Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tha Great Tree Masacre of '09

If ever there was a time to quote Joni Mitchell, I'm pretty sure this is it.

They took all the trees
Put em in a tree museum
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see em

However, let me say, I kno whut I've got before it's gone and don't you try to come take it away or I might hav to get rowdy.

This morning, I was abruptly snatched up outta my sleep by a sound that can only be described as a violent, motorized grinding. No, actually it sounded like my apartment was being eaten by a big ass blender. Better yet, it sounded like tha whole World was being consumed by a tornado of chainsaws -- concrete, buildings, trees and all. Well, I was right about tha trees and sort or right about tha chainsaws. When I went to my living room window and looked out, I could see tha Inglewood City worker men cutting away at this huge tree in front of my building. Okay. Trimming. It happens. Good city. Trim your trees. At 7:30 in tha morning, tho? Is that really necessary? Whutever. I went to get ready for work.

After finishing part of my morning ritual, I wandered back over to my living room window to see whut looked like some sort of giant grotesque stone hand, protruding from tha ground, clawing at tha sky. Clearly, a lot more than "trimming" had occurred. Every bit of this poor tree's foliage was gone and all that was left was trunk and branches. Ugly. I didn't want them to leave that monstrosity in front of my window, but it didn't entirely occur to me that they were going to completely cut a perfectly good tree down. Why would anybody do that? Duh.

Well, folks, I returned home from work to see that that's exactly whut they did. But they didn't stop at tha tree directly in front of my apartment. They kept going all tha way down tha block. Three big beautiful trees had been reduced to stumps and roots.

In tha middle of summer Inglewood? Really? And exactly whut purpose did this tree masacre serve? Does my neighborhood look better now? Can tha people that reside on my block now do something that we couldn't do before? Who's gonna breathe a sigh of relief or sleep more soundly tonight because finally, all those bothersome trees are gone?

Dumb. Asses.

Meanwhile, I've called several times to request that a stop sign be placed at tha deadly ass intersection at tha end of my block. Do I hav my stop sign, yet? Take a guess.

Great verbiage such as "livid", "angry", and even "pissed tha fuck off", don't do a good job of describing how mad I am. I can't quite articulate how vigorously I would like to slap tha individual(s) who came up with tha brilliant idea to chop down these trees and leave my street naked and scarred. And how much money in labor and machinery did they spend in tha destruction and disposal of these trees? But they can't come and put up a couple of stop signs to prevent me or someone else from dying at tha corner a few yards away?

Tha war path is whut I'm on... and you kno I'm familiar with and hav no problems goin down that road. I'm about to giv tha City of Inglewood THEE BUSINESS. Watch.

Granted, city personnel is often good for very little. However, if they can answer their phones (which they are successful at, most times), and if they can check their voicemail, then I'm pretty sure I'm about to get some results, cause they're about to get tired of hearing my voice. I'm calling everyday (sometimes several times a day, depending on how I crazy I feel) until I gets my muthafuckin stop sign. And I won't stop till I get it.

If, God forbid, I were to die tomorrow, I would call tha Inglewood City Public Works Hotline from my grave. I'm like tha Terminator. I'm like Bad Boy in tha 90's. And furthermore, "This mind, this body, and this voice cannot be stifled", word to Fiona Apple.

For now, I've titled this situation that I'm about to temporarily obsess over "Operation Avenge tha Trees". It might very well turn into an adventure. Needless to say, I'll keep ya'll updated as my sanity wears away and the fuckery escalates. It will.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

When Black Women Cut All Their Hair Off...

About a week after I first cut all my hair off (for tha billionth time in my life) I had an interesting little exchange with tha mail man at my job. He's a really cool, older black man named Jimmy who has a bit of a southern accent, regularly talks about his wife, and chats with us about sports. He's a father type, who probably goes to church on Sundays and knos a little somethin about cars. No nonsense, real decent kinda guy. He came into my office as part of his daily routine, placed our mail on a table, sat our packages beside tha mail, and as he was collecting our out going parcels looked at me and asked, "Are you sick?"

Of course, I was confused.

Then he went on to say something to tha effect of, "Well, I saw all your hair was gone and didn't kno if you were sick..."

Which led me to a thought...

In tha Black Woman's quest to find beauty in herself, she's been led down a path that dictates that she must grow and keep as much hair on her head as she possibly can at all times. I kno this, partially because I am a Black woman and also, because at one point I was a hairstylist. Not only would a good number of black women fall out and die at tha mere thought of cutting off their hair, but most won't consider tha possibility that they might be able to function in life should their hair decide to wave, curl, or (GASP!) nap up. For tha average Black woman in America, there is simply no fate worse than bald or nappy headed-ness.

Which leads me to a fundamental truth about Black Women...

If she has cut all her hair off, she is probably (A) DYING OF CANCER, or (B) HAS COMPLETELY LOST HER MIND.

Well, I ain't dying of Cancer, praise White Jesus. So, tha latter must be true. I mean, why else would anyone do this...

And intentionally go from this...

To this...

Observe tha slightly crazy look that was already present in my eyes before I went off tha deep end and took some clippers to my scalp. Notice tha crazed grin in tha "after" photo. Clearly, something is wrong. And whut's worse is that apparently, tha insanity is contagious. My best sista-friend from high school went from this...

To this...

Menacing! And whut exactly is it that she's got hiding behind that door back there? Answer: You wouldn't wanna kno!

And this po sista...

Well, she been a stark raving mad lunatic, but doesn't tha lack of hair make it more apparent?

I certainly think so.

You may be asking, "So, Nikki... whut exactly is your point?" and to that, my answer is, "I really don't kno... lemmme think..."

[insert elevator music here]

Okay, yes. My point is whut reactions to Solange's recent chop confirmed. As a Black Woman, you can't do any of tha following things:

*Love yourself
*Think you're beautiful
*Refuse to hav said beauty defined by society
*Not want to be boxed in
*Feel tha wind and/or sun on your scalp
*Go swimming and put your head UNDER tha water
*Be satisfied with tha way God made you
*Not be terrified by naps
*Not think that your hair is your beauty
*Not want to put harmful chemicals in your hair
*Want to look Afrikan
*Not be concerned with whut a man might think
*Look in tha mirror and not think you're ugly
*Not compare yourself to others
*Want to look and feel like yourself
*Not sit in a salon for 6 hours every two weeks
*Not strive to be perceived as "beautiful" by Eurocentric standards
*Be satisfied
*Feel like you're enough, as you are

And you most certainly, must not, under any circumstances allow your hair to be nappy. God forbid you cut it off.

If you do, you're sick. You're crazy. Most of all, you're ugly.

Remember it. Own it. Embody it. Live it. Teach it to your daughters and preach it to your sons. It's tha only way to quell tha hideous scourge of crazy bald headed black women that hav come to invade your consciousness. They may not hav Cancer, but they are a type of insidious, parasitic disease, feasting upon all that is good, acceptable, and decent. Shifting your paradigm, fuckin' with your perception of beauty, broadening your horizons, trapping you in their webs of nappiness, blinding you with tha glare of tha sun reflecting off their shiney scalps. They'll make you crazy, too, if you're not careful... So be careful.

Mothers, don't let your daughters grow up to own clippers. All that great hair that you so lovingly permed and pressed will be gone in an instant. And then, whut will become of her? She might end up somewhere... thinkin. She might hav tha nerve to hav a little bit of pride (ugh!). PRIDE DON'T PAY THA BILLS!

[laughter. Lots of it]

Forreal, tho... all jokes aside... this is not a judgement on Black women who chose to grow their hair long or straighten it (tho, I do feel some kinda major way about that, but I won't talk about it, cause I don't want to hurt nobody's feelings... today). I just want to encourage all women to be brave, and bold, make tha best decisions that you can for yourself and love you, no matter whut people like, don't like, or may hav to say. God made you, and that is enough to make you beautiful.

And tha church says, "BOOM."

Swine Flu

Let's talk about this recent outbreak of whut I like to call "Swine Flu". These Pigs have been out of control lately. First, while walking through my neighborhood at about 11:30 pm on Saturday night with a male friend, a member of tha Inglewood PD (who was across tha street, harassing another group of people) took it upon himself to shine his flashlight in our faces and shout, "Whut's goin on over there?" Our response?... A collective, confused, "Uhhhhh..." while I threw up my hands in a "Whut tha Fuck???" gesture and stared at him with a look that undoubtedly said, "Fool, whut is your problem?"

I waited for Fuckery to commence, but none ever did, so I didn't hav to act a monkey fool... on that night.

THEN dumb ass Cambridge Police arrested Henry Louis Gates Jr, after he was seen entering his own home. Tha police report details that Professor Gates verified his residence, and therefore right to be at the address he had been seen entering and provided his Harvard University identification. However, because of Gates' "tumultuous manner" (which was displayed on his own property), he was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. The charge has since been dropped, but that doesn't make tha matter less silly. Honestly, not only was there much racial profiling involved in this incident, but I think it's important to highlight that tha main reason for tha arrest clearly stemmed from this cop's bruised ego. Yes, Professor Gates was giving him tha business, however, cop shoulda climbed back into his unmarked cruiser, and kept it pushing. But he didn't wanna take an "L" in front of the audience of neighborhood folk that had stopped to observe tha spectacle. Plain and simple.

I want to thank President Obama for keeping it extra real in his take on tha situation. He's quoted as saying, "I think it's fair to say, number 1, any of us would be pretty angry. Number 2, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home. And Number 3 — what I think we know separate and apart from this incident — is that there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately, and that's just a fact."

And he ain't even make that up.

Finally, I want to talk about how Inglewood PD stays shootin' folks. Last I heard, tha FBI was investigating an officer involved shooting that took place back in May where 31 year old Marcus Smith was killed at his own birthday party. Also, this past Tuesday marked tha 1 year anniversary of a shooting that claimed tha life of 38 year old Kevin Wicks. Neither of these men were tha first to fall victim to Inglewood PD, and unfortunately, they're not likely to be tha last.

Tha events of tha past few days are proof that regardless of status or gender, as long as you're a minority, you can easily become a casualty of an outbreak of "Swine Flu". Normal, routine activities such as walking down tha street of your own neighborhood or entering your home can illicit unwanted attention from ego-maniac, racist cops. Fortunately, in Professor Gates' and my own case, handcuffs and flashlights were tha most menacing weapons, everyone stayed bullet wound free, and Wayne Brady didn't hav to choke a bitch.

Monday, July 13, 2009


It's hot.
I ain't got nothin' to say right now.
Just look at these here pictures.

Monday, July 6, 2009

In Case You Missed It: Dwele in Memory of MJ

When he's not doing McDonald's commercials, I love Dwele. Tha following is not a McDonald's commercial (which I'm grateful for). Instead, it's Dwele doing a little instrumental tribute to Mike Jack hours after his passing. I first saw this on my younger, secretly Asian brother's blog about a week ago and loved it, loved it, LOVED IT. If you don't love it, too, your musical taste may be considered suspect.

Get into this.