Monday, December 31, 2007

ringing it in

2008 is upon us, and i think i'll wait until tomorrow to make some serious resolutions. tonight is for champagne, and smiles, and laughter.

out with the old, and in with the new!

fighting takes too much energy

i spent part of my day yesterday, and too much of my night last night, upset about something. i'm sapped of energy this morning. the conflict was with a person i dated for a long time who broke my heart. it's been six months since i last saw him or heard his voice, and yet we still have things to fight about, apparently, and knowing how little he cares/cared about me still brings tears to my eyes.

you would think (like i have) that we could find a way to (really) forgive each other and move on, but you and i would both be wrong.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

yellowface. and black hair politics. and my first french braid.

saw yellowface by david henry hwang tonight with jac. good shit. (the review i linked to there is not particularly reflective of my thoughts, it was just easy.)
dhh took us for a ride down "who am i, and what the fuck does who i am mean?" lane. as a person who tends to rock uneasily between identity politics, non-identity politics(?), i felt that hwang's questions sat particularly heavily with me. in a treatise on the questions about what identity means for politics, what doing "good" work constitutes, how identity interfaces with personal relationships, and the meaning of family and legacy, dhh threw me for a loop. at the end i think everyone watching, including the playwright, is left wondering what it is they think and why it is they think whatever it is they think. confusing, right? i think so too. in sum, a good night at the public.

so. my hair. my mom straightened it over the weekend when i was home, like she always does. my mother is my mother, so i let her "tame" the afro when i go home, and i answer the always tantalizing question that lingers in the back of my still-white supremacist mind, "how long is it?" because the length means something. validates me as a beautiful woman. validates my attractiveness and desirability. even when i wash it back into my "halo"tomorrow i will have tucked away the truth of its length and told myself, for another year, that who i am is okay. it's long. and today and yesterday, i spent way too much of my precious time at work explaining the process to my white colleagues who just can't believe how long and pretty it is. oh the fucked-upness of my life. and why were my father's last words to me as i entered the airport in vegas on wednesday the following? "i know you don't like us to help you too much, but we would be happy to pay for you to get your hair done every week. i know you don't like it so straight, but it really looks nice..." why didn't he offer to pay my student loans? straighten my hair? i guess i know his priorities.
as long as my hair is straight, i figure i might as well practice my hair skills. i don't have many, so i have to practice when i can. my first self-french braiding attempt:

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

back in the hood

being back in the city is niiiiiiice. I always miss this place, as stressful and annoying as it can be. going back home this weekend solidified the fact that i don't really know when i'll be leaving. i become more and more uncertain about moving away each day that i stay.
i'm working on figuring out my side hustle right now, which is how i know i'm actually becoming a new yorker. i need a little something on the side to up the dinero aspect of my life. money is too short. gotta hustle. so i'm looking for some part-time stuff related to teaching. any ideas, my friends?
keep your eyes on the idealist lists for me, yes?
muchas gracias!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

a funky picture of my jogging outfit= art?

my learning to love you more assignment, #55 "photograph a significant outfit," is apparently quite engaging to some. they originally asked me if it could be included in the LTLYM book, but i didn't get my shit together in time to actually take care of that.
i got an email yesterday about it potentially being included in an art show in california in the coming year-- swanky! i'm thinking i want to do another assignment sometime soon. any ideas?

langston hughes made my father laugh out loud tonight

and my father doesn't laugh out loud very often. the black nativity caught him by surprise, i think. we all enjoyed it. the black church is the black church, through and through. whenever i wonder why black people in america can't let go of jesus, i remember that jesus' story is the ultimate "rags to riches" tale. he succeeded (in a way that doesn't jibe with capitalist culture's definition of success) in spite of the incredible odds of being born in a manger, no crib for a bed. all too familiar of a story for the descendants of slaves, living in a country whose dominant group too often proclaimed that there was "no room at the inn" for blacks. jesus, therefore, is very appealing.
for those of you that don't know, my father was given a promotion recently that means that he and my mother will be moving back to miami in summer 2008. there are lots of feelings around the move, for all of us, but i think i have a particular relationship to the move because miami is the last place that i truly called home. i think it will be interesting to go back because i'm pretty sure that upon my arrival i will realize that miami isn't really home anymore, and it may be almost as foreign to me as las vegas still is after almost 8 years.
one major part of my preparation for this move is that i have to "clean out" my room here in the vegas house. my mother claims i have a lot of stuff here. i couldn't disagree more, as i'm not even allowed to stay in "my" room most of the time, and am pushed around like little more than a visiting mutt. but that is another story. i started to look around tonight, and found a few precious gems of my adolescence in the process.
pictures: homecoming, junior prom, senior prom, my first ballet recital, me in my "i spent the night in bimini" nightgown, church camp.
jewelry: all those shitty little bracelets and plastic earrings you collect while you're in high school, and actually spend time at the mall.
more pictures: the march on washington for affirmative action, back in...02? sonja's bday party, same year. more shitty jewelry.
notebooks: a cuban "vidal" notebook, complete with notes from one of my classes at la universidad de la habana. and this, a weird poem that i'm not sure i wrote:

like most men who wear monstrous helmets,
the pressure it exerts is enough to convince him of its practical infinity.

her mind is a pink meshbag
filled with baby toes.

-unknown, or me.
if you've read those four lines of weirdness before, somewhere else, please share. if not, and if you happen to be an agent who thinks they're genius, drop me a line. :)

buenas noches.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

another nugget of truth from the SBTB camp

SBTB, by the way, stands for "Saved by the Bell," my favorite early morning t.v. fix. I've always been an early morning t.v. watcher-- from "Mork and Mindy" and "Mr. Ed" when I was young, to "Captain Planet" in my adolescence, I've never had qualms about enjoying t.v. from days gone by before the sun rises.
Today's episode of SBTB is about believing in who you are, whether or not the object of your desire appreciates what you have to offer. The student council decides to have a date auction to raise money for cheerleading uniforms, and Lisa tries to change into a nerd to get brainy Brian to like her, while Zach's plus-size date Wendy dumps him- twice- because he is unable to get over himself enough to see her as a person and not a charity case. If only I were so secure in myself and my merits. Finally, of course, and totally unrealistically, Zach asks Wendy to have the last dance with him, and turns down the chance of a dance with the hot model-like blonde. Lisa flips out on Brian after he insults all of her pals, and tears all of the modest aspects of her clothing off in order to become "herself" again. It was Saturday morning t.v., it couldn't turn out too badly, right?
There's also a weird moment when Slater is shadowing Kelly's cheerleading routine and he does the most insane head-toss EVER. classic t.v. moment.
Gotta love TBS.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

alvin ailey and my commitment to nyc's beauty

went to see that alvin ailey american dance theater tonight. for those of you that may not know, alvin ailey is a premiere dance company that was founded by an african american man in 1958, focused on the promotion of the african american through modern dance.
i saw alvin ailey last year and was blown away by the beauty and uniqueness of the performance. as a casual modern dance/ballet fan, i wasn't sure how much of the performance i would truly understand, but i found that the african american perspective reflected in much of the company's work spoke to me in a way that other performances have not. many of the dancers are of color, and the themes of the pieces, as well as the musical scores, were relevant to my life, specifically. that being said, i was TRES EXCITED for my attendance this year. i took my almost-bday twin, jac, and we spent two wondrous hours enjoying choreography by the likes of camille a. brown, robert battle, alvin ailey, and shonach robles. increible. the end of firebird almost brought me to tears--one of the most beautiful things i've ever seen.
i've been craving beautiful things as of late. i think my focus for my 25th year is on developing my beautiful things collection- jewelry especially- because i am surrounded by some of the most creative people on the earth in this city, and i don't take advantage of that enough.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

on the shaking of tailfeathers

if a certain male coworker asks me again when i'm going to "get crunkalicious and shake my tailfeather to the flo'," i'm going to have to share the following, no matter how embarrassing these truths may be for him:
  1. i am not eligible for crunkaliciousness. yes, i am black. yes, i get drunk. but no, i do not get crunk. i am far too bougie for that. lil' jon would laugh my ass off the dance floor if anyone were to ever tell him that i was "crunk." also, you, a white man from wisconsin who seems to have a penchant for essentializing people of color into the most reductive and offensive stereotypes possible, are not crunk and will never be crunk, even though you special order the crunk juice that pays lil' jon's rent by the case.
  2. "shake your tailfeather" and "to the flo'" are NOT phrases that are uttered together. they are from different songs, by different artists, and when you scream them at the top of your lungs in crowded bars, even the fratty white boys look up like, "WhaaAT?!"
  3. i have an ass, a booty, some junk in my trunk. i do not have a tailfeather. nelly is not a benchmark for 2007 cool. nelly is a benchmark for 2001 not-cool. nelly wears air force ones. even if i DID have a tailfeather, you would have zero reason to refer to it. my ass is none of your damn business.
  4. lastly, all of this just leaves me feeling really, really bad for your girlfriend, who is of color but must be really lost. to spend time with you and your racist, faux-liberal stupidity must be a daily struggle of a type that i can only begin to imagine.
please jump off a motherfucking cliff.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"has someone lost a little weight?"

that's the question i got from my coworker mark this morning. looks like watching my food intake and the leg lifts and crunches i've been doing as of late are working their magic.

whoo hoo.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

the sometimes-beauty of my life

so i've been a little concerned about a bill for i was bound to receive from a manhattan hospital for a visit i made to their ear clinic. i was told that the visit would cost $150, which isn't horrible, but it's been a little tight in the havestrength world what with my moves and all, so i don't really always have 150 bucks sitting around.

got the bill today, and at first glance things were worse than i thought-- total charges= $700! i'm freaking out, right, and then i check out the total amt to be paid by patient, at the far right (see image below).

.29. 29 cents. that's what my mother calls proof that god exists. it's what i call a reason why i try my best to do good in this world. either way, it put a smile on my face today. someone/fate/karma has given me yet another beautiful birthday present. :)

i wish i were smarter

i wish books weren't all i knew how to talk about.

i really wish i had smart things to say about, oh, obama and hillary, or current events, or anything beyond novels and lesson plans. they aren't bad things to be an expert on, but they definitely aren't the end-all be-all.


i am legend, aka jdo

sooooooooooooo how excited am i that one of my boyfriends, the now beautifully silvered will smith, timed his new movie "i am legend" to come out alongside my 25th birthday?


big willie also coordinated things so that the "i am legend" new york premiere would be happening at madison square garden, which is directly in front of my building of employment. thanks will, sweetheart! one problem- you didn't arrive while i was sitting staring out of my coworker's window at the entrance, you silly goose!

i cannot wait to watch will and his dog kick some zombie ass. now i know will has his flaws, as one of my coworkers so decisively decried his homophobic tendencies back in the day on the fresh prince as well as in bad boys I and II, but you have to hold it down for a black man married to a black woman with black children who is not denzel washington. a man who tried, i think, to push the american public to interrogate the meaning of being a young black male. maybe i'm going too far. maybe i'm remembering it the way i wanted it to be, and not the way it was. but i do heart will smith. i mean, jada even had a mustache for a minute! talk about being open and accepting!

anyone wanna see "i am legend" on sunday?? anyone?

Monday, December 10, 2007

peppermint cookies and cream brownies

recipe courtesy of baking bites.

my coworkers have it waaaaaaay too good. :)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

reclaim my game

so i'm feeling somewhat disoriented as of late. i'm no longer totally heartbroken (the crying only happens every once in awhile, when my mind happens across something that it shouldn't), but somehow i just haven't gotten back to the way i used to feel. back when i met him.

the confidence i had about myself and my worth and my appeal went missing in the midst of the worse with him, and i have yet to locate it and bring it back. i'm trying. i am. i'm trying not to go out looking busted, i'm trying to think about the way i react to people, i'm trying to be open. i'm making new friendships and new connections, working hard, and trying to be reflective. i think i'm doing what i can.

the difference between now and before, though, is that i always feel unsure. i've lost my key to my self-worth. i gave it to him. i let him have control over how i felt about myself. he doesn't want it. he never did. but somehow i think i've let him hold on to it. now i realize it's time to go out dorothy-style and find the wizard to get a ride back home to kansas.

where's toto when you need him?

Monday, December 3, 2007

upgrade you

gotta love that beyonce jam. the upgrade chain in the mouth is a little nasty, but hey, why can't a girl have a little fun, right?

my boss asked me today what my top three personal goals are for the next two years. she wants to be my fairy boss and grant me three professional wishes (and thereby keep me from running off to grad school/back to the classroom/off to a position that actually pays). that, of course, made me think. what are my top three personal/professional goals for the next two years? what would i really like to accomplish?

  1. publishing something would be nice, i think. a book with my name on it, and learning how to do some press for such a book would be ideal.
  2. honing my management skills, and adding a major management project to my resume. not sure what the project would be, but i really want something that proves that i know how to manage people and not just information.
  3. #3 is up in the air, folks, and baffling me just a little. any suggestions?
gift for the 4th (i open them before i go to bed because i am a 5 year old in a mid-twenties, quickly widening body ;)): two pairs of socks. cute. striped. but still not an ipod. :(

Sunday, December 2, 2007

the entertainer

1) this is my 101st blog post! yay! i'm glad i'm back to writing, especially because it's about things other than my broken/breaking/confused heart. my heart has figured itself out, and i now have time to entertain.
2) entertaining is a lot of fun. i had friends over last night, and then melissa and i had a few friends over for dinner tonight, and i am such a happy camper! i am truly my parents' daughter in that i love inviting people into my home. i like to bring people into my presence. we osbornes are quite the social butterflies...though i'm more like a social caterpillar. :)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

bday countdown

so my mom is generally pretty awesome when it comes to big milestones. i got 16 gifts on my 16th birthday, including 16 roses, and it was great. so when she said i was getting a gift for every day of december up til my birthday, i thought she was alluding to really great things. i just opened my december 1st gift.

what was it?

a pair of socks and some cough syrup. haha leslie, ha ha.