Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cyber Mean Girls

I just wanted to write about this ridiculous trend in the online world, specifically on hair blogs that feed into the 'crabs in a barrel' mentality that black folks seem to constantly keep alive (I here I thought we were supposed to be keeping hope alive): mean girls.

I won't even dare to call them women because they seriously act like the mean girls in middle school who thought they were the shit because they have boobs while the rest of us are searching for ours like a game of Where's Waldo.

The internet is such an amazing tool. We can find information instead of having to purchase a set of Britannica Encyclopedias, we can video chat, we can shop 24 hours, we can build our own websites... and we can talk a lot of shit!

Black women, my sisters (from another mother and father), my friends, ladies...can we please stop with the constant bashing of each other? What happened to being able to state one's opinion without being an asshole in one's method. What happened to class?

I check some hair blogs (less than I have in the past as a result of this) and the comments sections are horrendous. Everyone thinks there's an expert. Everyone's way is the right way (truth: it may be the right way for them, but who knows if it's the right way for someone else). Everyone is a style expert. And these chicks who are stuck on the whole hair typing system, for the love of all that is holy - trust me, there are more important things out there than arguing on the internet with a bunch of strangers, about someone claiming to be a 4A when they're really a 4C.  And then there are the wannabe web designers and editors who attempt to blast webmasters for what they feel the website that they have willingly visited is lacking. As someone building a web business myself, I welcome feedback and suggestions, but don't scold me because I can't read your mind about what colors and fonts you would have preferred on MY website (seriously, now I know why men get frustrated with us with the whole expecting someone else to read our minds bullshit). Ladies, there is a difference between a suggestion, and a scolding.

The comments section has taken a lot of joy out of me reading some blogs, or I just skip it all together, which is sad because on of the greatest things about the internet is the interactive nature of it. I don't want to correspond with a computer - I want to communicate with people, but somewhere along the way some people have gotten it into their heads that corresponding electronically exempts them from all kinds of maturity and class that I hope our parents have tried to instill in us while they were raising us. Or maybe folks use the anonimity of the internet to dump on others to make themselves feel better and powerful (falsely, by the way) because they've had a shitty day (but that's a whole other blog entry). Either way, keep your 'crazy', your 'nasty', your 'funkiness' to yourself, pleas, and let's seriously behave as ladies, and not act like those fake ass 'Housewives' we see on television.

(I did say please!)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Proof I haven't completely lost myself

This kid is my hero. I love him. I don't know him, but I love him.

Life's dream fulfilled in 24 seconds: A Holy Angels team manager with cerebral palsy got his wish to play Wednesday night.

Physical Therapy

Note: this isn't my MRI scan

I recently received the results of the second MRI I had as a result of the car accident on October 15.

Just to back track a bit - on April 15, 1998 I was hit by a NYC taxi. I was crossing the street on Third Avenue and 22nd Street, one block from the main building of my school (School of Visual Arts, SVA stand up!). I had the light in my favor to cross, so I did. A taxi was making a left turn from 22nd Street onto Third Avenue... and he hit me. Fast forward past neck and back braces, being bedridden for almost 2 months, the threat of not finishing my work in time to graduate (thank God my degree focus was on screenwriting and not production - you can type while on your back I learned), many years of chronic back and neck pain, tough pregnancy, having to train my son not to hug me too tight because at any moment he can throw my back out, being hit from behind (by my sister-in-law, in Virginia) and so on and so forth, and we come to October 15, 2012.

So according to Dr. K (he says to call him that because his Polish name is very difficult to pronounce... I tell him I have a difficult name too and make it a point to learn people's names correctly, he insists I call him Dr. K... ok, anyway...), Dr. K tells me a few weeks ago that my first MRI that my neck is herniated between the c-5 and c6 bones, and most recently in my lower back, the area between the 4th and 5th discs are bulging and the L-5 disc is herniated (and not only re-injured but in worse condition than made from the first time I was hit).

Luck for me at the time back then, and I guess now as well, I was someone who always worked out. And once I'd first been injured back in 1998 and went through intense physical therapy, that treatment stayed with me all these years. It was during that period of time that I was introduced to the exercise ball and exercise bands. I was already into fitness after being active in sports as a kid, and dancer in high school. Most recently, I'd become a runner, which proved to be one of the best exercises for my body and my mind. And then October 15, 2012 happened, and I haven't run since. 50% of the reason is because the therapist said not to, but since I'm stubborn and know my body (at least I think I do most of the time), I had plan to run anyway. I haven't. Depression and loneliness set in and my will to do it (and I have gotten dressed many times in an attempt to), hasn't been there (so you know I'm made that I let my mental shit take running away from me, or to be really real, I gave it away, like other things in life. Anyway...)

What Dr. K said Friday kinda made me mad. I've been wasting away (I'm sure it's not really as dramatic as I make it sound, but it's how I feel) for the past 2 months especially. I'm still kind of strong, but not as strong as I usually am, and I know this physical weakness has enhanced the emotional weakness that I'd been feeling. So I made the decision to get moving again. During a spirited conversation with my sister, who practically yelled "why won't they do back surgery now!!!????", I proclaimed that I would take over my own well being and not help the degeneration of my spine along.

Now, anyone who really knows me - like who's been to my apartment and seen my stuff - knows that I have what some have labelled a mini gym in my small apartment. Everything from a boxing heavy bag (as featured in a previous post) to a bike to ride the trails, to roller blades, hand weights, yoga stuff, Pilates stuff, workout stuff for the Wii, DVDs, CDs, books... yeah (they didn't call me gym rat for nothing). And on top of the supplements and nasty health concoctions that I got used to making and ingesting - there really is no excuse. But I did go out and get a couple new Yoga DVDs (one by Jillian Michaels called Yoga Meltdown (she scares me), which is for when I get to the point where I feel my stamina has increased, and Yoga for Stress Relief and Flexibility, something we all know I need like yesterday.

So this morning I woke up, depressed (which 'shame on me' since there's nothing depressing about waking up). Didn't go to the Parent Association meeting (don't wanna hear why the school's grade keeps going down, just not in the mood - talk about a hook and reel sale), and honestly had the intention to be productive, but not the will to. Shed some tears, finished last night's beer (I know, that was a really really bad thing to do), buried my head under several pillows, read through a novel, scolded myself, told myself I was great, told myself I wasn't so great, thought about Grandma, thought about if I had another child, if I was lucky to even live a long life, it still wouldn't be enough time to see my child with his or her children... basically buggin out this morning. And then I thought about my back pain and rolled myself - literally - out of the bed. Did a little cleaning, whipped out the Jasmin essential oil, lit up the diffuser, dusted off the yoga mat, dimmed the lights, threw on a sports bra and popped in the Yoga for Stress Relief and Flexibility DVD - on the surround sound system so I would feel like the heifer was in the room with me. I did 73 minutes of yoga (there are 2 programs, one for flexibility - ouch - and the other for stress relief), and I have to say that mojo woke my spirit up. I feel like parts of me that haven't gotten air for a long time, took a deep breath. It doesn't mean I'm out of the woods yet, physically or emotionally, but I did remind myself not just that I lived, but that I'm alive. There is still a lot of pain here, but some relief, and a bit of fire as well as these words hit me in the middle of a stretch that used to be easy to me: Success is the best revenge.

It's what I got for now. Sure 'do it for yourself' is a great one to, but to the thieves, the witches, peek-a-boo, haters and spiritual vampires out there, I just keep thinking 'get ready to hear 'check mate bitch' because SUCCESS IS THE BEST REVENGE.

Honorable mention for any back pain suffers out there: check out the book Treat Your Back Without Surgery: The Best Nonsurgical Alternatives for Eliminating Back and Neck Pain - I picked that little diddy up from one of Barnes and Nobles discount book racks a couple of years ago. It was a great purchase and the info is very helpful.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Homemade Facial Scrub Recipe

Here's a quick recipe that I've been making for a couple months now. It clears my skin better than any store bought medicated cream (which kinda pisses me off if you think about all of the money I've spent over the past 20 years of fighting acne).

  • water
  • niacin (antioxidant that helps fight acne, inflammation, sagging skin, and dull skin tone)
  • aspirin (salicylic acid )

  • saucepan
  • tea cup
  • spoon
  • generic condiment container
NOTE: Do not use this recipe if you are allergic to aspirin. Even though you're not swallowing an aspirin in this case, aspirin still gets into your blood stream while using it as a topical treatment.

For this recipe we will concentrate on creating enough scrub to fill a small condiment container (I purchased a set of 10 from my local Deals store, but you can use anything that has a cover to store the scrub)

Bring a few ounces of water to a boil in a saucepan.

Crush 5 Niacin and 3-4 Aspirin pills in a mortar and place in tea cup.

Add a little bit of the boiling water to the crushed pills and start stirring.

When the water is first added, it should be of a loose, soupy consistency. Keep stirring and it will get thicker. I prefer to get it to the consistency of snot (sorry, there's no pretty word for snot).

Store the finished product in a small, generic condiment container.

Cover and use at will. Note that not only do I and my son (who is starting to go through puberty) use this as a scrub, we also use this as an overnight spot treatment. This mixture can wipe out the most serious of pimples in 2-3 days, and fades scarring better than any over the counter product that I have every purchased.

Next up, I'm going to change up the recipe a bit by adding MSM and aloe juice. Stay tuned.

Excuses, Excuses

This amateur blogger has some. And I have spent the better part of the past 2 months scolding myself for them.

  • Lost my job - check
  • Lost the only man I cared about in over a decade - check (or more like he 'checked out')
  • (Almost) lost life in car accident - check (but thank God we didn't)
  • Lost a little bit of my mind watching a car come at us and wondering for a split second how to save my son - check
  • Lost car - check
  • Identity stolen and used to purchase almost $2400 of electronics
  • ID thief requested credit increase in my name (was denied, thank God!)
  • Lost sleep - check
  • Lost peace of mind - check
  • Lost confidence - check
I'm all checked out and wondering how to get it back because there is a part of me that believes that this isn't the end. I can get a job, get a bigger more comfortable place to live, have the creative life I crave, maybe even find love again and (gasp) get married and have at least another child, sleep peacefully, eat food without immediately feeling the intense need to puke it up, and more.

On the flip side, there is that louder, annoying, screechy shrew of a voice that says 'your done... just be glad to find a job doing anything and forget about whatever extra you had planned for your life.' I hate that bitch. And it is that hate for that shrew that pushes me to not fully check out. But I have been left to wonder what is going on with me that I have such a difficult time pulling it together? Surely, I've been through upheavals before - some pretty bad shit too. Sure, I'm older and maybe a little bit slower, but still... my resolve shouldn't be slower. What's up with that? I truly had no idea, and so I hid in a cave, communicating with only a few people while I tried to sort it all out. I came out of my cave a bit this week and reconnected with friends (brief chats) and something one woman said to me clicked when I tried to explain why I couldn't handle engaging with everyone, and why driving scares me so much now, and why I can't eat without getting a stomach ache, or why I'm just so damn tired all the time.

She said "you've experienced trauma, it's going to take time to get over all of the things that have happened over the past 5 months."

Ok, I already knew I'd been through a lot these past few months, but in my mind I immediately went into fix-mode, not allowing myself to really digest the impact of the things that have happened. I even remember saying to myself "take it on the chin and keep going." And while that sounds great for Rocky in part 9 of the movie series, for real people, that's not necessarily a good thing.


Why haven't I been able allow myself to accept that I experienced one trauma after another?

I have this habit of thinking that as long as you don't stop moving, the enemy hasn't won. Interestingly, I don't even have to wait for the enemy to take me out since I manage to do it to myself by literally running myself into the ground. And let me tell you, there is no glory in that. Putting "she worked herself to death" on my tombstone is not cute. And so here I am now, with at least 10 drafts of blog entries I've yet to publish, a website that I stopped building right after the car accident, now almost 2 months ago... walking in constant fear of rejection from a job... not even wanting to put myself in a situation where I could be rejected by a man...this ole girl is exhausted. And I surrender. The mask is gone... the act is over. Make no mistake, I'm not sad, just utterly confused and exhausted. I see the good for other people, and need to get back to seeing and believing it for myself.

Someone called me a 'worker bee' yesterday. Worker bee for someone else's goals, someone else's needs. That didn't make me feel good, but it did spark a little rebellious something in me, and so here I sit with my hands cradling that spark against the harsh cold wind out there, trying to keep it going, and GROWING so that it returns to the blaze it once was. Wish me luck... and don't blow on my flame, lol!