Cornrows, a True Story

Do you want to lose weight? Improve your posture? Do you need to practice that supermodel scowl? Would you like a nonsurgical face and brow lift? Then get your hair braided or cornrowed. You won’t be able to turn your head too far in any direction. You’ll be in too much pain to move the facial muscles required to chew. And you’ll look at least 10 years younger.

My braider did an excellent job, and she said the braids should last six to eight weeks. However, these braids are tighter than a gnat’s ass stretched over an oil drum.

I understand that if the braids aren’t tight, they will loosen quickly and start looking sloppy. But do they need to be so tight that I can see the individual pores that the hair is growing from? So tight that now the eminence of my forehead is even more eminent? So tight that a ridge is forming along my hairline, which is most likely swelling due to my tight “do.” So tight that my skin is “glowing” (let’s keep it real – shining)?

Most braiders are very good at what they do, as is mine. But you should know that if there is even one-eighth of an inch of hair on your head, they can and will part that patch into at least eight more braids. If you want to empathize with me, have someone take three strands of your hair and braid them. Tightly. Then, tell that person to pull that braid perpendicular to your head as hard as they can. Hold for one minute. This is only a tad of what I feel until the braids loosen naturally and the pain subsides.

The following actions that we take for granted will also become excruciating. Driving (straight ahead only; no turns). Parallel parking – forget about it. Squinting, smiling, frowning, talking, thinking too hard, expressing any emotion on your face.

Bending over. Walking too fast or expressing surprise. Pushing your glasses up on your face. Eating potato chips.

Looking around (or sideways) to see who’s looking at your new braids. Looking at any shelves in the grocery store other than the ones at eye level. Chewing gum.

Any sudden movement. Breathing with your mouth open. Swallowing the pain meds you will need before you go to bed. Brushing your teeth.

If your jam comes on the radio, you’re screwed. Try bouncin’ and shakin’ your head with that tender scalp.

I felt a sneeze coming on and I knew I had to make a quick decision – do I risk rupturing something to stifle the sneeze, or bear the pain of it? A no-win situation.

I don’t like braids hanging down because it’s too damned hot for that shit and they’re too heavy, so I asked her to French braid the back with a small, one-inch knot at the top. I bumped that sucker getting out of the car. Inch High almost made me cry.

As I was leaving Wal-Mart (no, I didn’t get my braids done there), I felt the wind on my scalp and a single strand of hair waving in the breeze. How did she miss it? She must have blinked.

And how will I survive washing my face?

I tried running an ice cube across my scalp, but the rows between the braids are too small. Guess I’m gonna have to take an Advil, sleep sitting up, and hope I don’t have a bad dream.


Youth is a gift; Age is an art

My FB friend Madison posted this today. I’ve read this story before, but it is a wonderful reminder.

An old German Shepherd starts chasing rabbits and before long discovers that he’s lost. Wandering about, he notices a panther heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having lunch.

The old German Shepherd thinks, “Oh, oh! I’m in deep shit now!”
Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the panther is about to leap, the old German Shepherd says, “Boy, that was one delicious panther! I wonder if there are any more around here.”

Hearing this, the young panther halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him, and he slinks away into the trees.

“Whew!” says the panther, “That was close. That old German Shepherd nearly had me!”

Meanwhile, a squirrel who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the panther. So, off he goes.

The squirrel soon catches up with the panther, spills the beans, and strikes a deal for himself with the panther.

The young panther is furious at being made a fool of and says, “Here, squirrel, hop on my back and see what’s going to happen to that conniving canine!”

Now the old German Shepherd sees the panther coming with the squirrel on his back and thinks, “What am I going to do now?” but instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn’t seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old German Shepherd says, “Where’s that squirrel? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another panther!”

Moral of this story…

Don’t mess with the old dogs. Age and skill will always overcome youth and treachery.

Bullshit and brilliance only come with age and experience.

Thought for the Day

I did not realize that it has been so long since I posted, but thanks to my best friend Laurie I have something worth posting.

I exercise regularly.

I eat moderate amounts of healthy food.

I make sure to get plenty of rest.

I see my doctor once a year and my dentist twice a year.

I floss every night.

I’ve had chest x-rays, cardio stress tests, EKG’s and colonoscopies.

I’ve seen a psychologist once, and she thought I was A-OK.

A variety of hobbies to reduce stress.

I don’t drink and drive.

I quit smoking a long time ago.

I don’t do drugs.

I try not to disparage others.

I don’t have crazy, reckless sex with strangers.

If Charlie Sheen outlives me, I’m gonna be really pissed.

When did Pajamas become Clothes?

When did this become acceptable? Are people actually that lazy? What happened to self respect and pride in your appearance? I hope this guy (yes, that’s a guy) found some on Aisle 7.

My friend Shirley Joan once told me that she never left the house without earrings. Even if it was just a quick errand, she never went out looking like a slob, and she always wore earrings. And so do I.

I believe if you can put on pajamas, you can put on CLOTHES! Just how comfortable do you need to get? I’m all about ‘to each his/her own’ and ‘whatever floats your boat,’ but Damn!

How to Maintain a Healthy Level of Insanity

I didn’t have a post idea for this week, so I looked in a folder where I had saved some jokes, and I decided to post one.

If you need some ideas on how to maintain a healthy level of Insanity, try some or all of the following:

· At lunch time, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a hair dryer at passing cars.  See if they slow down.

· Page yourself over the intercom. Don’t disguise your voice.

· Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries with that.

· Put decaf in the coffee maker for 3 weeks. Once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addictions, switch to Espresso.

· In the memo field of all your checks, write ‘For Marijuana’.

· Skip down the hall rather than walk and see how many looks you get.

· With a serious face, order a diet water whenever you go out to eat.

· Specify that your drive-through order is ‘To Go’.

· Sing along at the opera.

· Five days in advance, tell your friends you can’t attend their party because you have a headache.

· When the money comes out of the ATM, scream ‘I Won! I Won!’

· When leaving the zoo, start running towards the parking lot yelling, ‘Run for your lives!  They’re loose!’

· Tell your children over dinner, ‘Due to the economy, we are going to have to let one of you go.’

· And the final way to keep a healthy level of insanity – Pick up a box of condoms at the pharmacy, go to the counter, and ask where the fitting room is.

e, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on and point a Hair Dryer At Passing Cars.   See If They Slow Down.

2.   Page Yourself Over The Intercom..   Don’t Disguise Your Voice!

3..   Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, ask If They Want Fries with that.

4.   Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks .  Once Everyone has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions, Switch to Espresso.

5. In the Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write ‘For Marijuana’

6. Skip down the hall Rather Than Walk and see how many looks you get.

7. Order a Diet Water whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face. (can you  imagine yourself  asking for this….lol)

8. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is ‘To Go’..

9.   Sing Along At The Opera.

10.   Five Days In Advance, Tell Your Friends You Can’t Attend Their Party Because You have a headache…

11.   When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream ‘I Won! I Won!’    HA HA HA

12. When Leaving the Zoo, Start Running towards the Parking lot, Yelling ‘Run For Your=2 0Lives!  They’re Loose!’

13.   Tell Your Children Over Dinner, ‘Due To The Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go.’



The author of a blog I follow was offended by the headline, Celebrate Black Love!, on Ebony Magazine’s recent issue. Her position was that she did not like the headline mentioning skin color. You can read her entire post here. My response is below.

Your post could be considered a tad controversial. Race and skin color are American issues and have been since this country became populated by people other than Native Americans. I have to ask, though, what is unrealistic about the Obama family? Why do they have to be ‘quintessential’? Are all other black couples in a committed, successful relationship less worthy of acknowledgment? And who is to say that the black community needs an example of a black married couple with a stable life? Perhaps [white] America does not see or know about stable, loving, black married couples because the media choose not to report about them.

After a perusal of even one issue of Ebony, one would realize that the magazine does not encourage division; Ebony does, however, celebrate distinction and positivity in the black community because those attributes (regarding blacks) are celebrated in so few other mainstream American media outlets. And why is the headline curious? I am somewhat perturbed that you’re offended by the headline. It may be curious to some outside of the black community perhaps, but not to the black community.

What is curious to me is the last part of the post title – please go somewhere else. Can we not disagree with you? I am not easily offended, but I am annoyed (as perhaps any other ethnicity might be) that someone outside of the community is suggesting how we should see and represent ourselves.

America is a country where race is still a contentious issue, and race will continue to be an issue until we all decide to look past it. Skin color is an inextricable part of some groups’ ethnicity/identity.  I agree that it would be wonderful to celebrate love without attaching a color, but that’s just not the way this country sees things right now. America still judges people by the color of their skin, not by the content of their character, and I can see that that is slowly changing.  But for now, America still sees color.