A Leap of Faith and a Baseball Cap

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of compliments on my hair, or lack thereof. I wear my hair very, very short. In fact, I’m almost bald, by both male and female standards. There is nothing wrong. I don’t have cancer or suffer from pattern female baldness. The women tell me, they wish they could wear their hair like mine, if only their head was shaped right, as mine apparently is. I didn’t know this, when I decided to cut off my hair. The shape of my head never entered my mind. I just wanted some control and a stress free look. Besides, I figured I could cover with a baseball hat for a week or two until my hair grew back, if I didn’t like it.

I just like wearing fuzz instead of long silky locks. No weaves for this girl..uh, uh. The less I have to do to prepare my head for the public, the better I like it. Right now, I’m strictly wash, wear and go. It is neat, clean and avant garde fashionable.

I think most women wear their hair to please their men and other women, not themselves. It’s kind of like that old joke....question...what would the earth be like if there were no men?....answer...you’d have a world of fat happy women with no war....Women aim to please, everyone but not themselves...

Getting to this style has been a very long process. My parents never allowed me to cut my hair until I was sixteen, and then, it was just to trim the ends. My mother was pretty vocal about the fact that my father only liked long hair. She wore hers short, by the way. By the time I was sixteen, I could literally sit on my hair. Of course it had been straightened with the ends curled under. I hated beauty shops, primarily because the beauticians never listened to you and what you wanted to do with your hair. My beautician was also a family member, so I had absolutely no say in how I wanted to wear my hair. She always asked me, then she would call and ask my mother, if mom didn’t happen to also be at the shop.

And even, though he never set foot in the shop, my father’s wishes were always respected. My father’s favorite saying about women was...and I quote...”don’t want nothin’ black but a Cadillac and nothin’ big but a bankroll...”

We were all high yellow, except dad who was a rich mocha colored, big man. Made us all glad we weren’t black at the time. We were colored, however, if a little bit racist toward our own.

And as I said he didn’t like short hair on women. One of the songs that played in my house when I was kid, was one sung by Harry Belafonte, called Baldheaded Woman...

Some of the lyrics included, “I don’t want no bald headed woman, she too mean lawd, lawd, well she too mean..”

My hair rebellion started slowly. I left it long, but took it natural when I discovered my blackness and militancy around 1969. My fro rivaled Angela Davis’. He didn’t like that either. He tipped his hole card when he ripped down my Hughie Newton poster which I had prominently displayed in my room ,but in view of whomever walked up the steps to the second floor of our house. He didn’t say much about the hair because he was no longer paying for my trips to the beauty shop. I had a job and the rule was if you paid for it, it was yours. He made the rule and he respected it. I moved out the same year. But that’s another story.

Over the years, my hair got shorter and shorter. I found that it behaved better without the perms, and straightening. My natural hair is very soft, baby soft. I would never have known that had I continued straightening and perming. I can get my hair cut in a barbershop for $12.00, while a trip to a beauty salon is guaranteed to relieve me of at least $50.00. You do the math. Besides that, most beauticians are not trained to cut hair. It is not a part of the curriculum at beauty schools. If you want to learn to cut hair, then you have to go to barber school.

So, it really wasn’t so much of a leap to get where I am today. What sealed the deal for me was the day I stepped off the bus, at Randolph and Michigan Avenues in Chicago, and into a thunderstorm. Up to that point, I had never felt rain on my scalp....directly on my scalp...with no hair to dampen the effect.

The resulting orgasm was better than my first attempt at sex. I couldn’t believe how good it felt. I know the people around me must have thought I was nuts. Here I am, standing in the middle of a rainstorm eyes closed, stupid smile on my face, hat in hand instead of on my head, getting soaked and loving every minute of it. I almost forgot that I was expected at a nearby radio station where I was guesting to talk about blacks and the AIDS crisis.

Going to male barbershops back in the day was very difficult, because most men had the same ideas and attitudes about women as my dad. And they weren’t afraid to voice their opinion as they took my money. For a while, I got so pissed off that I started cutting my own hair in order to not have to deal with the mysogny that I was facing in the barbershop. I’m ambidextrous, so cutting my own hair is no big deal. I do the left side with my left hand and the right side with my right hand, easy. I spent $30.00 for a good pair of clippers and paid for them in three uses.

But there is really no substitute for a good barber and attitudes have changed dramatically. Younger men don’t have the hangups of the older farts who may still be working alongside them. Money is money. They keep their opinions to themselves.

I have a female barber. She is very good. She is the one who gets the credit for my cut. I happily direct everyone to her, because she can lay it out for you, however you want it. She listens, makes suggestions and is usually right.

We talk about everything except my hair when I’m in her chair, and that’s the way it should be.


Passing Thoughts..........

Wonderful WINO!

Probably my favorite radio jingle in the whole world, for the fictitious radio station W.I.N.O. The station existed in the mind of George Carlin, who played all the parts, the anchor, the sports reporter and of course Al, the hippy dippy weatherman.

Heaven’s got one funny comedy club going on up there....Nipsy, Flip, Godfrey, Richard, and now George.

Rest in peace, Mr. Carlin.


Imus in the Morning...

I heard the tape of what he said about Pacman Jones. I don’t buy his explanation. But I also don’t understand why anyone is surprised by what he said. Imus is paid to stir up shit. That’s how the station makes money off of him. Let’s move on, shall we...


Pregnancy pact.

17 girls pregnant at the same time. Is it a plot? No it’s just another example of failed government policy. The Bush administration mandates that only abstinence be taught in schools or by any agency receiving federal funds. Earlier this year, the Gloucester School doctor and nurse quit because they couldn’t give birth control pills to kids who wanted them. Face it, the kids are going to have sex whether we like it or not. Give them choices, please, or shut up about the growing number of accidental babies being born. Teaching real health might also cut down on the STD problem, too.


Focus on the Family’s James Dobson attacking Barack Obama...First the Christian right tried to paint him as Muslim, now they’re saying he’s not Christian enough. Never mind Don Imus, the James Dobsons of the world are the real dangers in America.


Tit for Tat

The UK has banned Martha Stewart, so the US turns around and refuses to grant a visa to Boy George.... A Queen for a Diva....Sounds like a fair exchange.


Put Down that Burger & Fries! Here Comes the Fat Patrol!

Welcome to the twilight zone. Seems the Japanese have passed a law mandating what they call “special checkups” for citizen 40 years old and up. These special checkups are done by doctors who measure the size of the patient’s waist. If a man is bigger than 33.5 inches or a woman bigger than 34.5 inches, then they are told to lose weight.

I kid you not, according to the story in the NY Times, the national law went into effect two months ago and requires corporations and city municipalities to measure the waistlines of it’s citizens. The governmental goal is to shrink the overweight population by 10 percent over the next four years, and by 25 percent over the next seven years.

According to the report, the government will impose financial and other penalties if the goals are not met.

Japan’s Minister of Health argues the new rules will cut back on cases of diabetes and stroke, as well as lower health care costs for it’s aging population.

Critics are arguing that the Japanese people are already some of the thinnest in the world and don't even come close to the problems in America. The only heavy Japanese that anyone sees are sumo wrestlers and I would be willing to bet they are exempt as long as they are working in the sport.

The story goes on to say that the Japanese people are literally breaking their necks to comply with the new laws. In fact, the mayor of one town and six of his buddies reportedly dubbed themselves the seven anti metabo samurai and started working out rigorously until one of them dropped dead from a heart attack. The seven metabo, er samurai promptly disbanded.

Metabo is the prefered Japanese word for obese...so if you’re anti metabo, it means you’re anti fat.

Could you see our government trying something like that here? American corporations are already trying to back door employees with rules on health, like the recent attempts to control smoking behavior on the job and at home. So far, the courts have ruled that companies here, can fire you for smoking at home.

You can also be fired for anything that violates your company’s morals behavior clauses....conduct unbecoming...you know the drill...If I were you, I would find that clause and read it because I guarantee you it contains more than prohibitions about porn and misuse of email.

And with all of the Japanese companies setting up shop in America, can the fat patrol be far off, here on American shores?

Don’t laugh. They may be knocking on your door next.


RIP Lakers

Rocco had him....he didn't back down...but made the mistake of giving Tiger yet another chance to win....and he did!

Now it's time for the Boston Celtics to bury Kobe. I love Phil Jackson from my days of rooting for the Bulls...But I can't stand the arrogant Michael Jordan wannabe who leads Phil's latest team.

Question....Did Kobe's ole man name him after a city or the steak?

Go KG!

Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright.........

Even if Tiger does lose the playoff, this past weekend will stand as one of those incredible moments in sports.

Saturday, young Eldrick finished eagle, birdie, eagle to take the lead. Sunday, he gave it back on the first hole. And up until the 18th hole, he played like I could beat him, easily. He was that bad. But then, the 18th came around again. Tiger birdied the final hole to tie.

Being a golfer, I can’t believe he meant to hit his first two shots on that par five. They were lousy to say the least. I mean, I would have taken them, because I’m not a golfer with Tiger Woods ability. I just love the game, so advancing the ball by any means possible, is generally what I do on the golf course.

But not Tiger. He’s trained us to expect massive fades, towering hooks, stingers off the tee. His approach is perfect, placing the ball exactly where he wants it, in order to attack the hole. He reads the green the way I read the newest James Patterson novel. I look at the green and see grass, not a trench leading to the cup. If I had putted that last putt...the way it danced and wiggled and lipped into the cup...it would not have gone in, period. I would have finished second, end of story. But Tiger’s ball...jumps, bumps, takes two spins around the lip and then buries itself into the cup. Unbelievable!

He scrambles a lot more than it seems, because sometimes his shots don’t work. He is extremely versatile. When he does get lemons, he makes lemonade...a delicious blend of yellow fruit with a little rum mixed in.

I watch Tiger just to learn how you’re supposed to play, to give me a mental picture of what I’m supposed to do when I hit the greens.

You know you have to visualize the shot in order to pull it off. I have to watch Tiger’s perfect shots, as well as his not-so-perfect shots. attempt to practice them and then attempt to visualize them, then attempt to pull them off.

This has worked for me with my wedges. But I’m ready to get rid of my driver. I think drivers are for men. I use a fairway seven and get great distance. I need more focus on my irons. They’re not bad, just inconsistent. Guess I need to play more often. If only I could afford to play more often.

But back to Tiger. I don’t know if he’s gonna win today. He should. Rocco Mediate is ranked 158th in the world, but he is loose and has nothing to lose and that is the most dangerous kind of opponent.

Any given Sunday or playoff Monday....anything can happen. I think inwardly Rocco’s glad he’s only facing a one legged Tiger instead of the predator that we all know young Eldrick to be.


Tuesday Tumble

First is was, “is he black enough?”
Then it was, “is he too black?’
Now it’s, “well, you know, he is just as white as he is black!” That makes him biracial, according to an article on CNN.com.

I say who gives a damn. He is what defines himself to be. The one drop rule in America long ago passed into official history, but the plain fact of the matter is that it still exists as a measuring stick in America.


The New York Daily News has an article about John McCain’s first wife. The stuff in the story is not new. McCain divorced his first wife, after she became badly disfigured in a car accident. She was the one who waited for him to return from Vietnam. She says that when he came back from the war, he wanted to be 25 not 45 and ran around with a lot of other women. Yet, he divorced her. Part of the divorce settlement was that McCain take care of her medical needs for the rest of her life.

One month after he divorced his first wife, he married his second...that would be Cindy, the 100 million dollar heiress/trophy, on his arm today.

Other blondes, most notably a blonde lobbyist, reportedly sometimes has McCain’s attention these days.

Wonder if all those family values republicans are paying attention...do they want another womanizer in the white house, or is it okay because this womanizer happens to be republican..


Spike Lee and Clint Eastwood are apparently mad at each other. Lee blasted Eastwood for not putting black characters in his war movies. Eastwood claimed he was being historically accurate and that Lee should “shut his face.”

I love them both, but Spike knows that mainstream Hollywood has never been accurate when it comes to blacks. So why blast Eastwood when what he was doing is just more of S.O.S.D,D.

WHOA! Bulletin!

Recession, Depression...main stream media says today’s economy is making people sick, physically. High debt stress causes ulcers, migraines, cancer and heart disease. How about starvation and malnutrition. Okay I just added the last part. Although if you can’t pay your bills, you probably can’t buy food either.

But who is getting sick...poor people been living with stuff forever...or is it a story because rich and middle class people are feeling the crunch.

It’s long been known that poor people die quicker than rich people, maybe debt stress is the reason.


Congratulations to Ken Griffey Junior!
He hit home run number 600 and he did it without steroids. Amazing!
Class Act!

Meanwhile, Roger Clemens was apparently using Viagra to get a boost in addition to the steroids he says he didn’t take. Seems Viagra helps blood flow in other places in the body besides the third leg.


Freeze Frame Moment, Pass the wine, Please!


Someone said it......”the only game we can’t win...is the one we don’t play!’


Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I will go back to masquerading as a responsible adult.....

Watching history unfold in real time has got to be the ultimate high. Whether or not it’s good or bad, it’s a gas. I always remember what I was doing when that moment happens. The time just freezes forever in my mind.

Last night was one of those nights. Barack Obama, a black man, clinched the democratic nomination for president of the United States. I will always remember last night, because I never believed it would happen in my lifetime.

It remains to be seen if he will become president. Feels like he will, but you never know until the final votes are counted, and we’ve still got 22 weeks to go before that happens.

Last night, as Obama was embracing his destiny, John McCain was seeking to find his relevance. It is ironic that he chose as his slogan, a phrase that does little to define himself but does point a beacon at his opponent.

“A Leader we can believe in..” I saw that phrase and at first thought I had tuned into the wrong speech.

It’s going to take more than just reciting the buzz words...economy, health care, security, Iraq. There has to be some substance behind the words. I have problems with a man seeking the presidency who has already said he doesn’t understand the economy. McCain says the “hundred years in Iraq” was a misquote...is that true of the “I don’t understand the economy,” statement, too. And what about women's issues?

Belief is what America is clamoring for. We need heroes again. Larger than life people who don’t seem to be only in the game for themselves. People who have the ability to see between the lines and are versatile enough to create or attempt to create something for all of us.

Which brings me to Hillary Clinton. Let me be honest. She ticked me off last night. Instead of being magnanimous in defeat, she chose to be petty. She chose to play the spurned woman...”not tonight, honey, I’ve got a headache..” Please! What the hell are emails from other pissed off white women going to do?

Yes, the media mistreated her. Any woman who plays games with the old boys, in any male dominated arena, gets manhandled...verbally and physically. All women who have dared to challenge men on what they consider their turf gets abused. Doesn’t make any difference what level, blue collar, white collar..any industry. Been there, done that.Get over it. Hillary knew going in that it was going to happen.

Clinton lost the nomination because of a badly run campaign, her inability to control her husband, and the arrogance in assuming that she had the undivided support of the black community.

Last night showed me again that she was out for herself, and for Bill, giving him an unofficial third term in office. I want the good times back, too, but not with Bill. Not after the stuff coming out of his mouth the past year and a half.

The current administration has spent the past eight years scaring us into submission. I’m ready for an administration that presents us with a different message and a look into the future.

One last thing...I’ve been saving a bottle of Bordeaux , a 1955 Chateau La Fleur Pomerol, for my 60th birthday in a couple of years. But if Obama wins the White House, I will drink it in November on election night.

If you’re in town, drop by....I will be happy to share. So let the celebration begin.



This is the week that Bobby Kennedy was killed back in 1968. I was 17. My pending graduation from high school should have been the highlight of that year for me. But I remember going to bed elated that Kennedy was winning in the California primary, only to awake to news of his death. I was devastated, again.

I was still reeling from the death of Martin Luther King, only a couple of months before.

I was devastated, emotionally with this latest blow, but also angry, very, angry.

The morning after Martin was killed, I erupted in history class after one of my classmates stated matter of factly, that she didn’t understand what all the fuss was about...he was just a troublemaker, she said. I was the only black in the class, one of just four in the graduating class...the only female.

I exploded, lashed out at my white classmates and stormed out of the room. I was mad and didn’t care what they thought. I hated every one of them. I was not tossed out of school. I was not suspended. Instead, my teacher, a white man, let it be. He found me where I had gone to stew and just let me talk. And after I vented, he never mentioned it again. My classmates quickly forgot, too. We just steered clear of anything dealing with civil rights. Since black history wasn’t a part of the curriculum when I was in school, it wasn’t too hard to ignore.

But me, I stayed angry. Hell, I’m still angry. I guess you could say I woke up...really woke up. I am truly surprised, but as I write these words, I can still taste the bitterness through the tears in 2008. Funny, you think you put things behind you, but it seems the door on that closet never really locks, and the memories come spilling out at the least bit of incentive.

The anniversary of RFK’s death pushed the door open again. He was more than a shadow of his big brother. He was new hope for the people. I still believed in government and non corrupt politicians, at that time. Maybe Camelot was still alive with Bobby. But it wasn’t meant to be. Fresh off his victory, he was gunned down in a kitchen by Sirhan, Sirhan who is serving time for the killing, or by the security guard, if you believe conspiracy theories.

Teddy became the man, but then, he screwed up at Chappaquidick and it seemed that Camelot was finally buried for good. I went from devastated, to angry to cynical. My innocence was gone. But I guess that is what growing up really is.

1968 was the year I grew up. I graduated high school, entered college and proclaimed my civil rights radicalism, amidst the deaths of my heroes. A part of me died with them. But a better me goes on. Rest in peace, RFK, MLK, and 1968.