Tuesday, 28 July 2009

jamaica jamaica

If you know me, you may be aware that my family is Jamaican. I'm 2nd gen British born, but the connection with JA is still there. My grandparents and a lot of other older members of my family who came to the UK to make some cash are now back home, enjoying life in the sun. I haven't been back for a while. 8 years it must be now, that's ages! I didn't think it was so long.

I am most definitely aware that Jamaica has some issues (putting it mildly), but until recently all I'd experienced was the natural beauty of the island and the warmth of the people.

Then my uncle got shot


Click the link to read how my uncle was shot execution style in the temple (or neck, depending on reports). No money was taken (he had $60,000 JAM on him, which is approximately £410 - damn that exchange rate!) but his phone was stolen. Allegedly he had received a phone call asking him to come to the bar and the theory is that the phone was taken to stop the police tracking the murderer.

Now I'm not really looking for sympathy. My uncle lived in New York, I'd only met him about 3 times in my life, but this situation is fucked up! Every family member is repeating that he was such a calm, quiet person. Never in trouble with anyone. The W_____'s are in shock!

So now I'm hearing that the plot is getting thicker - but since it is bad to pass on gossip I will hold my tongue for now.

RIP Uncle Michael

Jamaican authorities need to catch the animal who killed you. An island whose main income is tourism CANNOT have this level of lawlessness continue unchecked.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009


I used the "block person" option on facebook for the first time today. The same person was also msn messenger blocked + deleted (a feature which is used with increasing regularity) and would also have been deleted from my phone except I would like to know when they are calling so I can ignore it - no surprises.

Can you block phone numbers? How?

It was cathartic. And it was long over due.

I can't control the negative energy of others, but actually inviting it into my life repeatedly? That's stupid.

And today I'm feeling smart.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

the orishas

While travelling in Cuba years ago I was introduced to Santeria. Santeria is to Cuba what Voudoun (Voodoo) is to Haiti, and Candomble is to Brazil.

West africans forcibly transported across the Atlantic brought their beliefs, languages, traditions and Gods with them to the new world.

But the beliefs were beaten from them. Languages were lost as families and clans were seperated, and severe penalties inflicted on those not speaking the language of their oppressors. Traditions became hidden rituals or ignored.

Through it all the gods remain.

Kind of

Santeria was hidden during slavery by combining the gods (orishas) with Catholic saints. According to wikipedia this is called "syncretism"

"the attempt to reconcile disparate or contrary beliefs, often while melding practices of various schools of thought"

Each orisha was melded with a corresponding catholic saint, often with equivalent characteristics

For example
Oshun "goddess of love, feminine beauty and art" became Our Lady of Charity
Elegua "the trickster god of crossroads and opportunity" became St Anthony (patron saint of roads and gates)
Ogun "god of war and iron" became St Peter (patron of war)
Shango "also a warrior god strongly associated with thunder, lightning and male sexuality" became St Barbara (patron of thunder, lightning and fire)

Last night I dreamed of Eleggua. There was a song I heard people singing along the Malecon in Havana which repeated his name and last night that song was the soundtrack to my dream. I have no idea who sings it and I haven't thought about it in years.

The dream was simple. I walked along the Malecon at night, past Friday night revellers drinking rum from the bottle and dancing under the stars, the ocean crashing on the rocks below them. The details of the landscape were sharp, but my companion's face is hazy. He was young, shorter than me and ran in circles around me, distracting me and tripping me. There is no doubt in my mind who this was, in that specific certainty that is only found in dreams.

It's odd that he should come to mind now, especially when in the past few days many little things have been going wrong. Maybe these events triggered my memory subconsciously, or maybe the dream served to show that Eleggua the trickster is causing trouble in my life. Eleggua isn't evil, this isn't the same as dreaming that I walked with "the devil" (in whose existence I still doubt). Eleggua transcends good and evil. In my mind he resembles the duality of human nature, however I would prefer if, in my dream, he was more playful, less vindictive.

I need to learn more...

Friday, 10 July 2009

a message to the leering and lascivious...

...you make me hate summer.

I found myself this morning dressing as if donning armour for battle.


Because in sultry south London, a woman's body becomes community property in summer. The level of community ownership is directly proportional to the physical assets that said woman possesses and I possess said assets.

So my message to all of you optical sex-pests that want to mentally undress me when I leave the house:

Stop the ogling!

A quick appreciative glance is flattering.

A 5 minute stare is not only not flattering, it's borderline harassment.

I actually can't take it. It makes me ridiculously self conscious, hence my need to dress like a centurion on occasion.

*rant over*

Thursday, 9 July 2009

beyonce - sweet dreams

Is Bey becoming a parody of herself?

This what happens when an artist has no legitimate competition in their field. They start repeating the same old tired-ass moves.

So far I've noticed

The Lace-front Flick

The Shimmy

The Snake Walk

and the ever popular Booty-pop

Watch Bey's new video and see how many you can spot!

the bucket list - part 1

I've been thinking about my Bucket List. The list of things that I want to do before I die. Some of the list is noble, some academic, some sexual, some down right ridiculous.

This is one of the ridiculous ones

I'm going to be nude in public.

I don't know when, and today I feel that I should probably do a little more exercise before I execute this particular list item but it will happen, in my lifetime.

Just to clarify, I don't intend to wear a mac and surprise people in the park - because that is illegal (and just plain wrong), I also don't plan on running across a sporting field of any discipline, since the only place I want this to be remembered is my head, I don't need any photographic evidence.

But I feel that this is important. For a girl who has been at odds with her body since the onset of puberty, this could be the ultimate show of acceptance of her physique.

I read a book last night called "Naturally Slim, without dieting". It's pretty old and has been on a shelf downstairs for longer than I can remember. I assume that my mum bought it back in the day, because my dad is one of those irritating people who can (and does) eat a mountain of food without gaining an ounce of weight. This book, which looks at slimming from a psychological perspective predictably has a chapter on loving and appreciating your body whatever weight, size, cellulite level that you may be at. A generic but positive message to be sure. What did interest me was a quote from a group therapy participant that the author had hosted.

"I know that these legs look like they could kick-start a Boeing, but they are my legs, and they are fine. They walk when I want them to walk, they sit when I need them to sit. They are my legs, so they are fine"
This quote headed a chapter called Thunder Thighs and Fattism: Accepting yourself

Isn't it a breath of fresh air among all the literature targeted at my age group and gender?

Be slim

10 ways to drop 10 pounds

Magic anti-cellulite cure





Just be happy with the body that you have - it works, it is functional, stop abusing it by starving it, over (or under) working it and not taking care of it.

Acceptance of the body you have doesn't negate the quest for "the body beautiful". For everyone there is room for improvement and loving the body you have now doesn't stop you from being aware of its faults. It just means that you'll be able to deal with them in a manner that doesn't leave you hating yourself. Check out these internal responses to being out of breath when running for a train:

Person 1: OMG I can't breathe! I'm dying!

*train leaves platform*

Person1 : you fat bitch, if you hurried up and lost all that disgusting fat you might have caught your train and not been late for work again.

and next....

Person 2: OMG I can't breathe! I'm dying!

*train leaves platform*

Person 2: ah crap I'm going to be late, I should do some exercise so that the next time this happens I'll be prepared

Guess which one hates what they see in the mirror every morning?

OK that was obvious - but I hope you see where I'm coming from.

So back to the point of this post. Once I am able to love my body, flaws and all, I will be naked in public. Probably on a beach somewhere, where everyone else is naked too. This isn't a sexual thrill seeking mission. I'm not an exhibitionist. But the naked form, especially the female form has become sexualised to the point where being naked must mean you're about to have sex and I think that is such a shame. Maybe part of this is a one woman mission to take back my body from the leering and lascivious public and enjoy it in an asexual environment.

Whatever the reasoning - Nude in Public - It's on the Bucket List!

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

the michael jackson memorial - a breakdown

This is just a Breakdown of the events at Michael's memorial ceremony. Along with additional commentary from Badmind Eva, over whom I have no control.

Mariah was on stage earlier. I love you girl and your tribute was heartfelt.

Badmind Eva says: Mariah's ill, choked up with grief, or losing her voice. I hope its one of the first two

19:15: Stevie Wonder just finished singing to Michael Jackson's coffin. Best performance of the night so far. The pain in his voice was palpable

Badmind Eva says: When men with long hair have foreheads that start mid-scalp, they really should consider relieving the rest of the follicles of their duties

19:17: Some basketball players are discussing there experiences with MJ. I think it's Magic Johnson and someone else. Sweet memories. Who knew Michael ate KFC? But he is right, as sad as this moment is, this is his life that we are celebrating.

****update: LA Lakers players, apparently***

19:21: Jennifer Hudson is on stage. She owns that mic! Singing Will You Be There? One of my favourite songs by Michael, but I'm not feeling this performance. I guess when the original is so ingrained in your consciousness, it's hard to appreciate alternatives.

They have Michael's vocals for the spoken verse - beautiful

19:25: Al Sharpton speaks, the voice of a true preacher. He looks like he presses his hair?

"There's nothing that can't be done if we raise our voice as one" - shown on the screen behind the tributes

So far I think this is the perfect antidote to BET's memorial fiasco

19:33: John Mayer on guitar - Human Nature - so subtle and understated. He's making those strings sing.

"why, why? Tell them that it's Human Nature"

The backing singers joining in on the chorus, still subtle, still poised

That really was amazing.

19:37: Brooke Shields is expected

Oh I didn't realise all the brothers are wearing a glove. What a nice touch?

19:38: Brooke Shields is absolutely stunning, she is only just holding back the tears. Her tribute is making me cry, the sincerity is absolute. This is hands down the best tribute so far. These memories are so personal, so warm, so moving.

19:47: Jermaine is on stage singing "Smile". I have no idea how he is managing to sing. At my grandmother's funeral I could barely breathe for crying, let alone sing. His voice is barely breaking. How is he holding it together? How? My heart is breaking for him. His vocal similarity to Michael is breathtaking. So very brave of him.

19:51: Now the children of Martin Luther King are speaking. The son, emulates his father's style exactly. Both are obviously great orators.

They say the sky is the limit, and to me that is really true - background screen

apparently usher is on soon.

19:59: Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee - also a strong speaker discussing all the humanitarian work that Michael did, some that we may not have even heard of. Michael's life contains so many aspects that should be emulated, to "make the world a better place"

"Michael fought the good fight"

Resolution 600 - a Congressional resolution honouring Michael Jackson's humanitarian legacy - what a tribute!

Badmind Eva: This woman can chat na man?? Hurry up! Politicians *shakes head*

20:07: USHER! singing gone too soon. I forgot usher was actually vocally talented. His recent music hasn't showcased this at all. Usher is the 2nd celeb to breakdown and cry on stage (after Brooke Shields). He owes a lot to Michael, his style especially is a tribute in itself.

20:12: Video of "Who's loving you" Jackson 5 - I love that purple hat

20:13: Smokey Robinson (who wrote the previous song).

Badmind Eva says: how is it that Smokey looks younger now, than he did when he was young? I know black doesn't crack, but seriously Smokey - I KNOW you had help!

Smokey is discussing the soul, the passion and the blues in Michael's voice as a child that belied his years.

20:19: NO WAY! Shaheen from Britain's Got Talent is on here! Singing his heart out. This must be absolutely mindblowing for him! BUT it is glaringly obvious that even his talented self is a little out of his depth. He didn't compare to Michael Jackson as a child. Simon Cowell's eyes are spitting dollar sounds right now. Michael watched Britain's Got Talent and admired Shaheen and asked him to perform with him in London. Mind blowing. He's only 12!

20:23: Kenny Ortega? Not sure who he is

Presenting a performance from the THIS IS IT tour rehearsals!


Oh its a live performance. I though it was video footage. Singing we are the world, I think this is the finale. All famous attendees are on stage. Harmonising.

The introduction to Heal the world, the child's voice was a perfect ending. Heal the world


20:34: I'm obviously too damn fast for my own good - Jermaine offers his thanks on behalf of his family. All are on stage.

Janet looks fabulous

Badmind Eva says: what in the name of all that is holy is on LaToya's head?

The kids, Prince, Paris and Blanket look so comforted by the Jackson family. Jermaine couldn't finish speaking, Marlon took over, but broke down towards the end, when he mentioned his twin brother Brandon, already passed, and is in heaven with Michael now.

Janet is next. No Paris is speaking. So heartfelt. She loves her Daddy.

20:42: The casket is leaving the stage, carried by the Jackson brothers.

Fin (for real this time)

in memoriam - michael jackson

Today seems shrouded in an air of melancholy.

The clouds hold an ominous threat. Thunder rolls between lightning flashes and rain and hail are pouring from the sky.

If I was a fan of cliche I would say that even the elements are in mourning today, as they, along with the rest of the world watch Michael Jackson being laid to rest. It would be apt I think, a fitting tribute to the King of Pop.

I feel, along with most 80s babies, that a piece of my childhood is dead. My tears are for a global icon of childhood, and for the world's great loss.

Mucisian, Dancer, Humanitarian, The greatest entertainer that has ever, is currently, or will ever live.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

locs day 1

The locs journey has begun, the twists look hot and they are not scalpy which I was worried about. I probably won't go back to MR in Tooting though. Not because they did anything wrong (except overusing the locking butter to the extent that I felt my Soul Glo!), but because it reminded me of everything I hate about the black salon experience. Now I remember why I prefer paying the lil extra and having the salon come to me. So I'm looking for a loctician, who doesn't use beeswax, or petrolatum based products and can come to my part of London.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

the decision has been made

I like talking to randoms on public transport. Along with reading, it is one of the only things I enjoy about public transport.

So today I talked to a random on the DLR.

A gorgeous black woman with a possibly american/ canadian accent (I can't tell the difference) and her even more gorgeous daughter. We'll call her Dreadz.

Talking to people on public transport is easy. All you need is a smile and an opening hook. So smile at the ready, I leaned over and said:

"Can I ask you a question? How long have you had your locs, they're beautiful"

And now I'm just realising how much like a chat-up line that sounded. Fortunately, Dreadz didn't run from my blatant (but unintentional) flirtation, and we proceeded to have a really good chat about the process of starting and maintaining locs.

Dreadz has had her locs for over 2 years now, and they look fabulous, no lie. Slightly longer than chin length, very black (not my off black/ brown dodgy hair colour).

And so today I decided that I want them!

Locs have been at the back of my mind for a few years. The last few years I have been enjoying the 'fro, and finally learning how to look after my hair and what works for me. But now I'm bored, ready for the next challenge, and maybe that is locs. If it isn't then they're reversible for the 1st 6months so no probs.

I'm aware that for the first 3-6 months my head is going to look RUFF! The until locs settle in they are temperamental, irritating, fluffy, frizzy, etc etc. but after that I'm hoping for something that looks a little like this...

or this....

(how beautiful are they? I mean it's not because of the locs, but still....)

So the twisting appointment is booked for Sunday 10.30. I'm being completely lazy because I could have done it myself but I'll part with £50 to get the partings at the back of my head straight. I feel like I'm starting a journey and I'm excited!

So much for my "its just hair" philosophy - lol