Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Me= Sucker?


Visit NaBloPoMo

There's a sucker born every minute and I guess my time has come. I was foolish enough to visit chou-chou and she posed a challenge for November and I foolishly accepted (love ya chou-chou) yes, even after thinking about it.

If you didn't know it, you do now, November is National Blog Posting Month (you may need that answer for a Jeopardy question). What will Americans think of next? We are always making stuff up and the saddest or best part (half-empty/half-full) is there is ALWAYS someone there that will buy into it. So, being that I am a blog stalker (I've finally admitted it, I even stalk my own blog to see who has left me comments), I have decided to write something every single day for the month of November! If you too would like to join in with my misery...oh I'm sorry, I mean fun really I do (smile) go to NaBloPoMo and sign up...misery loves company.

Finally, to the folks who really like my blog, you are in for a treat because I am actually going to be forced to step it up a notch. And for those people that don't like me...Why are you still reading my blog??????? GOTCHA

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My Mother's Child

My friend Chenita, Me and My Mommy

I remember saying I would never be like my mother but now I find myself doing/saying the same things that my mother does. I am my mother’s child! For example, I swore I would never….

  • Go to bed early... I fall asleep in front of the TV around 9 pm or earlier if nothing is keeping my attention.

  • Say "This Too Shall Pass" or "You'll Get Over It" or "You Know You Can Have Anything You Want"....I say them all!

  • Get tired of hanging out on weekends with my friends... My couch is oh so comfortable; my friends say I'm the worse to try to get out of the house!
What are those things you swore you would never do that your mother did and now you find that you have become your mother (or a better version ;-) )?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Bermuda Part #1

I finally managed to download my pictures from Bermuda. This is only Part 1, stay tuned for more from this fun filled, FREE cruise. Yes, I must rub it in.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship
Bermuda Triangle????
Hamilton, Bermuda
Bermuda Shorts
Me! Say Cheese!!!!!!!!
Brian Culberton sponsored a ping pong tournament. There he is playing. One of the great things about the cruise was that the artists were just hanging out. Brian also has soooo much energy when he plays...he is an awesome musician, worth the buy!
A lunch time jazz session.
Me and Lalah Hathaway (Donnie Hathaway's daughter). She is a real sweetheart. She has one of the smoothest voices out...what a songstress! If you remember what good music used to sound like pick up her CD!
Ledisi performing. If you haven't heard of her or had the pleasure of hearing her music then I would run not walk to the store to purchase the CD!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Either Love Me or Leave Me

…And you're still reading my blog because???? If you haven’t figured it out yet I’m pretty sarcastic but –here we go again- racist I’m not. I know some people won’t address these things, they just say it will pass but not me…no way, I think it’s great to discuss and it will make a great conversation piece for my daughter’s life book so thanks for the memories! Plus it gives me something to blog about. It also adds to my point that race is ALWAYS an issue and probably ALWAYS will be so even more so the reason why I have my blog and am addressing the topics I am. Again, it isn’t going away. I live this stuff everyday! Sorry, if I offend but I get offended quite often because of my race…Hey, you get sick of me talking about it but guess what there are whole organizations/companies devoted to this exact topic…I just talk about it on occasion.

To the two anonymous messages that I received thanks, I’m glad I stirred up emotion in you. I think it’s pretty cool that I have that power, now if I can only do good with this power! J (You are probably not laughing right now but I am!) FYI, the positive comments received on my site are from other white bloggers so obviously I’m not so racist. If you take the time to go through my site you would see I have never posted anything negative about whites...read my posts to be clear on my views before you attack me. Now as far as the last post I said that the woman should use less expensive products and I asked the question…Whatever happened to Vaseline? Hey lady…it was a question!!!!!!!!! Jeez…I laughed when I wrote that! You should have also! Maybe you need an extracurricular activity or something! Hey Tasha or Chou Chou can you suggest one for her? Maybe she should read Michael Moore’s books or watch his movies (love him or leave him)…I love him!

The point is…one person is never going to see the same thing another person sees. Secondly, different races tend to see things differently because we have different experiences. This blog is merely a blog from my perspective…you can either take it or leave it but as I heard a pastor say: stop coming if you don’t like my sermon.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Big Haircare Dilemma

Well I'm off cruising in the morning and I can't stand to leave without a post. Have a good week and enjoy my latest rants.

Every time I see a post on the adoption board about haircare I immediately cringe. I know that it is going to be something, for the lack of a better word, "interesting." I mean just because you are adopting a black child does not mean the haircare product you purchase must have the name Africa in it, be purchased in the motherland, or say specifically for black hair. (FYI...Most of my friends use products like Sebastian, Enjoy, KMS, etc on their hair). Your kids are just kids. They don't need a whole lot of stuff in their hair anyway...the more you put in their hair the more dependent you are making it on the products and they are way to young for that. As one of my friends says, just let their hair do what it is going to do. No matter how much stuff you put their hair is never going to be straight so get over it. The names of some of these products: WTF... Africa Hair, Mizura, Loc Butter? I don't even put that stuff in my head. People don't believe the hype! I also read that someone was so upset about Carol's Daughter products because they liked using them on their daughter but they were so expensive. I'm not going to knock another sister's products, they are good but yes they are expensive, there are other products on the market...USE THEM!

Side bar...this same woman said she only bathed her kid once a week because she thought her daughter's skin got too dry (she moisturized twice a week only)because the products were too expensive. Lady use another less expensive product, give your kid a bath and moisturize her daily are you kidding me? Whatever happened to good 'ole Vaseline? Johnson & Johnson makes some great products. I still use some of their products on my skin and I'm as soft as a baby's ...well you know. Sighhh

Growing up my mother used Johnson & Johnson No More Tangles on my hair and it worked just fine (and I could sit on my hair). I know that dealing with ethnic hair is a challenge for some of you. I see the fear in your faces when you talk about hair care and I see the end result on your child's head. We don't want them to look crazy but please don't go to the extreme. Don't put multiple products on their hair. They don't need gels, freeze and shine, moouse, cremes and all of that stuff. It doesn't have to be some imported product from Africa (or so it says). Different kids need different things.

Finally, while I respect the views many of the adoptive mothers have provided on the big hair care dilemma I would advise if you are just very stumped find a good black hair salon to get the 411, if you don't have a good girlfriend to tell you the truth about which products to use or not to use. Oh and one more thing...let the baby's hair grow! I know she looks cute to you with short hair but in our community we have a love affair with hair (at least while they are kids) so let it grow, let it grow.

Following is a poem that I found about nappy hair. I love my nappy hair and I'm proud! :-)

Nappy-Headed by Latasha Williams

I came to this world with nappy hair
And when I was too young to really care
I loved to twirl each curl in my hand
And appreciate the texture of every strand.
But when I got older I was told
That the straightest hair was just like gold.
My hair got ironed with a metal comb
And the smell of burning grease made me moan.
I got a relaxer to run from the smoke,
But the pain of my overcooked scalp was no joke.
I even tried a Jheri curl to give myself a break
But being a target of jokes made my heart ache.
Oh, the day I turned my back on chemicals and heat,
I felt so free - oh, what a treat!
I trimmed off what was left of the damaged mess
And saw in the mirror what I thought was success.
But society said I had lost my mind
And that I would run back to tradition in time.
I got the strangest looks everywhere
And even loved ones frowned at my nappy hair.
I can't get a black brother to take me out for a meal
Since my hair lacks European appeal.
But when I look at my origin,
The continent of Africa, where my ancestors had been
And the beauty of the people who live there,
I saw nothing wrong with my nappy hair.
God gave me this hair
So I should not be ashamed
It is part of who I am
Ain't nothin' wrong with it, I exclaimed.
So I will wear my Afro, my twists and my coils!
I will not allow my confidence to be soiled.
Even if my hair is locked and dreaded,
I am proud of being nappy-headed.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Juggling Identities


I don't have any rights to post this but I really love this comic so PLEASE don't tell on me. LOL One of my friends (another Afro-Latino) sent it to me because the comic accurately describes how we feel and it is hilarious at the same time!
As Afro-Latinos people automatically look at us and assume black and African American. Yes most of us (especially if raised or have lived in the US for a significant amount of time) identify with African American but people are thrown off when we start speaking Spanish or Portuguese...the two can co-exist. However, I can't tell you how many times I have been asked "What are you mixed with" or "Are you part Indian?" Uh no...I'm not part Indian...okay Dominicans are mixed with a whole lota stuff but I'm not going into all of that with them. And the "what are you mixed with" question gets really old really fast. Actually I was just asked that a few weeks ago in Costco...DANG! When I say I'm Dominican (I rarely say anything else simply because I love to see/hear the responses) I get "well you don't look Dominican." My reply is..."who do you know that is Dominican? Have you ever seen a Dominican?" Then they look stupid and say duh...."NO." EXACTLY! People are still stuck on the stereotypical view of Latinos as fair-light skinned with dark hair or light hair and are shocked to know that there are Black Latinos. The only place in the United States that I have never had that problem was in my favorite city, New York City. I lived in Washington Heights or Little Santo Dominigo as it is called and no one blinked. I was simply otra Dominicana (another Dominican woman). While I don't normally like men catcalling me I found it kinda nice because it was in Spanish meaning I was just one of the gente (family).
So for me I only have to juggle my Afro-Latino (and American, African American, Jamaican, Carribean...but it's still pretty similiar I think I'm messing up my point here! LOL) backgrounds which is a piece of cake compared to what our children will have to juggle--Adoption, Ethiopian, New Country, Acculturation, African, American, Jewish, White, Spanish, African-American, Canadian, etc....you get the point.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

African Ancestry Roots

When I first started blogging (see post) I said I was going to get my DNA tested to see where my mother’s family was from in Africa. I got my results back and I am proud to announce that my African Ancestry is shared with people in several countries today: the Mende people in Sierra Leone, the Fula people in Guinea-Bissau, and the Kru people in Liberia. For those of you who don’t know geography (don’t worry I don’t either) the countries are in West Africa on the Coast side-by-side.

From what I can tell in my reading, many of the slaves from those particular tribes were taken to the Caribbean. This makes sense being that my family is from the islands of Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Antigua and I even have family in Panama. Once you live on one island you can live on pretty much any island, have raft…will float! Was that politically correct? Who cares it's my family I can say what I want!

Bottom line, this is pretty exciting, now I need to visit the countries. Too bad when I go to pick up Baby I there won’t be enough money or energy to stop over in those countries since I will be on that side of the world. I’ll put the trip on my agenda to do when Baby I is a few years old and I have a few extra thousand dollars burning a whole in my pocket. I'll get a nice vacation and Grandmommy will get a few weeks of dedicated grandmothering...she'll love that (won't you?) Until then I’ll start reading (and praying for a money tree...oh I mean for my business to prosper) and looking for all the information I can in the US on Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia and my tribes.

One of the great things about living in DC is that all of the embassies are here, maybe I can get invited to some big cultural affair since I have just found my roots! If they try to say no do you think swinging my braids would work? Smile

Late addition: I'm a little obsessed with this DNA stuff. I forgot to add now I have to do the ad mixture to find out where the other half of my family is from. You know...who the slaves mixed with. LOL I hear we have Lebanese, Spanish (duh, Dominican Republic) and Scottish. Another test and another time (read: money).

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cruise With Me Baby

Starting Sunday I am cruising to the islands of Bermuda! Don't be jealous...but it's FREE! Okay, you can be jealous NOW! (HEE HEE) My friend called me a few days ago and said she had an opportunity for me that would allow me to Relax, Release and do some Relating for my business (are there any It's A Different World folks out there who remember this phrase?). She knows the woman who runs the Capital Jazz Cruise and they were in need of volunteers that had passports and could take a week off of work. Wellllllllllllllllllllllllll...that sure sounded compelling.
What did I have to do I asked? She said they wanted me to work with the artists making sure they were happy, and entertained...nothing very stressful...just a little support and back-up when needed. Hey, I'm a volunteer, what are they going to do fire me? (snicker, snicker) So, let's get this straight. I get to go on an all expenses paid cruise (minus alcohol, soda and bottled water) to Bermuda where I can mingle with artists and others to promote (read: sell) my business ALL FOR FREE? YESSSSSSSSSSS! Bet, count me in! See ya blogdom! I'm outta here! I'll be working from the high seas October 14-19.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Save The CeleBRITy Children!

(This was too funny, I had to post. I know so unlike me...more like Tasha ;-) )

African family adopts Britney's kids.
By Ellen Tarlin Posted Thursday, Oct. 4, 2007, at 5:19 PM ET

LOS ANGELES—A Malawi couple has completed adoption paperwork for Sean Preston Federline, 2, and Jayden James Federline, 1, after their mother, Britney Spears, lost custody of the children Monday. It was Ms. Spears' inability to provide car seats that initially brought the plight of her children to the attention of the Malawi couple, who wish to remain anonymous, and who will be referred to here as Mr. and Mrs. M. But it was the widely circulated photograph of Ms. Spears' vagina that really drew their concern. "In our country, a good mother does not show her business to the press," Mrs. M said. "It is very bad luck." After Spears' "performance" at MTV's Video Music Awards, the adoptive couple knew they had to do something. "We could not allow innocent children to live under such horrific conditions anymore," they explained. "The Third World can no longer turn a blind eye to the tragedy affecting so many U.S. celebrity children."

Los Angeles, where the Federline children have been living, is one of the richest cities in the world, trapped in a seemingly endless cycle of depravity, narcissism, and veganism. Nearly 27 percent of the children in Los Angeles suffer the misfortune of having celebrity parents. Mr. and Mrs. M were stunned by the deplorable conditions these victims live in. Children are subject to verbal abuse via cell phone, and babies are dangled over balcony railings. "Fathers kill mothers, and then put out badly written books about it," Mr. M said. "And the names these children must bear," said Mrs. M. "Apple, Fifi Trixibell, Fuchsia, Moxie CrimeFighter, Pilot Inspektor, Sage Moonblood—what kind of future can these poor children have?"

Monday, October 8, 2007

Instilling Values in Our Children

I'll be the first to admit that I love looking at all of the blogs and I especially love the ones with referral photos or children at home. They help me to visualize what my daughter may possibly look like and I simply can't get enough of all of those adorable smiling faces...the kids are so darn cute! But you know that old saying, the thing that you love about something is what turns you off at the same time. I have noticed on the adoption boards when anything goes wrong with a child someone always makes reference to telling the children how beautiful they are externally (and internally I think they feel like they have to say that one). External is the real focus because you always hear how stunningly beautiful the Ethiopian people are...I'm thinking get a better line for your kids people! You should not have your child focus on their external beauty and every person should strive to have strong internal beauty.

Yes, Ethiopians are beautiful but so are a lot of other nationalities and cultures AND that is not the only reason we are adopting the children is it? So, let's make sure that while we are talking to our children and while everyone is busy telling them how cute they are as their parent(s) you are keeping it all in perspective for them. No one likes a conceited person (especially not in school) and let me tell you those school bullies are not very friendly and looks only get you so far in the real world (okay it does help though). Let me give you a little story:

When I was in kindergarten I had heard for my short 5 years how beautiful I was. I could sit on my hair, I was the only child and grandchild hence I was a prima dona (my family still calls me this on occasion, LOL). When I got to school I believed the classroom revolved around me. My teacher asked me to do something I did not want to do. I not only said no but I swung my braids around so they hit her in her face. Of course she told my mother! Well, let me say my Mother was not having that! When I got home she told me I was not that cute and she would show me how cute I was. Now are you sitting? Remember those lovely braids I could sit on? She cut them in the middle! Snip Snip! Yikes! I cried and cried but they were gone! Don't worry, they grew back thicker and longer in no time flat but I didn't do that again. Caribbean lessons were uh...no joke but my mother's were non violent. (lol) The moral of this story is...I learned my looks were not my character and I was NEVER to focus on them.

I understand this journey of adopting another race/country is new for many but we must take the time to look for other responses to provide our children besides the obvious and shallow one of looks. When our children wonder why they should be proud of being Ethiopian we should be able to point to Emperor Haile Selassie, restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson, warrior Queen Worqitu, first woman head of state Empress Zawditu, athlete Meseret Defar or artist Fikru...there are many examples of Ethiopian (and other African and African American) models of success for you to provide your children. So the next time the question arises of why am I special or why am I different comes up I beg you not to tell them because you are stunningly beautiful. Let's transfer values for things that matter most. Selam.

Friday, October 5, 2007

I'm BAAAAACCCKKKKK!!!!

Okay, so I had a long/short almost two-week hiatus. I had some things to think about. I'm pretty clear but I figured I better get back before I loose my friends. I bet you are wondering what the heck I did or what revelations I had and they better be good! Yea, I'm wondering the same thing! Let's see for this post I'll start with some of the light and easy things like what I have been doing and I still have time to make other stuff up for the revelations part!

During my hiatus I continued playing flag football and got injured every time I played! I love that game. I know that statement is typically reserved for basketball but since I don't play basketball I'm hijacking it and using the quote for football, so there! Football is a great frustration re-leaser. I get to hit people and I don't even get in trouble. Forget the fact that it is flag football, they hit me first! Yea, I went into this activity thinking it was a non-contact sport...SILLY ME! Since playing football I have had poison ivy from falling on the grass (seems strange I know), a sprained quad, my knee was cut open to the white meat from falling on it (that hurt like H-E-L-L!), sprained fingers (I think I have the hang of catching properly now after that wrong catch), my ankle stepped on (OUCH) and have been bulldozed by men and women on the opposing team. I mean I had to FINALLY start taking up for myself! LOL I'm bulldozing back and becoming a man (or WO-MAN) about it. One practice I pushed this woman back so hard (into her quarterback) when I was rushing the quarterback (as I pushed her into him) said "DA*&"...that's right! Don't mess with Contradiction! (That's my name!) I ain't no sissy! HEEHEE

Here's a picture of my knee injury after the fact. I thought about taking a picture of it when it happened for you all to see as I was pretty proud but it was actually pretty gross, you could see the white meat and all!


Next, this past weekend in DC was the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Leadership Foundation Leadership Conference (CBC). This is when many of the politicians, business leaders and other big wigs from the African American community come together for five days to discuss the state of the African American community and suggest ways to make a difference. The CBC conference is the one time of the year that all 42 African American Members of Congress have a platform to share the progress of their work on legislative items and also allows for the exchange of ideas correlated to policy issues that are of critical concern to their constituents. CBC is the place to be each year in our community. During the day we get our intellectual on and in the night we get our groove on! Trust when I tell you everyone has a party and they are the bomb! There are parties all over DC...Jessie Jackson Jr. always has good partys and Harold Ford Jr. used to. Last year Barak Obama had a party and the line was many, many, many blocks long to get into. This year I was a bore and attended only 1 party (100 Black Men Party) that my friend Audrey (pictured below) dragged me, kicking and screaming to. It was okay...but free drinks and food is ALWAYS good in my book!

I have no idea who this is in the picture with me but I thought we looked cute together so I thought I would post.


Oh..and I had my last home study visit! Although you know I still owe him a few more papers but I'm done with all of the visits YEAHHHHHHHH!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007