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Dream Big Part 2

I previously posted about my desire to eventually open a Music Store in Jamaica. I then used that dream as inspiration for my weekly doodle. Now I’m going to give you an update. Below is a list of the names I’ve come up with so far

  • The Drum – This would be a fitting name because I’m a drummer. Drums play a significant role culturally and spiritually in Jamaica and I hold them near and dear to my heart. The main drawback is I don’t want to give the impression that we only stock drums. I want my store to be the go to place for all things music.
  • Bare Riddims– I’m a bit of a pun nerd so naturally this came to mind. Riddims is a Jamaican word for rhythms and the pun would be on the word ‘bare’. Bare meaning ‘naked’ and Bare meaning ‘a whole lot of’ (I’m not sure if that’s a strictly Jamaican word use… I’m becoming more and more aware of words I thought were universal in meaning being strictly Jamaican but more on that later). In essence this name would reflect what I want the store to be about; music in its rawest form. LET LIVE MUSIC LIVE!
  • Blare Riddims– Another pun, go figure lol. This would be a pun on my last name, Blair and Blare meaning to play loudly. I’m not too sure I want to go the route of naming my store after myself but the thought came to my mind so I wrote it down

Which name do you prefer? I’m leaning towards Bare Riddims!

#KultureShocked

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Playlist of the Week

I think this was yesterday’s Daily post prompt but I had a jam packed weekend (Winter Break is officially over). Anywho the prompt interested me so here is my playlist of the week.

Monday- Nothing really happened n Monday.Wait! That’s a lie (lol) I did a re-enactment of Janelle Monae’s speech at Black Girls Rock for my Public Speaking class.I encourage you guys to listen to/ read the speech it’s short and definitely inspirational. I had her song Dance Apocalyptic  on repeat to mentally prepare myself.

Tuesday- was a really sucky day- thank you PMS- but I’ll use Live for Today by Kelissa and Keznamdi because it really helped to cheer me up. I love the song and the message it sends.

Wednesday- I celebrated Hump Day with a one man Jam session featuring Dance and Dingolay by Denise Belfon

Thursday- was yet another sucky day. You know those days where it seems everyone is trying to get on your nerves? Sweet as Whole by Sara Barellies totally sums up my day.

Friday no one can hate the weekend so How We Do by Rita Ora is most fitting

Saturday, well I spent the entire day in meetings and watching the time but it was a decent day. I choose the song Waves by Mr. Probz because a girl was talking about how she had it stuck in her head. I love this song because the flow of the words and the music reminds me of a wave washing the shore.

What songs sum up your week?

#KultureShocked

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Burning Down the House

The promt for today from the Daily Post is :

Your home is on fire. Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe). What did you grab?

This is much harder than I thought. If i were in Jamaica, the list of things I’d grab are pretty much the same things I’d grab if I were at school so I’ll just make on list.

1) My Phone. I’m not ashamed to say I’m addicted to my phone, but who isn’t these days

2) My computer 90% of my music is on my laptop and I cannot survive for very long without my music

3)My Analog Music Collection. Yes I still own CDs and yes I still willingly go out and buy CDs in this digital age. Like I don’t know, there’s just something about owning a CD. I appreciate the creativity musicians and their teams put into making album covers and track lists. Even more shocking is that I have a little but ever growing vinyl collection and I’d hate to see that perish. I don’t have a record player yet but I’ll get there eventually (My Birthday is in August if you’re feeling kind)

4) My Posters (I only have these at school. I’m cheating a bit with this one but I have four posters that mean the world to me and I’d much rather not lose any of them. Three of them are of Bob Marley (My husband) and one is a representation of my love for music. Now you may be saying why the hell does she have 3 Bob Marley posters. I’m not crazy – maybe a little- but those three posters were gifts from people who know about the special relationship I have with Robert ( yes, we are on a first name basis).

5) My passport. My passport has my visa which I need to get back to school or go home The line at the Embassy is super long and the process is something I wouldn’t want to endure more than is necessary.

That’s it for now 🙂

#KultureShocked

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Dream Big

I’m evidently not as young as I used to be so after several late nights or early mornings, depending on how you look at it, I’ve caught a wicked cold. Such is life I guess. Mommy (yes I still call my parents mommy and daddy) now has me on lockdown. I’m not allowed to leave the house until I’m better. With all this free time there’s not much to do but sleep and dream.

It’s my dream to open a music store like no other in my beautiful island home. I’d sell vinyl records, vinyl players, posters, CDs and musical instruments and equipment by day. By night I would transform the store into a mini concert venue where album launches and concerts can be held. I’d also have an amateur’s night where fresh musical acts can get some exposure.

That’s all I’ve dreamt up so far though but I really want to see it through. If you have any ideas or suggestions feel free to share.

More next time,

#KultureShocked

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Heartbroken

My little cousins are visiting Jamaica for the first time and they are absolutely precious. I’m pretty good with kids because we don’t age here in Neverland so things were going fairly well. That was until my little cousin looked at me with bright eyes and dropped the bomb. The conversation went something like this

Cousin: Where are you from?

Me: Jamaica

Cousin:Oh, but you don’t sound Jamaican

Me: *stunned silence*

Mom: She’s been at school in America for a while so that’s probably why

Me: *still stunned silence but if you listened carefully you could hear my heart break*

So there you have it folks, I’ve been thinking I was doing a darn good job at keeping my accent but here I am hardly halfway through my undergrad experience and it’s already fading. Let’s face it the Jamaican accent is mad cool and I don’t want to lose it. I’m so heartbroken :(.

#KultureShocked

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Hair Story: A tale of two textures

10 months

10 months

 

Few weeks after my last relaxer

Few weeks after my last relaxer

My Big Chop

My Big Chop

10 months

10 months

This Sunday, October 26th, marks an entire year since I’ve been natural.I hope it’s not too long. My main goal however is to talk about my natural hair journey: why I did it how I did it. I might just make a series of commemorative posts to celebrate making it an entire year with my kaya.

Let’s start from the very beginning. I had natural hair until I was 10 years old. I relaxed my hair on April 1st 2006, I had relatively long hair and it was… special. I remember every other Saturday I would go to the hair dresser to have my hair washed, de-tangled, blow-dried and twisted and leave completely drained emotionally and physically. I absolutely detested having my hair blow-dried. Regardless of how de-tengled my hairdresser got my hair, it somehow managed to get entangled within the five minutes it took me to get from the wash station to the styling chair. I’m sure my hairdresser tried her best to be as gentle as she could, but in my eyes I was just waiting for the day that she’d be blow drying my hair and my neck would just snap. It was so knotty that my hairdresser had to take a break between blow drying and styling.My aunt would joke about how my hair reminded her of wool x_x. I don’t know how to explain it but it hurt so much I could feel it in my feet.

I remember wanting to cry but I couldn’t because all these grown women were there under the driers watching me get tortured.

“Janet just fling likkle cream in her hair!” they would say to my hairdresser and my mother would say ” If it was up to me I would but daddy says no.”

So for ten years I sat through the hauling and pulling anxiously awaiting the day I could be “freed”. To my ten year old brain, I didn’t relax my hair because I was ashamed of my kinks, I just saw relaxed hair as the only way I could escape the Saturday hair struggle. I also wanted to see how long my hair would be if it were straightened(smh). That and the fact that everyone in my class (and family come to think of it) had relaxed hair and they would make these cute hairstyles and I was confined to two strand twists.

So I relaxed my hair the day after I completed my GSAT exams (Jamaican high school placement exams). For a couple years it was good and I really can’t pinpoint an exact time that I knew I wanted a change but I’m pretty sure it had something to do with joining my schools drumming ensemble in 2010. I started liking the feeling of my new growth  and started hating how bald I looked for the first few weeks after I relaxed my hair. I started Googling things like “how to go natural” and “how to transition”. I made three attempts to go natural between 2010 and 2013. My attempt in 2013 lasted a good 4 months and I was doing a damn good job until my mother walked into my room and sighed. The conversation that followed went a little like this:

Mom: You know honey, your graduation is coming up.

Me: Yea?

Mom: But darling your hair, you have to be fabulous. How are you going to style all those roots?

Me: I could get canerows (cornrows), I really don’t care

Mom: Nooooooo! Where did I fail as a mother?

Me: Fine, but three weeks before so I don’t look bald

Granted that’s the sugar coated version but the fact of the matter is I caved… again… for the third time and I was fit to be tied. I mean that was the longest I had ever gotten in my transition attempts… and I failed. After my very last relaxer I looked in the mirror and I felt the anger boiling. I LOOKED BALD! AGAIN! That’s when I made up my mind to be more serious about my next attempt.

Nothing happens before its time I guess. I was nowhere near ready to answer the questions and bull you get for going natural as a high school student. My last relaxer was May 25th or something like that, braided my hair on August 15th to show my mom I was serious. On August 19th I boarded a plane and left my beautiful island home to embark on my college journey. I had braids for a little over a month then I got annoyed by it all so I pulled them out. I had a curly two textured bird’s nest atop my head.

All my life I went to the hairdresser to get my hair done and now I was left to tackle the devil’s spawn on my own. I purchased a hot comb and tried to tame the beast but I had no clue what was too hot and what was not hot enough and looking in the sink I could see my hair was breaking and the panic set in. For about a week I lived in beanies, just de-tangling the straightened ends and steering wide of the roots. Luckily my family visited for family weekend (October 17-19) and my mom came armed with combs and hair products. She sat with me de-tangled from the roots to the ends and made twists. I went an entire week without having to deal with my hair and I could breath again.

Friday October 25th I washed my hair in the twists and then combed through them and re-did them. I started to realize that maybe just maybe I could do this transition thing. I woke up the next morning wondering how my hair would look if i cut it, and how long it would be. For the entire day I wondered about my hair then curiosity got the best of me and I cut one of the twists. I played in the soft curls and decided I looked odd with just a patch of natural hair so I texted my friend and told him I was going to cut my hair.

I snipped and snipped and snipped feeling giddier with each lock that fell. It was much more fun than I thought it would be (Sidenote: anyone out there deciding to do the big chop, do it yourself and then maybe go to the hairdresser to have it shaped or whatever- I’m yet to have mine shaped. Give yourself the full experience, maybe I’m just weird but I really enjoyed cutting my hair). When I was all done I looked at myself in the mirror and laughed like a maniac, my roommate was gone for the day or maybe she would’ve done some serious judging. I ran my hand through my short do and squealed. I LOVED IT!

I sent pictures to half of my friends and skyped the other half. I got mixed reactions I guess but anger and disbelief were the most common. I sent a picture to my parents in the night because I was afraid of how they would react. Mommy said ” It’s your hair I don’t care.” (Secretly I think she was sad but she got over it quickly when she saw how cute I looked when I got home :)) Daddy was convinced I was playing a joke on them for Halloween (poor pops). My grandmother started calling me her grandson because I would call her grandpa whenever she cut her hair. My aunt and cousin were not so easily soothed, and to this day I don’t think they’ve gotten over it.

The thing is everytime someone asks me why I cut my hair I come up with some brilliant reason like “it’s easier to manage like this at school” or “I wanted locs but mommy said no so this is the next best thing” or “I’ve had relaxed hair for 7 years now I’m ready for a change”. Honestly speaking though I really don’t think I had a specific reason. I discovered I didn’t have to be confined to just twists but rather that there were a plethora of styles that could be done with natural hair. Anything would beat the ponytail I rocked everyday with my relaxed hair. I didn’t like looking bald for weeks after having my hair relaxed. I guess its also a part of accomplishing African pride. Who knows really but the fact of the matter is the only thing I miss about my relaxed hair is the feel of my ponytail brushing against my neck while drumming but given time I’ll regain my length.