Once many years ago when MJ was still with us, I remember being in one of my favorite music stores on Times Square. Virgin Mega Record Store. They had listening stations on the mail floor where you could listen to entire albums (if the headphones worked) before you decided whether or not to buy the CD. I loved it so much. I would go there and just listen to music and lose myself in a store full of hundreds of people. I would move down the line, listening to one album after the next. I remember on one particular day I was there wandering around when I began to notice that everyone in the store was facing the same direction, looking up at the large screens inside the store where they would play music videos. Like everyone! I looked up at the screen and a Michael Jackson video was on. I don’t remember which one. I don’t remember if it was new. All I knew was that I had never experienced anything like that before. Witnessing the attention and energy of such a large crowd of people be drawn to one direction was something I never forgot. At that time I probably felt that I had long since been flooded with Michael Jackson music and memories and as he was still alive at the time, whatever was playing on the screen at Virgin that day wasn’t that big a deal to me. But seeing all those people stop everything to look up at him was something to behold.
There are songs by MJ that move me in indescribable ways and sometimes I avoid digging back into the past because music can grab me and send me into a nostalgic wormhole for hours if I let it. But today I will allow myself to indulge in all the beauty that Michael blessed us with. I was so excited to hear Drake; track with MJ, “It don’t matter to me” off of Scorpion. It’s a beautiful tribute to all that MJ continues to contribute to music to this day. His work is universal, timeless, and unlike anything that ever came before it.
I remember seeing him moonwalk for the first time on TV and I think that I’ve never stopped feeling like he was this strange and beautiful and somewhat lonely human being (though he was often surrounded) who was never really understood but who made other people feel understood with his music.
Man, I am so blessed to have come up in the age of Michael Jackson. Yup, I’m starting to talk like an old person. LOL! As my physical therapist told me yesterday, aging is a beautiful thing.
I visited my first Ulta Beauty this weekend on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. This is only special because I’d started to feel like Ulta Beauty was only the province of those who live upstate, out of State or in Queens. LOL! I did peep one when I was in Philly but I was in the car with my husband and I know if I had asked him to double back so I could go to Ulta, he would have just given me a blank stare and kept driving. LOL!
I didn’t even know there was one in Manhattan until I Googled it last week. It is literally one door down from a Sephora in a neighborhood I used to frequent when I was in high school.
It is huge. It is bright. And it has brands I have only ever seen before online, like Morphe, Colourpop, Flesh, Skinfood, Dose of Colors and more. But I didn’t really go crazy. I got a stick foundation I’ve been curious about, an eye shadow, a skincare item and like three sheet masks. Truthfully, I’ve been more skincare obsessed than ever lately, particularly since my skin has been experiencing the worst hormonal acne ever. I’ve just been applying Bentonite clay masks, toning, moisturizing and trying to cut down on too much make-up, which has been a struggle because I love putting on make-up.
It is good to know there’s an Ulta Beauty I can go to if I need to check out a new brand that only gets released there. But overall I sometimes feel like the beauty market is flooded with hundreds of products from a multitude of brands, both new and established that all claim to do the same thing and I’m like, how do you know what really works? All the brand reps are gonna tell you that their product is better than the next. I’m a packaging junkie so I get pulled in easily by color, and lettering and shiny, sexy containers. But I also read and watch reviews voraciously because it’s the only way I can narrow things down for myself.
I also have a pretty good idea what I need and don’t need. I don’t need any more lipsticks or glosses at the moment. I’m presently sheet mask obsessed and sheet masks are relatively cheap so I can stock up without too much guilt.
My haul was modest, though still pricey but I’m happy with it because it’s stuff I love as well as new stuff I’ve wanted to try for a while. So some Youtube reviews are on the way. Check out my latest video on three of my favorite Black owned bath and body care products.
I’m starting to feel really guilty about not having written on here in ages. I feel like I’m letting myself down by not doing what comes naturally to me because I’ve been processing multiple levels of grief. I’m still processing it.
But I’ve been doing other things as well. I’ve been on staycation for some time and managed to get some things done, practical as well as recreational. I think I’m starting to gain more respect for the staycation. It really has allowed me to focus on making my living space more livable by deep cleaning, dusting and most of all decluttering.
I get such a good feeling from getting rid of stuff. Clothes, make-up, DVDs and especially paper! OOOH PAPER! The bane of our modern existence! It also makes me look around and realize how quickly things accumulate and question whether or not we could be living more simpler than we do. I’m not talking about a forcefully restrictive or measured minimalist life, though I do respect those who subscribe successfully to minimalism. I know I’m not a staunch minimalist at heart. I like things. I have collections. What I do appreciate in a living space is order and space.
Order and space.
I don’t believe myself to be inherently organized. But as I get older what I know is that when I have order, things are easier. You’re actively creating a situation wherein you are less likely to drive your own self crazy.
As for space, I’ve always loved space. I like there to be space in a room or home that is just elegantly dedicated to space itself, which is not to say that there shouldn’t be something in that room. Space is accentuated by objects. Without objects we would not appreciate space. It’s about the purpose and placement of those objects.
Sorry. I’m getting carried away in my own Feng Shui fantasy.
Anyway, in addition to catching some great films, spending a weekend with my BFF and her family in Philly which I truly loved and creating some videos on my Youtube channel, we’ve been able to get rid of some stuff to make some space and also put things in order and dust places that have not been dusted in a while. It feels good. Never thought I would ever say this kind of cleaning gives me energy. But it does.
I will try to write more often before my staycation ends because I know right now I’m in kind of a bubble. I haven’t had to deal directly with people I don’t like in a while and well, that’s just not realistic. LOL!
But I’m on vacation damn it. I don’t have to be realistic.