Brittany Ramos DeBarros

Yes–I promise I will talk soon about the way to do good and make a difference that I discovered last week.

For now I have the urge to preempt my regularly scheduled programming. With a startling thing that happened.

I tune in to the Post-Modern Music Box channel on I’m stuck in this time warp listening to the alternative music of my youth (1980s/1990s).

You can imagine the shock I was in when an 11th District candidate for Congress advertised herself between songs as an “anti-war combat veteran.”

This was uncanny marketing on the part of Afro-Latina Brittany Ramos DeBarros who lives on Staten Island and served in Afghanistan.

How did a political candidate know that an anti-war person like me would be listening to the Music Box channel? That’s a brilliant plotting for votes.

I’ve always thought these American invasions were unjustified. Upwards of $1.4 trillion is being given to the Pentagon.

This money would be better served to give every U.S. citizen 18 and older a $1,000 monthly Universal Basic Income– a remedy to help end poverty here.

Every night as I listen to 1990s alternative music Brittany Ramos DeBarros invades my ears. I’ve gone on her website and her platform is legit.

Nicole CacaCola–the nickname I’ve given to Nicole Malliotakis the current 11th District person–responded to an anti-war email I sent her after she was sworn in. She told me it’s OK for the U.S. to engage in war in Syria and Yemen. That it’s perfectly fine to sell arms to Saudi Arabia.

OK then–what is the U.S. government using this money for after we get it?

CacaCola voted NO to giving American workers national paid sick leave.

A book at the library attacked the U.S. for starting these allegedly “humanitarian” wars that only serve to ravage the citizens and natural resources in other countries.

I can’t say LL Cool Joe–my nickname for Joe Biden–has been any better. He’s allowed the U.S. collusion in these wars to continue.

In one week I’m going to vote for Brittany Ramos DeBarros. I’ll be stunned if she wins. Hardly anyone I vote for wins an election.

Coming up:

The method I discovered for doing good that helps women in America and around the world recover from human trafficking and addiction.

Dress Code

The 2022 book shown above should be required reading.

The author is the Fashion Features Director at Elle magazine.

It’s a biting, incisive critique of the fashion industry, the Instagram Influencer trend, and the obsession with self-care.

I was born in the first year of Generation X. I have zero interest in engaging in the white-women influencer self-care practices or in buying the products they’re hawking.

The only form of self-care I’ve adopted is eating well, walking everywhere, and exercising 2x per week for 30 minutes as often as possible.

In 2011 when I turned 46 I decided that I had to start doing strength training. Before that I hadn’t lifted one 5-pound weight.

In January 2014 three years later I could dead lift 205 pounds at the gym.

No–I didn’t start “lifting” to lose weight. I didn’t do this to attract a man.

In February 2011 I was in a pizzeria having a slice. I could only eat half the slice, and threw the rest away.

I had the sense that something terrible had happened and this was verified that night.

I decided right then that I must start strength training. When women are going through a hard time I doubt most of us in an instant think that the solution is to lift weights.

I’ve failed at performing other acts of self-care. What struck me about Dress Code is the idea that self-care has become an impossible standard to live up to.

I don’t light candles (I’m a firefighter’s daughter afraid my apartment would go up in flames).

Nor am I keen to buy a product like Glossier lip liner in an attempt to feel good.

“Shopping in my closet” to create new outfits doesn’t cost a dime. Listening to music on is free too. Checking books out of the library saves money as well.

What upsets me (why?) is the reference to how other women’s ugly bodies are not displayed and fawned over in the fashion media and Instagram accounts.

First: Everyone living on earth is beautiful. There are no ugly bodies in my view.

Why do critics persist in using the term ugly to describe bodies that don’t fit the fashion norm the critics rail against?

Too often women internalize shame about our bodies.

Do you want to know the only reason I exercise and eat well?

My father had Stage 3 colon cancer that spread to his liver.

My great-aunt, grandfather, and 57-year old cousin were in comas at the end of their lives.

My mother had breast cancer. One other aunt had cancer.

With that track record in my family history I won’t take chances by sitting on the couch watching TV all night.

In the epilogue to Dress Code author Hyland gives the rosy view that things appear to be changing and will get ever better in terms of the representation of women on social media.

Do you want to feel good? Then do good. I found a way to do this that I’ll talk about in a coming blog entry.

The OKCupid Scammer

There’s a scammer on OKCupid. He strings you along with vague messages. Then insists you continue on WhatsApp because he’s not online on OKCupid often.

There is most likely legal wording that prevents me from publicly disclosing the details of the scammer’s name and what he wrote in his profile.

You can watch the Tinder Swindler on Netflix to see how one cunning man left multiple women on the hook for hundreds of thousands in debt. Conning them into giving him money.

The women the Tinder Swindler seduced started to get paranoid. One checked herself into a psychiatric hospital if I remember right.

It’s possible that there are female scammers too. The Tinder Swindler was not charged with any crimes. He too used WhatsApp to correspond with women.

Say it isn’t so. I wish it wasn’t.

Serendipitous Motivational Tool

Getting COVID for two weeks I was lucky to be able watch Netflix shows on my home computer.

Binge-watching Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo I was inspired to tidy up my desktop.

Placing a small wooden box in a donation bag. It had been hanging out atop my desk for 11 years. My business cards were suffocated housed in the box.

Storing the business cards out in the open in a silver mesh tray in a desk drawer was the solution. Easy access to take a few cards to give out when I meet people.

Mixed in with the business cards I found this blue card with white letters proclaiming: You have cool hair.

The blue card I discovered was the perfect motivational tool. This card I placed on my newly bare desktop. To remind me that my hair was lovely.

Yes–I urge everyone to get vaccinated and boosted.

Andrew Giuliani the angry white man who ran for New York governor on the Republican ticket refused to get vaccinated. His claim was the vaccines don’t prevent illness.

Giuliani didn’t win the primary. We didn’t need this science-denier making decisions that effect the citizens of New York.

The regular flu vaccine–as well as the COVID vaccine–all vaccines have the goal of preventing death.

I’m grateful I had a mild form of COVID. Had I gotten ill before I was vaccinated I could’ve needed to use a ventilator. Or worse I could’ve died.

This is not the get-out-of-jail (work) Monopoly card I would’ve liked. Prefer I would to be able to take a month off in the form of a sabbatical to do anything I wanted.

Chancing to find the blue business card was a bright spot in my recovery from COVID.

I hope seeing the photo of the card inspires you to love your hair too.

My Pink Pant Suit Epiphany

Living an authentic life is what matters most.

There can be no shame in celebrating yourself (and by extension others) every day of your life.

I say wear that pink pant suit.

Fear not that the Twinkie mobile will come after you because you’re different.

If you feel like yourself–powerful and radiant in a pink pant suit–go out the door in this color you adore.

I learned this life lesson courtesy of having gotten infected with COVID this week.

Though a mild form it was a terrible ordeal. One that got me thinking that persisting despite having self-doubt is the remedy.

COVID taught me that confidence is overrated. Nothing succeeds like persistence.

In the words of a quote magnet:

When You’re Going through Hell Keep Going.

Breeding Love with Hair Care

This week I watched Self-Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam CJ Walker.

Born Sarah Breedlove the beauty products entrepreneur did exactly that: breed love of their hair for millions of African American women.

More than an astonishing narrative about a self-made woman the story was an aperture onto Black history in the wake of enslaved Africans being freed.

Dismissed by Black and white men alike Walker persisted with her ambition.

Madam CJ Walker was the first female millionaire in America. She built an estate in Upstate New York near the home of John D. Rockefeller.

Proving the truth that where you start out in life is not where you must remain.

Watching the show I could relate to how Walker was driven to succeed.

With 10,000 sales agents Madam CJ Walker was bigger in her time than Mary Kay today.

Viewing Self-Made was the latest method of reinforcing that I should love my hair even when it’s not cooperating.

I say to you readers: persist until you achieve your goal(s) in life.

Tear a page from the Madam CJ Walker playbook (like I’m doing) and be not afraid to Make It Happen.

Refuse to let shame or blame imposed either by others or you on yourself prevent you from acting to get what you want in life.

Lastly what Self-Made taught me:

Having ambition aligned with a humanitarian ethic will make you succeed.

Be unstoppable.


I realize that not every woman is like me. Some of us might think abortion is equivalent to a crime. Or simply that they would choose to have a baby and keep it if they got pregnant.

Their right to have a baby should not be viewed as the only choice that is acceptable.

If you are a woman who is against abortion that should be your personal choice. Yet your right is not the only right that is “right.”

Soon every other right that a person has in America is going to fall one after the other. Now that Roe v. Wade has been rejected.

Using my iPad I curiously could not bring up other websites because the Chrome browser gave this error message: The URL could not be verified. Chrome wouldn’t even verify its own Google URL when I typed in

Remarkably the only website I could type in successfully in Chrome on my iPad was the New York Times. That’s where I saw the headline that the Supreme Court ruled against Roe v. Wade.

The Supreme Court has taken away women’s right to have an abortion.

With access to birth control hard to get and no ability to have an abortion women in America have been sent the message that our only role in society is to be a Wife and Mother.

The No Sex Outside of Marriage and Marriage is for Procreation edicts of major religions relegate American women to being celibate or being Breeders.

Viewing women as dumb dumbs who can’t decide for ourselves who we want to love and when and how.

As a woman with a disability I’m going to get crucified for not having wanted to bring into the world a child who could develop a chronic illness or severe disability that is permanent.

Today it’s not up to me or you to decide whether or not we want to have kids. The Supreme Court has ruled that women don’t have this right.

No couple would adopt the kid of a woman who had a medical condition or a disability. They would be the exception to the rule if they chose to adopt a child who could develop schizophrenia or bipolar.

Besides most couples adopt children from China right so you can’t claim they’ll be swayed to adopt American babies.

What is up with adopting kids from China when American babies need loving homes?

“Adoption is an Option” is what Conservative men driving Chryslers stick on a bumper sticker on their cars.

No–adoption is NOT an option for a lot of women.

We have tactics for sending a message to those states that make abortion illegal.

One strategy might not work yet it bears talking about as persons who can satisfy our own social justice ethic:

Refuse to go on vacation to a state where abortion is illegal. Refrain from doing business with that state.

Take your tourism money elsewhere.

This might barely make a dent in the state’s coffers. Yet at least you could have peace of mind for your own sake.

I will live in New York forever. Not move to Florida when I retire or go anywhere else to live.

Right now I’m seriously rethinking where I’ll travel on vacation to in America.

A lot of women myself included work in a “pink ghetto” where we’re underpaid and overworked for our emotional labor.

Forcing a woman like me to have a child and raise them when we can barely afford to live on our own–and where are we going to get childcare help as single Moms?

Not all men stick around after their girlfriend gives birth to a child. Which busts the Republican myth that a two-parent family will elevate a child’s prospects in life. Not all women can rely on a husband to help care for their child.

Again–you might be a woman who is against abortion. Fine. So you don’t have to get an abortion. That’s your choice.

Let me make my choice.

Pretty soon every other right will be taken away.

The issue is that white men are deciding what’s normative behavior and what isn’t. They’re deciding who has the right to have free choice and who doesn’t.

My claim to fame is that I live my life Left of the Dial. That book title and by extension way of life will forever stick with me.

I’ve known since I was a teenager that I didn’t want to get married and raise a family.

What about you? How do you feel about the Supreme Court decision?

It will be interesting to see what happens next in the kinds of court cases the Supreme Court decides to take up.

Let Love Rule

The bell hooks book Communion has a copyright date of 2002. Even though the book is old it stands the test of time. Bell hooks was focusing on healing through acting with love. Her positive spin was refreshing.

Hooks claimed love cannot be had without justice. This fomented in me the idea that justice requires love.

Truth-telling is an act of love. To obtain justice we must tell the truth. In a society without love, no one is free of domination. Oppression thrives in a loveless world.

After the Buffalo shooting, I thought about taking down this blog and ending it. Those of us with Black family members worry for their lives after what happened.

Two weeks before my fifty-seventh birthday I realized it was time to do what Lenny Kravitz titled his song: “Let Love Rule.”

Thinking that by acting out of love I would generate the love I wanted to see in the world.

Let’s face it: none of us can control what people think of us. Nor how they feel about you and me. We must focus on our lives our goals and our actions.

Given the chance to create a new and better living history I would take it.

So–I’m keeping up this blog. Only I might post here every so often. As I’m gearing up to publish a second book–a career book–that will go on pre-order status online hopefully in the early summer.

What do you say? Don’t you think we should give love a chance?

Banishing My Hair Hate

Three months ago, I read the bell hooks book Communion: The Female Search for Love.

Though the copyright date is 2002 hooks’ theme is eternal. Everyone coming up in their life should read Communion.

Author bell hooks is the True Prophet of Passion.

While speed-reading through this riveting book I decided not to care about my disobedient hair. Finally, I could leave it alone to carry on wayward despite my best hand with the blow dryer.

April has heralded the start of my hair frizzing and curling up in rainy or humid weather.

To be proactive on these days I don’t dry my hair straight in the morning. I blow-dry my hair while scrunching the hair tight upside down.

Viewing old photos of when I was younger, I don’t like the tame ordinary haircuts I had. Nor do I like the androgynous haircuts I used to get with my former hair stylist.

I’m 57 years old. After turning another year older I’ve stopped caring to impress others. What I’ve learned I’m going to share in a coming blog entry.

One day a female customer raved about my “new haircut.”

What? In the morning I had woken up without shampooing and drying my hair. Only brushing my hair so that it wasn’t sticking up or out in a wild way.

She thought my hair was lovely!

Everyone else is too obsessed with agonizing over what they think their shortcomings are. This guarantees that they have no time to assail you.

The ones that care if you have wild woman hair–I wish I had the kind of time they do to waste on thinking ill of others.

If I had that extra time, I would be spending it writing blog entries to amuse readers. Given 15 minutes more every day I would plan a new outfit to wear that I hadn’t worn before. Or wash my face and apply moisturizer to it.

Today–and this might be imprudent–I revel in my wild hair.

We should all love our hair. Whether curly or straight coiled or kinky all hair is beautiful.

Fearing what other people think of our hair is a waste of our time and energy.

Yes–I understand the implication in going around sporting a hairstyle that does not conform to what others deem is acceptable grooming.


Liberating myself from hair hate I hope is the start of bigger and better things happening in my life.

Here’s to Hair Freedom leading to Hope for achieving what we want to get in life.

If I’m able to I might post a video here where I flash my wild tresses.

Keep wild and carry on.

Rules are designed to keep us in our place.

Fie conformity!

The Life and Death of a Garment

This book I read circa 5 months ago.

It’s a fascinating and compelling expose of the life cycle of clothing.

Maxine Bedat takes the reader on a trip from the cotton field to the manufacturing plant to the store shelves.

If you wondered like I did how a cotton ball becomes a pair of jeans or a shirt (or how fabric becomes an item of clothing like a coat) Bedat shows us with step-by-step photos of the production process.

This curious glimpse exposes the dirty truth about the toxic working conditions and filthy physical environments of overseas garment manufacturing.

60 women (all women!) sit in rows of tables at cramped sewing machines. One woman sews the jean hem. The next sews the leg. And the next sews the waistband. On down the line it goes.

Giving way to the term “deaths of despair” that occur when work is not meaningful and doesn’t give you a purpose for getting up out of bed.

The root lies in the neoliberal economic policies that offloaded clothing production to other countries.

In the guise of giving the residents a better life. When in fact it allowed American businesses to pay cut-rate wages in order to reap billions in sales.

My tactic is to rarely buy an item of clothing from Zara or H&M. Should I be shopping in those stores at all?

This spring and going into the summer I won’t be buying any new clothes.

On tap is a pair of blue fabric booties I would like to buy. That’s all.

In March I sent donation bags off to the Salvation Army.

In the coming blog entry, I would like to talk about how I finally made peace with my disobedient hair.