From Wikipedia:  Amandla is a Xhosa and Zulu word meaning “power”. The word was a popular rallying cry in the days of resistance against Apartheid, used by the African National Congress and its allies.

In June of 1990, months after his release, Nelson Mandela came to Los Angeles, CA as part of U.S. Freedom Celebration Tour. I was 17 years old, home after one year of college and my parents loaded my brothers and I up and took us to the Coliseum to witness the celebration of the release of this awesome, awesome man.

I don’t remember exactly what he said. I don’t remember who else spoke/sung/performed. But I do remember being overwhelmed with emotion as I stood shoulder to shoulder with tens of thousands of others who’d come to honor Mr. Mandela, his perseverance, his spirit and his ultimate triumph. I remember thinking that I was taking part in a monumental, historical occasion. And I was. Apartheid had long plagued South Africa in ways that were equal to, if not worse than, the way Jim Crow plagued the United States. The spirit and tenacity of Mr. Mandela was palpable and I was in awe.

It was an honor and a privilege to be there that day. It was an honor and privilege to read his autobiography, A Long Walk to Freedom. If you’ve not read it, may I strongly suggest that you do so? It is an extraordinary tale of the life of an ordinarily, extraordinary man.  It is an honor to have occupied this planet at the same time as he did.

RIP Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Well done Madiba, well done.

(OAN, I still can’t believe he and Mrs. Winnie Mandela divorced! Can you imagine, standing by your man through 38 years of marriage including 27 years of imprisonment and then a few short years after his release y’all are divorced and he’s remarried? Lawdhammercy!)

Love This!

This lady’s blog? Love! Stumbled across it on Pinterest and it is my new go-to for packing. I am not about that paying luggage fees life! I so plan on doing this for our trip this summer and henceforth now and forever more.

Her outfit pics are also quite helpful – I am bad about wearing the same clothes the same way all the time. Hopefully this will kick my remixing skills up a notch or three!



11. Makes me happy

I think this photo is the one where I’m “supposed” to take a picture of Smoochy and Lovegirl and post it.  But really, y’all already know the two of them make me happy.

What you need to know is that Smoochy and I are pistachio fiends!  I love all of them – salted, salt and pepper, garlic and onion – but right now, I’m tossing back these chili and lime flavored ones at an alarming rate. Deeelicious!











But really, who am I to deny you this next picture?  It cracks me up every time I see it.  Yes, my seven year old child rocks a sleep mask…prayers are appreciated!

Y'all, most days I'm really not sure she's mine...but she sure does make me happy!

My Heart Is Full

1.  The Personhood Amendment did not pass! As a rape survivor, as a woman, as a mother to a girl-child I am over the moon with joy that our choices as it relates to our reproductive rights are still intact in the state of Mississippi.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinions on this controversial movement – I’m just ecstatic that more people agreed with me than the opposing side last night!  Hell, I might start taking birth control pills just because I can!!!

2.  Heavy D died yesterday.  I remember when people my parents grew up listening to would die and how shocked and distraught they’d seem.  I never thought it was that big a deal – these were “old” people after all.  Well, now someone that I grew up listening to and admiring is gone at the age of 44 and I know exactly how they felt.  I’ve always like Heavy’s music – fun, positive joints that got and kept you on the dance floor.  I loved watching him on TV – particularly on Living Single, and I appreciated his guest appearances on other artists’ songs – especially Janet Jackson’s “Alright!” Diddly diddly dee indeed.  RIP.

Lions, Tigers, Bears and Other Randoms. Oh my.

  • Whoo darn hoo!  I have scored not one, but two pairs of new boots!  In case you couldn’t tell, I am ridiculous with excitement!  Do you know how hard it is to find a pair of decently priced boots in my size?  Well trust, it is.  The best part?  They were CHEAP!  I scored two pairs of tall, leather boots for less than $80!  Dear  I love thee.
  • I have decided to travel using only carryons when Lovegirl and I go to Cali for Christmas.  At first I was like “I’m checking bags – I don’t want to drag bags and Lovegirl through various and sundry airports all by myself.”  But now I’ve decided the challenge of jamming everything in two small bags and saving $$ on checked bags is well worth it.  I found a slide show some stewardess did on packing in a carryon and am going to follow her lead.  You can check it out here:  I don’t generally overpack, but I like to know I’ve got room in my bag to bring stuff back.  I guess this will help squelch any impulse shopping urges I may get.  Do you overpack?
  • I mentioned this on FB this a.m., but I’m seriously considering dressing up for Halloween for the first time in my life.  If I decide to dress up, I’ll be dressing up as none other than Phaedra from RHOA.
  • I slipped up – a lot – on Operation Buy Nothing ’til December.  But it’s going into full effect beginning November 1.  I shall buy no clothes, accessories, etc. for myself until at least the end of November.  For real this time.  For real.
  • The Chipmunk has been talking about moving out of state.  Hope springs eternal!
  • Recently, the University of Missisippi changed its mascot from Colonel Rebel to the Rebel Black Bear (couldn’t find a pic).  I was telling my Mom that my alma maters were now Lions (UAPB), and Tigers (JSU), and Bears (UM) oh my!  I find that hilarious.  My mother on the other hand wanted to hang up in my face. 
  • My quads?  They are a burning.  I think this challenge is gonna get me right!  And I’m looking forward to the day when I can walk totally upright and pain free again.

Mmkay, that’s all.  Maybe something earthshatteringly awesome will happen on my daily 15 minute walk and I’ll be back with more interesting blog fodder.  But I doubt it.  All I’ll see are large women in cut out tops, dudes whose sole purpose in life is to be the next Wacka Flacka, and butt cracks galore.  And that’s just the employees – don’t get me started on the patients’ families!  Holla.

Free At Last (Almost) Friday!!

  • To borrow a “phrase” from Pserendipity…..woot woot!  Tomorrow I take my law final and with the exception of a final report for my practicum – I AM DONE WITH SCHOOL!!!
  • Thanks for all your input on my little gimme girl.  I’m going to continue to roll with team “no ma’am” for the majority of her requests but will consider some of them around birthday/Christmas time.  Just to clarify – I’m not anti name brands, but I am anti name brands just for name brands sake. 
  • I AM DONE WITH SCHOOL!!!  Just in case you weren’t paying attention the first time…
  • I did pretty well with my “getting back right” goals for the week.  I didn’t quite make 20 push ups every day – but most days I got in at least 15.  Every other goal was met.  Next week I’m going to work on reducing the amount of sugar I consume in addition to continuing this week’s goals.
  • I can’t believe the summer is, for all intents and purposes, over.  Next week is Lovegirl’s last week of summer camp and school starts on the 9th.  Her schools supplies have been purchased – school clothes are a whole ‘nother story.  Operation no-naked-kindergartner goes into full effect next week.
  • How sad is it that I am mucho excited about the fact that a T.J. M.axx is opening up just down the street?!?!  And that I know it is opening on August 15th?
  • I’m so looking forward to being able to go back to Bible study on Wednesday nights.  I can definitely tell a difference in my attitude since I haven’t been able to attend because of school.
  • For a brief moment (or two) I considered re-enrolling Lovegirl in the World’s Best Little Christian School.  If I did that, she’d be in 1st grade instead of Kindergarten and then could start public school next year in the 2nd grade.  Of course, if I did re-enroll her, I’d likely be blogging from prison, ’cause I’d surely lose my mind and accidentally kill severly injure the crazy no-spelling director.  And I’m only 1/2 kidding. 
  • Speaking of Lovegirl – I am loving coconut oil on her hair!  It has made a world of difference in detangling and in retaining moisture.  Her hair is usually very dry, but the coconut oil has her hair full of sheen and much, much softer.  Love it!!  I used it as well, and wasn’t as wowed, but I think I’m going to continue to use it and see if makes a difference in softening up my hair.  I think I’ve mentioned before how very rough my dreads feel.  No me gusta.
  • Anyhoo, that’s it.  I need to get back to this oh-so-dull law review. 

Hope everybody has a great, safe weekend.  Peace, love, and soul! 

Nerd Girl, MPH, MA


Hold Up Listen Partner…

I aint no cheap thrill!

But, I am all about having a few cheap thrills in my life, and what better time than summer?  Everything on this list can be had for less than $5.

Here, in no particular order, are a few of my cheap thrills:

Pure Ice nail polish.  Great variety of colors, wears well, two bucks a bottle, what more could you ask?

Ice cream.  Just look away Mrs TDJ, look away.  Whether you’re a fan of soft serve or regular ice cream, this sweet treat can be had on the cheap.  Lovegirl and I love to spend a lazy afternoon in an ice cream shop enjoying each other’s company.  Just yesterday she enjoyed a chocolate cone while I enjoyed a double dip – butter pecan and strawberry cheesecake – YUM!

Water fountains.  Not the drinking kind.  The kind that have been installed at the local outdoor shopping experience (are they still called malls??) that children can run and splash in for hours on end free of charge while parents laze on a nearby bench.  Ask me how I know!

Pandora.  I couldn’t make it through my work day without this “free” music service.  I always go over the allotted 40 free hours a month, but for a 99 measly cents, I can keep the party going.  Love it.

Summer Fruits.  Summer summer fruits, it wouldn’t be summer without them.  Does anybody else remember than jingle?  Just me?  Ah well.  From blueberries and strawberries to mangoes and cherries, I love fruit this time of year.

Vacation Bible School.  Bible learning, activities to help wear her out and free of charge!  Really?  It gets no better.

What are some of your favorite cheap thrills – summer or otherwise?

RIF. Reading is, indeed, fundamental.


(not my bookshelves – I wish!)

I love to read.  I love books.  I love being transported away to a different time and place, losing myself in the plot, the scenery, the characters.  I don’t read nearly as much as I did pre-Love Girl and I miss it.  Well, while school was out for three weeks, I devoured 10 books.  None were pure garbage, most were okay, two were spectacular.  Those are the ones I want to discuss.

The first was A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.  Oh my goodness.  This book moved me to tears.  Several times.  I cannot remember the last book I read that had that effect on me.  This is the tale of two Afghanistan women whose lives intertwine in the midst of Afghanistan’s political turmoil.  Hosseini writes in a beautifully descriptive manner that led me to devour this book in less than two days.  His first book, The Kite Runner, was excellent as well – I think A Thousand Splendid Suns was better.

The second book was Song Yet Sung by James McBride.  McBride’s first (?) book was The Color of Water which I’ve not yet read, so I went into Song Yet Sung with no real expectations one way or the other.  So good this book was.  It is about slaves, slave catchers, the Underground Railroad and the human spirit.  I truly enjoyed it and it too took me less than two days to finish.

I’m no book reviewer, and am well aware that my words do not do these books justice.  If you’re in the market for a good read – or two – don’t hesitate to pick these up.  Don’t let the subject matter steer you away.  I promise – neither is a heavy, boring read.  I was fortunate to find them on the clearance table at B.ooks A M.illion for less than $6 each.  I’m supposed to utilize our public library, but really?  If there’s one thing I’m guilty of collecting, it is books. 

Are you a reader?  What genre do you prefer?  Read any good books lately?  Do tell!

I’ve Got a New Attitude

Not.  Though not as pissy as I was yesterday, I can tell that my snap-off potential is still pretty high.

Everybody (okay, 3 dudes at work) have been raving about this guy who does dreads and they told me I should give him a call so he can hook me up.  They give me his number.  I’m going to the Bluff next week, so I figure I’ll go get a wash and twist before I head out.  I’ve been doing my hair myself for well over a year, and if this guy is as wonderful as they say he is, I figure it wouldn’t hurt to pay him a visit every couple of months for a little routine maintainance.  So, I call him.

“Hello, may I speak to dreadlock dude?”

“This is he.”

“Hi.  I’m Nerd Girl.  I got your number from a few of the people I work with.  I understand you work wonders and would like to come in next Wednesday for a wash and retwist.”

“This is my private number.”

“Okaaaay.  Well, this is the number they gave me, I’m sorry.  Is there another number you’ d like me to call instead?”

“Well, no this is fine.  I’m sure they told you that you must come in for a consultation.”

“Nope, they didn’t.  Can I come in tomorrow?”


“What time?”

“Any time.  I’ll be there all day.”

***I’m beginning to remember why I CANNOTSTANDGOINGTOGETMYHAIRDONE!!! Your all day may not be the same as my all day!  Woo sah.***

“Okay, great.  Where are you located?”

“On such and such between the fish house and K.rystals.”

“Um.  Where is that?”

“Well, if you can find the street, you can find it.”

“Do you have an address?”

“I don’t know the address, but everybody knows where such and such road is.”

What I say:  “Okay, thank you.  I’ll ask someone for clearer directions and come by after work tomorrow.”

What I’m thinking:  The hell?  I am a potential customer – you know? Source of income-cash-money-dinero-cheddar!!  Why the hell is this dude giving me attitude for asking for an address?  I’m cool with an address AND landmarks, but not just no stankin’ landmarks.  I don’t live on that side o’town.  Am rarely over there.  Aint been to that fish house and I don’t eat at K.rystal.  (I don’t care if you do, I just don’t).  How about you just tell me where your dadgum business is so I can drive halfway around the world tomorrow for my consultation so I can come back next week and get my hair did?  How about that????

Yeah, still got a bit of ‘tude left.