Tuesday, August 17, 2010

GOT- Gulf Shores, Alabama

Time for some pictures. These are from the GOT's expedition trip to the Gulf Coast. We went there to bear witness to the Oil Spill that happened a few months back. It might be old news to the media but it's not old news to the residents who still have no means of work because of the lack of tourism and accessible fishes, the aquatic life that will continue to be drenched with oil and toxic dispersant, and to the ocean that will continue to be raped by countless oil spills that happen every day right under our noses.

From here they just looks like black specks of sand but if you look closer, you'll can see they're actually pulverized specks of oil. The oil patties (more below) are a mixture of oil and sand that's clumped together to make a sticky, mushy form. They come in various shapes and sizes and, lucky for BP and the government, look better on the beach than those blobs of oil. From far, they look like a bunch of smooth rocks.

Dime to quarter sized balls of oil dispersed on the shores of Alabama

Perspective on just how close these oil collecting ships and rigs are to shore. Definitely a prettier horizon than wind turbines...

We were finding these oil patties all behind the beach house we were staying at that week. Though the government deemed the beach to be clean and opened it to the public, there was still oil coming on shore like this clump here. You don't have to be a mother to know how easily a child can find these rock looking tar balls in their mouth. And yes. They are definitely still toxic.

**Sorry it took so long to upload all these pictures! Blogger wasn't working the first time I tried to post and I basically gave up on it until now. (yay for picture uploading abilities!!) I have TONS of new pictures I need to put up but this collection of my work wiped me out!**

Until next time. Hopefully I'll have more time to make random posts too. There are a couple of projects I want to work on so I'll keep you posted on that if I do follow through with them.

Tabby <3

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer Readings


I can't believe the GOT is almost over- i definitely recommend it to anyone who is serious about leading the movement in their own communities- changing the world through organizing and facing opposition in the eye. It's been a great experience and I cannot wait to go to the Gulf Coast to witness the oil spill and then to go back to university so I can start organizing.

BUT that is not what i wanted to talk about...well at least not this time around. As I said a few posts ago, instead of just listing off all these books i was going to read this summer, I'll list them off as I go along. Even though I am no where close to finishing that list, i still consider the 2 books iv'e accomplished a win- lol.

Don't Think of an Elephant
By George Lakoff

This book was written shortly after the 2004 elections and basically analyzes why the republican party has their act together while the Democrats do not. Lakoff states that people do not vote based on self interest but rather by frames (the values that you filter information with). He believes that in the US we operate within two frames- a strict father model and a nurturing parent model. Republicans have a strict father frame that they filter politics with and democrats have a nurturing parent frame they filter politics with.

It was a pretty good book, but after the first chapter things got repetitive. One thing that i didn't really like though is the division that he makes between Republicans and Democrats. I mean, i don't read a lot of current affair books but is there really that much hostility between the two parties? It makes me feel like the civil never ended. These divisions go beyond just political differences, we literally see opposing sides as less than human or as an enemy that will never change. The point of his book was to encourage the top dogs of the Democratic party to take note of what the Republicans did to pass all the bills they wanted- package their frame in a way that's sellible to get more American's on their side. But my question is if both parties start working in the same way, if they both successfully killed the independent vote, wouldnt we end up making this deep division between Americana's worse?

Sellout: The Politics of Racial Betrayal
By Randall Kennedy

(whoa! big pic!!!)
This book was about the history and reasons of application of the word sellout in the African American community. Kennedy tackles the what we mean by selling out in the black community, the complexities of selling out to a race or being a race traitor, and how slippery of an identification 'Black' is.
It was a very good book. I think it makes some very interesting points and asks some very bold questions. Kennedy tries to bring to light that the community's quickness to jump the gun on the 'race traitor' waggon prevents us from opening up a dialogue that may be controversial but much needed. Even by writing his book, Kennedy will be fending off race traitor accusations. I think that african american's are so quick to call someone a sellout because we want so desperately to keep, if nothing else, our sense of community- we must stick together, we have a responsibility to help each other out of our oppression, and we support one another. That is all the black community know's to trust- each other, and that cannot change.
Right now i'm trying to get through Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop The Corporate Theft of the World's Water. So far it's really good but I hate to say, VERY one sided. Good thing i'm a little familiar with water privatization issues already. Update on that soon hopefully! and I'll probably make another GP semester update soon-ish too : )

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Born to be WILD

June 11, 2010. The first day of World Cup South Africa 2010.

But more importantly (in a self centered sort of way), June 11 marks the day that I did the BIG CHOP. The short version of that is that I decided to cut off the chemically straighten part of my hair- which i have been doing since the single digits- and letting my natural curly/kinky hair grow out freely. so basically I went from this:

to this:

yea. pretty exciting. I wanted to make an update on my new look but i don't see why it's necessary to make an entirely new blog for it (after all, i already have 2 blogs to keep up with). Plus i don't have enough time to dedicate my free time to being a full time 'naturalist' and trying out/ reviewing/ researching all these different products and recipes for my hair...

Now. I hope you are wondering why i decided to go natural. Honestly it started by watching this history of Soul Train on Vh1 during black history month. specifically an episode where they were explaining how Soul Train was the first African American owned, ran, and hosted tv show in the US which had a lot of commericals that focused on making black beautiful- including black natural hair. It was then that i realized the connection between being natural and being comfortable with my african 'heritage'. From there came two other moments that pushed me over the natural hair edge- my last hairdresser appointment (where i realized just how badly my hair breakage was) and watching Good Hair by Chris Rock.

Good Hair made me really look at the idea of how much my hair means to me and how much a black women that lives in America sees straight hair as being related to 'pretty'. I'll let you in on a secret: I feel the prettiest right after i get a relaxer (or chemically straighten my hair); when my hair is so straight that i can feel my scalp, not puff. All i want is long black hair that is straight and falls down to the middle of my back. I feel beautiful with that hair, not with the hair that i already have- i'm ugly with this hair on my head.

To make an already long story short, i decided that I need to know what my hair is and what it looks like. I want to know what my hair likes to do, what it does in different circumstances, and what products it reacts to. The process of straightening basically strips the protein from your hair to make it fall straight and limp. no, my hair should be free to grow and curl and shrink and absorb and do whatever it wants- AND I SHOULD LOVE IT.

There are also some other reasons for this decision, like recognizing that permanently altering my hair on a regular basis originated from black ppl trying desperately to disown their black characteristics and look more white. On a certain level straightening my hair is literally like living oppression on your head- a daily reminder that i do not feel comfortable in my own skin, in the body God has given me to cherish and love, that all i want to do is look like someone else. I used to make the argument that straightening black hair was now a part of the African-American culture, but you can't always just forget where you came from. The emotional connection between beauty and straight hair for black women shouldn't be ignored.

There's also an environmental side to my decision that i didn't really catch on to until i chopped it all off. To go natural tends to apply to a lot of parts of your daily routine- it's a lifestyle change. The more natural the ingredients, the better for your hair. For natural black hair, a lot of chemicals and alcohols strip your hair of moisture that it desperately needs (natural hair thirsts for moisture like crazy). This allows me to start becoming sustainable in my hair routine. I even have the option now of making my own recipes for conditioners or moisturizers or whatever! Also, being natural frees me from having to go to the hair dresser ever month to use harmful and toxic chemicals that burn my forehead and cause breakage. Not to mention being responsible for all of the crap that must be in the water system thanks to those chemical relaxers.

so there. now you know.

For peace and liberation,

Sunday, June 20, 2010

GOT Post 1- Oil hearing with a side of politics

My bad for never updating- i feel like I'm working i'm so worn out every day >.<
So. WEEK 3!! I must say- loves the Greenpeace. The staffers are really nice and so are the other students in my program. These past 3 weeks we have focused on our leadership tendencies, how to relate with others on your team, what makes a
team strong and efficient, as well as petitioning, campaign planning, phone banking, etc. All very useful and don't worry, i'm taking notes! : )

I think what i'm going to start doing is a feature for every GOT related post. so for this update, i'm going to feature the Oil hearing that happened this past Tuesday. That day we joined forces with the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and went to the house building (i don't know the technical term) for the hearing. It was so intense and we ran into a lot of red tape- it's amazing how much
injustice happens in our capital. I once blogged about the fact that sometimes i get so frustrated with our government that i just want to scream. I started considering the idea of bringing up my signs from home and screaming here but i'm pretty sure they'd tell me i'm not allowed to protest in front of the capitol- it's really sad that I can safely make that assumption.

i woke up at 3am that morning to wait in line at 5am. we were seemingly the first ppl there. then we got into the building at 7:30 and were the first ppl in line by 9:30. It was a public hearing with 50
seats. When we get inside, we find around 6 people already in line before us (they must had slipped in earlier on). As we are waiting in line the security guard tells us that there are actually only 15 open seats for the public...at a public hearing.

ok. bummer.
but we still have hope- we figure we can squeeze the rest in later. a few minutes before the doors open, 4
business men with expensive suits and greased back hair replace 3 of the the 6 people who slipped in before the doors opened. They apparently paid them off to stand there for them.


at 9:30, we find out that there were only around 5 open spots when only 5 people were allowed into the hearing. unfortunate for our 4 businessmen, two of them were not part of that 5. Now apparently there is an agreement where when someone leaves the hearing their seat is up for grabs. however- that's not exactly the case like the 'reserved' seats were for the press and whoever the big oil companies had come with them (i.e. lawyers). So even though we were told that it might be impossible to get in like all the seats are reserved and there are only 5 open seats for the public, these two businessmen were able to work something out with the girl managing the line.

not ok.
I personally had to w
ait 3.5hrs more in an ever dwindling line of folks who lost hope in their chances of getting in WHILE standing, before i could get in. And i was close to the front of the line!!! (as in definitely in the top 15 ppl)

I am a voter. I am a citizen.

It shouldn't be that hard for me to personally sit in a public hearing.

what really gets me is the idea that you can reserve public hearing seats. What's even worse was that the majority of the people who filled those reserved seats did not have to wait in my line or get up at 3am or stay standing for hours. they just walked on in. I was up from 3am that morning and stayed in that building until 2 all for a seat.
That's not right. and it make
s me so MAD.

But It's that frustration that lea
ds us to action. It is that and my faith that drives me to fight every day. It's also what leads ppl to do this:

the RAN kids attempted to give the CEO of Chevron a bottle of oil from Ecuador. She was arrested- as well as the girl with the sign behind her. just for standing up to injustice.

More on what Chevron is doing and how to take action Here.

That's all from me. Time for Church

Tabby <3

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ode to Virginia

so much!!

(p.s. i have no idea what's up with the spacing...)

Monday, May 31, 2010

pre- Greenpeace Organizing Term DC

As I said before, This summer i am doing a training/internship with Greenpeace in DC and I know there are a few people who want an update on my 'journey' we'll call it. I did think about creating another blog just for my summer internship but honestly, it's such a waste of time. First i would have to add a 3rd blog to my list of blogs (and three's a crowd) and then i'd have to arrange the colors and the layout- time i don't feel like giving up. Plus, quite honestly, no one reads the vacation/trip blogs b/c they're kind of lame. At least if i keep my own blog, not every post will be about how awsm my time is here and what you're missing out on.

With that, i Start with the pre- GOT DC blog post!

I've been here for about a week- exploring and wandering. It's been pretty exciting. I've decided that I'm not that big on the city though- things close early and there's nothing to do after that. That probably means that i just need to find more things to do- i know there's a lot of free art shows and performances that happen (usually earlier but they happen). Plus, i think when my program starts I'll have more things to keep busy with.

Tomorrow is my first official day. I'm excited but at the same time nervous! I have no idea what to expect except for the vague promise of working on campaigns and training to become a better grassroots leader. I'm hoping that I'll be able to take away with me not only new tools but a changed mindset. my biggest hope is for this experience to help me think in a way that sees every occasion as an opportunity to campaign for environmental justice. I also want to work on my photography while i'm here **fingers crossed for plenty of new amazing photos!!!** I always tend to forget my camera. (so bulky!)

To get me all pumped i've definitely been listening to some protest music. It gets you pumped to change the world! here's what's on the playlist (obviously you got a sample with the flobots and the mutabaruka):

Fight the Power- Public Enemy
Burn Hollywood Burn- Public Enemy
Wolves- Dead Prez
Police State- Dead Prez
War- Bob Marley
Fight with Tools- Flobots
White Flag Warrior- Flobots
Airplane Mode- Flobots
Mayday- Flobots
Them Belly Full (but we hungry)- Bob Marley
Redemption Song- Bob Marley
Any Means Necessary- Mutabaruka
Letter from a Friend- Mutabaruka
I Don Ave A Color Problem- Mutabaruka

side note- I may not fully agree with ever line from every one of these songs, but they all have a purpose and there's a nugget of truth with each song.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Letter from a Friend

From where I stand
I can clearly see your tormented faces
How you must hate me
I wonder how many think of killin' me
Of assassinating their country's leader
But again lookin at you all
I see fear- passive fear, fear of death
No martyrs are among you

So I am safe within the confines of the law
To overtax you, underpay you
Overwork you, police force you
Bury you, black people, my people
Victims of society, victims of western democracy
No martyrs are among you
Even though our country achieved independence
European rule still prevails
Neo-colonialism has its roots deep in our soil
I care not, as long as I am well paid
No martyrs are among you

So I am safe within the confines of your passivity
To stand on this rostrum and address you..
And fill your oppressed ears with mockin' promises
As I speak, I speak for all who are here with me
Brown and nearly white, for colour, class and creed
Has no meanin' where the Almighty dollar is concerned
And on behalf of the government here and abroad
I would like to thank you voters
For dippin' your finger in the blood thus markin' an X
Givin' us the wrong to do wrong
You don't have to hear my thoughts, you know them
No martyrs are among you


listen to it.
Deep stuff. No doubt it still applies today.

Survival Story- Flobots

Completely neglected my Flobots news and missed their new album release date. But I listened and, as always, was really exited to have my ears be blessed with the rare social commentary that the members have dedicated their band to- not impressed. at all. well just a little but I'll tell you why in a second.

I know i say I'm really picky with my music and that I'm almost never impressed with new albums, but I gave the flobots a lot of wiggle room. The fact that they do dedicate their albums to protest instead of numbing us with songs about petty love and narcissism, is heroic and scarce as it is. If the music wasn't the best, as long as they had a good message, i would have still liked it. PLUS I saw them at my local powershift and they definitely said they were joining the environmental movement- brownie points!!!

Their new album cover reflects that decision and I do appreciate the song Defend Atlantis, but most of the tracks just aren't structured properly. I don't know what happened, maybe they switched songwriters or someone was really off their game, but I cannot look past the sloppiness. lyrics didn't flow, the chorus' did not mesh, the music was off...i can't even put my finger on it. In short- it was an amateur album. Can this really be the same band that recorded Fight with Tools 3 years ago? because they were AMAZING!! I LOOOOOVED that Flobots- i with it was them that made my environmental anthem.

I'm crossing my fingers for an album 3 and that it will be better. I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt (again) and say that the second album is always the weakest- just because you have to figure out how to follow up a good first. I know that this band has the potential because I highly doubt that someone can make 12 flukes in a row on one album.

**sidenote: did also enjoy the song White Flag Warrior. This was very well done. I'll give them that : )

WhiteFlagWarrior from Flobotics on Vimeo.

More Flobots: Handlebars, Fight with Tools, Rise


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A worthless thought

There's been a lot of talk about a lot of things recently and a lot of new ideas forming in my head that i have yet to make sense of. There's been a lot of events that have pressed against me and are in the process of forming me. Yet not everything is done working so i can breath.

Despite the transforming and the changing and whatever else it is, One of those things that have been bubbling in my mind is this idea of identity. Who we see ourselves as, who we feel others think we are, and who we want ourselves to be. I have come to the conclusion that I am not just a word. I am several different words but at the same time wordless. There is nothing that can describe who I am or what I am or who i will become. I guess that is why we all have names- not just for labeling but to create one word that can truly define us.

I am Tabitha.
yea, that makes sense.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Schools Out but the Work is Never Over

I Am finally back home from another year at school. It's crazy how fast this part of my life is moving. Only 2.5 years to go (too much credits to take for a clean 4 year graduation >.<). However there is soooo much going on this summer i barely have time for the traditional break.

Like i mentioned a few entries ago i am doing a training program with Greenpeace this summer from June to August. I'm am exited and nervous and maybe a little scared. I think it might be the fact that I'm semi living life on my own- though not really because I'm still living in a dorm, with 2 other roommates, and i'm still doing a program so it's just like moving out to college all over again. I think sometimes we trick ourselves into thinking situations are more different than they really are.

I also have decided to be come much more read by the end of this summer (how that will happen with a 40hr work week i do not know) so i have a pile of books to read plus a list of books to check out from the library. And just to make sure I read everything, I am only going to post books after I read them :P. I kind of need to trick myself to be motivated enough to finish a book- it's been much too long.

I don't have much to entertain you with. But i did go through my old music the other day in the car and i remembered that I love The Futureheads. a lot. Check them out.
Radio Heart, Hounds of Love, Struck Dumb

Their new album, Chaos, is up to par i think- and that's saying a lot b/c i usually am not impressed with new albums. However, my favorites are still the first and 3rd.

That's all from me-
Peace and Blessin's


Friday, April 30, 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


So sorry about that.

I have pictures and news and news and more news, but i'll just do the news this time and pictures next time.

They're going to be regular fit, $15, It's Fair Trade and made in Haiti (if you don't know that basically means the Haitians who work at the shirt factory where these are made are being paid a treated justly).

For more information about what the GOT is and why I'm raising money (or if you just want to skip the buying a t-shirt part and want to just donate) visit my giveforward page.
If you would like to pre-order a shirt, email me your interested and size at reallybadegs@gmail.com (i know- it was a middle school thing...)

I am also selling my photography on Etsy- prices are on there (don't worry i have paypal but checks work too). You can visit my Etsy page Here. Definitely need to post all the pics i want to sell still but I'm getting to it!

If you don't know him he's the author of In Defense of Food and The Omnivore's Dilemma. Wiki page link Here. Crazy guy. crazy awsm that is! ; )

That's it for now! and WELCOME NEW FOLLOWERS!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mad Girl's Love Song

"I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;

I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan's men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you'd return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)"

This is my new (and probably only) favorite poem. It's by Sylvia Plath. My friend told me she was crazy and depressed.

Unfortunately, besides the obvious, i can't make heads or tails as to what she's trying to say. I am no poet and i hate deciphering poetry...it's a waste of time to me. But whatever she's saying, it sounds good to me.

I haven't been listning to much music lately, but I've decided i'm a fan of Metric

Tabby <3

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The People.

It has been a crazy couple of weeks. This week is suppose to be pretty crazy too but hopefully i'm going to be a little more responsible this weekend and get some homework done (and of course, as i'm typing this, i have spent the whole day doing nothing but eating, sleeping, and listening to music).

This Tuesday was the kick-off for my "screamatthecapitol" event.
If you don't know, I've decided that every Tuesday at 4:30pm i'm going to go to my state's capitol and scream.

Why Tabby? that's so random O.o
Yea i know. But i've just been so frustrated with our government recently. I'm so tired of signing petitions, writing letters, and calling senators about issues I care for and my voice being drowned out by special interest groups with heavier wallets, people with prestige or TV shows, and Party bickering. I feel like no matter which party i vote for (Dem or Rep) it's still going to be thrown away because there is no guarantee that my senator is going to reflect the need of his/her state or the whim of his party.

I am so fed up with Congress. If I am not registered as a party member, then obviously i do not believe or trust ether party to do right by me. Never should the polls say that the majority of Americans prefer one thing and congress decide to vote to pass another thing. That is not the democracy our nation was founded on. And I demand change.

Therefore, like no amounts of petitioning or calling or letter writing seem to cut it, I've decided to use my physical voice to get my message across:
STOP rigging my democracy
LISTEN to my voice- the voice that gave you power in the first place
and STOP piggybacking on the ignorance of the American people. Don't make it so hard and unknown for the citizens of this country to get a hold of you and voice their concerns.

I am fed up! and It makes me want to SCREAM.
My dream is for that some time soon, any concerned American will march down to their respective state capitol, host a sit-in, and at 4:30 just scream. Let the People speak for the people- and let them tell the bureaucrats in Washington that we have had enough.

I'm finally back to listening to...not tina turner?... O.o

anyways- the faves:
Favorite Band at the Moment? My Gold Mask.
favorite song? well the one Violet Eyes by My Gold Mask :P

NOT my favorite song of the day? One Time by Justin Beiber.
I dunno, Backstreet and N'sync definitely tops this kid. Please don't let your children/siblings/nieces or nephews listen to this crap.

Did some photos for Amnesty's 10,000 against torture campaign


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I'm a few days late


Though i had no special someone to spend it with, i still had a good time. My old roommate and I went shopping, dressed up, went out for dinner, and then to dessert. Last year i heard someone say this and since then it's revolutionized my view on Valentines day:
In the end, besides God himself- No one loves me more than me. So I celebrate V Day as a single who loves herself: i buy myself a gift (...or two) and i treat myself to my favorite sugary treats. Who knows what i want more than me right? It's like celebrating your own birthday but it's a lot less pathetic.

I admit that the mindset is a little narcissistic but i think i'm allowed to think about no.1 at least once a year : )

For all my single ladies, I created a flicker set for them- with a collection of photographs i took of a vase of flowers my parents sent me (yea, they're pretty amazing). I put up a bunch of quotes and pick-up lines about the V Day as well. idk, i'm pretty happy with it.

These are my faves:

Song at the moment? honestly- i don't have one for you. I haven't been listening to a lot of music recently. But I'll choose a song from Destroyer: Blue Flower/Blue Flame. actually i'll also put a link up for Your Blood as well (It's has my name in it!!! :D)

Artist at the moment? umm...It's still Tina Turner. i can't help it.

Random Question: Have I just not been paying attention all these years or are news stations reporting more deaths than usual?

Happy (belated) valentines day!