Monday, September 29, 2008

Eighteen Months - Still in Love

Today marks my 18-month lockiversary.

Wow! I can't believe it. Another milestone.

I remember so vividly the day I started. I remember staring in the mirror at three months and six and twelve - wondering what I would look like on this day.

Not like I imagined. I am not disappointed, but it amazes me that I can be so surprised even though I didn't really know what to expect.

My locks are not the size, shape or length I thought they would be.


I just got back from a mini-vacation in Charleston, SC. Some friends of mine chartered a boat for a dinner cruise in the harbor. It was a pleasant diversion - an opportunity to mix and mingle with old friends and new.
Otherwise I would definitely have been at the Atlanta Sisterlocks Meetup.

I was sort of bummed that I couldn't do both, but I signed on to do the dinner cruise three months ago.

Anyhow...I ran into my original Sisterlocks Inspiration on the cruise!

It was funny to see her because we met 4 years ago (November 2004) on a Carnival Cruise through mutual friends. She lived in another city so we didn't see each other again even though we planned to and then she moved out of state and changed her phone number so we lost touch.

I've wanted to tell her all this time that I started my Sisterlocks because of that chance meeting we had years ago. When I say out of state, I mean waa-ay out of state. She is practically on the other coast. Since she was a friend of a friend and not a close personal friend, neither of us really put forth any special effort to communicate, but it was great to see her over the weekend and catch up!

It was wonderful to speak with her again and trade notes on locking and maintenance. Hers were cute baby-locks 4 years ago and now they are down her back. I would have posted a picture of us both, but she is a very private person, so I have to respect her wishes about that.

(Who do I think I'm fooling? Y'all know I'm incredibly slack about posting pictures of my own self alone!)

I remembered thinking that her hair texture seemed to be a lot like mine and hoping that my locks would look like hers as they matured (and they do). After 5 + years of locking she still has curly-q ends, which I actually find encouraging.

Y'all hear me say it all the time. I like my curly ends and I don't want them to go away. She gives me hope that maybe they won't.

Our hair looks very much the same with the exception of length. And her locks are smaller than my own - by half. She has over 700 locks. I have only about 320.

Still not regretting my decision because she doesn't have the patience to tighten her own even though she learned how. (The same way I know that I would not if I had that many - and it takes about 5 hours now when she goes to a consultant.)

No thanks!

An interesting side point though: I have started at least two dozen new locks since my original installation and y'all know that I split several of my locks 3 - 5 months back.

All of the new locks are micro-mini-small. And I love them!

When I first started my lock journey I was all about the larger locks. I had no love for the tiny ones and was very vocal about wanting to have locks that were closer in size to smaller traditionals.

However, with the passage of time I've had a change of heart.

I'm still glad not to have a head full of tiny locks and the size I chose at installation kept me from having the plucked chicken look and the head full of kinky thin wispies I dreaded, but I am giving serious thought to splitting a few more.

Most of my locks didn't really swell and are just a little but larger in diameter than they were at the beginning. There's just the odd lock here and there that's fatter than I would like. Out of the 320 or so I would guess that 15 - 20 are larger than I want them to be.

I want to take them down but I am hesitant for three reasons.

1) I have started many new locks, but I started them all from new growth. I am not sure I really know how to neatly re-install a lock with 12+ inches of hair. And you all may recall that my consultant moved away 4 months ago. Since I have been self-tightening I haven't bothered to try to find a new one.

I don't especially feel like hunting one down and making a trip out of town. If Phyllis was still here I could do them two or three at a time and just drop in at her house whenever I felt like it, but if I go find another consultant and I have to travel, I feel like I should take them all down at once and get them all re-installed at once.

Truthfully that's more of a time and money commitment than I'm ready for right now.

2) Overall I don't really care about my parts (or I thought I didn't), but I do have a pretty decent grid pattern. And I've realized that choosing locks to split at random is going to wreak havoc with it.

3) And third - I'm fully locked. Those fat locks are the kind of solid silky ropes we all dreamed of in the beginning. As little as 6 months ago they were still shrinking and bunching and now they're perfect. I hate to bust them up and start all over again. So I'm trying to weigh the pros and cons.

There really are no pros to splitting them because there are no cons to leaving them. There's nothing wrong with them as they are. I think part of the reason I want to split them is just to satisfy my desire for change. I like the energy and movement and feel that new locks have and I miss it. They're soft and springy and they change so much from week to week.

I really enjoyed going through the process all over again when I split the locks at my temples earlier this year, but now they are firming up and coming into their own and that fun phase is over.

It was kind of the best of both worlds because I had the newness but when they were kinky and misbehaving (as teenagers will do) it wasn't horrible because most of the locks were more mature and well behaved so I could just pin them down and blend them in.

Well, that's the latest. As you know, comments are always welcome!

So...I don't know what I'm going to do - nothing yet.

Stay tuned....

Monday, September 8, 2008

Catch it if You Can

There's a great documentary currently running on HBO.

The Black List: Volume One.

It's about 90 minutes long and features interviews with a diverse group of noteable black folks - from entertainers to athletes to writers to politicians.

Here is the list:
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, basketball legend
Sean Combs, musician
Mahlon Duckett, Negro Leagues baseball star
Thelma Golden, museum curator
Lou Gossett, Jr., actor
Bill T. Jones, choreographer
Vernon Jordan, attorney
Marc Morial, former New Orleans mayor
Toni Morrison, author
Suzan-Lori Parks, playwright
Richard Parsons, executive
Colin Powell, former Secretary of State
Susan Rice, political strategist
Chris Rock, comedian
Al Sharpton, activist
Lorna Simpson, artist
Slash, musician
Dawn Staley, basketball star
Faye Wattleton, former Planned Parenthood president
Keenen Ivory Wayans, actor
Serena Williams, tennis star
Zane, author

I watched it several days ago and have been meaning to recommend it ever since.

It is very well done. The fact that it is titled Volume One hints that there will be more to come. I certainly hope so. There are so many stories to be told.

There is even a website where you can go and post your own story or that of someone you know.

I am a film history buff ( I love old movies and Old Hollywood in spite of the way we have been treated and portrayed - so it is living as an African in Ameirica, all relationships are love/hate aren't they?) and I am particularly fascinated with the 40s and 50s. So I know quite a bit about the original Black List.

The documentary opens with a reference to it and how we can reclaim a phrase that once had a negative connotation and embrace it for good.

I have not felt that this could be done with the 'n' word in reference to blacks or the 'b' word in reference to women. I never use either in my personal speech, but I do like the idea of creating a positively charged black list.

However you feel about the phrase, please try to view the documentary. It is sure to uplift you and make you think.

The Black List Project

There's more at The Black List Project.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Comments Always Welcome

Please scroll down for newer entries.

I love reading comments! I have to say it is my favorite part of having my own blog.

I have christened myself The Long-Winded Commenter because, well, because I always have an opinion, and I'm not sure I could be concise if my life depended on it! So! I said all that to say: feel free to comment anytime - as often as you like and as much as you like. Even if you disagree. I really enjoy getting the opportunity to consider different points of view.

And: it's never too late. I get notices of new comments left in my daily e-mail inbox, so even if you comment on older posts, I'll get it. I don't expect that everyone who stops by will read my blog from beginning to end, but if you should happen to read an older post and you are moved to leave a comment, do not be deterred by the fact that weeks or months have passed. I will still be delighted to hear from you and will post a reply at my first opportunity.

If I don't answer immediately, it is usually because I am considering turning my reply into a post. You see, the long-windedness leads to procrastination.