Capsule 01.

black lives matter, resist, not my president

The morning after the election, when I saw the results confirming that he’d won, I was in shock. I called my dad in tears that morning because, when I don’t know what to do, I turn to my parents. I felt ill, drained, and afraid.

I felt the same way on Tuesday night when I came home from work and read about Trump’s press conference. I read about Trump doubling down on his statement about there being “many sides” to the violent white supremacist rallies that took place in Charlottesville over the weekend. I shouldn’t be surprised at this point, right, because we knew that Trump was racist. Yet, a small part of me still is. Maybe I’m more of an optimist than I thought. Or maybe it’s because he’s not even trying to hide it at this point, to deny that these horrible beliefs are his beliefs.

It’s hard not to lose all hope in these moments. If Trump’s remarks on Tuesday made you feel small, like you didn’t matter at all, you’re not the only one. But then I remembered what my dad told me on November 9th: “We have to keep going.”

I’m going to hold on to the good things. Actually, I’m going to seek out the things that bring me joy, because there is a lot of doubt, fear, and uncertainty in the world right now, and not enough joy.

When you were in grade school, did you ever have to make a time capsule? I did, and I remember taking great care when selecting the items that went into my collection. In that same vein, I’ve titled this post “Capsule” because it captures a few different things that are on my mind at this moment in time.

In the spirit of keeping on, I thought I’d share a few links that I’ve enjoyed recently. I hope you find the articles interesting and if you’ve made it this far, I want to thank you for reading my ramblings (always, but especially today).

Food x Film

You’ve probably seen those short, food video tutorials with a bird’s-eye view (usually on Facebook, right?). Well, food stylist David Ma took that concept one step further and imagined what these food tutorials would be like if directed by famous directors. The results are absolutely delightful and spot on. I hope he adds more directors to his series!

All About the Stars of Insecure and Queen Sugar

I’m an avid watcher of both Queen Sugar and Insecure. There is so much heart in the Bordelon family in Queen Sugar and I see some of myself in the character played by Issa Rae in Insecure. Here are some really great profiles about the actors on these shows, including this article on Kofi Siriboe, this one on Yvonne Orji, who plays Molly on Insecure (did you know she was a comedian first??), and this one on Issa Rae.

LOLOLOL

This article about the various styles of online laughter is so interesting. It’s fascinating to consider how formatting really changes the meaning of the laughter. Now I’m wondering when I started using “lololol” instead of “lol.” What’s your preferred style of laughter online?

THANKS, BUT NO THANKS, TO HBO’S CONFEDERATE

Ta-nehisi Coates has done it again. His article on why we shouldn’t give HBO’s Confederate a chance, even though it hasn’t aired yet, is well worth a read. After the events of this past week, let’s just say that I’m less interested than ever in watching a show about an alternative history in which the South won the Civil War.

TARGET LOVE

Target is debuting a new clothing line and a new home decor line this fall, and the goods look good. I should probably just start setting aside a portion of my paycheck now… I’m excited about the home decor products in particular because I think I’ll soon be working on another round of decorating my apartment. I’ve been in my place for over a year and the main wall in my bedroom is still completely blank!

(image by Walid Berrazeg on Unsplash)

An English Wedding

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A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend my cousin’s wedding in the UK. She’s the first of the cousins to get married, so this was an especially big deal!

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In Nigerian culture, it’s actually common to have two weddings, which is what my cousin did. Her first wedding was a traditional Nigerian wedding, and a week later she had a Western church wedding. I wish I could have gone to both, but I was only able to make it to the second wedding.

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The wedding was held in town called Burton upon Trent (isn’t that name so British?!), which is a few hours north of London. I flew in on a Friday morning, my cousin picked me up from the airport, and we drove straight on to Burton. That night, we stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to work on a few last-minute wedding details, and then woke up to a beautiful and sunny day.

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Everything was so conveniently located. We were able to walk from the hotel we were staying at to the church, and after the ceremony, we walked over to the Town Hall for the reception. Then it was dancing, drinking, eating, and general merriment for the rest of the night.

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I just have to take a moment to gush about how beautiful my cousin looked on her wedding day! Actually all of my cousins, both the bride and her twin sisters, looked stunning.

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Ahhh, going to the wedding of a close family member or friend is simply the best. Congratulations again to the newly-wedded couple!

Garden Retreat

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People often ask me if I really do like living in New York City. I had some family passing through town yesterday (visiting from the Chicago area), and naturally, they commented on the hustle and bustle of the city. Then, one of my younger cousins asked that frequently asked question, and my response was “Yes, I do love it here.”

One thing I love about New York is that you can walk or take the subway to a different neighborhood, and suddenly it does feel like you’re in a completely different place. A couple of weekends ago, on a warm and sunny Sunday, I took the train uptown to the Conservatory Garden. I’ve been once before, and the garden was just as quiet and peaceful as I remember.

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It’d been quite a while since I took my camera out for a spin, and I wanted to get some practice in before my trips next month. For a while, I wandered around, snapping pictures of the various blooms. Then I just sat on a bench, watching people pass by, enjoying the feel of the sun on my skin, thinking, listening to the various sounds, and dreaming.

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Currently 05.

coffee, breakfast, lazy sunday, death to stock photo

I don’t know exactly why (although I wouldn’t be surprised if the recent bout of beautiful weather had something to do with it), but I’ve felt more motivated recently. I’ve noticed a pep in my step these last few days and I’ve been bitten by the blogging bug again. I want to roll along with this feeling while it lasts and take advantage of the motivation.

I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while and now I’m finally getting it together- I’m going to have a travel week on the blog. Starting tomorrow, I’ll recap and share recommendations from my last two trips (one in July 2016 to Seattle and Vancouver and the second to London in December 2016). I think we could all use a getaway right about now. Since I can’t jet off right this second, I’m doing the next best thing and reliving my last trips.

Before that kicks off though, I wanted to check in and give a bit of a life update. 2016 has been rough for a lot of people and so far, 2017 seems to be following in 2016’s footsteps. At the beginning of this year, I had to take a step back because everything just felt wrong wrong wrong. I stopped checking Instagram, Snapchat, and most of my usual social media haunts, except Twitter. I’d get home from work and trepidatiously open up Twitter to see what fresh horrors had happened during the day, because I wanted to stay informed. Believe me, staying informed and being aware was not one of my strong suits until last year. But now I have to pay attention, I don’t have a choice anymore. There are things going on that affect all of us as a nation, women, black women, and on the most personal level, people in my life that I care about.

It all felt extremely surreal and it continues to feel that way. I didn’t know what to say or think that I had anything important to say. I didn’t know what to do or how I could help. At the same time, I can’t ignore any of this, or pretend it’s not happening. As much as I want to curl up and hide sometimes, I can’t do that.

I’m not sure if I’m making any sense and I certainly don’t have any answers, but it’s always helped me to write about what I’m feeling. In the meantime, I’m continuing to pay attention, working on educating myself, making an effort, and trying to help in the small ways that I can. I don’t know that it’s enough, but at least it’s a start.

Now that you have a sense of how I’m currently feeling, let’s talk about some other things that have recently caught my attention. I’m currently:

Listening to Lemonade and A Seat at the Table a lot recently because they give me something hold on to when everything seems too overwhelming. At the moment though, as I type this, I’m listening to Tom Misch. His music is a great combination of upbeat and relaxed, perfect for background listening when you’re working on other things.

Watching Buffy. A few years ago, my roomie and I started to watch Buffy all the way through (I’d never watched it before), but then we trailed off somewhere around the end of season 2 or beginning of season 3. Fast forward to a month or so ago and I decided to start watching again. I couldn’t remember where we left off, so I started from the very beginning again. I’m in the middle of Season 4 now and so much is happening!

Reading The Sellout. I’ve been focusing on books by black authors for Black History Month and this is one that I’ve been meaning to read since it was first published in 2015. This book is wacky and funny and bananas, but not really that bananas in this current political and social climate.

Eating at home more often. This month, I’ve been trying not to eat out at all (except for last weekend when I was in Philly. I gave myself a pass for that weekend since I knew I’d be out and about with my friends). I’ve been pretty good about making my lunches for the last couple of years, but this month, I’ve been cooking more often so that I could eat better, home-cooked meals for lunch and dinner, and to cut back on spending. It’s been a bit of an adjustment, but I think it’s a step in the right direction. I’ve been getting groceries every week now, instead of every two weeks, and I like trying new recipes. I think I’ve also cut down my food expenses, which was the main goal, but I still have to check exactly what the difference is.

I think that’s it from me for now (until tomorrow)! In the meantime, let’s chat in the comments below- what’s going on in your life at the moment?

(image via Death to Stock Photo)