Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Why I Love Photography

Why do I love photography?
There’s something special and amazing to me about capturing a moment that will never again be.  No matter how you attempt to alter a scene or whatever-ness, you can’t recreate the same exact capture and have it be an exact duplicate.  The elements of nature make it impossible, don’t even try.  This is why I love photography!  There a specialness about something that will never happen again in life, that uniqueness you can look back upon and reminisce while it takes you to that special moment back in time.  The ability to remember and reflect is beauty.  It’s love.  Its life.

Photography has been an interest of mine my entire life.  Since I can remember I loved taking photos.  The first camera I came across was the black polaroid my parents owned.  To capture a moment and then have it instantly reflected back to you in your hands is magical.  I remember shaking the pictures and watching forms and shapes appear as if a wizard was behind me working up the perfect potion of memorable moments.

To this day I can look at a photograph and have it touch my heart, whether it be in sadness, happiness, frustration, or confusion.  Regardless, it touches me in a way that reminds me how important it is to feel.  Feeling, the sister of empathy and sympathy with each other as a whole, as one.  Were all so different yet the same, which you can see in photographs.  Watching a son grow up and pose just as his father, a daughter have the same love in her heart as her mother, a landscape stop me in my tracks are all feelings I wish and hope all feel.

I love the way nature photography reminds me we to are nature.  The way nature coexists with each other as one teaches me to stay simple, stay love.  We are nature and nature is us, there’s so much we can learn from just stopping and watching without speaking.  To immerse myself in a moment or be completely lost in what I’m seeing is why I love photography. 

I don’t know if I can accurately convey the exact feelings I go through and why I love photography, in short; it’s as if I see in pictures and still scenes.  I can walk by something or someone and it’s as if my eyes take a quick snap shot and then I think OMG, what the, did you see, what, that’s dope, that’s, beautiful, that’s crazy, that sucks, that’s love, that’s us.

I love so much, and photography is definitely on my list.  Do what you love and love what you do as it forms the true you that makes you, YOU!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Norwegian Cruise Lines doesn't accept DREADLOCKS

            Norwegian Cruise Lines doesn’t accept Dreadlocks.  Yes, I didn’t miss type a word, Norwegian Cruise Lines doesn’t accept dreadlocks, however they do encourage and accept braids.  One of my Nomad dream jobs was to work on a cruise ship and cruise the ocean while capturing amazing shots and writing about my journey across the seas.  I was so excited to see a Craigslist ad soliciting for cruise ship employment, I dropped everything and jumped to the opportunity.
            I got all dolled up and caught the train from Los Angeles to Long Beach and entered the Marriot ready to go on a life changing adventure.  The ad stated to arrive for check-in an hour prior, which I did.  Filled out the application, then went in to the informational meeting regarding cruise ship employment with Norwegian Cruise Lines.  Halfway through the meeting we were informed dreadlocks were not an approved hairstyle, in fact dreadlocks were definitely not allowed.  He quickly stated following the no dreadlock statement that braids were acceptable.  Yes, braids are accepted as an approved hairstyle, however dreadlocks are not.
            My thoughts went back in time when I was dreading my hair and thinking my dreadlocks are going to give me the freedom to travel the world because my hair will take less time daily to maintain and it will be in its natural state.   
            I raised my hand and audibly and asked if dreadlocks were okay because I was confused by the statement that braids were okay and dreadlocks were not.  He nicely confirmed that dreadlocks are not allowed, however if I were to braid my hair it would be okay and I would be considered for employment. 
            I walked out.  Myself and another beautifully dreadlocked Queen walked out.  There is no way possible that I will remove my natural dreadlocks and braid my hair.  We walked out together wondering how Norwegian Cruise Lines would encourage braids over dreadlocks when dreadlocks is our hairs natural state.  Were all entitled to our own opinions.  Is black hair not considered beautiful by Norwegian Cruise Lines?  Do you not like our hair in its natural state?  Why do you encourage a hairstyle that when worn most women of African Heritage apply fake hair to?  That baffles me.  Please explain to myself and the rest of the black community why you encourage braids and dreadlocks are not acceptable.  It makes me wonder how many beings of African descent are employed in high up decision making positions with Norwegian Cruise Lines. If there are any, please speak up for the black community and let us know why Norwegian Cruise Lines doesn’t accept natural black hair and encourage a style most apply fake hair to.  Please enlighten us, because I’m personally very much offended.     
            I’ve worn braids in the past before and during my natural hair journey.  In fact braids helped me to grow my hair, so they were definitely a part of my natural hair journey, however fake hair was added to the braids every time.  Whether my hair was in corn rows or individuals, fake hair was added every time.  I stress fake hair as opposed to stating synthetic hair because I want to strongly imply that synthetic hair added to braids is fake.  Fake as in, it’s not real, it’s  not black hair in its natural state. 
            Norwegian Cruise Lines, wearing my hair in its natural state of dreadlocks has been the best and healthiest hairstyle I’ve ever had in my life.  My hair is stronger, healthier, I can get it wet without it drawing up, I can work out and not have to worry about straightening my hair or what sweat will do to my hair.  I can go on a cruise and not have to worry about a protective hair style.  I don’t have to worry about fake hair with braids thinning my hairline nor do I have to worry about my hair not being fully washed because of the buildup of gunk forming between my hair and the fake hair with braids.  My hair grows thicker and can withstand the natural elements of earth with dreadlocks. 
            Norwegian Cruise Lines and whoever else doesn’t view dreadlocks as an acceptable nor professional hairstyle please do the black community a favor and reconsider your hair policy and whether or not dreadlocks should be an acceptable style.  By your take on dreadlocks not being acceptable you are discouraging all who are considering wearing their hair naturally because they will be afraid they will not get the employment they desire and instead conform to societal pressures of black hair in its natural state as not accepted nor professional.

            I’m offended, that's not love.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Royal Pagoda Motel

    I stayed at the Royal Pagoda Motel in China Town two nights ago.  I spent one night at the Pagoda with my amazing actress friend.  She told me about the Royal Pagoda Motel and mentioned she had stayed here on a few occasions and each time it was clean and bug free.  Basically my only criteria for a place to lay my head is clean and bug free...  that's what helps me to sleep through the night!
    At night the Royal Pagoda Motel is lit up beautifully, you can't miss it.  Its red all around and no, you can't see all the red lights when you're in you're room, so it won't bother you.  Outside of your room however they are a pure delight to look at.  Yes, I love lights... easily amused I am.   During the day the lights are off.
    The room price was $91.00 on a Monday night for two people to share a room, which is a great price for the quality of room.  We spent about $45.00 each to split the room, not bad at all.  The staff here are very polite and courteous, which is something you tend to not get in Los Angeles with rooms less then $100.00.  From the front desk to the maids, I was greeted by everyone and they all ensured my stay was phenomenal.  
    The room has a mini refrigerator, flat screen television, accent walls, upgraded rooms from the norm, a desk, and two individual chairs.  Our room came with two pillow top queen mattresses.  No smoking in the rooms, signs are everywhere.  For my toker's, its a short walk outside to enjoy your smoke of choice.  
  The best part, checkout is at 12pm.  Yes, 12pm!  So you can sleep in.  The only thing that may prevent you sleeping in are the chatty maids in the am.  There definitely happy with their morning joy and conversations as they work, however the walls are thin.  Ear plugs to sleep in or squeeze in your ear buds.  I'm sure if they were asked they would've been a little quieter.  I didn't mind, I was so tired I kept falling back asleep.  All in all this is a great place to stay and I highly recommend the Royal Pagoda Motel.  I would definitely stay here again!  
    Thanks for a good nights rest Royal Pagoda Motel!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Re Tan Hotel

Unfortunately I don't recommend the Re Tan Hotel as a place to stay for my Nomad friends...  I dislike writing reviews that will negatively impact a business, however its best to know the truth and also bring some awareness to the owners of establishments that could definitely use some help in retaining guests and bringing in new friends for business.

$44 for a room without a bathroom, $57 for a room with a bathroom, $10 key deposit.  Make sure to have cash for room and key deposit separate, exact amounts requested.

I was told about the Re Tan by a fellow homeless nomadic friend... whichever you want to call us... lol...  She told me about the Re Tan on two different occasions, so I decided to check it out.  I had always hesitated to stay at the Re Tan previously based off of information from the local homeless beings in Hollywood.  The Re Tan is located right next door to Motel 6 on Whitley in Hollywood.  One late night while passing by the Re Tan I asked, "hey, why would I stay at Motel 6 if Re Tan is way cheaper and right next door?"  Their answer, "eww, bugs."  Naturally in the back of my mind I began to think, it can't be that bad I can at least give it a try.  I failed to think, if they would rather sleep on the streets then stay at Re Tan, then why try... but I couldn't resist based off the price.

My Experience at Re Tan Hotel
I stayed over night one night about a week ago, from which...  I walked in and immediately needed to use the bathroom (tmi).  The bathroom in this particular room had the bed placed right in front of the bathroom door for viewing if one were to leave the door open, as I did.  As I'm happily peeing I look up and notice a roach crawling up the bed skirt.  Unfortunately I ended Mr. Roaches life immediately after flushing the toilet.  

Freaked out I wondered if Mr. Roach's friends and family members would retaliate against me, so I went on defense mode and began a full court press of the entire room with eyes wide open.  I noticed some of his friends and family lying on their backs with no movement, from which I hoped they lived a good life.  But happy they weren't crawling around.  I placed all of my items in a large bag, tied it tight, and went to sleep.  I was so tired, I wouldn't have noticed if more of his friends and family were out and about.  

After checking out, I figured I could give it another try...  that maybe it was just that day...

Fast forward to November 8th, I called and made a reservation to stay for one night.  I checked in pretty fast around 7pm, then went straight to the room, once again I really had to pee again.  lol  Interrupted by walking into the room immediately and seeing a roach crawling on the wall I went into defense mode once again.  Ended Mrs. Roachy's life then proceeded to pee.  As I'm using the bathroom Mrs. Roachy's friend proceeded to walk across the bathroom floor right in front of my feet. aghhhhhh, what the!!!  I ended Miss Roachaloaches life instantly mid pee session.  This was all within 2 minutes of walking in the room.

Next I left to go grab some food, ordered two slices of pizza and was back in the room within 15 minutes.  I was to scarred to eat in the room fearing I would drop a crumb and be attacked in the middle of the night by the Roach Mob, so I ate in the bathroom standing up.  After finishing my first slice I notice Captain Roach walking across the wall on patrol.  I panicked and ended his life.  Washed my hands, ate my second piece of pizza then decided to shower then go let them know the previous room inhabitants had not yet checked out and were harassing me.

I felt gross from being on a kill roach mission so I decided to jump in the shower first, upon opening the shower door I saw the biggest roach I'd ever seen in my life.  I screamed!  Ran downstairs and informed them of the many roaches out and about in my room, 205.  I was shown another room for possible stay, upon the Innkeeper opening the door both of our eyes went straight to King Roach crawling across the wall.  Innkeepers response, "oh wow, okay let me show you another room."  Next room, more roaches.  I didn't say a word, I turned around and walked straight back to the desk and stated I was leaving and to please give me my money back being it was only 8pm and I checked in at 7pm.  I was shown a piece of paper that I signed and didn't read, which apparently stated no refunds, only a $10 key deposit would be returned.  I'm a cry baby when frustrated, so naturally I began crying and took my $10 and walked out after being checked in for one hour.

All rooms were booked that day, so yes... I ended up sleeping on the buses that night after being so excited to get into a room... 

I hesitated on writing this review, but this is something I would want to know ahead of time to prevent throwing away money that could've been applied to another room without the Roach Mob.

Long story short, on both occasions I stayed at Re Tan I was greeted by the Roach welcoming party.  I prefer to just be greeted by a clean room where I can get some good sleep for the night.  

I will not be staying at Re Tan Hotel again unless they make it known that they've fixed the roach problem at their hotel.

Best of luck Re Tan, and if you want to give me my money back for the room I was only in for one hour, please don't hesitate to contact me.  I always appreciate getting a refund well deserved.

The health department should really look into this place...  if you don't mind the roaches...  its a cheap place to stay, I mind.