Monday, April 29, 2013

Please quote median wealth not average

In the not to distant future, at the rate things are going, there will be two classes in the United States, the very wealthy and the very poor. This country will become just like the rest of the Americas, with the exception of Canada.

This is not because of immigration, legal or illegal, it is because of the continuance of redistribution of the wealth in the hands of the very few; including Congress and the White House.

Wages have been dropping for years adjusted for inflation, throw in several recessions along the way, and after each one more wealth went to the hands of the few, wages decreased, as well as the wealth of middle class and working class Americans. This has also created a society that is credit dependent, because inflation and decreased wages are not enough fro a majority of Americans to make ends meet.

Also, those in their teens and 20s may be the first generation, of the industrial era, who will not improve upon the previous generation's accomplishments. This is development that should not be ignored. This is a sign that not only their is a racial disparity, but an age disparity, as well.

Thus, unless those in the so called 99% finally demand changes at the ballot box, and through other means, the United States will be a place where the "American Dream" is only available to a select few.

Everything is working according to plan

First, cut taxes for the rich. Second, use the increased wealth to bribe legislators. Third, cut funding for education to further dumb down the people. Fourth, broadcast right wing propaganda around the clock on a fake news channel. Fifth, bust unions and ship jobs overseas to weaken and disenfranchise the people. Sixth, increase the prison population, preferably with people of color. Seventh, deregulate the banks in order to fleece the public treasure. Finally, use the deficits created with tax cuts for the rich and two wars of choice to cut important government programs when they are needed the most.

Ah, yes, it took 30 years, but what started with Reagan has finally paid off big for the top 1%. Everyone else? Tough luck.

More .....

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Give me a break!

I was lucky to come of age in the sixties when makeup and all that foolishness was out of fashion. I still go natural - no fussy haircuts or hairstyles, no makeup, and no unnecessary shaving, and I look perfectly presentable in all settings. Well, maybe I'd look foolish on a runway, but I wouldn't try to walk one anyway. I don't want to put all barbers, beauticians, and designers out of business, but really, don't we all have more important things to do and worry about ?
Most of the women I know who have curly hair, whether they are black or white, straighten their hair and are obsessed with it. A humid day causes anxiety. Getting sweaty causes anxiety. It's amazing the energy and money that we put into the longing for straight hair. And I'm talking about educated women who are smart and sensible about most things.
A few years ago I decided to stop straightening my hair. I have come to love my "Jewfro." I am 53 years old and women frequently tell me that my hair is gorgeous. I am enjoying having a unique look that is authentic and very much "me." I now think it's beautiful.
However, for black women I think the hair issue holds even more meaning than for white women. We all want to be accepted and "normal," and long, straight hair conveys some sort of approval, some sense of being desirable. Of course it doesn't make sense, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have power.
In the black community, it's acceptable and even admired for a woman to be large. Having "natural" hair is not. So it's not surprising that many women choose hair over weight. Health is an abstract notion. If my hair looks messy and bad (in my view) right now, there's nothing abstract about it. I'm not saying this is good, but it's the reality.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Fashion and luxury is treated differently

When we were building our house in Denver we decided to turn the guest room into a library. We prefer guests who stay in hotels, which is where we stay when we visit. I was flabbergasted to discover that a friend of ours who had recently moved to Denver was very upset-he expected to be able to stay in our house even though he had a perfectly good condo a few blocks away from us. Entitled types never cease to amaze!
Length of guest's stay generally equals distance traveled. Retreat outside of the city equals stay of 2-3 days. Traveling 500+ miles equals stay of no more than 5 days. 3000+ miles or transcontinental travel equals maximum stay of 7 days.
HOSTS should inform guests of the schedule, individual and joint social commitments, required attire and basic house rules-breakfast time etc. GUESTS should inquire about schedule, transport and points of interest prior to arrival.
Guests can arrive with bottle of wine or bubbly, but house gifts should generally be offered at/after the end of stay. Guests should follow all house rules.
Guest should tidy bedroom, bed and bath, open window-coverings, store clothing and clear floor prior to exiting bedroom in the morning. Leave bedroom doors open/shut according to house custom. Guests should attempt to be showered, dressed and at the breakfast table/kitchen according to house custom.
Guests should always offer assistance with dishes, and or food prep, though it may be declined.Guests should offer to treat host to lunch and or dinner out every two days.
Guests who have working hosts should insure that appropriate refreshments and libations greet hosts upon their return from work.
Guests should not be underfoot and should be prepared to make excursions that don't require hosts attention.Thank you notes and gifts should be sent within two weeks of visit.
P.S. I started cropping my hair (a butch, as it was called in my youth) about 20 years ago when I caught a glimpse of the thinning hair on the back of my head, so looking a bit like a budding Friar Tuck, I headed to the barber shop to lose my hairstyle, and discovered the simple joy of not worrying about hair - no hat head, no muss, savings on hair care products, et al.
My brother-in-law who started to bald in his 20s, bought a toupee for whatever reasons, and now nearly 30 years later is still wearing his hair hat. It's a good one, but like all hair pieces, hardly undetectable. He's an otherwise perfectly nice guy who is in energy savings business and worked for NGOs, but this one piece of extraordinary vanity continues to baffle his sisters and brothers-in-law...

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hairstyles and beards have a wonderful variety in my work place!

It's Cold with no hair!
I have a normal head of hair but began electively shaving my head in the early 90s. I was working closely with punk musicians and their aesthetic directly rubbed off on me. My only regret is I didn't start sooner. It was and still is completely liberating. I could never find a stylist to cut my hair the same way twice. No more worries there. No more bad hair days. An incredible time and money saver. Cooler in the summer heat but hat required for sun and cold weather climes. In short, the perfect antidote to a world too much with me. I joke that I can wash my face and hair all in one go, but I really like the comfort and the look.
I have found over the years that bald is, in many ways, a blessing. It not only weeds out members of the opposite sex who are shallow enough to consider hair more important than those other minor issues such as character, intelligence, compassion, etc., but once I came to the decision to buzz my head (a step short of shaving, done with an electric clipper on the lowest setting) I came to realize I was freed from all of the high maintenance hair care and styling that "haired" people are unwitting slaves to. While the "haired" have to go through what amounts to rituals to make themselves presentable, all I need do to is buzz my head every week or two, then just wash and run a towel over my head to dry it and I'm good to go.  Hair, no hair, it means nothing. What is more meaningful is what kind of person we are.
Beauty is only skin deep. So today you have a head of hair and attracts a woman and marriage ensues and as you age, your hair falls off and what happens? Divorce?
Using "looks" or skin-deep "self-image" as buttress for confidence is like using sand and water to build a mansion. Sooner or later, the whole thing will collapse over time.
Why are we still so obsessed with looks in the 21st Century? Is that not childish? Don't we have more interesting, challenging and exciting things to pursue? Buzzing my head also makes me look years younger. Hardly anyone can guess my real age...
Keep your hair. I'll keep my hair clippers.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Natural Hairstyles

Straighter and longer hair is seen as the beauty standard of hair across all color lines. I think the natural hair movement, if not careful, will continue to define what the beauty standard is for natural hair. We can't fully embrace our natural hair textures until we're all willing to be open minded about eachother's hair and how we choose to wear it.
Natural Hair ideally would have more of a focus on overall health and wellness, vs getting the biggest, baddest curl definition. The emphasis on hair has been a hot and sensitive topic in the African American community based on comparisons to other groups and media influence. If only women understood how fascinated other groups were by our hair, culture, skin etc...then perhaps there would be more self-appreciation. We all have curls and wear them differently from locs to tight to loose. It is all an expression of personality. Internal health is a reflected outwardly through skin and hair.. so if women focus on that, then their hair will be beautiful no matter the choice of expression.
I think no matter what your texture is everybody longs for what is neat, clean, moisturized whatever. I think hair is hair, and not all us have the same pattern as the more popular hair bloggers who have these big curl patterns and can wash and go and walk out the door without twisting, or anything. Again I think a lot of woman take this to a another level, and concern themselves with what others are doing with their hair too much. I think our hair is just an expression on some days I might actually want big fluffy hair, or small tiny curls, it's all up to me, and it's my hair.....

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I know this is hard to believe but its all true

If you don't have the self-respect to stand up to rude guests and even ask them to leave if you have to, then you deserve to put up with their boorish behavior.
I myself recently had a bad experience with unwittingly setting up a "gracious host friend" with a "terrible guest friend." An old friend of mine just made her first trip ever to NYC. When we planned the visit months ago, I expected to still be in NY; however, I ended up having to move for my job just one week before my friend was to come to NY. My roommate of the past year graciously offered to let my friend (and my friend's cousin) use our apartment anyway. This, even though no one would be home at the time, as my roommate would be on vacation that week.
Although I wasn't there to see the damage, apparently my dear old "friend" and her cousin thought they were staying in some sort of motel, as my roommate reported that they left dirty dishes in the sink AND in her bedroom, empty beer cans and soda bottles all over the living room and bedroom, the bed unmade and unstripped, etc. They also managed to break a shelf that hung over my roommate's bed and held various decorative items. To top it off, my friend left a note apologizing for leaving the place "a little messy" as they "ran out of time" and had to get to the airport, and leaving her a pack of GUM (!!!!) as a "thank you present." I have not heard a word from the "friend" since and don't even know if I want to. This is someone I have known for years and thought I could trust. I do NOT understand how people think this sort of behavior is in any way acceptable. What happened to manners? We both feel used and disappointed.
Hairstyles Star!

Monday, June 18, 2012

A beautiful and slim figure

Weight loss, Fashion and Short Hairstyles..
Modern rhythm of life, bad ecology, wrong eating and stresses cause overweight. Calories are essential for stoking the body's furnace; they become unwanted only when an excess of them is not burned up and instead turns to fat. North Americans are in general overweight, and those excess calories in the form of stored fat total about 8,350,000,000 pounds for all the adults in the United States alone.

 Recent calculations show that if these adults were to eliminate the excessive calories they have stored as fat, the slimming-down process would produce, in terms of fossil-fuel energy, 160 trillion - enough to run about 250000 automobiles for 65000 miles a year. And if all of these same adults were to maintain their ideal weights, they would consume 27 trillion fewer - each year, more than enough to supply electricity for a year to the residents of Boston, Chicago, Washington, and San Francisco combined. For many North Americans, a dinner consisting of shrimp cocktail, T-bone steak, baked potato with sour cream, tossed salad with French dressing, hot rolls and butter, and apple pie & la mode, accompanied by wine and coffee, represents a special treat. To the digestive system, however, it is intrinsically just a collection of nutrients, forty-four kinds altogether, that go into the process of growth and the replacement of dead cells. Virtually all of the nutritional elements in this meal can be found on the shelves of a supermarket and a pharmacy - such as six and a half ounces of liquid protein, half an ounce of salt, about six ounces of sugar, somewhat less than three ounces of lard, thirty ounces of mineral water, and so on. These could be purchased at a considerably lower cost than would go into purchasing the foods on the menu.
Few humans in modern societies go without food long enough to know what real hunger is like; and research indicates that humans cannot gauge accurately the difference between slight and moderate hunger, so as then to make the appropriate adjustments in the amount of food they consume. Experimental animals have been shown to respond promptly and accurately to the need for calories, but humans possess no innate mechanism for distinguishing between meals with high calories and those with low. Instead, they rely on cultural knowledge and on trial and error. In one recent experiment, humans who were given meals in which the caloric content was disguised in gruel could not distinguish between one providing 3500 calories and another providing only 200.
People eat a lot or a little for reasons that obviously do not have much to do with their awareness of the food's energy value, but those reasons are subject to at least four internal controls that regulate the body's intake of calories and thus keep the weight of most adults nearly constant.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

It's not just weight

Having guests is always a delight for us. The bottom line is that we live as if in a commune when we have guests. We requests no gifts but ask guests to bring favorite recipes to cook while at our house. We do not pick up guests at the airport and we do not lend our cars. No one asked us ever anyway. I always cook on the first evening of their arrival and the fridge is stocked with cold cuts, cheese and anything they may want for breakfast and lunch. I also asked for their preferred hairstyles before they arrive. As soon as convenient I show them where everything is and how to prepare their own coffee and what ever they need for their breakfast and lunches. Also as soon as convenient we discuss their plans, what they will do separately and what we will do together, and how we will plan the evening meals, share the tasks (I always take care of the dishwasher myself) and who will cook and where the grocery shops are. Whoever cooks buys the groceries. We have had families of 5 staying with us for 2 weeks, recently we had a couple with us for 3 weeks. I miss them. Such wonderful guests. We know enough wonderful, responsible, mature people without having to put up with the difficult ones.
We are elderly, need our alone time, peace and quiet, get tired around other people for any length of time, etc. We book our lodging before we say we are coming, rent a car, hairstyles and prepare our own meals. If we are invited to a home meal, we are happy to accept, but we do not expect to be. We visit for a few hours every day and that is it.
One couple stayed with us, expected, perhaps cultural differences, to be driven to Yosemite for a few days ... I said, oh no, we can't do that, but here is the phone number of a taxi driver who can be hired to drive you. No, no, they didn't want a taxi driver, they wanted to go with us.
Oh, that isn't possible, I said. As it turned out, they didn't go. They would only do things that we did for them, nothing they had to do for themselves.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Tunisia is a jewel of the Mediterranean

Seven years ago, we spent a wonderful vacation in Tunisia. After spending three days in Tunis with day trips to Gammerth, Sidi Bou Said and LaMarsa we rented a car and head out into the country with our primary route through Bizrete and Tabarka......
Thanks. Hairstyles Star!