I\’m jus\’ sayin\’

March 31, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bwandungi @ 1:21 am

Happy Birthday Jackie!

I love you!

March 29, 2008

My Hair

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bwandungi @ 12:19 am

Subject: All things nappy…
Focus: Hair
Real Focus: My hair!
Today’s Motto: Proud to be nappy

Been talkin’ hair and at first it was the main reason for this blog.

P.S. You can click the photos in order to see larger versions.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, whichever way you look at it, I’m a rebel. I hate the status quo and will find whatever reason to do something to show that I ,

  1. Don’t respect status quo
  2. Don’t give two shits if think I’m an idiot for it (except the parentals who make me tremble with fear)
  3. Will bust your chops if you even suggest I should be doing something to fit in.

So the whole idea that I have to dress a certain way and look a certain way in order to get the same opportunities as everyone else really rankled me. Especially when it came to my hair.

The idea that some people can get away with either keeping their hair short and those of us who didn’t want it short had to sit for hours on end, every weekend to get our hair done in order to be considered decent, to me seemed like the height of oppression.

So I took a journey of self discovery that included purging myself of ideas that had been fed into my mind. Here is the map.

After high school I kept my hair natural for a while, but was convinced to get it straightened. For about seven years I spent weekends in the basement of Mary Stuart Hall getting shampooed, poked and scratched with curlers and then finally sat under a loud, hot dryer that made my sinuses hurt. Then when I got home I hated the hairstyle so much I’d spend the next hour trying to do it the way I want it to look. So after a visit to the hair salon one day in 2000 the lady told me I didn’t have enough hair for her to style. So, I was done with it and I got my little brother, DJ Twonjex, to cut it all off.

pauls-album-002.jpg

I started growing dreadlocks. What a journey! I wrestled with my demons and won.

dread1.jpg dread4.jpg dread7.jpg dread13.jpg

So, as is usual with all things I got so obsessed with my hair, which in and of itself is quite understandable. When you spend 3 hours every Saturday twisting your napps into gorgeous locs, a lot of love dwells in it and it’s almost as though every experience and every battle and every victory and struggle is locked up in there. I was very attached to them.

dread15.jpg dread17.jpg dread18.jpg

Then the time to grow again presented itself. I met someone who made an amazing argument and believe it or not, about 1-2 months after I cut my locs off, India Arie came out with her song I am not my hair. Anyway, the attachment to my hair needed to be adjusted. The pain and growth that had infused my hair, the frustration of school, a failed relationship, the joy of new friendships and the demise of old, all needed to be purged from me. I needed to be able to detach myself from the identity I had found as a black woman with dreadlocks.

So, on the 1st of October 2006 I sat on the balcony of our apartment and my buddy cut my locs all the way to the root.

dread19.jpg

So I’m learning again, learning about my ideas and what has shaped them. I’m adjusting my ideas of beauty and it’s conventions and what place society’s opinion has in it. I’m learning and it’s going to take a minute or two.

dechair-004.jpg novemberhair-007.jpg marchhair-007.jpg

Well… that is my hair story. I’m nappy and I’m happy to be nappy. Loving the nappy happiness.

March 26, 2008

luk mum aim writting

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bwandungi @ 6:04 am

Decided to pursue one of my passions. I’m going to take part in a poetry slam competition. I will be presenting in the style of spoken word and in case that makes no sense to you, watch this video

I’ve been inspired lately and here is one of my original pieces.

The Pinky and the Girl

Next week Pinky, we take over the World!

Sit there quietly
Don’t move a muscle
You’ll mess up your dress
Lemme fix your buckle

Strapped trapped and tied down
Natural curiosity for life brings a frown
While encouraging boys to clown
Bringing confusion around
Silly Barbies flung on the ground
Creativity straining against the bound
that has a choke hold on it

Come to the kitchen my love
Your Mama needs you
She feeds you
And wants you
To stop doing you
You
You
You
You selfish little bitch
Bring me a switch
Quick!
Come help your Mama!

Wash the dishes
Fold the clothes
Take Dad’s socks
Massage his toes
And when all is said and done
Come I’ll find another way to spoil your fun.

Next week Pinky, we take over the World!

Don’t touch your body it’s dirty, unclean
Month after agonizing month from it streams
blood
red
thick
yucky
smelly
nasty
crusty
murky
grimy
messy
filthy
scuzzy
slimy

YUCK! Don’t touch it!

But mama, the boys want a touch
And I don’t want to be too much
trouble
I want to receive the kind of looks she gets
Just want someone to gently call me their pet
Listen ma, I don’t want you to fret
But tonight Imma give it all to Brett
See if he’ll let
me be me

Brett’s a bastard of course and ends up not petting anything.

Next week Pinky, we take over the World!

Oh so white she’s so virginal
Dad’s proud to look at his little angel
The little dot, the fruit of his loins
Obedient little creature result of a join
Between his genes and his sweethearts

But the furor within her soul is burning
Eminent volcano eruption is hiding
The rumbling discontent of her heart beginning
Causing dissent in her family and making
Each one question the other mistaking
The conflict inside of their home pursuing
A dangerous foe they cannot see and turning
Blind to the fact that their angel had lost her wings during
The battle inside her.

She lost.

She now understands
Understands that her words will not be heard
Understand the World thinks her thoughts are all blurred
Because the organ she carries inside her deterred
The ability of her brain to process complicated information.

She now understands
Understands that in order to survive she must fight
Must fight for the right of the blight to be slight
Quite rightly for slight it must be
Must be slight for her to be free
Free from the shackles this blighted world put on her
Blighted world sickly imposes rules which occur
They occur to help maintain societies norms
Norms formed to oppress rather than inform
For they understand that ultimately
That information would let her be free

And those shackles that bound her to a fate so obtuse
The misinformation that only garnered abuse
Abuse for the organs which let her reproduce
A powerful people a loose obtuse reproduced nation
Who used their power to put that noose on relations
Would be crushed by her power and rise from frustration
To build a foundation for a new generation of change!

But right now she sits quietly behind you and me
Unassuming, quite shy but waiting for the key
The key to unlock her immeasurable potential
Essential exponential potential
Inside her
to take over the whole world!

Today Pinky, we take over the World!

March 15, 2008

Blursity glub?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bwandungi @ 4:51 am

I was traumatized about 3 weeks ago. I’ve only been able to talk freely about it recently.

A friend took us out clubbing where we were going to meet one of her friends for the first time. By all accounts, this other friend was supposed to be engaging and interesting. I’d communicated with her back in 2004 when she wanted some of my articles for a startup magazine. So I thought it might be nice to meet someone new, maybe make a new friend.

We went to a club in downtown Chicago that had a salsa night and some guys were “teaching” salsa dancing and I guess for a certain price you could dance with one of them and see how it’s done.

We picked a table that was off to the side so we could watch the disaster on the floor and participate if we were so inclined.

Suddenly, this lady, about 4’8″ to about 5’0″ walks up to our table and my friend said,

“There she is!”

My friends have teased me about this, but honestly, when I describe what I saw, you are going to understand me.

She was vertically challenged and sported shoulder length dreadlocks that were in dire need of a washing and re-tightening. She’d been drinking for a little while and when she spoke, her breath singed my eyebrows and eyelashes off my face. Her large pronounced features were distinctly African, even though she’s several generations African American and had the typical features, large lips, large nose, large eyes, big but, coupla pounds overweight and huge boobs.

I mention her boobs last even though they are the main subject of my blog today.

The shirt she chose to wear was about 5 sizes too small and I could have sworn from here to Sunday that she stretched the collar of her shirt. Her HUGE saggy double G’s (yes boys, after D cups then the G cups. They skipped E!) had been miraculously lifted into one of the horrible contraptions invented called under wire push-up bras and the white shirt she had on clung fiercely to her nipples which protruded  because it’s the middle of winter…

I’m not sure what this woman’s point was, but when she was offered a seat, she heaved her bosom onto the table as though that were better support for them. So every time I reached for my drink on the small table that was already crowded with our arms and drinks I had to make sure my hands didn’t touch her bosom. Look I’m not trying to give anyone ideas here!

What did she want? What did she expect? How was I supposed to concentrate on her conversation when all I could think was, “DAYMN! Those are some large saggy-ass gazunga’s you’ve got there! That’s a feat of physics!” They were so close to my drink and she was practically bare-chested!

So like any polite person I gave her breasts some of my attention, didn’t listen to her conversation whatsoever, she wasn’t talking to me anyway. And decided I’d tell y’all about it.

Dave Chapelle tells it best when he says, the signals women are giving when they dress like this are very confusing (even to us women! After all this is the age of sexual freedom, right? Ha!). He says it’s like getting into a cab and then telling the driver, “Um, no. I don’t really want to go anywhere. I just want to sit in your cab.”

This, however, wasn’t a titillating experience for me (pardon the pun) . It was purely scientific amazement at the power of silk under-wire bras and the torture women will go through to get some looks on a Friday night!

Check out the video!!!

March 14, 2008

Who am I? Part 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bwandungi @ 10:34 am

Well, I was going to continue… but 27th beat me to the punch (it’s way too long to type out your whole name).

Been thinkin’…

If I’m shaped by my experiences (or am I?) and they serve to form the opinions that I have about the world in which i live, why am I not my opinions?

So, if someone doesn’t agree with my opinions because they are just thoughts going through My mind am I obligated to defend them? Should a discussion arise or is the idea that disagreeing with my opinions is just not a personal attack…

I’m not sure where to take this idea.

Oh well.

March 13, 2008

Who am I?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bwandungi @ 8:09 pm

I’ve been giving some attention to the online class with Eckhart Tolle and Oprah Winfrey. I believe there is so much out there to learn and I want to be able to have all the information… You can download it for free on iTunes if you’re interested in listening to it or watching it.

One thing was said this past week that I’m struggling to understand, but learning to understand it.

I am not my thoughts or opinions. They are running through my mind, but they do not define who I am. So if someone attacks or opposes my opinion, there is no challenge to my person. Even when they present their opinions to me, they’re not really in opposition to me, it’s just that our opinions do not agree.

I feel like I’ve stumbled upon something. I’m not yet sure what it is. I’m going exploring to clear my mind and take some pictures, but I’ll be back when I’ve a better idea what I’m saying.

———

March 12, 2008

Umburellah Ella Ella Eh Eh Eh…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bwandungi @ 8:14 am

Something in this song… You know those songs you play over and over again when something particularly significant has happened in your life and then after that, whenever that song plays, your heart remembers the feeling even though your mind cannot really remember the incident?

I have a feeling this will be one of those songs.

“Umbrella”


[Jay-Z]
Ahuh Ahuh (Yea Rihanna)
Ahuh Ahuh (Good girl gone bad)
Ahuh Ahuh (Take three… Action)
Ahuh Ahuh

No clouds in my stones
Let it rain, I hydroplane in the bank
Coming down with the Dow Jones
When the clouds come we gone, we Rocafella
We fly higher than weather
And G5’s are better, You know me,
an anticipation, for precipitation. Stacked chips for the rainy day
Jay, Rain Man is back with little Ms. Sunshine
Rihanna where you at?

[Rihanna]
You have my heart
And we’ll never be worlds apart
May be in magazines
But you’ll still be my star
Baby cause in the dark
You can’t see shiny cars
And that’s when you need me there
With you I’ll always share
Because

[Chorus]
When the sun shines, we’ll shine together
Told you I’ll be here forever
Said I’ll always be a friend
Took an oath I’ma stick it out till the end
Now that it’s raining more than ever
Know that we’ll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella
You can stand under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh eh eh eh)

These fancy things, will never come in between
You’re part of my entity, here for Infinity
When the war has took it’s part
When the world has dealt it’s cards
If the hand is hard, together we’ll mend your heart
Because

[Chorus]
When the sun shines, we’ll shine together
Told you I’ll be here forever
Said I’ll always be a friend
Took an oath I’ma stick it out till the end
Now that it’s raining more than ever
Know that we’ll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella
You can stand under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh eh eh eh)

You can run into my arms
It’s OK don’t be alarmed
Come here to me
There’s no distance in between our love
So go on and let the rain pour
I’ll be all you need and more
Because

[Chorus]
When the sun shines, we’ll shine together
Told you I’ll be here forever
Said I’ll always be a friend
Took an oath I’ma stick it out till the end
Now that it’s raining more than ever
Know that we’ll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella
You can stand under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh eh eh eh)

It’s raining
Ooh baby it’s raining
Baby come here to me
Come here to me
It’s raining
Oh baby it’s raining

March 11, 2008

For Maureen: The Enduring Nature of Love

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bwandungi @ 10:34 pm

We don’t know each other and you’ll probably never read this. I hope you do though. I didn’t come to your wedding because I’m so far away. But you’re the wife of my nephew and therefore my family. In some weird warped sense.

Andrew’s passing (never been able to call him Kats) is devastating and believe me when I say, we mourn with you and feel for you.

Thank the Lord for hope! I thank God for the opportunity we have as believers to look at this as a journey he’s taken, and he just got there before the rest of us did.  I thank God because my turn will come, and those who have been painfully separated from me by this valley will be united with me on the other side.

Love.
The choice we make to  continually give of ourselves, our time, our very heart and soul to another person. The cause of immeasurable pain, dizzying heights of ecstasy, a beauty so intense it makes it difficult to look directly at it, the ache that resides in our chests that wriggles and writhes and tortures.

Love.
Space and time are meaningless once love enters the room. Hours of conversation seem like a couple of minutes. Passionate lovemaking, a blur of time in which two people are made one whole person. Distance not stretching the devotion and commitment that two people share. Mathematics and physics cannot make sense of it and psychologists pretend that they understand it.

Love.
The name of the One who stood at the brink of the valley and held his hand to guide him through it. The name of the One who held you in His arms so you wouldn’t cross it too. The name of the only One who understands your hearts pain at your loss, and understands your choice to love.

Love.
Our spirits endure past this useless and frail vessel with which we celebrate life. We must go back to the source of our spirit when this shell is lost which is why everything that ever means anything to us means the complete involvement of our soul, our spirit. The imprint that our experiences make on us do not happen on our bodies, even though we might use them to express it. Love is engaged with our beings which is why death cannot touch it. We carry it for always.

In the stillness, reach out for it. Touch it and celebrate it like you did before.

You are loved… still.

March 9, 2008

Ugandan in snow

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bwandungi @ 2:08 am

I’m in Canada and contributing to the decried brain drain that’s happening faster than a violent suction toilet. Not my fault since they REFUSE to hire women engineers and give them decent salaries! I need Manolos too!

This winter has been really snowy. When people say it snowed, I have an idea in my head what it means. I’ve seen the news reports and followed weather patterns and have some kind of basic understanding of snowy conditions… or so I believed! In Ottawa, the snowbanks are so high you cannot see traffic coming around the corner because of them. My poor sister-in-law who is 5’4 is about 6 inches shorter than the snow piled up in their back yard. My brother had to shovel the snow from the door to the backyard so it can be opened and 30 minutes later, the snow is around it again. There is at least 3 feet of snow on top of the little shed outside and we cannot open the door to the backyard coz snow will fall in.

So, what does this Ugandan decide to do today? She looks out to the snow and thinks, “How white and soft and wonderful it looks outside!”

I heard my brother yell up the stairs, “Evelyn is taking you tobogganing!”

“F-a-b-u-l-o-u-s!” Came my very certain reply. I is Ugandan. I is not afraid of nottin’. Nottin’ whatsoeva!

Bundled up in my best Houston winter clothes (Ha!) I trudged out of the house with my sister-in-law and her sisters. Immediately I got overwhelmed walking down the small path to the parking lot. It’s a 1 minute walk, so you can see I’m in trouble already. We trudged through the not yet shoveled parking lot to the hill behind the condo complex, where three black boys were using snowboards and some other inconspicuous equipment to hurtle themselves down the hill. Down this dangerous hill that was beginning to look like a mountain.

It’s been long since I really understood what snow was all about. When there was a dusting of snow in Kansas, people would go NUTS and the highways would be jammed with traffic and no one would go out for any reason what so ever. Once there was sufficient snow outside my bachelor apartment and I decided to put it to good use. I built a snowperson. Snowperson because it turned out to be rather androgynous. But I did make sure to give it shoelaces!

Nothing in my recent memory could have prepared me for the experience I was about to have.

snowplay-002.jpg
Evelyn, my sister-in-law was excited to be outside. She quickly climbed onto one of the embankments and slid down on her crazy carpet. She seemed energized by the stuff!

snowplay-005.jpg

I trailed behind them, taking a crazy carpet with me. Please do not assume that I am interested in using this flimsy piece of plastic to get my roly-poly self down the hill. Climbing a hill is not my most favorite thing to do, but doing it in about1.5 feet of snow (almost 2 ft in some places), struggling to get a foothold and sliding back a few times doesn’t really count high on the list of favorite things to do. But I was determined to show these young ‘uns how it was done!

snowplay-007.jpg

Obviously, this was going exactly as planned! The girls were already at the top of the hill and I was still wading through it all trying hard not to look stupid doing it. My basketball air Nikes were not working their wonders this time around. I had to literally thrust my foot into the snow to pack it together so I could get a foothold. Halfway up the hill I had to take a breather.

snowplay-010.jpg

I made it to the top and got situated on the sled behind Evelyn’s sister, Lisa. I’ve seen Calvin and Hobbes comics and know that it’s better to be in the back. Plus, I had this plan… if it was going to fast. I was going to launch myself off the sled onto the snow and be done with the ride! Super plan, which with precise execution could make me look fabulous and all snow knowing.

snowplay-011.jpg

Evelyn pulled us to the edge of the hill. The snow was blowing towards us and we were going fast. Suddenly I was out of breath and seeing visions, which included my untimely demise. So guess what I did? I put my plan into action and launched myself off the side of the sled. However, the launch was incomplete because I forgot the lower half of my body and caused the sled to roll sideways. When we hit the snow, we carved out a side of the hill and rolled in the snow for a couple of feet.

snowplay-012.jpg

I’m all for lady-like dismounts, but this one was unfortunate. I was covered in snow, but happy and ready to try it again! Or so I thought. Once was certainly not enough and I wanted to be able to represent! So I took a look at the hill and started to climb it again!

snowplay-021.jpg

But the hill defeated me, and instead I was given a crazy carpet to try and slide on to the bottom of the hill. As you can see here, there are a couple of things to wrestle with. The snow was really high, impeding forward movement and there was snow trying to find it’s way into my underpants!

snowplay-027.jpg

So, in true african style, I blamed the hill for defeating me, did a little dance around it to seal the curse (may it never grow to see grandchildren) and left with the girls to go warm myself.

It was pretty successful I think. I’ll be going out again to wrangle the hill and see what else I could do out there, but for now I’m grateful to be indoors where it is warm and where I can have a hot cup of chai to warm my bones!

March 3, 2008

I Indian!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bwandungi @ 5:26 pm
I Indian!

I found this photo somewhere of a precocious little girl (who is no longer this little) who understood even then that the rights of the native north americans were being ignored. She thought they were cool and often played the Indian in the Indians and Cowboys game. I believe this head-dress makes her a chief of sorts. Dunno if she was ever given a name though. Were you? 🙂

Just wanted to honor you today and the several awards you won for your blog! When I grow up, I wanna be just like you!

I love you sis!

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.