Category Archives: Miscellaneous

The Countdown Continues

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IAN_0355by Weusi

More things on my mind …

  • People take the miracle of pregnancy for granted. Pregnancy isn’t an easy thing. Although science can describe many things about it, there are still moments in the process that happen and science can’t tell you how or why. So many things need to be in alignment for it to happen that it in my eyes it is nothing short of a miracle.

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  • Because I believe in the Nguzu Saba Principle of Kujichagulia, which is the Kwanzaa principle that says we define ourselves … I am redefining fatherhood … I am calling it DADDYDOM! Because, when you are a daddy, you are responsible for another’s well-being, like a king. The other parallel is that often others look at the position as one of power, but it is really about responsibility. I know this is a little stretch, but it’s a fun word to say … “DADDYDOM!”
  • At the last ultrasound, the technician said that Baby Girl had a head of hair. I feel comfortable doing a ponytail or afro-puffs, but gotta learn how to cornrow hair, do box braids and flat braids now! Awww hell, I’m not fooling anyone … I gotta learn the difference!
  • In the future, more fathers will be called Pops and it will be a term for older fathers that are cool because they are who they are, not because they are trying to be young and cool.
  • I have times when I lack tact. It’s not often, but it happens at times. I think part of it is because I come from a  family where we talked more about being honest and not much about being nice. Being nice was something that was expected as a norm. But “niceness” is something that is taught. How will I teach it? Hmmm … how about, “Do like your mother.”
  • I will have to make more decisions on aesthetics without Shelli’s assistance.
  • The other day, we saw the movie Selma. Without giving anything away, let me just say that everyone should go see this beautiful movie. And don’t get there late because you are trying not to see all the trailers and previews. Make sure that you see it from start to finish! The movie moved me to tears more than once for a variety of reasons. In the end, it was the reality that my generation of Black people is the first to have the FREEDOM to move around the country and to vote. We’ve had the right, but it wasn’t until LBJ passed the Civil Rights Act outlawing public racial discrimination in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that we had the national governments support to engage us to experience these FREEDOMS. Afterward, I cried in anger, sorrow, and in angst. The feeling that I haven’t done enough hurt SOOOOOO bad. My daughter still has to deal with those who are resistant to the dismantling of the “good ol’ boy” systems and have infiltrated the fields of politics, academia, media, military, and underground covert movements in their quest to maintain the ways and ideologies of the Old South. This isn’t a depressing thought. It is inspiring. Please see this movie and allow yourself to be moved to tears and to take action.

  • People take living for granted. Each breath is a gift from God. We shouldn’t just cherish life, but figure out what it is to us as individuals that get us excited about life.

I am thankful for so much and yet I keep asking God for favor and to continue blessing me. I owe God a lot. Everything.

SHiNE

The Countdown!

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shower3by Weusi

Ok … over the next few days, I’m gonna give you a peek into the mind and the life of a 44 year old that is about to be a father for the first time. Right now, these are a few of the things on my mind …

First, I want to be done with the baby’s room. Like really done. Not the, “You’ll get it when we need it” done. Or, “We’ll just put some things on the walls” kinda done. I mean the, “We don’t have to think about it anymore” done. In a few days there will be NOTHING relevant to me except the well-being, health, and happiness of my baby girl and my wife. I already don’t care too much about aesthetics, so forgive me if … no, im not asking for forgiveness … now you’ll know why I may be lacking tact next week. I’m focused. And it’s not on anyone or anything but my wife and My Baby! The issue is that my wife is so nice that, to keep her happy, I have to be nice at times when I only want to be honest. It’s hard sometimes and has been one of the most valuable things I have (re-) learned about myself while with Shelli. And I know that this skill will be valuable as a father.

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Next thought … We picked a pediatrician. That was a reality check. My baby has a doctor.  She isn’t even here yet! Reality check … BOOM!

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And … we attended some classes last week on parenting and breastfeeding. More than the information that was shared, it was encouraging to see that other people felt like they could benefit from speaking to an expert about these processes. Science, technology, and access to information has changed so drastically and rapidly over the years that a new parent will always feel like there is something on which they need to be updated. I really appreciate parents of previous generations. I was born in 1970. Things were so different then. I knew that I was a preemie, but I just found out that I was only 4 lbs 3 ounces at birth. I stayed in the hospital about 3 weeks. I imagine that felt like an eternity for my parents … and that’s why they told me I was there for 6 weeks! Note: Grandparents’ exaggeration is entirely another blog! All that to say, I feel very blessed that My Baby Girl will be the beneficiary of all this informatiom and modern know how.

Then there’s the fact that … I really miss my community in DC and NC. I wish that people weren’t so far away. I really want to celebrate this with all those people that had a part in making me the person I am today. I’ve been been helped by many. And schooled by so many lessons from so many people. I think it would be incredible to raise a child with all those aunts and uncles around! Hopefully we will have plenty of playdates in DC and DC (Durham County, NC!). Parenthood has also made me re-evaluate my personal paradigms of community and my role in it (If anyone is interested, I’ll write about that as well).

And … the advice I most often get from parents is get some sleep now, because the first few months can be rough. But, it’s 6:30 am and I’m awake. I have been sleeping off and on for about a week now. Part of me feels like my body is being conditioned for the baby’s arrival and part of me is just excited to the point where I can’t sleep. This is WAY BETTER than the excitement of any holiday or any event in my life. I was tired the night before the wedding. I slept like a baby. I have a post about my perspective of the wedding experience. Shelli will post it eventually (Hint-Hint!).

Now … can I talk with you about “nesting?” It’s a dumb term! What it really should be called is what it is … getting your house ready for a baby. And I consider y’all my peoples, so why didn’t anyone warn me that this is when Shelli was going into “organizing/nesting” from an aesthetic to practical mentality, but I was focused on practicality and was gonna be happy that things were neat and safe with little regard to aesthetics! We are lucky that we love each other and that we both have the ability to articulate why we would prefer for something to be one way or dislike something when it is another way. I imagine that those conversations may have churned up some turmoil in some other couples lives!

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And finally … I have decided to be called Pop or Pops by my daughter. It won out over Baba, which is a term that many African-centered fathers use to maintain African cultural significance. I feel that our Blackness and connection to Africa will be manifested in other ways throughout her daily interactions. Dad or Daddy seem too regular for me. Plus, they start off as sounds. She will be calling everyone Da-Da just because that will be one of the first sounds she is able to create. I will work with her to develop the oratory skills necessary to say Pops. Plus it makes it logical that her grandfathers be called Pop-Pop because they are the Pop of her mom and Pop!

Ok … that’s more than enough for now. Sorry about that. I have more on my mind than I thought!

#SHiNE

Some of Weusi’s 2014 Highlights … and a Happy New Year!

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then comes
by Weusi

I know that neither of us have been writing much. And I know that many of you will be disappointed that there are no hair tips in this post. But, as many of you may know, we are a little distracted. We have a baby on the way! But as we sit here … Shelli, asleep on her side, with a pillow tucked under her pretty little tummy, I have a computer on my lap and a mind full of words. So … what do I do? I decide to write! The past year has been full of ups and downs. I just want to share a few of my favorite moments …

release the beast on the soccer field

My big lil’ cuz, Ebony E-Boogie Thomas (she’s younger than me but is like 5′ 9″), shared this great pic with me early in 2014 and it’s my favorite #TBT pic … oh, yeah … that’s my pops looking like a light skinned Shaft unleashing a young Weusi on the football/soccer field.

giant stadium super bowl

I worked on the Super Bowl Halftime Show, which was an amazing experience. And I can’t front … Bruno Mars did his thing!

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Then this happened!

shelli 10 weeks to 24 weeks preggo

THERE IS A PERSON IN THERE …

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And science says she kinda looks like this. We’ll see in a week!

weusi hands up hood up

I know that this isn’t a positive thing in the eyes of many, but it should/could be an empowering and motivational thing for many. The hands up and hood up poses are undoubtedly a piece of history. We’ll see if the USA owns up it is as their history!?!

This also led to one of my favorite musical moments of the year … BE FREE by J. Cole. I love the emotional content he’s able to convey. “All we wanna do it take the chains off. All we wanna do is be free …”

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My grandmother turned 100! Here she is with my Aunt Neecy, myself, and her 95 year young brother F. Brown (RIP).

anthony avery weusi and the pumpkin

I won another pumpkin at the pumpkin toss thingy! Thanks for inviting me out to Anthony, Avery and Jaclyn (not pictured)!

jayz and beyonce as frida and basquiat

I can’t front. This is one of the freshest halloween costumes ever! Frida & Basquiat! (i don’t know who Blue is)

My FAVORITE commercial of the year … I’m getting some cold cuts. I laugh out loud EVERY time i see it … and I don’t even eat cold cuts!I think I really enjoy the fact that someone is out there celebrating something that most people see as a mundane, day-to-day occurrence with such exuberance!

weusi overwhelmed at the baby shower

The baby shower. I was kind of overwhelmed at the expressions of love that this baby is coming into. I find myself thankful and humbled almost daily by the well wishes and love from close friends and acquaintances.

And then there is the end of the Colbert Report. That didn’t mean much to me, but the excitement of a powerful performance of a POWERFUL song and the anticipation of new music from Kendrick Lamar has me really looking forward to 2015.

weusi and shelli ugly sweaters

I also wanted to say that I REALLY thank you all for being so supportive of Shelli this past year. We really appreciate your prayers and well wishes. This has been an INCREDIBLE year. God is good! I wish you all the best in 2015!

#SHiNE

Perks

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by Weusi

Sometimes at the end of a gig, I walk away with a perk or two. Often, I take home some snacks, a few beverages, a candle from Pier 1, or some gadget from Bed, Bath and Beyond that I end up giving to someone before I even make it home. Then something special happened.

It was the end of a long day. I wanted to get home to Shelli. Then I saw him/it. And right there … behind the batman statue … was Ricky’s NYC (if you don’t know about it click the link!).

Initially, all I thought about was taking the picture of Batman. So, what you don’t see is the young lady handing out promo stuff.

I told her my wife had a blog and asked if she had any products for a curly girl. And then boom … I walk away with a bag of goodies! Some Miss Jessie’s, some Keratin stuff, some Mixed Chicks stuff, and a bunch of stuff I had no idea what it was … Win!

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On the way home, I realized Shelli doesn’t need any of this! I would just be enabling the product junkie in her. So, last weekend, I gave the bag to  Corey, one of my homies from FC Harlem. Why am I giving her products to someone else? They doen’t even know each other?

Well, actually … Corey has heard me talk about Shelli for some time. Then, he finally looks at my Facebook page and sees a picture of us. He says, “Yo, does your wife have a natural hair blog? I think I follow her.” We laughed about it for a heartbeat, but then he started to ask me a bunch of questions about products for his hair. I told him to check out the site and that everyone’s hair is different. So, that’s why I gave the bag to him!

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 See, we threw in a few full-size products from our stash too!

And, he’s gonna give me a few product reviews from a guy’s perspective!

Now, I know you are asking, so what did I do or get for Shelli? For her, the love of my life … I did something I have never done professionally. I took a picture … just for her! While on another gig, I sent her a picture to let people know I don’t look like the person she says people say I look like. And she gets a special super exclusive picture that I only share with her … and my mom … until now!

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And I guess he’s taller than I thought and I’m shorter than I thought too!

The end.

SHiNE

 

Quick Tip: Wig Caps

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This is just a quick little tip that I’ve been meaning to share for a while, which I just posted on my FB and IG pages last night. As some of you may know, I have been using hairnets to tie down my crown at night when I’ve set my hair wet/damp and need it to dry overnight. The hairnet allows for far more airflow than a satin/silk scarf so that the area that stays wet the longest will dry more quickly, while still keeping the hair flat. I sleep on a satin pillowcase to reduce friction overnight.

Well, a couple of months ago, I picked up a couple mesh wig caps because I was sent a wig to trial. The wig didn’t fit me well, so it never saw the light of day and I ended up gifting it to a friend. But, I found a great use for the wig caps! I now use them instead of a hairnet. The wig caps are a lot easier to put on (tying the hairnet used to be a PAIN)) than the hairnet and smooth from my hair from temples to crown, to nape. I also like to wear them under satin-lined hats to keep my hair smooth!

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Hope that helps!!

wigcap5All dry!

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What “tricks” do you use when you want your hair to dry overnight?

The Little Black Book of Rules for Curly Girls

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by Dani Stolich

“The Curl Whisperer” Empowers Brooklyn Women With New Book!
“The Little Black Book of Rules for Curly Girls” Makes an Appearance at Brooklyn’s Healthy Hair and Beauty Affair II”

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Natural hair expert Tameeka McNeil-Johnson a/k/a “The Curl Whisperer” spoke to a sold-out crowd and demonstrated her original live workshop “Tameeka’s Transformations” at “The Healthy Hair and Beauty Affair II” on Sunday, June 15, 2014. The expo was held from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The DUMBO Loft, located at 155 Water Street, in Brooklyn, NY. Tameeka’s feature appearance at the expo is part of an ongoing series of live events to celebrate the release of and promote Tameeka’s new book, “The Little Black Book of Rules for Curly Girls” (Little Black Book Publishing Company). The Healthy Hair and Beauty Affair II was organized by blogger/personality ToiaB of http://www.Luv2BNatural.com and sponsored by CURLS™ and EDEN BodyWorks™.

Attendees enjoyed a live Wash’n’Go hair demonstration by Tameeka along with free one-on-one consultations from Tameeka during the entire event. Always gracious and attentive to her supporters, Tameeka even demonstrated more complimentary Wash’n’Go demonstrations at her vendor table where guests were able to purchase her new book and Curl Prep Natural Hair Solutions products. Tameeka’s new “Jaded Rewards” promotional offer was debuted at the event, offering 10% off of any services for brand new customers. In addition to her live workshop, Tameeka styled the hair of all seven female models in Sofistafunk The Original Skirt Company’s live mini-fashion show. Models’ hairstyles ranged from natural up-dos and twists to colorful Wash’n’Go styles that complimented the vintage, ladylike and bohemian style of Sofistafunk’s designs.

This live tutorial workshop is a sought-after specialty of Tameeka’s and is part of her traveling live hair workshop, “Tameeka’s Transformations.” From 2013 and 2014, “Tameeka’s Transformations” has been featured as the opening act of “Supernatural: The Play” starring actress Kim Coles, written and produced by the team of Candace O. Kelley, Gilda Rogers and Audrey Kelley. Candace O. Kelley, founder of Curl Prep Natural Hair Solutions, is also co-author of “The Little Black Book of Rules for Curly Girls.” During her signature live demonstrations, Tameeka explains and shows every step from start to finish, including product recommendations and time-saving tips to fit any woman’s lifestyle and budget.

To learn about upcoming tour dates and Tameeka McNeil-Johnson’s work, visit www.jadedtresses.com.

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Natural Hair Warrior – CANCELLED

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NATURAL HAIR WARRIOR

CANCELLED

JULY 10, 2014 UPDATE: The event scheduled for August 2014 has been cancelled. A future date will be announced. Visit NaturalHairWarrior.com for more details!!

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A couple of weekends ago, I went to my 20 year college reunion. One night, I ended up hanging out with my curlfriend Scarlett of Wonder Curl and her friend Rica of  Boston Naturals. Well, Scarlett, Wei, and I started talking about the Rugged Maniac that we did a few years ago. Scarlett then tells us how Rica is doing a similar event in Boston called the Natural Hair Warrior with a yoga class, obstacle course race, and a swag bag of natural hair goodies for the participants. Of course she told us that that we should totally do it.

Now, the thing is, I’ve been on my C game with my fitness routine the last few months, doing the least while still doing something. As to my diet, I’d been bringing my F game to that (as in, I get a big, fat F), eating anything and everything that I wanted (y’all know about my love of all things buttercream). However, after learning about the NHW, getting fed up with the 20 pounds I have put on since my wedding in December, and not working out one day for the first time in almost a year and a half,  I decided to get back on my A game. I dusted off my C25K plan and my treadmill and started interval running 3 days a week. On the days I run, I do 10-20 minutes of yoga flexibility, on the days I don’t run, I’m doing 30-45 minute Vinyasa Flow yoga practices because #365daysofyoga is still going strong despite that one missed day. And, I have to say this, up until this week, I’ve been doing yoga exclusively since March, and I can tell it has kept my body tighter, stronger, and fitter, despite the weight gain, because I had no problem running again.

So, all that being said, just popping on here quickly to let y’all know that I fell off the wagon a little, but I’m getting back on and getting ready for ….

NATURAL HAIR WARRIOR

AUGUST 23, 2014

11:30AM – 4:00PM

Boston, MA

(Get your early bird tickets at half the price until July 12th!!) 

Now that’s a natural hair meet-up with a twist!! Who’s with me?!?!

Visit NaturalHairWarrior.com for details and tickets!!