Things I used to LOVE.

My husband always jokes that Americans use the word ‘love’ too loosely. And he’s right. We use the word ‘love’ when we really mean ‘like’ a whole lot and we use ‘like’ a whole lot when we really mean ‘um, ‘uh’ or ‘so.’ And we use those three sounds instead of just taking a break to breathe and think about what we really want to say. So, this got me to thinking (in a very round about way) about the times I used ‘love’ in the past, only to find out with time that it was just a misnomer. The list got me chuckling in my UGG slippers, which I categorically love. Here goes nothing, in no particular order:

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Alanis Morissette’s music – Isn’t ironic? I was a middle schooler once. This means I had poor taste in lots of things, not just music, but especially music. I LOVED “You Oughta Know” and “Ironic.” I distinctly recall waiting for them to play on The Box on those late nights that I was allowed to stay up during school vacations. I was definitely an 80s baby with 90s earlobes, so yea… I loved her sound!

Corn Pops – Apparently, they’ve been in the news lately for much more than their subtly sweet crunchy goodness, but for a very long time this was my jam. Between these and Crispix, Kellog’s had the monopoly on my breakfast cereal selection for years. Now, I know better than to think that those hints of morning sweetness are harmless. Back in the day, though, I loved these kitchen staples.

Drawing – While most kids in elementary school were winning sports trophies, I was winning poster and essay contests. Obviously, the love of writing has persisted, but most people are unaware of my artistic streak.  Through the 6th grade, I regularly won local competitions for my art work. When I went to high school, I took advanced fine arts courses and sent a portfolio with my college admissions applications, hoping to continue my work in a new venue. It was in high school that I learned the most about form, but it was also there that I met the end of my interest in drawing. I’ve since picked photography as my poison, but my mom’s basement tells the tales of my passion to draw.

Bikram Yoga – This used to be my sh*t! Back in 2010-11, I was regularly found sweating from the back of every joint, tendon and skin fold I possessed. And I absolutely loved it. Most people thought it was an irrational fad. Popular in theory, but unreasonably hot in reality, Bikram Yoga was 90 minutes of fat burning ‘me’ time that really got my body in shape, my mind in focus and my immune system in recovery.  Though it’s been over five years since I’ve done it, it’s still my exercise of choice – in my mind. (This was sexual harassment pre-scandal. I don’t condone what Bikram himself, btw)

Craig David –  I lived in Spain when he was popular and this guy right here was a teeny bopper heart-throb throughout Western Europe. I liked his music, but I loveeeddd him. Before there was Idris Elba, he was the first Black Brit to steal my heart. The same way I loved Soul for Real before him and Andre 3000 after him, I saw our future together.  So strong was my affection that I went out on 2 dates with a young Spaniard who favored Craig David, despite the fact that this young man wouldn’t even admit to being Black (uhhh….). Oh, the things we do for love!

In my defense, when I said I loved these people and things, I wasn’t lying. I meant it at the time. Genuine commitment and undying affection was what I pledged in my youth, but somehow with time ‘um’…’uh’… these passions faded. Now that I’ve had some breathing room, I’m hopeful that one day I’ll be able to revisit these touchstones and rediscover myself in these ‘likes’ of yesteryear.

 

part time local

Being back in Washington, DC is always a tumultuous treat. I never spend enough time here to make it feel like home, but – unlike NYC – DC doesn’t change very quickly. So, I can go back to the spots I remember fondly and discover new ones at my leisure. Over the past few months, I have made a real effort to get out and about. The metro still sucks, but here are the highlights of journey.

I’ve discovered the Torpedo Factory with its art classes, studios and seminars. Just a few weeks ago, I went to see a talk by Sheldon Scott and discovered lots of interesting pieces by novice and seasoned artists.

 

My husband also got me to go to the CapitalOne Arena (formerly, the Verizon Center) to check out the Washington Wizards at their game against the Cavs. Let me be clear, the seats are uncomfortable, the other fans are kinda obnoxious, and I still don’t understand why cheerleaders still exist, but… it was a fun experience.

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I also revisited the Holocaust Memorial Museum for the first time since 8th grade. It was much less depressing than I remembered  as a kid and much more informative than I expected. I highly recommend that everyone take the time to check it out. It only takes about 2-3 hours to get through the permanent exhibit. The temporary ones tend to be about modern day slavery, which is also important to be aware of.

 

And though I’ve found myself being an architecture and design buff in other cities I’ve visited, I never considered walking tours in the nation’s capital.  The DC Design Tour of Georgetown was very cool and, frankly, took me to a part of town that I rarely visit.

All in all, living in the DC area has been a breath of fresh air. There are sidewalks and tap water! Even better, there are interesting tours, historical sites, museums, art talks, and apparently big events worth catching. I’m soaking it all up while I can!

30 before 30

imagesThis year I turned 28. Sure, in the developed world of Botox and Viagra, 28 is considered young. Back here in the old country, my face is already sagging and I should be in bed by 9pm – or else I’ll turn into a harlot werewolf. I kid.

In reality, I’m straddling two worlds, begging to be taken in as a full fledged member by one or the other – whichever will have me first.  In my latest attempt to court my youth, I decided to reach out to young people in a small city in Uttar Pradesh. Needless to say, I now feel old – very, very old.

So old, in fact, that after two glasses of red wine I’m thinking of how my days to 30 are numbered and few. Before all of my enthusiasm fades and I take to watching old Hitchcock movies while drinking single malts, here’s my list of 30 things I want to do before I’m 30.  I solicit my friends, family & strangers to help me make my dreams come true (not in a Robert DeNiro in Great Expectations kinda way, thank you) in the next 23 months. While this list may seem extreme, it’s only because the life I’ve lived ’til now has been effin’ amazing. #realtoppatop #shouldershrug

In no particular order…

1- Go to Trinidad & Tobago Carnival

2- Sponsor a child’s education

3- Go to Durban, South Africa Durban

 

 

 

 

4- Publish a text

5- Own a safe deposit box

6- Fly a plane

Aschobi Designs

7- Wear a designer ball gown

 

 

 

 

8- Own a business

9- Attend my best friend’s wedding

10- See my eldest godson go to college

11- See my youngest godson smile from ear to ear

12- Pay off all my credit card debt

13- Buy another house

14- See Igacu FallsIgacu Falls

 

 

 

 

 

15- Curate an art show

16- Collect an oral history of my family

17- Drive cross country (USA)

18- Actually learn more about African-American history #dontjudgeme

19- Give a guest lecture at a university

20- Get a grill Hycide

 

 

 

21- Get another tattoo

22- Go on a spiritual retreat/pilgrimage

23- Visit Macon, Alabama

24- Help an Indian girl to get out of poverty

25- Help a Cape Verdean girl to get out of poverty

26- Help a Brazilian girl to get out of poverty

27- Help a Newark girl to get out of poverty Newark

 

 

 

28- Go on a girls trip with my mom

29- Buy a collector’s edition purse #dontjudgeme

30- Be genuinely happy