La Vida

BTW, We Were on TV Again Last Night

Every once in a while, Im delighted by a mini sspike in díga(traffic). This is through no doing of my own as I often get so caught up in my money making work (because it turns out I do need it, after all) that I forget to give my little blog the love and care she deserves. After all, had it not been for the díga(blog), producers from House Hunters International, the immensely popular television program on HGTV, would not have reached out inviting us on the show. And people who are not related to me would have no reason to stop by the blog and say hello. Since the show aired Ive received some really lovely emails from viewers checking in on how we are. It makes my day. Honestly, it makes my week.

I have yet to see the show on television and, while they did send me a dvd copy, the disk drive on my mac is jammed and Ezra did something funky with that copy anyway. I have been waiting and waitingand waiting for the show to pop up online somewhere so I can stick my hand up and wave, hello! Were the Robert and Emily + Ezra from House Hunters International! Thats us! Via a blog post, of course, because thats how I most often interact with the English speaking world nowadays. That and on Facebook, Twitter. Skype.

Im so lonely.

Well, it turns out a clip of it is online. But I cant watch it as Im on the wrong side of the pond. Hulu, Netflix and Bravo do the same thing (blocking international viewers) forcing me to pirate websites to get my fix of Real Housewives. It makes me feel dirty.…

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Díga(Body) Quickies

Of Goddesses Monsters

Whilst doing research for an EcoSalon story today, which necessitated that I source Google images for some inspiration on the red/green color scheme, I came across this photo.

My son saw it, too.

Monsters! he exclaimed, gesticulating at the search results.

Who? Them?

, monsters.

(He says yes in Spanish; the word no knows no linguistic barriers.)

But honey, those are the most beautiful women in the world. Dont you know, kid?

No, mama. Monsters, he corrected.

Meanwhile, he thinks Im guapa and Im wearing a scarf on my head.

I love having a boy.

Díga(More)
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La Vida

Reclaiming the Word Slut For Our Daughters?

Could this make for the perfect Bat Mitzvah, Super Sweet 16 or Quinceañera gift in 2025? Trends point to yes.

I remember the first time a white person used the n word in my presence. He didnt say it to offend me; rather, he was trying to express some sort of affinity with me, followed by his superiority over me when I told him to go f*ck himself.

He was a midwestern kid whod moved to L.A. sometime in the early 90s and felt emboldened by his mixed tapes, on which Snoop Doggy Dog featured prominently. By virtue of living within proximity to black people in the big city he felt that he had enough cred to use the word around a homegirl like me without being utterly offensive. He failed.

It occurred again some months after that en route to Brooklyn, NY for New Years Eve. A boyfriend of a girlfriend of mine started fretting over the local n words circling our car and then explained that he was allowed to use that word because he was probably more black than me as I grew up the middle class daughter of a doctor and lawyer and he grew up in hood of Montgomery County, Maryland. You can read all about Mo Co here and while Im not one to cite Wikipedia, I can factually verify that even the seediest parts of the county do not qualify as the ghetto. Not that his hoods level of ghettoness had anything to do with it.

I spent a lot of time being the only black person in a room or on a road-trip, enough that Ive witnessed white people saying and doing some pretty crazy sh*t from locking the door because a car full of black people drove up alongside their own to excusing their flagrant racism because, as John M put it on the way to see The Cure on their Disintigration tour, I can call then n*ggers because my best friend is black.

It was hard enough growing up with a proclivity for the dark and gothic, but literally being dark and gothic in situations like that cast me into emo heaven, or hell. Cant decide which.

But it was the 90s and the kids mentioned were either rebelling against the political correctness of their parents generation, or parroting them. Now that theyre the ones having children, it will be interesting to see what linguistic taboos will be broken next. For mine, the n word has emerged as some kind of iconic gangster folk song. Next up, the c word? The re-appropriation of the s word, as in slut, suggests that cooing c*nt with kindness is not too far behind.

It you havent heard of the SlutWalk debate, might I suggest an article that ran on The Root today. In it, Zerlina Maxwell cites an article in the Crunk Feminist Collective explaining why women of color, in particular, might feel excluded from the SlutWalk movement.

the idea of reclaiming an incendiary word like slut [is] hard for many black women who have [historically] been understood to be lascivious, hypersexed, and always ready and willing to stomach: When I think of the daily assaults I hear in the form of copious incantations of bitch and ho in hip-hop music directed at black women, its hard to not feel a bit incensed at the how-dare-you-quality [of the protests]. Black women would never organize a mass ho stroll, she argued.

Damn straight.

Moreover, when a photograph of a scantily clad white girl in a bikini holding a sign that read, Woman is the nigger of the world, referencing a John Lennon song by the same name, it took me back to those sad, lonely days of being the minority in the back of someone elses car faced with the task of telling white folks whats what. By the looks of her, shes too much of a hipster to really get it. If she did, this chick would be the first one to pull the reclamation card. I was an art history major with a minor in Yoruban art, she might say. Im so not a racist!

 

Alright honey, whatevs. See you on the L. But I gotta tell you, sister, youre not making the world a safer, more inclusive place for our black and white daughters of tomorrow.

Maxwell continues,

A movement that seeks to reclaim the term slut sends a mixed message to attendeesthe sad truth is, reclaiming the word slut doesnt necessarily lead to the end of victim blaming [the movement’s intent].

Words matter. Not every woman is empowered by identifying as a slut. The SlutWalkNYC sign effectively proves that offensive language still offends. No matter how many times people have tried to reclaim the word nigger in popular culture or by the NAACP it remains a word that causes an intense emotional response. If the goal of SlutWalk is to end victim blaming, then a name that detracts from that goal may do more harm than good.

I agree. Has re-appropriating the n word helped younger generations of African Americans, broadened the wider scope of discourse and understanding today and for my kid ten years down the track? How about the s word for our daughters? Pinning the appropriation of offensive language on the empowerment placard does not feel like a step forward, rather it feels like an awkwardly placed step sideways. Its clumsy and kind of fug.

I, for one, am not looking forward to raising a generation of sluts.…

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La Vida

dipped sh*t

Being a mom is DIY enough. One day, though, I will find some sh*t and dip it.

Let me just say that I dont care how non-crafty you claim to be, these dip-dyed jobs are easy and therapeutic enough to bring out anyone’s inner Martha.

Vista! Mugs from Poketo (via Dwell) make me feel like I can dip anything, from my husband to my kidor maybe just some mugs from the € shop.

 

Stains happen, especially when there are children involved. Instead of tucking them under the table like I usually do, Im gonna to dip that sh*t.

(The tablecloth, not the kid.)

 

I came across these baskets in an issue of Martha Stewart Living this summer. For the first time ever I felt like Martha finally got me.

 

There is no way in hell I could dip a secretary quite like this. A baby, maybe.

These stoolsmy inspiration.

The next time I invite you into my dining room, some sh*t will be dipped. I promise you that. Yes, dipping is a summertime trend, one thats meant to remind us of beachy horizons. The fall, though, strikes me as the perfect time to take on new projects like these to embrace that inner Martha, give her a home she can make her own. While spring is heralded as the season of new beginnings, I am more inclined to attribute that to autumn. Spring is for the young, the flirty, people who are too busy enjoying evenings al fresco to hunker down with some sh*t to dip. Autumn is the season for inventory, reinvention, and DIY renovation.

One can dip with dye, immerse candles in wax, drop baskets in paint. The point is to embolden ordinary objects with streaks of color. Martha, my new guru, says the lines neednt be precise; that its the irregularities that make dipped sh*t so appealing. Theres a life lesson in that, surely.

(She so gets it.)

as they say, if you cant duct it, f*ck it; if its feeling typical, remember that its dippable.

Glean from that what you may.

UPDATE 10/3/11, 12.13 a.m.:

As I was posting this on my Google + I came across a story that, uh, makes me feel a smidgen less Martha.

Images: Dwell; Martha StewartDesign*SpongeSwash and a Sprinkle; Architects for Life; The Style Files

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Díga(Body)

Crouching Tiger, Bitchy Yogi

Without yoga, I fear, Id become a total Mommy Dearest. Why, then, am I such an ungrateful Chaturanga-ist?

As a human being, I have many faults. I can be impetuous, snappy. Im given to fits of boredom, often resulting in actual fits. Whenever I make homemade baked goods for my family, I invariably eat all of them leaving my husband to ask, honey, wheres my cookie, and my two-year old son begging more, please? like some poor, motherless Oliver.

Thats because I make amazing baked goods, leading me to another shortcoming: hubris. And another still: issues with self-control.

To get downright dirty, the ugliest truth about myself is that I sometimes compare myself to others and complain, out loud, much more often than Id like. You can imagine what goes on inside my brain. A cycle of bitch, moan, repeat.Trust me, you dont want get in there. its a dark watery abyss.

How come I cant do Yoganidrasana? It doesnt seem fair.

As such, I try to busy myself with a cocktail of self-help seminars, reflective literature, meditation and yoga. I credit the yoga, in particular, for keeping me off the Prozac.

The hubris in me wants to take you on a walk down asana lane, recounting the first time I did a headstand or gripped my toes in Baddha Padmasana (06, baby). But youre not interested in all that. Are you?

(Insecurity can be another vice.)

Take a look at this guy…(show off).

Let me just briefly state that once you get a full length mirror in front of me, I can get downright Olympic Trials with my postures. Remove the mirror, Im like a Tiger Yogi. Watch out!

A significant side-effect of the impetuous/hubris/comparing-oneself-to-others/complaint-prone diagnosis is that I can be terribly competitive. Therein dwells my most significant problem: you!

Im talking to my goddamned ego.

By ego I dont mean an inflated sense of self; rather, a bamboozling self-consciousness that swoops in and ruins any hope I have of becoming a halfway decent yogione day. Its what turns me into Crouching Tiger, Bitchy Yogi.

Yeah, thats just not happening for me today.

I try to practice every morning by myself, since theres only one decent fucking class in all of Seville!

(I have a potty-mouth, too. My son cursed twice last week after hearing me use the f and s word to describe my own debt crisis, making me a bad mother to boot.)

Now that Im in the United States, classes abound, the nearest one being at the fitness center up the road. Now, Ive been practicing long enough to know that apart from the Crunch Fitness on Broadway circa 2003 (now closed), the gym is no place to practice yoga. I like to get my Kundalini fix or Ashtanga nod in quiet, pretty placesaway from the thump of treadmills and Justin Bieber.

Being car-less in Extreme Suburbia, I am left with little choice. So I trekked to the 4:30 Yoga 3 class, only to spend the proceeding 75 minutes vexed, annoyed, inwardly seething and bereft after flapping my arms up and down like a catatonic eagle in the geriatric ward. No salutations, no words of wisdom, no meditation. I kept waiting for the lesson, my fill, the point, a chantmy fix.

Nothin.

Questions like what is wrong with him? and is he even licensed? seared into my brain. I searched the room for grimaces of agreement; an exchanged glance of this guy is from the Bally Total Fitness school of yoga. Obviously.

Then I remembered something that a very good yogi once told me when I was kvetching about not being able to practice as much as I used to since becoming a mother. Ill paraphrase her because it was really quite simple: the practice is in your everyday.

I thought, hmm, Ill have to remember that. I should try some breathing exercises during diaper changes, walking meditations during night-wakings, maybe a couple of Chaturanga Dandasanas during nap time. But that was not what she meant. What she was conveying, in her wisdom and, I imagine, as part of her own practice was this: the real practice is in the stillness of the posture and mind.

Isnt she lovely?

That is what makes yoga a truly Olympian feat in which any expectation of perfection is delightfully and laughably silly, like Elvis Stojko.

It doesnt matter who your teacher is or what style of yoga you are practicing. As David Swenson explained,all are branches of the same tree trying to extend towards the same canopy: the lightwhats above. What transcends.

Im such a bitchy yogi sometimes, but I do try to be kind(er to myself).

XOXO

 

Images: GO INTERACTIVE WELLNESS; milopeng; Mark Donoghues Autographs

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Díga(Body)

Its a Total Knock Up

The stork called. Hes coming around again. This time, Im going to be much more prepared.

The convention is to wait three months before even bringing this up, but fuck it. Im pregnant.

It was intentional this time and I didnt cry. Actually, I did. Instead of crying for my youth like I did in 08

But Im too young to have a baby!

um, honey. You do realize that big party wasnt a sweet 16.

Oh. Right. Im 30.

In 11 tears sprung to my eyes for my beloved life as it has turned out. I have so loved my mommy and me time with my son. But, alas, the kid could use some fresh blood around the house. And my hormones could use a serious leveling off. Unfortunately for my physical and emotional equilibrium, theyre just getting started.

Havent You Heard? Hormones Are All the Rage!

Yes, I do realize that Ive been obsessing over vomit for the past couple of days. And I have one more thing to say about it before Im done (talking about it). I am vomiting and/or want to vomit most of the time.

That already makes this pregnancy significantly different from the last. Around this time with Ezra, I was parading my boobs around like theyd won the lottery. I was very proud of them. Wed all hit the jackpot. Then I nursed for two years and they kind ofwent away. I wonder when theyll be coming back. Are they coming back? Definitely coming back is my breakfast.

What else is different about this pregnancy? Lots.

Its not that I dont care as much; its just not as precious, in that the world as I know it has ended forever! kind of way. When I was first getting used to the idea of being pregnant with Ezra, life went all slanty. Like I hadnt had my V8.

The air smelled different, my brain buzzed like it had been submerged in seltzer water, my very pores felt exposed to the world in a way that tingled, and even hurt. Everything was a B.F.D. (big fing deal).

Early pregnancy, then, was physically and emotionally otherworldly. This one, I dont know how to explain. Its quite physical, true. But my body is in a state of being that I often forget. Without the nausea, I might one day relate to those women that give birth in an IHOP bathroom. You know, the pregnant, and didnt even know it type.

Of course, that couldnt possibly happen to me. Ezra was 10 lbs, 10 oz when he was born. I generally weigh up to 120 lbs. Pregnancy is the sort of girth you notice on me.

What I Will Do Differently

Many things that I will blog about in time, first and foremost being what I eat. This baby will be significantly smaller, damn it. Im also going for a VBAC. The care that I entrust with my pregnancy and the trust I put in myself will be getting an overhaul as well.

I didnt have Díga(Mama), either. This pregnancy will very much be an experiment. Can I do it not right, but better than last time? I have no regrets about my pregnancy with Ezra, apart from the hash browns and Egg McMuffins. The lattes at Starbucks were a bit much, too. Those Chais? Total sugar bombs. And I suppose I should have had more wheat grass shots, as an old friend (whos son is now obsessed with veggies) suggested.

Lets do this together: me, my Ezra, my Rupie, my Díga.

Pregs. Ooh. Good God, yall.…

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