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December 30, 2020

Long time, new product

I haven't spoken about them in a minute but Influenster kept opting me in to campaigns I either couldn't participate in because of where I lived (products not available at the local branches of the stores they were were working with) or I was disinterested in entirely (like testing a product to help me quit smoking except I've never smoked).  So color me confused when a box arrived yesterday.  The box below to be specific.

Don't get me wrong I LOVE free things that make sense for my life and will happily report on them.  However, can't do that when things just aren't in my lane.  The box said it was fragile and there was liquid inside so yeah I was nervous.  But upon opening the box my fears were laid to rest because this was inside.

So I just realized that's a horrible photo but I'm tired and you aren't getting a new one right now ha.  It's Dark and Lovely Hair Hydrator with Rice Water Complex.  If this had been a different brand I may have rolled my eyes a bit but Dark and Lovely is a Black hair care line from way back.  Before anyone asks, no it is not Black owned anymore.  It's part of the L'oreal group of brands now but as far as I can tell unlike Shea Moisture or Carol's Daughter the Dark and Lovely brand has not tried to be super inclusive of every hair type.  That's important because it means they know their base and haven't lost focused on that target.  Ok moving on from that brief detour.  Looking at the ingredients in this product and it looks like something a natural hair having Black woman would probably use.  First ingredient is water and then there are a bunch of oils that I would or have mixed together with water to spray on my locs over the last few years.  The directions instruct you to use it daily, or as often as you would like, to keep your hair moisturized and encourage growth.  Since I just got it yesterday, today will be my first day using it and I will alternate between it and my own spray bottle of goodness to see if I notice a difference.  Regardless, you will get an update and this should prompt me to revisit my hair regimen especially over this winter which is intent on being cold with no snow which seems like a waste.

I'll update with my thoughts in a few weeks.  Have a great rest of Kwanzaa and happy New Year.

December 28, 2020

End of the Year Update


It's not quiet the end of the year but it is approaching right.  Three more days and we will hopefully be done with this train wreck of a year even if the fall out from it won't be over for quite some time.  I got my hair done last week and I'll share photos of that in a second.  It's been a year.  There has definitely been good things that happened but conversely the bad has been so bad it's exhausting.  I won't say I'm hopeful about 2021 yet because folks are intent on showing their whole entire behinds for the next few days which will only amplify if someone is forcibly removed from office.  This is also my last week of indiscriminate eating.  I've gained back most of the weight I lost and since I'll be home for a few months before we can get back together face to face on campus I need to eat less and move more to get a handle on things.  Anyway I hope you all have a wonderful new year.  I'm prepping an Asian feast or just knock off versions of P.F. Chang's items so we can eat without having a ton of food left over when we don't need it.  I really wanna go back to sleep but that is not possible right now.  I'll be up all night if I do.  Anyhoo, here are photos.

November 15, 2020

I Kinda Disappeared

I realized the other day that I had been sharing photos on social media but not on here since well my last post in August.  That wasn't intentional necessarily.  It was just easy to throw them up from my phone while I was sitting still for a minute.  Teaching during the pandemic, trying to take my own class and taking care of myself plus mom took more out of me than I thought.  My hair is growing quite a bit, mostly because it's locked into a style where I'm doing even less to it.  I'll show you photos of that in a second.  Part of that is to protect a weak loc and part of it was I had a ton of speaking engagements over the last few months and no desire to keep pushing my hair out of my face.  I like it, just hard to get to sleep initially for the last few months because the hair is getting longer which makes the spot in the back where they join up lower.  So I'm going to just dump photos in here for you to see and then I'm probably going to fight taking a nap so I can do some homework and grading.

September Photos

October Photos

look a little crazy in that last one lol

November Photos

August 30, 2020

I'm Struggling Right Now

There's never a good time for anyone to die.  Literally never.  But given the other million things that are going wrong right now, Chadwick Boseman's death is crushing me a bit more than I thought anyone's death might after Prince died.  You shouldn't assume that people you admire will always be there but that's what you do when you're a fan.  Y'all couldn't have ever told me Prince wouldn't be around to release my next favorite Prince song.  And you couldn't have told me someone who became a superhero for Black folks across the planet, and let's be honest quiet a few non Black folks too, wouldn't be around for the next opportunity to be a superhero again.  I'm hurt, like for real hurt.  And I'm going to say something in a minute that is gonna make y'all go--come on now sis.

One of my sorors and good friends asked tonight essentially why we are losing Chadwick when so much other fuckery is allowed to run unchecked and bad people continue to do worse things with no repercussions.  Where was God in all of this?  And that's where I got stuck.  This has been an ongoing struggle for me as of late.  Black folks are a praying folks.  We stay in church.  We tell folks to take it to God all the time.  Black folks in America don't universally have a connection to religion that may have been part of our heritage.  Our forced importation to be the free labor force for hundreds of effing years stripped us of language, history, memory, traditions and religion.  We're Christian because we were indoctrinated and part of that indoctrination was to keep us docile.  I hate most churches because they feel hella judgemental and nosy as hell sometimes too.  And right now, some Christians are the worst ambassadors of their faith.  I want to believe as fervently as other folks do but my brain goes but they keep using that to eff us over.  And I shouldn't question God theoretically but for real unless he's ready to light this one on up in a blaze of glory I am trying to figure out what the end game is here for people who continue to be oppressed for no other reason then they are readily visually identified as different.

Don't get me entirely wrong, my life is better than I probably deserve and I'm not struggling financially right now while a lot of people are but that doesn't account for why are all these other folks struggling.  The world is at a point of extreme wealth but also extreme wealth disparities.  Like I need it to make sense and depending on faith can't get me there right now.  It's not just this moment I promise.  This is an ongoing what in the hell man.

I'm going to try to go to sleep now cause I cannot process anymore.  Travel well Chadwick, I hope you are free of pain and with people who love you.

August 23, 2020

New Interface, Hate This

Two of the primary platforms I utilize are switching the layout and I have to say I kind of hate them both.  I didn't default back to the old Blogger interface because they said it was going to disappear soon but that new Facebook had to go after I couldn't really control what I wanted to see on my feed.  Right now it's gonna stay "classic" until I'm forced to make the switch.  In other news, I got my retwist done by Sarah who started my locs in the first place.  Two years and one month or so into the game at this point.  I'm happy with the outcome and the drive is actually a little more straightforward.  I need to hang out under the dryer longer next time because dead center on my big head was still a little moist when I got in the car.  Anyhoo here are some photos.

And the comparison to last year

July 27, 2020

So yeah, I've been cooking

Disclaimer: I hate the new Blogger interface with a fiery passion.  I can use the old one for another month before they take it away but that's just like elongating your breakup until after you come back from the vacation with your soon to be ex just  because you already paid for everything even though you know the ENTIRE trip sill suck.  Ok moving on.

I realized the other day that I haven't talked about cooking here in a LONG time.  Not because I haven't been cooking, especially not during the pandemic when cooking was one of the only things I could that didn't involve murdering my roommate (jokes folks just jokes), but because it just hasn't come to my mind so I am going to share some updates on random meals that I have made that I would suggest you try.  These will not at all be in the order I made them because my memory is bad when I'm bored.

July 17, 2020

The Only Thing Constant Is Change that includes my hair

I am about a week and a half out from my official two year loc anniversary.  That's actually kind of amazing for me because really this was an experiment in my patience and seeing what, if anything, my hair would do in this state as opposed to a giant undefined fro which is where I was stuck after big chopping.  There was also some noticeable breakage in parts of my hair where I was wearing a head band to create a puff when the fro was just too boring for me.  The locs in those spots may be a little shorter as a result but are still long enough that most people wouldn't notice.  As a coworker says now, my hair is draping.  At the longest point in the back it sits under my color.  The sides are resting comfortable on my shoulders and the front is playing catch up.  I'm ok with all of it for a few reasons.  The first of which I'm pretty sure my hair always grew at different rates and this just proves it.  Second, my hair has different textures all over my head with the tightest coils being up front and the looser ones being in the back.  That could account for length differences maybe but it mostly just makes the locs in the back more prone to spring hair free between appointments--I'll come back to this.  Third, not that hair isn't always an extension of you but these FEEL like an extension of me.  The struggles, the triumphs, the history is all here in my hair.  I started these a few weeks before I started teaching my first set of graduate students.  Those humans are weeks away from graduating and going out on their own.  I got my laser surgery a few months later.  I haven't purchased glasses in a over a year.  Very random.  All of these things have happened with me growing out these locs.  Tons of memories attached to them.  Looking forward to the next phase which either means a new stylist or going out on my own.  I'll decide that next month.  I had someone in town do them yesterday and add some extensions in the spot that just refused to stay in the surrounding locs or loc up on its own.  Next month I'll see the other person that was recommended when I started my journey and after that I'll know what it is I want.  I need to vibe with a stylist and if I don't then I may as well get used to doing it solo and then going in for special occasions.  Okay here are some photos and then I need to try to sleep.  Regional conference is in the morning.

Love yall

July 3, 2020

So here we are, back where we started

I have been home mostly since mid March.  All travel has been halted, classes were taught remotely, there has been no tennis and I have had no retwist since February I think.  Right before I went to see my nieces and yeah my brother but mostly my youngest niece for her birthday.  I have to drive a bit to get my hair done and the city where I typically go was in major lock down for almost two months.  My loctition appears to be stepping away from doing hair and my initial one is taking over her clients but it's been nearly a month since I got that news and still freshly parted retwisted hair so I'm debating going back to doing my hair again solo.  That terrifies me now more than it did when I just went natural but I'm not sure if it's I'm lazy or that I have to do more reading on my own to be healthy.  On the flip, much like when I was doing my own hair pre locs I get to save a lot of money and I can do my hair on my schedule and no more hour long commutes.  Given the pandemic it may be the best option because there's no way to prevent getting exposed save not leaving the house and not letting anyone in the house.  I'll think it over but you know me.  I tend to make decisions after thinking on it for longer than any human should and asking for input.  That's the stage I'm in now.  I'm also in the itchy scalp and needing to wash my hair phase so I may do that tomorrow regardless of anything else I do.  Hope you are all well. 

April 26, 2020

Staying Safe---No Retwists, Still Updates

Life has been hectic since the last update let me just tell you.  That was a few weeks before spring break and my plan to get back on my diet and workout grind.  And then spring break got extended.  And then the gym shut down because of city ordinances.  And then my state, like many others, issued a shelter in place so school shut down too (school is where I work for those that don't remember) so I had a week or so to figure out what to do with my classes and have been teaching remotely since late March.  My retwist was scheduled for the Friday after we started remote teaching.  Insert sad face but still happy face cause you know breathing and mom isn't sick and my hair is still growing.  I'm not sure when in May I might be able to get in because I haven't been rescheduled yet--I am feeling some kind of way about that but I'll come back to that later--I just know that by the time I am in that it will have been a minimum of eight weeks between appointments and I kind alternate between thinking my hair is cute, to let's cut it all off so I can wash it whenever I like without having a lengthy post wash process but really it's just a different process. I could wash it now and just forcibly detangle it until I can get back in but it's been a struggle to keep my locs from marrying each other right now.  Water is all the motivation my hair needs to tangle in on itself. And as cute as mom is, her hands get tired after prolonged action so she wouldn't be able to help really.  So for now I've just been waiting for my stylist.

I mean that's not all I'm doing.  I'm oiling my scalp and moisturizing my hair.  Especially over the last few weeks when my hair started to feel like it was super duper dry all of a sudden.  That has helped along with scratching my scalp as necessary because for real I don't care if it looks fuzzy on Zoom right now.  I am noticing when I'm on camera just a see of white hair because new growth is having a party but hey it's still growing right.  Now for anyone that's been around a while, like maybe about a year, you know that there was a stylist change about the four month mark because my original loctition went on maternity leave and when she came back her schedule was limited.  I stayed with the replacement stylist and I like both of them.  What I'm not enjoying as much is the longer drive to the shop and the one drawback of having a popular stylist--she stays busy so getting in if I need to reschedule can take a minute.  Or the baby loc dance we had to do for a while.  I know I'm tired and bored so this is probably not the best time to make any lasting decisions but I may have to at least consider a plan b to plan a and ignore plan C (me doing my own locs) for as long as possible.

Ahh well, I'm going to go either have dinner or a cookie depending on what mom has done.

How are y'all doing?

March 6, 2020

When the beat drops

Or in this case the thermometer, you gotta make some adjustments.  This past week it has been mild as all get out.  Not scrap the winter coat entirely but don't have to wear it bundled up like you will die otherwise.  So this morning I was fully prepared to just toss the coat in the back seat and roll out.  Except I stepped outside and was like eff is this.  It was 35 and dropped as I drove.  It started fake snowing, thankfully not trying to have any real snow, and the wind was a hot mess.  Thankfully I made it to the shop on time and my hair feels and looks good to me.  I'll share some photos in a minute.  The back of my hair is the part that comes loose the most was a target of attention and we added a new friend dead center because it wasn't staying in the surrounding locs as I've mentioned before.  This one is a two strand twist because that hair has a different curl pattern and it will blend in with the surrounding hair.  We'll see how long it takes to loc on up.  I may have to TLC it a bit for the next few months.  I think that puts me at 123 locs right now but regardless I'm kinda loving my hair as we slide into the two year point.  I thought the two year target was six months from now but it's apparently about five.  Time has flown by and my hair is healthy and growing.  Today's visit also included trimming the loose tangles off the ends because they were starting to tangle up on each other which was kind of annoying.  It's the only trim I've had in the last 19 months but I don't know that I needed one before now.  Needed to let my hair seal up on its own and for most of the locs it did just that.  There were a few like eff that noise locs towards the front and a few in the back that got a little snip.  She evened them out a bit so a little length is gone in some areas but it feels full and that's important.

So what have I learned in this process?  Probably some things I've said already like if I leave my hair alone it will grow and if I do even the basics it will grow and be healthy.  That my gray hair has its own agenda and is now recruiting my eyebrows to join in on the early pigment betrayal.  I plucked one from each eyebrow months ago and now they are back with friends.  That I could DIY if I had patience but I do not.  I appreciate my monthly appointments for my hair and my massage.  Both keep me sane and the money spent between them is worth it.  That I enjoy being in my own skin and it's not that my locs have made me more vocal but going through becoming loc'd in the world I inhabit has made me more assured of who and what I am.  It's helped me make other decisions like the eye surgery and now Invisalign, resuming tennis, taking drum lessons, and switching PCPs to one that I need to vibe with so I can take care of me.  In short, taking a major step to look at my life differently is rippling through every part of it.  I'm happy with my hair and my world and all that is coming--oh except my stinking license tag renewal.  That was ridiculous.

Here are photos

February 16, 2020

So February has been hectic

I didn't take my standard post retwist photo array because as soon as I got off the highway it started sleeting.  And the next day I loaded up mom and headed to Texas to see my family because my adorable niece was turning 10 that weekend.  And I saw her and it was great but I'm still dragging at the end of the week because we got home Sunday at 1 in the morning, so technically Monday, and I still needed to eat and try to get some sleep.  Thankfully I did my homework before I traveled and gave myself some space to get work done this week.  I'm only including one photo of my brother, mother and I right before we caught our flight home.  Since the nieces are younger and not mine I won't share them unless they want me too.  Anyway the hair on two of the three of us is gray and one just won't cop to letting it go gray yet lol.

Hope everyone is doing well.

January 9, 2020

Happy New Year, Yeah New Length

Hey everyone,

Super excited tonight for some reason.  I got my locs retwisted and as a coworker would say they are swing.  And as I have been want to do I looked at where I was this time last year and woosah the difference.  I'm having a good day even though it started out with me not feeling so good.  I was a bit annoyed on the drive home because I got held up by a train on the non highway highway and after we started moving again I figured I got delayed for a reason.  And that reason was to listen to Take Me to Church by Hozier loud and sing loud before I got out of the car.  I'm resting right now because in about twenty minutes top I gotta put my Invisalign trays back in.  Woosah they hurt but my teeth will be cute and straight by June. 

Okay here are photos from today and one from last January.