Lessons from the Pole

Today one of my co-residents told me a story ( I know you weren’t expecting that from the title but trust this warm up sets the mood). It was about an older friend of hers who thought she would get ready properly before her pap smear- if you haven’t noted from previous posts-I’m a doctor. The older lady properly groomed ( thank you baby Jesus), bathed ( can I get an Amen), and used a spray deodorant ( side eye- quick way to get an irritant dermatitis where you DO NOT want irritant dermatitis). When she got to the physician and disrobed he commented “festive” upon seeing her vagina… When she got home she realized that she accidentally used glitter hairspray instead of the spray deodorant… Yep, marinate on that a minute- I’m BAAAAACK (say it like the drunk in Independence Day when he saved the world by giving it up the ass to the aliens)

I’m sorry I Left You Without a Dope Beat to Step To

But getting to the point of this post: Lessons I am learning from the pole: here is lesson number 1: OWN YOUR VAGINA. I am currently drinking red wine out of a plastic stemless wineglass that is halloween-themed with frosted skull and bones. I bought these originally planning on sending them along with a care package that included candy, lotion, tums, and other haloweeen-themed goodness to my ex-boyfriend. FYI I’m the one with the halloween birthday. Buying presents for your boyfriend on your birthday is NOT an example of owning your vagina. However, drinking out of a skull and bones plastic cup like a classy BIYATCH is.

I don’t expect this to be a lesson anyone picks up immediately. I mean, I am finally at the point where I can order pad kee mow without chomping my way bitterly through it!

Shout out to eat 24 and Santa Barbara Winery for my late night ramblings this time around. And my mother, and my sister- who told me to write again. It feels like stretching a muscle I have not used in years. Like the first time in the diet you are forcing down salad with no dressing, like yoga after a long blissful break where you are only happy you paid for the overpriced classes because you got some comfy overpriced fatty pants out of it. I feel like that moment where your instructor is telling you to be glad you have taken this moment out for yourself and all I can think is I CANNOT TOUCH MY TOES!!!! I think this is why I have moved on o pole dancing instead. I can have a ‘Fuck it all day’ and still be sexy, I can cry my way through the warm up and still be comforted, I can wear every piece of clothing in my wardrobe that is too small/tight/glittery/loud for public consumption but makes me feel yummy.

Tuesday in pole my teacher randomly ( or randomly to me because I was not paying attention to what happened before this) yelled “OWN that BIKINI WAX!” to a fellow student. At which point I began a serious discussion with a neighbor whether or not the girl had actually just gotten a new wax or was my teacher referencing the fact that pole sits feel a lot like bikini waxes. I started thinking then- and now- about whether or not it is time for me to revisit that particular brand of torture myself while pouring my wine. I have officially not gotten a wax in YEARS – ok maybe like one year but still. That is the longest it has been in my adult life. But since I was the only one admiring my own hoo ha I figured why don’t we just save some money and pain and keep it moving! So the decision on whether or not to wax started me thinking about whether or not I was ready to start dating again. At which point the lessons of pole dancing came back in my face– Do It When you Want to Do it, If you Want to do it, For No Other Reason Than Becuase You Want to Do It- which I abbreviated to OWN YOUR VAGINA.

I have always been the one to pay for my own waxing. I paid for the actually process, the pain during the waxing and the pain in the stinging showers later with still open pores. I’ve pretended to enjoy sex the same day when all I could think was HURRY UP before i get contact dermatitis!!! and Praise the Lord and All the Angels for Hydrocortisone cream and cool fans. I distinctly remember asking one of the before people ( I have got to come up with some sort of all-encompassing term for ex boyfriends- I’m getting to the point where saying ex,ex,ex,ex…just starts to sound trashy) which kind of wax he would prefer ” landing strip, heart-shaped, triangle, nothing at all” whilst praying for the landing strip because ladies let’s be honest- that last bit hurts the worst!!!! And clearly landing strip was invented by some awesome lazy, self-loving, and enterprising woman who thought- ” how about I just not do the part that hurts?” But looking back on that moment now all I can think is WTF?!!! You asked HIM how to wax YOUR VAGINA!!! ugh- this is why women have the sexual revolution at 30. I’m not quite there yet but it is about to be EPIC. Seriously, asking you boyfriend how to groom your vagina while you pay for it is an essay waiting to happen.

Let’s be real, it’s a pretty accurate example of how to properly rip the hair out of your vajayjay.

I also felt like I should not bother with the waxing bc my tummy is currently exploring her boundaries and I have been secreting her away from the world- which includes the world of aestheticians. But how Cray cray does that sound? I’m ok with them seeing my vagina but not my tummy?! Like there is literally a moment in all brazilian waxes where they are going for the a-hole and you either have to tuck in your knees laying on your back or hold up one cheek while laying to the side and I AM WORRIED ABOUT MY STOMACH?! So to conclude…I am going to wait on the brazilian- because it hurts, and because I did not budget for it this month. But when I get to the point where I feel like it I am going to OWN THAT- for no other reason than because I want to.  lessons from pole dancing #1 OWN YOURS

ps. This also applies for penile grooming- I have been told setting #4 on the trimmers will do the trick.

Salvation- GroupMe Style

I am currently sitting at a desk in the hospital writing. I’m supposed to be at some meeting or another but I had to take some time to save myself. Or more accurately- write a bit about how my girls and my God are currently saving me. I think that the biggest lesson in “saving yourself” is that you can’t. All that foolishness about “getting myself together”- it is impossible. I have never in my life (admittedly only 27yrs strong) “gotten myself together”. F the frikin bootstraps! I’m pulling myself up- and being pulled up and together by spirits, and hands, and ancestors, and all sorts of laughter, and shared tears. Among the lessons (re)learned today- was taking time to save yourself. And as such…I’m writing in the middle of the day.

Oddly enough- the ease of the sister-pull up/together was facilitated first by facebook and now by group me. And while I could and will go into the beauty and trappings of using technology to facilitate interpersonal relationships that will be saved for another discussion. This one instead, is about salvation- and its many forms.

blackwomenprayer

My God- routinely, saves me. And this is something I probably take for granted. That’s the trouble with unconditional love- you don’t see on it, it’s always there. You can mess it up and take it back and trip all over it and still- it comes searching for you on happy days to give you a high five, and on bad days to bring you back to the happy ones. Still, this kind of unseen love- this voice that I can’ put a finger on and know- sometimes doesn’t seem to get my jokes. Jesus and I have a lot of “why did I share?” moments. You know, when you are retelling something to someone and you are all excited about it and they just kind of look at you- or worse, chuckle appreciatively, or say lol as a conversation filler when they aren’t really laughing…- those are “why did I share moments” You never hear about Jesus making jokes. Seems like Jesus didn’t grapple with his sexuality, or kinks, or geekiness, or desire to use the f-bomb. Jesus didn’t worry about whether he looked sexy in his tunic and sandals- or if he did he didn’t talk about it in public so I’m missing the example I’m supposed to follow. Jesus didn’t worry about having kids by 30 bc he knew he was dying at 33…didn’t save for retirement. I’m pretty sure Jesus was a socialist and I’m just too greedy for that shyt ( hope Jesus isn’t mad I said that just then). And so while that salvation is real, and is the most important- its intangibility and distance makes it hard to see and feel and love on a daily basis.

Frida Kahlo

The salvation I am talking about therefore- is the one that sounds a little more like this:

” I hate the nuance and blatant perversions of privilege and savior complexes”

” Wait! I can cook! I have wide thighs! I should have gone to an HBC- I want a redo”

” I wore the panties that are like shorts today because I rode my bike to school. Turns out that was a terrible idea. Not only are my shorts riding up my cheeks, but I have twice as much fabric as normal…fml”

“I have too much too much pride and too little commitment for a personal trainer”

” status post workout: I’m out here in LA lookin like Beloved with a lazy eye”

” Are we posting pre and post workout pics? Like I said before my exercise is sex these days…It’ll just be hella photos of me cheesin hella hard”

This is the type of salvation that keeps you from falling off the edge. These women…There are only so many colored girls who were natural before natural was cool. Only so many who will go camping with you, go thrift store raiding with you, and then spend all your saved money on makeup/shoes/ music albums you can’t afford. And perhaps this isn’t what you need to survive. I need someone to yell at the TV with me about how the promotion of the dichotomy of the strong (physically) dominant, unyielding Black man and the submissive, churchgoing, naive, skinny, light skinned black woman is literally killing us (Damn Tyler Perry!). I need someone who will let me love Jesus and sex at the same time ( and find a way to work through that almost polarizing issue given the fact that we are no longer getting married at 15). I need someone who will love Africa and all of her peoples ( including the Jews) but who knows that they have no desire to go move back to Ghana and rough it out against the mosquitoes. I need girls who read, and write, and fall down, and pull me back up daily.

balckwomanart

For your salvation- for yourself- I encourage you to find yours. Find the people with no “why did I share moments”

On Cooking…and Why I Should Get Back to Waxing

Really it’s why I should get back to writing about waxing but that’s not as fun of a title.

Sooo…despite the fact that this blog is pretty much dedicated to all of my rando adventures. I realize that I pretty much write about medicine ( both being a doctor and a patient), beautification stories (waxing/hair/do-it-yourself(DIY) gone wrong), and my spiritual journey. Like- I love college basketball, the NFL, and I’m pretty hardcorily ( love my made-up words) from the Left Coast, and I am always on some rando diet/work out plan…but I never write about that stuff. Also, while I do write about men I’m dating/have dated, most of those blogs end up in the past tense because I respect the relationship I’m currently in. And so…this post is a bit random. It’s about a failed posting…kinda.

I tried to make a video for ya’ll about me cooking Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps. However, I was too lazy to do my make-up/Hair and in the process of making the video I became more and more aware of the prominence of good lighting and a kitchen larger than- well mine- required to make a good video. I was alternating between making video clips with my computer and my phone ( I have no idea why I didn’t use my canon…silly Mina), and this resulted in all sorts of craziness. First I realized that I couldn’t get a good angle to film myself doing prep work- and this is the part that I think most people need to see. I tried to have my boyfriend (manfriend?) – wait- I can just say Man and the ‘my’ will imply that he is, well, mine…I digress. I tried to have him chop some onions for the cream sauce I was making…and half an hour later I had almost burnt the roux it was going in because who can make a roux sit for half an hour…really? So I realized how much people don’t get the difference between chop/dice/julianne…and because TV doesn’t really show any of this- I figured I would.

Ginger, Shallots, Plum Sauce, FIsh Sauce, and the ubiquitous wine

Ginger, Shallots, Plum Sauce, FIsh Sauce, and the ubiquitous wine

But this shot- I had to take, while like holding my camera phone between my boobs and my mouth to get the right angle. Obv couldn’t do much narrating like that. And then I settled for doing all the prep work and just videotaping me add it into the pot but disaster struck in the form of…couldn’t get the plum sauce open without having to use my TEETH, pulled the fish sauce cap too fast so it sprayed into my eye. Basically, I didn’t have enough wine.

I had still forgotten the basil at this point

I had still forgotten the basil at this point


       Basically I put all of the ingredients in but then I needed more oil, and half my ginger got stuck on the plate and as it turns out I needed two hands…

IMG_1343

Alas, I got to the finished product. And it was amazing, and it was healthy, and it included the Basil I initially had totally forgotten ( but not the garlic I accidentally left minced in the fridge). Pause…Floetry’s It’s Getting Late is playing on my Pandora and since I am apparently being celibate I have GOT to CHANGE the SONG. Ok back again. I realized in this misadventure that while I love good food, much like I love sports, and amusement(I initially spelled that with a ‘z’) parks that all these facets are not meant to be in this one space. While my truth might be a picture of me damn-near slobberring over my culinary masterpiece- that might not be fit for public consumption…unlike my waxing stories. Let your girl have a little mystery! I’m sticking to what I know. This week- more DIY beautification for those of us city girls on a budget: Shaving your eyebrows…Brace yourself.

What a Way to Go

So I literally just ran down from the Intensive Care Unit to write this post. Now you might be expecting at this point, something deep and introspective about life and death and medicine…which I do sometimes. But this will be about the excellent medicine that is- humor.

So I was writing a quick note on one of the patients on our Service who is going in for Open Heart Surgery tomorrow. I admitted him last week and he is in great spirits about the whole thing, which is always nice to see. After commenting about his awesome attitude to one of the older ICU nurses she proceeded to me to tell me one of the best ICU Heart attack stories ever: For your enjoyment I give you- this little gem:

 

“I can beat that,” The nurse started. I had one patient- she told me she had a history of heart attacks in her family. She said her brother died, while having sex, because of a heart attack.

“His stupid wife,” the patient started in a heavy accented older voice ” couldn’t recognize the signs. She was there naked doing CPR on him when the paramedics came!” At this point the nurse said she almost had to excuse herself except…the patient started laughing first. Shocked, but glad the patient could find some humor in the situation, the nurse asked the patient how she knew she was having a heart attack. And it turns out- that she was having sex as well. She said- she kept yelling to her husband “Stop, I can’t take anymore!” “I feel like I’m dying!” At this point the nurse said she lost all decorum and was bent over grasping her sides at the patient’s bedside.

Another nurse got up to come hear the story. “I mean, he must have thought he was doing a good job,” she added in. But I thought, if I had to have a heart attack and die…might be the best way to go. The patient promised celibacy from there on out but approached every bit of her ICU stay with laughter and a smile, and a healthy dose of self-deprecation.  Image

Pretty is as Pretty does

As I sit here on my computer desperately trying to convert myself over to my schedule working Nights over the next two weeks I find myself a little, ahem, can we say cranky? Now one would think I would come back from my vacation all refreshed and ready to get back to work but really, who comes back from vacation ready to work? Who comes back from vacation ready to do anything but go back on vacation? My mainstay- when this type of neurosis sets in, is to start planning my next vacation. Whether it actually happens or not, whether it’s a staycation where I do my own facial and mani-pedi or a huge trip to the World Cup in Brazil next year- it helps soothe the mind. It gives me Hope! Alas, The trouble with being in the “in-between” land that is residency, That which shall heretoforth not be named …evil budgetting… and all its truths and practicality came in tonight and kicked my vacation plans into the land of a dream deferred.

And so we were off to plan B. Yes I had taxes to file, and forebearance applications to submit ( didn’t I say ‘ that which will not be mentioned” is real?!) but those are not likely to help with the current state of crankiness. And since I have one of those jobs where it is apparently frowned upon to have a glass of wine…silly doctoring… I needed to resort to plan B, C, and D to finally calm down, stretch my neck, and move forward. I started out attempting to work on my book- the trouble I have discovered with that is the resident’s lounge/library is not quite, uh, conducive to the creative mindset. And getting irritated at the BF ( not his fault I’m cranky) doesn’t help you write out, shall we say, love scenes?

An Image from my Childhood: and the Inspiration for this title:

AFROTINA

So then I decided that my pinterest, and current obsession with fashion could do with some spring cleaning and sprucing up. No I will not give out the site to said pinterest yet-ya’ll know I’m a perfectionist like that. So I went through countless blogs on blackness, feminism, and beauty and among all that some deign to be superficial (including some parts of myself)- I found some measure of peace. There is something to be said for beauty- and seeing it in yourself. I’m not talking about the high fashion magazines and eurocentric, eating disorder provoking, capitalistic cray crayness that populates most of the interwebs- but the informative and creative processes of small shops on Etsy- who let you send in your measurements and make your clothing from there and bloggers who are teaching women how to sew again. One of my new loves is The Amateur Escada who makes her own shirts with titles like FEARLESS but with subtle bible verses below. There are other fashionista’s who spend half their time blogging about where they found such and such vintage for less than 10bucks! and actually give you the link as well!! Much different from the competitive mindset so many of use Westerners use to get ahead in our careers, and similarly to have the “one of a kind” bracelet from so and so.

And so I was able then to make the successful transition from irritability, to acceptance, to fun and beauty, and move to the spiritual- which is my ultimate ground and foundation. For what has this blog, this journey, and true style all about other than to be FEARLESS: Psalm 46: 1-11. And to recognize true beauty…not that I might have a bone or two to pick with God about the Braids- because mine are BANGIN.

Since I still have a ways to go before I am officially off the proverbial hook that is my pager- I will take a pause for now. This turned out to be timely…blasted  hyperbilirunibemia keeping me awake!! ah well- at least I’ll be able to sleep through the day tomorrow- gtg Fearless Family

An Image from my Childhood: and the Inspiration for this title:

My real life…in Quote form

Because so many people don’t seem to understand the support and love and hilarity that surrounds my life. I give you these jewels:

Quotes from my girls:

Gurl I haven’t done laundry in so long that I went to work Commando today!. I had to go to target during lunch time to get some panties!

I’m shoving my Nuva Ring in TONIGHT! No! I gave this shyt 3 days! I’m done with this. – that last part was said so calmly and with the sweetest southern accent you’ve ever heard

Me: Girl that Chick in Twerk Team, I had to let my ex-boyfriend know about them. I was NOT HATIN!

Her response: Girl you know she is talented! She needs to be on the Olympics! (this conversation was had while watching Olympic diving)

I was expecting this to taste like Napoleon…I mean neopolitan

Me: Girl God Bless Ryan Bailey’s ( Insert your man of choice here) Parents! her response: When I tell you Jesus is REAL!

The best thing about driving in LA is when you do something ignorant you just put on ignorant music and stare at people. Because there are so many gangs no one knows who is affiliated so I just do the Angry Black Woman stare and they let you through.

You know my secret fantasy is to have a shotgun and shoot out people’s tires when they do something wrong so they have to be a sitting duck and think about what they just did.

You know it’s bad when…: you wake up in the morning…still 20lbs heavier than you thought u would be this time this year- and you’re mostly just grateful the scale isn’t going the other way….and you still eat a biscuit for breakfast. JULIE can I borrow your self control for a minute

and another: ummmm…the moment when you realize your butt looks kinda cute in your scrubs…and 20 minutes later you realize…HOLD UP!!! Why are my scrubs cuffing my butt???

old ladies

Reminder: your girlfriends will probably outlive your husband. So find good ones

Diets Cause Writer’s Block

I haven’t really felt like writing. My thoughts seem to be running back and forth between the extremes of “God I hate diets” to “Praises for the bestest friends and family ever” and all of the highs and lows in between. Intern year is right at that point where you are simultaneously beginning to think you know what you are doing…and then being proven wrong- daily. The weight loss plan has moved from the easy and fast start to the laborious and slow plateaus. My attempts at drawing nearer to God is right at the point of the serious PRESS. It’s like the moment during the bench press where you are all at once thanking everyone for your spotter, who is doing most of the lifting at this point. The trouble is…I’m having a bit of trouble with that thankfulness part. I am not good with the SLOW BUT STEADY…anything.

Perhaps that is the point of these “in between” times; the grey zone- to remind me that clarity comes from within. This will, in all likelihood, not be the only time in my life where I am broke, tired, hungry, bored, and alternatively grateful, excited, and expectant all at the same time.  It will not be the last time I seem to want to write about all the things that I should hold inside for just a little bit longer, and cant find anything else that even makes me want to pick up a pen. And so- in the honesty that you have come to love about me…now that I’ve spouted all I can about the silver lining- a quick rant.

Yesterday I ate:

a protein shake with two bananas and some sort of skinny latte

a kale/pear/havarti cheese salad and lentil soup

fruit salad, tuna and regular house salad,

total cereal and greek yogurt,

and some broccoli/mustard green/pear/carrot juice mixed with flax seed and plain greek yogurt

– and I about STARVED

photo-29

and so, after getting off work- I was a bit cranky during my studying for step 3. I had some trouble forcing my way through my workout Jillian Michaels is an evil beast). It hurt watching my cousin walk away from American Idol (more me than her).  And I managed to trick myself into believing I wasn’t irritated at my man for the combo of ” hey what r u wearing” attitude and “I promise I can pay attention to you while watching the Celtics/Lakers game” lies (I swear I am an old soul. My generation’s complete comfort with the lack of communication in texting is probably NOT coincedent with our inability to maintain faithful relationships unless we are quite literally wrapped around one another) .

In light of the aforementioned crankiness- I turned to my brief slice of sanity these days: a combination of Charles Stanley and The Biggest Loser– and went to bed at 9pm.

This morning- I’m already 1 protein shake, 1 banana, and 2 boiled egg whites into the day. Here’s to hoping that this moment of clarity will last. Am Haiku:

Clarity will last

For just as long as you do

Just outside my grasp

 

I am learning trust

In small doses: diets still suck

Humility reigns