(Self) Love in the Time of Corona Pt.1

Thankfully motivation is like showering; done often, and thoroughly, and sometimes with friends. Sometimes we pursue things in name but not in practice. I’ve been working to remind myself that discipline and consistent action are key. Its hard now. Harder than it’s been for many of us.

Time is melting by. Many of us feel trapped between planning and surviving. Between resting and thriving. Outside is an urban legend. Somehow I’m interacting with MORE and LESS people than ever before! Zoom taunts me. Throwing lonely people together in a game of household Celebrity Squares. Lots of conflicting posts guilting us into productivity to succeed in a world desperately clinging to “normal”. The other camp insisting that we double down on self care “in these unpredictable times”. Automated sentiment sent to our inboxes from all our favorites.

They are both wrong. They are both right. Neither of them fully encompassing the complexity of our condition. Hustle if you can. Rest if you can. But grow you must. Learn you must. Try to remember to be kind to yourself, sure, but apply pressure. A light choke. Let’s get out of this in one piece.

Marie Kondo that Vision Board!

You’re likely stuck in the house. Time is melting away, and you’re clinging like hell to the remnants of your sanity. Order has gone, and the police are trapped in the sewers. A charismatic villain is occupying your living room.

Nope, that’s Batman!

If you’re not in a Christian Bale film, you’re likely social distancing, and spending way more time at home. This means you have the opportunity to update (or create ) your very own vision board.

Whether you’re using this time to learn a second language, start a new business, or just rest and connect with yourself , you can do with a bit of DIY, mindfulness, and spring cleaning!

Goals change. They should. They will. Your vision board(s) should change along with them. My old vision board was littered with lists and quotes that no longer applied. Offer letters for positions I left, and remnants of opportunities I once wanted. I even left space for new goals and unexplored terrain. Roze: The Final Frontier!

I was younger then. I’m wiser now. Now I’m looking down a path toward professional academia, my goals are changing, and the map will need match my destination. I’m currently “funemployed” (a term I made up to reclaim my time and denounce my ties to capitalism-driven productivity and burnout) and working to one day be FUNemployed!

In other words I’ve been social distancing since January; less by choice, than force. More safety and frugality for me, yay!

So, while our nation seems to be on the edge of a real-life purge, careening dangerously towards the themes of the 2006 comedic sci-fi film Idiocracy, we can still work to refine our goals, and update your vision board. What goals have you achieved? Revamped? Reassessed? Have our priorities changed? How has the Corona Virus made you rethink your future!? a vision board is an opportunity to Get creative and post your plan where you can see it. Probably on your fridge!

We can get through this together, and come out better.

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

Happy Birthday, Angela Davis!

Originally published May 12, 2017

A few years ago I in had the absolute pleasure of witnessing the greatness that is Angela Davis. These were my fan girl thoughts.

The morning featured a host of speakers; well traveled women (and one man, my BFF) that gifted us gems from their hard-won perspectives. Each one of them taught us about how women (and one man!) leaders frame ally-ship in the disabled, LGBTQ, and medically underserved communities.

We listened intently and applauded appropriately, but we knew who we were really there to see: The incomparable Angela Davis! With almost 60 years of activism to call upon, she is one of the best examples of what a woman can achieve as an ally, activist, and thought leader.

Needless to say, I was HYPE!

Recalling some of her lived experiences, she painted a vivid picture of the past while gracefully imbuing the future with her personal brand of realistic utopian hope.

It’s possible, she told us, to take what we [women, and women of color] are often given – resistance, racism, sexism, and capitalism – and mold them into narratives of progress. Mold them into avenues for reprentation and justice.

Davis, now 73 (and trust, she look goood), was born in Birmingham, Alabama in a neighborhood knows as “Dynamite Hill”. Aptly named as it was a hot bed of racial conflict that manifested in frequent and gruesome attacks on black families and institutions. It was notorious for fires, bombings, and shootings incited by white residents to scare off black families.

Who would have thought such a rocky start would be the solid foundation for one of our nation’s most prominent thought leaders?

Without her, we couldn’t accurately address some of the gravest ills in our society. Without the language necessary to pinpoint the structural violence that marginalized people’s face, we cannot name and shame our oppressors and their wrong-doings. Language is the framework for our thoughts; a powerful tool in addressing injustice. A powerful weapon in disenfranchising those considered less powerful. Write them out, and write them off.

Davis created and popularized unprecedented terms  like “heteropatriarchy”, “clandestine racialization”, and the now-ubiquitous “prison industrial complex”. Without which we wouldn’t have tongue and teeth to know the horrid specters that wither and steal away many of our brothers and sisters.

Davis counseled us to find our niches in the struggle. To use our gifts and passions in service to others. Perhaps, she queried, that protesting or community organizing isn’t the best use of our particular talents; that our voices may take the forms of paint and brush, song and dance, or pen and paper. But each, she asserts, is necessary. Vital. We’re not far off from a great change, she believes. And although it may not happen in her lifetime, she will be there in spirit because she labored, in part, to create it.

See Angela speak! Watch in 1080p!

Teaching, leading, writing, and always challenging. She is the ultimate #wcw 🤤😍
Roze Goes… crushing

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.

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