Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Party Like a Lock Star!

This year was bigger and better!

And it doesn't even include the ladies who met up with us at the conference, but were unable to go to dinner! We had ladies from Philly, Boston, NY, NJ, Delaware, MD/DC and Atlanta. If some of the ladies in the collage below (top row, right corner) look very familiar, they should be - While QuietSpirit and I live here, we had three other bloggers come for the fun. Cluizel, Sunsail and Naturally Sophia were able to join us.

I also had my first blogger-sighting! A lady came up to me and said, I know you, but I don't know you - know you. She confessed that she reads many of our blogs, but was too shy to actually leave any comments or to send me an email to let me know she'd like to join us. But she decided that she'd go to the conference and hope to see us. Well, after fussing at her for taking the chance of possibly not getting in on the fun, we hijacked her to the restaurant as if we'd known her for years! Needless to say, when she called her husband to let him know why she was going to be a little late getting home, he told her to be careful - you don't really know these people. We also picked up another lady at the conference after telling her what our plans were. I felt like the Pied Piper.

This year's location for the conference was much better, in my opinion. It was bright and air conditioned, which was very welcomed since the temperature was in the 80's. It was also much roomier and folks weren't squeezing by each other to get to the various booths and tables. Some thought there were fewer vendors, but that could be because there was much more room to spread out. Since the location is a school, each demonstration or class had its own classroom and the presenters weren't interrupted by folks passing through on their way to another part of the conference. They also had use of the courtyard outside the school so folks could step out and get some fresh air. That's where they put the food vendors, who had a separate covered area with tables. There was music and dancing and one station was actually retwisting and styling clients' locks. Also, Sister Nandi was there with her Wrap-a-Loc tools. I was glad to have a chance to actually see them and how they work, but I'm not sure yet whether I'll get them. Maybe next year.

The restaurant turned out to be very nice. We were worried that with such a large group, it'd take all night to get our orders, but that wasn't the case. Plates were coming out left and right within minutes of ordering. They had "large plates," which were regular sized entree portions, but they also had "small plates," so I finally had the opportunity to have "tapas." In addition to the Talapia Ceviche and Crying Bacalao which I officially ordered, I also had some Oxymoron and Chicken Mofongo - all were very tasty. For the price though, the portions could have been a little bigger. I saw quite a few forks digging in to plates across the table and some waited until another had ordered something before ordering it too. And while I not a big drinker, I had the Ice Pearl, which was a blend of champagne and pear nectar. For me, dessert was Lavender Cheesecake. I guess I should have thought like Brunsli and taken some pictures - the presentations were beautiful and they must have ten different platters for each of the unique dish concoctions.

Our friends from Boston told us about their efforts to have a conference up there, so we're definitely going to try to support them. Road trip!

Hopefully, these fun pictures will inspire you all to try to get here for the next conference. Although, I don't know what restaurant is going to be able to accommodate us if we get any bigger....

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

And The Winner Is....

None of the above!

Actually, Azure was the winner but unfortunately, by the time I called back, they’d already confirmed another large party for the same time and they’re a relatively small establishment. All is not lost though. Since Azure was the clear favorite, I tried my best to find something comparable, and not too far away, that could accommodate a large party (22!) and not restrict us to limited menu choices. Obviously, I didn’t have time to consult with everyone, so I’m hoping that everyone will find this alternative acceptable.

The restaurant is GiGi’s – located at 319 Market Street (btw 3rd and 4th). Click here for a link to the menu.

Since this restaurant is in the Center City/Old City area, on-street parking (free or metered) will be a challenge. However, there are a number of nearby lots available.

The location of the Locks Conference is 910 North 6th Street at the Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partnership Charter School. Again, click
here for the link to it.

I’ll be arriving at the conference on Saturday, October 6 at around 2pm. At about 6:15pm, please meet me at the entrance and we’ll caravan to the restaurant. The restaurant reservation is for 7pm.

See you all on Saturday!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Time to Vote

We’ve almost finalized plans for the annual Philadelphia Locks Conference and you can check here to take a look at the many activities scheduled.

Also, this is your opportunity to vote for the restaurant that we’ll attend after the conference. I’ve included their websites so you can take a look at the menus before making a selection. The final decision will be made by a majority vote. Voting will be open effective with this message until Sunday, September 30. You can vote by sending me an email through this blog or by sending me an email through one of the discussion boards.

The choices are:

Note: prices aren’t listed on this menu, but most dishes range between $4 and $8 and since this is a Spanish tapas bar (appetizers), most people order 2 or 3 selections.


Once the votes are tallied, I'll post the selected restaurant to the discussion boards, my blog and by personal email to all who sent me one.
The tentative plan is to meet at the conference on Saturday, October 6 at around 2pm (but feel free to come earlier or later as your schedule dictates). The location of the Locks Conference is 910 North 6th Street at the Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partnership Charter School. At about 6:15pm, we’ll start rounding up everyone and caravan to the restaurant (which won’t be too far from the conference for everyone’s convenience). The restaurant reservation will be for 7pm.

Please don’t miss your opportunity to attend the ultimate locks event of the year in the Philly area! I’m hoping to see everyone who came last year and some new faces too!
See you all soon!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Locks Conference is Coming!

Don't we look like a happy bunch? Want to be happy too? Here's how:

This picture was taken at the restaurant we all went to after spending all afternoon at the locks conference in 2006. The annual Philadelphia Locks Conference is coming up the weekend of October 6 and 7, 2007 and we're having a gathering this year also. We're still in the planning stage, but we'll be attending the conference on Saturday, October 6 in the afternoon and then head off to dinner. A group of us are exploring dinner options and as soon as we have more definite information, we'll share with all who are interested. I posted a message to Lockitup, LadyLocs and SisterlockLookForLess for everyone to send me an email so that I can personally keep you up to date on the plans, in addition to posting to the message boards. If you're interested in attending but haven't let me know yet, you still have plenty of time. We're hoping to have an even bigger turnout than last year and we'd really love to see you there. Let me know soon!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Enlargeable view

Don't know why Picasa doesn't always let my collages enlarge, but here it is again.

Bun Tutorial

Warning!!! This is going to take a good 30 to 45 minutes to get it right!

Instructions refer to photos starting from top row left to right, continuing down to second row, etc.

Photo 1 - Pull all your hair up into a high ponytail on top of your head - You don't want it to sit on the back of your head or you'll never be able to lean back! Bad for driving!

Photo 2 - I did this in five sections, so starting on one side, separate about 1 fifth of your hair and make sure the strands are smooth and free of tangles. This was particularly important to me because I wanted it absolutely smooth and symetrical.

Photo 3 and 4 - Start winding the first section around the base of the ponytail at it's lowest point. Don't worry too much because subsequent sections will cover it, but wrap it tightly and as compactly as possible because you don't want it to get too bulky too fast, especially if your hair is very long and you need to make several rotations.

Photo 5, 6 and 7 - Once the first section is tucked under, continue with sections 2 - 5, making sure to continue winding, smoothing and tucking in the same direction at all times. This helps to keep the bun even all around and not lopsided.

Photo 8, 9 and 10 - After all sections are wrapped, tuck any stray ends under the base of the bun or into the body of the bun and then smooth to adjust any holes you make when tucking in strands. Check the back also - It has to look great coming and going!

Photo 11 and 12 - Voila! Your bun is done! If your hair is long, you can do it without pins, as I did. If hair is shorter, I would suggest using very thin hairpins and insert them gently.

Photo 13, 14, and 15 - Adding decoration makes good dramatic effect! Put your Brunsli hairtie to great use, just wrap it around the base of the bun and try putting the decorative shell in the back. Your face is already drama enough for the front, give the folks behind you something to stare at! If you don't have ties, use flowers or another kind of clip. (Ayankha - These ties were some I made using Brunsli's inspiration.)

After I put this bun in, I jumped around, shook my head and held it up-side-down to make sure it was secure. It was. Even a strong wind wasn't moving this! It lasted the entire evening (and could have gone longer!), and since I didn't have any pins in it, there was nothing poking me and giving me a headache. Also, it wasn't as heavy as I thought it might be, nor did it make me feel lop-sided or top heavy. The only caveat - watch out getting into the car! I completely misjudged how high up it was and smacked into the side of the car. I immediately thought it was done for, but it didn't make a dent!

Have fun!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

I finally got it up...

In a bun, that is! What were you thinking??!

On Saturday evening, I had to go to a dinner. I knew exactly what I was going to wear, but I hadn't given much thought to what I was going to do with my hair and I hadn't felt like curling it in advance. So I'm in the bathroom putting on my make up and I take my hair out of the ponytail I had it in. Hanging straight down didn't look very good, so I put it back up into a ponytail, but that wasn't dressy enough for the occasion. I remembered one time I tried to put my hair up and it worked, but I hadn't done it with all of my hair. With a half an hour to go before I had to leave, I started winding my hair around itself and this is what materialized! Amazingly, I did this on the first try. What's even more interesting is that that there is not one pin in the whole thing! Goodnapps - I was thinking about you the whole time!

Want to know how I did it? How to pics and instructions coming soon!

ps - I don't know why the picture won't enlarge - sorry!

Thursday, June 28, 2007


In fact, I've been so slow to post that I just discovered that I was tagged twice!

Here are the rules: Each player starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to then report this on their own blog with their 7 things as well as these rules. They then need to tag 7 others and list their names on their blog. They are also asked to leave a comment for each of the tagged, letting them know they have been tagged and to read the blog.

OK - Last time it was only 5 and I had to think long and hard to come up with those things I was willing to share. Not that I’ve led a totally boring existence, but while you do want the facts to be somewhat amusing or entertaining and a little revealing, you don’t want to let everyone in on all the sordid details! Anyway…

1. The summer I turned 13, my parents bought a Mr. Softee ice cream truck and made my older sister and me work on it. Yes, we got paid and we thought it was good money. Looking back, it wasn’t even minimum wage! At first it was great eating all the ice cream you wanted (salary perk?). But you would not believe how the ice cream smell stays with you. And you don’t want to know what re-run is! After working a few months, I was so over it. To this day, I don’t eat soft-serve custard ice cream.

2. During elementary and high school, I was much more (ok – totally more) athletic than I am now. I used to run track (50 and 100 yard dash) and do gymnastics (I can’t do a backbend now to save my life!). The only thing I can still do now is a headstand.

3. The theme song for my HBCU's entering freshman class was “One Nation Under a Groove.” I still love that song and I can still do the dance that was popular at the time. Can any of you east-coasters of a certain age name the dance? Feet don’t fail me now!

4. I can’t stand getting into an unmade bed. If I didn’t make the bed in the morning, I have to make it up at night before I get in to go to sleep.

5. I can’t help counting things. Does that make me somewhat compulsive? If I’m doing a mindless solitary task like walking or riding, I’m almost always counting something - the number of steps I take as I walk or climb stairs, how many punch-buggies I see, how many heads of fake hair I’ll see before I get to my destination…

6. I’ve gotten 3 speeding tickets.

7. I can't whistle and I can just barely snap my fingers, and only with my left hand.

I know, I know - this is juicy stuff!

It took me so long to think about what to post, there's probably no one left to tag.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Six fantastic looking women!

Yes, I know I'm slow sometimes - but I'm on vacation! As you can tell by these few pictures, we all had a great time! In fact, we were so busy talking that we didn't even bother to take any pictures until the very end. So what did we talk about? Hair, of course! And men, and kids, and hair, and men with boats....

I met two of the ladies for the first time, Ms. D, far left in the back row, and Ms. R, second from the right in the back row. Ms. D has had her SL's for about a year and they looked so cute and cutly. She even had a beautiful piece of hair jewelry. Ms. R is a very fresh newbie, having just had hers installed about two weeks ago. She started with all natural shoulder length hair. And contrary to her own thoughts, everyone thought her hair looked beautiful and will only get moreso I've known Ms. DE, second from the left in the back row, for several years. She's also a newbie, having had hers installed about 2 months ago. I think I'll take credit for finally convincing her to take the plunge! Her hair is full and has a beautiful color. I think most of you know QuietSpirit, front left. Her SL's will be 8 years old this summer and her hair is just about the thickest I've ever seen. And just think, all that length and she had cut about 8 inches off a few years ago. We're going to have to get together so I can give her the crash course in softspike setting so she can finally use hers. And last, but not least, Energyteacher, front right, who's at the year and a half mark. She still has cute little curlies at the ends.

I really appreciate these opportunities that we have to get together and just talk. They're about so much more than hair.

Save the date!!! The first weekend in October (October 6 and 7) is the annual Locks Conference in Philadelphia. Last year, we had about 15 people join us for classes, presentations, entertainment and opportunities to buy beautiful products for locks. We capped off the day with a lively dinner and rounds of picture taking. We'll be organizing something along those lines again, so watch out for information probably sometime in September. We're hoping to make this one even bigger and better than last year!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Lunch in Philadelphia

The ladies in Philadelphia are meeting for lunch on Saturday, June 16 at 1pm. The Rock Lobster Restaurant is the place to be for food, fun, laughs and, of course great hair! If you're planning to join us, please email me and I'll add you to our reservation. Looking forward to seeing new faces and familiar ones. Bring your cameras!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Goldie's Self Portraits

You haven't seen her in awhile, but here she is! Goldie has discovered that she likes to take pictures of herself. So much so, that when I went to use my camera, it flashed MEMORY CARD FULL!! When I looked through the pictures to delete some and decide which to download to the computer, it was full of Goldie and cats! Aside from herself, she likes to take pictures of Ike and Tina, our brother and sister cats. Ike made his way into one of the pictures. I'll admit they're cute, but you'd think they were actually doing something for her to have taken so many pictures. She even took pictures of herself while pretending to sleep because she wanted to see what she looks like. Finally, I had to delete them down to about 50. These are some of my favorites. I'd like her to show a little teeth! In most of these pictures, she looks like the Cheshire Cat.

By the way, Goldie just celebrated 4 years in locks. She loves them, but mostly likes to freestyle. She almost never lets me even give her a braid out. Lucky she has locks because she can just wash and go!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Cha Cha Diva Wins!

Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather when Jaslene and Natasha were selected as the two finalists, sending Renee home. I thought Renee was a sure thing. While I wasn't surprised that Jaslene got in, I absolutely did not think Natasha deserved to be there. Don't get me wrong, Natasha was a nice enough girl, but I just don't have a clue what they saw in her. I could see her doing print work, but not runway. When the three of them did their Covergirl shoot, I didn't even want to listen to Natasha. Jaslene was smart to add a little flavor to hers when she threw in the spanish.

So then Jaslene and Natasha did the final runway and Natasha lost her skirt. She kept her cool and just stepped out of it and kept walking. But other than that, I just didn't see anything worth getting hyped about with her. Her face is very full and round looking which makes her look chubby and she doesn't have much neck. And I think her accent is always going to be her downfall if the job calls for voice-work.

I had to give it to Jaslene on the runway. Her walk was much stronger than Natasha's. Overall, she had a stronger start and her pictures were usually edgier than everone else's. While I'm not absolutely thrilled with the final choice (like Danielle, she's going to have to work on her voice), I'm always happy when they choose against the norm. I think this is the first Latina winner.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Told Ya So!

In my last post, I said I hoped Dionne and Brittany made it to the finals, but also that I doubted it would happen. I was right.

Last week, poor Brittany had a melt down when she was late getting to a meeting. Standing outside the entrance screaming about it not being her fault, while not even having the courtesy to step in and at least apologize for being late was just not professional. I knew then that she’d be in the bottom two. But the nail in her coffin was the fact that none of the designers from her go-sees offered to book her. That was a surprise, although I gotta admit that her walk was weak. I guess her lack of personality did her in. But this was a great picture.

Was I the only one who thought that Tyra was going to say something about Dionne asking whether she could keep the clothes? She must have asked at least three times! And it was probably more since they had to edit the footage. Tacky! But she was the other one in the bottom two but was saved because she had more personality than Brittany. The judges got on her about her mean look and they’re right. Instead of coming off as intensity, she just looks evil! Which is so different from what her personality appears to be. Maybe they should have eased up on the arch of her brow. Nevertheless, I thought this was by far Dionne’s best picture.

So this week there were four left. Dionne, Jaslene and Renee plotted to get rid of Natasha while she was sick in bed. Now die-hard ANTM watchers know that there were at least two prior contestants who actually went to the hospital, then dragged themselves to a shoot and judging and rocked it! Two of them also won. Don’t remember? The two I remember were Adrienne and especially Danielle. So Natasha’s little sniffles didn’t seem like all that big a deal and her photos were horrible. But I can’t believe that this was the best one they could find.

And as much as I hated to admit it, Renee’s photos were the best. While I didn’t particularly care for Jaslene’s photo, I know she got picked because they’ve considered her photos to be consistently strong overall. So that left Dionne and Natasha. Regardless of the fact that Dionne didn’t pick herself when asked whom she believed had the most potential (Duh! What are you here if not to win??!), I knew that a bad shoot for Natasha wasn’t going to cause her to be sent home when she’s been picked first for the last two or three weeks. But this wasn't a great photo of Dionne, so she was sent home.

So we’re down to the final three and the finale next week. The Covergirl spokesmodel shoot has traditionally occurred at this point and they’re usually required to walk around while trying to look at the camera, hold a product in focus and say “…Blah, blah, blah, easy breezy, beautiful Covergirl!” Based on this, I think either Natasha or Jaslene go home next. And I think Renee will win.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Five Left....

....and I'm not really feeling any of them! I know I haven't posted on ANTM8 for the last few episodes, but I think it's because the way things are headed, I have a sinking feeling that I'm not going to like whoever gets chosen.

My personal picks to be in the top two are Dionne and Brittany. But I don't think it's gonna happen. Dionne isn't really the greatest model, but I love her personality and that should count for something. She seems real, doesn't really trash talk anyone else, doesn't hype herself and especially not at the expense of her competitors. She's low-key and hasn't been involved in any of the drama. Pretty much the same could be said of Brittany. I really felt for her when she revealed that she had a head injury that affected her short-term memory. And she looks so much better since they cut that awful weave out of her hair. It was looking like a dead animal had crawled up there and died!

I have a suspicion that Renee and Natasha are going to be in the top two and Renee is going to take it. If all that mattered was looks, I wouldn't be so bothered by the possibility that Renee might win, but I hate her personality. She's been bitchy and mean spirited and she has an over-inflated opinion of herself. I'd hate to see someone like that win.

Natasha. What can I say? I haven't a clue what the judges see in her! She's short, I can barely understand her and she has that annoying habit of wrinkling her nose and pursing her lips. It's her sexy look. Unfortunately, it's her only look.

Jaslene's stock is way down lately. Her look wasn't good during the Covergirl shoot in the Australian bush - she looked like she was squinting to see the cue cards. At a minimum, I would've put her in the bottom two and for me, it would have been a toss-up as to who'd go home - her or Jael. And that voice!! She sounds like she's talking through a wad of spit in her mouth.

Well, having the lame re-cap episode last night gave me a chance to catch up. See ya next week!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Boy, Oh Boy!!

Did Natasha actually think looking like a street ho was a good look and that she made it work??! Then I guess we shouldn’t have been surprised that she was sitting there having phone-sex with her husband on national TV.

Renee is still up to her tricks. How insulting was it that she told Whitney that she didn’t think she could be a top model because she’s plus size? And it was no less rude even if she qualified it first by saying how unfair she thought it was. Apparently Jael will have some choice words for her next episode.

I almost died when Sarah won the challenge by accepting credit for putting together the outfit that won. So where was the reward for the team effort? And why did Whitney plop herself down on the floor?

I’m so glad Dionne stepped it up, especially at judging. Her hair looked good combed back. So again, why doesn’t anyone have anything to say about Natasha’s so-not-a-model look in judging? That hair was back up in a ponytail. But I guess if she left it out, she’d look too much like Roseanne Roseannadanna.

Special Segment of the Week -- Separated at Birth

And much as I hate Natasha, she was hilarious doing her hip-hop impersonation! Other than that, I wouldn't go out with any of them thinking they were men!

Unfortunately, I'm going to be away next week and I'll miss the next episode. Who's going to do color commentary for me???

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Go Whitney!!!

I so didn't want Renee to win, so you know I was happy when she didn't even finish!!! I think Whitney did a fantastic job with the lasers. In fact, she was the only one I really saw do some actual posing worthy of being called modeling. Jaslene and Natasha poked out their lips and Dionne didn't pose at all. At this point, even if Whitney doesn't win, she got major loot she can sell and finish college. By the way, shiney silver spandex was not a good look on any of them. And shiney gold spandex with red draws.... I don't need to go any further!

I have to confess, I missed the first 5 or 7 minutes (it was the first day of spring and I was getting my free water ice!) so I don't know what all Renee was getting herself into, but by the time she got on the phone and was blubbering to her husband to come get her, I was like, how fast can you get there? She needs a serious attitude adjustment. And I can't even think about what she'd be teaching her kid at home. She's no more mature than a three year old.

I thought that everyone did well in the photo shoot last night, although some were much better than others. I actually didn't think Jael's was going to come out as well as it did. Having said that, I'm in total disagreement that Felicia and Dionne were in the bottom two, and that Felicia got sent home. All things considered, if Felicia was in the bottom two, it should have been with Diana, and Diana should have been sent home. She doesn't look any more "alive" than Felicia. And Diana's pics haven't been better than Felicia's through the weeks. And if they thought anyone was relying on just being "pretty," they should have sent Natasha home.

I also didn't care for the comments that were made about Dionne's style during judging. While I agreed that her hair looked too "done," her clothes and general hairstyle were far better than Natasha's. I swear I can't stand to see that girl wear another pair of tight, shiney spandex pants. And with plastic fake-wood-look "Candies" mules from 1978! (Yeah I said it! And I wore them too, back then!) And her hair was pulled up into a mess of a pony tail. I think the judges still have yet to really see her haircut in person. Her look in judging is definitely not model material. Plus, they told her she has a big head!

Last, but not least, what in the hell did Twiggy have on??!! It looked like blue crushed velvet on top of some black tee shirt. At least Miss J dresses for judging!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I expected more drama from the makeover episode

I was quite disappointed
that nobody had a meltdown over their hair. Although Jael cried, it wasn’t really because she hated her hair, it was that she’d sat in the chair for over 8 hours enduring the tight braiding to put the weave in only to have them decide they weren’t going with that. I don’t think long would have looked good on her anyway. Ultimately, most of them looked pretty good, even Renee. But, poor Cassandra still looked like she had someone’s mop on her head and so did Brittany. Maybe it was just that in the judging, they didn’t have a clue how to style their own hair. And although Natasha’s portrait gallery photo looks nice, her’s looked like a mop too. I liked Dionne’s hair best.

Renee’s picture from the photo shoot looks like she’s got morning crust in the corner of her mouth. Natasha looked like a porn star in her photos, then she looked like a disco queen in judging. Where'd she get those shiny straight-leg spandex pants? And somebody please throw Jaslene a pork chop! She looks like she’s going to disappear.

So now Renee’s moved on to Brittany, calling her fake and saying that she was acting like child. Even if she thought Brittany was, who said she needed Renee to talk to her about it? It’s not like she had Brittany were BFFs. But flipping Brittany the bird when she didn’t like her response was so mature. And did you catch the look on Renee’s face when Brittany was called first in the judging? MEOW!! But Brittany’s photo was the best. And for once, it’s not the black girls causing all the drama – so far. However, none of them seem to be that type, they’ve all been very mellow. Unfortunately, that could spell disaster if you’re not getting noticed enough. So Cassandra was eliminated last night. I don't feel too bad, her pictures weren't that great.
Next week, it looks like it's Renee's turn to lose it.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Some cheese to go with that Whine?

I was reminded by Bygbaby that I've fallen behind in my duties! I had started it, but got called out of town unexpectedly. Here's the recap post.

Did I miss something? When did ANTM Cycle 8
become the Renee and Jaslene Whine Fest? There was almost no one else who had anything to say. In the first episode, I originally thought Renee wasn't too bad, but after episode 2, her true colors are showing. She seems really petty, jealous and whiney. All she could do was boo-hoo about how all the others, and especially Jaslene, got a character that was easy to portray. "I could have done weird," "It's easy to do sexy!" Didn't she think the judges would have had more respect for her if she could have taken something goofy and far from her own personality and own it? And Jaslene wasn't much better (although this was a good look for her). She's so stuck on herself, she can't see that she ain't all that. She is waaaay too skinny for my taste. And that voice! Tyra needs to suggest she get a diction coach because she needs one at least as much as Danielle did.

Now y'all know I was just waiting for Natasha to get the boot! I didn't actually think that Samantha was all that bad. Yeah, she was really green, but she had a nice look - better than Ms. Greencard. And I understand that there's somewhat of a language barrier for her - she may not understand all the nuance, but she does speak the language. How hard can it be to understand teacher's pet? She's got one look - "Oh, look how cute I am!" And is it just me, or does she look really old? This one is just painful to look at! She's got to go!!!!

So, who's going to cry about getting their hair whacked off this week?? And how many feet of weave will be be looking at??

Friday, March 02, 2007

Sizing for a Nappylocs tool

In reference to my post about lost locs, combining them and general maintenance,

Mel said...
Having seen your hair in all it's glory, I am in awe of the fact that you maintain it yourself! Amazing!I want to ask you a question about the nappylocs tool - what size do you suggest buying? I know you haven't really 'seen' my hair, but a guestimate would be greatly received:-)

Well Mel, I actually got a ruler out, found one of my thickest locs and measured it. One of the thickest ones measured about an eighth of an inch. I looped it through the Nappylocs tool and took a picture so you can see. As I said, I purchased the small sized tool and even my fattest loc fits through it comfortably. I don't think they make one smaller than that. So if your locs are about the same size as mine or smaller, the small tool should work for you. If you think you might be more comfortable with a larger size, you could get the medium.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Another one of us goes home first

You guessed it - another cycle of America's Next Top Model has begun! Yay!!! But for some reason this cycle, more girls than ever immediately got on my nerves. I think it's because of their voices. There are two that sound like Nu Yawk homegirls, one with a heavy Russian accent and one who sounds like she's high. And none of them look like models yet.

But the good news is that there are more black girls in the final 13 than I've ever seen before - 6!!! And 3 are very brown-skinned and one of these three is plus size. But, wait, you say, I only see 5. Well, one is mixed - can you tell which one she is?

The bad news is, one of the black girls was the first to be cut - Kathleen. If you look closely, she's wearing what can only be described as an afro-puff. Whether it's real or not is questionable, but at least it's an attempt at something close to natural looking hair. I wonder what Tyra would have done to her hair during the makeover. The other 4 (not counting the mixed one) are obviously sporting weave. In fact, during the episode, one showed Tyra how she sewed the edges down! Another one bragged about knowing the exact color number to ask for in the hair store - 1B something or other. I can already see the new weaves coming - flowing and blowing in the wind. Can't they find a natural style that consists of more than a short fade?
My personal choice to go would have been Natasha (the one from Russia). Not because of her voice, but because she's short and thinks she's way cuter than she actually is. And she was as annoying as hell!! But, to be real, Kathleen was borderline dense!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Lost Locs

In the comments on my last post regarding my milestone of reaching waist length hair,

Anonymous said...
brenda...absolutely beautiful...the length is simply amazing...i was reading an older post on tai's blog where he talked about how easy it is to lose locks, particularly when you wash them once they get really long because of the weight if they are thin...you often mention that you have thin hair(though none of us can tell)...have you found this to be a problem when you wash your hair?

Thinking back through the 61/2 years that I’ve had Sisterlocks, I believe I’ve inadvertently lost only one whole loc that I know of from breakage, as opposed to the bottom tips. That was probably about two years ago and here it is now. It was rather interesting getting it restarted since I had never gone through the baby loc stages with short hair (I was a relaxed transitioner) and keeping that short one in the loc pattern was trying at times – I probably had to restart it several times and fix a lot of slippage. I also inadvertently cut at least one that I know of because, unfortunately, I don’t have eyes in the back of my head (yeah, I was trying to separate a stubborn one with scissors and…snip!).

As I said before, my hair is thin, mostly in the top crown area. My vanity notwithstanding, and as a public service to those who might think they won’t look good with SL’s because of thinning, I’m posting a picture so you can get an idea of what I’m talking about. Although I’d like it to be otherwise, I’ve learned to style strategically! Additionally, I just finished my retightening about 9 days before this picture was taken and I hadn’t yet washed my hair. From a scalpiness perspective, I usually like my hair better after the second week or at least after a wash to put some of the fuzziness back in the root area. In fact, if I don’t have time for a wash, I’ll just spritz my scalp with water to get the newly retightened portion to swell a little.

Having said all that, I don’t actually have the same number of locks as I originally started out with. I’ve had to combine some, mostly for two reasons: they were too thin for my liking to begin with and because my hair has thinned in the crown area. But I should add that any thinning I’ve had is probably hereditary and was exacerbated by prior relaxers and having children and not from the SL’s. You can see an example in this picture of one that I’ve combined and, yeah, I leave them two-headed. I should also add that I haven’t combined any for about 2 years now (except for one back in December that was unintentional and I couldn’t get it back out, though I tried). So I guess I haven’t been thinning lately.

So, Anonymous, I don’t think I’ve lost any while washing or separating my hair. I can understand how that might happen, especially in the shower, which is where I wash mine. As it gets longer, it does get heavier, as a mass, and even more so when wet, although each individual one doesn’t feel very heavy on its own. I just make sure that I don’t wash my hair overly vigorously and I don’t move the wet hair around a lot. I usually just stick my fingertips in and massage the scalp and then squeeze the suds through the length.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

How low can you go

If you recall, I started the new year with a decision to cut some length from the front. After putting down my scissors, I think I cut anywhere from 8 inches on the sides to 12 inches off the top. I'm happy with that decision since my hair has looked fuller on top and really keeps a curl there much better. In fact, not that I was trying not to wash my hair, but I actually let it go over three weeks just to see how long the curl would last. When I did wash it, it still had some curl on top, although I'd been wearing it in a ponytail since the back was just wavy. Thank you SoftSpikes!

But more and more, friends ask, "how long are you going to let your hair grow?" Believe me, that was not a question I'd have ever thought I'd be asked before I locked. I can tell I'm still not ready to cut the back and I'm willing to let it go for awhile longer. It must have something to do with the fact that my hair has never been anywhere near this length before and it's just facinating! I can honestly say that while there are some annoying aspects to having hair this length (getting it caught between your back and the chair when you lean back, having to pull it out from under your purse strap, and having it fall in your face when you bend over) it's not enough yet to make me want to cut it. I think I'll reevaluate when it gets to the point where I'm actually sitting down on it! Which brings me to these pictures. My hair is finally waist length!

The picture on the left was taken in May 06, when my hair was 5yrs 9mos. On the right, which was taken on February 19, my hair is 6yrs 6mos. I didn't realize how much it grew until I put these pictures side by side. It looks like almost 4 inches in 9 months! At this rate, I'll be sitting on it in the next 3-4 years!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

My date with Marvin Gaye

As expected, it started snowing Tuesday afternoon, earlier than predicted. By the time night came, I had a feeling a snow day was in the making. Normally, any time I can take a day off is cause for celebration. But this time, I wanted it to be bad enough that I didn't have to go to work, but not so bad that I couldn't take advantage of the plans I had for Wednesday evening - Valentine's Day! Luckily, it wasn't too bad, a few inches of snow and some little ice pellets blowing all around. I could deal with it.

So, my DH and I had plans to go see "My Brother Marvin," the musical written by (or based on memoirs of) Zeola Gaye, Marvin's younger sister. It was only in town for five days and Valentine's Day was opening night. The good thing about it was the chance to listen to some good, old school music. It's been a long time since I listened to Marvin and it brought back good memories. I'm old enough to remember some of his earlier work and to really appreciate his later music because I listened to it on the radio and in clubs. There's nothing like it now. It still sounded fresh.

The play, on the other hand, was a waste of time. I don't know if it was just me, but the play left me with more questions than it answered. I'll admit, I knew only basic information about him and there was alot about his personal life that was previously unknown to me. But this was not the forum where you'd learn much or truly understand the reasons behind what you did already know. After the play, I actually googled him to find out all the information that the play left out. I mean, I knew he had at least one child, Nona Gaye, but I don't think she or the others (he had three altogether) were actually mentioned in it. I also read that she was supposed to have been in the play. I must have missed her acknowledgement when the cast took a bow.

As portrayed in the play, Zeola Gaye was supposed to have been with him during pivotal moments in his life that lead to his downward spiral into drug abuse and depression. But the sad thing about it was that it came off as her trying to make her part in his life appear larger than it may actually have been. Not to mention that she apparently was right there with him using the drugs he bought. It seemed as if her reasons for doing the play were less to honor his memory than for her own aggrandizement.
There were scenes in the play that also just seemed to come out of no where and if you didn't already know some of the back story, you'd be lost. Like his confrontation with David Ruffin over Tammi Terrell, conflict with Berry Gordy over style and image and his second wife. There was actually a scene where he meets this young woman and then you never see her or hear a reference to her for the rest of the play. Turns out, it was the woman who would become his second wife and mother of two of his three children. Glad my DH knew.

And as long as the play was, about 3 hours, they didn't include all his major hits. I was disappointed in that. You know how it is when you're all set to hear all the good songs you remember. In any event, it was nice to have an evening out. I just think he deserves better than this.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

What's Water Ice?

In my last post, I shared a piece of Philadelphia that I've come to love. I also mentioned another thing that I loved, water ice. Not being from the Philly area, or the US,

Mel said...
Ok, now I'm curious - what is water ice? I thought it was an ice skating rink you liked to go to! Please help a poor English girl out...

So Mel, this is for you!

Water Ice, from what I understand, is the Philly regional equivalent of Italian Ice. Being from NY, I knew what Italian Ice was. It usually came in little waxy paper cups accompanied by a wooden scraper-like spoon. Sometimes, you could get it from a street cart where they would scoop it out of a tub into an accordian pleated paper cup. Cherry was always a favorite. I remembered Italian Ice being rather firm and totally frozen - that's why you needed the scraper. And the syrupy flavoring was always concentrated and frozen to the bottom of the cup making it the best part!

But Water Ice is not quite like that. It's more like a combination of Italian Ice mixed with a snow cone that's been blended into a smooth, semi-frozen slush. It's not like a smoothie (unless you get it mixed with custard ice cream) and, unlike a snow cone, you can't really suck out the flavoring and get left with a cup full of plain ice chips. And you don't need a scraper to get at it. Your cup of water ice comes with either a regular plastic spoon or you can suck it up through a straw. In the picture below, the water ice is in the cup with the orange colored slush.

Rita's is one of the most popular franchises of water ice, but there are many others, including one of my favorites, Philly Flavors (and also less expensive than Rita's). Most water ice establishments have a wide range of flavors from the usual, like lemon, cherry and grape to ones that are a little more exotic, like passion fruit (my absolute favorite!), mango (my second favorite), and kiwi-strawberry. Rita's also takes flavors usually associated with ice cream and turns them into water ice, like chocolate, cappucino and cookies and cream. I'm not fond of those as, IMHO, they taste like watery ice cream.

Now, this is the funny thing. Most water ice places are closed during the winter. They usually shut their doors around early November and don't reopen until around March. Apparently, business is brisk enough during the warm months to make up for it. On any given summer night, be prepared to stand in line for at least 10-15 minutes to get your cup.

Which reminds me, March is right around the corner and Rita's has a season opening special for the day - All their establishments give away a free regular sized cup, just name your flavor. Opening day is March 21 - go early, go often!