Skin Care: Sunblock, Sunscreen, Vitamin D and Cancer

I’ve been negligent this year. Well, I’ve always been negligent with regards to a certain type of skin care. I’ll slather on Shea or Cocoa Butter, but nothing with sunblock, or sunscreen.

Bad girl!

I keep reading that I should. Yet, in the back of my mind, I’m thinking: “I’m brown skinned, what do I need that for?”

Well, it turns out that black people get melanoma too! Color me surprised. I’ve known it for some time, but I always think of myself as special in this regard.

I don’t sunburn; I don’t flake.

Every morning, I walk around for up to an hour. Overall, I get a little darker each time. My arms and, more often than not, legs are always covered. I wear a baseball cap and UV shades, even when it’s blisteringly hot.

(Image copied from:

I’m conflicted too. Between reading that blacks in Northern areas of the world don’t get enough Vitamin D because of insufficient sunlight, what the hell am I to think? And this lack of Vitamin D makes some of us vulnerable to breast cancer.

So, if we get too much sun we get skin cancer. If we get too little sun we get breast cancer.

I’ll continue to take my walks without the skin protection.


Random Thoughts for Today

Real Estate

I would love to purchase my neighbor’s town home. At the rate that the price of the house is dropping…. They’ve moved out, and I fear who will replace them. These folks were nice, quiet, non-smoking, non-nosy, and did not own a damn dog.

Those kind of neighbors are rare.


Almost everyone around here owns a yapping, yelping, barking irritating beady-eyed little mutt. Some days I want to drop kick one of those furry pests, like a football, over a field goal. And they don’t clean up after the little sh*tt@rs either.

Neighbors I Don’t Want to Hear

Now, on the other side of me. I shouldn’t hear them, but I’m like a bat seeking prey at night. When I can’t sleep: I hear everything. It is not good.

One of them likes to play a very loud video game up to 2:30 am. One of them comes home at 1:20 am; another leaves around 4:00 am.

How do I know this? I’d make an excellent witness for the prosecution, or defense. I’m not a busybody, but my hearing makes me one.

I may have to invest in a good pair of ear plugs.

Wonder Woman

Sometimes I’m the most self-confident woman in the world. At other times, I’m a church mouse. I make very few decisions when I’m insecure. I do the same when I’m overconfident. That’s why I take so long to make decisions.

I try to make sure I’m not riding some strange emotional wave when I make up my mind. It’s frustrating.

Cryptic Attention Span

I have no right to be bored. Yet, I suffer from “been there, done that” boredom.

I need to be motivated. I keep trying to give myself something to be excited about. Lots of people are happy doing the same thing, having the same habits – over and over again.

I’m not of them. I’ve had this shifting attention span since I was a child. I thought as an adult it would go away. It hasn’t. I try to work with myself on this: how do I adjust to a changing interest in things?

I try to adapt to new interests, and make sure they don’t bore half-way through. Yet, I’m put off, if I want to get into something new, by the length of time, or money I may have to invest in it.

That’s why I can’t think of going back to school. I contemplated study nursing, or related to the pharmaceutical industry. I even attended seminars. In the back of my mind, a voice screamed: “No, I don’t want to go, you can’t make me!” So I’ve given that up. For now.

Still Seeking

People write or talk about living well, or making big changes. Not everyone can afford to do these things. I am tempted to sell the house (when the market improves) and just travel, or own a house on a couple of acres that runs on solar energy, and grow my own food.

Just a dream. I don’t do it because I can visit with people (family) who live like this, and in three days I’m ready to come back to my suburban life-style.

I’m spoiled rotten.


Random Thoughts on Father’s Day

My father introduced me to politics.

He even wanted me to become a lawyer, but alas that was not to be. He’s still around, and lives with my mother of course.

My folks are immigrants, two times. They left their island home for the United Kingdom. My mother foresaw that opportunities in Great Britain might be limited. She decided that America would be the better choice for us. She was right.

This country has always fascinated me – the good and the bad.

Many many years ago my Dad came to the USA, before he married my mother. He was in the deep south having to contend with segregation and the color line. I don’t know if he knew about it before he arrived. He did speak about what a tough adjustment it was. The work alone was rough and very very hard.

Now, my two brothers live in the deep south. To say that their lives today are a world apart from what my father went through would be an understatement. Along with visiting my older brother, I go visit an old friend of mine in the deep south.

The only way things can change in America is based on the people, not the government.

The first time I voted was when my Dad took me to the polls. I was quite proud. I vote because so many others died so that I have this right. It is my voice in this representational democracy. I don’t take it for granted.

I don’t believe that the government can re-create a majority of stable two-parent Afro-American families. I do believe it did a lot of damage to it, resulting in the small number of these families today.

I don’t believe the government is capable of efficient, capable, and positive social policy for its citizens. It is too late for that. The only thing it can do is poorly manage money and wage wars.

I sometimes fear that with its profligate spending and wasting of resources this government will collapse under its own weight. I hope it doesn’t happen.


Hair Care: Weaves

Company History

In 1998, L’Oreal (French) purchased Soft Sheen, a company owned and managed by African-Americans, which targeted the “ethnic” hair market. Making the move to dominate this market, L’Oreal followed up with the purchase of Carson, Inc. The resulting brand was SoftSheen-Carson.

Today, weaves are an open secret.

I didn’t catch onto weaves until the last few years. I think my ignorance ended with Oprah Winfrey and Beyonce.

I used to think most, if not all, black actresses and singers had the greatest heads of hair in the world. These women were blessed, able to withstand relaxers, heat, and constant abuse that people like me could not. I thought if one was rich, or had the right genetics, they would have hair like the woman in the picture.

Hair Care

Primary beneficiary: the advertisement promotes caring for your weave like real hair.

Secondary beneficiary of this magic potion: the natural / relaxed hair beneath the fake hair.

Yet, black (hair) magazines never provide good hair care advice. There will be articles coupled with this product. I can only see this leading in one direction: baldness.

The advertisement builds on the fantasy that caring for the weave is tantamount to taking care of the real thing. No, it is not. Natural / relaxed hair, and the scalp, require tender loving care. A weave only allows one to neglect them – compounding the problems it hides.

Hot Enough for You?

As of this writing, it is 94 Fahrenheit degrees outside. I’m thinking: could I wear that thick and heavy thing in this heat? No. I’d be scratching my scalp off. My own hair makes me hot enough. Right now I’m sporting bantu knots to stay cool.

I can’t blame clever business people. They realize if some black women never want to show their own hair, they can convince them that synthetic material, or human hair, can be treated better.

Alright, then.