There, There

This is super apt since Columbus Day just passed. There, There is author Tommy Orange’s literary debut. It tells the story of the Native American diaspora, the consequence of a genocide that America masks and glorifies. Through various perspectives, the reader is able to see the cause and effect the massacre of these people have had generationally.

Imagine trying to put together the pieces of broken glass. Gathering up all the pieces is nearly impossible, even if you did what tools could you use to put it all back together? How do you do it without getting shards underneath your skin, without bleeding? This is the struggle of the contemporary Native Americans, trying to rebuild what was dismantled and destroyed.

Beyond history class, Columbus Day and Thanksgiving, where are the voices of the Native American people? This book is gritty, thought provoking, heart rending and necessary. These voices need to be heard. Their stories are integral to the history of the American people.

Garment Collecting

What to do, what to do with the clothes you can’t donate? The tattered, armpit stained, dingy old things that can’t be bought back to life. I use to throw what I couldn’t give away, or pass down to my siblings in the garbage. Then I learned the fashion industry is the second most wasteful regarding the environment.

An environmentalist, I kept my recent old clothing in a Trader Joe’s tote, until I could figure out what to do with them.

Then I found out that H&M will take all the contorted bras, the stretched out leggings, the shirts filled with holes…Just drop it off in the collection box at a store nearest you, then redeem you 15% off coupon. Photo: H&M

Flu Fighters

Typical New York City weather, leaves you to believe it’s something other than what it is. For the last few days, week even, we’ve experienced extended summer. Rather what felt like extended summer. The other night I wore a mini skirt, even though I had a leather, suede, fleece lined jacket I still managed to get sick yesterday.

All morning I’d been fighting a sore throat, a heavy head and a congested chest. Usually I bring jeans, just in case, but again it’s been humid. As a native I have no one to blame but myself.

I’d been guzzling turmeric, ginger tea mixed with honey to no avail. So I trekked the six minutes to the liquor store, which in my condition felt like 12 minutes. As soon as I purchased my Jack Daniel’s I took a swig, feeling the sweet relief of whiskey hitting my chest. This, this is what cleared me out.

Whiskey and bourbon have medicinal properties. Once upon a time doctor’s used it as such. Still to this day, they are some of the best ways to relieve and prevent a cold.

Best drink to stay warm and healthy: a hot toddy. Whiskey or bourbon, honey, lemon and hot water.

Happy Mabon

Equinox= equal night.

The equinox that hits us every September is the only time the earth is not at a tilt, standing straight we receive equal parts light and dark. Today it falls on the first day of fall. So what does this mean spiritually?

September equinox is known as Mabon and is a time of new spiritual growth. This is a time of reflection, restoration, balance and gratitude.

Reflect: On what you’ve gone through and what is yet to come. Do you like who you are right now? Why or why not?

Restore: If you’ve been on the go and even if you haven’t, rest. Take a moment to do nothing, but the things that restore you to your most harmonious self. For me thats journaling, watching films, a night out on the town… What do you need to do to restore yourself?

Balance: Is so key, its the meaning of life to have everything in moderation. Take a moment of introspection. What areas in your life are you putting excessive energy (focused too much on finances, work, a relationship, a vice…)? What areas in your life need more attention?

Gratitude: Blessings multiply when you appreciate what you have. We spend so much time ruminating on what we lack, which magnifies the lacking. Be grateful for the blessings you have and watch more manifest. What are you grateful for? Are you in a third world country? If not list 10 things you wouldn’t have if you were. Sometimes something as simple as turning on my faucet reminds me of my great fortune. People in other parts of the world have to walk miles, in hopes of finding water at all.

Photo: Siloqy Jewelry

The Strength Of Love

Did I cry?

Yes.

In public my throat throbbed while I forced back tears. An amazing story of a man who agrees to work for the Germans in order to keep his family safe. Speaking six languages Lale is promoted to tatowierer. Branding every person who comes through with a series of numbers. He starts to question if he too is a collaborator, but sees to it that he uses his perks to help out as many people as possible, putting his life at risk. When he lays eyes on Gita it’s love at first sight, Lale makes it his mission to make it out alive and marry that girl.

This gives an in depth, detailed account of the atrocities that took place at concentration camps. The most interesting part is the social order amongst the prisoners, who still maintained dignity, love, honor and integrity whilst living in literal hell. One cannot read this book and not believe in miracles.

You Are What You Eat

“I think I’m going to break up with her, like she has no ambition, she only eats fast food and that’s what her vagina taste like, trash.”

My sister’s complaints about her soon to be ex-girlfriend really bought to life the statement, ‘you are what you eat.’ Personally, my reviews were just the opposite, so I never put much thought into it. Intrigued by the obvious I delved a little deeper into the whole matter, especially since I don’t eat pineapples all too often. However I do ingest:

  1. Greens- I eat a ton of veggies; I make sure to have some form of vegetables in at least two of my daily meals. It doesn’t just have to be green vegetables obviously, seeing as I love tomatoes. Broccoli, arugula, spinach, cucumbers…
  2. Fruits- I’ve never met a fruit I didn’t like. Since cutting out processed sugar it’s essential that I have fruit for its natural sugars.
  3. Cranberry Juice- I had no idea that this was healthy for the vagina. Honestly I was chugging this to offset the amount of drinking I do, since it flushes toxins from the kidneys. A win-win.
  4. Yogurt- For me drinkable kefir. I was drinking it for the antioxidants and probiotics, which does wonders for the digestive system.
  5. Water- This goes without saying, the more water the better. It cleans you right out.

Eating healthy is good for your insides, outsides, and overall health. Pay attention to the ingredients when you go out, cook at home often and cut down on trash foods, it doesn’t smell good on its way out of any hole.

Min Jin Lee Pachinko

Sunja is a pregnant teenager in the 1900’s. The baby daddy is an older married man with a sketchy profession, so sketchy she doesn’t know what he does. Bringing great shame to her family Sunja is saved by a holy man. A lodger in her parents boarding home offers her an out, by marrying her and claiming the child as his own. Sunja accepts, leaving behind her old life and moving to Japan so her husband can be a minister.

Thrown into this new world where she must endure poverty, racial discrimination, war…she is determined to provide a better life for her offspring. This book takes so many unexpected turns. Deserving of every accolade it’s received.

It’s so important to read from other cultural viewpoints, to understand that our differences make us beautiful. I had no idea how much racism Koreans faced from the Japanese. A must read.

A Glowing Complexion

One of my must have products is Lush Ocean Salt. It’s probably the best exfoliate I’ve ever used and smells amazing. You can use it on your face, or any part of your body. It’s so strong you can’t use it two days in a row, as it will leave your skin raw. I love using it on my lady bits, my armpits and my face specifically. It makes my tattoos look brand spanking new and super sharp, no matter how old the ink.

I always get compliments on my scent and glowing complexion after using this. A beauty must have.