Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Girl Take Time for Your Mind…And Get Your Dance On


One of my favorite things to do in the world is dance. I’ve been dancing since before I was born. My mother says that when she was pregnant with me, I’d start kicking when she turned on her car radio. I’m sure hearing music by the likes of Rick James and Michael Jackson got me hyped as a fetus. I haven’t studied dance. I’m not a professional, but I love it.

Sure dancing is good for my body, but it does wonders for my mind. Those of you who follow this blog know when I’m feeling blue, I will put on my Madonna CD and dance in my living room until I’m sweaty. Or  I’ll turn it out to the Cupid Shuffle, the Wobble. I may play some ‘90s hip hop (even Uncle Luke) or Latin music. I feel at my freest when I’m dancing. There’s something about the freedom of creatively moving your body. And girl, I dance like no one’s watching even if someone is watching.

The photo of me is from a blues class I took in San Francisco. My partner in the photo was the instructor for the night. As you can see I was having fun, being free. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I enjoyed myself. And it didn’t hurt that the instructor was cute. I haven’t been back in a while, but I want to take up blues dancing again. It’s a lot of fun.

At first I was nervous doing blues dancing because your partner has to be really close to you. But then I remembered how my friends and I used to get down in college. In blues dancing, your partner is close to you like when you were grinding at a college frat party. But there’s more of an art to the movement in blues. I need to get active again, and this is on my list.

If you’re in a slump, get your dance on. It could be at a club or in your den. Just move, spin, twirl, drop like it’s hot, do the robot. If you’re feeling good, dance. You’re bored? Dance. Just dance.

Single ladies, look for blues dancing in your area. There are usually a lot of men there. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Battle Of the Sexes Show Comes to Oakland and Don’t Independent Women Need Love Too?


Boy was my Friday night interesting. I attended the Battleof the Sexes Show. It’s an interactive event/online talk show taping where young urbanites discuss relationships. Founder and Toronto native Telisha Ng of the blog Goddess Intellect kicked off the U.S. tour for the show in OakTown. 

The topics ranged from women getting jealous over their boyfriends buying Mother’s Day gifts for their babies' mamas to gender roles to 3-somes and open marriages. The panel kept the energy flowing: Lincoln Blades of Uptown Magazine, Sharelle D. Lowery of Classy Black Girl, Dante Real of Real Talk Thursdays, and radio personality Kenya G. Williams.  I live Tweeted the May 17th event. Check my Twitter page for some of the juicy quotes I grabbed from the night.

I really liked a lot of things Dante had to say.  For example when someone mentioned about going Dutch on dates he said, "As a man if I can't pay for your date how could you see me as a provider? I don't do the Dutch thing." I agree 1,000%. 

One comment at the end really struck me. We were discussing gender roles and Lincoln said that some women have become so independent, and so used to being independent, they say they don’t need a man. I’ve heard this before from guys. I want to know who are these women they’re talking about. Who are these “I don’t need a man because I’m hella independent women”? Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to comment at the event but I am now. 

The fun and fiery panel from l-r: Lincoln, Dante, Sharelle, Kenya


I’m an independent woman. I bring home the bacon, fry it, wipe up the grease and clean the pan. Yes I can and do take care of myself. But I still want a man. Lincoln and Dante both argued that dating is different today because we don’t adhere to traditional gender roles anymore. I agree there is some truth to that. But it doesn’t mean that an independent woman doesn’t want a man or even need a man in her life.

I’d love to have a man in my life to travel with or go to the movies. I’m short and having a man change my ceiling lights so I don't have to climb a ladder would be awesome. I want to go hiking with a man or take long drives. I want to get married and raise a family with a great man. I want that warm, "It's going to be okay hug." Don't you love when a man's strength is gentle?  I want security. And I don’t care how many battery operated devices they make for women, nothing can replace intimacy with another human being you love. In this age, I can do most of the things I listed without a man in my life, including have a baby. But, I want companionship. And I know a lot of my independent friends who hold down a job, home and family want the same thing. That’s not to say there aren’t women holding it down solo who feel a man in pointless in their lives. That’s their prerogative. But they don’t represent all of us independent women.

Battle of the Sexes Show Founder Telisha Ng with Cocoa Fly
After the men voiced their opinions about women and gender roles, Khadija of The Khandi Shoppe broke.it.down. Shame on me for not writing her quote. But she said men need to take some ownership for why women don’t follow traditional roles; because when men leave the home, women have to wear the pants and skirt. I wanted to shout, “Preach!” Don’t get me started on the high rate of single parent, women-headed households in the Black community. If you're a girl and you see your mother, grandmothers and aunts working 8+ hour jobs, cooking dinner, wiping tears, fixing things around the house and pulling out their baseball bat or pistol when there's a thump in the night, how do interpret womanhood? And the same goes for boys. How do they learn to interpret womanhood from their mothers who wear the pants and a skirt? How do they define manhood if their fathers, even grandfathers or uncles, aren't around? Our parents' presence and absence have some shaping in our ideas of relationships.

The Battle of the Sexes Show is a really cool event. The audience submitted questions for discussion. Sometimes I wished we didn’t stay on a topic for so long because I want to hear other questions. But you can’t beat sushi, free Sequin wine, brownies for desert and good conversation. Check out www.battleofthesexsesshow.com to see if the tour is coming to your area.  Get your girls or your boo to go with you and have fun.

Thanks to Sharelle at Classy Black Girl for connecting me to the Battle of the Sexes Show. And congrats to Telisha Ng on her tour! Events like Telisha's make me appreciate how women and people of color can use the internet to show their talents and build communities.

And again, independent women need love too. 



Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Girl Take Time for Your Mind...Tune Out the Mess

Photo by Ana Labate, stock.xchng
Other people and their problems can drive you up.the.wall. Only if you allow it. We're right in the middle of Mental Health Awareness Month. And something that has kept my mind right is telling people, "I don't want to hear that sh!t." Remember that post?

 A family member, who is concerned about a relative of ours because they've been making the same bad choices for 15 years, kept going on and on about this relative during a phone call.  I've been hearing about this person and their foolishness for 15 years. And guess what? That's right, I didn't want to hear that mess. So I told them to stop. Adults know right from wrong. If the person wants to change, they will.  And when they do, I will support them. In the meantime, I can't worry about the relative. I have to take care of my issues. And I've learned worrying doesn't do any good. It doesn't change things. It just makes you look like how the woman must feel in the photo. I was accused of being too tough because I wasn't worrying about the person and didn't want to hear about their drama. Am I concerned? Yes. Worried? I can't live that life.

And so we switched the conversation to another subject. I don't think depriving myself of peace of mind to hear nearly 2-decade old foolishness means I'm "too tough." It just means I care about myself and I'm taking care of myself. Stand up for yourself ladies and tune out the mess.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Cocoa Fly Featured as a BGN Girl in BlackGirlNerds.com

Jenee Darden
I love the website Black Girl Nerds. The title is pretty self explanatory. The website covers all kinds of issues of interests to the black and nerdy sistas. I got picked on in school because I was a nerd. I told Black Girl Nerds founder Jamie Broadnax that I wish this website was around when I was a kid. Of course when I was a kid, there was no commercial-use internet.

The great thing about being a nerd is that it usually pays off once you grow up. And you even get to be featured as a BGN Girl, as I am. It saddens me that in my community, some people label intelligence as a "white thing." Remember when Michelle Obama talked to school girls about being told she "talked like a white girl" because she spoke proper English as a kid? I heard the same thing from kids and adults when I was growing up. How unfortunate SOME of us associate being smart as a "white thing" when black people have contributed so much to mathematics, science, medicine and the arts. We would be crashing into each other on the road constantly if Garrett Morgan had not invented the traffic signal. God bless Dr. Charles Drew because there wouldn't be blood banks if it weren't for his genius. And don't get me started on the mathematic brilliance of the Ancient Egyptians. Octavia Butler, Phillis Wheatley, Mary McCleod Bethune and Ida B. Wells were all bright women. And I could name more.  

Intelligence isn't strictly a "white thing."  My parents taught me about black history. If more people knew their roots, I don't think some people would be as quick to say someone is "acting white" because they're curious and want to learn.

Check out the post on BlackGirlNerds.com when I talk about being a nerd and a geek. I unapologetically love comic books, PBS, libraries, documentaries, NPR, museums, history, writing and office supply stores. That's who I am and I'm just fine.

Thank you again to Black Girl Nerds for featuring me.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Girl Take Time for Your Mind...Get A Massage

Ladies, there are things we have to do to take care of our entire being, and that includes our minds. May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Periodically this month,  I'll post content related to  taking care of yourself.

I know some of you are stressed out because of school, the kids, your man, your woman, your crazy girlfriend who keeps calling you about  her crazy boyfriend, work, graduations, planning summer vacations, paying bills, car repairs, your health, your loved one's health, etc. I could go on.

Stress is not good for your body, your soul, nor your MIND. Here's a throwback post to when I went to the spa my first time with natural hair. I know the weekend just passed. However, I'm posting about massages today so you can make your appointment for the weekend.

Massages can be great for your mental health and getting your mind right. I can hear the spa music  right now.

Read on:
http://www.cocoafly.com/2011/09/natural-hair-and-spa-experience.html?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Cocoa Fly and IMAN BB Creme Giveaway Winners!


Thank you to all who entered the contest. It was really tough to pick 1 winner because the entries were so good. But there's good news, IMAN is going to hook up 3 Cocoa Fly readers with prize packs. Narrowing it down to three still wasn't easy. So thank you all for your thorough entries.

And the winners are...

Taisha S.
California


"Being a busy mom with two kids does not really allow the luxury of purchasing, let alone the time for applying foundation on a regular basis. This product sounds as though I can use my finger to apply it while driving the kids to soccer practice! Now that's what I call multi-tasking! That's one thing I always feel good about!"

April B. 
Indiana
"I got an IUD and have been hit by a terrible spate of facial acne.  It would be great to have an appropriate BB cream to help even out my tone and nourish my skin as I try to get it back to normal."


Brandi R.
Illinios
I am....33 years old (I had to think about it! LOL) and still suffer from acne.  Sometimes it's worse than what I experienced as a teenager.  I have recently found a renewed self-confidence and these breakouts definitely take away some of that umph in my step.  With foundation, I struggle to find the right shade for my skin so I end up looking gray and ashy or like an oompa loompa.  Neither of which is a good look.  I've wanted to try a BB creme but was hesitant to buy the typical drug store brands because they don't typically match my skin tone. "



 Thank you again for your answers everyone. And congrats to the winners!
















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