Happy & Existential Birthday to Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu May 28, 2019

Happy & Existential Birthday to Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu May 28, 2019

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

This year I was planful about my journey forward which is one of my favorite pastimes.

I thought I would craft an original career as a scholar, artist, international teacher, diplomat and author.

I envisioned teaching parts of the year abroad.  I imagined myself either starting a school, running a department, or teaching a semester here and a semester maybe in Ghana or Mexico.

I adopted the new vision to be an “international teacher.”

The other thought I had was how an artist succeeds.  I think there are plucking grounds for ripe and primed artists via artist residencies.  I was at the Studio Museum in Harlem and The Saatchi Gallery showed up to see artists in residence.  In Europe, there are residencies like the Rijksakademie that also connect artists to European galleries.  Artists in art residencies have completed BFA and MFA, have a body of graduate and professional work, professional studio-they are vetted artists and ripe for the picking.  Also their associates within these programs are other artists that become colleagues and make introductions and form their creative circle.  You get mentorship at residencies that polish the artist.  Perhaps that is something someone like me should do, both go to residencies or perhaps run one in Michigan or in Ghana.

What I think galleries do or should do is keep databases of their groups or pools of artists and keep building on these artist profiles and send them briefs for appropriate shows.  So artists are revolving in different shows.

We need in America more residencies for artists where artists are connected to galleries.  There are new emerging markets for online art sales like with the Saatchi Gallery that are pursuing high and low strategies and price points with print and original sales-where everyone walks out with something.

One thing that many art departments failed to recognize is the need for art writing to bring art to life where the viewer has more information and ability to engage.  The Sotheby’s Institute has an online certificate course in art writing.

I am still having many thoughts about giving and philanthropy.  There need to be backbones in communities.  You have to know when not to be poor but to find a way to make yourself rich because you’re the backbone.  When you need to provide jobs and shouldn’t stop thinking until you have achieved appropriate wealth and vision strategy.  When you have not occasional monies, but regular monies and look to models like the Salvation Army that runs big thrift stores to power shelters etc.

I am thinking about successful systems.  I am thinking about when art provides  “ideas and inspiration” and when art is “functional” and provides a viable solution to a problem or then, is it no longer art?

An existential birthday for me has been buying spiritual books every year around my birthday.  I got: “Ceremony,” by Leslie Marmon Silko, “The Masters and The Spiritual Path, Climb the Highest Mountain Series,” By Mark Prophet, “Foundations of the Path,” Mark. L. Prophet, “The Path to Attainment,” By Mark L. Prophet.

This year I gave myself a ton of gifts which was a thrill.  They are still on the way to me.  I got myself a “birthday shirt” which is light blue with daisy embroidery.  I ordered a bicycle pump and will start cycling again this season when it arrives.  I got a picture of the ocean. I got a risograph print from artist Ryan Molloy.  I got a piano theory book.  I played “Happy Birthday” on the piano several times.  I am attempting to memorize the notes.   I ordered three pairs of shoes, 2 summer sandals and a pair of green New Balance.  I got tart pans.  I baked and baked:  Brownies a la mode, peanut butter cookies, poppy seed muffins and lemon bars.  I got serving trays and a large bowl good enough for paella.  I imagined my future dinner parties.  I got a pink sheet.  I got a house cleaning house dress that is pastel/ carnation/ frosting colors.  I got a nightgown.  The nightgown reminded me of dogs and fireplaces.

My mother sent me some money.  Another friend in Chicago sent a blender for some margaritas.

I got Bruce Lee Video’s, Willy Wonka, vintage Disney, I got Chinese Music, some musicals and foreign language tapes.  I have been loving both cassette tape and videotape.  I got some plastic containers to organize my school work station.  I got a new curling iron.  I got some “Aveda Stress-Fix” oil perfume that smells divine.  I got rose water spray.

I applied to a writing program and researched another writing program and both filled me with the joy of anticipation.  I got a “Pocket Style Manual” by Diana Hacker (writing) that covers clarity, grammar, punctuation and mechanics, MLA/APA/Chicago/CSE, usage and grammatical terms.

I got an “Intermediate Algebra” book by D. Franklin Wright/Bill D. New.  I am a big fan of the highly useful algebra.  I thought about books, informational books, culturally defining books like “Castaneda” or “Wild Irish Rose” or “Arabian Nights.”  I thought about Creative Non-Fiction and Poetry.  I thought about placement within knowledge.  I am working on a book about Interdisciplinary Studies.  I thought about learning.  I thought about auditory then recognition in early learning and throughout life and in advertising, this strange link, how one comes to know, how one comes to have.  I thought about analysis and how it makes you way smarter.  There’s tacit knowledge, but there’s graduated and developed thought.  Becoming a thinker.

I started a book log this year.  Our local Ypsilanti library is recommending that children read about 1000 books a year.  I am aiming for longer books maybe 388 books this year.

Those are some of my main thoughts on this 2019 birthday.  I am really happy to be so peaceful and serene.  I spray rose water on my hair to catch the beauty of the rose to it.

A French African Game “Changez Vous”

A French African Game “Changez Vous”
The rules:
Sing in French passionately, guttural, gritty or drunken and dramatic, preferably a lamentation:

Changez
Changez
Changez vous

Sing first the chorus or beginning and “ad lib” the rest of the song spontaneously in French. You may write or practice ahead of time with dictionaries or translations etc. You may hold a paper to read from as you sing in French.

Best done on holidays or gatherings or in French classes or by fireside or when drinking wine or when channeling the French or feeling like a little parlez vous Francais or if you are Francophone a passionate lamentation about your love, or past loves or life.

Good examples are topics like from the monster of last year or change into her mother and my lover, or yesterday Serwah today Pomme Frites or the winter for the spring etc.

Make it a love song, make it the next Jacques Brel, become a French Torch or night club singer. You can be tragic or melancholy or forlorn or in love or write wedding vows.

It’s a nice “pocket game” that is fun for all occasions, ages and just in time for the holidays. A good excuse to buy a bottle of French wine or any good drink will do it! If you’re a child, try grape juice to simulate a drunken French disgruntled lover-and don’t get any grape juice on the carpet!

Enjoy!

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Stay tuned for forthcoming book “Pocket Games” by Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Invisible President: State of the State, Final Words of Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder

Invisible President:  State of the State, Final Words of Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

The Governor gave a long address this evening about the progress that the state of Michigan has made.  Things have changed dramatically where youth had fled in search of the creative industry which is budding in Michigan now.  Some fields will require pioneers to broker in the new things and manifest original ideas for the state.

Perhaps it was a sign of the times that the Governor cited the first African-American in Michigan’s legislature’s picture going on the wall in the capitol suggested a place for African-American leader’s in the capitol as well.

Michigan was described repeatedly as “The Comeback Kid.” Unemployment is down from 10% to 4%.  Gov. Snyder spoke briefly about budget balancing models and the use of taxes to shape the economy.   He said, “partnerships can get results.”  Gov. Snyder also spoke about private sector job creation.

Gov. Snyder in his tenure worked on the largest statewide trails for walking and cycling to make super natural areas in Michigan.  Gov. Snyder cited as chief on his agenda, “quality of life.”

The Great Lakes Center for the Performing Arts is opening.  There has been a five- fold expansion of arts and culture.

Campus sexual assault received 1.6 million in grant funding in an initiative to end sexual assault and make campuses safer.  Investment in key areas can make for dramatic changes.

Governor Snyder spoke about 76% of auto research being done in Michigan.  He also cited culture and food as a 100 billion dollar industry.  Wine and hard cider are produced in Michigan in “agri tourism.”

In terms of per capita income growth Michigan’s income grew by 28% since 2010 when the governor took office to be 6th in the nation.  The Governor described it like placing and extra $10,000 in everyone’s pocket.

Governor Snyder spoke passionately about a great start in readiness in preschool, and pre three reading that carries you throughout your education.  He spoke about getting a head start in college and completing an early year of college while still a high school student.  He spoke about skilled trades and career tech and funding for community colleges.

In the future we may all be riding in autonomous and connected vehicles.  Governor Snyder also spoke about the future alliances with Canada and a new international bridge, Gordy Howe International Bridge from Michigan to Canada.

Viewers were tickled by Governor Snyder’s description of the Detroit transformation that included some of the tallest skyscrapers going up.  He hopes to create role models for the whole state and country.

Governor Snyder spoke about key things on the rise in Michigan like teacher development, first robotics where there are 500 high school teams.  Gov. Snyder showed off a motorized vehicle down the capitol aisle equipped for a two year old with spinal bifida.

Gov. Snyder also spoke about his pioneering of the Homestead Property Tax which created a tax refund for many in Michigan.

Gov. Snyder wore a traditional tailored navy suit, periwinkle tie and a small pin.  He was uproarious at times and other times appeared to be shaking.  Classic thick fluffy feathered hair sat on his head as if it were a hat and his voice has country flair.

He said less people are in prison now, about 40,000, down from 51,804.  He spoke of vocational rehabilitation programs while in prison that prepare people coming out for top jobs.

Governor Snyder raised veteran’s income by 40%.  He has a rainy day fund with about 900 million in it.

Michigan seems solvent, fiscally responsible, and poised for growth.  Michigan is a mobility leader that started things like “MCity,” transportation research at the University of Michigan.

Next on the agenda of Gov. Snyder is a “marshall plan for talent.” Michigan plans to invest in the future of education and businesses.  Gov. Snyder is looking to promote a better Michigan that is different and has team work.  He intends increase his per pupil allotment. He is working on grading systems.

This year Michigan will host the Worlds Championship for Robotics.  Other campaigns the Governor has been working on are clean Michigan, he spoke about improving on recycling, invasive species, and pollution in lakes and rivers and emerging contaminants on cooking surfaces.

The government is in support of the children of the future who will not inherit debt, but a thriving state.  Gov. Snyder asked of Michigander’s, “how we can be great and like a family?”

Gov. Snyder said he started his administration with a 10 year plan to reinvent Michigan, and achieved it.

Michigan is a better state than it once was in 2010.  Most are staying now and returning home for opportunities.  Gov. Snyder said in his term he dealt with real problems that were remedied with “relentless positive action.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fit, Lean & Beautiful #25

Fit, Lean & Beautiful #25

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Many years ago a woman was asked what made her hair grow so fast.  She replied “gelatin.”  Lately in remembrance of this answer I have been eating lime Jell-O with fruit cocktail and whipped cream in the off chance that gelatin aids in hair growth?  However the tried and tested sworn by hair growth sprouter does seem to be biotin.  Biotin truly works.  Aveda has a Hair Thickener tonic spray that also appears to really work and is highly recommended.

One thing that seems to be life’s challenge in terms of aging is gravity and the general natural pull down of the skin, chin, breasts and stomach and buttocks.  Gravity eventually pulls them down and it’s up to each of us to develop a plan for it.  What seems to lift often are things like weight resistance training that strengthens muscular regions or yoga where you hold poses or tense and pump areas.  Yoga which is based on a warrior may be what one needs to fight back against the gravity which pulls down the body and is one of the world’s greatest transformers. Yoga gives the body grace, strength and shape.  Yoga is famous for lifting the buttocks. Exercises like bending at the waist and placing your hands on the floor and lifting behind you, your leg as high as possible and holding each leg for 17 seconds will eventually lift and firm the buttocks. Weight resistance training appears to lift the breasts and make them firmer and smaller.  It’s possible to hire a fitness or personal trainer to write specific exercises for your body type and lift all the aging or sagging areas.  Targeted exercises works every time!  It may be safer in the long run to have a personal trainer to teach you exercises, plan with you and monitor your progress.

A plastic surgeon is also a great help with a variety of services to work on a sagging chin or chicken or turkey like neck.  Sit down and map out your own body and figure out how to offset with medicine or industrial practices and specific exercise regimes to firm, lift, tighten, strengthen and maintain a healthy physique into old age.  Aim to be a good looking older person or look good in your old age, even have that thought young.  The arms droop, probably even the testicles start to droop from weight and gravity.  Men’s obsession with sex appeal may keep them working out and looking good longer.  Some doctors or plastic surgeons eventually end up pinning up testicles so they don’t droop too low, toro!

I have found that plain apple cider vinegar is potent in cleansing or weight loss.  Vinegars come nutritionist recommended and may be something to utilize when cleansing or in conjunction with fitness training.  Perhaps add vinegar to salads or in recipes.  There are old wives tales to even consume a teaspoon of vinegar before a meal to lose weight. Apple cider vinegar is supposed to melt fat.  It also cleans certain household items.

Gaim TV on Xfinity cable premium channels has wonderful exercise classes including with an exercise ball.  Gaim can be added to a home practice by acquiring some very basic equipment like balls or straps.  Gaim is one of the most beautiful things to watch on TV right now.  Try making an interesting exercise calendar for yourself including at the gym, with a personal trainer, cycling, home gym or pool, recumbent bicycling or a few walking buddy dates on a gym track or around a city or neighborhood.  It can be fun to design on a calendar ones “fitness life” and make it beautiful and even a catchup time with family or friends during walking buddy sessions. One can add dance or a sport or a low or high impact exercise routine or martial arts or classes.  I met a very interesting baseball player/ sports medicine doctor recently.   Even one day can be devoted to sauna or massage to reduce stress and relax after a strenuous workout or work week. It’s good to take one day alone for just stress.  Try to schedule in smoothies or salads or a juice bar date.  It can also be good to add spiritual and physical scholarship like Falun Gong to your morning or week.  Make sure to add some spirituality or readings each day.  Photo copy a stack of writings, poems or articles to work on your spirit and mental health at the same time.  In general a fitness calendar is the way to get started.  On time and date.com you can download a basic calendar. Fitness is a part of life.  It’s easy with a fitness calendar to transform yourself, rejuvenate, achieve greater longevity and happiness.  People who work out have thicker longer hair, are leaner, 30 minutes of cardio gives you faster metabolism, live longer, experience greater beauty and strength.  People who work out get more jobs, have more money, greater stability of wealth and experience better health.  Fitness is a trait of the affluent.  Assuming a healthy lifestyle attracts you to all things healthy, even people.  Beware of how affluence inspires gluttony and many people who gain wealth become alcoholics and lose their health.

Another good thing to do is to find problem solving cool!!  Write down your problems and try to solve them.  Make appointments, go to the library, make calls, research online, ask questions, but try to solve deeply one’s own problems including all of your health problems.  It helps to research your own illnesses and talk to different doctors, look online and at the Centers for Disease Control for vaccines or a travel clinic etc.  Sometimes your doctor may not be aware of something that has come out and things change over time and get researched at universities every day of the week.  Things change and generally improve.  Figure out what it is, dissect it, break it into pieces and go to the doctors with a list even if they don’t like it.  Work on long term healing and try to find the right path to solve your problems.  It helps to research health and start for example a bump book to research bumps, know who heals what and keep a chart notebook for yourself with records and journal your progress in a variety of journals.  You can document all of your health issues from the time you are young, sometimes your children end up with the same issues and things run in families or come back.

In terms of problem-solving you can get ahead of problems and for example go for a check-up or diagnostic for your car you don’t have to wait until you or your car or family breaks down.

If you are in the city, the best thing about cities are blocks and walking.  Try long roaming or walking in the city and checking out interesting cultures etc. or just free running in the city’s parks. Make sure you have someplace to walk regardless of where you live.

One thing I came to realize to socialize oneself is include in your training common dances like salsa, merengue, basic party dancing in about 10 styles, ballroom dancing, drum or African dancing etc.  So that when you travel and there is, for example, a salsa craze in East Africa you know the steps or you’re at a concert and everyone is salsa dancing you’re not a dud.

There are wonderful products at Aveda for conditioning lips and Beauty Composition Oil and Shampure clean smelling oils and great shampoos and hair styling products for men and women.  There are even great hand lotions to be an old lady and stash in your handbag along with some tissues. Alternatively, from a plastic surgeon are the Glymed Products that seem to have a beautifying program on them and make you prettier-things such as face soaps.  Some Glymed products tan and even the skin-they are really good products and come highly recommended.

Depending on your hair texture or the shape of your skull or hairline, pinning hair up in different ways can be a way to sweep it up or frame the face or even make it look thicker or cleaner and neater and more refined.  Try good hair stylists to learn tricks or buy yourself some bun rings or hairpins or sticks or big clips.  Long or medium length hair can easily be transformed into neat and clean and command the respect alot of older women desire.  Even rubber bands can be nice to have in stock.  Braids piled on your head for longer hair or French braids for thicker hair, many things can be refining. Wholesome, natural and respectable can be an affluent look or intelligent look.

Beware of hair dyes.  As people get older some like gray, some don’t and will dye their hair or shave bald. Some dye gray to catch more respect.  Simple or natural hair color is almost always the best because what you were born with is matched to your skin tone that is why less is better.  Many people try jet black, try blond or try auburns or red tones and have the ugliest times in their life and ruin their beauty.  One’s born color is often the best for their skin tone.  It is possible to bump up or get things from a stylist that enhance shine or color. Products like infusium can be a little hair tonic for natural hair.

I had a bad experience at a hair party where a stylist dyed everyone’s hair blond at the party and everyone had to re-dye or shave it off.  One woman with long beautiful Mexican hair, re-dyed her hair her natural color over the blond or after stripping the color, then let her hair grow in her natural color and kept her hair and let the color grow out and has her beauty intact.  Some women with long hair know tricks like that to keep long hair under many circumstances, others with short hair just cut it off entirely and started fresh.  One went to a men’s barbershop for a nice professional clipper cut.  Most of us ended up without our hair or starting our hair over.  Blond tends to be the most common dye choice and often the most cheapening or unattractive. Sometimes people start to look like chemical roni with too many chemicals or dyes on the hair and look stupefied.  A lot of people who dye their hair blond lack respect.

Be careful of stylists wanting bigger bills and advising to dye your hair for their greater profit which is common or even racist stylists that will do things like leave chemicals in your hair and leave them on too long and damage the hair follicle. Beware of brassy or cheap looking colors that look truly like chemicals poured over the head and therefore unintelligent looking.  There is a way out for the wild ones or the experimental ones or the hipsters or the starlets or the rockers or the teenagers who always suffer.  Don’t be afraid of good old natural, of starting over or of simplicity when it 100% of the time looks more intelligent and more affluent.  Don’t be afraid to let it grow out long natural or even medium long to have something to work with, although short styles are nice too. The exception I would make is for little punk rockers with pinks, and blues and purples etc. who tend to look like a subculture or bird-like and are usually cute and attractive.

Even perms can be really wonderful to transform hair from limp to voluminous but many times inexperienced stylists will make your hair fall out.  Sometimes hair may not be old enough for a perm or strong and aged or waxy enough to perm it.  One may have young or too much new growth for a strong chemical treatment.  I have seen sort of “German” styled curls or corkscrew curls or “mops” or slightly relaxed curls or big curls or ringlets that look wonderful. Curly hair on men is insanely attractive.  I think it requires going to someone like Fekkai or an expert or one that is practically a human designer.  Some hair stylists do spa or plastic techniques too.  If you fear the chemicals try good old curler sets and styling lotions or mousses and curlers and sit under one of those bag hair dryers then curl it with a curling iron.  You can program your hair by adding a lot of regular volume. Another great thing to do is cut your hair regularly for clean ends or every 3 months if you’re looking for growth.  There are great cuts out there in biblical books like “friar cuts” or elliptical cuts.  What I would also mention for the German curls are a wide toothed comb and heavy conditioners like Nexxus to comb it out, it really depends on the care how well your curls display.

It can be great to get into Halloween with a goth look or just to add heavy black eyeliner for the month and write goblin and ghoul stories.  One may form a group and start a subculture with an aesthetic.

So if you’re in New York get a walking buddy or try walking and roaming.  What is also nice are reading parties.  I once had a dinner guest who picked up a book at my house and read the entire book while I was at the computer writing and I loved being together like that.  It’s possible to stage a reading of a play together with friends or print out copies of a research paper to read in a group as if in a convention or everyone bring copies of their poetry or go rent a cottage with a box of books alone or with your mate and read-reading parties are a nice life choice.  One may have a little more to show for their life if they choose some intellectual good times above 100% sexual ones.

Choose your style carefully to attract an intelligent match.  “Star power” can sometimes attract all the ignorant matches.  It’s good to command respect and even academic or collegiate clean styles can be nice.  If you pursue a plastic surgeon and you should, try one that prefers more natural, intelligent, academic, sports physique or dancer physique, healthy, even cultural, or perfected blank slates or professional looks like Dr. Gowda with offices in Troy and Novi, Michigan.

If your by chance near the beach it can be nice all those homemade coronas or just a strand of beads or tie a string around your wrist or waist or ankle to beautify maybe even a little African style or Mexican style.

I once made a homemade swimsuit that actually turned out beautiful.  If you have never tried it, you may like hand stitching your own clothes with maybe a strong blanket stitch or machine sewing some special things to have variety of clothes in your wardrobe.  It can be easy to make vests or get an industrial machine and work with leather or even a hole punch and leather cord can make leather products.  Getting creative with your own things can be rewarding and good times.

The last thing I will mention is something about “letting yourself go” and being one of those people who says that and “peer pressure.”  Meeting someone new or a colleague or family gathering or falling in love or a new job etc. can create really intense peer pressure that catapults you spontaneously to success.  Don’t be afraid when that happens when you get around a young hipster and feel like hell or fear you have lost your beauty.  Guard your spiritual and valorous beauty and work on your physical beauty aggressively.  Try never to lie and mess up the smooth running of your brain and work hard to achieve good thoughtful loving decisions for more wisdom.

A nice thing to purchase is a “gong,” that you can punctuate things with-begin and end spiritual sessions or exercises or love making or after finishing a degree or starting a marriage, or to clean your house-give yourself a nice GONG! To call up energy to a moment or radiate energy or spiritualize time, try a gong.  There are very nice writings about gongs in Falun Gong.

Up to Snuff #49 A Description of Poetry

Up to Snuff #49 A Description of Poetry

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

 

Something loaded

Primed

Shaped

Refined

Precise

Framed

Beautified

Something with roots

Something lean and meaty

“A button” as if on a computer that controls a larger work or function

Something that unlocks

A small that may transfer into a larger work

A large or “body of research” that can be broken into small pieces or even variables that become poems

A method of writing many things with “small pieces” that unfold, eg. a book or chapter that starts from a poem as common literary practice

An idea, something of value that is “caught” or “captured” in a moment and framed as itself or for later enlargement or extension

Poetry may be fundamental in a “development session”, captures may be small bites that relate to research and are intended for contemplation or greater purposes, or simply to document a thought, experience or observation, thinkers may utilize poetry often as building blocks both literary and intellectual

To utilize thumbnails to map out series of poems or related ideas or sequential ideas

To collect scenic poems by sampling or writing non- stop or with description

Collecting sensual ideas like sounds, colors, smells, or general descriptions or onomatopoeia within a framework, eg. To precisely describe a color or condition-eg. “A little browner than watermelon” or to transport or to take with

Poetry may be somewhat derived from personages who were heavily engaged in onomatopoeia like Edgar Allan Poe

Poetry benefits from muses, or loves or studies or observation

Poems may “set the tone” within a writing when used similar to a dedication in a book or at the start of a chapter in a book

Poems may work as a “knowledge builder” something by which one builds themself in a scholarly fashion

Poems may connect to art works, or books, or films or songs or even companies

Poems may illustrate ideas or actions or become activism

Poems are sometimes naturalist, or romantic in many ways or existential, or covering events in one’s day to day life or travels

Eg. A romantic poem may engage a lily and a breast analogy

Poems may become historically relevant or having bearing on a particular era eg. Presidents hire Poet Laureates with aim to fame a country or a nation or their term in leadership

Poems are sometimes dramatic and written for oration, eg. A poem may be sung or recited in special ways eg. I once heard a poet (AG) recite while singing, “Don’t smoke! Don’t smoke! Just suck! Just suck!”

Poems are sometimes “tit for tat,” and rhythmic, bouncing back and forth or within beats, like he said this and she said that or kitty ka ka, kitty ka ka or blow, blow, blow! High, high, high!

Poems may be written in older languages or dialect, or rhyme eg. Dumlit, cumlit, bumlit!  or dummy, scummy, chummy, bummy!

Poems may be metered or versed or use specific syllabic sequences like 5-7-5 in Haiku