Monday, October 25, 2010

the good wife

a couple of months ago, my husband and  i went to see corinne bailey rae at the house of blues downtown. her first cd was part of the soundtrack to our dating relationship, and we came thisclose to seeing her in concert in new orleans the weekend that we got engaged in 2007.
i was looking forward to her next album and tour cycle. but, unfortunately, tragedy struck when corinne's husband died in march 2008.  i remember how shocked i was when i heard about it. i had only been married about 5 months, and at that time, losing my husband was probably the worst thing that i could imagine happening to me.  i say that because now losing my daughter would definitely be #1.

i felt a real sense of sadness that corinne was so young and had lost her first love and partner of 7 years.  i googled for months afterwards trying to find stories in the british media about how she was doing and if she would recover. i figured that she might never make music again, and that if she did it would be too sad to listen to.

so i was excited to hear that she was back with a new album.  but, in all of her tv appearances supporting the album, the topic of her husband's death never came up.  i was stoked to see her in concert and a little curious to see first-hand how she had overcome the grief and come back to her music.

we had just gotten back to houston a few hours earlier after going to my friend's wedding but i was determined to make it to the concert.  we left babylove with my mother-in-law and set out for the house of blues.  the concert was awesome, of course. she sang a lot of her older songs as well as songs from the new cd.  i haven't quite gotten into her new sound, but i'm sure it will grow on me.

i don't know if i expected to see her break down during some of the songs or what, exactly, i was looking for.  she did have a ring of some sort on her ring finger, but from the outside, she seemed to be holding up okay.  i can only imagine that with the highs of touring and performing, that there must be some terrible lows mixed in.  i was reading the crash course widow's blog today. she also became a young widow after her husband died unexpectedly 5 years ago and her blog deals with her grieving process and how she tries to teach her young daughter about the father she can't remember.

i'm not overly obsessed with this subject, but it is something that i think about on occassion.  a few years ago, i read this really touching book written by a lady whose firefighter husband died on 9/11, which was also their anniversary. her descriptions of the emotions that followed were so deep. 

my first "real" job after college was in a clinic where we treated patients with bladder, prostate, testicular and kidney cancer.  there were a few patients close to my age, which was totally sad.  but the images that stick in my mind eight years later are of the wives of the men with cancer.

these women would schedule appointments for their sick husbands and they would sit stoically in the exam rooms and listen as the doctor dropped bombs in the middle of their universe.  it reminded me of this painting from grant hill and tamia's african-american art collection that we saw at an exhibit at texas southern university when we were dating (i wanted to post the drawing but i couldn't find it on the net).  on one side, it showed a couple on their wedding day, and on the other side, it showed the man's lynched body hanging from a tree.

like the woman in the painting, the cancer wives never could have known on their wedding days just how tragically their marriages would end.  these women would literally shoulder the burden of their husbands, weak from chemotherapy and disease, who needed someone to help them walk into the waiting room.  as the cancer grew worse and their husbands got sicker, these women would push wheelchairs, and prop pillows, and smooth the hair of their men all the while waiting patiently to see the doctor for more bad news. 

there were days when i would watch with a lump in my throat and just pray to God that a) i would never have to experience anything like this, and b) that if i did, that i could be a good wife to my future husband like these women were to theirs. 

before we were married, my husband made it clear that part of the reason that he chose me was that he knew that i was capable of taking care of our future kids should anything happen to him.  so i  also prayed that afterwards i would have the strength to take care of my kids and myself.

this song by india.arie has always moved me, and sums it up well.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

everyone loves: free make-up

i was planning on writing this post last week, but got sidetracked by current events. now back to our regularly scheduled program.

i'm not a big girly-girl type.  i like to look nice, but i'm of the "less is more" frame of mind when it comes to things like make-up and beauty routines.  luckily, i have really easy to care for skin or else i might have to a do a bit more.

at night, i use some wal-mart store brand eye make-up remover and facial cleansing cloths.  for my morning routine i use a facial cleanser with microbeads to wash my face in the shower.  i used to use mary kay products, but the ordering process took a bit too much time for me. the wal-mart stuff seems to work just as well and it's a fraction of the cost.

one thing i don't skimp on is my make-up.  for years, i've used m.a.c. products.  they're a bit on the pricey side for me, but they've never let me down.  plus, i love that you can go in any m.a.c. store and get made up (gratis) for special events.  they did my make-up for my baby shower, and this summer when my husband and i were out in l.a. for the b.e.t. awards, i even stopped by the the m.a.c. store on hollywood boulevard to get my make-up done.  they were totally booked and i couldn't get in, but the nice chick behind the counter did at least take the time to give me some pointers.

i use m.a.c.'s under eye concealer for my baby bags.  i skip the foundation and all that other stuff and just apply a thin layer of pressed powder in nw50 to even things out.  i use m.a.c. eye shadow as well,  but i'm still a fan of my classic maybelline mascara.

a couple weeks ago we went to college station for a health education conference. while packing up, my toiletries pack must have gotten dropped, because the next time i opened up my powder, i saw the dreaded dropped compact effect with the powder all broken up into small pieces.

i made it out to the m.a.c. store last week to pick up some new powder and some black eye shadow. while i was there, i decided to ask about a rumor that i had heard a while back. you know, the one about if your bring 6 empty make-up containers to the store, you can get a free item?

now everyone may not love free make-up, but everyone definitely loves free ish.  i first heard the rumor several years ago and started collecting a stash of empty compacts and concealer tubes at home. but i was kind of skeptical about the whole thing, so i never did anything with them.  everyone knows that nothing is really ever free. take the oprah/ kfc chicken debacle for example.  sadly, i was one of those foolish folks who printed out my coupon and took my happy tail down to the nearest kfc on my lunch break, only to be turned away hungry and slightly ashamed.

but, to my surprise, the girl guy person that checked me out confirmed that yes, you can actually get a free lipstick if you bring in 6 empty containers to the m.a.c. stores in macy's.  he must have seen me looking, like who the hell wears lipstick in 2010? when he added that if you take the items to a free-standing m.a.c. store, you can get either an eye shadow, lip gloss or lipstick.

very cool....i'll still probably call first just to make sure.

Friday, October 15, 2010

everyone loves: the chilean miners

i was actually planning to write a different post about something that everyone loves.  i don't plan on regularly writing about current events and the like on this blog.  BUT, i just had to speak on the whole chilean miners rescue story-or actually the public reaction to the chilean miners story.

on tuesday night, i was busy working on a project on my laptop and trying to keep babylove away from my laptop, so never had a chance to turn on the television or surf the net.  wednesday morning, i log onto the book of faces, and all i see are these status updates saying "yay for the chilean miners being rescued", "they've got the first one out", "praise God the chilean miners are being rescued".

now, i'm a christian and do believe in being thankful and giving Him the glory in things big and small.  and there have recently been a lot of stories in the media about miners dying on the job and how dangerous the mining industry is in general.  but i guess i was just surprised/ shocked at how personally invested everyone around me seemed to be in this story. 

at first, i chalked it up to the fact that since the majority of stories on the new are negative-earthquake in haiti, somebody got murdered, the economy is tanking, politicians are being corrupt-that people were just happy to finally get a happy ending.  but, i think it's something deeper than that.  i mean, let's face it, there are plenty of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad tragedies happening everyday all around the world and even in our very own neighborhoods.  the only difference is that the media doesn't have a camera rolling on them 24/7.  take the ongoing aftermath of severe the flooding in afghanistan that nobody seems to care about, for example.

maybe it's the cynic in me, but i had to stifle an eye roll early tuesday afternoon when i pulled up msn's page and saw the big red "breaking news" box announcing that the first miner had been rescued.  i actually kind of tuned out of this whole miner saga about a month ago when i heard a radio "news" story about how the wife of one of the miners found out about his previously secret affair with another woman due to all of the media coverage.  it's one thing to write or report a story, but when the story being reported is about the effects of the story being reported, it kinda makes my vision blur and my head start to hurt.

it's kind of like the whole preacher plans to burn the koran on 9/11 story that got blown all out of proportion and resulted in deaths around the world as well as probably posing a threat to our national security.  this "preacher" is probably just some random loser that nobody every heard of who lucked up into notoriety because of our 24/7 news cycle.

i love me some cnn, but last night while i was watching ac360, i just had to change the channel when anderson started talking to a correspondent on the scene.  with a straight face, this reporter was talking about how the cheating miner's mistress loved watching the movie, titanic, and how she and this miner planned to hole up at home for days watching the movie now that he had been rescued.  um, gag me with a spoon!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Rescue in Chile
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity
i guess i'm not the only one that noticed.

i'm a news junkie and all, but this whole, putting people on a pedestal and the media's tendency to try to create a fairy tale out of real life is a bit off the chain these days. google, "propoganda" with pat tillman, jessica lynch, or ft. hood hero policewoman if you don't believe it.  don't bother googling the phrase "chilean miners", i can already tell you that you'll get 345 million hits

i'll just a take a tip from the cheating miner's wife and sit this one out.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

seriously?!: captcha edition

i'm generally not a fan of the captcha.  you know, those little word-gamey test thingies that it seems like nearly EVERY website is using nowadays to make sure that only robots, machines, spam viruses humans can log onto their sites.

my beef with them is that even though i'm not a robot, a machine or a spam virus, the images are so hard to decipher that half the time i can't even figure them out. 

a typical scenario goes something like this:

me: {tilting head to side and squinty eyes} is that a lower case "d" or a "c" and an "l" real close together and tilted to the side?

website: you have entered an incorrect entry. please try again.

me: {banging head against the computer screen}

sometimes, i end up having to re-captcha about 3 or 4 times until i get one that i can actually figure out.  usually the phrases seem like a random pairing of words that don't make any sense, so i figured that they were the result of some kind of randomly generated program. but last week i got the following when i was trying to log into the book of faces.

surely this is someone's idea of a joke.

 maybe it's the new parent in me, but i didn't really find it funny...