Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tell 'em how you feel Tuesdays: True Blood is back!

I don't know if any of you guys follow True Blood (and if you don't, lo siento, but you really need to). . . I'm a huge fan. I missed Sunday's new episode and had to catch it online but since I've been behind 2 seasons, I now have absolutely no idea what's going on.

I've decided to start something called 'Tell em how you feel Tuesdays' (similar to What's all the hype about), which will pretty much be my time to do just that - tell people how I feel. Obviously no names will be used, but it'll be general shout-outs.

Me and my linesister/roomie. . .pondering our forehead sizes.

• I need to get to a dentist, like yesterday.

• I am not the favorite person of a few people today but I'm learning that apologizing isn't going to get me anywhere and I've never been one to grovel.

• My birthday is coming up (July 27th!) and I have no clue what to do for it. I'm thinking that it needs to be something grown up, since I'm turning 22 and all. . .

• Once my birthday does come that means the summer is over and Nhya either needs to move into an apartment or move back home. Yikes.

Urban Outfitters is having a sale and I need to get there immediately. Am I late?

• Speaking of sales and shopping in general - I just found out about Urbanog.com (don't judge!) and I know where I'm getting my bday shoes from. Found the below romper there too.
• My whole "summer dieting" thing has been really lax and I need to pick it up if I want to get to my goal weight.

Sidenote: Thanks for all those comments on the Iced Tea Post, lmao. I'm glad y'all get my sense of humor!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Nhya Vs. McDonald's Sweet Tea

I nearly died today.

No, legit. And it would have all been at the hands of what I thought was one of the most magnificent creations brought to McDonald's. Ain't that some sh-t?

I always imagined that my near-death experience would be something that would open my eyes to all the great things in life, and y'know. . .teach me that I should appreciate everyday. All it did was make me really suspect of abnormally large drinks. Here's how it happened:

I'm walking back to my room from work with J (the boyf) and his brothers, quickly, because it's humid as hell in New York and I'm not tryna' have my hair frizz up. . .

Jokingly, I grabbed something J was holding because I knew he'd put up a fight for it - it was food, fyi. We go back and forth for it and his brothers are laughing in the background because they know that nothing stands between him and his food. Not even me. One of them cracks a joke saying just that, and as I'm sipping on my sweet tea, I start my usual fit of inappropriate laughter.

First mistake.

Before I know it, I start coughing. This is fine - I always have coughing attacks when I talk too fast while eating or drinking. Suddenly, however, coughing turns to choking and while everyone around me is still laughing at the previous joke, I'm realizing, slowly but surely that my oxygen supply is clogged by the syrupy yet deadly goodness that is McDonald's sweet tea. I grip my iPhone tightly because if I survive this experience, the last thing I'll want to deal with is a shattered phone screen (for whatever reason, I'm also still securely holding the iced tea.). I'm trying not to panic but because I'm naturally dramatic I'm thinking three steps ahead of what's already happening. . . is this it? This happens all the time - why haven't I stopped coughing?!

J's the first to realize that something's not right - probably because by now my nose has started leaking, I'm sweating, and my face has gone from caramel to purple - and springs into action.

I must say, I'm proud.

He starts rather violently yet lovingly slapping my back. At this point, his actions have helped me realize that I am in fact, choking to death, and I make my second mistake. I lose all sense of logic. My hands start flailing (still holding the iPhone, of course), I start gasping for air, and I make signals that I've seen in movies which I thought meant "help"! When he realizes the slaps aren't working, J starts doing his own rendition of the Heimlich maneuver which is like the real Heimlich maneuver, only much more emotional and amateur when done when you're scared your girlfriend might die because she can't drink properly.

Since I'm my mother's child, this is all becoming entirely too much for me and my mind starts racing to how just earlier I was talking about how sucky it would be to die at 21, and how I've always wanted to visit a 7th wonder of the world. And why hadn't I opted for the large fries instead of the medium for lunch when life was so short?! While I'm sifting through what-if's in my head, at some point my choking calms down. As I'm catching my breath, I let a few chuckles escape because, let's be honest - I was happy I was alive and the whole thing was kinda funny. If it wasn't happening to me.

J on the other hand is furious, and I can understand why. He tells me that I really need to stop choking. I tell him I'll work on that.

What I learned from that experience is that:

A) My boyfriend really is my knight in shining armor (who knew he actually knew the Heimlich?) and,
B.) Thank goodness I wasn't choking alone. How awful would it have been if I was found, dead and alone in front of my place of work with hair frizzed beyond the point of recognition?

So that was my Friday. How was yours?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hiding from the sun

This particular post was inspired by Shani's blog, where she posted the following video entitled 'Dark Girls':

Dark Girls: Preview from Bradinn French on Vimeo.

After watching it was I surprised by the way I was reacting. I didn't burst out in tears, but I was identifying some of those insecurities within myself that I thought I had conquered and I hated that. I wouldn't consider myself dark-skinned - I actually prefer caramel, hence my nickname - but I felt wrong for ever thinking that by Black standards, I'm better off being lighter, and by Dominican standards, I'm a bit too dark (both of my backgrounds). I think that at this point in my life I have grown a lot more comfortable with myself, skin color, body type, hair and all, but I seriously wish that myself and other young women didn't need to "get comfortable." Why are we the ones who have to do the adjusting? We're just expected to learn to love ourselves when we have ignorance hissing in our ears?

But listen, I'm not making excuses.

This past Spring semester I wrote my thesis on the changing portrayal of African American women's body image in magazines, so I covered everything from Aunt Jemima to Michelle Obama. Obviously, one of the big things I talked about was skin color and it's significance in both black and white society. It was the first time that I was seeing this written in books by scholars. Through my own research I discovered how there were brief stints of time when being dark skinned was en vogue (like during the 70s and around the Black Power Movement) and there were also times when being light skinned with more white features were in. Yet, light skin has historically been associated with a higher status and thus, more positive qualities. What hurt me the most was that it was black people who were judging one another the harshest. One thing I did discover is that even if darker-skinned models were being featured in magazines, there were still magazines that lightened well-known celebrities - celebrities that weren't even that dark to begin with. As much as we'd like to think we're growing as a society overall, we shouldn't be concerned about accepting dark-skinned women. We should have a natural inclination to love and tell people that they are beautiful no matter what their shade.

Watching that video also got me to start thinking about what my siblings and children, if I ever have any, are going to grow up with. People tell me now that they anticipate my boyfriend and I will have beautiful mixed kids because he's white and I'm black, but I always tell them that my kids will be beautiful no matter what race J and I was. I know I can't change the way people think as a whole, but I can always start with myself and I think my thesis helped me understand that. It's still a growing process though, because I do catch myself having my moments where I'm like, "Oh no! I don't wanna stay in the sun because I'll get darker." Like, it baffles me when my white friends ask me to "lay out."

But it's the summer. I should just enjoy it even if my skin goes from a Soft Sable to a Toasted Almond by L'Oreal standards.

Sidenote: "Toasted" almond! Why is that that?
Double Sidenote: If I hear, "she's pretty for a dark-skinned girl" one mo' 'gain. Okay, I'm done.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Can you imagine?

This is pretty awful. . .

The NY Times reports that all cigarette packets produced after September 2012 will now have these lovely pictures covering part of the front and back:

You know, to make smokers feel even worse about their addiction. And to repulse passerbys.

I'm not a smoker, and I understand the point behind these labels, but damn. It got me thinking about my "addictions." I was talking to my roomie this morning about de-toxifying ourselves and going on a no-drinking, no-coffee de-tox for a month or so. Now, I'm no where near addicted to drinking or coffee (I'm pretty much a social drinker and coffee tastes good to me once and a while), but suppose they put disturbing labels on something that I'm semi-hooked on?

Like, I don't know. . .shopping.

Imagine if there were little pictures on price tags of clothes and shoes showing a family broken apart because of compulsive shopping. Or a girl like me, homeless and missing teeth, but still decked out in new items. It's a little dramatic, but I don't know how I'd feel about that. I also don't know that I would stop. Lol - is that bad?

But in all seriousness, what do you guys think of these labels? Would it deter you from smoking or would you cover up the pic and slip out the cig?

Sidenote: How cute is this? I figured this would detract from the hideous pics you just saw.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The last of my challenge

I told y'all I would finish my challenge so that's what I'm gunna do. Bam, bam, bam!

Seven wants.
1.) A car (probably a new Honda. Y'know, for safety reasons). And a license to drive it.
2.) An entry-level paid j-o-b, in my field. Editorial assistant of some kind maybe.
3.) These shoes. Poppin'. I can't, however, in good conscience spend 1/3 of my college tuition on them.
4.) A nice set-up for me and my boyfriend. Starter apartment and what have you.
5.) Financial security for the fam.
6.) Lazer corrective vision surgery. Why not?
7.) Err, world peace?

Eight fears.
1.) Cats
2.) Drowning
3.) Failure
4.) Death/Disease
5.) Losing a loved one
6.) Going blind
7.) Lack of physical fitness/health
8.) Dreams cut short

Nine loves.
1.) J-Money
2.) My family and friends
3.) Cupcakes and other great food
4.) Fashion/shopping - particularly lace, leopard and florals
5.) Good times, lots of laughter and good company
6.) Things pertaining to women's empowerment and African American history
7.) Standing for something I believe in. A good debate
8.) Reading, and learning more about. . .whatever. I love to learn
9.) Writing

Ten Secrets.
1.) I have a tendency to impulsively shop when I'm stressed. Or bored.
2.) I love having a plan.
3.) I really want to make my mama and grandma proud, even if I say I do things for me.
4.) I can be self-conscience or critical of myself. I never really seek out the approval of others, but I can judge me harshly.
5.) It's real hard for me to forgive and forget.
6.) Loyalty is a huge deal to me.
7.) I really hate being called "quiet". Like, legit.
8.) My full name is Nhyasa but I go by 'Nhya' because people are too lazy to pronounce it right.
9.) I really want to get more in touch with my roots/heritage, what have you.
10.) Even though I consider myself mature, I have a LOT of growing up to do.

*happy dance*

To read my other posts about this, click heeeere.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I'm normally not prone to blackouts. . .

But I honestly remember bits and pieces of this Saturday. You know how you know you had fun but you're not entirely sure what you did? That's where I'm at right now.

Here's what I did piece together:
• Shots on shots on shots. I really need to come to terms with me not being able to drink a Joose with anything else. It's not for me.
• Lots of cabs all over NYC even though everything was in a 4 block radius and we DEF could have walked.
• None of us (my 3 friends and I) were being the adults in any situation, lol. No type of authority.
• A long train ride to the wrong stop and an unfortunate incident involving me, my new pants, and the last Bacardi Limon shot I had.
• Strong Island Iced Teas
• Good pizza. An even better shish kebab.
• Dancing. Sorta.
• Falling off a pole on a construction site and pondering my life and choices.

My germ-a-phobe LS

I can tell from this picture that I clearly needed to stop, yet made no real attempt to. *shrugs*

But the important thing is - I had fun and was able to make it to Father's Day brunch at iHop the next morning with 3 hours of sleep :) I very rarely go out to the city and I'm tryna break out of being a Long Island Girl.

Oh! PS - Happy Father's Day to my dad. He's 21-years-old today! As a father, anyway.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Feliz Cumpleanos, Gems!

So today marks the 15th year my baby brother and sister and favorite Geminis (aka "The Twins") have been on this earth. It's pretty insane how quickly they grow up. Don't believe me? See for yourself.

This is them at age. . . err. A while ago. They were babies. And they were BAD.

And this is them now . .

Siajah. And some boy who's arm shouldn't be around her cuz she's TOO YOUNG.

See what I mean?? When did they grow up?

Apparently they're too cool to go by their government names on Facebook so Siajah is "Sage" to you and Siyed is "Teddy", lol.

Happy 15th Birthday, Munchkins!
Do me a favor and. . .

• Graduate college
• Don't get arrested. Or pregnant.
• Don't drive mommy crazy. Seriously, once you guys are out - she's free. She's so close.
• Say no to drugs and all that.
• Keep pursuing those dreams and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
• Be better than me. Well, try to :P

Sidenote to readers: I will check out blogs, respond to comments, follow back, etc. probably Monday-ish. It's been a busy weekend. I lost my damn mind at Victoria's Secret Semi-annual sale today and tonight I'm in the city. I however, did not forget about y'all! Thanks for the support! Oh, and I'mma finish my challenge, lol. I'm like. . .a week behind. Whatever.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Work itttt!

"Confidence is key. It's an accessory you should never leave the house without."

Feeling completely inspired by these past couple of few days of ingenious tweets I've been having, and because I'm actually in a great mood I decided to do an inspirational post. I'm going to be a little diva for this because I don't think you can write about confidence in a modest way. You need to be ruthless - so that's what you're about to get.

Pretty much every self-help-relationship-y book will tell you that confidence is something that attracts people to you, and I completely agree with that. To me, there's nothing sexier than confidence (Besides, like good common sense. Because a lot of people lack that). However, I think that your confidence should come from within, not from what someone else tells you. If you're truly confident in your self, it'll show. It's when you doubt yourself, and you second-guess yourself that people begin to do the same. Yes, everyone has something they can build upon and life is a constant journey of discovering who you are, but once you realize you have something going for you - work with it!

Everyone has something they're good at and it's beautiful to see them come to that realization. Nothing tugs at my heart strings more than seeing someone who doesn't believe in themselves, whether it's their physical appearance, talents, etc. My younger sisters (14 and 9) are at that age when they're extremely caught up in what others think of them, and that's understandable. But believe me when I tell you that I am never the one to shoot down their dreams. I can be overly dramatic and gas their heads up (I'm known for asking them to whip their hair for me. Just because), but I do it because I want them to believe in themselves as much as I do. And even though they're twice my siblings' ages, I do the same for my friends. You have to love you.

Another thing: Don't get wrapped up in comparing yourself to other people. Even I have been guilty of that in the past. If you admire something about someone, do just that - admire it, don't copy it. Don't hate on it. And if it means that much to you, start making changes to get yourself to the point where you want to be. Just be extra careful not to loose sight of who you are along the way.

This post isn't to tell you to have a big head. To me the only thing more off-putting than someone doubting their abilities is someone being too full of themselves. You need to find a balance.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

If I could go anywhere. . .

Six Places!
Just six? :\

OMG, this would be my number one. My ace of all vacations. I have a real sick obsession with Spain and all things Spanish. Beautiful language (real Spanish, not the Spanglish I know), culture, lifestyle, architecture. . .*drools*.

Disney World
Would you believe I've never been there? My bf claims he's taking me one day and I'm patiently waiting. I don't care if I'm well into my 30s when it happens. It's happening.

Pembroke Pines, Florida
I chose this place because that's where my best friend and grandmother live, and I miss them terribly. This place is always a great vacation.

The Ville
This might be bending the rules but if I could time warp to a place/time, I'd like to go back to when my grandparents lived in the above house. I had such insignificant concerns in life. Life was gooood.

The above picture of me lookin' real country is when I went there when I was a little one, and I went again when I was like 12. And again at 17. I obviously wanna go again because it's been a while.
Just 'cuz.

Honorable Mentions:
Dominican Republic
California - On a roadtrip!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tough Love

I tweeted something today that kind of inspired this post and I wanted to clarify it. My belief is that if you love someone - you really love them and believe in them - then you'll be their worst critic because you're their biggest fan.

It sounds a bit harsh, but the more I thought about it, the more I believed it. This applies to friends and lovers - anyone you really care about. For example, with Mr. JC (my boyfriend) I've learned to take any advice he gives me as it being a way of him showing me he cares. In past relationships I was never really criticized, leading me to think that I was this above-and-beyond amazing girlfriend that anyone would bend over backwards to have. Now don't get me wrong - I still think I'm a great catch (c'monnnn), but I'm human, and humans make mistakes and need to improve upon them. As much as I might think I know about writing or anything for that matter, I want people to tell me how I can get better. How can I be a better writer or a better person? Tell me about myself.

A couple of people who have consistently kept it real with me are obviously the ones who I know love me unconditionally, like my mother. But I've also been fortunate enough to meet others in life who I trust to give me the kind of tough love that I need, and so I return the favor. With my friends, when I tell them they deserve swift kicks to their ovaries for doing something stupid like butchering an interview or stumbling over their words with a hot guy, I say it full of love. There's a fine line between verbal abuse, and good advice and I don't mind flirting with it for their well being.

I do it because I think that they're a great person and I see potential for even more improvement. I can only hope that I get back the same tough love. Don't tell me my outfit looks cute when you know my colors clash in an unholy way. If something I said leaves a bad taste in your mouth - please tell me. Because I'd tell you.

People in general need to give useful criticism to people they care about. And remember, when you're on the receiving end, what you're being told is almost always tied to someone's personal opinion and those are subject to change. In the end, do what you think is best but don't dismiss what you're being told. Sometimes even your thoughts on what is best for you can change.

PS - In regards to my 10-day-you-challenge, lol. . .I'll do that post later. Tomorrow maybe? Eh.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Feel good food!

Not gunna lie, this challenge is taking it's toll on me.
Lol. There's just so many days!

So today's challenge is: Five Foods

Red Velvet Cupcakes:
Because they are my absolute favorite food in the whole wide world. If I'm in a foul mood, give me a cupcake (homemade, please). I'll act right.

Chicken Tikka:
I love Indian Food, spices and all that. The more it makes me tear, the better.

If I ever go out and there isn't some type of pasta that I'm interested in then I'm gettin salmon. Delish.

Grapes & Cheese:
This is what I'll snack on when I'm trying to be healthy. If the mood strikes.

Shrimp Parmesan:
Self explanatory. Check out the picture - who wouldn't want that?

Doing this just made me incredibly hungry :( And guess who's living off of Ramen noodles and Easy Mac?

When you just need to smile


I've been in a serious need for inspiration. Thinking of taking a staycation to the Bronx to hang out for a weekend because sitting around is becoming too much of a routine and I'm not havin' it.

Father's Day is this weekend and I want to actually get my father something he could appreciate. He doesn't golf, doesn't really wear ties. . . I guess he could use a new hat. Any ideas?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Back when I use to read consistently

I swear reading really does help your vocab and it saddens me when people dismiss it. I get that it's not fun to read school assignments that you have no interest in but for you to tell me you only read magazines or what you see on your computer screen makes me worry about the future state of our country. I'd much rather force a book into my kid's hand than a video game.

Anywho. . .
These are some books that I enjoyed back when I use to read because right now I'm one of those people who only has time to read magazines.

Four Books

1. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom - so freakin' good! Another thing in the world that made me cry.
2. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult- Read the book, the movie does NOT do it justice.
3. Addicted by Zane - This book? THIS book was what made me realize that you didn't need to watch a movie to be completely entertained. There's a lot of sexual things (clearly - it's Zane), but the plot is actually really good once you get past that.
4. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold - Another one you should really read the book on. Don't just watch the movie.

I f'd up. . .

& didn't blog at all yesterday because I spent the day at the mall *valley girl shrug*, but guess what? I'm going to do back-to-back blog posts for my challenge. A day late, but twice the fun.

Three Movies
(Do you have any idea how hard it is to narrow this down to just three movies?)

1. Pulp Fiction (1994)
Pulp Fiction Poster

I'm a big Quentin Tarantino film head, and while I wouldn't venture to say that this is one of the best films ever made, it's definitely one of his best. This is a movie I could watch over and over again, right up there with Forrest Gump and Cast Away (I'm also partial to Tom Hanks movies). I have a thing for chick flicks but I do appreciate quality movies.

2. Now and Then (1995)
Now and Then Poster

This is my favorite movie on the low (well, not so much since I'm blogging about it now). I use to watch this with my cousin like it was the only movie in the world. Even though I'm not 12 anymore and can't really relate to the pre-teen issues the girls faced in this movie, that doesn't change my opinion of it being one of my favs. I'm comfortable with it and it goes right up there with my fav chick flicks like Mean Girls and Clueless (movies that I feel everyone with a vag needs to watch once in their life).

3. The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)
The Time Traveler's Wife Poster

I'm gunna add this one because I like movies that make me cry and I can't really think of other tear-jerkers at the moment. Love stories, or overtly dramatic movies hold a special place in my heart so if you're into that, you'll be into this. Also - this movie will make you be grateful for the relationship that you have because it could always be a lot worse.