would take more preventative measures. I tried not to cry.

And then I saw C. Coolstein.

Oh my gosh, you cut your hair!!

And the dam broke. Don't worry, I didn't start crying openly in the bar. But I was weeping, wailing and moaning on the inside.

A conversation followed, during which my girl asked me why I didn't just go natural...locs even. I couldn't handle it. I snapped - conversation over. Is she f-ing kidding me? Hello, say it with me, people: "Corporate America".

But the seed had been planted. And it wasn't a bad idea. Upon further review (and execution of Phase One) I determined that it was actually a pretty good idea.

In theory.

Like I said, the universe has a way of taking care of my business for me when I'm too stuck on scared to do it myself. When I sat in the chair Saturday July 29th eagerly awaiting the harsh, smelly chemical that would instantly transform me from African Cheetah to Business Barbie, I had no idea that my scalp had other plans for me. That magically transforming process was over before it had a chance to start. I'm certain that she lit a match to my scalp, the burning was that instantaneous and intense.

Scalp is burning, scalp is burning,
look out, look out,
pour on water, pour on water

And just like that, Phase Three began. The African Cheetah was born again. My journey began with no steps (unless you count the swift and deliberate steps I took to the shampoo bowl, demanding that that relaxer be rinsed out immediately).

For twelve days I have tried to hide the TWA that has taken up residence under my hairstyle; I have cursed the stupid, dumb, itchy, nap....kinky African Cheetah hair; I have apologized to my tresses and begged their forgiveness and long term cooperation; I have obsessed over the possibilities; I have handed this journey over to my inner goddess.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

This Damn Book Thing!

I've been tagged. And it's not fair. I'm a reader. Narrowing these down to one book for each question has been entirely too difficult. And this was supposed to be the easy, fluff post that I put up while I'm getting it together to do my REAL post.


1. ONE book that changed your life

The Bluest Eye By Toni Morrison
This was the first book that I felt a real connection with. I have always been an avid reader, but this is the first time I remember feeling like I was eating the words and drinking their power and wallowing around in their meaning. Thus began my love affair with (almost) all things Toni Morrison.

2. ONE book you have read more than once

Beloved By Toni Morrison
I don't appreciate having to leave The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, Paradise, Lovely Bones and New Black Man off this list. But since it only asks for one, I guess I am ok with putting Beloved. It is certainly one of several books that I used to read annually.

3. ONE book you would want on a desert island

Song of Solomon By Toni Morrison
As a general rule, I try to stay away from desert islands. But if I found myself on one, I would want to have a book that I wanted to re-read as soon as I finished it.

4. ONE book that made you laugh

Cell By Stephen King
He's my other favorite author and this was certainly not his best work. But I was quite tickled by some of his descriptions. I distinctly remember him describing a woman's haircut as "zero tolerance". Then he went into a brief moment of imagining her pre-retirement career as a librarian, who had become very good at keeping kids in line. Blah, blah, blah.

5. ONE book that made you cry

Finding Fish By Antoine Fisher
Not only did it make me cry, but it was one of few books that was so emotionally painful to read, that I had to put it down every chapter or so. The movie doesn't even begin to tell this man's story. Not even close. Quite frankly, by the time he got to the military, the book was pretty much over. Met wife, worked it out, met family, worked it out, the end. Good books should never be made into movies. People should just read the book or be forced to miss out.

6. ONE book you wish you had written

I don't have an answer for this one. Seriously, it's been a couple of days and I'm still drawing a blank here.

7. ONE book you wish had never been written

Losing The Race By John McWhorter
He's a jackass. I could have also lived without "Is Bill Cosby Right? Or Has The Black Middle Class Lost It's Mind?". For real.

8. ONE book you are currently reading

Black Hair: Art, Style and Culture By Ima Ebong
You'll be hearing more about this one, believe me. I'm reading some other book for this month's book club, but it's not worth mentioning. I'm enjoying it this time, but still.

9. ONE book you've been meaning to read

Come Hell or High Water By Michael Eric Dyson
I just needed a break after the Bill Cosby book, but I'ma get to it. Matter of fact, I'm reserving it right now at the library. Oh, and I checked out "The Covenant" but I wasn't in the mood (and may never be) so I didn't get past the 2nd or 3rd chapter. I get it, Tavis - we need to get it together - got it.

10. tag 5 other bloggers to do this

No. Yeah, I said it - no. This feels way too much like the chain emails of yesteryear (or yesterday if you're my mother). I can't even do it. Friends, readers, passersby, if you want to do this on your blog, feel free. If you don't want to, then don't.

(Ok, so I'm running out of fluff posts and I'm running out of valid excuses......I guess I better quit procrastinating and get 'er done!)