Happy Birthday LeVar Burton!

Published November 8th, 2017

I LoVe-ar Burton

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQfiWFwVF8M&feature=share

I met LeVar Burton at Florida SuperCon.

And I cried. Real ugly. Snot and all. Bad. Not a singular thug tear rolling gracefully down my cheek, but an awkward choke-sob. Bad.

I managed to be partially coherent. I did my best to form sentences in front of someone I hadn’t even realized was so important to me.


I stood in line, and it moved pretty quickly. From behind two other fans I saw his prices, and after scoffing repeatedly, I decided I would just talk to him. For free.  As I opened my mouth, my eyes filled with tears.

I’d spent years worth of Saturday mornings with him. For a three-year-old that could read it was like Oprah’s Book Club. The Reading Rainbow was a weekly wish list for the literate toddler elite.


LeVar Burton is black excellence. All in one singular pop-culture era he was our past, present, and future. He was history, literacy, and science fiction all in one breath.


He embodied Alex Haley’s “Kunta Kinte” turned “Toby”, hosted the world’s most diverse children’s show, and starred as Geordi La Forge; Chief Engineer and Lieutenant Commander of the USS Enterprise. All at once he was the unyielding  spirits of our ancestors, a buttress for our imaginations, and the ingenuity and hope of our future.


LeVar Burton was IT for me. And obviously, as evidenced by my tear-stained twenty-six-year-old face, he still is. Standing there in front of my pre-k idol, I cried unexpectedly. It snuck up on me clenching my throat and burning my eyes like an expired 4 Loko.

I loved him. I love him still. He was so effortlessly fly in his linen fit and 90s-magician jewelery.  His brow wrinkled in surprise and confusion before his eyes softened. He smiled and I felt a little less like a freak. He gave me two fist bumps and a handshake.


I wish I could have said all the things that I’ve written here. I wish I would have said any of this. What I did manage to squeak out was a snotty apology peppered with mutterings about the importance of representation and Saturday morning cereal binges. What I should have said was nothing.

He encouraged us to explore our ancestry. He encouraged literacy and incredulity. He showed us that we too have a place in the stars. His show highlighted characters, authors, and children of color. He showed me, me.


But hey, don’t take my word for it.

I love you. Go read books!

Roze Goes

DIY Wednesday: Jerome’s in the House!

I said Jerome’s in the how-oo-ow-oo-ah watchyamouth!

This smooth-talking fast-walking cool cat playa from the Himalayas was, and undoubtedly remains, one of Martin Lawrence’s most notorious characters. His signature theme song and pimped-out aesthetic made him a memorable and hilarious character in the community Martin created for his viewers.

His recognizable leisure suit can be yours for the low low price of a hot glue gun and a trip to Party City.

Let’s pretend this, and the many other “ethnic” pieces modeled by white-passing individuals isn’t problematic.
Jerome was so charming and pimp-nificent that his HORRID oral hygiene could be easily overlooked. I mean he snagged Pam for a while.



fleek

This look was simple to put together.

  1. I got a jogger suit from Goodwill for $7 and cut the sweatpants into shorts.
  2. I cut the sleeves from the jacket and used the white panel to overlay the shoulder and back branded patches.
  3. I Googled the look using HD pictures to draw on the logos with a sharpie. Looked good from afar, a little sloppy up close.
  4. I used a slightly darker foundation (my summer color) to complete my skin tone with baby powder to recreate his shockingly ashy knees.
  5. The toothblack tasted like mint if mint were on meth!
  6. The church shoes and tank top I had.
  7. I practiced my moves, and got as near as possible to his famous gravely drawl.
  8. The whole costume took forty-five mninutes to an hour to create and perfect!

It went over like gang busters! No one recognized me. I took so many pictures and did the dance till my back hurt. This costume got me free drinks! No more sexy costumes! 🎃

Just a little creativity and a solid pop culture reference is all you need. You don’t have to spend too much money, and you can be warm and covered and comfortable all night.

I said it’s Roze in the House!

“4 Essential Keys to Effective Communication”

🚨 MAJOR KEY🔑 ALERT 🚨

This one is going to seem like a no-brainer. It’s not.

It would seem as though we ought to have these skills down. We don’t.

I can only speak for myself when I say that literally anything can be broken down more effectively, or conveyed more empathetically.

Bento C Leal III (honestly, lets just take a moment to bask in the regality and phonemic fun that is this author’s name. “I am Bento, of House Leal, not even the first of my name!”henceforth referred to as BCL3) ‘s bite-sized book is an easy but nutritious read. It’s full of takeaways, and highly applicable.

Although tempting, DO NOT give it away to your best friend, or little cousin, or blabber-mouth coworker. Especially not in an earnest but shady attempt to get them to shut up and listen. You’ll find that to someone, and perhaps even to yourself, that you may be the blabber-mouthed, hard-headed, non-negotiator. Keep it and reread it. Find a few on Amazon, stock up for the holidays, or send them the PDF. This book makes an excellent turkey, stocking, or pie hole stuffer.

Trust me, I’m a person that was thinking about going to medical school doctor.

4EK’s twelve brief chapters set the scene and take the reader from symptom, to diagnosis, to cure. He starts in chapters one through three with an anecdote that rings all to true: routine conversations with friends, coworkers, strangers and loved ones. He outlines how we might easily convince ourselves that in our many years of travel around the sun, we simply MUST have picked up real and successful communication skills. We mustn’t.

Continue reading ““4 Essential Keys to Effective Communication””

#TBT Jamaica Carnival 2018 🇯🇲💃🏽

I love carnival. I love Soca. I am Jamaican 🇯🇲. It writes itself. In my lifelong carnival chase, it only makes sense that I went home one time for the one time. Aight, so boom! 💥

Pickups

Caesar’s Army A.M.Bush

Length. I’ll admit I didn’t get there RIGHT as the band house opened, and that may have been my undoing, but we waited for a while. The band house and distribution system were pretty organized. Far better than most of my experiences with pickups in Miami. I put my wristband on ASAP because I don’t want no problems. That’s like, my general mantra.

Xaymaca Costume

This went quite a bit faster. We waited in two groups, and were quickly processed before heading inside the mas camp to collect. I had some challenges with my costume’s fit, but fortunately, my section’s designer, Keisha Als was present and accommodating for my friend and I. Within an hour after voicing my complaint, a seamstress was at work on my costume.

FYI: Regardless of whether or not a thong is the only option pictured, please specify (and express to customer service representatives if need be) that you want a particular bottom. Also, the prototype will NEVER be the same as what you receive. NEVAH!

Fetes:

Afloat

Dope. DJs were good. Bartenders and drink selection were good. Vibes were perfect for the first fete of our trip. UNTIL… the party went on forever. There were unidentified liquids all over the floor, the bathrooms ran out of toilet paper, and the bar was devoid of napkins. After a while, it felt like the two boats from the Dark Knight, and we were meant to choose. The Joker nearly had us dancing to death. But, I lived!

Tribe Ignite

Semi-stush vibes. It was a good time, but so soon after Afloat we hardly had the energy to give a second performance. Kes was amazing, and so was Allison Hinds. DJ Puffy had a great set, and I LITERALLy ran into Shall Marshall. Star-studded, but we still left early because we were tired and hungry; the meat-free and pescatarian options were non-existent.

Medz

HOT AF! Lordt! It’s like we were being punished for the previous night’s wotlessness! We got there late, but no matter, the boat never left. It was a dock party. A boat-adjacent party. Medz were readily available, but shade certainly was not. Vibes where you could catch a breeze… then they ran out of water. Fin.

A.M. Bush

As always it delivered. A series of connecting busses to the bush, and a slightly bewildering walk in the dark to the trucks. Just enough time to get your mind right, and sip just enough social lubricant before the paint started to fling. I love it every time. Picked all the best food lines and got tastes of my favorites. Corn soup, doubles (well not really as they ran out of everything except chickpeas), and jerk. Then a long nap in the return bus. A.M. Bush is the best! Period.

Before

P.M. Fete

Logistical failings aside, it was a good time. (If you register online, that means it automatically dumps into a cache. Then how TF are you unable to find my name!?)  If you wanted, you could scope the ones you wanted to find on the road; see your pre-mas boo in costume. Very chill, multiple bars. Again, we left early; road in the morning.

Xaymaca Cool Down Fete

Sand, when carried by the wind, feels a lot like little knives. But thankfully, that was the worst part. Had the forethought to bring a bag and snacks, and we set up a little camp. As the sun set, and our drinks set in, it really was the best party of the entire trip. The DJs played a mix of music, and and the evening breeze was perfect. Perhaps because it was the last, we appreciated it more. Bittersweet.

ROAD

The whole point. The reason I bought my flight and secured my AirBnb. If I’m being honest, I didn’t give it my all. Heart wasn’t in it. The heat was intense, the route felt forever-long, and the streets were so narrow that with stormers there nearly wasn’t room to breathe! I felt a little meh about my costume, and I knew drinking would only make me whiny. The pointy and obtrusive costumes were so painfully large, that at times we could hardly see. The lunch stop was efficient and just what I needed. The dinner stop, not so much. Vegan options were virtually nonexistent, so we left a bit early. Although, the end seemed somewhat ambiguous. Were we headed back out onto the road? We’ll never know.

Overall. Quite good. I will certainly be running it back. It owes me some money and I am going to get every one of my coins!

What are YOUR travel plans for 2018? If Roze Goes, so should you ‘

Love yourself,

NSFW: World Erotic Art Museum

🚨 Disclaimer: Do not open this post at work, near children, or with your grandparents. There will be no believable way to explain this. You WILL look like a perv, please be advised! None of the photos or videos captured herein belong to me, and are the property of the World Erotic Art Museum!

According to Google…

W.E.A.M. ticks all those boxes. This lil South Beach gem is a socio-cultural powerhouse!💥 💪🏾 One afternoon there takes you on a trip through just a piece of the many erotic art movements.

The narrative note cards at the start of the path tell the story of pre-WW1 Germany in which peculiar patrons and well-to-do busy bodies were creating in their curios the foundlings of erotic art collections. Then there were bombs 💣 , and then there wasn’t a lot of free time 👩🏾‍🎨, and then basically everything was illegal🙅🏾‍♀️.

Practicality and nationalism ate up all the cool stuff. 😒

Fortunately, the museum’s founder was able to cobble together her collection through alleyway purchases in the seedy underbellies of antique stores and bizarres. With help and networking she continues to amass interesting and eye-opening pieces from all over the world.

There were informative installations from so many cultures throughout time. So many societies older than ours that held sex in different regards and explored it in so many different ways.

It was all treated with the weight and gravity of cultural arts. I really appreciated the time, effort, and message encapsulated in each scene: pleasure, dominance, submission, and closeness.

Sex is all around us. My “date” was so painfully awkward and uncomfortable with the same-sex depictions. “Why so many penises?” As if they’re not half of all genitalia!? But truthfully, why were the purses, handbags, and cigar containers depicted as vaginas, while the knife handles, and smoking pipes were penises? Also, why were the phallic symbols so frequently used by seemingly heterosexual males?

Plus! Josephine Baker! All-around Diva, powerhouse, subterfuge operative, and Black History obelisk!

What I learned:

1. Men the world over, despite culture and time, have grossly overestimated the sizes of their junks!

2. There is massive underrepresentation in the other kinds of sexual orientations.

3. It makes no sense to to create taboos around something so natural and ubiquitous. To do so makes it forbidden, and seemingly inaccessible, which in turn forces people to pursue it in dangerous and uninformed avenues.

4. We need to talk more openly and objectively about sex.

5. Porn cannot be your introduction to sex!

6. Dudes are nasty.

7. Why was the woman of color the one in the cage?

8. Didn’t that orange painting give you Rihanna vibes?

9. If you’re gonna place a giant penis near the exit, Roze is gonna climb it!

If you’re ever on South Beach, look up the World Erotic Art Museum. The exhibits change frequently, and it’ll spark one hell of a conversation. It’s a great first date to break the ice, and cut straight to the questions you want to ask.

It’s an inexpensive and informative afternoon out of the sun in some tooth-chatteringly effective air conditioning. Maybe don’t bring your kids. Or your super-religious mom. Or do bring her. I don’t know y’all’s relationships. Maybe it’ll bring you two closer. 🤷🏾‍♀️

Learn, love, and be safe!

Old Year’s Resolutions 🥂🎆

I’m sure we’re all looking forward to another journey around the sun; visualizing our new bodies 🏋🏾‍♀️, soon-to-be bank accounts 💵, and super fulfilling love lives 👩🏾🧔🏾.

In anticipation for the new year, it would seem that we are trained to accentuate the positives. We want to frame our experiences and shape our personal narratives positively in the hopes of making them so.

In this world somethings must die in order to give rise to what must follow. So that others might live, and take their rightful place and priority in your life.

tenor

Some habits, trips, and relationships can’t be manifested until their predecessors are trampled by a herd of wildebeest. (It was 1994, and it’s still too soon 😔🤭)

You can’t ghost 👻 your real-life problems in favor of an idealized life that resets on January 1st. You can’t leave your lingering family/relationship issues on read or deactivate your adulthood account. That’s unfortunately not how this works. I tried.

Didn’t work. Before you initiate the sweeping changes you have planned for 2018 2019, what are some small changes you can make today? This year?

A lil’ motivation to complete your Old Year’s Resolutions, and step bravely into the unknown.

And finally, I wanna ask you all a question. Inspired by the folks at Shine. “A Daily text to help you thrive.”

Take this poll!

Roze Goes … luv ya!

Roze Goes Footer

#TBT Art Basel 2017

Do you like traffic 🚘? Overpriced Drinks 🍸? Tourists 📸?

Constantly reminding you of how amazing it must be to live where you already live.

“There’s so much art and culture, you must really love it here! 😒🙄 I’d move in a second if I could!”

This year I focused on art: capturing, hearing, and tasting as much of is as I could!

Went to crazy galleries and triple booked myself so that I could see, experience, and do the most!

RIP 💀👻🧟‍♀️ to Flipagram! We hardly knew ye! 👼🏾⛅️✌🏾

Wanna know how you can be the best Basel Baby 🖼 👶🏾 possible?

No worries, I got you with this handy dandy notebook resource guide!

The next time you’re “at the bottom”, as we Miamians say (only Pitbull actually says this) , make sure to look for me. I’m probably somewhere standing WAY TOO CLOSE to a painting!

I’m creating beef with security guards to up my street cred!

Check out a previous year’s Art Basel exploits with my friend Crystal @cryscassidy on IG!

Art is for everyone! It should only be free! #freetheart #freetheartist #rozegoes

How To: Comic-con vs Carnival

Sometimes we have a hard time putting ourselves in the fancifully-decorated boots of others. That’ll make sense later.

We side-eye the traditions of other cultures and forget that essentially, we are all the same. We don our respective apparel, and forget that somewhere else, someone is preparing for a yearly shindig of their own. Mine is carnival. Caribbean carnival, and particularly the one that takes place here in sunny South Florida. My friends and I partake, and only now am I starting to see that niche events like these can be vastly different, yet surprisingly similar to the ones we know.

Whether its a comic-con, a music festival, or yearly cultural parade, the world’s cultures offer us a deep and wide variety of events that strike up the same euphoria, and take you away from your everyday mundane.

Tell me if the following sounds familiar:

  1. You wait for this event all year.
  2. Your circle of friends scrimp and save; eagerly squirrelling away your vacation days.
  3. You pledge, fail, and pledge again to build a body worthy of display.
  4. After much debate and deliberation you choose the perfect costume and accessories.
  5. Your plane lands, and after hours of revelry punctuated by minutes of sleep in your respective hotel rooms, the big day finally arrives.
  6. Thousands converge on Miami to hit the stage in celebration of a rich and long-standing culture

I’m talking about the one C-word that brings masqueraders from around the world. Comic-con! July 1 marked the beginning of a four-day convention taking place on South Beach.

See, that could have been spun either way! I think I want to give cosplay a try as well. It’s not just for Caribbeans, or for nerds. They can be experienced by anyone who wants to be taken away for a weekend. Whether its vibes or merch you want. If soca or anime gives you powers, give the other a try!

Allow me to provide you a bridge the divide for you. Caribs, here is a wonderful Trinidadian cosplayer that has been taking the scene by STORM!

621658_347551175331544_727787278_o
Panterona Cosplay

She makes her own costumes, and is shattering stereotypes left and right. Check her out!

And cosplayers, you can celebrate our rich combined heritages with us, while showing off your Marvel side with  Jamborii Mas Band that is featuring a superhero theme this year!

Check out globalcarnivalist.com for tips, guides, and calendars to playing mas the world over from an experienced feteran!

Whatever you do, try to see the oneness you share with everyone else because before you know it, the tabanca sets in and it’s time to start all over again!

Roze Goes…. to a happy place! I love carnival!

26 days till Miami Carnival 2018!

All the Single (White) Ladies! 💁🏼‍♀️💁🏻‍♀️💁‍♀️

I’m not easily persuaded. My fingers are almost completely OFF the pulse of the zeitgeist. I have little-to-no idea what the young people like, or “what’s hot in these streets”. Thusly, I don’t often buy into hype. I just finished watching Season 2, Ep. 3 of Game of Thrones!

How to Be Single

The trailer didn’t sell me initially. The same ole trope: a young white woman longing to find herself embarks on an “I don’t need a man” journey of self-discovery in the big city.   What I expected was a New Girl/Sex In the City mash-up. I was pleasantly disappointed. Although virtually devoid of POC (except where they were offered up like optional side sauces in miniature tasting bowls; separate, other, and in quantities too little to appreciate), this white-chick flick hit pretty close to home.

A young woman, comfortable yet discontent in a relationship sets out to find out who she is. I am everyday working on the same. Some of the truths she stumbles up on are actually applicable.

  1. You only get a few moments of real self-knowledge when you’re not tied up in the accouterments of relationships.
  2. Young women, under the immense pressure and seemingly ultimate goal of relationship bliss and marriage, fall easily, and almost imperceptibly, into men’s “d!&k sand”; losing ourselves in the process.
  3. Openness and ownership of your body and the decisions you choose to make with it. Everything you do, makes you everything you are, and shame/guilt are nothing you should ever be or consider yourself.
  4. Finally, I UGLY LAUGHED all throughout this movie. I felt it deep in me. The little moments of insecurity that sometimes remind you of how hard you work not to feel empty. The value of friends. I was reminded of just how much self-acceptance is a  rocky, rewarding, and never-ending journey. Gotta work at being the you you want!

Lady Dynamite

I love alternative humor and lately the universe has been sending a bunch of really powerful non-traditional roles played by actresses that’s aren’t quite so mainstream. They’re older, and not what others may consider classically beautiful. More importantly, they play characters that push social commentary, have internal struggles, and are genuinely working to be better people. They have more than just man troubles, and aren’t encumbered with need to be bashful, comedically awkward, or cutely quirky. (I’m talking about you Zoe Deschanel!)

Spy


Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 


Here’s what bums me out. That they’re aren’t more women of color in roles like this. Perhaps we’re too busy unpacking colonialism, defending the idea that Black Lives do in fact Matter, or bathing our children with bottled water. Maybe we’re not journeying to discover ourselves because our roles were written for us hundreds of years before were were born. Maybe they’re waiting for me to write their voices.

Roze Goes
… To a dark (skinned) place

Actor Bae: A Sip With Sexy

I’m interested in virtually anything Issa Rae is involved with. So when I saw her post that she’d be in SoFlo for this year’s American Black Film Festival, I jumped on one of the last and most affordable events:

About Kofi Siriboe

I first saw Mr. Siriboe in Girls Trip, as the fresh-faced love interest of Jada Pickett-Smith’s character. I saw. It honestly wasn’t a great display of his talent. I remember wanting to see him in something deep, earthy, salient.

:looks lovingly at Queen Sugar:

I took a Lyft, and got there early; two unusual happenings for Roze. I was completely unwilling to pay for parking on the beach, and the event organizer produced a discount code for attendees. [read “Open bar! We will not be held responsible!”]

I fortunately found a group of old college friends and skipped most of the long, winding, Jordan release-esque line.

By the time Issa came on stage to introduce the evening’s guest, the waiting audience had already jooked, wobbled, and strolled ourselves in buzzed contentment.

All the fan girls swarmed to the front, for a whiff of what is undoubtedly one of the most sparkly-toothed good-smelling young men on God’s green Earth! #chocolate 🍫

It started way late. Like #CPtime meets Salvador Dali clock late. Issa jumped right into the question and answer portion. Kofi explained a little bit about his Ghanaian-American upbringing, his former-fluffy-kid struggles, and how those and many more factors played into his current successes.

If I’m being honest, some of his quotes didn’t quite hit. He might have prematurely succumb to his drink, but generally he described a quick and dynamic rise to stardom fraught with personal struggle and realization.

Issa asked a series of questions about his philosophy surrounding fame and attention. I took notes.

They addressed mental health and personal wellbeing in the black community as well as millennials and their challenges in the workforce.

Finally, the audience [read: screaming millennial black women] submitted their questions for Issa to read aloud. Kofi shared his advice for young creatives and his thoughts on life planning and decision making.

It was an evening aptly name named: just a sip. The ladies would have asked him questions for hours! I was full from way too many hors-devours, and it was time to go home.

I’m gonna give a sip one day!

Roze Goes,

DIY: No Sew Bag!

I take it as a personal challenge to attempt to recreate (read “I’m not paying for that, [insert store name here] plays too much!”) nifty crafted doohickeys.

It’s my own heartfelt vendetta against all seemingly DIY-able jewelry, crafts, accessories, clothing, and general knickknacks. If it’s got rhinestones, canvas, paint, or yarn, I won’t rest until I’m a Pinterest “nailed it” horror meme!

Lately I’ve been drawn to real throwback purses: bucket bags, bamboo basket handbags, and woven carry-alls.

So generally this was my inspiration. Minus the lining. I have no interest in transporting pens or loose change.

It came to me pretty simply. I figured tank top straps are already like purse handles, so I’d start from there.

Supplies

Scissors, Tank top of choice, Cardboard, Objects to carry

Steps

1. I cut my tank top into strips leaving the neckline and armpit holes (That’s the scientific term) intact.

2. Stretch the strips to have enough length to work with.

Be careful not to cut the strips too thin, because you will lose them when you stretch. Also maybe don’t use your Hulk strength.

💪🏾🤦🏾‍♀️🤷🏾‍♀️🤫

The fallen comrades :(

3. Interweave and knot the strips to create the net. Think basketball 🏀 netting.

Ideally I would have slipped a flattened box into the tank top so that I could clearly sort and weave the straps. You could probably also pin them in place while you planned your pattern!

What you don’t want is to tie neighbor strips to one another! Otherwise you’ll just have purposeless knots. You’re tying every other strip together, and then securing them with knots.

Leave the middle strip alone. It will be tied to the the following strip.

In this example tank top we would tie strip #1 to #3, and strip #2 to #4

Following this pattern around the tank top should create your first row of quasi-diamond shaped openings, once you finish the row, you follow this pattern until your ends are too short to keep it up.

4. Seal off the bottom of the bag by tying opposing ends to one another; reaching across the circle to match each end up.

If you were to look down into the netting you could see the freely hanging ends as if you were standing under a basketball hoop.

Tie your ends together and make sure not to leave any gaps.

5. Test it out. Doing this you’ll see if any ends were left unmatched, and whether or not you should reinforce certain areas with additional knots.

Better next time…

Next time I won’t cut the strips so thin, and use a thicker fabric. I’ll use a cardboard insert to help sort my strips, and I’d like to try this with tank tops of varying sizes. I could maybe also make the diamonds a little smaller so that when stretched, they don’t turn into gaping holes. 🙄

Roze Goes Rating:

🌹🌹🌹/🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

This can be overcome with practice. I’ll use thicker fabrics. I can probably find some great thrifted tanks with interesting patterns or textures for a different look. Maybe denim!

Will YOU DIY?

I hope you’ll try some new DIY this month! this ones just in time for Memorial Day weekend. #MAYbe you need a cute beach bag or sack to carry your toys or snacks. Reduce, reuse, recycle!♻️

Head on over to hasombags.com to see more ethically sourced upcycled cloth bags, napkins, and bookmarks!

Roze,