Friday, July 31, 2009

It's Official

We are now cohabiting.

This past week has been a sweaty, long, humid affair. We had to move all of my crap out of the 1BR into the 2BR w/ a Family Room. Granted the two buildings are about 500-750ft apart, but half of the trek was on grass. Not fun. Besides hauling way too much stuff from one floor to another, our errands included, but were not limited to, the following:
- dismantling the Fios DVR boxer and router
- waiting for the Fios guy to install new DVR boxes and router
- cleaning for 2 1/2 hours last night
- dropping off the keys and rent checks through the rest of this year this morning
In total, it took 4 separate days to get it all done. However arduous it all was, though, it's over.

Well, at least my part of this torturous affair is complete. My stuff is officially out of the old and into the new place. Nothing is clean. Everything is everywhere, but it's there.

Stage two of this affair starts in a week. My SO is going away to beat people with sticks. Anyone else been to War? I hear it's fun, though if I went I imagine all I'd do is read, knit, or crochet. I'm not the hitting-people-with-sticks type, but to each their own.

In the interim, I'm going to try to make sense of the tornado that is our apartment. My SO's stuff will join mine once he's returned next Saturday. He leaves tomorrow morning.

To be honest, I am both looking forward to and dreading the coming week. We are with each other every day. It's been two years since the last War my SO attended, and I'm not ashamed to say it sucked. A whole week without the person you love is not fun, not matter the level of freedom is gives. But, with my SO out of the way, I will defiantly get a lot done. And, frankly, I need to in order to fit anything else in the place.

I planned out my weekend, figuring filling it up will keep me from thinking too much about the seven long days I have ahead. Saturday I'll be spending with friends. And my mother is coming over Sunday to help with the mess.

I'm thinking my Mom will have laundry and kitchen duty. (The place has a washer & dryer in unit. I love our apartment.) It's enough to be substantial work without taxing her too much. I like the free labor, but I'd be lying if I said my mother was the cleaning type.

As for me, I'm thinking I'll attack the desk nook (Family Room). Currently, I have notebooks and papers strewn all over, along with CD's and books. I'm going to buy a dresser to organize the notebooks and papers, and I have a rather large bookcase for the rest. This can get done, but it requires me to not be my normally lazy, procrastinating self. We'll see how it goes.

In the interim, I really need to start kicking my ass. I saw a recent picture of myself and wanted to vomit. I ignored the fact that the photo was of me and my best friend, who is very pregnant and cute, and fixated on my arms and my stomach. I literally said, "I'm fat" out loud, realizing we were about the same size. So, while my SO is away, I'll be getting up and doing yoga before work.

I've also been calculating my calorie intake, which has been horrible. Since nothing is organized and there is literally stuff everywhere, I haven't been able to cook. We've eaten fast food at least one meal (if not more) a day for a week. That will stop tomorrow.

So, yeah. We have an apartment together. This is real commitment. Did I mention I'm scared shitless? This is the first person I've lived with since my first relationship, which ended when my boyfriend was arrested and taken out of the house while I was at work. Long story.

Anyway, on a lighter note... nope can't think of anything. Going back to work now.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Race Question

I get it. I understand why people often ask me what my race is. But today, I wasn't in the mood.

My SO and I woke up late this morning. I didn't get to brush my teeth or fix my hair before we hurried out the door.

He was late. I was running late. This was a problem, seeing as I thought I would have time to buy my lunch before work. So, I bit the bullet and went to 7-11.

I had hoped to find Easy Mac: delicious, easy to make, and low-cal. To my astonishment, there was none. I then spent too much time trying to figure out if I should opt for the cheap but high in sodium and calorie option or spend more for the low cal & low sodium option. I spent more on today's lunch than I had planned to spend for the next two days.

As I'm buying the soup and piece of fruit, the cashier asks, "Are you Spanish?" I don't like being a bitch, but if I didn't get out of there pronto, I was going to be late. "No," I replied, intentionally not making eye contact. "Your ancestry, is Spanish?" He wasn't letting this go. "No," I said again, trying to swipe my card, grab my stuff and go. "Really? What's your ancestry?" FINE! "Native American, Irish, and Black." "Really?" I grabbed my receipt and left.

I understand it's hard to place my face. My skin is light and my hair is nice. If you were to guess, I could be any number of nationalities. But to keep pushing the question, to ask me three times when all I want is to pay my $4 and go to work... I'm glad I did not scream, yell, or hit him.

He was certainly not the first. He probably won't be the last. But dammit, he picked the wrong time to ask me the race question.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Work Is Far From Over

Lawyer's Statement on the Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Henry Louis "Skip" Gates arrested outside his home

Harvard professor Gates arrested at Cambridge home

On July 16th, at 12:44p, a black man was arrested for trying to enter his own house. No one would know about this incident if that man had not been a Harvard professor, learned, eloquent, and with clout.

No man should endure the humiliation and degradation of being arrested on trumped up charges, let alone when the officers had little cause or explanation.

From what I have read, a neighbor called, believing two men were breaking into the professor's house. That a neighbor would not recognize the professor trying to unjam the door of his own home is aggravating. That police, after the man had already gotten the door open and called maintenance to have the door fixed, would question and harass him is annoying. To then refuse to give your name and badge number, after many requests from this man, while still demanding he give identification showing both his residence and employment at the university is hypocrisy most high. To then lure the man outside and arrest him because he called your actions what they were only proves his accusations to be right.

What those officers did was racial profiling. What they did was harassment. If they are not reprimanded, fired, and sued, what hope do all those following this case have, in a country where the president is of color, when those whose duty it is to enforce the law use it to satisfy ego and hatred?

I am sick with the knowledge of this incident. If good, hard working folks, who try their best to make this society, and the world at large, better are cast down in the mud for personal amusement and vilification, what hope does the ex-con have of reform, the poor child of success, the average person of color to just live their life in peace?

I want to scream. I want to cry. I want to hit something.

My grandfather was a cop. My uncle was a cop. My grandfather passed some years ago, but I can only imagine the feelings my uncle is going through.

This situation is what breeds anger, resentment, and frustration in our community. How can we get beyond race when it is thrown back in our face each day? How can we grow as a nation when the best of us is treated like less? How can anyone say we are "post-racial" when a black man can't even open his door without being arrested?

Update: Charges dropped against Harvard professor

Friday, July 17, 2009

White Privilege

I read a piece on white privilege, recommended by Melissa Harris-Lacewell. Passing it along to the world at large.

White Privilege. I benefit. Do you?

Very thoughtful and thought provoking.

White Men Built This Country?

I love MSNBC. Actually, no, that is not a fair characterization. I love Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow. In all honesty, they are the only two shows on the station I watch. I love them for their coverage of political news with a liberal slant, but always honest, thoughtful, and FACTUAL information and commentary. Having said this, I can now get to my point.

Pat Buchanan is a commentator for MSNBC. This seems like an oxymoron to me, but he is. And he appeared on Rachel's show last night. I, however, would not have known this til Sunday (I usually watch a week's worth of shows at a time) had I not also loved Twitter. And my, the Twitterverse was a flutter with the talk of their 16 minute exchange.

First, the link, copy and pasted out of my Twitter feed, giving recognition to the folks that enlightened me to this story.

RT @TheRootBuzz RT @tpmteevee: Pat Buchanan: White Men Built This Country (with Blacks as 'on-site consultants')

Yes, he actually says, "White men built this country." He also says, in response to Rachel's question as to why 108 of the 110 Supreme Court Justices have been white:

White men were 100% of the people that wrote the Constitution, 100% of the people that signed the Declaration of Independence, 100% of the people who died at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, probably close to 100% of the people who died at Normandy. This has been a country built basically by white folks, who were 90% of the nation in 1960 when I was growing up and the other 10% were African-Americans who had been discriminated against. That's why.

I didn't even know where to start with my response, other than patting Rachel on the back for holding her own against his views. The 16 minutes go by fast, but it's dense with so many things I could and want to talk about. So, instead of getting myself all worked up, I'm passing along comments from Adam Sewer, person I follow on the site, that spoke to how I felt at the time. Please make sure to also catch the two linked articles below, as well.
@AdamSewer: Just saying, I'm pretty sure my ancestors were building this country while Pat Buchanan's were drinking mint juleps in the shade

@AdamSewer: Incidentally, I don't think Pat Buchanan should be fired. Here's why: Save Pat Buchanan

@AdamSewer: I think they should package and sell the Sotomayor hearings and Pat Buchanan's "white men" rant as a DVD set

Unfortunately, I've gone back 6 hours, 2 hours before I came in to work, but still can't find how I linked to this Huffington Post article about the Maddow segment.

If my feelings are still strong about this subject come Monday, I will have had plenty of time to let it all slosh around in my head and give a clear response to what I perceived as the racism still alive in this country. Pat Buchanan is just the only person with the guts to speak his mind.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Browncoat Jealousy

A Serenity cake.

The Firefly geek in me loves this. It was a 40th Birthday cake created by the amazing team at Charm City Cakes. Read the person's story and see more pictures at the links here & here.

Thx to @popcandy & the Ace of Cakes website for the links.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Senate May Vote on DADT Tomorrow

According to the The Daily Beast, Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand, the freshman New York Democrat who replaced Hillary Clinton, may introduce an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill tomorrow to put an 18-month moratorium on dismissing gay service members from the military under the Pentagon's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.

This is what we've been asking the President to do for months . Now it seems a freshman Senator, who was interrupted by Sen. Leahy during her introduction of Judge Sotomayor at the Latina's hearing today, may have a new claim to fame.

If this happens, my hope for this country will be renewed.

Link to Politics Daily article here. And link to Gillibrand's article on the Daily Beast concerning DADT here.

Obama Names New Surgeon General

President Obama named Regina Benjamin, a female African American family practitioner from Alabama, as our nation's new surgeon general.
Link to full USAToday article here.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Battling My Little Haters

Everyone has a voice in their head, commenting on their work, giving alternate, and often negative, perspectives on what you’re doing. This voice is the opposite of constructive criticism and generally puts you in a less than productive mood. This voice, named by Jay Smooth of The Ill Doctrine, is “The Little Hater.” Everyone’s little hater is different. Mine, unfortunately, is a Gemini.

I’ll explain. I have a cush job. I know this. I love this. I answer the phone, take messages, and try to help out in the office. As you may have guessed by that scant description, there are times when I have precious little to do. In those moments, I’ve been trying to get myself to write. However, while I’ll want to write, instead I’ve been drawn to the internet.

Here is where my first little hater comes in. Often I’ll find an article, read it, and think, “That was a good point. I should write about it.” But then my little hater will say, “No, maybe you shouldn’t. This person is highly intelligent and made their points better than you ever could.” To which I’ll think maybe my little hater is right. This person’s words are already emblazoned on the internet. They’re obviously important because this is their job. My words about the subject could never be as good, and wouldn’t matter at all, being I have such a small following and am not even getting paid. Why should I even bother talking about this when I am no where near as important as this person?

At this moment, slight despair kicks in, and my little hater’s twin will say, “Well, why don’t you just stay on the internet. Read a few more articles. Something else may catch your attention or spark your passion like this first article did.” And I’ll do this because my little hater knows I’m addicted to the internet. And I’ll not look at my clock again until hours later, having lost a huge amount of time, and not having achieved much of anything. Not only that, my initial idea from the first article would have been dulled, my passion on the topic leached, and I’m left feeling worse than before.

So let this be a warning to folks out there. Yes, you must fight against negative attitudes and thoughts, the “you ain’t shit” little hater. But also be aware of the distracting little hater, the one who locks your mind, steals your time, and leaves you feeling like shit, as opposed to saying it to your face. I personally think he’s the more sinister of the two.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

It Happened in 5th Grade

Linked is an article by Melissa Harris-Lacewell, Racism at the Pool and a USAToday article for background. In her article, Harris-Lacewell speaks on both the recent incident that took place near Philadelphia, and the fact that every person of color will face at least once in their life a similar situation.

For me, I was 10. A cutup kid, who the teachers hated and very few of the students liked, passed by me on my way to my desk. As we crossed paths, out of nowhere he yelled at me, saying something to the effect of "Get away from me, Indian." I was taken aback, not knowing why he had even spoken to me. For one, I am part Native American, but what did that have to do with anything? And two, I was nice to everyone and a generally sweet and good kid. Why was he picking on me?

Unfortunately, I remember three things about that kid. 1-He was short. 2- I remember his face, though not his name. And 3- His last name had -El attached to it. Our teacher asked the kid to tell the class why his name was different. He refused, so the teacher explained the family's religion was Islam, and his last name had to do with that. Talk about a bad introduction for a faith and people I didn't understand and took years for any other answers concerning it.

She Goes Both Ways

A horror movie I actually want to go see: Jennifer's Body, out September 2009.

Ironic & Sad

Break a Leg & Death by Chocolate

thx to @popcandy for the links

While I Was Away...

...I turned 26 yesterday! Yeah me, now a year older, but feeling just the same.

My birthday was quite relaxing. I accomplished nothing of great importance, which is how I like it. My SO and I didn't wake up to an alarm. I watched crappy television while my SO slept in (damn you circadian rhythm). I ate a reasonably good breakfast, thin crust pizza for lunch, beer & crabs for dinner. I spent time with my friends, and we had a lot of laughs.

I did my best to not worry or think about family issues. I let my laziness rob me of playing pool or catching a crappy movie. (Aside: My birthday is the one time out of the year I can drag my SO to see a horrible movie with me. We were going to see "The Proposal," but alas, a nap won out instead.) All-in-all, a really good birthday.

One thing I was grateful for: I forgot about an auction that happened yesterday. When Ella died, I packed up boxes and boxes of stuff. Ever since then, I've been meaning to go through it all, but the task seemed so daunting. I let it all sit in storage, paying rental fees for an entire year.

Now that my SO and I are moving in, I decided to let the items go. I took all the lamps (5) and 15 of the boxes over. Unfortunately, I could only fit about six of the boxes on my table. I still have a lot of stuff left, but it will all eventually go up for sale.

I have fond memories of some of the items from my childhood, but I left it all in storage for a year. If I really cared about this stuff, it would have already been a part of my life. I was just holding on to the items as a way of holding on the Ella and, to me, that is not healthy. I'll get a letter and a check in the mail soon, itemizing how the sale went. I'm going to try to get everything else to the auction as soon as I can. It's been long enough. I need to let go.

Non Sequitur: I had another dream last night that I want to transform/elaborate into a story. It was odd, but interesting. The quick version: the story will center around people with the ability to send their minds to another place while their bodies remain. Yes, I know it sounds like The Matrix, but it's really not. Trust me. I already have my notes from the dream written out. Now I need to figure out the story arc, name characters, and elaborate on the conflict.

I will say this, counting down in your dream to when you'll wake up, and then it happening, is freaky. For about ten minutes, I thought my dream was real.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

So Much Space

It's official: my SO & I will cohabitat come the end of the month. Yesterday we had the pleasant experience of a walk through in the new apartment. It's on the first floor, no stairs to walk up or down, and looks out onto a grassy field behind the building.

It's huge. Two bedrooms, one and one half baths, and a family room. The kitchen has double the counter space of my current place, and all the furnishings are new. We're thinking the family room will hold our desks, and the smaller bedroom will be the game room, housing the PS2.

The living room is enormous. I don't know how we are going to configure everything, along with the dinning room table, but there was talk of purchasing a large couch, in addition to the love seat I already own.

There are so many things I am planning and hoping to do with this place. I want to compost. I want us to eat in more often (saves money and help slim our wastes). I'm thinking about setting up an art area, as well, for all the projects I did in college and may want to revisit.

We sign the lease a week from today and move in the week of the 24th. I was able to arrange for an entire week to move because I'm assuming I'll want to still work but be able to move things at night. Our landlord is awesome and said he wouldn't charge for both spaces at the same time (which I wasn't expecting, hello little extra money in the pocket). Things are good.

My one bit of trepidation happened later that day. I had a moment of hesitation, a few hours after the walk through, while my SO was napping. This is a huge step. This is a year long commitment, legally binding us together financially. I suppose it's normal to have cold feet, but I found myself checking out while watching TV, wondering if I was making the right decision.

I ended up reassuring myself that my doubts were normal. This is not a situation to take lightly. I logiced (yes, I know that's not a word) that I had wanted this for the past year, but all of a sudden being uncertain and nervous was not grounded in a plethora of facts. It mainly consisted of the jittery feeling in my stomach, not actual doubts about our ability to pay the rent or the fortitude of our relationship. It's been 2 1/2 years and we're still together with little signs to the contrary.

In the end, I figured out my fears were just a round about way of expressing how scary it feels to be an adult, to make a major life commitment, and follow through on it. As I'm typing this, I am reminded that I had the same reaction when I signed my first lease (an on campus apartment I had for my junior & senior years in college). I also felt this way when I had a major job switch (the one I am currently in). Difficult adult decisions are not easy, even when it makes perfect sense to make the change.

I want this. We both do. Now, all that's left is our John Hancocks.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Because I Cannot Say It Better

Melissa Harris-Lacewell's essay titled Celebrating the Full Narrative of America. In it, she speaks about the conflicting views of African Americans concerning Independence Day. And yes, I got the link to the Frederick Douglass speech from her Twitter. [Twitter is the new black.] She teaches at Princeton and is totally awesome.

Four More Forgotten Founding Fathers

From the fine folks at, an article about four of the 56 (yes, there were 56) signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Article found here. Enjoy.

4th of July Required Reading

Frederick Douglass Speech July 5, 1852: What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?

Okay, so this is long and dense, but worth the read. I, being a dork and alone in the office, read it out loud. With each word, you can feel his passion and conviction. It's pretty amazing, and, unfortunately, sad that it took until I was 26 years old to experience it.

Also, I couldn't help but draw parallels to the current plight of the LGBT community. Things change, and yet they remain the same.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Found this page through Twitter. [Aside: I don't know how I used to get through the day without Twitter.] Best caption ever shown below. Literally laughed until my posterior was no more.

Ana Marie Cox (I'm assuming she said this cause I don't know who Jason Linkins is): Joe Biden, as always, reminding Hillary that his job is easier than hers and he gets paid more.

Seriously, I want to marry Ana Marie Cox.
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