Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fried Chicken Wednesday: Soul Train


This is too easy.  Who didn't love Soul Train?  Who among you is crazy enough to admit to such want and deprivation?

To be honest, I am not even sure that Soul Train qualifies as being described as fried chicken-worthy because there is no good reason for anyone to feel guilty about loving this show.  I mean, do you know anybody who did not want to be a Soul Train dancer?  Have you ever met a person who has never participated in a Soul Train dance line?  Did you know that Soul Train is such an integral part of Americana that they are going to preserve parts of the original set in the Smithsonian?  And is there a person alive who does not instinctly know that a blown kiss, two fingers, and a raised fist universally means love, peace and soul?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Whose Hair is It Anyway?

This is one of those times when the BBW needs to get a little political, so I want to speak up on the issue of choice: Ladies, it is YOUR hair, so please wear it as you see fit.

See?  Now what is with all the drama lately?

I blame the Oprah's longtime hair stylist Andre Walker, for the comments he made in an interview with Elle Magazine last month.  A couple of weeks later, he was getting called out on Twitter and in this article in Clutch Magazine for coming off as a hater because he suggested that natural hair can be limiting when it comes to styling.  In his expert opinion, kinky hair should be chemically altered.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Cure for My Friday Funk

Let me just start off by saying that this is not another complaint about the least not entirely :)

But this morning I woke up in a pool of sweat and with an unexplained pain in my knee.  Mind you, I went to bed last night with a full glass of wine and a heating pad strapped to my lower back...but it was the failure of the air conditioning that was the source of my misery this morning. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sincere Insecurity

So this weekend the husband and I went on an outing to St. Michaels, MD with our other married-without-children-couple friends to eat crabs.  (For anyone who lives in the DMV, you know it ain't summer till you've had some crabs!)  And yes I know we could have just gone down to the Wharf instead of taking a two-hour trip to the Eastern Shore, but what fun is there in doing the obvious?

The plan was devised and confirmed mid-week.  We were to meet at our house at 10:30am and then hit the road in order to arrive for our 1:00 reservation.  And all I had to do was to clean my living room, dining room, the stairs, the upstairs hallway and the bathroom.

The pressure to get all of this done, and the laundry, and wash my hair, and do a bunch of other stuff by Saturday morning was enormous.  So of course, as you probably guessed, I panicked...and punked out.  I had the husband call the night before to change the meeting location to their house which was 20 minutes in the opposite direction. 

(And in case you were wondering, the only task completed on that to-do list was washing my hair, and I barely finished that on time. Thank goodness for floppy hats!)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My Latest Obsession

For those who might not already know this, I am kind of an obsessive person.  And I mean only slightly less obsessive than your crazy college friend who would beg you to ride shotgun with her so that she could drive by her ex-boyfriend's place to see what he was up to two weeks after their latest split.  I'm married, so I gave up the stalking thing years ago!

But, I would say that when I get an idea or discover something new that I want, I truly "dedicate" myself to the effort...

Like when I see a new shade of lipstick or nail polish in a magazine ad and I just have to find it...or when I decide that I must watch every episode of a cancelled TV show currently in reruns...or whenever my favorite cosmetic company announces its seasonal bonuses and I make special trips to the various department stores in order to collect the different makeup bags and *free* goodies...or whenever I buy all of the discontinued bottles of my favorite body wash from Marshall's...or when I learn about a company's bad corporate practices and forbid the husband from buying their products...or when I find myself killing time in an independent bookstore...

My latest obsession is a project intended to promote this blog.  Mind you, I am not obsessed with the blog itself (despite what you might think of last week's series), because it is not as if I have been staying up to the wee hours of the morning actually blogging (ok maybe last week).  On the contrary, I have been working day and night to assemble a lot of random information that I hope to start sharing via Twitter.

Yes, Twitter, where most of what people share is about as useful as this stuff here

Of course when you filter out the random stuff, Twitter is the go to source for up-to-the-minute information.  In addition to serving as a quick venue for me to spout off about whatever is on my mind at the moment such as a particularly interesting observation about celebrating birthdays at Red Lobster or the hippies at the Folklife Festival yesterday, I tend to use it for telling people stuff and that happens to be another one of my obsessions--wannabe information guru to the masses. 

(You were right Dr. W, I probably should have been a journalist, but I did teach for a stint, so does that count?)

Anyhoo, in the next few days, be on the lookout for more random information courtesy of the Busy Black Woman.  If you are not already doing so, please follow me on Twitter @busyblackwoman

Oh and one more thing, if you want to get the latest updates to the blog sent directly to your inbox, you can now subscribe to the blog!  Woohoo :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

B-Cubes: Best of the Washington Post Summer Guide

As one of the last remaining households that still gets the newspaper delivered daily (kind of like the folks who still get their milk delivered), I checked out the Post's Weekend section of the best activities for the remainder of the summer this morning over coffee with the husband.  Quite timely given my recent three-part spate of articles on the very same topic...

But I am not a hater!  I see the silver lining and take note that while their list includes EVERYTHING, my list will only include those activities that fit within the B-Cube philosophy: for busy broke women who still want to hang without breaking their budgets.  So big thanks to the editors at the Washington Post for helping a sista with her research!

Smithsonian Folklikfe Festival: Get there before it ends on July 11! My buddy Rachel blogged about her experiences last weekend and now I am planning my escape to soak up the remaining cultural festivities. I am still kicking myself for having missed the Soul Train Dance Party on June 30th, so if the weather holds tonight, I might be spotted doing some salsa dancing or bopping to the Dixie Cups (I think I had that same dress in 1989)! Oh, and because it makes me nostalgic for the sounds of New Orleans, enjoy this clip of "Iko Iko" by the Dixie Cups:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wash, Rinse and Repeat

The mind of a BBW is always churning--a million questions run through my mind on the regular: What should I wear, where are we going, how to get there, how late am I running, did I forget something, can I finish this, should I be here, do I need this, who is it, what do you want now, did I call her back, do I have to read all of this email, can I leave now, did you get my message, do I care, is it done, am I talking to myself, do I have time for this, will you please shut up, do you know what you are doing, did I just hear that, can I get back to you later, why are you asking me, are we there yet, what did I just tell you, how much is it, why me and why today?

Relax, relate, release!

My mind has been going full blast this morning.  I am thinking about my case, robbing Peter to pay Paul, thinking of ways to promote the blog, worried about family members, wondering if I am a hypochondriac, planning activities for the fall, fretting over stuff that I have yet to do and should have done yesterday, avoiding my email, avoiding phone calls, lamenting my age and just generally driving myself crazy! 


Every now and then I need to remind myself that it is okay to be frazzled and it is also okay if people discover that yes, I am human and really I do not have any mutant powers.  That totally belies the BBW mythology that I-can-keep-it-together-all-the-time-because-if-I-don't-the-world-will-end, but sometimes, like in the next ten minutes or so, if the world ends, then so be it.

Here is the deal: I will chillax and calm down and then get back to work until 4:00pm.  Then I will take a walk and maybe do a little gardening and play with the Baby Niece and then I will find something else constructive to do until the husband comes home.  Then I will go to bed early and pray that tomorrow will be better.  And if tomorrow is bad, then I will wash, rinse and repeat until one of these days the sun comes back out.  And if that does not work, then I'm headed back to yoga!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Busy and Broke, Pt. 3

Can you believe I have more to say?  This is one of those instances where an idea that started as something very simple blossomed into something much for the first time ever on the BBW blog, we have a three-part article!  In the words of the great Jim Carrey in The Mask, "somebody stop me!"

(Too late, now this will be a periodic feature to be called B-Cubes for busy and broke on a budget :)

In this latest installment, here is a list of day/weekend trips one can take outside of the city.  Because come August after you've seen the monuments, visited the museums, been eaten alive by far too many mosquitos at the outdoor events, and eaten at every place where you could snag a reservation during Restaurant Week, you are going to be sick of DC.  And no one will be here because Congress will probably be on recess and the rest of the DC natives will be at a family reunion somewhere down south.

So of course there is plenty to do and see outside of our fair city, but you'll have to check back later for an exhaustive overview of the many sights and sounds that await you in Hyattsville, MD or Gaithersburg, MD or even in Annandale, VA.  Nevertheless, I will share a few quick thoughts about some the other excursions that are affordable and enjoyable.

Busy and Broke, Pt. 2

So last night when I started my initial list of things to do in DC when the funds are low and the debts are high, I had no idea that it would become a series...and that some 12+ hours later (minus a few for sleeping, eating, etc.) I would be back at it!  Before I continue on with some cheap eating options, I thought that I would offer a brief back story of sorts.

Yesterday I was feeling stressed so I went for a walk around Haines Point, which is one of my spots for getting in some exercise during the summer.  And I got to thinking about how walking the Mall is a great way to exercise and to see the sites.  And how *free* is definitely a magic number for the Busy Black Woman on a budget who needs low-cost ways to decompress.  Lord knows that being busy all the dang time makes us crazy.  So I made a mental list of all the many ways that my fellow Busy Black Women could find to relax, relate and release. 

(Imagine if you will, Whitley Gilbert relaxing, relating and releasing :)

Busy and Broke, Pt. 1

Yep, sometimes the second 'B' stands for broke...which is not a great place to be, especially during the summer.  So what is a savvy BBW to do?  Improvise, of course!  And DC happens to be the greatest city in the world for winging it (just ask Congress). 

Thus, from the perspective of a bona fide DC native who is always broke, here are a few entertainment options to help you beat the heat and possibly discover something new about the Capitol City:

Visit the Smithsonian: Your hard earned tax dollars have already paid for them, so why let perfectly decent museums sit un-visited?  While some museums are overrun by tourists, several others would love to have you stop by, such as the National Museum of African Art (headed by one of my BBW sheroes, Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole); the Museums of Asian Art (the Freer and Sackler Galleries); and the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.  If you are feeling especially adventurous, take the shuttle from the Mall over to the Anacostia Community Museum (because it is not that easy to find, even for most locals).

Walk the Monuments by Dusk: How long has it been since you actually visited the attractions that are featured in those cheap plastic snow globes and ceramic doo-dads that the tourists love?  If you have to think back to an elementary school class trip, then you are long overdue in revisiting some of the city's most iconic places.  An early evening stroll is romantic, educational and quieter since there are fewer people milling around.  The must-sees on your list should include the Lincoln Memorial, the ultra phallic Washington Monument, and the soon-to-be unveiled MLK National Memorial, but there really is not much that you will not see on the National Mall (except for the Reflecting Pool, which is being renovated).