hooked on ink

i recently realized that my tattoo addiction probably started before i was born.

as a kid, i'd find myself drawing on myself. legs, arms, whatever. my mom yelled, but *shrug*. i did it anyway.

i was never much of an artist, so it wasn't that i was honing any sort of skill...i think it was just the idea of making myself artful somehow. less plain.

maybe i had some soul-memory i couldn't shake...i've decided that's the most-likely origin of many of my little quirks.

so anyway...fast forward 20-someodd years later, and here i am with 2 (2.5 if you count that one of them's a cover-up) tattoos and...well, it's been a couple of years, so i'm feeling antsy again...

for a long time now, i've been stuck on the nyame dua adinkra symbol. it means "god's altar" and is seen as a symbol of god's omnipotence and omnipresence. of course, i couldn't figure out where it should go. recently i decided a shoulderblade placement would be ideal, if painful.

as i was settling on that, i had another idea. a nile river goddess emblem near my ankle. i'm still not totally sold on the ankle/calf idea, but if it can be made small/feminine enough with the detail i want, i'd be cool with that. the other option is a simple spiral...

these will be the only 1-2 i have that are readily visible, too. that's another thing to consider.

oh well.
mom will just have to yell.

a word on immigration

if they didn't want all those mexicans coming back home, then maybe they shouldn't have stolen their land in the first place.

of course there are other issues...

but that's one of the first that comes to mind when i hear all the whitefolks (and others) bitching about it.

this is what happens when you build a nation by hook and by crook.

things will get really interesting once the native americans get their weight up. not to mention if the native hawaiians make their move.

one hell of a wake up call.



i don’t know how i did it, but i did it.

if you had a good thought, wished me luck, said a prayer, whatever…thank you.

that is a big weight off my mind…

well, off to the next…


womb talk

i am so fking frustrated...

i mean, i suppose that there's some witchy-woman way to harness the ashe of pms or whatever, but more often than not i just find myself feeling completely off my square. often at times when i most need to be level-headed.

thankfully, i don't get the mood swings i used to. my cramps aren't as bad (most of the time. there are flare-ups), and the actual shedding doesn't last quite as long. i credit giving up the pill and vegetarianism.

however, i still get bloated (clothes don't fit right...), generally irritable, and mentally fuzzy. my energy level plummets, i can't stop eating, and getting comfortable enough to sleep? forget it.

it doesn't help that it's exceedingly difficult to wake up in this state. i go into very deep sleeps and have dreams that are more like boulders i have to crawl out from under when the alarm clock goes off.

i do not have time for this. i wish i'd looked at the calendar more closely when i scheduled the date for this damn exam. i was just concerned about interfering with (a) my birthday and (b) that damn mercury retrograde. forgot about my uterus.

after i went off the pill, i noticed that my cycle regulated itself to the phases of the moon, something i considered to be complete hooey before it happened to me.

years ago, i ran with the full moon. then there seemed to be a period where i could never really tell what was going to happen. i started getting the symptoms (headaches, bloating, etc.) a full week before the acutal event, so that really threw me off.

in the last few months--i finally started paying attention--i've been moving with the new moon. like clockwork. strangely enough, breast tenderness has once again entered the arena. that hasn't been a monthly problem for years--probably not since adolescence.

still, i'll probably be right as rain by tomorrow, and maybe some of the information i need desperately to stick to the front of my brain really is there and i will pass with flying colors.

here's to hoping.


babylon fall?

the ideas presented in this article probably aren't surprising to those of us who have been thinking about/feeling the crunch for some time now. but far too many folks are easily deluded into thinking that we'll never fall off the pedestal...

In the beginning of his book, [Author Juan] Enriquez presents readers with an experiment. Imagine you're a member of the British cabinet in 1905. A world map hangs on the wall of the elegant conference room in Number 10 Downing Street delineating the greatest empire that has ever existed: an area encompassing nearly 30 million square kilometres (11.5 million square miles), 20 percent of the world's land and nearly one-quarter of the total human population. The question is: How will the world look in 50 years -- in 1955?...

The U.S. national debt, topping $8 trillion, is a troubling illustration of the fact that the United States is squandering its future. "From time immemorial the last thing a government does is drive the country to bankruptcy," Enriquez observes. "You cannot spend five to six percent more than the country earns every year without serious consequences. It is not inconceivable that the U.S. will be running out of money."

It can be said that the U.S.'s per capita debt level, at around $27,500, is acceptable relative to that of other leading industrial nations... But the U.S. appears far different than other Western OECD nations when you look at other economic and social statistics. Enriquez mentions a few: The minimum wage has fallen by 37 percent since 1968 in terms of real dollars; 11 percent of Americans don't have enough to eat; in 2000 the federal government spent $2,106 on each American child while spending $21,120 on each person over age 65. Enriquez cites research indicating that if the U.S. government maintains its current policies, nearly half the budget will be spent on senior citizens by 2016. Hence his question: Do you invest in the future or in the past?

Within two generations, 40 percent of the American population will be comprised of African-Americans and Hispanics. Both groups continue to lag far behind whites and Asian-Americans in the educational system. Few graduate from college and even fewer get advanced degrees or become scientists. Countries like Finland, Iceland, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Singapore are already surpassing the U.S. when it comes to scientific research. This causes Enriquez to say that without making significant investments in education for African-Americans and Hispanics, who will make up almost half the population by mid-century, America cannot maintain its current prominence in the sciences.

that last paragraph is in line with my saying that we've been "kicking ourselves in the ass" for a long time now when it comes to how the education of our kids. we'll educate anyone & everyone from other nations--which is fine--but we refuse to tap the potential of little marisol, jorge, aisha, and raheem.

one point that's not raised (at least in the article) is the fact that many of those black children are hindered by other things that make them unlikely candidates for higher education, even if it were suddenly made free for all. lead poisioning, prenatal drug addiction, abuse, and other environmental and socioeconomic factors are stunting the growth of black kids in horrific numbers.

access is only one part of the problem. we also have to cease and desist the practices that are killing our babies.

in 50 years, i will be in my late 70s. but my grandchildren will have to live through and survive the decline. if that ain't food for thought, i don't know what is.


woe is me...

my womb really needs to settle down...

i had what i like to call "alarm clock" cramps this morning. shit that just pulls you out of sleep.

oludare--wonderful cat that he is--didn't wake me as usual. he just sat next to me with a paw on my arm like, "there, there".

then there's the usual: weird dreams...energy fluctuations...

i've gotta study for saturday. i don't have time for this. blah.

(reposted from myspace. yeah...i'm that lazy today.)

in other news...

~my hair is still growing exponentially.
~vacation planning is still in progress...stay tuned.


black man, get on your job...

this is painful to read...yet, it needs to be said.

it's hard to even know where to begin, but this says more than almost the entire article put together: "He sold marijuana for his parents, he said, left school in the sixth grade and later dealt heroin and cocaine."


don't get me wrong, i'm not surprised. but...we need to do better than this.

there is a recognition that many of these things are generational, and they're hitting our men harder than us.

so why aren't we keeping pace, so to speak?

my theory is that a lot of women are going to be motivated to get themselves together for one reason or another. usually it begins with having a child to raise & not having time for any foolishness. plus there are plenty of programs in place for disadvantaged mothers.

where do men get that kind of motivation? what pushes them to succeed/take responsibility?

i also think that dysfunctional childhoods affect men in extremely different ways. women/girls may not function well in, say, interpersonal relationships when coming from dysfunction, but they will often--at a minimum--be able to "get their life right" and support themselves. hell, any woman with a decent enough figure and a passable face can be a stripper, for instance. not the most desirable option, but it won't land you in jail.

on the other hand, little boys often wind up retreating into themselves, taking out their anger physically and in other confrontational ways that, as an adult, can lead to jail time or worse.

another excerpt:

According to census data, there are about five million black men ages 20 to 39 in the United States.

Terrible schools, absent parents, racism, the decline in blue collar jobs and a subculture that glorifies swagger over work have all been cited as causes of the deepening ruin of black youths. Scholars — and the young men themselves — agree that all of these issues must be addressed…

All the negative trends are associated with poor schooling, studies have shown, and progress has been slight in recent years... Closer studies reveal that in inner cities across the country, more than half of all black men still do not finish high school, said Gary Orfield, an education expert at Harvard and editor of "Dropouts in America" (Harvard Education Press, 2004).

"We're pumping out boys with no honest alternative," Mr. Orfield said in an interview, "and of course their neighborhoods offer many other alternatives."
Dropout rates for Hispanic youths are as bad or worse but are not associated with nearly as much unemployment or crime, the data show.

obviously there are no "magic bullet" solutions here.

but we have to do something to start saving our sons.



i've always used certain things--tobacco (infrequent), liquor (a little more frequent), chocolate (don't ask.)--to escape. things that make me feel good for a moment or three, but with no real, lasting benefit.

i realize the contradiction in my overall eating habits and going out to a show and having 3 or 4 cocktails. i'm nothing if not honest.

but i suppose it's more in a long line of things used to distract myself. from...whatever.

the frustration of re-remembering my purpose.
to alleviate boredom.
to make up for something else i need.

there are the occasional fasts and what not, but i do realize the need to cut certain things out of my life altogether. clear my mind/space on another level. hence, my deciding to cut out hard liquor and tobacco at 30.

there's no difficulty in giving any of these things up...there's just an inherent comfort in them, in looking at myself sideways.

but there's really no need for that. i can face myself and my life head on. and i know that my power lies in that.

(this entry didn't really shape up the way i wanted/expected it to...there may be more on this later...)


the coolest kid ever

my godson turns 6 years old today.

it's so crazy watching a kid grow up. you see them as babies, taking their first steps, learning their first words. noticing little things like their reaction to that first taste of ice cream.

of course, i saw my brother grow up, too. but i was a kid myself, and not very interested in who he was or what he was doing.

when terrence came around, i was ready to really appreciate it.

for awhile i didn't have a name. we tried lee-lee. he laughed at that.

then i was "car!". when he saw me, he knew either i was taking him and/or his mommy somewhere, so...

then i was "mom". try explaining the look on your face while you're on a playground and a kid that isn't yours goes, "mom! look at me!". i sounded like the worst parent ever going, "terrence. you know i'm lesley...". but it was kind of cool that the only people he called "mom" were, well, me and his mother.

now i'm just lesley. but, most of the time, i'm introduced as "my lesley". which is great for a laugh when people first hear it.

that said, i have had the pleasure of knowing a really smart, loving, cute-as-a-button, well-mannered little boy (his mom's not so bad, either.). who--maybe not coincidentally--just happened to be born 3 days before my own birthday.

so here's to you, darlin. may you stay as open-hearted as you are today, no matter what life throws at you.


wish upon a star

thanks to a couple of dope ass sistren i have the pleasure of knowing, i've become part of an email chain of folks immersed in african spiritual tradition...

as i was responding to a set of emails making the rounds this morning, i recalled one of my childhood "things".

i remember always understanding that if i asked for something, i would get it. if i formed a clear thought with pure intention and importance, it manifested itself. sometimes quietly, sometimes with a lot of fanfare.

i was always afraid to tell anyone because i thought that if i said something, i'd lose it. there were certain friends i would talk to about it, but for the most part, it was a closely guarded secret. something i only used when i really needed it.

on the other hand, it gave me an unusual confidence in the idea that there was, indeed, a god listening to me and i, somehow, had his/her ear. it reinforced the intuition that there was an army behind me, always. watchful and loving. and if that were true for me, then it had to be true for everyone else, too. whether they realized it or not.

now, as a woman coming into more of an understanding of who she is, i realize that that was just part of my magic. of all our magic. plenty of people have gotten rich talking about the power of positive thinking and using visualization techniques in therapy, but we--and by "we" i mean the spirit-centered cultures of the world--have always understood these things.

that's why words have power.

that's why right speech and right intention are part of the heart of buddhism.

that's why the evil eye--a simple look--can kill.

i've learned that just by virtue of having a womb, my thoughts and feelings take on a new level of power and tangibility. i am charged with the creation of the physical as well as the idealistic.

one of the most powerfully simple and woefully complex tenets in buddhist thought is the idea of "child-mind"...releasing your limitations and thinking as a child would. try everything. anything's possible.

when jesus speaks of having the mind of a child, same thing.

in my quest to get back home--spiritually, professionally, and otherwise--i try to put myself back in my bedroom, staring at the ceiling, talking aloud to god and knowing i'm being heard.


life's a zzzzzzzzzzzzz...

i have no explanation for the fog i'm in.

maybe my brain finally decided that i really don't need it between the hours of 8:30 and 5pm monday thru friday and just decided to leave the building for that particular period.


but i probably just need a good shampoo, as usual.

by this weekend, i'll only have one more week until this exam. i don't feel ready.

although...that unready feeling i get before a test often marks my best performances. it's like, once i can't look at the information anymore, that usually means it's rather firmly entrenched in my subconscious. i don't think it's there, but when the test questions pop up....

plus it's all multiple choice. i get along with multiple choice.

other than that, life has been fairly dull. tried to buy a new memory card for my camera...it doesn't work. neither does the one i exchanged that one for. dude at a camera shop tells me there doesn't appear to be anything wrong with my camera. so until i can clear the pics off of my old memory card (which works just fine), i'm stuck.

writing hasn't come easily lately...although there's something right on the tip of my tongue i can't seem to make coherent.

there's still a whole lot of music i don't have...

...at least tomorrow's payday. even if i do have bills.

from the mouths of babes...

this puts me in mind of the little native american girl a few yrs back who got her whole class to boycott the thanksgiving parade...

some children simply cannot be lied to.

Autum...told The Post that her poem was meant to instill pride in black students and to encourage them to steer clear of violence.

"I don't think there's anything wrong with my poem. I was trying to tell them the straight-up truth," Autum said. "I'm trying to tell them not to fight because they're killing the brothers and sisters."

Autum, who is home-schooled in Mount Vernon and speaks several languages, prefaced her performance at the high school with a Black Panthers' pledge asking black youngsters to not harm one another.

a friend of a friend on myspace posted the full text of the piece:

"White Nationalism Put U In Bondage"

White nationalism is what put you in bondage
Pirate and vampires like Columbus, Morgan, and Darwin
Drank the blood of the sheep, trampled all over them with
Steel, tricks and deceit.
Nothing has changed take a look in our streets
The mis-education of she and Hegro leaves you on your knee2grow
Black lands taken from your hands, by vampires with no remorse
They took the gold, the wisdom and all of the storytellers
They took the black women, with the black man weak
Made to watch as they changed the paradigm
Of our village
They killed the blind, they killed the lazy, they went
So far as to kill the unborn baby
Yeah White nationalism is what put you in bondage
Pirates and vampires like Columbus, Morgan, and Darwin
They drank the blood of the sheep, trampled all over them with
Steel laden feet, throw in the tricks alcohol and deceit.
Nothing has changed take a look at our streets.


money hungry bitches

it's always something.

so i'll be taking this massage exam soon, right?

i almost hate the fact that honey is looking to get closer to this area (somehow he's become enamored with the ghettoishness of baltimore. plus rent's cheaper), 'cause i need to be near DC.

so here goes. DC certifications require passing the nationals, a one-time application fee of $50 then a license for $45. then you renew your license (probably biannually) for $45. AND you only need 12 hrs of continuing education credits (ceu's) every 2 years. virginia has similar regulations.

simple, right?

but for maryland, these bastards have me taking another exam for $275. then it's 24 ceu credits biannually, including 3 hrs of ethics & a 3 hr hiv/communicable disease class (my teachers said that works out 'cause you wind up fulfilling the MD and the national requirements @ the same time). plus paying the chiropractic board $200 biannually...

all that before i can even begin to get an effin' job.

i mean, damn.

i didn't even get into the professional association fees...

thank god cpr classes are cheap.


well...one step @ a time. gotta get thru the exam first.
then i can worry over all the red tape.


i seem to be "on" again.

which means looking @ ppl and knowing more than i want to.

deep dreams that are about as difficult to wake up from as a tequila-induced haze.

seeing everything around me in ways that both excite (creative impulses) and frustrate (who has the time?) me...

i'm hyper-aware and sleepwalking at the same time.

i really need a home computer again.
which would mean i'd have to clean off my desk at home, too.
need to shake off this daze. i only have 2 weeks to study for my exam.

march always does weird things to me. and this year, combined with mercury in fking retrograde and impending seasonal change....dear god.

time for some green tea...



ok girls.
choose your sides, take off the earrings, and grease your faces.
we're in for a fight.

South Dakota governor signs abortion ban

Nearly all operations outlawed in direct challenge to Roe v. Wade

The Associated Press
Updated: 3:04 p.m. ET March 6, 2006

PIERRE, S.D. - Gov. Mike Rounds signed legislation Monday banning nearly all abortions in South Dakota, setting up a court fight aimed at challenging the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

The bill would make it a crime for doctors to perform an abortion unless the procedure was necessary to save the woman’s life. It would make no exception for cases of rape or incest.

Planned Parenthood, which operates the state’s only abortion clinic, in Sioux Falls, has pledged to challenge the measure in court.

Rounds issued a written statement saying he expects the law will be tied up in court for years and will not take effect unless the U.S. Supreme Court upholds it.

“In the history of the world, the true test of a civilization is how well people treat the most vulnerable and most helpless in their society. The sponsors and supporters of this bill believe that abortion is wrong because unborn children are the most vulnerable and most helpless persons in our society. I agree with them,” Rounds said in the statement.

The governor declined all media requests for interviews Monday.

The Legislature passed the bill last month after supporters argued that the recent appointment of conservative justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito have made the U.S. Supreme Court more likely to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“This is proof-positive that Gov. Rounds cares more about politics than about the health and safety of women in South Dakota,” said Sarah Stoesz, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood regional operations for Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, said in a statement Monday. “In every state, women, their families, and their doctors should be making private, personal health care decisions — not politicians.”

South Dakota’s abortion ban is to take effect July 1, but a federal judge is likely to suspend it during a legal challenge.

Abortion opponents donating money
Rounds has said abortion opponents already are offering money to help the state pay legal bills for the anticipated court challenge. Lawmakers said an anonymous donor has pledged $1 million to defend the ban, and the Legislature set up a special account to accept donations for legal fees.

Under the new law, doctors could get up to five years in prison for performing an illegal abortion.

Rounds previously issued a technical veto of a similar bill passed two years ago because it would have wiped out all existing restrictions on abortion while the bill was tied up for years in a court challenge.

The statement he issued Monday noted that this year’s bill was written to make sure existing restrictions will be enforced during the legal battle. Current state law sets increasingly stringent restrictions on abortions as pregnancy progresses. After the 24th week, the procedure is allowed only to protect the woman’s health and safety.

About 800 abortions are performed each year in South Dakota. Planned Parenthood has said other women cross state lines to reach clinics.

(addendum 3.8.06) also see this article, which notes:

The United States has funded international family planning programs since the 1960s, but in 1984, the Reagan Administration passed the Global Gag Rule, which denies U.S. Agency for International Development funding to overseas organizations that perform legal abortions with exceptions for rape and incest or to save a woman's life; provide counseling and referrals for abortion; engage in abortion-related public policy debates; or lobby to make abortion legal or more available in their own country.

"Americans have the right to say where their funding is going, but we find it completely unfair to be asking others not to talk about certain topics which are not liked by the American establishment," says Tewodros Melesse, director of the IPPF's Africa Region Office. "We believe the American Constitution and virtue of the American democracy exists on individual choices, on freedom and on democracy and to deny that right to others sends the wrong message."

The Clinton administration ended the Global Gag Rule in 1993 by executive order; President Bush reinstated it on his first day in office in January 2001, halting an estimated $15 million per year in funding to the IPPF after it refused to sign the rule. A number of reproductive rights groups, including Ipas, which has offices in 11 countries, have also lost funding to other organizations.

As a result, community-based health services have been curtailed and contraceptive supplies have drastically decreased. The United States stopped giving Zambia donated condoms after it refused to sign the Gag Rule, and several family planning clinics across Africa and Asia have been forced to close.

um...come again?
fk these fascists, dude.

"the supreme court is, like, all up in my uterus" ~~ladybug mecca