Monday, August 31, 2009

My City...My Soul - by DMoe

It was once said that time heals all wounds. Well, time has elapsed as a span of four years (or 1,460 days) and many of Hurricane Katrina's wounds are still visible in the lives of so many New Orleanians. I am one of them.

These wounds make me a steward of retrospect. I live life with vivid glimpses of past experiences, and relive many of the traverses of my world in real-time, long afterwards. I am just that way. Color me a glutton for the punishment of my life's earth-shattering moments being replayed in my mind in HD, with an almost habitual consumption for any and all discovered details of the "thing" as it unfolded. While I don't consider this an always "great thing", I believe this concept affords me the opportunity to never lose sight of the sheer fragility and importance of each day I live beyond the earth-shattering event.

I've come to understand that concept more and more in each of the 1,460 days since the levees broke.

Each day, I remember the days. As I spoke earlier of reliving things in real-time, the day Katrina "officially" threatened my hometown and the stark reality of the dire situation, was one day. The day she made landfall, and the hopes and prayers as we watched, was yet another. As I recall, there was actually relief (though short-lived) as she strayed away from the direct hit.

In comparison, the fateful day the levees began to fail, and pour destruction into the "Big Easy's" landscape, was indeed THE day. As we New Orleans' people are so intricately woven with French culture, it was Katrina's "Coup de grace," or so some thought.

I asked to guest blog on this particular day because exorcising these ideas and sharing them in this forum is as therapeutic as it is emancipating. While I will never be completely free, it makes this particular day an easier one by giving you a glimpse of the things that live on within me. Essentially, for many years I have resided in other cities physically, but I have always lived in New Orleans spiritually. That matters now more than ever.

The thoughts I have on the subject are simply too immense for this format. There is just too much data downloaded on my mental hard drive to pour forth on this blog. However, there are things you should know based on my experience as Katrina and her wake changed me and New Orleans forever.

Here are but a few of the things I will never forget:

-I remember the dozens of phone calls from friends who knew I worked in the media. My work/cell phones rang incessantly with "my grandmother/mother/cousin/son/daughter/aunt is at the convention center. Can you send word there?" The challenge then became the balancing act of witnessing New Orleans be destroyed piece-by-piece on the news all day while trying to work, hosting my childhood friends and family at home while continuing to witness the devastation all night, and trying to assist in the searches of friends who had lost their loved ones. Maintenance of my sanity was paramount, but a strange sense of focus seemed to hold me. Thank God.

-I remember knowing exactly where every levee breach, every incident of unrest, every horrible image of human suffering, and every house with water up to its roof was precisely located. I knew to the street corner where everything you saw on the news was happening. I also remembered the proximity to all of my life's personal landmarks and what that would mean later.

-I remember the despondent look on my boyhood friend's mother's face as my good friend evacuated his family and came to stay with me. This same loving woman who took pictures of us before our high school prom, who made us sandwiches in record time before we left the house growing up, had suddenly undergone a startling metamorphosis. She would stare out the window for hours on end. The devastation was shaking her, and her world was being flooded literally and figuratively. She rarely spoke for the 17 days she spent in my home.

-I remember the red tape involved with merely getting back into New Orleans. This was not Canada, and not Guatemala. This was neither the Ukraine nor Iraq. This was New Orleans, Louisiana - in this country.

-As we made our way back home, I remember the camera simply not having enough memory for the hundreds of pictures I snapped. I made the trip with my grandfather and aunt to see what blow Katrina had dealt to our family's home and the city. By the time we were through Mississippi crossing into Louisiana, I had to start deleting photos I'd taken only moments before. There was just too much to see, and I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

-I remember the 'sepia tone' of the landscape. For those unfamiliar, this is the trick photographers use to tint photos, giving them a stylized look that makes everything a varied shade of brown. Katrina's winds swept so many things away, and the waters killed anything natural that was still in place. For every tree, every patch of land, and every open space, New Orleans just looked brown. Not like the fall, when leaves turn and branches become bare, but it was as if the city had actually "died" in wide swaths.

-I remember as we drove around, taking inventory of personal landmarks. The results were maddening. Every school I attended, every relative's home I spent family dinners at, every friend's home I kicked it at growing up, every park I played in, and every weekend hang-out - were all decimated.

-I remember the smell. A distinct permeation of the air cut through our normal, tropically-humid conditions. It was as if the entire city had mildewed and the feeling everywhere was like living things (people, animals and plants) were rotting. There were so many smells. Another example was the stench from refrigerators. As people cleaned up their homes, the fridges became a running "laugh to keep from crying" joke in New Orleans. The smell from those alone was a unique, ungodly thing.

-I remember the eerie feeling of nightfall in the ghost town New Orleans became with little electricity and life period. While parts of downtown and portions of uptown had returned to a normal way of life, there were other parts largely dormant, and they were frightening. It felt like evil roamed freely at night, and had a perfect dark, desolate environment in which to thrive.

-I remember admiring my grandfather's ability to stomach the things we witnessed upon our return. Nothing really shook him as we drove around. With houses he built with his own hands destroyed, he was the best at keeping OUR spirits up. The one of us who had undoubtedly lost the most was the one who cracked the most jokes.

With these ideals in mind, there's one more thing: There is the memory of the spirit of New Orleans in relation to mine. If you know my city, you know the souls of its people are what fuels that spirit and provides its unique magnificence. As I have struggled with the memories, I am graced by New Orleans' majesty, and its determination to never let that spirit die. That spirit may have been blighted, but it endures. It simply refuses to die, "coup de grace" not withstanding.

In particular, I remember "my city" and its unique kinship to "my soul..."

Here are the things I've seen, heard, felt, hoped for, known, loved and still believe about New Orleans in the 1,460 days since Hurricane Katrina.

video

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share.

-DMoe

Friday, August 28, 2009

TGIF!!

As you can tell by my playlist, today I’m celebrating the life of Michael Jackson. August 29th, 1958, the King of Pop was born. Saturday, he would have been 51 years old - gone too soon. Tomorrow, many will remember the life and legacy of the greatest entertainer that ever lived.



But tomorrow isn’t just Michael Jackson’s birthday.

On August 29th, 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck Florida and the Gulf Coast – and devastated the city of New Orleans. The storm killed more than 1,800 people, displaced many more, and the damage done by the storm is estimated at around $80 billion.

We all remember where we were and what we were doing as news of Katrina’s devastation and images of her wrath ran across our tv screens - people stranded on roof tops, being rescued in boats and dying in the streets. Children and the elderly were lost. Homes torn down, lives destroyed.

Those images will always remain with us, too painful to re-live. They remind us that America is willing to abandon an entire city when it was inconvenient to save them. We saw images of desperation, racism and hopelessness.


Four years later, rebuilding continues. Yes there are still FEMA trailers where homes should be. Not everyone has returned home. Nothing happens as quickly as we want it too. But four years later, there are rays of light…and hope.


New levees, new buildings, returning residents, better school systems, children achieving…thriving. New Orleans is coming back…regaining its status as the gem of a city that we always knew it to be. New Orleans is moving past disaster, and into a better and brighter future.

Tomorrow we celebrate a life, and the rebirth of The Big Easy.

-b


*New Orleans photos courtesy of Dereyck Moore


Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's Random Thoughts Thursday!

- My family is back safe and sound from Morocco! I was so happy to see them yesterday, I missed my babies!

- Can I just tell you I was stuck on the train for 2 hours this morning. Fuckery.

- I can't seem to go to bed before 1am lately.

- I can watch A Few Good Men over and over again..."You can't handle the TRUTH!" That's what I was doing past 1am.

- Speaking of, as I was watching last night, a Dos Equis commercial came on. "Stay thirsty my friends." Now I know where DMoe gets that phrase from :)

- I can watch A Time to Kill over and over too. "Yeah they deserve to die and I hope they burn in hell!"

- I need a haircut.

- Do those ExtenZe tablets really work...anyone know?? Something that makes your "willy" bigger...sounds a bit scary right?

- I've been itchin' to buy boots. I love fall fashion :-) Hate winter though.

- I can't believe it's almost September. This year is flying by.

- Speaking of September - Momo's race is coming up September 27th! Donate today for a great cause. She rocks!

- How cool is it that Venus and Serena Williams bought a stake in the Miami Dolphins? Hotness!

- I wish it was Friday.

- I wanna take a real estate/home buying course. Can anyone recommend a good one?

- Five years probation, hard labor and anger management counseling - the sentence given to Chris Brown. What do you think?

- Michael Jackson's doctor is gonna get it.

- Speaking of MJ, his birthday is Saturday...anyone going to Pretty Ricky's "MJ Birthday Bash"? I want to, but I may be in Philly...not sure yet.

- In honor of MJ's upcoming birthday:



- The MegaMillions jackpot is $325 million. I'm sayin'....a dollar and a dream right? What would you do with all that money? :-)

Go!

-b

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Happy Hump Day!

So, today's blog post come at the suggestion of...who else? Our very own Rameer Green. We were talking about this the other night, so I thought we'd discuss today.

I don't watch Making His Band on MTV, so Rameer had to explain to me the foolishness that occurred on Monday night's episode. Basically, this guy J. Free wanted to let this woman know in no uncertain terms that he was NOT interested in her. Here is a behind the scenes look:



Now, I know this may not be a nice thing to say, but I'm gonna say it anyway - he's not cute enough to be acting that ugly. No one is.

We've all been in a position to have to reject someone. Someone is crushing on us, but we're not giving them any rhythm. They're still coming at us, and we're running the other way. They think we're vibing. You know you're not. What to do?

No one likes to be rejected. And being the "rejector" is sometimes just as hard, if not harder, than being the "rejectee." It's an unpleasant experience for all involved, but there are some things you can do to make it go as smooth as possible.

1. Mind your manners. Just because you're not interested doesn't mean you need to be rude. Rameer said that J. Free screamed on ole girl in front of everyone, tv cameras included, and basically embarrassed her. There's a difference between being honest and being an asshole. Proceed with kindness, even if you don't feel like it. You'll be glad you did later and hopefully your mama didn't raise you to be a jerk. Treat others the way you'd like to be treated. Cliche...but true.

2. Speaking of cliches, don't use any. Even though this phrase is typically used for breakups, don't say, "It's not you, it's me." Even if it's true, it sounds ridiculous, and no one believes that crap. The person being rejected may not want to hear the real truth, but they still deserve to. Choose your words carefully. Just because you’re being honest, doesn’t mean you can’t be tactful or considerate. Something as simple as, "Thank you for your interest, it's flattering...but I'm not interested in that way" should be enough. There's really nothing to say after that. But in the event that they DO have something to say...

3. Just smile and take their questions, disappointment...or sometimes anger...in stride. Always maintain eye contact and stick to your guns. Don't let them sucker you into thinking you made a mistake by rejecting them. If they ask you why you aren't attracted to them, don't make up something like "I have a boy/girlfriend" just to get them off your back. And don't say "let's just be friends" if you don't mean it. Just reiterate that you're flattered but you don't see a possible relationship. If they don't get it, then say thanks and keep it movin' - and maybe get a restraining order :)

4. If possible, do it in private. Don't reject someone in front of an audience like J. Free did - that's just mean. You'll embarrass the other person - as if being rejected isn't bad enough - and you may make yourself look like an ass too. The only way I'd advise rejecting someone in public is if you feel they may get violent and you need witnesses. In that case, do the rejecting in Times Square...at lunch time :)

5. Get straight to the point. Be nice, be honest and be quick. The sooner you get it over with, the better for both of you. No need to explain yourself until a new world's been built, and rambling on and on will make you seem unsure of yourself, will only embarrass the both of you more...or make them angry. Short and sweet is much kinder.

I told Rameer Monday night that ole boy might want to be careful, because karma is a bitch. Even if you don't subscribe to the "what goes around, comes around" theory, just remember that one day, YOU may be the one being rejected - and hopefully someone will treat you with the kindness and respect that you deserve.

-b

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Before Britney, before Ciara, before RiRi and before Beyonce...Aaliyah was the one to do it. It's been 8 years...and we still miss her. She was definitely One in a Million.








-b

Monday, August 24, 2009

Happy Monday everyone!

It was so hard for me to get up and get moving this morning. There was a cool breeze coming through my window and my bed felt extra comfy. I nuzzled into my pillow for a few extra winks as I listened to the morning deejays on Hot97 jibber-jabber about...whatever.

Then one of them tells a story about being out at a club and seeing a woman throw a condom at a man at the other end of the bar.

I perked up a little. Not because the story was so interesting, but because I had to get my ass moving before I got the nerve to call in "sick."

The deejays then go on to say that they think that women who carry around condoms, especially while out at the club, are "slutty." The female sidekick on the morning show disagreed, and said that women who carried condoms were smart. So they took a poll.

Every woman that called in said it was smart, while every man said it was slutty.

huh?

Okay, now I was up.

Men carry condoms all the time. Or at least they should. And men aren't considered "man-whores" when they do. They're considered careful and responsible.

So why on earth would a woman not be considered the same way? Because she's a woman? Are STD's and unplanned pregnancies "less slutty?" Hmmmm.....

Call me crazy, but anything that can be done to prevent an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy or keep you from ending up with the "Clap" is pretty damned intelligent to me. And anything over-the-counter is fair game. The way I see it, you can call a woman whatever name you want - so long as you're not calling her your baby mama or calling her to tell her you're burning.

It's a shame the double-standard still exists. A man carries condoms and it's no big deal. A woman carries them and she's a slut? Really?

A man typically has to have slept with more women that Wilt Chamberlain in order to gain "man-whore" status. Yet all a woman seemingly has to do is carry condoms and she's automatically labeled a Jezebel...no proof, no nothing - just a little piece of latex in her bag.

Pure Fuckery.

Do you know how many VIRGINS carry condoms JUST IN CASE that fateful day comes when they "become a woman?" A lot of them do. But oh wait...I forgot...condom = slut...even if you've never had your "cherry popped."

Unbelievable.

Oh...and newsflash fellas - most REALLY SLUTTY women, don't carry around condoms. And if they do, you'd never know it. Intelligent "sluts" don't get caught. Marinate on that one.

Carrying condoms has absolutely no correlation with the number of people someone gets busy with. Carrying condoms does not equate to promiscuity.

A woman carrying around condoms isn't going to call you in 9 months talking about..."guess what, remember that night we didn't have a condom and you said you were gonna "pull out?" Well guess what, it didn't work."

A woman carrying around a condom isn't going to say, "Hey Tyrone, I think you better go to the clinic real quick."

I'm not saying condoms are 100% full proof, but if used correctly, the chances of catching some "nasty women's disease" or knocking her up are pretty slim. "Slutty Women" walking around carrying condoms aren't destroying the world with their "sex lives." There are bigger things to worry about than putting labels on women who take their own sexual health into their own hands.

I don't carry around condoms, but I have one or two lying somewhere around in my apartment. A condom can be for a booty call, a boyfriend, that chance meeting with Idris Elba....

what, a girl can dream right? oops!...forgot I was writing out loud ;-)

If a woman wants to carry around a condom in her purse, I say more power to her. And not for nothing, you men aren't always responsible when it comes to that. You get us all worked up and then YOU guys say, "hey, you got a condom?" And that's if you INDEED ASK!! A lot of you have no problem running up in some chick raw - random or not - simply because it "feels good." And if we tell you you're not getting any without it, you look at us all crazy. No glove, no love.

Bet your punk ass wishes we were a "slut" then huh?! Hmmph!

I say all that to joke around, and I know all men and women don't buy into the theory that women who carry condoms are sluts. But seriously people - who you get busy with and when is no one's business. I only care that you're safe and protecting yourselves. The only label anyone can put on that is smart and sexy. And STD's and abortions aren't smart OR sexy.

-b

Friday, August 21, 2009

TGIF!!!

It was because of this song that people started calling me "Brookeybaby." :-) Let's go!

1. Would you rather be considered extremely intelligent or extremely sexy?

2. Where is your favorite place to be kissed?

3. Name a sexy song.

4. What type of sex do you like to have most?

- Slow and sensual
- Romantic and tender
- Energetic and playful
- Fast and dirty

5. Men: thong or boy shorts? Women: boxers, briefs, or boxer briefs?

6. How long should a couple in an exclusive relationship wait before they stop using condoms? Is there ever a time when it’s safe to NOT use condoms?

7. If there was only one choice on the menu tonight, which would you choose?

- Intercourse
- Oral Sex
- Extra hour of sleep

8. How would you rate your sex life so far this year on a scale of 1 to 10, with (1) being terrible and (10) being great!

9. If you were in the Winter Olympics of Sex, which “sport” would you win a medal in?

- Opening Ceremonies (foreplay)
- Luge (oral)
- Cross Country (intercourse)
- Combined Downhill (oral & intercourse)
- Short Track (minute man)
- Super G (orgasms)
- Freestyle Moguls (anal)
- Triathlon (foreplay, oral, intercourse)
- I’d go home empty handed

10. If you could improve any aspect of your partner’s sexual skills, what would it be?

Go!

-b

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's Random Thoughts Thursday!

I'd like to introduce everyone to Annamaria's lil mama - her pride and joy - Miss Sophia Michele Williams! Isn't she a little angel?
:-)





- Now, this is nothing new...I got hit on yesterday by another woman. But this woman was f*cking STUNNING! She was a Sudanese woman...gorgeous! I actually had to pause and think for a moment when she asked me for my number and to dinner...like "should I?" If I swung that way, I would have snagged a hottie! The women who hit on me are getting prettier and prettier - I must be steppin' my game up! I think I was flattered!!! Hell...I was flattered!

- Okay, enough with the girl crush.

- I was jammin' to LL Cool J this morning - "now all you crappy lookin' nappy headed girls get back, cuz there's a 10 to one chance that you might get slapped...ROCK THE BELLS!!"

- My cell phone is busted. I need a new one. Any suggestions?

- You can still text me though. And if you want to talk to me, text me and I'll send you my blackberry or home number. This is just wack :-(

- I want pizza for lunch, but I'm gonna eat salad instead.

- I never get tired of watching Harlem Nights :-)



- I would love for Eddie Murphy to do another Harlem Nights or Boomerang. Anything but another kiddie movie.

- I'm addicted to Yolanda's Witches Brew blog - I read it everyday, I can't keep up with it all!

- Speaking of, check this out. Pantene makes a shampoo AND lubricant all in one??? They actually said, "With 20 percent more of the moisture-rich ingredients found in the original Pro-V formula, your hair will always look great, and his penis will never get dried out or chafed." And to think, I've been using shower gel on his...I mean...huh? Is that for real??!!

- I like the blinged out condom holders too :-)

- The "Octomom" is nuts.

- Happy Birthday Maliek!

Go!

-b

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

WTF Wednesday!

Happy Hump Day!

Actually, today, we're gonna call it WTF Wednesday, cuz I have a bit of a rant brewing.

Now, you know I'm tryna be up in the gym as much as possible so I can hang with Ms. Monica and her triathlon ass. Can somebody please "splain me why" there are bare naked ladies runnin' all up and through?

I'm not shy in the ladies locker room. I change into my gym clothes, and if you happen to catch a glimpse of a nipple or a left cheek, so be it. We should all be secure enough within ourselves to not have a problem being nude in front of anyone.

But damn y'all...some of the things I see.

First and foremost, if Aunt Flo is in town, don't prance your naked ass around the locker room with a tampon string dangling between your legs. That's just gross. I know I made y'all throw up in your mouth a little bit just now, but I saw that last night and just had to speak on it.

Second, everyone knows the gym-issued towels are paper thin and about as big as a washcloth, so stop trying to wrap it around your ass. Grab like 4 or 5 of them bad boys and at least PRETEND like you're trying to cover up. Geesh!

I'm not a prude by any means. I don't have a problem with naked ladies around me. I don't have a problem with "big boneded" naked ladies around me. I don't have a problem with jiggly naked ladies around me. After all, I am one. We all have the same thing. I get it.

But I take issue with the ones who sit their bare naked asses on your towel on the bench, or who use the communal Conair gym blow dryer to dry their snatch. Yes...I've seen it!

I don't need to have you all up in my space showing me your girlie bits, your wobbly bits, your itty bitty titties or your big ole bazoobas. Stay out of my personal space and my line of sight. Stop bending over so that your ass is all up in my face as you dry-shave your legs while I sit on the bench next to you tying my shoelaces. Stop plucking the hairs out of your chin in front of the mirror while sweat is running down your crotch. Go put some damn clothes on and keep it movin'! Get in, get out! And get your breastesses off me!

You ain't at home! WTF!!!???

Okay...I'm done.

-b

p.s. Feel free to add your own rant here for WTF Wednesday :-)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happy Tuesday Y'all!

So as everyone knows by now, I've been on this "try to eat healthier, work out with Monica" kick since she started training for her triathlon in September. The day is fast approaching, and Momo has been doing an awesome job! She inspires me everyday; and when I feel like I don't want to go to the gym or I want to eat some ice cream, she reminds me that our health is more important than a double scoop of heaven from our favorite spot up the street.

And it's been working! In the short time I've joined her crusade, I've lost 8 lbs by just watching certain things I eat and working out with her twice a week. On the days we don't work out together, I feel obligated to go to the gym because I know she's at her training...running, biking and swimming it up! At her last doctor's appointment, she was informed that her blood pressure was lower and that her cholesterol levels where down. She was in good health to begin with, but her conditioning has made her that much healthier. Something as simple as exercising 3-5 times a week makes a huge difference.

As Black women, we are more at risk of developing serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and hypertension/high blood pressure. Some of these conditions are hereditary - but can be controlled - while most times they can be prevented altogether. We are more likely to die from complications from any of those conditions compared to our white counterparts. It's simply a matter of caring enough to want to take better care of ourselves.

We should work out to feel good, feel strong, relieve stress and to be healthier. But we make excuses as to why we can't do it or find the time. We work long hours, have husbands and children to tend to, we can't afford a gym membership - all seemingly valid reasons why exercising may be at the bottom of our priority list.

But the one reason that shouldn't be an excuse as to why we can't work out is our hair. Yes, you read correctly...our HAIR.

According to a study conducted by the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, in Winston-Salem, N.C., 31% of African-American women surveyed said that they exercise less because it might harm their hairstyles. While all the women agreed that exercise is important, fewer than 25% actually met the Federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended exercise rates.

I am one of those women who sweats her hair out. But we also know that I'm one of those women who could care less about hair. It gets wet, I wash and blow-dry it. No big deal. I pull it back into a little ponytail and keep it moving. But I also have to get more treatments because my hair breaks off from washing it and drying it over and over again. That's why braiding my hair works best for me, because I can work out and not have to worry about my hair not looking "done" after I rinse the sweat out.

But I also realize I'm not like most sista girls either. Few African-American women would head straight to the gym from the hair salon - even I wouldn't do that. We get our hair "did" on Friday or Saturday, and don't work out til Monday or Tuesday. We tend to spend a disproportionate amount of time AND money on professional hair care, so the LAST thing we're gonna do is sweat out that perm and blow-out we just spent all day getting and throw money on the treadmill. I can hear all my girls now..."hell naw!"

But now, the problem is raised to the level of a public health concern because as a group, African-American women are in greater need of exercise. Seventy-eight percent of Black women are overweight and 50% can be categorized as obese, according to the American Obesity Association.

The biggest concern about our hair is trying to maintain a hairstyles that isn't natural. Now, I've already written the blog on "good and bad hair" - so we're not going to go there. If you want it pressed and relaxed or if you're "happy to be nappy" - that's on you. I pass judgment on no one. But Black women’s hair is more delicate, even though it's coarser, because the chemicals we often use to straighten it break our hair down - something to consider when deciding on how to rock your "do."

The average African-American woman gets her hair done every two weeks, though some go more often. Some styles, like long weaves, are expensive and can be destroyed by sweat or water, so women who opt for those styles may decide to forgo a sweaty workout.

And even those women who DO work out regularly may be reluctant to work up a REAL sweat for fear of ruining their hair. I've seen women at the gym who are barely moving, just so they won't bust a sweat. They aren't pushing themselves as much as they could because they're worried about their hair. They're thinking, "this style has to last me til next Friday girl!"

I asked my hair stylist what I could do to keep my hair healthy and STILL work out often. Her response?

"Nothing girl...you just have to decide which is more important to you -cute and fat, or thin and in shape with jacked up hair."

I'll take the jacked up hair for $200 Alex.

She DID offer up some advice though. She said that short hairstyles, braids and locks are the best styles for African-American women who regularly exercise, because they're easiest to care for. She also offered up these little tips:

- To prevent sweat damage by controlling moisture and salt buildup, use a mild, pH-balanced shampoo and a moisturizing protein conditioner a couple times a week.
-Wear a swim cap in the pool to protect hair from chlorine damage.
- For natural styles, treat hair and scalp with a light conditioning oil daily.
- Blunt cuts and bobs can be easily styled after workouts.
- Style chemically relaxed hair with a wide-toothed comb.
- After a workout, dry-set hair with rollers and use a leave-in conditioner on the tips.

Now, I'm not one to worry about my hair after I break a sweat, no matter WHAT type of exercising I'm doing (after all, there are MANY ways to break a sweat!). But I get it. We don't like to go to work looking all crazy and we DO want to take care of our hair as much as possible. For most Black women, our crown is our glory...and there's nothing wrong with that.

But would you rather have diabetes and high blood pressure with a fly-ass weave, or would you rather live to see your grandchildren with your hair a knotty mess or in a ponytail?

If you even have to think about the answer...shame on you.

-b

Monday, August 17, 2009

Happy Monday!

So last Friday, while talking to a male friend, he suggested I write a blog on "cuddling." He said, "I wish a woman could just f*ck me and roll over and go to sleep." He "encouraged" me to write about it. I think that was his way of asking me to tell women to get a clue.

"After sex, men are sleepy," he says. They want to roll over and catch some zzzz's, not cuddle. Or, he says, "It's hot, and he doesn't want you all up on him laying across his chest." And finally he continues, "Sometimes, we just want you to leave. It's nothing personal - it's just a "man thing."

He then goes on to say that sometimes he excuses himself to the bathroom and leans over the sink asking himself what he should say to get her to get up and get the hell on. If you hear him say this, take this as your cue:

"Wow...I have to work early tomorrow morning. I need to get some sleep."

or

"What time do you have to work in the morning?"

The most likely explanation for the post-coital snooze is that a chemical called prolactin released after sex makes men sleepy. Its purpose is to induce rest during his "recovery period" - the time it takes him to get it back up. Of course women find it odd that the race car that just ravaged them has run out of gas, but it's really just his way of "re-fueling." Of course, HE will say something like, "Girl, you wore me out!" or that because he was "puttin' in work" trying to please us, WE made him sleepy. Now I understand that all the exertion of stroking, sucking, thrusting, shifting and squirming for any time longer than say, ten seconds, makes it impossible to keep his eyes open - but prolactin goes to work whether he lasts for 2 minutes or 2 hours. The physical exertion isn't what makes him want to turn his back to you and go to sleep, the chemical release is. It has nothing to do with us ladies :-)

Note: If we fall asleep next to you, it could be that you wore us out too - but chances are, we want to be laying next to you when you wake up just in case you're ready to go again. At least that's why I do it ;-)

But let's say prolactin isn't the culprit. Maybe it's just too hot in there after y'all just got done doing the nasty, and he doesn't want your hot, sweaty body all pressed up on or draped across him. Maybe he just wants you to back up a bit, lay in the wet spot, and let him get his snore on.

Or - and this is a doozie - maybe he's just not that into you. Now I know that sounds odd considering he just got done blowing your back out. But men can separate sex from emotions - easily. As a matter of fact, he may PURPOSELY not cuddle with you as not to give you any wrong ideas. Just like men release prolactin, women release oxytocin after sex...which is a "feel good" chemical that makes women want to bond. It gives us the "intimacy" response most men shy away from. We want to hold you close and gaze into your eyes while you're trying to figure out how to get rid of us, or how long you should hold us before it's "okay" to roll over.

For alot of women, we want to cuddle so that we don't feel like we just got "f*cked" - even if we did. It's our way of justifying being with a man who we KNOW just wanted to hit it. Sex for sex's sake makes us feel guilty, so we tell ourselves that if he cuddles with us, he must really like us. And some men oblige us because they want us to feel okay about what just happened...so that we'll be inclined to do it again.

Or...and this is a BIG OR...some men don't like to cuddle afterward for fear that they might actually tie sex and intimacy together.
They don't wanna catch feelings.

The funniest thing my friend said to me during the entire conversation was that a woman wanting to cuddle with him messes up his "afterglow"...his post-orgasm "high." He has a moment of clarity after sex, and her making pillow talk, asking probing questions and/or spooning interrupts his temporarily lucid mind just before he drifts off to la-la-land.

Instead of pulling on his shoulder asking him how he feels or if he cares about you...let him drift - that is, if he allows you to stay til morning in the first place. If you sense you're wrecking his high, simply get up and go, or turn over and go to sleep...and don't take it personally. It's okay to have sex for the sake of the act itself, and it's ridiculous for women to believe that separating sex and intimacy is inherently degrading. It doesn't mean he objectified you. And come on girl, you know you just needed him to take the edge off anyway, no need to try to cuddle to justify it.

And it's just as ridiculous for men to claim that a woman's need for intimate connection during and after sex is some type of burdensome dependency need or that she wants to have your baby. Intimacy can enhance pleasure or detract from it. Cuddling can be a springboard to an intense emotional connection or an obstacle to it. Drawing battle lines about what's healthy or not when it comes to love and sex is silly and usually serves neurotic purposes. He didn't cuddle with you? So what. Just let it go.
..and sing him a lullaby.

-b

p.s. Men: if she insists on some after-lovin cuddlin' - do one or two of the following for at least 5 minutes:

Stroke her hair
Kiss her forehead
Touch/caress her face
Gently rub your hands up and down her arms
Intertwine your fingers with hers
Gently rub her back
Look her in her eyes and say "thank you"

That should hold her over...til you get it back up anyway ;-)

Friday, August 14, 2009

TGIF!!!

So, last night I got a text from DMoe telling me that Michael Vick has signed a 2-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.



Wow.

That was my response.

As a Philly native, my first thought was how this was going to fare with the passionate fan base in the City of Brotherly Love. I know when it comes to sports, "brotherly love" is last thing that comes to mind when talking about Philly fans. We booed Donovan McNabb before he even got dirt on his jersey, and we hated T.O. - who compared to Vick is probably considered a saint by now.

I'm sure there will be protests from animal rights groups, and many won't be happy about this decision. But, I for one, have no problem with it. Actually, I'm a little excited about it. Considering our back-up QB's are hurt and/or ineffective, I think it was a pretty smart move. And our current QB isn't getting any younger.

Everyone knows as a Syracuse alum, I have nothing but love for Donovan McNabb. I've always supported him, and he doesn't get the props he deserves. To many, he's only as good as his last game - which makes me crazy about Philly fans and his perception in the NFL in general. We love him when he plays well, and want to trade his ass when he doesn't. Now we have 2 black quarterbacks...and some say Vick is now a threat to Donovan. Last night, Ant called it "black on black QB violence" on his Facebook status - which gave me a lil chuckle. But can they co-exist? This is what DNabb had to say:





Donovan lobbied to get him. And it's not like Vick will take his spot...at least not right away anyway. He can practice with the team and I think he can play in pre-season games. He's eligible to be fully reinstated by Week 6, so the NFL isn't giving him an easy pass to just jump right back in. He'll probably sit the bench a bit til he gets his legs back. At 29 years old, he's still young enough to be a danger on offense, and depending on how his practices and conditioning go, he may be able to make a serious contribution - or none at all.

It's too early to tell, but it should be exciting to watch. He will get jeered and booed, no doubt. Philly fans may not like it. PETA I'm sure hates that Philly signed him. But somebody was going to pick him up eventually, so I don't see why he can't make his way back through a team that could use another athletic option in the quarterback position.

I'm an animal lover. And people have a right to be upset. But he served nearly 2 years of prison time, and Donte Stallworth KILLED a PERSON while drunk driving...and didn't see that much jail time. He served 24 days of a 30 day sentence for killing a HUMAN BEING. Umm....??? huh?

If Stallworth can get off that easy, we can give Michael Vick a second chance. You don't have to like it, but he paid his debt to society. He has a right to earn a living. He's a football player, not a keeper at the damn zoo where animals will be in danger. For all we know, he's learned his lesson, is truly sorry for what he did, and he may go on to do good deeds both on and off the field.

And you know how Philly fans are. If he starts winning games for the Eagles, they'll love him...and forget all about the dogfighting convictions...at least until the next game.

-b

GO GREEN!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Happy Random Thoughts Thursday!

Is it me, or is the summer speeding by? It's damn near mid-August already!! Geesh!

- I need to get in at least one more beach day...that'll make me happy.

- Can someone teach me Fantasy Football? Rameer sent me a Fantasy Football invitation on Facebook and I wanna do it right. And I wanna win! :-) I play in my office pool at work, but that's just weekly picks. Fantasy Football is a mystery to me, but I'm sure I'm making it WAY harder than it needs to be.

- Speaking of Fantasy Football, check this breakdown from a man's point of view about women and dating - Fantasy Football: Stacking Your Dating Roster - on Witches Brew's blog. This has SUpreme written all over it ;-) And I approve :-)

- I gotta have the "Who Gonna Check Me Boo?" t-shirt! And I don't even watch The Real Housewives of Atlanta...or any other city for that matter - but I may start just cuz of Sheree :-)



- Someone remind me to pay my cable bill.

- Speaking of, I have Starz and Encore for free on my cable line-up somehow. Has Cable Guy hooked me up on the sneak? :-)

- I miss my sister and nephews.

- So Dana and Steve took my advice from Monday's blog and made "love in the tub"...or so they told me yesterday at lunch. Steve is bruised...jacuzzi tub with bubbles...that's all I gotta say about that. I didn't say hurt 'em Dana!

- When was the last time you had a sexy man in your bed? Only women need answer that :-)

- I'm loving the bright purple polish on my toesies!

- I'm running out of popsicles.

- Did anyone watch the Marion Barry special on HBO? That mess was like whoa.



- Only black folk would re-elect a crackhead :-) What did Chris Rock say? "Smoke crack, get your job back." LOL!!

- Speaking of Chris Rock - is this true ladies and gents? Can you go backwards?



"Spitters are Quitters!" Ha!

Go!

-b

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Happy Hump Day!

Okay, so today's blog is coming straight from Rameer's Facebook status. He sent me a message saying this subject might spark some conversation - so let's see where it takes us. This was his status:

Memo 2 women: this is 2009. No man is going 2 CHASE u 4ever. If a man expresses interest and u like him but don't pull the trigger, don't act surprised when he quickly moves on 2 the next woman. Remember what Kanye told y'all: "it's a thousand yous; it's only ONE OF ME..."

Leave it to Rameer and Mr. West :-)

Now...we've had this discussion before - so this blog won't be written all fancy-like with lofty language. Let's go at it "real talk" style shall we?

We (women) outnumber you. That's just a fact. Even if all women and men were single, available, ready and willing, there wouldn't be enough of you to go around. It's just the way it is.

Now, I totally get what Rameer is saying. If the numbers are against us, then maybe women need to be a little more aggressive, creative and open when it comes to approaching men and relationships. It's almost like it's survival of the fittest out there. Not almost...it is.

But hold up.

Does that mean we become the man? We do the chasing now? Is that what's its come to?

I don't know about other cities, but in the NYC, men want you to chase THEM. Oh, and don't let them have all their teeth, a good job, never been married and have no kids. Then you better put your fly pink Nike's on and start chasing these fools...cuz they ain't coming after you.

They KNOW they got it going on and have no problem telling you that you better get your weight up if you want to be with them. They will quickly remind you that they have at least 10 other women lined up and waiting for you to drop the ball, so front if you want to.

Bitchassness?

Yes.

Truth?

Absof*ckinlutely.

And it doesn't matter if you're a woman who's got her sh*t together. There are WAY more women out there who are "good catches" than are men - and they know it. I'm no slouch, by any means, but dating has proven difficult for me and countless other single women I know - and we're growing weary.

Weary...not because we're not willing to put out the work. Weary...not because we don't put ourselves out there.

But weary because we see what we want, we go after it, and we STILL end up holding the short end of the stick because the men we want usually want us and every other woman out there. They have a big ole fat cake and they're eating it too. They don't see us as their match. They see us as one of many, and they're always looking for something better.

I get not wanting to settle. I get that. No one should. But if you find someone who has at least 80% of what you're looking for, that's still damn good - but not good enough. There are no perfect people, yet I find most men (and women) want it ALL. And they will stop at nothing to get it...or at least try.

It's not until he's 40 and the old man in the club that he'll decide that maybe what he has is good enough. It's not until he's dated around and realizes that ain't shit else out there and he let a good one go. It's not until she's through being dogged over by the "bad guy" that she decides that "nice guy" is who she should have settled down with. She plays games with the guy who returns her phone calls on time and takes her out on actual dates, while pining after that scrub with the killer smile.

It's a vicious cycle...dating in the jungle.

So what do we do? Stop playing games? Decide what we want, go after it, and hope he wants us back? Give up? Do you? Do me? Or is this a deeper issue when it comes to 'us' and relationships in our community - and we have yet to scratch the surface?

Somebody please break it down for me so it can forever and consistently be broke...in REAL TALK.

-b

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Happy Fantabulous Tuesday!

One of the things I do to wake myself up is blast my iPod on the subway ride to work, and this morning was no exception. I gave DMoe a brand new 8G iPod to download for me (thanks again!), and instead of trying to sift through the hundreds of songs he gave me, I simply hit shuffle and decided to see what popped up.

“Anything” by SWV (the old skool radio remix). Wow.



I was instantly transported back to 1994 – Seana, Taniqua, Felicia and I were in a car driving from Syracuse to Atlanta for Freaknik. The only tape (no cd player) we had in the car was the “Above the Rim” soundtrack, and we listened to it over and over again the entire way. Good times!

Certain songs just take me places.

Like any song on the “slow side” of Jodeci’s first album, Forever My Lady, takes me back to 1992, my 19th birthday, in my dorm room...the night I lost my virginity. Stay, Come & Talk to Me, Forever My Lady, I’m Still Waiting – all those songs played as I thought I was finally becoming a woman. Okay, so maybe I wasn’t becoming a woman just yet…but Jodeci will always have a special place in my heart.



What is it about music that has such an important influence on our memories? We associate songs with emotions, people and places we've experienced in the past. Of course, music isn’t the only influence on our memory: I’ve taken a million photos over the years, and the words I write in journals about my adventures will help to preserve precious moments in my mind for many years to come.

But music does something to me. Something about music evokes so many emotions that are in tune with a certain memory that sometimes I laugh out loud or my eyes well up with tears. Music’s powerful effect over me trumps anything an image, a word or a smell could possibly conjure up.

Certain songs play as the soundtrack to the mental movies we’ve stored over our lifetime. Deep in our long term memory is rehearsed music - music etched in our brain that we associate with a certain feeling, a milestone we’ve achieved, an experience we cherish, or a moment we’d just as soon forget. It becomes autobiographically important in our mental playback. There is always a song that we can relate to where it seems the words were written just for us and what we were going through at the time. The raw emotion in a voice, the beat, the melody - all shape the story of our lives. Music can serve to heal us during a particular time - a natural pain killer - or it can trigger such emotions that it can actually make your heart hurt all over gain.

The incredible ability music has to manipulate our memory and the feelings associated with it are undeniable and inexplicable at the same time. Music synchronizes our brain’s vibrations to the rhythm of the world around us – succeeding in taking us to another place and time.

This morning, I was back 15 years...in car...speeding down 95...with my girls having a blast!

Where does music take you?

-b

Monday, August 10, 2009

Happy Monday!!!

I had the BEST weekend! Don’t you just love it when that happens?! :-)

So yesterday, my good friends Dana and Steve (aka “The Pirate” for those of you in blog comment land) got married! Congrats to them! It was a fun day filled with love, family and friends - and I was so happy to be a part of their day.

Weddings always have this affect on me. I tear up at speeches and get all caught up with the “in love with love” feeling. I even caught the bouquet!

Okay…so she yelled, “Brooke!” and threw it at my face when I looked up, but hey…it’s still mine!

Anyway, in honor of Dana and Steve, I have a list of 10 little things to do to keep your sweetie happy and make the love last...from this woman’s perspective. These can go for men and women, but since I’ve known Dana longer…these are my suggestions for HER: :-)

1. Have sexduh - but not just any ole sex…generous sex. Once or twice a week, make the sex be totally about pleasing the other person. Schedule it if you have to.

2. And have “before work” sex. Put the curling iron away and pull your hair back in a ponytail that day if it means having more time to get that morning nookie in. Who can go to work in a bad mood after good ole “before-work-morning sex?” Nobody! Send him to work happy everyday if you can :-)

3. And after you’ve had “before-work-morning sex” - shower together :-) You both have to get in there anyway right? And if you have a lil something left over, have sex in the shower too. I’m a big fan ;-)

4. Rub each other’s belly. This is a term I use to describe complimenting each other or bragging publicly about your baby. This is something that should be done daily if you ask me. Anything nice you have to say about your sweetie is never too small to mention. He has excellent taste in music or food, always opens doors for you, can hang a suit, is sexy enough to rock a pink shirt, has the cutest booty ever, his kisses make you weak in the knees, he can tell a great story and he makes you feel special? Tell him! Tell everyone! It’s a verbal love tap, and surely you can think of something sincere to say that’ll make him blush once a day. He’ll purr when you “rub his belly” the right way…and he will probably return the favor.

5. Laugh…hard and often. Laughter bonds you. It means you can genuinely have fun together and are totally comfortable with each other enough to just let go and let loose. Uninspired? Go see a funny movie together or rent one and cuddle on the couch and just giggle all night. You’ll feel like silly teenagers, and that’s a good thing.

6. Be the man sometimes. If your man always initiates dates, sex, whatever – then next time, YOU do it. Take the lead for once if you don’t already. Ask HIM on a date. Pick HIM up. Bring HIM flowers. Take the pressure off him and let him sit back and be romanced for a change. He’ll appreciate it...a lot :-)

7. Do something that gets your heart rate up. They say a pounding heart mimics new love – so go to an amusement park together and ride a scary roller coaster, or have sex some place where you may be discovered. Get that adrenaline going and rediscover that new love feeling :-)

8. Disappear together. Go somewhere where the kids, your mom, his boss and your needy friends can’t find you. Don’t get up, order in and lay in bed all weekend. Any time spent together - just the two of you - is special and mandatory.

9. Disappear alone. Have your own set of friends and spend some time apart every once in a while. It’s great if you share hobbies and have common interests, but going out and spending a weekend with the girls will give him a chance to miss you. You will feel recharged, he will have had some time to do whatever it is he does when you’re not around, you’ll both be relaxed and you will remind him of the free-spirited single girl he fell in love with who doesn’t need to be up under him all the time. And it’s not like you have to “go away” somewhere to do your own thing. Go to a party together and mingle separately. It screams confidence, independence (while still being near each other) and you two can get busy at the “after party.”

10. Share your dreams with each other. You should be able to let your imagination run wild together and share your goals and aspirations freely. Want to be a rock star one day? Tell him. Does he want to start his own business? You should be his biggest cheerleader. Dream with him, and help him make it happen. Can you imagine Barack saying to Michelle, “Hey, I think I wanna be the President of the United States one day.” She was right there with him all the way. After he shares his dreams, rub his belly…"You can do it baby! I got your back. That’s MY man!” The bigger the dream, the better - you can do anything together!

Now, I’ve never been married, so who knows if my Top 10 list is reasonable. So if you’re a married couple - or in a long term relationship - and can add to this list, please feel free to offer up any and every anecdote you can for our newlyweds.

Congrats again Dana and Steve! I wish you both nothing but love and happiness that lasts a lifetime!

-b

Friday, August 7, 2009

TGIF!!!

I'm off again today, so I don't really have anything blog-worthy to write about. So I figured why not do another TGIF Sexy Survey?! I'll keep the questions short and sweet :-)

1. What is your favorite sexual fantasy? I wanna pick the best one so I can execute it ;-)

2. Which would you prefer - a strikingly beautiful partner who was terrible in bed, or an average looking one who was fantastic in bed?

3. Is there an age that's too old to have sex?

4. Do you think a person is born with their sexual orientation, or can a person be "changed" to be straight or gay?

5. Do you consider "cyber" sex or "phone" sex to be real sex?

Okay, I'll stop there. Can't wait to read your answers!

Have a great weekend!

Go!

-b

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Happy Random Thoughts Thursday!

I'm off from work today, but I'll still be checking in here and there...so let's go!

- Annamaria had a beautiful baby girl yesterday - and NOT on Barack Obama's birthday as I had previously implied. She just didn't wanna come out! Sophia Michele was born on August 5th at 1:21 pm - 5 lbs, 14 oz, 19 inches. Mommy and baby are doing well. Congratulations Annamaria and Austin! Many blessings to all of you!

- Feels good to sleep in.

- Last night Liz permed my hair. She is so short she had to climb on top of the counter to wash my hair in the kitchen sink :-) Her boyfriend offered to take a picture of that, but we'd both have to kill him if he did :-)

- I hate it when I brush my teeth before drinking my morning orange juice - minty orange juice is nasty! yuk!

- I have to buy a different kind of cat food today - my cat doesn't like the kind I bought and he keeps throwing it up :-(

- I don't feel like washing my clothes in a laundromat. I usually do it at my sister's house, but since they're in Morocco I have to break down and go. I think I got a bit spoiled.

- Finally, the heat is here! But it's been sticky the past couple days...today should be a very nice day though.

- Tonight is Georgia Peach's (Gleana's) going away party. I can't believe she's moving to Belgium to go to grad school, but I'm super excited for her! It's going to be a life changing experience I think!

- I need to have my rugs cleaned.

- I wish I had a house.

- 600 thread count sheets are the best. 1000 must feel AMAZING!

- I'm gonna miss Annamaria on the blog, but I'm so happy for her and her baby girl! :-)

Go!

-b

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Happy Hump Day!

So, I'm on the train this morning minding my own business, when I overhear these girls talking about their menz.

"He still ain't give you your money back?"

"Nah girl, and he had the nerve to ask me if he could hold $100 til next week."

"...you gonna give it to him?"

"I gave it to him, but he make me sick...with his fine ass."

"I hear you girl. He ever gonna move out?"

"please...with what money? His mom has the top floor though, so it's not that bad."

That's when I turned on my iPod, because I couldn't bring myself to listen to any more of that foolishness.

This was playing in my head the entire time I was listening to them speak:



I don't want no scrubs, a scrub is a guy that can't get no love from me..."

That conversation was straight buffoonery to me. And what shocked me even more was how nonchalant they were about it, as if this was the only type of dude they knew. I felt like screaming, "Girl, he's a LOSER! Run!"

It's not that hard to spot a scrub. As women, we get approached by them daily. They may have tricked us into believing they weren't scrubs AT FIRST, but their true colors eventually bleed through. We all go through a period of time when we attract losers - not a big deal. But for some reason or another, this woman on the train wanted to STAY with him. Women who love scrubs is a blog for ANOTHER day, but today, I want to help women out there who may not be savvy enough to spot a loser.

1. He ain't got no job man! If he ain't had a job since a job had him, then RUN! Of course there are stipulations to this. If he doesn't have a job because he's unable to find one in the current economic climate, but has a source of income from SOMEWHERE, then that's acceptable. I'm not talking about the guy who's sending out 100 resumes a day trying to find something in his field. I'm talking about Pookie who says he can't get a job because "the man wants to hold him down." And no, playing video games and selling weed is NOT a job.

2. And because he has no job, he wants to "hold" a few dollars til next week. Next week comes, and he wants to "hold" another couple dollars to hold him over. Next thing you know, he's on your bankroll. If you find yourself buying things for or giving money to one of these people, stop it! A person like this is a master at making others feel sorry for him. Just because he can put it down in the bedroom doesn't mean you have to PAY for it. Again, dick is free...or it should be...and any money given to him is money thrown away. They don't appreciate it, they expect it. Don't do it.

3. He lives OFF OF, not WITH his mama and daddy. Trust me, he's asking them for money too. And if he DOES have a job while living at home, he's not saving money to buy a house. His main priority is to save money so he can buy rims for that car that sits out front that he can't afford.

4. He has a drug habit that he says is recreational, but somehow all of your money goes toward his recreation. Meanwhile, your ass can't afford to eat from the dollar menu at Mickey D's. Hide your purse and tell Smokey to kick rocks.

5. He doesn't have a license because it was suspended "over some bullshit." NO you can't borrow my ride and NO I'm not driving your ass around. Get a Metro card and beat it!

6. He doesn't have a "real" place to live. He has no known address and no phone number. He "stays" in the Bronx with his "peoples," but also "crashes" in Brooklyn from time to time. And he just shows up when he feels like it. This type of loser will try to stay at your house for several nights..."cuz he misses you." Whatever.

7. Along those lines, he tells you that he loves you and makes you feel like you're the most important person in the world...yet will disappear on your ass for days on end without a phone call - and will have no excuse when he finally DOES get back in contact with you. You can't call him because he ain't got no damn phone! That's because he's "staying" at his other girl's house.

8. Now, if you've managed to give the scrub some before actually finding out he's a scrub, here's where it gets tricky. Scrubs can usually PUT IT DOWN in the bedroom. Why? Well, since they have no job, they have at least 8 hours a day to perfect their stroke. There's some chickenhead out there that's not working either, so they get it in with each other everyday, and practice makes perfect. Usually sex is the only thing a scrub can bring to the table. Women who are getting their backs blown out realize that's all he's got going on, so they try to find something salvageable about his personality in order to justify being with him. But that's like trying to find a treasure in a trashcan - you're wasting your time.

9. There's a warrant out for his arrest. If you meet a guy who tells you that he "caught a case" - be OUT! RUN as fast as you can. Do not pass go!

10. He has no intention of ever bettering himself. There's always an excuse as to why he isn't or hasn't accomplished ANYTHING. "The man" is holding him down. He would have gone to the pros, but he "messed up his knee." He was "bout to" go for that job. Excuses, excuses, excuses. Yes, racism and circumstances can knock a man down. But what separates a king from a caveman is how he overcomes those obstacles and rises to the challenge. Alpha males have a competitive nature, which is why they tend to gravitate towards sports, politics, war, the stock market, you name it. These type of men see obstacles as challenges to overcome, not excuses for mediocrity. Stepping up to a challenge builds strength and character, and losers know nothing about that.

I'm sure that list could have been longer, but you get my drift. And I don't think these traits needed to be spelled out for the men and women who read this blog. But sometimes we women need to sit down and ask ourselves what we really want in a man. My man. What is he doing with his life? Is he disciplined? Is he educating himself? Is he proactive? What is he passionate about? It's not about money or power, but integrity and a desire to be a better person everyday.

But then again, maybe we attract what we are...and if a scrub can get some love from us, then maybe he's not the ONLY one who's a scrub....jus sayin'.

-b

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I'm a Screamer

Happy TMI Tuesday!

First things first - our favorite taser and shank wielding AnaJolia has been in the hospital since last night, so baby Sophia Michelle should be here today! Looks like Annamaria is getting her wish to have her baby on Barack Obama's birthday! Please send your prayers for lil mama's safe arrival - Annamaria tells me she doesn't wanna come out! Can't wait to meet her!

...okay....

The first Tuesday of the month is officially TMI Tuesday, even though the past few Tuesday's could have been deemed as such. I'll try to limit my revelations to the designated day, but for now...let's get to it :-)

Yes, you read right. I'm a screamer. There, I said it. Okay...maybe I'm not a screamer, but I'm pretty loud. I don't mean to be...it just happens. This is me:



Well, I guess I should say that that's me if I'm enjoying myself. If not, then you'll know...cuz you'll be able to hear a pin drop.

When it comes to having sex, everyone has their own way of expressing their level of enjoyment. Some prefer gentle moans and sexy gasps as a quiet way to enjoy a little romp. Others prefer the loud dirty talk and bed squeaking screams that come with a back breaking good time. There's no right or wrong way to be loud (or not loud) in bed, but there is a correct way to adjust the noise level if your partner is too loud or not loud enough.

Having sex with a person who just lays there and doesn't utter a peep can put a damper on sexual intimacy and arousal. Kinda like watching paint dry. After all, how do you know you're satisfying your partner unless they say something? Anything. Can I get a murmur? A grunt?

Men think this is a problem that most women have, but some women don't like it when men don't say anything either. I don't necessarily want to be with a man who's louder than I am, but say SOMETHING to me. Whisper in my ear, say my name a few times, ask me how I like it. I'm not a big fan of "vulgar," but a little dirty talk never hurt anybody. Being with a man who says absolutely nothing is kinda weird. It sort of feels like what Miss Celie said in The Color Purple - "just climb on top'a me, and do his bidness." Newsflash men: We like to know we're pleasing you too! Whether it's through raspy moans or dirty talk, being vocal in bed lets the other person know the sex is good, which in turn boosts their confidence and arousal, and they'll just want to please you more. It's a form of primal communication that allows you to be in and enjoy the moment. Amazing sex, to me, is about expressing yourself and using all of your senses - including sound.

If you're with someone who's as quiet as a church mouse, then talk to your partner to get them to open up. Ask questions, say their name, make them feel desirable and comfortable enough to open up. But make sure the reason why he or she is quiet is because they're shy, and not because the sex is wack. Don't make them fake it like Meg Ryan did :-)

Now, I've never really gotten any complaints about my being "noisy." But I realize that for every person who thinks their partner is too quiet while having sex, there's another person who thinks their partner is too loud. Deafening, orgasmic screams and uncouth dirty talk may turn some people on, but for others it can be a turn OFF, distracting or even embarrassing. And I totally get it, cuz I'm a bit embarrassed after the fact too since I live like most other New Yorkers - neighbors on top of each other and thin walls. I usually wind up avoiding all eye contact in the elevator the next day :-)

But if your partner is too loud, don't try to muffle her/him with a pillow. That's not cool. Someone tried to do that to me once, and let's just say that didn't go over very well. Just "shush" me. Don't...uh...try to...KILL ME! I can hear you, just say something. Putting a hand over my mouth is not much better. You might get bitten :-)

If ear-splitting yelling makes you or your partner uncomfortable, then you should talk about it. Stifling your sounds may hinder your experience, but if being loud upsets your partner's experience, then one or both of you will need to compromise. Loud lovers can learn to tone down their sound effects by whispering something erotic rather than shouting it in your ear - or by using milder phrases like, "right there...sloooweer, just like that" rather than a piercing shriek. Or, if you want to make noise despite your partner's desire for you not to, then consider adding some background music to your sex sessions or turning on the tv so your utterances aren't as noticeable.

Whether too loud - or not loud enough - talk about it. Just don't do anything that makes you uncomfortable; and don't force your partner to do something he or she doesn't want to do. Try to do what comes naturally, while keeping your partner in mind. I'm sure there's a happy medium somewhere in your noise level. But just a note: If you're gonna be with me, love out loud! I wanna hear it!

...just don't suffocate me!

-b

Monday, August 3, 2009

Wobbly Bits

Happy Monday y'all!

As usual, I was clueless as to what to write about today. And I have no excuse considering I barely did anything this weekend. I was "nekkid" almost all day Saturday, just walking around carefree doing stuff around the house. I don't think I ventured out til Sunday evening around 8...and that was just to pick up cat food, etc. from Target.

It felt good doing nothing...and being nekkid :) I actually turned on the AC and felt the cool air on my body...nice! I didn't cover up, avoid any mirrors or make any faces at my imperfections. I actually stared at my skin in the mirror on Saturday. I still have the nice, brown tan I got in DR. VERY COOL :-)

As much as I know I need to tone up and shrink some areas of my body, I have no problem looking at my "wobbly bits." Do you remember that scene from Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason? Take a look:



I don't recall a time when I ever got dressed or undressed under the covers. Maybe I got dressed in the dark, stumbling around searching for my panties so I could make it home to shower and change and get to work on time...ahem...but that was about it. There was no "hiding."

I'd be hard-pressed to find someone that isn't self-conscious about some part of their body — even supermodels have insecurities. So when you're starting a new relationship and getting to know each other, especially in the bedroom, it can be incredibly intimidating to expose your flaws. Whether it's morning breath or cellulite, we're all self conscious a little bit in the beginning about something.

But I look at it like this - my hips don't lie. You see me. You can take a pretty good guess as to what I got going on under my clothes. And if you STILL wanna lay down with me, then what am I hiding for?

Nowadays, you can ask a woman what she’d like to change about her body and she will give you a list - Botox this, collagen here, lipo there, tighten this, lift that.

But as a woman who is very comfortable in her own skin, I want to give my body the respect it deserves and to stop judging it so harshly. I define my body by MY standards, not by what society says is okay. I love my body for what it is, rather than hate it for what it isn't or never will be.

Don't get me wrong, I believe in being healthy and strong. I think we should take better care of ourselves, and I could do better. And I am. I make strides everyday in that department, especially since I've been hanging with Miss Monica. She has inspired me with her triathlon training, and I'm enjoying the new things I'm making my body do as a result. My arms, my legs, my lungs, my heart - they never let me down, and they're getting stronger everyday.

My body is my temple...and because I view it that way, it can be HIS temple too. Worship my thighs. Kneel at my womanhood ;)

What I have found out over the years is that men tend to see in you what they love most. If you have a big backside - and he's an "ass man" - chances are he's not obsessing over the dimple you have there. Those heavy breasts you want lifted may make his mouth water if tig ole bitties is what he favors. In your eyes, he will detect the spirit you have chosen. Your smile AND frown both speak volumes. He will see you how YOU see you; and if you have an issue with your body, so will he.

If I'm too busy worried about what you think of my body, how can we both enjoy it? You see me, it's too late now. Clothes are off. We're here! Turn on the lights and take a good look. My body is a playground - swing on my swing, slide down my...

whew!!

I'm not embarrassed by what anyone might see. I don't cringe at the sight of my naked body. Oddly enough, I don't like looking at myself in pictures, with clothes ON. How crazy is THAT?

But my brown, soft skin? I love it! My hands? I love getting manicures to show off my long, pretty fingers. My teeth are white and straight. I like wrapping my long, smooth, chocolate legs around a nice strong back. I love the way my bubbly breasts bounce when I have on a good bra that shows off my ample cleavage. I've even grown to accept my curly eyebrows. Yes...I said curly eyebrows!

Looking in the mirror, I see that it's quite possible to love everything in its reflection. I look at myself directly, and rather than risk the pain of experiencing everything I am not, I savor the sweetness of who I am.

On Saturday, the woman I saw was glowing! She was more than the sum of the color of her skin, the texture of her hair, and the shade of her knees and elbows. What she saw went beyond and deeper than a surface appreciation of beauty, a superficial measurement of self. What she saw was empowering. She didn't just consider her exterior, but also her heart.

She danced around to music playing in the background, "wobbly bits" whirling around with her, joyous and happy. She sang to her voluptuous curves...and they gave her a standing ovation. There was no shame or negative inner visions. She was beautiful, and whole and free.

She was me :-)

-b

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