We'll just pretend this never happened.....

I finally did it.  The thing I've been privately threatening to do for the past month and a half, but never really had the courage to publicly admit.  I got tired of the curiosity fueled by all the stories of how it was so great and wonderful and life-altering.  So after much internal struggle and debate, I mustered up the courage and did it.

I bought a Snuggie.

Since I have now become incredibly lame spend more time at home out of trouble watching movies, my interest in lounge comfort has increased.  And since I despise Old Man Winter and all the misery he brings, it is very important for me to be warm and comfortable as I lounge.  Literally my favorite place in my apartment is my bed under my aging down comforter, all soft and snuggly and warm next to a nice piece of African-American man candy. But since I no longer have a TV in my room, I want to feel just as comfortable out on the couch as I watch my Netflix movies as I am in my bed.

When I first heard about the Snuggie (and the more expensive Slanket) I thought it was the dumbest thing in the world.  A blanket with sleeves??  Just wear a freaking sweatshirt, I said to myself.  But even more disdainful were the obnoxious infomercials, particularly the one where the dog sits in his Snuggie and a pair of glasses while dude raises the roof in his Snuggie:


Then I started hearing about people doing bar crawls, and plane rides, and other such public activities in their Snuggies, which was a complete turn-off (the Snuggie Sutra did raise an eyebrow, though).  The Snuggie craze was getting out of hand, and if there's one thing that makes me break out in hives and run for the hills, it's mainstream hype.

But..... I'm human.  I started hearing the testimonials of friends on Twitter, people whose opinions I (somewhat) trust, and whom I don't considering to be bandwagon hopping douche bags easily swayed by mainstream hype.  Thinking, independent minded, rational people were talking about how warm and cozy they were at home with their Snuggie, remote and hot chocolate on a cold Friday night.  I sat back quietly, observing the Tweets of people whom I'd never imagine would be caught dead in a Snuggie talking about how they wanted one or how much they loved theirs.  And I admit, I was a wee bit jealous.

At first I tried to drop the hint that I might want one for Christmas, thinking that someone would trip over it or see it as an easy grab requiring little thought and would snatch it up.  I figured that if I didn't actually buy it myself I wouldn't be giving into the commercial machine.  But no dice.  Everyone was a lot more thoughtful than that this year.  So the other day I was going through my mail (a once a month endeavor) and came across a 20% off Bed, Bath & Beyond coupon, and my brain began to plot against itself.  I was having trouble justifying paying $15 for a Snuggie, but if it were only $12, well, then that's a whole different story.  I thought I was going to go hang out and watch Monday Night Football and eat free wings at my local watering hole (emphasis on the word hole) tonight, but due to unforeseen circumstances my presence really wasn't a good idea.  Instead I was stuck at home alone catching up on old episodes of Nip/Tuck (again) and I thought to myself, "Self, you would have probably spent at least $12 on beers tonight, so why don't you use that money to make yourself more warm and comfortable at home instead?"  Guess I must have bought my own argument because off I went with my 20% coupon to Bed, Bath & Beyond.

I walked through the sliding glass doors, firstly embarrassed to be in a store such as Bed, Bath & Beyond (I'm more of a Pier 1, IKEA and Target housewares kind of girl) and secondly even more embarrassed that I was giving into the marketing machine and actually going to get a Snuggie.  Right at the door I almost tripped over a display of Snuggies, both for humans AND dogs.  However, they were all blue, and there was an old lady sitting next to the display staring at me, so I figured I'd venture further into the store and hopefully find more privacy color selection.  I loitered by the reed diffusers for just a little bit too long looking for a scent to replace the obnoxious lavender that came with the diffuser my mother bought me (reminds me of lavender public bathroom air freshener; I like more earthy scents), admittedly stalling.  After finding nothing that suited my olfactory senses or my wallet, I set off in search for what I knew had to be the Main Snuggie Display.  As I approached I was disappointed to find that all the adult Snuggies were blue (I really wanted a red one), but as I walked around the display I saw them: two lone boxes of Wild Side leopard print Snuggies.

Let me stop and clarify: I hate animal print, especially leopard.  It, along with gold lame, reminds me of my ex-mother-in-law's horrific and tacky sense of style (notice that it's a heteronym for LAME). Yet I stood there for several minutes debating between the plain blue Snuggie and the Wild Side Snuggie.  Ultimately I decided that since I was getting something so obnoxious and ridiculous as a Snuggie, I might as well go all out and be as obnoxious as possible and get the leopard print, also ensuring that I would not have a stroke of insanity and actually think it was ok to take the damn thing out of the house.  It would be my own dirty little secret. *rubs hands like Mr. Burns*

I get my bounty home, take a shower (so I can fully relax), heat up my leftover Khoresh Fesenjan, cue up season 3, episode 8 of Nip/Tuck, poured myself a glass of sparking grape juice, and then opened the package.  It was just as obnoxious as I dreamed it would be.  I unfolded it, slipped it on my arms, and......

I was pissed.

This is it??  It felt like someone's failed attempt to make a deluxe hospital gown.  Sure the front was covered, but what about my ass??  My ass was cold!  I tried wrapping it around my backside, but the oversized shoulders kept slipping off, and to wrap it all the way around made it feel like a cocoon.  I would have had to put another blanket under the Snuggie so my tush would not freeze on my leather couch.  And I'm not a tall woman, maybe slightly above average height, but I had the damnedest time keeping my feet covered as I sat in my chair.  Then there was the "super-soft plush" claim..... it felt like a cheap blanket that I could pick up at Big Lots for $12.99.  Maybe it was just the Wild Side Snuggie that wasn't all it claimed to be (because I was assured that I must be doing something wrong and that others' Snuggies were not like that), but for whatever reason, I wasn't impressed.  After about 5 minutes of attempting to love it as much as everyone else does, I gave up on it.  Instead I went and got my almost, but not quite, just as obnoxious black Baby Phat 3/4 length robe that my mother got me for Christmas (it's trimmed in leopard) that actually IS super-soft and warm and keeps my buns toasty.  I've been assured that the Slanket is superior to the Snuggie, but my robe, coupled with either some lounge pants and socks or a blanket burritoed around my legs, works just fine for me, thank you very much.

As for the Snuggie.... it is now shoved back in the box getting ready to go back to the store tomorrow, where I will get my money back and go buy myself some beers.

Can't say I didn't try.

That New Ish: Formspring.me

So now this seems to be the new hot thing in the blogosphere and the world of social networking.  As if randomly sharing my mental outbursts on Twitter isn't enough.... now you can ask about all the spaces in between that I don't spontaneously reveal..... anonymously if you're so inclined.

So go ahead.......ask me anything.  You know you want to: http://formspring.me/DaughterOfPriam

One Month Down

Wanted to update you all on the progress of my loc journey.  About a month ago (November 7th) I started my second set of locs after having a personal crisis need for change in my life.  Well, it's been a month so far, and here's where things stand:

Although my loctician had advised me not to wash my locs for 2 months (?!?!!) I couldn't take it anymore and went against her orders and washed it a few days before this picture was taken.  Cleaning my scalp with astringent just wasn't cutting it, and if anything was making my scalp go berserk (I have dermatitis issues that get worse in the winter).  I also work out at marital arts class 2 to 3 times a week.  I needed water and soap. 

So here's what I did: I rubber banded the ends of my hair in about 5 sections in attempts to minimize untwisting.  I didn't use the shower head to wet my hair; rather, I used a water bottle and poured the water gently over my head.  This was to cause the least amount of disturbance to the coils.  I used T-Gel shampoo (remember, no "creamy" shampoos cuz they contain conditioner.... a no-no for new locs) which I applied using my fingertips and gently rubbed my scalp. Again I rinsed using the water bottle.  I wrapped a towel around my head for several minutes and squeezed, not rubbed, to dry off the excess water.  The goal in this whole process is to hold the coils intact as much as possible.

I retwisted my hair using double prong clips, diluted setting lotion and a very small amount of Organic Root Stimulator Loc 'n Twist Gel.  I didn't really use a palm rolling technique since the twists are still mostly hollow coils, but instead I very gently twisted them with my fingertips to smooth down the loose hairs, useing just enough ORS gel to barely coat my fingertip. I finished off with some oil and let it dry. Everything turned out beautifully, although it was a little flat at first, but a few days and an evening of sweating in tae kwon do class took care of that. 

I've since switched from using astringent in between washing to using witch hazel, which also has astringent properties but contains a lot less alcohol to dry and irritate your scalp.  I do this about once a week and very gently retwist (over twisting can cause breakage). I just can't go weeks without doing anything to them, one because of my scalp issues, and two because I believe that just because you have locs it does not mean you cannot groom your hair. 

So far I am absolutely loving my hair and am not regretting starting over for one minute.  I think the curly-qs at the ends are rather adorable, and I'm starting to see the beginning of budding about 1/2 inch from the roots which I'm very excited about because it means I can shampoo more often.  I'm still taking things slowly because, like many things in life, when you get to eager and rush you make mistakes.  But so far, so good.

Stay tuned for more updates, my pretties!

A Heart of Paper

Last night I spent a lame Saturday night at home alone on the couch watched the movie Paper Heart, which is a documentary about love written and produced by actress and comedian Charlyne Yi (Jodi from Knocked Up).

(sorry, that's one of my favorite scenes.... I just had to include it)

Basically, Charlyne doesn't believe in love, doesn't know what love feels like, and doesn't ever believe she will be, or is capable of being, in love.  So she sets out to interview people from all across the country to find out what is this thing called love, where to find it, and how you know that you're in it.  The movie takes an interesting turn, however, when she meets Michael Cera (Paulie Bleeker from Juno) and the movie shows the real-life evolution of the relationship between Charlyne and Michael.  Throughout the entire movie, Charlyne denies that she is in love with Michael, and insists (and believes) that they're just friends.  There's one part (and this is in the trailer, so no spoiler) where she's interviewing a little girl who claimed to be in love with Chris Brown and the girl tells Charlyne that she's in obviously love with Michael, which Charlyne vehemently denies and replies "I'm not in love, YOU'RE in love!"....... and then the girl says "At least I admitted it!!" (Out of the mouths of babes.....)

I would have to say that this is the best movie about love that I have ever seen. Period. (no @DatNUPE)  Forget The Notebook, forget Love Jones, forget Titanic (and Wall-E?? I saw this on a "Most Romantic Movies" list).  These movies are the reason why people like Charlyne (and most of my friends) don't believe in love or that they are in love.  These (fake) stories are presented to us as the truth of what love is, what it feels like, what it looks like, and how it happens.  It's all passion and fireworks and butterflies and monologues.  Paper Heart, through it's interviews with various couples and in seeing the development of Charlyne and Michael's relationship itself, reveals that's not the way it usually goes down. 

I really identified with Charlyne and Michael in this movie and saw a lot of parallels to their relationship and my own.  I'm not going to spoil it for you, but basically when they first met it definitely wasn't love at first sight, definitely didn't involve the traditional ideas of romance. But while their and many other's stories of "how we met" was lackluster by Hollywood standards, in hindsight there is something endearing in even the most bizarre, obscure, and inappropriate (a-hem) meetings and first dates.  And relationships don't always follow the pattern of Boy meets Girl + Boy goes on dates with Girl + Boy and Girl realize the other is "the one" + Boy proposes to Girl + Boy marries Girl = love.  There are many crazy twists and turns, start and stops, detours, loss of direction and surprise destinations. But with our Hollywood images of love we often don't recognize the other ways in which love arises, and thus are lead to believe we are not in love.  Love is not only blind, but also deaf, dumb and directionally challenged.

This is my "how we met" story (sorry if you've heard it or read it before on AID): I was heading out to a Memorial Day barbecue and was pissed cuz the guy who I had been kinda dating (mostly talking to actually, cuz gas was $4.35 at the time) who was supposed to come with me canceled on me in favor of going to another (female) friend's event.  I had to stop to put the tags on my car since it had almost gotten towed by my bitchassed apartment complex for being 2 weeks expired.  As I was squatted down in my long hippie skirt and tank top, he walked by with his roommate and son.  They stopped and introduced themselves, I introduced myself, and we went on our separate ways.  I honestly thought nothing of it.   A few days later I was at the pool with Mini-Me and I saw him again walking up to the leasing office, and he stopped to talk (asking me why I was at the pool at noon on a Tuesday) and handed me his card (which, BTW, is the classiest way to hand out your number) and told me that they sometimes play cards and drink with some other people that lived in his building.  I used the card as a bookmark.  Maybe that day or the next I came across the card while reading and for some reason sent him a text telling him that I don't play cards, but I do drink.  This was completely, totally and utterly out of my character.  Guys introduce themselves to me all the time and I NEVER reach out to them.  I was also trying to get out of one dysfunctional and unhealthy "relationship" and get into another going-nowhere relationship, plus my divorce had just been finalized, so the last thing I was looking for was a new boo-thang.  After that I invited him over to chill that Saturday.  Something about him just put me at ease and it was so easy to talk to him, and I don't typically do well with new people.  Longer story a little bit shorter, we drank, went to my Saturday spot, I introduced him to Djarum Blacks, went back to his place, threw up all over his toilet, and we had sex (thus our inside joke about Vanilla Mint Listerine).  Romantic, huh?  And we've been kickin' ever since for the past year and a half. 

Was this love at first sight?? Happily ever after??  I could leave the story there and lead you to believe that.  Assuming that I'd put myself into the automatic jump-off category, I kind of X'd him off the potential boyfriend list.  He was also younger than me, really into the fraternity thing (which I'm not) and gave me a copy of a Lil Wayne CD, which caused me to (mistakenly) put him into the category of "typical" (but once he gave me a Little Brother CD, and I saw the can of yeast flakes on top of his fridge, I started to think maybe there was a little more to him).  We hung out for months with no label, telling people that it was nothing, that we were just friends. I remember being out once a few months after we met and one of his friends asked about me, and he told him that I wasn't his girl and he could go ahead and holla (which hurt my feelings a bit, honestly).  My friends kept asking me what the deal was with us, and I kept telling them I didn't know, probably because it wasn't smacking me in the forehead with the cliche stars and butterflies.  I knew I liked him, I knew I liked spending time with him, I knew I liked having sex with him, but there was none of the typical Hollywood romance.  

The same thing happened with Charlyne in Paper Heart.  Their "romance" consisted of hanging out together, playing music, eating at crappy diners and chatting on IM.  Likewise, my beau and I spent a lot of time chillin' on the couch watching free cable, eating home cooked meals and drinking cheap booze (Aldi Winking Owl Chardonnay and J. Roget champagne were staples).  It took us a year to go on our first "real" date.  But despite all that, I had fun.... he made me laugh, we had adventures (like our 3 hour excursion from the south to the west side looking for a movie and something to eat, only to end up right back at home doing the same thing I'd originally suggested: Chinese and  DVD), and it didn't matter that it didn't look like the Hollywood version of romance.

Hindsight is 20/20 though, and I'm still a product of my social environment, so of course like an idiot I missed it for a loooong time.  And I think this is not unusual.  I talk with my friends about guys they are non-dating, and it's obvious that they like-like each other, but there is this resistance to the thought that maybe this is love, or at least the beginnings of it.  Or, like Charlyne, they don't think they have ever been in love and aren't sure what love feels like.  All they know is what the movies and songs tell them is supposed to be love.  But how can you know you've never seen something if you don't know what it looks like?

I hate to tell you this, loved ones.... there is no definitive sign or feeling to look for to determine if you love someone aside from the basic requirements that you enjoy spending time with the person, you care about the well being of this person, and if the person were gone you'd be really bummed.  But, you say, that's how I feel about all of my good friends!  True.  And that's why love is so hard to spot, because it does, and should, look a lot like friendship.  There's definitely something more to it, though...... like I have good friends that I love to death, but I can go weeks or months without seeing them.  I can't say the same thing about my beau..... through all our ups, downs, drama and break-ups, from day one I don't think I've never gone a week without seeing him.  Because it hurts my soul not to see him.  And I'm not even the type of chick that needs (or wants) someone up under her all the time.  It's like the floater that you pay an extra $2 for in your drink..... there's that extra something that takes it to the next level.

Anyway..... see Paper Heart.  Seeing and hearing the stories and viewpoints of the people in the movie gives a great perspective on love--real life love--much better than any blogger, song or romantic movie can.  Then look around and see if maybe you've been missing something and that all this time love has been right in front of you.

"It's a dangerous necessity..... a world famous mystery...... love." ~ Mos Def

DOP[e] Mind Music

I've started a new thing on Twitter that I called Daughter of Priam Mind Music, or, as it's hash tag labeled, #DOPMindMusic. I got the idea from Got SOLE Boutique, who pretty much only Tweets the music currently playing in the shop (it's some good ish, too). And, like Got SOLE, most of the time people post songs they are currently listening to.

My list is a little different.

First of all, I LOVE music. I couldn't imagine a world without it, or how people drive without it, or how people are not interested in it period. I can't say I'm a connoisseur who knows every song title, artist, album, producer and sample origin, but I can just say I love all types of music.  I don't believe in only sticking with one genre, or completely excluding a genre.  Good music is just good music.

Secondly, I don't know what everyone else has going on in the background of their mind throughout the course of the day, but in my head there's always music. When I'm sitting around thinking about nothing in particular, or working on something mundane, or really just all the damn time, I have a melody or a hook or a line playing in my head. I hate the question "What are you thinking about right now?" because honestly it's rarely anything profound, and most likely the honest answer is going to be something like "The hook of Bonita Applebum by ATCQ" or "'What kind of fuckery is this? You made me miss the Slick Rick gig. And thought I didn't love you when I did.....' from Amy Winehouse's Me and Mr. Jones." Everyone gets songs stuck in their heads, but I have a whole iPod playlist stuck in my head about 85% of the time.

So the other day I had Guns 'n Roses "Welcome to the Jungle" and Dude 'N Nem "Watch My Feet" playing in my head almost simultaneously and was thinking "Where in the hell did these come from??" So I decided to start posting in real time what songs were going on in my head, and created the #DOPMindMusic hash tag to keep track. So far there have been songs such as:

Missy Elliott | Pussycat
Jodeci | Cry For You
Dvorak | Slavonic Dances
Kimya Dawson | Loose Lips
J. Dilla | One For Ghost & Don't Cry
Bilal | Love Poems
DJ Quick | Bomb Bud
Mavado | So Special ("I'm so special, so special, so special...")
Outkast | Stanklove
Dido | Thank You

The music spans all genres and decades.  Sometimes a song in my head is triggered by something I see or hear, but most of the time it's completely and utterly out of the blue (although, perhaps my subconscious picked up on something). If I consciously try and put a random song in my head, it doesn't work.  But I've just been trying to catch myself and keep track of the various songs that run through my head throughout the day.

Not sure what I'm going to do with it this yet, or if I'll do anything at all, but like all my blogging/tweeting/journaling, it's interesting to see if there's a pattern over time. Or maybe I'll make actual playlists. And actually I would LOVE if someone (i.e. a DJ) would take the list and make me a schweet mix. *hint hint*

Perhaps this means I'm crazy.... I dunno. But this is just a little insight into one of the ways in which my brain works. Hope you enjoy my Mind Music.

Santa, baby... been an awful good girl

Comes now, the 4th Semi-Annual Wish List of Things I'd Really Like to Receive as Gifts But Won't, or, more simply stated, my Christmas Wish List (I also do one for my birthday with the same concept).  My lists always range from the perfectly doable to the next to impossible, so feel free to select one or more gifts within your means, money or magic-wise.  So..... wanna hear it?  Here it go:

1.  Some 2 gauge plugs and/or tunnels for my ears.  I recently went down from zero to 2, and I gave all my 2s away except for 1 pair (cuz they were girlie).  Something like these:

2. A silver Tiffany necklace. I have a lock pendant that my ex husband bought as somewhat of a joke, as if to say he had me on lockdown...... um, yea. So what I want now is a key. I control the locks, I control the access, I control me:

3. A cruise. Somewhere in the Caribbean. Or Mexico. I'm not picky.

4. A trip to Las Vegas to stay in the Luxor Hotel. Mmmm, Egyptian Musk and money.

5. A Snuggie.  Ok, I really don't want a Snuggie.  But yet, I do.  I'm just too ashamed to admit it.  *hides face*

Just look at all the possibilities!

6. A ball python. Yes, I know I neglected my first one....I know.  I was going thru some thangs.  But I promise to do better this time.

7.  A better paying job.  Nuff said.

8.  A new iPod.  I've finally accepted that mine is old and janky.  I just want another Nano.  No fancy iPod Touch.  Or maybe an iPod Classic. Surprise me.

9.  A broadsword.  No, not a real one, just an aluminum one for class.  Like this one:

10. Some earrings from For Love 21. Or just a plethora of inexpensive, funky earrings from anywhere. Mine seem to have all simultaneously disintegrated.

11. A bottle of Versace Bright Crystal. (I'm almost out)

12. A Sephora gift card of any denomination.

13. A corset, perhaps something similar to this:

 14. And of course, to go along with the corset (or not, cuz I already have garters), some back seam stockings (preferably Cuban heeled):

15. A silver Twitter username necklace from Survival of the Hippest (@DaughterOfPriam in case you didn't know).  Yes, I know it's trendy, and I'd probably only wear it a few months, but it's cute and it's actually related to my real name.

16. Anything, so long as it's thoughtful and from the heart. I'm not a materialistic person... not even close. But I appreciate gifts that people had to think about-- a red velvet cupcake, a box of Chick-fil-A sauce, a set of Anne Taintor pictures, handmade jewelry-- all of those things mean a lot to me because the person had to listen, pay attention, and care. Money can't buy that.

Happy Holidays (I'm not going to list them all out), loved ones.  Hope you were good this year.

Got my Tweets in the Clouds

Words..... oh how I love them.   The written word more so than the spoken.  Word choice says so much about a person, and very writer has a certain "feel" to their writing that you sense on a subconscious level when you read their work.  But what if you could actually quantify that feeling?  Well, I did.

Below is my Tweet Cloud containing my most frequently tweeted words (in no particular order), and below that is a list of the most often used words ordered by most to least used:

words (ordered by most used)

  • time
  • love
  • hair
  • feel
  • locs
  • movie
  • baby
  • makes
  • maybe
  • look
  • people
  • blog
  • damn
  • watching
  • kids
  • life
  • nite
  • wanna
  • actually
  • hate
  • post
  • thru
  • soul
  • black
  • gonna
  • getting
  • real
  • home
  • trying
  • feeling
Just by reading down the list you can get a feel of my personality and what I focus on most often when I do my (seemingly) random Tweeting.  I found it very interesting that my top 3 words are time, love and hair...... 

Still not getting the picture even though I just gave you a picture?  Well, Analyze Words does exactly what it says.... it analyzes your tweets and actually "reveals" your personality traits based on how you use words. *brief logogasm*  Ok, I'm back.  Anyway, it breaks it down by emotional style, social style and thinking style (in the Twittosphere at least).

Analysis of tweets from daughterofpriam
(2243 most recent words - 1st December, 2009)

Emotional Style

 Upbeat (Low)

 Worried (High)

 Angry (Average)

 Depressed (High)

Social Style

 Plugged In (High)

 Personable (Average)

 Arrogant/Distant (Low)

 Spacy/Valley girl (Average)

Thinking Style

 Analytic (Average)

 Sensory (Average)

 In-the-moment (High)

 ( you can see a full explanation of the categories, here: DaugtherOfPriam's Word Analysis)

So apparently I'm worried, depressed, "plugged in" (which means I engage with people on Twitter often.... not just some creepy lurking cyber stalker), and "in the moment" (talking about what's going on in the present moment, today).  *kanye shrug*  Eh, I guess.... the words don't lie. Unless they do. Oh never mind........ I really don't think I'm that bad off, I just have a very dark sense of humor, kind of Daria-like.  I guess you can't measure everything, some things are just best left to feeling.