Saturday, June 27, 2009

Random Ish

. . . About Michael
(Disclaimer: Still going through some grieving over here so bear with me)

- What's with the news calling Michael Jackson the "self-proclaimed" King of Pop. That man was the KING of Pop. Buy a clue!

- Me and the annoying girl from work were talking about Mike, our childhood memories, how much we love him, where we were when we found out, and how devastated we were. We even cried together a little. I seriously even considered contacting my ex-boyfriend about MJ's death. (We were both big fans). But decided against it because of the weirdness factor . . . still thinking about it, though. Bottom line: Michael brings people together.

- This is honestly the second time in my life that I'd ever shed a tear over anyone, much less, someone famous. It's not that I don't have a heart; it's just that I have been fortunate enough not to have experienced a lot of people close to me dying. (FYI: The first death that ever moved me to tears was that of my grandmother.)

- Last, but not least (another one for the news). Why the comparisons with Farah Fawcitt's death? Why be so tacky as to bring her up in a snarky tone as if people are obligated to mourn over her just as much as Mike. How about having enough respect for the dead to let people mourn over whoever they want to mourn over; however they want to do that. Yes, she died. And for the record, I watched the news tribute special about her too. She was a beautiful actress and it's terrible that she passed away from cancer. But if anybody thinks that it's not fair that Mike's death is getting the attention it's getting, they need to move to a planet where he wasn't the greatest performer to ever moonwalk across a stage. (So I guess that eliminates moving to the moon as an option. I heard Mars may have sustained life once, though :-).
. . . About Men

- If I could bottle up the confidence that men have I'd be so rich I could buy gravity and just fly away!!!

- On that note, I called up an "old friend" the other day to tell him I was in his area and wanted to see if I could visit and get his insight on a project I was working on. (We work in the same field). Anywho, he called me back too late and was disappointed that we missed each other. However, he gave me this little gem . . . "You're always free to come by and spend the night." Then he added a precious, "The invitation's always open to you!" Now tell me something, How could I be so lucky? lmbo Also, how much nerve does it take to extend someone that kind of invitation. A LOT, that's how much.

- Speaking of nerve . . . A friend of mine stopped by my new place to attend a salsa lesson with me. After we went out (I assumed as friends considering I filled up his parking meter and paid my own way-which is not a privelige I would give to "my man") we came back to my place and watched a movie. Whilst falling asleep, I almost got straight-up molested. #1 - I can't believe his behind didn't leave when the movie was over. And #2 - If you want to date rape someone, aren't you supposed to get them liquored up first? And at least buy them a meal, pay for the salsa lesson, something! Dang! Then he had the nerve to leave mad. But outside is where the weeping and the gnashing of his teeth will be. Aaa, hahahahLOL (Is it wrong to laugh at your own joke? Neverrr)
. . . About Work

- The hustle is on. Starting yesterday, I will try to treat finding a new (or additional job) as a job. I'm scared, but here goes nothing. First things first, though, I gosta get my internet service switched. AT&T is just too frickin much.

- My dog bit the lady at my job who thinks she's the dog whisperer. I have never been more proud of his timing and execution. (Although the bite was enough to scare her a little, it wasn't a vicious bite. He was just playing with her). And the best part was she couldn't say anything because she'd just finished scolding me for telling him to chill out. hehe! You can't play tug of war with errbody's dog. Sometimes the dog owner knows what they're talking bout Willis.

That's what's swimming around in the chrome dome this mornin.

Friday, June 26, 2009

I Want Chicken and Chi-Chi's!

This is sooo my dog!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Live Long and Prosper- Star Trek Rant

Soap Box Rant #907

Whatever is in any way beautiful hath its source of beauty in itself, and is complete in itself; praise forms no part of it. So it isn't one the worse nor the better for being praised. Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121AD-180AD), Meditations

People often say that 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder,' and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves.
Salma Hayek

So Ms. Green is a Trekkie, kind of. I was born into a "Trekkie" family, not by choice but only because my mom forced it onto my sisters and I as children. After years of Parental Trekkie abuse, you kind of grow to accept certain things. So when this new movie came out, I was a little (okay more than a little) excited to go see it.

Spoiler alert!!! (Although, if you haven't seen this movie by now, you deserve to have it spoiled for you)

Here's some background . . .
Star Trek was the TV show of the future. In fact a bunch of the stuff that happened on the original Star Trek series was a big deal in those days. Having a show with an Asian character, an African American female character (the "it" girl, mind you), a Russian character (during a time of cold relations between Russia and the U.S.) Oh, and these people weren't playing exaggerated stereotypical race roles either. What a concept! This show was breaking down all kinds of barriers. Star Trek represented the future. It represented a time when we wouldn't see our differences as boundaries, but opportunities to explore (strange new worlds to seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before.) Sorry, had to do that.

Here's MY Point . . .
So why WHY was my coworker (not a Trekkie or even a Star Trek follower AT ALL) a little too happy about Lt. Uhura (played by Zoe Saldana) and Spock (played by Zachary Quinto) being an item? First, I'll tell you why I was excited.

I was excited because all of the time that I saw the commercials, I thought that Lt. Uhura and Capt. Kirk were hooking up and the thought pissed me off. I almost didn't want to risk seeing the movie based on that very fact. The idea of Uhura giving it up to Kirk, the biggest flirt on the ship was too much for me to bear. Uhura had it going on and everybody knew it. I couldn't see my girl being a notch on somebody's belt, not even on a make believe space ship in outer space far far into the distant future. So when I found out that it was Spock she was locking lips with, I was relieved and pleasantly surprised. As a (bootleg) Trekkie, it was a strange and interesting concept, but one that could work. I mean, Spock never really had too much going on in the relationship department. He's had some moments, like the time he hijacked the ship to go to planet Vulcan to get some love (in the 7 Year Itch episode), but other than that, I don't remember him getting too much action. And Uhura either. So this worked for me. Not only could I live with this, but I could get with it too. ~Ms. Green does a quick pop lock routine~

So that's why I was excited. It was a reasonable, knowledge-based excitement if I'm allowed to say so. But WHY why was my coworker, someone who never watched an episode of the original Star Trek series in her life excited about the hooking up of these 2 characters that she knows absolutely nothing about?

Because it was interracial. Yes, because a White man was kissing a Black woman. Something that was a big deal like 40 years ago.

I found out why she was excited after mentioning that I was shocked that the two were paired together. I guess she thought that I meant because of racial reasons because she says, "Spock likes that Black a$$." "He like that dark meat."

Skkkrrreeeeech! Eh-squeeze-me? Did you just refer to Lieutenant Uhura of the Starship Enterprise, a character of substance and dignity, as "Black A$$" and "Dark Meat"?

Now I didn't lecture the poor girl, but she could tell that I didn't appreciate her comment. Usually I can let things slide, because I know more than anybody how my foot tastes, but it just wasn't sitting right in my spirit (probaly why I decided to go online and vent on my little soap box).

She continues, trying to redeem herself. "You know what I mean." um, really, I don't

"Spock gets down with the swirl. He likes the sistahs." She had the biggest Isn't that Great smile on her face.

I was sooo not impressed.

Number 1, as a (kind of) Trekkie, I don't consider Spock a White guy. I consider him an alien from the planet Vulcan. Also the first interracial kiss ever to air on television took place on the original Star Trek series in 1968 and that was a big deal back in those days. Not in 2009, when we have a Black (by way of an interracial relationship) President and a Black first lady.
Number 2 (and this is my main point here), ignoring the fact that what my colleague said was disgusting and degrading to Black women (and all women, really), it makes me angry when Black women get overly happy to find out that guys of another race are willing to date us. Why wouldn't they?

We have a lot to offer. All women have a lot to offer. And guys, I don't care how ignorant they may seem, are not ignorant of this fact. Men would loooove for us to believe that it is their opinion which does or does not validate us. The truth is, that's not how it works. As a woman, I have been hit on by men while walking down the street, and then called "ugly" when I didn't respond. Does that make me ugly? What if the guy was an attractive millionaire? Would that give him more credibility as to how attractive I am?

The stats show that a Black woman would be more willing to date a White man, than a White man would be willing to date a Black woman. To some, this means that White men are in more of a position to choose. Personally, I don't give a rat's a$$ who (they think) they're willing to date. I know that whoever I want, I'm getting. Whether he's Black, White, Chinese, Vulcan or Romulan. When there is sincere mutual attraction, prejudice goes out the window! Men are men. And that . . . is the bottom line.

Anywho, in 2009, it's time for women of all colors to define their own standards of beauty. No woman should EVER be surprised or impressed that a guy likes her (or someone who looks like her). Now I can appreciate interracial couples and I can also appreciate compliments expressed for Black women (because let's face it, you don't see it very much) but, Black A$$? Dark meat??? Come on!

I really don't want to conclude this post on that note, but I don't know what else to say.

So I'll just wrap this up with Star Trek rocked! Go see it. That is all.

That'll Do Pig

Happening #1

Health is not valued till sickness comes.
Dr. Thomas Fuller, (1654-1734) Gnomologia, 1732

Ain't that the truth. Not too long ago I was frolicking through the meadows, but now . . . (sniffle, sniffle, SNEEZE!) I'm blowing holes through torn up pieces of toilet tissue.

I guess it's appropriate that I'm watching Babe (don't ask me why) because I feel like I'm battling the swine flu right about now. Which is kind of confusing because wasn't I sick a couple days ago? Okay, it was more like a couple months ago, but that's still too soon for me. Summer time's here, the weather's . . . well, the weather sucks right now but this weekend's supposed to be really nice. I hope I can get better by then. Being sick is so not cool right now. (Sniffle)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Back from the dead, Killed by Forgiveness

Soap Box Rant #403

To err is human, to forgive divine.
Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism

It's a new day.  And in order to celebrate this new day (and also to redeem myself of Soap Box Rant #34 which was not very light hearted) I've decided to talk about forgiveness.  

But why forgiveness Ms. Green?
Glad you asked . . . the other day I was visiting a close friend from college, let's call him Kyle*.  We hadn't spoken in a while, so we were catching each other up and he was telling me about how he spent his Memorial Day Weekend.  He says, "So, I went to ~blank~ and met up with (pause) . . . you're not going to like this Arnetta, but I met up with Billy-Bob and (pause) Jim."  Dunh, dunh, duuuuhn!!!

Did he say Jim?  The same Jim that I gave my heart to Freshman year of college?  The same Jim that took said heart, broke it in 2, took a crap on it, set it on fire, and put said fire out with his urine?  All within a period of a year?  That Jim?  Yep, that's who he said.  My friend had been friends with Jim since I could remember.  Actually, that's how I met and befriended Kyle in the first place.  So it makes perfect sense that he would hook up with his old buddy.  Why not?

Kyle seemed stuck in a dramatic pause, waiting for my reaction.  So I laughed and said, "Kyle, I couldn't care less about Jim or who you choose to hang with.  Go on with your story." Kyle seemed a bit surprised.  And I was left trying to figure out why the theatrics. Why was Kyle still  in the mindset that I was walking around with a load of laundry on my shoulders from goodness, over 7 years ago, and the truth is, I don't even wear that wardrobe anymore.

Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I can be a very grudge-tastic person.  As a leo, I am loyal to the end which makes it that much more devastating when the line has been crossed.  I can be the loudest, most dramatic, most Scarlet O'hara-ish person you will ever come across.  "As Gawd is my witness, I'll nevah trust ~so and so~ AGAIN!"  Everyone will have heard my story and about how horrible of a person this was and so on and so forth.  I'll even do the person's voice and mannerisms when recounting the treacherous tale.  But then suddenly, the heroine triumphs, the curtain closes and the show is over.  And . . . everybody goes home.

Maybe Kyle thought that he was going to get an encore performance some 7 years later.  He couldn't be more wrong.  The truth is, I have forgiven Jim. I still think about him sometimes, but not with the same sadness and anger that I used to have.  I'd like to think that I have matured since and grown to understand that Jim was a person with some serious demons.  While it was unfortunate that I was hurt in the way that I was, I am very glad that I escaped that situation in tact and can only pray that he is not doing the same to someone else.  Either way, this story reminded me of something that happened a couple months prior to my conversation with Kyle.

My silly photographic memory (especially when it comes to boyfriends) refuses to forget certain things.  And this is what gets me in trouble with the forgiveness side.  A couple months ago, I was working online while listening to the news.  A quick story on the news was about a local person that died in a car accident.  Worried, I looked at the television screen only to see a car that had an uncanny resemblance to Jim's car from back in college.  I wasn't sure if he was driving the same car, but I looked at the license plate (yes, I remembered his license plate from back then) and I swear, for a split second, I secretly hoped it was his car.  And it wasn't, thank goodness.

But by that point, my conscience was immediately jolted.  How could my heart betray me like that?  I am still ashamed to recount this story.  I can count on one finger how many times I thought of that guy before this news blurb incident and as soon as I saw this car all of the negative thoughts about this guy that I worked so hard to release had come back and wished death on him while he was out in the world just trying to live his life.

So after talking to my friend a couple days ago, I had to question whether I truly did forgive Jim.  And the answer is yes, I really think that I have forgiven this man.  I just had a relapse, that's all.  Kind of like having a war flashback.  But I'm good now.

And Jim, if you're out there.  I know that  yesterday you requested my friendship on Facebook.  (chuckles) Thanks, but no thanks.  Yes, you are forgiven.  But we do not have to be friends.  How bout we just start over as if we've never met and then follow that up by never meeting.  Just know that I wish you peace in this life and hope for the next.

*Names have been changed.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Big Mama

Soap Box Rant # 34 (Put on some earmuffs, Some explicit language)

Ignorance and inconsideration are the two great causes of the ruin of mankind.

- John Tillotson (1630-1694)

Truer words were never spoken.  This quote was brought on by my mother's weight. Hm, okay. Let me try to explain that better. A recent happening concerning my mother and her weight, brought to mind this quote. You see, my mother is overweight (not confined to a bed or anything out of the ordinary, just run of the mill big). She has struggled with her weight since youth, as many of the women in my family have (and still do). Diets, exercise, medications, she has tried them all.  But it is hard to fight addiction and over forty years of bad eating habits (just ask Oprah and oh, over 55 percent of the American population.)

As a youngin, I didn't get it. My mother was a big, beautiful, larger than life figure to me. The quintessential Big Mama. A strong, old-fashioned, matronly figure who provided warmth in the winter and shade in the summer. To be embraced by her and fall asleep with one's head on her chest was the most comfortable and loving place to be in the world. I was proud of her, especially if I was so lucky to have her come visit my school. I couldn't wait to tell the other children, "That's my mommy!" with the biggest gap-toothed grin I could muster. She was magnificent and graceful to me. More of an idea than an actual person. Firm, but fair. And despite her weight, she's a tall and statuesque woman so if you rubbed her the wrong way, she could put the fear of God into you. But she definitely had the "Everybody's Mama" matronly thing going on, that made all kinds of people come to her for advice. Needless to say, I absolutely adored my mother (and still do) and wanted to be just like her, size and all.

Now things are a bit different and as I've grown, my views of my mother have evolved overtime (as they do with most children). I went from being uber proud of my mother, to being slightly embarrassed of her, to feeling guilty about my embarrassment, to feeling angry at her for being fat, to feeling angry at other people for being so mean and heartless. Sadly, I feel like this is where I have paused for a moment. Angry at other people. (I'm working on it.) The teasing, the comments, the suggestions, the questions, the whispering, the giggles . . . it just never ends.  And from grown people too!  Which is something that has definitely shocked me.  Despite my superficial experiences, I could never imagine the pain that my mother has to go through everyday.

Which brings me to the story that spurned my little quote about ignorance. My mother (who will be going into the hospital in a couple days, to prepare for lap band surgery*) was at the grocery store with my 3 year old niece, her granddaughter. Unfortunately, the two don't get out to the grocery store very much# so this was a pleasant occasion. From what I was told, my mother passes by the customer service desk and upon glancing behind the desk sees a woman looking at her with disgust. My mother ignores it (probably something she has to do a lot) and once the woman is behind her, she hears the woman say loud enough for everyone to hear, "Disgusting!"

When I heard this story, I saw RED. I immediately wanted to go to the grocery store, find this woman, grab her by the shirt and say, "Listen you fucking piece of shit! There's a special place in hell for bitches like you and I'd be glad to take you there personally if I knew I wouldn't have to go to jail for it." (Sigh) But alas! I refrained. I swallowed this story, just like I have to swallow the other crap in life that is thrown my way. What did Whoopie say in The Color Purple? This life be over soon.

Okay, I'm forgetting my point. What's my point here? Argh! Um . . . yes, I am not overweight. In fact, I am very much in shape and I have my mother to thank for that. She always encouraged my sisters and I to be physically active because she didn't want us to suffer the same struggles that she has had in life. And we haven't. The reason I bring up my weight is because it seems like I am in an ideal position to judge nearly every person around me. If I wanted to start pointing out flabby arms and belly fat, I can have my pick of nearly anyone I come into contact with these days. But I couldn't IMAGINE wanting to do that to someone. I couldn't IMAGINE saying something nasty to someone, laughing at someone, ridiculing someone, UNSOLICITED, and living with myself, even moving on with my day and thinking that I just benefitted a situation.

And there have been so many occasions, while out with my mother, that I have experienced that very thing. It's a very helpless feeling to say the least. How would you feel if you were walking with your mother and this is the type of shit you have to experience? I mean, you wouldn't be able to yell at everyone to stop. You can't say, "You're doing something horrible to people who don't deserve this!" I can totally understand what it feels like to live in the 1960's and have to experience hatred based on someone's appearance.  People have not changed.

And I know that some will argue that gluttony/greed is a sin and people ought not to let themselves go, so on and so forth.  But the only thing I can say is that passing judgement, extending public ridicule and shame, in other words being IGNORANT AS HELL is not the solution to the problem.  If it was, every problem in the world would have been fixed by now.  Being "big boned-ed" is not the equivalent to being a child molester or an alchoholic.  It's a tough addiction because food is a necessity for life.  It's like being addicted to water. Ah, why am I trying to break this stuff down, lol.  I swear, from looking at me, you would never know that I am an advocate for people who suffer eating disorders be it anorexia, bulimia, over eating, etc.  It's tough and I pray everyday for people who have to suffer with that.  I have my own problems, but thankfully, I don't have to wear them for the world to see.

Anywho, I'm trying to do the right thing, Lord knows I'm trying. Despite my inner, profanity laced rants,* I say the serenity prayer and try hard not to judge those very same people. Just the way I was raised I guess. I can't wait until the meek inherit the earth, I just hope that by that time I will have stayed strong enough to be counted in amongst the meek.*

*  After years of dieting, exercising and fluctuating weight loss and gain she has decided that this is the most promising route to go in order to kick start her new lifestyle.  I agree, and plan to support her in this 100%.

#  My sister (a chef) does most of the grocery shopping for my mother so that she doesn't have to struggle with certain temptations.

* Again, I apologize for the explicit language in this blog.  I don't curse like this often, but I just have to vent and there's nothing like a well placed @%&! when you need one sometimes.