Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire


This is my favorite movie of 2008 and one of my favorite all-time movies. The protagonist, Jamal, is a contestant on India's Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and he has answered all the questions correctly up until the final question for the big money prize. Officials suspect him of cheating and have detained him and torture him to figure out how he cheated. Jamal and the officials go through how he came to know the answer to each question and this takes the viewers through his life. This is a wonderful film about love, life, fate, and timing and it is beautifully done (I may be a bit biased because I love Indian culture). It is mostly in English and subtitled for the non-English parts. It's out in the theaters now; consider seeing it! I think you will really enjoy it.
Here is the trailer:

2008 Meme

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
Push my boundaries...I mean reeeeeaallllly push them.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't remember making any resolutions for this year. I think resolutions are best made in bite-sized pieces. I do strive to exude more of the confidence I have been harvesting, though.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My grandpa, a cousin, and a friend of my family all died this year.

5. What countries did you visit?
The Bahamas.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Stability.

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
February 17. A day on which I didn't matter.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Making high grades this semester while working full-time and taking an overload of graduate courses. Being promoted is a close 2nd.

9. What was your biggest failure?
See number 7.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Ugh, gum infection...

11. What was the best thing you bought?
NYC plane ticket.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My poodle.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
See number 7.

14. Where did most of your money go?
To living a bit beyond my means, lol.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
NYC and Bahamas.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Green Eyes-Erykah Badu

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
- i. happier or sadder? Sadder...and happier, lol.
- ii. thinner or fatter? A little thinner.
- iii. richer or poorer? A little richer, shame you can't tell, lol!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Planning, cooking.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Crying, procrastinating.

20. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Yes.

21. How many one-night stands?
None. I do however, have one night-stand next to my bed.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I Survived, Jon and Kate Plus 8, Snapped.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No; hating gives the other person too much power.

24. What was the best book you read?
The Alchemist and Durkheim's Elementary Forms of the Religious Life

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
More Amel Larrieux songs, Cottonbelly, Esthero.

26. What did you want and get?
A promotion.

27. What did you want and not get?
IPOD home speaker thing, straight A GPA (came close), gray sweater boots (lol), peace and stability.

28. What were your favorite films of this year?
Slumdog Millionaire, Milk

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Went out for lunch with my girlz. 24.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
To rub it in her face.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Tasteful color wheel, lol.

32. What kept you sane?
Autopilot.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
The Obamas.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Gay civil rights.

35. Whom did you miss?
A like-minded friend, my brothers and sister.

36. Who was the best new person(s) you met?
Some of my classmates, family from the Bahamas reunion.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
If you don't believe it, nobody else will.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Each tear that flows from my eye/Brings back memories of you to me/I go to sleep/And imagine that you're there...with me-I Go To Sleep: Sia

If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged! I am looking forward to reading your interpretations on your blogs (especially you, Blog About Nothin').

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

More Holiday Cheer

...Just...why? Why, Lord, Why? LOL

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Vegan Xmas-Now with Pics!

This semester I hadn't been able to cook very much with a full-time job and an extra-full load of graduate courses, so I was understandably a little crunk about cooking for the holidays (I had Thai noodles and french fries on Thanksgiving...yeah). So here is the very amateur yet muy delicioso vegan feast I cooked:


Clockwise from turquoise bowl:
White bean salad: Great Northern beans, red and green peppers, balsamic vinegar, olive oil (doesn't need to be heated...ChocolateOrchid, this is for you! I think this qualifies as raw, correct me if I'm wrong).
Marinated and fried tofu: Extra-firm tofu, olive oil, garlic, your choice of spices for the marinade...I used season salt, thyme, savory, basil, dill, rosemary, and some other spices.
Baked ziti: Ziti-pasta, diced tomatoes, bread crumbs, olive oil, homemade vegan alfredo sauce (soy milk, soy butter, pepper, flour) baked in the oven for about half an hour.
Corn: Just some ghetto corn in a pot, lol.
Broccoli: Nothing more to see here folks.
Not pictured: Vegan cornbread and Mr. Pibb.

My blog posts may be a little paltry for the next few days. I work at a university and it's closed from Christmas Eve until January 5 so I am RELISHING this break, doing your typical beached whale/sloth activities.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

All I Want For Xmas...



The dance moves when there's about 1:36 left have ruined my life. The dramatic cunt gestures when there's about :38 left have destroyed me. The clothes. The facial hair. The gold chains. The waterfront location. I ain't no mo' good (ghetto) after watching this video. Happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Birds


Poltergeist Birds @ Yahoo! Video
Amazing/creepy, huh?

Purple Squirrel

I'm on a bit of an animal blogging kick today, in case you haven't noticed. Anyhoo, overseas in Hampshire, people have been spotting this awesome, magical purple squirrel.




Nobody knows how the squirrel became purple. People from the school that the purple squirrel visits say that he was more blue at first. Experts think the squirrel has probably been ingesting dye from old printer or toner cartridges in a building storing old computers.

Peeped at Daily Mail via Dlisted.

Sidebar: I remember one year when I was visiting family in Detroit during the winter, this black cat-rat-that ain't no damn puppy-hybrid ran across the road and I freaked the hell out. That day I learned that black squirrels exist also. Blew my mind, I tell you. The ones I saw were way bigger than an average squirrel and they had these long curly tails...something ain't right up there.

Broccoli Kitten

In case you haven't seen this, watch this kitten who is crunk about broccoli...turn your speakers on for maximum enjoyment.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Puppy Love

Here's a video of my two year old Shih-tzu/Lion/My Little Pony mix chilling in the car during one of my Whataburger french-fry smash-n-grab. I also have a ten year old Miniature Poodle named Pookie who I will also share more of.

Closet Porn

Over at Making It Lovely, the

author organized her closet and put pictures up. Man, I want this in my life somehow. Maybe when I get a real closet; one without those apartment built-in racks. This is like a jewelry-box closet...everything is so organized and pretty! I have to figure out what I can do with what I have so far; this is inspiring.
*Pics originally peeped at Decor8.



Friday, December 19, 2008

I Love the 90s Friday: BBD

Poison



I don't know anyone who won't start dancing or consider dancing when they hear the opening notes of the beat from this song. POISON! POISON! POISON! P-P-POISON! Oh sorry, got caught up in the song...best line/lyric: The low-pro ho should be cut like an afro...lmao!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holiday Cooking

I am trying to plan my holiday menu. I think so far, I want to cook (and eat!) the following:

marinated & fried tofu cutlets (found in How It All Vegan)
white bean salad (with white beans, green and red peppers, garlic, balsamic vinegar dressing)
green bean casserole (vegan version)
corn
rolls
baked ziti (found on the Barilla website)

This is just the bare bones version...I will be surfing VegWeb for more ideas.

Are you cooking for the holidays? If so, what are you cooking?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Associated Press Top 10 Albums of 2008

I was delighted to see that the Associated Press did a feature on Erykah Badu, Estelle, and Sia for their top 10 albums of 2008. They were numbers 1, 2, and 3 respectively.



1. Erykah Badu, "New Amerykah, Part One (4th World War)": It's been five years since Badu made any musical statement of merit. The "Worldwide Underground" EP was her last project and it barely met the gold standard she set with her first two amazing albums. But Badu, one of R&B's most creative voices, returned to form with "New Amerykah," which played like an eclectic, absorbing jam session. We are already desperately awaiting part two.


Erykah Badu - That Hump - Erykah Badu

This is my favorite song from New Amerykah. You should see/hear me singing along with this song; it's a real mess, lol. You gotta love how she switches up the music and gets into it. If I could get ova that hump...then maybe I will feel better. Maybe I won't, oh, if I could get ova that hump...then maybe I will...I'm livin'...check to check...just tryna pay my rent and I can feel it...comin' down around me...

2. Estelle, "Shine": This British singer-rapper-songwriter made her mark with "American Boy," an upbeat jam aided by a Kanye West appearance. The CD is a true reflection of Estelle — gritty, funny and full of sass. From slow R&B grooves to reggae jams, Estelle entertains throughout. She's the year's brightest new talent — which makes her omission in the Grammy best new artist category even more surprising.
3. Sia, "Some People Have Real Problems": Sia's album was morose, depressing and full of despair — yet undeniably beautiful and captivating. You'll find yourself sucked into her tales of heartbreak — and you won't want to leave them either.



Dont Bring Me Down kcrw - Sia

This song is actually on another album of Sia's but I love it so I don't care, lol.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Revenge Vs. Justice

I saw this article on Jezebel where an Iranian woman was attacked with acid by a man who was angry that she had rejected him. He stalked and threatened her outside of her job, then one day ambushed her and dumped a bucket of sulphuric acid over her head. His punishment, as decided by the court in Iran, is to have five drops of the acid dropped in each of his eyes. From the full article:

TEHRAN -- Ameneh Bahrami once enjoyed photography and mountain vistas. Her work for a medical equipment company gave her financial independence. Several men had asked for her hand in marriage, but the hazel-eyed electrical technician had refused them all. "I wanted to get married, but only to the man I really loved," she said.

Four years ago, a spurned suitor poured a bucket of sulfuric acid over her head, leaving her blind and disfigured.

Late last month, an Iranian court ordered that five drops of the same chemical be placed in each of her attacker's eyes, acceding to Bahrami's demand that he be punished according to a principle in Islamic jurisprudence that allows a victim to seek retribution for a crime. The sentence has not yet been carried out.

This is fascinating on so many levels. One argument is that this is cruel and barbaric punishment; more revenge than justice. Blinding this man will not deter other men from doing the same thing to other people. However, imprisoning him wouldn't deter other people either. I feel we also have to take the context of the culture into consideration; we cannot judge everything through an American lens. Iran has been notorious for not following up on crimes against women, especially horrific crimes like what happened to Bahrami. Some argue that it is good that they are even punishing him at all.

Honestly, a big part of me feels that he has ruined her life and livelihood and he deserves what his punishment is. The other part of me knows that some people will argue about where the line will be drawn. Of course this method couldn't be applied to everyone, I am treating this on a very individual level. If this means of revenge-punishment were possible for all offenders, things would get out of hand very quickly. Courts would have to ensure the accused party is actually guilty, none of that gray area business like here in the United States. The attacker in this story admitted his guilt, so that isn't an issue here.

Also, Americans that are horrified by this punishment but support the death penalty are hypocrites. We are the only westernized nation that still uses the death penalty. It is crushing to think of how many innocent people have been put to death in this country. The system is especially skewed against poor people, many of them black or hispanic, illiterate, you name it who have been coerced or tricked by the system. This retribution style punishment could never work on a large scale in the United States, but I do not disagree with it for this particular case. What do you think about this story?

Friday, December 12, 2008

I Love the 90s Friday: Janet Jackson

No matter what people have to say about Janet now, she was in top form in the 90s. I think her problem now is she is trying to do the same thing she has always done, and it just isn't working for her anymore. Artists need to evolve, especially when they have been in the industry this long. Anyhoo, I'm going to pretend that everything she did after the 90s never happened. She had a few nice songs, but overall I'm retreating back to the 90s for my favorite Janet Jackson jams.

You Want This

This video was so fun to me. I remember wishing I had a group of sassy friends like that. Also, why did I know that whole dance breakdown at the end? Why do I still know it? Lol @ MC Lyte chillin' in the car while the others danced. She was too cool for school.

Anytime, Anyplace

I still love this song. I love the jewel-tone colors in the video. Everything is smooth, steamy, and just nice.

Runaway

This song and video is so cute. I love the costumes, the dances, the lyrics are light and fun; it's just a nice, carefree song.

I Get So Lonely

This song reminds me of high school; cold winters and basketball seasons. I still like it, and she looked really cool in the video.

Strawberry Cake Balls

I hate chocolate. I have hated chocolate pretty much my entire life. No, I'm not one of those people who hates some chocolate, but eats other chocolate...I hate it all. I even hate the smell of it. I know, I know; you can't say anything I haven't heard about this already...lost a few good friends over this, lol. On the flip side, I looooooove anything strawberry flavored. Like some people who are easily distracted by shiny things, I am distracted by strawberry smells, and will drool accordingly until I get my mitts on something strawberry.

For the holidays, one of my co-workers made cake balls for everyone. She made chocolate and red-velvet ones for everyone, but then she made me my very own special batch of (98% vegan) strawberry cake balls...nobody else has them but me! She is made of awesome. They are so rich, sweet, and strawberry-licious. They are the type of sweet that you have to savor, enjoying the mini-sugar explosions and parties happening on your taste buds. I'm averaging two a day right now, but I might have to bump it up to three. Would you like to see the little preciousnesses?



I don't mind if you drool. These little strawberry sugar balls of awesomeness are all mine. I will shank a bitch if I have to. Here is an article on cake balls with recipes to boot.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Enchantment

Today, my husband and I have been together for 3 years (married for 2, known each other for 11). I think it's safe to say I have experienced every emotion known to humanity while a part of this relationship, but this has ensured my awareness of how worth-it everything is. I cherish the time I have with him.

Also, it snowed today! For all the non-Houstonians reading, snowfall in Houston is like the coming of Christ himself. The last time it snowed here was Christmas Eve 2004, and the last time it snowed before THAT was in 1992 or 1993 (and that time doesn't really count because it didn't stick). It's amazing to see people stop what they're doing to go out and take pictures and frolic and be merry and smile at everyone else. I really feel like part of a Houston community when it snows. Every Houstonian I know on Facebook has a status that reflects the snowfall. It truly brings a bit of magic in the air, which went perfectly with the magic I feel on my anniversary today.

This song encapsulates the magic of our courtship (don't hate) and of today/tonight:
Enchantment - Corinne Bailey Rae

I wait for you, and don't know why/All I know...is I can't hide/At this temperature you could take over my mind/Like gossamer, you softly touch/It draws me in, I'm powerless/He possesses an enchantment/Tell me...I'm forgiven/He calls, don't know how I fell under his spell/Lately, I've been driven/He smiles...an enchantment/I wait for you, I'm mesmerized/This love is like a potion in disguise/I'd tightrope walk...with a blindfold on my eyes/I can't escape...or so it seems/I'd run away...he's in my dreams/He possesses an enchantment//It's the kind of sleepwalk that never ends/Type of loan with no dividends/It's a parlour game where you're givin' chase/Guess it could be called an acquired taste/I know he knows, he calls, I go, I know/This could be an enchantment//He smiles and I give in...an enchantment
*
This song just reminds me of the "home" quality our relationship has...my comfort zone.
Love Song - 311

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Firestarter


Somebody hold me. I was going to notify the authorities, but I value my non-on-fire-life.
*backs away from computer screen slowly...then out the door*

Picture found at Side-eye Fever.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Today's Colors: Red, Blue, Purple

Colors inspire me. Colors make me happy. I like to play with color combos and see what the result is. Today I went with a palate of red, blue, and purple with dashes of pink and green for a tiny bit of accent.



Red sweater, blue camisole (underneath), purple scarf (with pink), multi-color necklace (blue, green, purple, pink), blue earrings, blue dress socks, purple pumps. Oh, and yes I sit like that a lot because I am short! Don't hate. Here, have a little more red-blue-purple inspiration:



Red, Blue, Purple by Bohemian Bookworm

I Love the 90s Friday: Women Rappers

Back in the day, it did not matter what female rappers looked like, or whether they were sexy, feminine, or "butch", as long as they brought the talent. Female rap was about having a good time, female empowerment, and socially conscious messages. Now that sub-genre of music just has tumbleweeds rolling all through it. I'm posting my favorite jams from female rappers. Join me, won't you?

Shoop-Salt-N-Pepa

Gawd, I still love this song...I loved their confidence and they were so talented! On your mark get set go, let me go, let me shoop to the next man in a 3-piece suit/I spend all my dough, ray(?) me cutie/Shoop-shoo-ba-doobie like Scooby-dooby-doo/I love you in ya big jeans, you give me nice dreams, you make me wanna scream...lol let me stop. Ok one more: I swear, I stared, my niece my witness (lol) the brother had it goin' on with somethin kinda mmm/Wicked, wicked(?) had to kick it/I'm not shy so I asked for the digits...awesomeness.


Queen Latifah - U.N.I.T.Y.
Uploaded by Queen-Latifah

WHO YOU CALLIN' A BITCH?! UNITYYYYY (You gotta let em know!) I am very surprised nobody has covered this song...the kids need it today more than ever.

I Wanna Be Down (Remix)-Brandy feat. MC Lyte, Yo-Yo, Queen Latifah

I still jam to the rap verses on this song...I love how they convey being sexy with smoothness without being raunchy.

Funkdafied-Da Brat/Jermaine Dupri

I loved Da Brat's raps...she was all about having a good time in songs; very talented.

What are your favorite female rap songs from the 90s?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dead Man Standing

I'm on the block, posted up like a mailbox...(only Mr. BohemianBookworm will get that line...but if anyone else does, you're AWESOME!)

This is super old, but I can't not post it here. I may have mentioned this before, but I have a fascination with death and the way it is handled in societies. I will probably do my masters thesis on something in this field.
Anyhoo, this 24 year old (Angel Pantoja Medina) from Puerto Rico told his family that he wanted to be standing up during his wake so his family obeyed his wishes. Reading comments on him and his lifestyle, it appears he was involved in the street life and that is what killed him. So my first thought was how interesting it is that he planned for his death in that manner. Commenters have been saying well, he was a gang member so of course he knew he would die early, but I think it's not that simple. Lots of young people plan their post-humous celebrations, gatherings, selections, etc. Secondly, from a physical/medical standpoint I wonder how exactly they got a corpse in the condition that it could stand for 3 days. The pictures also show the phenomenon of memorial T-shirts that are popular in urban culture. If you are offended by wake/corpse/body pictures you may want to scroll past these.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What in the Corn-Husking Hell?

This story is a little old, but just as crazy. Every state has a "safe haven" law where parents can drop off their babies for adoption somewhere like a fire station or hospital without penalty. Nebraska was the only state without an age limit, so parents have been dropping off mother-flippin' TEENAGERS! Now that legislators are revising the law to impose the age limit, the teenage drop-offs have dramatically increased because the parents are rushing to get rid of their teens before the law passes with the new age limit! How the hell do you abandon a full-grown teenager? How do you drop them off like you would a newborn baby?! Of course, a lot of the teens end up running away...but who wouldn't run away at that age when your parents are like, nope you ain't livin' with us no more, you need a new family??!!?! This just boggles the mind. Here are some choice quotes from the article:

Legislators introduced bills calling for limits on the age of children who can be dropped off at hospitals in an effort to prevent newborns from being dumped in trash bins or other dangerous places.

Nebraska was the last state to enact such a law but didn't include an age limit. That has resulted in 34 children so far being abandoned there, some of them from other states.

Even as the session to correct the law approached, a 5-year-old boy was dropped off at an Omaha hospital on Thursday night. Earlier in the day, a woman dropped off two teenagers at another Omaha hospital, but one of them, a 17-year-old girl, fled. Authorities have not found her yet. (WTF to that whole passage?!)

Full article here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Teen Lives 4 Months Without Heart

Wow. The advances in the medical field have been really amazing when you take the time to catch up on what's happening. This teenage girl with an enlarged heart needed a transplant, but her first transplant didn't work right with her body so it had to be removed. While waiting on the next transplant, they kept her alive with artificial pumps that moved the blood throughout her body...but no actual heart! Can you imagine? This is promising news for people awaiting transplants who face certain death without them.





The pumps, ventricular assist devices, are typically used with a heart still in place to help the chambers circulate blood. With D'Zhana's heart removed, doctors at Holtz Children's Hospital crafted substitute heart chambers using a fabric and connected these to the two pumps.

Although artificial hearts have been approved for adults, none has been federally approved for use in children. In general, there are fewer options for pediatric patients. That's because it's rarer for them to have these life-threatening conditions, so companies don't invest as much into technology that could help them, said Dr. Marco Ricci, director of pediatric cardiac surgery at the University of Miami.

He said this case demonstrates that doctors now have one more option.

Click here for the entire article.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Big Toe, Big Toe

In TMI news, what am I supposed to do about this?






Yes, my big toenail is really cracked that far down and in. FYI, I am clumsy. A frickin' klutz. I also have a high pain tolerance, which I believe is directly correlated with my clumsiness. So I run into or bump or hit stuff all the time and don't miss a beat. Then mysterious bruises show up, the kind I might have to explain so people don't think I'm getting beat at home. And as the picture above shows, this kind of ish happens. I have no idea when or how this occurred, but what do I do dear readers? Surely I can't clip it off or *shudders* peel the nail back....I guess I just have to check on it's progress every day like a Giga Pet (remember those?!)

***EDIT***
A couple of days after this post, I straight peeled like, the whole thing off (where it was cracked). It didn't hurt anything like it sounds or looks, I swear!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Giving Something Up-Amel Larrieux Renditions

Dedicated to Bubelah...

Wild Is the Wind


wild is the wind - Amel Larrieux

Love me, love me, say you do/Let me fly away with you/For my love is like the wind/And wild is the wind/Give me more than one caress/Satisfy this hungriness/Let the wind blow through your heart/And wild is the wind/You touch me/And I hear the sound of mandolins/You kiss me/And with your kiss my life begins/You're spring to me/All things to me/You're life itself/Like a leaf clings to a tree/Oh, my darling, cling to me/For we're creatures of the wind/And wild is the wind


I Like the Sunrise


i like the sunrise - Amel Larrieux


I like the sunrise/Cause it brings a new day/I like the new day/It brings new hope, they say/I like the sunrise/Blazing in the new sky/Nighttime is weary/Oh, so am I/Every evening I wish upon a star/That my brand new tomorrow is not very far/When that heavy blue curtain of night/Is raised up high/Way out of sight/I like the sunrise/So heavenly to see/I like the sunrise/And I hope it likes poor me/I like the sunrise/Here comes the sunrise.../And I hope it likes poor me

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving, Palin Style

As an aside, I am not really a preachy vegan unless I see something horrible like the above video, or someone asks. This (watching a creature get slaughtered) is one of the reasons I eat a vegan diet. I cannot stomach watching that poor bird get butchered and the blood everywhere and then in good conscious eat another one. Many people do not see animals as living, feeling creatures (many who are very intelligent) and so see no problem with killing and eating animals. I have always been an animal lover (except mosquitos...die, die, die). I never ate that much meat growing up (side-dishes, represent!) anyway, so it wasn't too hard to make the meatless transition. I personally cannot watch videos like this (just go to peta.org for more!) and continue to eat meat so that is one of the reasons I stopped (once I had some workable vegan recipes in hand). I can't even watch Animal Cops anymore or hear about an animal death in the news, or look at roadkill without feeling sad. I saw a squirrel try to dash across the street and get run over months ago and I actually started crying. It was just twitching on the ground as its' blood poured out and it's intestines were exposed (so, who's hungry?). I am a sap. I just can't handle it!

Anyhoo, how much of a 'tard do you have to be to give a "folksy" interview about pardoning a turkey while another turkey is being SLAUGHTERED RIGHT BEHIND YOU! THE WHOLE TURKEY-KILLING DEATH TRAP MACHINE SET UP IS RIGHT BEHIND YOU! You gotta love the look on homeboy's face in the background. He's like, welp, I guess I'll wait a little bit....then he just says fuck it and kills the turkey. For those who don't know, the turkey' head is placed in the funnel so it can't move, and it's throat is cut and the blood drains away and the turkey fades to black. I'm guessing the cameraman/woman hates Sarah Palin. I hate everything.

For people who eat cows, pigs, PIG INTESTINES, birds, deer, squirrel, raccoons, gators, etc. and look down on or are grossed out by those from other cultures who eat horses, sharks, dolphins, guinea pigs, snakes, grasshoppers, roaches, spiders, dogs, cats, etc. just stop. You are hypocrites. And a little bit prejudiced (at least the people I know are). I judge you.

I Love the 90s Friday: Zhane

Zhane had vocal chemistry out the yin-yang. I would love to hear new material from them, but it looks like they're each doing their own thing. Here are my favorite Zhane songs.

La, La, La
La, La, La - Zhané
This is one of my all-time favorite songs. The harmonies are beautiful, especially Jean's crystal-clear singing voice.
It doesn't matter, it doesn't matter how many men I meet (brings me back to you)/There's something about you, something about your smile that makes me weak (brings me back to you)/When you call my name, the sound of your voice, it lifts me off my feet (brings me back to you)/If music were love, the thought of you would always make me sing...la, la, la...//You're on my mind (you're on my mind baby, constantly)/I'm in a daze (I'm in a daze so won't you rescue me)/You're in my dreams (You're haunting me, boy you're haunting me)/You're all I need

Crush

This was my favorite Zhane song for years until I heard La, La, La. I had the CD single (remember those?) when it came out. I had no idea there was a video for this song until this year. I actually hate the video. You know how it is when you imagine a video for a song and get mad when it doesn't match your vision? Yeah. I imagined floaty dresses, the entire video in black and white, by the ocean, etc....not two women dressed in their Sunday finest, randomly staying at some dusty hotel in the middle of nowhere sexin' up muscular, chocolate twins. That's not what the song is saying at all, Zhane. Epic fail.

Sending My Love

This video is so 90's. That is all.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Aurora Borealis



Images found at National Geographic

I have to see this before I die. I hate cold weather like Americans hate not value-sizing their fast food meals, but I have always wanted to experience this natural wonder. The colors that are created against the night sky; so ethereal. My mother remembers as a wee Bohemian Bookworm I was always staring at the sky, and pointing and saying "Moon? Moon?" Yes, that makes me sound a litte "special" but shut up. I just know this would be an amazing experience for me, probably the closest I will come to a spiritual experience.

The Aurora Borealis, or northern lights occur in the northern hemisphere in Spring and Autumn months. I think I would want to visit Alaska or Finland to see this. For more scientific tidbits about this phenomenon, click here.
Also, I can't find a video clip; but here is dialogue from one of the funniest Simpsons episodes:
Principal Skinner is hosting Superintendant Chalmers for dinner:
(Skinner walks into kitchen, kitchen is on fire, he walks right back out)
Skinner: (faking a yawn) Well, that was wonderful. Good time was had by all. I'm pooped. Chalmers: Yes, I guess I should be -- (notices kitchen is on fire) Good Lord, what is happening in there?
Skinner: Aurora Borealis?
Chalmers: Aurora Borealis? At this time of year? At this time of day? In this part of the country? Localized entirely within your kitchen?
Skinner: Yes.
Chalmers: May I see it?
Skinner: Oh, erm... No. (Skinner and Chalmers walk outside)
Agnes: (screaming from inside the house) Seymour! The house is on fire!
Skinner: No, mother. It's just the Northern Lights.
Agnes: (screaming) HELP! HEEEEEEEEEEELP!
End scene. Ah, good times.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Feeling Blue-Black


Sade - No Ordinary Love
Uploaded by hushhush112
I gave you all the love I got, I gave you more than I could give...gave you love/I gave you all that I had inside and you took my love, you took my love/Didn't I tell you...what I believed...did somebody say that...a love like that won't last/Didn't I give you...all that I got to...give baby//I keep cryin'...I keep tryin'...for you/There's nothing like...you and I...baby


Down - Amel Larrieux

Down, where I'm going is down...cause you danced me around...made me too dizzy to see/Down...boy did you let me down...there's a permanent frown where my smile used to be//Down, I'm the fool of the town...someone send in the clowns...that song's about me//Down, my heart makes not a sound...it's somewhere on the ground...breaking beneath...my feet



Till it Happens to You - Corinne Bailey Rae

Please don't ask me where I'm going...cause I don't know...no I don't know...anymore/It used to feel like heaven...it used to feel like May/I used to hear those violins playing our strings like a symphony...now they've gone away//How come that nothing feels the same, now when I'm with you/We used to stay up all night, in the kitchen, when our love was new/Ooh love am I a fool to believe in you? Cause I don't know...no I don't know, anymore//Nobody wants to know the truth...until their heart's broken/Don't you dare tell them what you think to do...til they get over/You can only learn these things from experience/I just wish that someone would've told me



Green Eyes - Erykah Badu

My mind says move on, my heart...lags behind/But I don't love you anymore, I'm so insecure, never knew that love did this//I can't remember the last time I felt this way...about somebody/You've done something to my mind...and I can't control it/But I don't love you anymore--yes I do, I think/Loving you is wrong//Never knew that love could hurt like this/Never thought I would but I got dissed/Makes me feel so sad and hurt inside/Feel embarrassed so I want to hide//I hope it's not too late, too late, too late, too late, too--/Feelin' insecure, love has got me sore, I don't want no more//It's too late/I'm sorry, I love you, at first it was cool/You told me you loved me too/Then you lost your love, oh then you lost your love, ah then you lost your love...wanted me to go away but I can't go/See, I can't leave, it's too late/I can't leave, it's too late/I can't leave, it's too late/I can't leave, it's too late/Just make love to me...just one more time and then you'll see/I can't believe I made a desperate plea...what's with me//Don't you wanna be strong with me...you told me we had a family//Never knew what a friendship was...never knew how to really love/You can't be what I need you to...and I don't know why I fuck with you//I know I love will never be the same...but I can't stand these growin' pains

Clock Spider


Enticed?....Frightened?...Peeing your pants?
Click here to see what's behind the clock, IF YOU DARE! *evil laugh* This pic is from Australia.
Be sure to read the comments following the picture. These comments from the site pretty much sum up how I feel:
*I woulda removed the clock.. not by taking it off the wall, but by setting my house on fire and never living anywhere near that location ever ever again.
*ok then. i'll be back after i shower compulsively for 2 hours and make sure it's not on me./getitoffgetitoffgetitoff
*After reading the comments I've decided to never come within 200 miles of Australia.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Black or African-XXXX?

I was going to do a post on this once I got the time, but the Black Snob has tackled it. She asks if people identify as black or African-American. Here is the comment I left:

I identify as black, sometimes black-American. Not every black person in America is African-American, and not every African-American is black. I also think the term African-American helps feed into ignorant people's notion that Africa is a country, not a continent.
Yes, we have an ugly history in this country, but like Snob said, most of us are so removed from our African ancestry, we don't have any relatives that we know of where we can track what country they came from. My grandmother is Bahamian-American, and that branch came from mixed black-white-native ancestry....but that's only one sliver of my ancestry that I happen to know. I do not identify with the term African-American.....it's all socially constructed anyway, but I am black-American.


So how do YOU identify? This question is not just for Americans. If you are black and live in Europe, how do you identify? If you are bi-racial, how do you identify? If you are Asian, do you identify as Asian, or as Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean-American, etc.? How about Hispanic (which is totally a made-up category amongst made-up categories, but that's another post)?

Happy Monday!

Friday, November 14, 2008

I Love the 90s Friday: Remember the Time


Michael Jackson - Remember The Time
Uploaded by hushhush112

DO YOU REMEMBER, GIRL? ON THE PHONE! YOU AND ME! TIL DAWN! 2 OR 3 (which is so not dawn, Michael)! WHAT ABOUT US, GIRL!

AT THE PARK! ON THE BEACH! YOU AND ME! IN SPAIN!

Lol, love this song/video. I know ya'll remember doing the Egyptian dance at the end. This video was so cunty, from Eddie Murphy, to M.J. spinning into gold dust, and beefcake guardsmen, and baskets-o-snakes. Awesome.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dreams

I read this online article yesterday that lists common interpretations of dreams. Since I was a child, I constantly have had nightmares about spiders or snakes (and sometimes other bugs), mainly spiders, and often wake up screaming because I think they are physically in my bed or on the wall by the bed, etc. Here is what that article had to say:

Bugs
Bugs in our dreams—ants, spiders, moths, gnats, flies—could mean a number of things.
Miller says bugs are an indication that a “disgustingly revolting complication” will arise in your daily life.
Dream Moods takes bugs more literally, as in something is bugging you. To dream of bugs suggests you are worried about something and are filled with anxieties and fears.
A third interpretation is the bugs may represent your sexual thoughts.


Muy interesante....so have disgustingly revolting complications risen in my daily life since childhood? Has something (or many somethings) been bothering me my whole life? The sexual interpretation is very vague; so I have no idea where to go with that one. They kind of dropped the ball on that one. Anyhoo, I have always wondered why I have these recurring dreams/nightmares that date back to childhood...maybe I'll know one day.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Live Puppies

When your day is going shitty, just visit this live feed of fat, nommable, awesome puppies. Keep an internet window open at all times.

Here they are!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I Call For Self-Sterilizing Robots To Serve Fast Food

Mr. Bohemian Bookworm and I went to a Chick-Fil-A last night for fries (me) and a shake (him). There were a bunch of unprofessional young adults in the cashier area. As we were waiting at the window of the drive-thru, we observed one guy (wearing the headphone thingie) scratching his head underneath his Chick-Fil-A cap. I mean, he was scratching like there was something terribly wrong in his hair. Mind you, this is with bare hands. Another guy was drinking a milkshake. Mr. Bobo saw the hair-scratching guy dig in his ears. The girl who took our order WIPED HER FUCKING NOSE WITH HER BARE HAND AND THEN PUT OUR FRIES IN THE BAG. I, horrified, pointed this out to Mr. Bobo who then requested our money back and that we no longer wanted the food. Snot-girl asked if we were sure, and tried to give us the food and shake for free. I imagined boogers and little booglets dancing and doing a high-school musical type show on the fries. We refused. We went to Whataburger, where the cashiers are ghetto as all hell, but they respect your fuckin' food.

When I saw the one guy with the milkshake behind the counter, that made me watch them a lot more closely because if you are comfortable enough to do that (it's against the rules in many fast food restaurants and cafes) then you will probably be lax with hygeine too. This turned out to be correct. The way all of those nasty mo-fos threw hygeine out the window IN PLAIN VIEW OF HORRIFIED CUSTOMERS lets me know that they must have been doing this for a while, to be that comfortable. Mr. Bobo said he probably needed to disinfect his credit card too. I said the hair-scratching/ear-digging guy probably swiped his card betwixt his ass cheeks trying to get an itch. You best believe we will be complaining.

I hate everything.

Prop 8 Reveals Hate

My issue with banning gay marriage goes beyond my agreement/disagreement with those who voted on this. My issue is, the people should not be voting for this, period. You should not have to vote for civil rights. Underneath all the joy and wonder regarding Obama's election to President, something is still fundamentally wrong with this country when you can vote to take away somebody's civil right. What an ugly, hypocritical irony that the black population, specifically the black RELIGIOUS population who fought for their civil rights, voted to deny another group their own civil rights. A double-scoop of WTF on top when it sinks in that these people VOTED (which they had to fight for the right for) a half-BLACK man into the presidency (many civil rights leaders could only dream of this). Add a hefty sprinkle of bullshit when these religious black people point to the Bible to justify their hate.......that same Bible that was used to justify their slavery.

Marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman, is what they say. Where are they getting this from? The Bible? What about separation of church and state? This is not a Christian nation, no matter how much they want you to believe it is. If marriage is so sacred, why not vote to ban divorce? Supporters of this ban disgust me.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I Love the 90s Friday: Maxwell

In honor of the Maxwell concert tonight that I won't be going to *stifles sob*, here are my favorite Maxwell songs (that happen to have been released in the 90s).

Submerge: Til We Become The Sun
Submerge:Til We Become The Sun - Maxwell
This is one of my favorite all-time songs. The melody, the lyrics, his voice, the entire song is so haunting, sensual, relaxing, erotic, and just lovely. I love the dark notes of the piano in the background contrasting with his falsetto.

Softly, Softly
maxwell-Softly - Maxwell
You can't go wrong with Sweetback producing on the track....you just can't.

Til The Cops Come Knockin'
...Til The Cops Come Knockin - Maxwell

There's an actual video for this song but Youtube won't let me embed it. It's for the best though, as the song is much more sexy without the video of Maxwell crawling around on the floor like he took some bad shit.

My favorite music style includes songs that combine lounge, electronic, ambient, and erotic tones, so Maxwell seamlessly blends these elements and the results are beautiful. I hope his next album drops soon; it is apparent by all these sold-out tours that his fan base is stronger than ever.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What A Magical Time



I truly feel like a global citizen after last night. Seeing the reactions around the world is amazing. People in the United States are often living in their own created bubble, they wonder why would other countries care who our president is?

I participated in this piece of history. I see the tears in so many people's eyes; tears that reflect so many memories and hopes and it makes me tear up in turn.

The way Obama looked when he was giving his speech last night almost gave me chills. The gravity of this, the enormity of it all seemed to register on his face. He is taking this seriously and people need to know and see this.

This beautiful family is representing our country....it truly is amazing. What a magical time.
Visit The Black Snob for many more awesome photos of the First Family.

Michael Crichton

I am sad. Michael Crichton had died. He was one of my favorite authors; he was such a great writer. He was the creator of ER which was one of the most awesome shows years ago...now, not so much. My mother and I used to tune in every Thursday(?) to watch it. He also wrote and directed Twister, one of the most broke movies that I love to this day. ("We have debris!....DEBRIS?!")

My favorite book of his is his non-fiction book, Travels. He talks about being disillusioned with medical school, and describes the trips he has taken around the world. The vacations don't turn out how one would normally expect and he put a hilarious and realistic perspective on vacations. He describes climing Kiliminjaro and how horrible it was, but how everyone pretends it's this great feat.

I grew up with Jurassic Park and The Lost World. They are so much darker, more haunting, and more fascinating in book form; I have re-read them so many times.

I also loved Prey and State of Fear; nobody did the thriller genre like him.

These books were comforting to me; when I wanted to relax and unwind throughout the years, I would pick up one of my dog-eared copies of his books and get lost in them. I am sad this voice is gone. He died of cancer. I had no idea he was 66 years old. There is something very admirable about people who have terminal illnesses and don't broadcast them to the world. I hope his family were able to have some nice moments with him at the end.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Giraffes?

I need someone to upload the Giraffes video from Saturday Night Live this past weekend. Please and thank you. I was crying laughing at the end of it! I love extreme, unnecessary humor as applied to ordinary things or situations. I am twitching like a crack fiend right now, I NEED THE GIRAFFE CLIP NOW! WHY ISN'T IT ON NBC.COM WITH THE OTHER VIDEOS? YOUTUBE? SOMEBODY!!

**Edited**
HERE IT IS!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pretend To Care About Politics

This is a little late in the electoral season, but it's never too late to pretend like you give a what and have some intelligent-sounding answers to those who ask you about the election.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Scary Movies

In honor of Halloween, here are my favorite horror/terror movies:

The Mist (this movie has scarred me for life)
Carrie (the music alone especially at the end was terrifying)
The Descent (sleeper hit, I really enjoyed it)
The Birds (one of my favorite all-time movies)
The Ring (when she climbs out of the well....I can't)
The Exorcist (the backwards climb down the stairs....I can't)
Child's Play 2 and 3 (pure comedy gold)

What horror/terror movies are your favorites?

Ghetto Twins-Responsibility

OMG, I have been waiting for this video to pop up on Youtube. I know a lot of Houstonians remember this song, but not like I do! My cousin and I knew THE WHOLE SONG and I must say, I still remember the lyrics.

Yes, the video is broke as hell and the twins are indeed ghetto, the lyrics are actually pretty good, and a positive message for young girls out there lurks underneath the sunglasses, blue lipstick, swoll-ass twins walking toward the camera, fur coats, and such.


If GB don't hustle then my kid won't eat/My kid don't eat/Then Mama won't sleep/I have no time to sit around/See what his dad gon' do/He ain't do shit from the start/What the fuck he gon' do....Now he prayin' for forgiveness cause his luck messed up and/His kid growin' up and/Don't know what's up/Responsibility, have you ever heard of it baby/I'm a strong chick and you will never worry me baby...Your baby son is growin' up/Baby mama's blowin' up/If I catch that tail, I just might leave it swoll'd up (LOL)/In this world to make a child it takes a man to raise one/Boy you just made one/Too stupid to raise one/And these youngsters think you cold, let em' know you ain't ___ but a ___/When it comes down to this real ____ (some of the song sounds better with the censor)/Responsibility he couldn't take/And that was one of the many things that made him fake/You really think you's a man/Hey busta you's a lie! (LMAO)/Strong women survive/FAKE PLAYAS DIE......fake playas die

Well if I didn't write rhymes/Where the hell I'd be?/And if I don't pay rent/Where the hell I'ma sleep/I ain't dependin' on my man cuz he ain't worth it/And if I did depend on mine I'd be a stuck out chick/I keep my eyes on my riches/Women do the same/Ain't no love in this game/Ain't a damn thing changed....I give them girls the finger who ain't bout makin' dollas (ROFL)

The first thing you must do is stay true/Dependin' on your man leave you stuck like glue.....Only thing he wanna do is screw/Lord knows that's the truth/Now your rent's past due/And your man's sayin' it's through/Who gon pay the bills, now where you live, we guess it's all on you/But you totally disagree/Now your kid's up on the street/It's all about your salary/Use your best ability and you'll see

So many things to do/So many places to be/It's my/Responsibility/Responsibility-ee

Am I ashamed for still knowing most of the lyrics? A little. But stop hating. This post is dedicated to my cousin and loving, devoted husband. :-)

I Love the 90s Friday: Halloween Special!

In honor of Halloween, here are some creepy rap videos from the 90s:

Geto Boys-Mind Playin Tricks On Me

Houston churns out some of the most....intriguing rappers. I don't think I know too many people who don't recognize the opening bars of the music and remember the lyrics: At night I can't sleep/I toss and turn.....My hands were all bloody from punchin' on the concrete.......this song, lyrically was kind of awesome. The video goes very well with the song.

Bone Thugs N Harmony-Crossroads

This video always used to get to me with it's imagery of death. The deathy dude comin away to take souls and turn people's eyes black....graphic! Nice lyrics on this one too. I remember the funeral scene at the beginning always struck a chord with me, but looking back on it I wonder why Mr. Death was all late collecting the dude's soul at the funeral....shouldn't he have already scooped his ass up when he died? Was he just trying to traumatize the poor family member who saw him? Anyhoo, this song/video was AWESOME!

Tupac-Hail Mary

I remember my cousin and I used to think this video was SO. SCARY! Now I see how very very broke it is, but that's ok though.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Socks On Your Feet

I think people (or at least I) underestimate the physical warmth socks on your feet provide, at home, in your lounging clothes, when it's cold outside. Especially if you are feeling a little under the weather (what is the origin of that phrase? I need to look it up). I feel so comfy and toasty while also exhausted. It's kind of comforting.



Sometimes it takes a stranger's view of your life to put things in perspective (or at least more so). One of my students congratulated me on my promotion and we talked about career counseling because she wasn't sure what she wanted to do. I told her I recommended it because I wished I had been more aware of those services earlier on in my undergraduate career. She asked about my studies and I told her about my bachelor's degree and that I am now a graduate student. She said, wow your life is really good; you know what you want to do in school, you got promoted, *she glances at my ring* and you're married...she sounded kind of in awe. I think people tend to brush off these kinds of remarks but I believe you need to kind of soak this stuff in. I realize how my life looks to others (even strangers, or people who look up to me, like my students) and even if it's a careful presentation of self that we offer, I am aware more and more every day of the stage I am setting for my life. I am tired all the time from work and school, but the future is becoming clearer every day as well, like a pinprick of sunlight that gradually gets brighter. I am comforted by the love in my life and feel a certain peace right now at this moment in time.



To undecided voters at this juncture....really? You're undecided? Still?



And for absolutely no reason at all:

Friday, October 24, 2008

I Love the 90s Friday: Double the Freaks!

Freak Like Me-Adina Howard

Okay, I remember jammin hard to this (still do--thanks Yahoo Radio!) and I think I was like 10 or 11 when this came out. If my mother is reading this, I didn't grow up to be a hoochie! Dudes, those corn-chip fingernails on the passenger side of the car.....the shiny clothes, the house party. Don't fight the jam. Just don't do it.

Wreckx-N-Effect-Rumpshaker

I was 9 or 10 when this one came out. I remember how graphic the video seemed to me back then (LOL). I wonder what those women are doing with their lives now. Will they show their children/grandchildren this classic piece of art? Anyhoo, yeah this song jammed too. Did you know Pharrell wrote the verse that Teddy Riley did on this song? I didn't! Have a magical Friday!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Running

Running - No Doubt

Sunday, October 19, 2008

How Ya Feelin Eskimos? ICE COLD!



Amy Poehler's sick mic skills
"Todd Palin" comin on-stage all crunk in that outfit
The Eskimo hype men
The mother-humpin moose
The GUNSHOTS

I am done with life. Absolutely done.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hair Idol!



This is Sabina Karlsson of Swedish and Gambian descent, my hair idol. My hair wants to like her hair when it grows up. I am three years in to the natural game, and my current length is almost mid-back when stretched. My texture is somewhat similar to hers. No red hair though (that is SO AWESOME). My hair progress can be found here. Anyhoo, this girl is gorgeous! I love seeing people of multiple races/ethnicities being represented in a (somewhat) mainstream fashion.

Picture peeped at Mane & Chic.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I Love the 90s Friday

I'm going to start posting jams from the 90s on Fridays....to start off, here's 3 classic Friday-ish feeling songs.

Montell Jordan-This Is How We Do It
Unfortunately, I can't embed it so click on the title to blast back to the 90's. This is probably the best Friday song EVER IN LIFE!

Zhane-Hey Mr. DJ
I still love Zhane's music. More on them in a later post.


Aaliyah
Back and Forth


Don't act like you're not doing some New Jack Swing type dances in your chair, I see you.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Esperanza Spalding

Esperanza Spalding is awesome. Listen to more of her music here. Oh, and you know that I'm loving her hair too!

I Know You Know

I know that you know but I'll say it again, I love you baby nothing will take me away
The way you look at me when you think I'm not lookin'
I look at you that way too, you just don't know that I do

I gave this post a foreign language tag because she also speaks/sings in Spanish.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Just One More Lap


I can't tell you how much this image is ruining my life, piece by piece.
I just know the lion's paw that's out of view is holding a switchblade to this poor horse's neck murmuring, "Just one more lap Mahogany, just one more...."
Please include this horse in your prayer circle today.
P. S. Shout out to DJWaltd for this fuckery.

Diary of a Dying Mom

I had been following the blog Diary of a Dying Mom for the last few months. Michelle, the author, was diagnosed with scleroderma and chronicled her life including essays about people she knew and loved, her daily struggle with the disease, triumps and setbacks regarding medications and feeding tubes, buying future birthday gifts and cards for her kids, talking to them about death, and many other topics. She died October 11th, her 11th wedding anniversary. Her last post was October 9th and she knew at that time that death was imminent. I think for people looking for inspiration about daily life or examples of perserverance and optimism through difficult times and situations will find it on this blog.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Genocide and Tragedy on a Micro-level

When many people hear/read about global tragedies such as the genocide in Rwanda, they feel horrified, sad, and helpless because of the grand scale of these events. But when you hear an individual's story of suffering and the unfathomable torture he/she endured, it makes it that much harder to ignore or push aside.

Maryam, a human-rights worker, shares the following story in her blog that was told to her by a victim. I am pasting it here:

Rwanda's genocide: and Vestine's story
She has a small, neat head, her features delicately sketched, her teeth very white. Her grey suit is too large for her narrow frame but her cream shoes are polished and she moves with a certain elegance on ankles impossibly slim.

Her name is Vestine. She's 42 and she survived the Rwandan genocide.

Vestine was rounded up one night and held captive in a stadium with others. Left without food, on the fifth day, she began to eat grass, one green blade after another. It was that day, too, that a soldier marched her to the sordid bathroom and ordered her to take off all her clothes. Her hands twisting in her lap, she says,

"He told me he wanted to see if Tutsi women were made differently than Hutu women. Then...then he raped me."

The next day it was a different soldier, this one trying to force his penis into her mouth. When she protested, he clubbed her on the head. With her fingers lightly tapping her face, Vestine describes how the blood streamed into her eyes and down her nose, as she did what he required.

Vestine's story continues, relentless. After they had had their fill of her, you see, the soldiers would force her down on her hands and knees, straddle her back, and ride her around the stadium like a donkey, beating the soles of her feet with a stick urging her to go faster and faster.

When she was finally brought back to her home, Vestine found her husband and two brothers on the floor, hacked to death by machete. By day, she was raped over and over by a soldier who held her captive. By night, the dogs would come and feast on the rotting bodies of the people she loved most.

After weeks, Vestine was ordered to the local Hutu commander's house who wanted a piece of the action. Vestine fought back, perhaps her fatal mistake. Her voice faltering, she looks down at her lap and whispers,

"The commander took a knife and then he mutilated my genitals, cutting off ....cutting off everything I had left there. Then....then, he made me swallow what he had taken from me."

Vestine survived the genocide, rescued by a Hutu neighbor who hid her. Two of her three children also survived, the third was killed by a grenade when he tried to flee into the mountains.

It was only seven years later that Vestine -- broken and sick -- found out that she had been infected by HIV/AIDs.



Vestine, and many like her, are now being helped by AVEGA, a Rwandan NGO dedicated to widows of the genocide. Their funds are small but their hearts are big.

Could you, would you find room in your heart to help, too? In a different dark life, in a different dark space, it could have been you, in Vestine's place. It could have been me in Vestine's place.

Is fifty dollars too much? Or perhaps 25 dollars if times are tough? You can make a contribution via paypal to the following address: Tammy.Cody@gmail.com. I will personally make sure that the money is used to help Vestine and others. And please do also email me at maryam@mtds.com so I can thank you and share with Vestine who you are.

Vestine will be so grateful. She didn't want to let go of my hands after we talked -- care and kindness mean so much to her after what she has been through.


Any mentions on blogs would be incredibly appreciated, too. I promise you -- with a certainty that is desperately sad -- that this will be the most meaningful money you spend all month.

My week has been filled with horror -- I can't look away. Please, please, don't you look away, too.



This story reinforces my desire to work in the human rights field. I hope if you read this and don't know about what happened in Rwanda that you will research it. I hope that even if you cannot or will not help Vestine that you will at least remember her story and keep it with you.

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