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!

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