Token Black Girl

Monday, July 9, 2012

Tag, I'm it!

Okay, so there is some bloggers game going on that I knew not of. This is not surprising since I've been waaaay of the radar for a while. The game goes as follows. I tell 11 random things about myself and answer 10 random questions the previous blogger who tagged me wants answered. Then I pass it on to the next unsuspecting victim. And away we go.

1. I know several forms of hand to hand combat (I used to be a juvenile correctional officer)
2. I have written multiple novels and shared them with NO ONE!
3. I talk to myself so much that it creeps my family out.
4. I hate feet. It's weird I know, but the idea of having someone's feet touch me freaks me the heck out.
5. I still suck my thumb at 30 years old. That's right, I'm an orthodontists dream come true.
6. I'm a teacher, but would NEVER want kids of my own. It's like taking your job home with you everyday. Who does that?
7. I got a tattoo on my 29th birthday of a verse from a poem that I wrote. How's that for vain?
8. Shopping bores me to tears and I am allergic to fitting rooms. I went shopping with my mom a few weeks ago and she had to FORCE me to try things on before I bought them like I was still 10.
9. Oatmeal, bananas, and any other food with a similarly slimy consistency make me vomit, quite literally.
10. I also will not eat or drink anything that is orange. Don't ask me why, I have no idea. I'm just weird like that.

Now for Tanisha's Questions.

1. What is your biggest pet peeve? People merging lanes without a turn signal. Seriously? 
2. If you had the choice to live anywhere on the planet where would you choose? Right here in beautiful, sunny,  Southern Califor-Ni-A
3. Who has been the greatest inspiration in your life? My Mom, it's a stock answer, but it still fits. 
4. Favorite food? It's a tie between Pad Thai with chicken and shrimp or my little sisters Mac n Cheese (it's worth the 10 million calories, I swear)!
5. Favorite activity? Reading... unless it's basketball season, then anything Lakers related. 
6. Who is your favorite superhero? Storm, she is gangster
7. If you could choose a superpower to have which would you choose? Hulk Smash!
8. What quote(s) do you live by? Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.
9. What is your first thought when you wake up in the morning? How will I use my points today (Weight Watcher)
10. Name the one food or drink you could not live without? Pepsi, hands down
11. What is your favorite thing to read? Fantasy/High Fantasy/Sci Fi (Lord of the Rings, Narnia, The Hobbit, The Hunger Games)

Bloggers that I challenge...

My questions for the next bloggers

If you could vacation anywhere it would be...
You can only keep your vision or your hearing, which do you choose?
Jordan or Kobe?
If you could trade places with one societal figure for a day, it would be...
Favorite Movie Ever...
Best Michael Jackson song...
Boxers or briefs?
Top three songs on my playlist are...
Worst TV show ever...
The best thing I ever ate... 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Too Cool for Comic Con?

Um, before I even begin, let me clarify and say no, I certainly am not. I've never been cool. I'm a nerd. I blog for fun. I own the entire series of Avatar,The Airbender, not the blue people. The better question is, am I too cool to cosplay? Probably not. I would totally do something completely geeky like that and embarrass all of my image conscious, cool-kids-in-high-school siblings. The problem is, who would I be?

There simply are not a lot of black women characters in science fiction and fantasy, at least not that are popularized. I could be Storm I imagine, but every black girl geeky or hot enough for Comic Con will be her.  There is the Halle Berry Cat woman, but as a real comic book geek, I would never insult the franchise that way. I hear there are some anime chicks, but I'm not into anime. There are some totally dope black female characters in black written science fiction/fantasy/paranormal works, but they are not very popular and would not get recognized (IE Damali Richards, best character EVER, RIP L.A Banks). Besides, where would I get a realistic set of angel wings?

As a black woman writer, I feel it's my job to get more women, black women particularly, to be visible characters in these genres, especially as heroes. That however is a topic for another blog. What i really want right now is a super gangster black female character to dress as for next years con (Also to take pictures with Matt Smith, because he's the Doctor, and the Doctor is HOT). So much for these ramblings. Let's see if I can come up with anything before next year. Any suggestions?

So I Call Myself a Writer

I like to say that I'm a writer, and I am! Right? But where is the proof? Up until this week I've been on a four month creative writing block and like a year of being "blog challenged. So what's the problem? Me!

Many people don't realize how very difficult writing and creating is. I don't just sit here and words magically put forth from my mind through the keyboard and into my word processor. This is hard work! Even at this very moment, I'm obsessing about my word choice and whether or not I should subscribe to the oxford comma! I know that no one cares but me, but not only am I a Language Arts teacher, but I'm also a Master's student in an English Literature program so I'm a little uptight. 

The point is, writing is not easy. I know that if great writers all relied on inspiration to right their one great masterpiece, that there would be no great writers. I get it, I really do. I'm just having a hard time making it fit between my career as a teacher and my personal life (which is really only grading papers and sleeping from August - May). On top of all that I'm in school!!!

So what was the point of this particular blog? Nothing at all except to whine a little and make an excuse to myself for why I'm not writing. Oh well, it's back to the races for me. Time for my fingers to burn the keyboard and to work harder than I've ever worked. Talley Ho! 

Naturalista or stuck up diva?

Okay, so in February of 2011 I stopped perming my hair. Yep, I gave up my chemical dependency. It was hard, and I mean HARD! It is not a journey for everyone, let me tell you. There were several days where I wanted to just give up and go back to perming my hair. Transitioning was a pain, to put it nicely.

You see, I haven't the balls (or cheek structure) to do the big chop. Let's be honest. I'm way to vain to walk around with little to no hair. You can say I'm brain washed by modern ideals of beauty all you want, that changes nothing. The "big-chop" simply wasn't for me. I took the slow and steady route. It was tough, but worth it.It may seem that this entry is about my telling the tale of my natural transition, but really it's not. It is about what I learned, not about my hair, but about my community.

At first I was afraid of how people would react to my perm-free lifestyle change, and I did get some interesting reactions, but what I disliked more was the strange sense of elitism I found in many natural hair communities. As I mentioned before, this transition isn't for everyone. That's great. It's a choice. I wore permed hair for years, what do I look like hating on those who still do? As I journeyed through many different sites though, I found that many, many natural hair divas were just that... divas.

Oh, how they go on and on about how this is the best and really the only way to take good care of African descendant hair. There are even bad names for those who chose not to convert, "permies" being the one I hated most, especially since my perm didn't fully grow out for more than a year as I transitioned. Many even hated on women who wore weaves and wigs, even to transition, because none of it was as "honest" or "healthy" as the "big-chop".Since when was their a hierarchy in black hair care? Who died and made naturals rule supreme?

At first I felt a little secluded. There was no way I was cutting off all my hair so was I not good enough for these people? Furthermore, just because I'm not perming does not mean I'm giving up the right to rock a weave. I might want to be a red head with soft waves down my back one weekend. I'm a woman, and that's my prerogative. It doesn't make me less "real" than my other natural sisters. I don't find my identity in my choice of hair care. That was when it hit me... they did.

A lot of these women had wrapped up their whole identity in this new wave of wearing natural black hair. I'm with it, thus the natural hair these days, but it doesn't define me. I define me in action and deeds alike. My character has nothing to do with my appearance, nor should it. I don't hate on my sisters with perms, presses, flat irons, wigs and weaves. Every woman should do what makes her feel beautiful, not accepted into some strange social group. For now, my kinks make me feel special, pretty, and a little bit sexy. They don't stand for anything else in my life though. It's just a hairstyle. If I could send any message to my fellow Nauturalistas, it would be, in the words of India.Arie, "I am NOT my hair"... and either are you.