My Hair: It’s Too Black!

On Christmas Day, I flat ironed my hair. The day before I washed and deep, deep, deep conditioned it.

I’m actually sorry I didn’t take a picture (see an example below). No big deal. Next time I straighten, and / or curl my hair, I will take one. I simply enjoy the comparison shots. I don’t take a lot of pictures, because it is hard to position, and setup, myself to get a decent shot. Outside of my brother (who lives in the South), no one in my family takes a satisfactory picture.

Not my face (I wish!) but, my hair after I styled it.


I show up at my parent’s house. My Dad says, “Is that all your hair?”

I start laughing. “It looks like a wig, right?”

He mumbled, “It’s too black. Did you color it?”

Mom speaks up, “Her hair looks nice. And it is not black, her hair is lighter than that.”

I said, “I don’t know why it looks this dark. I usually see a little brownish / reddish under the lights. Maybe it’s the castor oil or heat protectant cream I put in it.”

Dad makes indecipherable noises, and again I hear. “It’s too black.”

My uncle says, “Your hair looks good. All you use is castor oil?”

“That’s mostly what I use, after all these years, that’s all I need.” I’m thankful for the eyeglasses that keep the hair off my face.

A few hours later, my hair has climbed in height, getting shorter and puffier. I’m sweating, and I’m warm (could be the booze). By then, it’s late evening, and I’m fed up with my hair. I’m not sure that’s what’s making me hot, but I want it braided.

My uncle promises to provide the name of a hair braider he knows. He lives in northern New Jersey. I’m hoping she’s someone who wont braid tight, or try to remove all the hair from my hairline (edges). I’ve already had enough experience with that. No matter how much you ask, they still braid too tight!

Mom doesn’t like my hair braiding plan, “Why must you do that?”

Frankly, I don’t want to touch my hair for about 3 to 8 weeks, maybe longer, if I don’t get an itchy, irritated scalp. “I want to rest my hair and stop the breakage between some parts.” I point out the part at the top and behind my ears. It’s not serious, but I’d like to give those areas a rest.

The moment my Mom finished plaiting my hair: the sweating stopped and I felt a chill. I had no idea the hair was making me so hot! I prefer braided hair, the long, straightened curly style, is not something I’m used to.

I will do it again, long after I get the braids done.

An exaggerated example of my hair shrinkage. Yes, and I change complexions too!
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African History: The Perfect Armor

I love museums. I try to visit a few every year. Even when I am seeing the same exhibits I can’t get enough of them.

Europeans and Africans

I’m always looking for slices of African history in Western Civilization. I also like to see evidence of black people being in Europe, even before Columbus sailed off to find India and “discovered” the “New World.”

Referring to the following image: the date of this slave trade does not mean that Africans were new to Europe. Historical forces came together in a “perfect storm”, which meant Africans would be sourced as the new (more durable?) labor pool for Europeans to use.

Why? Europe was going through periods of depopulation due to the Black Death. Its countries were always at war, sophisticated mercantile commerce was taking hold, and naval competition for dominance of trading routes was growing. These bold explorations and territorial expansions required bodies.

Armors and Guns

I love love love looking at armored suits. I like that whole ancient European guns, swords, and ancient castle living kinda stuff. I wish someone would make a lightweight, superhuman strong exo-skeleton, bulletproof (bomb proof?) armored suit for today. Now, wouldn’t that be awesome!?! Weird, right? Yet, I bloody love the idea. It makes me think of RoboCop for some reason.

Tell me these armor suits don’t look hot? The black one screams, bad ass! I saw one in the UK that the Japanese had given the British. Aw, I should have taken a picture of that. You talk about nice.

The one thing I do note about all of these outfits, people back then were tiny: 5’2″-5’4″. I think most of the armor weighed upwards of 100lbs, which has yet to include the swords, blades, guns, and other equipment they had to carry.

Check out the guns these folks had back then.


Use your imagination: slave traders with guns, breastplate armor, cannons on ships, versus dark skinned natives who had what? Arrows, poison darts, spears, and diseases to hold off the pale skinned invaders.

Starting in 1420, the Europeans begin to scatter African peoples around Europe, and then the “New World.”

Four hundred years later, around 1865, they followed up by colonizing Africa.

And yet, people still talk today as though black and white people, or if you prefer, African and European descendants just met.

I have to read this book Guns, Germs and Steel at some point, maybe see if I can get an audio version and/or watch the PBS program.

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Tis the Season: Monday Random Thoughts

I love, and hate, this time of year. I actually like the cold weather, although the cold weather may not like me. I’m pleased to limit my personal exposure to this seasonal emphasis of, “Be Happy! Be Happy! Spend! Spend! Spend! Until you don’t have a nickel to lend!

Consumerism does not enrich the spirit, it impoverishes it. It’s a national delirium, where folks end up trampling another human being just to buy a cheap import they will toss in three months. A shame, really.
*Ebenezer Scrooge is My Hero!

I can be as happy without this holiday as with it. Dates don’t carry any special significance for me: I can’t even recall my own birthday sometimes. Christmas lost its relevant religious connotation eons ago.

I like December, because that is when the snows first fall (at least around here). Otherwise, I’m rather blase blase about everything. I don’t like Christmas parties. I don’t like Christmas cards. I hate false conviviality. Bah! Humbug! Christmas has morphed and devolved into collective gift buying guilt.

Always remember that today’s Christmas is corporate America’s creation, which is to keep you spending.
Speaking of Spending
I’ve ordered and cancelled so many items in the past few days it’s ridiculous. I’m trying to control myself. I’m forcing myself to put down the credit card and only use cash.
Struggling with that type of self-control makes me break out into a cold sweat.
I want a new laptop. The other one is busted, but I must wait. I must wait. I must wait. And yet, I want a new laptop! Now! I’m trying to decide between a Mac and a Dell. I don’t think I can deal with the Vista O/S right now.
Alas, tis the season for getting what I need, not what I want.
It’s going to be a long winter.
*One of my favorite Christmas stories: Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

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