Fresh Goes Better

*Cue up 90’s jingle* Fresh goes better, Mentos freshness, fresh goes better with Mentos, fresh and full of life!mentos
Bad breath— A problem that effects many—and I’m not talking about those who are the carriers of the breath but those of us who are witness of the funk. I’m not saying that at times we don’t experience our own bouts with unpleasant breath—like first thing in the morning, after eating onions or garlic, and sometimes even occasional stale breath.


But I’m talking about those with consistently questioning—nope not questioning—undoubtedly appalling breath. This is the breath that is as much as part of them as them as their skin color.
I’m sure that it is uncomfortable for folks who have been diagnosed with dragon breath—but what about those who seem to be oblivious to their own perpetual condition?

These folks walk around with total disregard for personal space. You know the ones—the ones that will lean over and whisper in your face spewing a sentence full of unnecessary ‘H’ words. You are stuck there holding back your tears, trying to dodge the menacing bully and dreaming of making it rain listerine strips.

Clearly, nd them to keep their mouth shut. Everybody knows that this person has rank odor floating from their mouth but this person has obviously never been tortured by the onion sauna stewing in the back of their throat. It is so bad and they don’t even know it. If they did know it they would make it their duty to chew more gum. All. Of. The. Time


The real question is what to do in these moments? Of course if this person is a dear friend, you can say “Bruh Mentos never hurt anyone.” But when you don’t know the person that well or the person is a boss—its not so easy. Do they know they know that their very presence is ever offending? I’ve witnessed several beautiful personalities fall victim to (at no fault of their own) pungent breath. They’ve been picked last for kickball, ignored as romantic prospects and overlooked for promotions.


Other than matrix dives, rounds of freeze tags, and avoiding all forms of communications I haven’t figured out the best way to deal with folks dealing with putrid orifices. Again, I know it’s not their fault and I’m not trying to be mean, I’m simply asking “How do you deal with the funk?” Leave a comment and let me know!

#BlackLivesMatter #BlackGirlsRock

A few years ago, my sister asked me if I could explain to her white college roommate why publications such as Essence Magazine existed. In my head I immediately relived the nightmarish moment of trying to apply eye make up for “olive toned complexions” according to Seventeen Magazine.  The olive tone was the darkest skin complexion they had in the magazine, just like wavy/curly hair was the closest they would offer for tutorials on styling my kinky coils. Those styling tips don’t work!


Unless you are a person of color—you will never live these experiences.  So I tried to explain to my sister’s roommate what it was like living as an African American.

I explained to her that for many years, people who looked like me were not frequently seen in magazines or television.  Every image of a beautiful woman, was a white woman. Every image of a successful person was a white person.  The few times we saw ourselves was generally in some subservient role, because that is how the world saw us.

token black guy

So instead of simply accepting the lack of images of ourselves, trailblazers created a platform for people with skin like mine and hair like mine—and no this separation wasn’t created by black people. It was a response to the separation that already existed. So while some may feel that the proper response to BET would be WET—we have to remember that for so long, all of television was White Entertainment Television.  The psychological impact is the thing that makes award shows like “Black Girls Rock” so necessary.


The issue is not that white people were on screen but that people of color were absent on the screen. Again, if you are not a person of color, you will not experience the same reality so these truths may be easily overlooked at no fault of your own.

In the wake of a rising awareness of black men being killed by cops, #BlackLivesMatter started trending and some people’s panties gathered in a bunch.  These folks countered with #WhiteLivesMatter in protest to the worthy cause.  The truth is that no one was questioning if white lives matter.  Statistics have shown that white men are less likely to be shot by cops than black men—so while it is ridiculous to think that innocent people of any race are being killed, we have to ask ourselves why a group that is overwhelming less populous than white men is being killed at higher rates.  Maybe a hashtag and strong statement will remind those who are meant to serve and protect that in addition to other lives black lives matter too.

It hard for many millennials to imagine that in our not so distant past our country found itself trying to undo racist laws that had been set in place since the very inception of our country and the truth is—we are still trying to figure this ish out.

because im black

We try to keep the dark past of slavery hidden because that mess is jacked up, demoralizing and embarrassing for everyone involved. It reflects the school of thought that many of our forefathers possessed.  The laws and rules set in motion would impact generations to come—not just systematically but also economically and psychologically.  It would be easier and less painful if we could just do a collective wipe of our memories.


So here we are—one generation removed—having to deal with the aftermath of a legally racist society.  One way we do it is by affirming ourselves while reminding others of our worth. It is not intended to take away from the beauty of all of humanity but to remind others that black is part of humanity as well.  It’s not going to be perfect right away and no one has all the answers.  Our country’s wounds are too deep and too fresh to just place a band aid—now is the time to do the work, have the conversation so that one day we can truly have a post racial society.

no one born racist

Shopping on a Low Fat Budget

I should probably preface by saying —I’m not one of those people who see a $500 dress then find it marked down to $100.00 and get excited.  Somehow that just doesn’t sound like a deal to me.  When I do make a purchase of $100.00 or more on a single item, please know that I have thought long and hard about it, that was no impulse buy. Just ask my best friend, Erin Almond, I usually mull over my big ticket purchases with her for a full year before I actually commit. Like my Tory Burch flats or my Stella and Dot necklace! I have serious committment issues. Which is also why I am not a couponer—it takes too much work to get those kind of savings. I don’t want it that bad.

coupon queen

The truth of the matter is that I love to shop but I don’t like seeing money leave my bank account.  I have spent my adult life working for various non profit organizations (that don’t pay all that well) while being an independent filmmaker.  That means any extra money I have usually goes into my art. Struggles of the Film Fatale! But that doesn’t stop me from partaking in retail therapy.  Trust me, there are ways for us on skinny budgets to get quality items.  Can we say T.J. Maxx and  Nordstrom Rack?


Like seriously—I don’t understand why anyone would pay full price for anything with these two stores around. It’s like someone offering you calorie free fat free ice cream with all the flavor and you purposely choose the fatty calorific version.  You aren’t trying to live in the best of both worlds! Or you have a ridiculously high metabolism and you don’t have to give damns about what you eat—which is really nice and now I’m jealous.

i hate you

Nordstrom Rack’s extended size shoe collection is everything! Seriously ladies if you were a size 10 or higher—go right now to Nordstrom Rack, you will thank me!


I go to TJ Maxx like some people go to Target. I get my purses, kitchenware, linen and basically everything from T.J.Maxx. AND they have a layaway plan—the only place in the world I use it.  This helps me avoid impulse buys.  If I see an item that I want and didn’t budget for but I feel strongly that the world may end if I don’t buy it, then I put it on layaway (a $5.00 fee plus 10% of the total purchase) and allow myself to budget for it in the next 30 days. I call it controlled impuse shopping.


If you like to to shop you can’t afford to NOT check out these two places…my secret weapons. Where do you shop for great items. Leave a comment to let me know!

Sometimes Old Folk Get Away with Sexual Harassment

Today I was minding my own business riding Los Angeles public transportation (absolutely the worst) when an old man (in his 70’s) started ogling me.  He began by offering a simple compliment, something like “Girl you so fine I can’t stop staring at you.” I said thank you and continued texting because that’s generally how I ignore strangers.  But then he continues, this time more in the vein of “Girl the things I would do to you if I was a few years younger.” At this point, I’m a little disgusted but he’s old so I smile and continue with my texting.


At this point he’s moaning, licking his lips like a petrified LL Cool J and thrusting his hips and boldly declares “I just want to kiss you all over and not stop.”


Okay sir, you are just being nasty.  Before I have time to react, he gets up to get off the bus and plants a wet hairy kiss on my cheek—and states “Sorry baby that was an accident. But thanks for making my day.”  I felt like a cheap date, more like a cheap hooker.


This moment left me completely baffled. Had it been a younger guy, I definitely would have slapped him.  He wouldn’t have even gotten to that point.  I would have read him his rights about his compliments were not actually compliments but mostly along the lines of sexual harassment.  Then I asked myself: Why is that senior citizens get away with stuff that their juniors would probably get cussed out for.


Like the grandmother that insults the newborn baby or tells you how much weight you’ve gained. You getting to be a fat thing aren’t you.” Is it just me or is the freedom of speech only applicable to those 65 and over?  I look forward to going through whatever rites of passage that allows me to say whatever I want to whomever. I’ll be a 100 year old serial creeper, feeling on younger men on the low and dare them to say anything.  It’ll be just my luck they start revoking the geriatric privilege card rights, like social security.

Why Parent’s Visits are the Best

This past week my mother came to visit us (I have a brother and sister that lives in Cali as well) but I like to think that she came to visit me! If you don’t know, I LOVE MY MOTHER! Steph and I have a bond. One where I can call her Steph just as long as I am not seriously thinking that I am getting away with calling her by her first name. It absolutely drives my friends crazy. They’re so jelly. Nicole-Richie-Hair-Flip I also talk to my mom like 8 times a day.  Not because we have an obsessive relationship but because our convos are usually cut short because we got to go into a meeting or something. Sometimes we just share a thought and hang up. I would text her but her phone is like the world’s first palm pilot or something and she doesn’t always get my messages.  My sibs totally pick on me about how often I talk to my mom. tumblr_ltgxwmJVH31qhyoaio1_500 Mom and I have an understanding. I teach her how to use Facebook and she helps me make sound financial decisions.  I would never call my mother my friend because of the phrase every kid heard growing up “I’m not your friend, I’m your mother”. But we are kinda like friends.  But she will still lecture me and give me unsolicited advice–because as she puts it, “I may not be a manager any more but I am still in consultant position for the rest of your life.” I realized on this last minute there are stages I go through during these visits. The week before I was kind of obsessed with making sure everything was clean and in place. Not because I’m junky but because mom is like super clean and has a way of finding dirt that does not exist. taki But then the day of, I came to the realization that no matter how hard I tried, mom was just going to end up cleaning anyway.  All while making it looking so effortless. tumblr_inline_ne0tkkj7191r9aungWhen mom gets here. I like to pretend that I am grown.  I like to show that all of the hard work and investment has paid off.  I am doing well.  I can cook, clean, decorate, pay bills on time, have fun and have some sort of balance.  This act of showing off or pretending, only last for a few days.  If your parents are staying more than a few days it will be hard to convincingly keep this cover. tumblr_lp7k7vwLbC1qaq30xo1_500Then there’s the moment when mom does a really mom thing and it tugs at that part of me thats sometimes wishes I could be a kid again. This time it was “Let’s go get groceries, I’ll pay.”  OH-EM-GEE!!! Be still my heart! I totally wish I could hop into the shopping cart and pull things off the shelf and put into the buggy–my own version of a real life Throw Back Thursday. tumblr_inline_n9lyrpSPA21rftf18Sometimes we all need a chance to relive and appreciate things from our childhood that we took for granted. I’m not even ashamed to say that the grocery store trip was not that moment for me.  It was the moment when I had a mini breakdown-tears and all- and mom was there with open arms. giphy-3Hugs, encouraging words and great advice.  My mom has a way of making everything better. tumblr_mkzwtd6TjC1r20jf4o1_250When mom left, my house was cleaner, my fridge was full and my self esteem was intact.  I needed this time with my mom.  Parents are great—mine are the best! I am eternally grateful for the blessing that is mom and dad.