Friday, February 29, 2008

After the Party

It's 2 am and I'm not tired, so I thought I'd give you the skinny on the Fashion Fair. It was fabulous! The models looked great! The lights, the hair (the weave), the makeup, and the collections. It's the most fashion forward one that I can remember. I'll tell it to you in observations:

a) It's great to have a network! I loved being there, right next to the runway at a reserve table. And attending the VIP party afterwards with the models and all that was stellar.

b) Black people, my people! Ya'll know you be dressing up for the fashion show like it was a church pageant! Not to mention the people that dressed for the red carpet at the Oscars. My absolute favorites though were at one of the runway-side tables across from us. A group of hard-faced older ladies with the worst weaves that I have ever seen -- the cheap ones that look like you put em in the dryer after a week (but people wear them for months)! They were overdressed in tacky formal dresses. A hot mess, I tell ya, but not as bad as the church lady with the white tights sitting in the first row of the glass-fronted balcony with her legs open!

c) There was champagne and liquor at alot of those tables, which I have never before seen. Which is why people were getting loose in the second lady ran up with some money when the men dropped their sarongs and show off those tighty trunks!

d) Speaking of hot guy models, one of the models had four nipples! I kid you not! It's like I'm the only one who noticed!

e) I can't believe how many of the models were tatted up -- girls and guys! I thought it was tacky...

f) They let a person volunteer to walk the catwalk, and of course one of the trifling MILFs trampled the other one getting up there. She walks out, blinking like an owl at the lights, and immediately trips and almost breaks a hip. She would never have left the stage if it she hadn't almost been run over by the REAL models starting up the second half! Maybe she was implanted in the crowd as comic relief.

g) Some white guys whose company was sponsoring were hilarious... they were immobilized by all the black beauty on the runway. I've never seen a man stay frozen like that, like he'd been lobotomized. They were having a mountaintop experience -- especially when the plus sized model walked. Too much sex appeal! The drool pools were creating a walking hazard.

h) In addition to such bumpkinisms as the "volunteer catwalk", "the presentation of plaques", "the greek roll call", and the "old people dignitaries filibuster", there was also the "announcement of the VIP reception, location, and the invitation for EVERYONE to go." That's right. People who paid 50 dollars for their ticket and the reception were now obliged to share the reception with all the people who headed the announcement, and that's exactly what happened. The food got gobbled up, and there weren't enough seats.

i) This did not end the fun, however. I gobbled up my plate of treats (which is currently sitting in my stomach like dog food) and hit the dance floor. I was able to get in the bus stop, cupid shuffle, and a few others before we left. I would still be giving myself shin splints on the dance floor right now if not for my mom telepathically projecting her exhaustion to me; she had to will me off the dance floor.

So here I sit, not even tired, but knowing that this is a complete illusion and that I need to hit the sack as I have an early call in the morning. Good night!

Post Theme: After Party by Koffee Brown


I can't talk long, I've gotta go... headed to the Ebony Fashion Fair tonight!

I don't have a thing to wear, either, so it's going to take Project Runway-esque last minute creativity, poise, and miracle working to get me fashion forward, with my butt in the seat on time!

Of course, just like any epic battle, there's an arch enemy: the constellation of fiery red zits that appeared on my face the day before yesterday and haven't calmed down yet! On the advice of a good friend (who may prove to be a frenemy if this doesn't work), I have been bathing this area with mouthwash hourly all day. She swears it works and she got the tip from a guy at the MAC counter who she said was whipping the makeup, so I guess it does work!

More on the details of the show and the VIP afterparty when I get back, but for now, it's time for a beauty revolution. Onward christian soldiers!

Post Theme: Work It Girl by Ru Paul

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Laundry List

I'd just like to say right off that I'm totally over myself today, so no worries about encountering another sniveling whinefest post ala yesterday. You can exhale now.

Some random observations:

1) It's cold here -- I'm still using the electric blanket. It might sound unreasonable to complain, but this is the Deep South! I haven't been able to feel my toes all week, and I never realized how attached to them I was until they "disappeared".

2) I've noticed the gloves have really come off with the attacks on Obama. The ugly, ignorant, racist, and xenophobic underbelly of our American compatriots is becoming obvious. It really steams my clams to say the least. Little puffs of steam leave my ears when I think about it, because these very fundamental ideologies, made up of generalizations, stereotypes, and outright untruths, build one on another like a really effed up game of jenga. It's why our situation is so shaky. One minute we are a country proudly embarking on a historical presidential term (IT WILL BE EITHER A WOMAN OR A BLACK MAN) and the next we are "maligning" a person by using their middle name and digging up pictures of them dressed in native costumes. This "proof" only speaks to the suspicious and ignorant mind. The fact that it speaks at all is reason to educate, educate, educate!

3) Another thing about that... I see accusations of the media unfairly supporting Obama and cracking down on HRC and McCain. This seems to be primarily based on the fact that there have been no past issues of concern being released. Allow me to be Captain Obvious and say that just because there is no major issue as yet, does not mean there has not been an ardent search for one. I mean, anytime Barack's kindergarten paper is quoted to prove his intention to be president, people are digging. It's not that I mean to imply that there are none, but what if no one found anything? It would be scary, because it would be the most powerful and eloquent statement against politics as usual for this generation. Think on it.

4)Have you seen the video of the bus fight between some students and the driver that hit the news today? It made me mad just watching it. Mad enough to fight. Which is why I could never be a teacher in the school system, and I don't like to work with large groups of kids, despite the masses of people who press me to change careers in that direction. "You're amazing with kids" they say. "The youth need people like you" they say. I agree. But I also know that it's a pressure cooker of a thankless job, where I would be fired at the least and jailed at the most, because I do not like to be censored, questioned on my methods, or to follow rules. I also have a zero tolerance policy on disrespect. I threaten (they're actually more like promises) and I will also beat a teen down. And so you see, you don't want me in the classroom. I would be terrible with parents, as I lack finesse to deal with difficult or disengaged ones. I would be a disaster. I'm a rock star tutor though (one on one is totally different). Suffice it to say that little Courtney Love in the vid would have been injured. Badly.

5) A friend of mine is dealing with a international adoption. It pisses me off that it's so easy to kidnap, abuse, enslave, prostitute, kill, sell, starve, and mutilate children all over the world. They are made into prostitutes and soldiers every day, bartered and spent like paper money. It's so easy. No permission needed, no process followed, no law enforced. Even American children are not completely safe from this. Yet it's so hard to take one in, raise one, protect one, love one. It takes international lawyers, spectacular diplomacy, bribes, fees, cash, and a whole lot of patience to adopt. It's unfair to say the least. I've heard people say that a child needs to go to the right home, but really any home at all is much better than the aforementioned alternatives. What's a mother without a spouse that sometimes has trouble juggling it all compared to be living your life as someone' s property?!??! One is heaven and one is hell, the disparity is so vast.

There's nothing to be done but fall on my knees and say a prayer for her and the baby she wants to adopt, but impotent fury fills me all the same.

Post Theme: Man In the Mirror by Michael Jackson

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

No News Is Good News?

"No news is good news." (Rant On) Whoever said that was not trying to find a job when they said it. They must have been waiting for something impossibly wonderful, something that would devastate if not the desired outcome. It couldn't have been something as two-edged, as cursed a blessing, as gainful employment. No way. (Rant Off)

'Sigh'... I guess you can tell from reading this that nothing happened today of note. No one called, no one wrote. They are maintaining radio silence in an effort to drive me mad. Still writing from the location of Screwed, which is just North of Forget It, East of A Rock, and West of A Hard Place. (Now that made me smile). Why does the job search have to be so brutal? If I were a tech person, I would have already written a virus that made my resume and a flashing "hire me or else" banner into pop-ups. I would have already uploaded it to the world at large, and would currently be conducting a prolonged salary negotiation in which I bartered not only the cessation of the pop-up, but the technology itself. Unfortunately, as Napoleon Dynamite would say, "I don't have any skills".

What accounts for this frowny, angsty post? Here's a hint: the bills come on time, even when the checks stop!!! I got no loot, and no ends neither. This will be such a riveting story to tell when I'm sitting on Oprah's couch and she is trying to wrap her mind around what a superstar I am, but right now that is thin comfort, like the newspaper duvets that homeless people use. Ugh. Okay, I am depressing myself and wallowing. I wish that I could change the subject to something impossibly stimulating and interesting, but I have nothing else on my mind, nothing witty or brilliant to say, and that says enough. I'm calling it a night. Forgive me!

Post Theme: Hostile Gospel 2 by Talib Kweli

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Good Hair Day

I'm no longer feeling trapped. I guess a new day brought me some empowerment, and a sense of hope. I've been mulling over my job situation and I came to the conclusion that I can't do anything at this point but continue to push forward and having done all I can do, stand. Whatever happens, happens. It's in God's hands now, and I am not trying to take that particular burden back. Good riddance.

I've got new hair! I braved the worse fog I've ever seen anywhere on earth this morning to drive to the salon, and boy am I glad that I did, because I look fabulous!

Post Theme: There's Hope by India.arie

Friday, February 22, 2008

I Feel Trapped

After my telephone interview today, I'm feeling trapped. Now before I get into this, I do realize that I may be overreacting and that next week I may feel foolish about writing this, but I gotta be me.

It's not that I didn't do well. In fact, I think that I did very well, certainly well enough to be called in for a face to face interview. Fact is, after finding out more about the job, my suspicions are confirmed. It's a sales job going back into an industry that I don't care for and that I gratefully escaped when Hurricane Katrina gave me the opportunity. The prospect of being forced to take it by my financial circumstance and sheer pragmatism (I mean it's not like I'm getting offers or even calls from anywhere else) fills me with impotence and frustration. My hands feel tied, and the irony of my situation does not escape me. After determining to revamp my resume, my angle, and my career direction in an effort to avoid being unfulfilled, I stumble onto a job just like the ones I couldn't get last fall when I was actually trying!! What does it all mean? What am I supposed to do?

The feeling of being herded in down a chute, like a doomed heifer at a meat packing plant, is achingly familiar. A feeling of doom is rising within me like the tide, and I didn't realize that I was cycling back around. You see, each time I've started over it's been like this. Forced to take a position that I didn't actively decide to take. It's like this: if I had come to the conclusion that this was my best option, then no regrets, but if I fall into this by default, then all my struggling has been for naught, because it has been a struggle for control, for power, for the chance to choose my adventure like one of those damn comic books in middle school. I didn't realize then that the ability to choose would be stripped from me at a later point in life, or I would have read those books more. Whatever happens now is a choice that I must stay committed to; to change positions in any less than three years would be career suicide, and to leave the industry a second time would consign me to being labeled "unfocused", and you can't trust an unfocused person in management. "Unfocused" people don't get promoted. So whatever my new direction, it is a weighty decision of some permanence.

As I stated before, however, these are reflections of my thoughts at this point in time. In another week, the present snow globe may have been jostled by the Divine Hand, and I will be looking at a completely different landscape. That is to say that I have concluded (wisely, if I do say so myself) to put this away, to wait and see, to stand and believe. Every step I take is ordered, and each action takes me closer. Selah.

Post Theme: Closer by Goapele

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Time to Let My Hair Down

Just a few things before I'm off to bed, since I have a big phone interview tomorrow morning...

1) First things first... my eminent hair crisis has been averted. I have consulted my war council, redistributed my very meager budget, and now have a hair strategy for the upcoming round of flights and interviews. No time to deal with bad hair days, and no chance of looking less than fabulous either. The appointment is made and my stylist is a life saver!!!

I will go from this... To This!

All thanks for this miraculous transformation go to my stylist, The Joan, without whom public interactions would not be possible, let alone interviews. It's technically civically irresponsible to be seen like this, so it's actually my duty as an American to have this taken care of. Congratulate me. No wait... just doing my job, folks. *shy grin, awkward chuckle*

2) Speaking of hairy, I watched the debate. I'm glad that the commentators were able to get them to pull the gloves off, even for a millisecond, because for a minute there I thought Obama and Clinton were going to play footsie the whole time, patting each other on the back and agreeing with each other's arguments. Obama was a cool cat, standing on the higher ground of his lead, and making HRC look petty for her plagiarism accusations. I felt vindicated when she sniped on him with that "change we can xerox" comment to a chorus of boos. I only wish the camera would have panned to the audience. All that was missing was shaking heads, fists, and furrowed brows. All in all, the debate was a dud for Clinton's camp -- no foothold in the race to lead again. The upcoming primaries are locked in a dead heat and that's that.

2) Stanford rocks! I saw the announcement today that Stanford is leading the pack for endowment funding reform by pledging to use a larger of percentage of it to subsidize its students. It will no longer charge tuition for students with a combined income of 100K a year or less, and no room and board charge for 60K or less in addition to an overall increase in financial aid across the board. Since Stanford has a huge endowment, but still trails Harvard and Yale, I do hope that their actions spur the ivy league to take a look at what they can shuffle around. At best, it could lead to a sweeping reform to make any college a feasible choice for any student that wishes to attend. It's too late for me, but at least someone will benefit! Go Card!

'Ahem': Needless to say, I will be actually opening and reading those fund raising letters that I get from The Stanford Fund from now on. I'm behind any school that pioneers a significant lowering of secondary education costs, especially my own alma matter!

That's it for tonight... getting my beauty rest so that I can knock their socks off tomorrow. Maybe I'll get a job offer before I even get off the phone!!

Post Theme: I Am Not My Hair by India.arie

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Autism Breakthrough: Girl's Writings Explain Her Feelings

Carly Fleischman has severe autism and is unable to speak a word. But thanks to years of expensive and intensive therapy, this 13-year-old has made a remarkable breakthrough... (Also, check out the very moving video linked in the article.) See the links below.

I joined a great website,, that is very cool. It's a meta feed made of videos, new stories, pics, etc, that people want to promote or share. It's like net surfing with a crowd -- all the benefits of everyone looking around at once. I found this cool story. I was awed and amazed at this -- quite possibly the most wonderful effect of technology that I've ever seen to date. Autism, a condition shrouded in mystery and misunderstanding for doctors, scientists, and even family and friends of the affected, has lost a lot of it's power to entrap the afflicted. This is a real victory. Computers have given them a way to communicate their feelings and emotions!!!

What must it be like to be trapped behind a wall, unable to express yourself in any way, consigned to a life of being perpetually misunderstood? I can't even imagine. As a really emotive person, it's a unrelenting hell to even consider. Carly Fleischman is a hero. God bless her and her family.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hello Again...

Hello again. I've been in a very reflective mood lately, traveling back in my mind to various "eras" in my admittedly short, but full life, and examining the curving road that has led to my current situation and the person that I have become. I've done a lot so far, although I must admit that I mostly think only of the things I missed, or could have done better. Even so, I like the person I am, the person I've become, and I couldn't be that without all the friends along the way. You can learn, grow, and blossom so much from the people you come to know while living your life. Collecting friends and nurturing relationships with others is a huge priority for me. Whenever I lose touch with a true friend, it never leaves me. Inevitably at some point I think of them, wonder where they are, what they're doing, and make an attempt to contact them with a simple hello again.

Over the past few days I've made contact with some old friends through the internet -- alumni websites, facebook...even google. I'm surprised at my success, and surprised at my technologically impaired attitude as well. I could have searched long ago! I guess that with life as slow as it is now, I would connect the dots eventually. It's nice to say hello again.

One friend I found from ten years ago, a guy, has come out and is in a relationship (his boyfriend is hot!). They seem happy, with pics of tropical vacations and huge grins on their facebook pages. Only thing is, I can't help but be disappointed; in my tender, untried, 16 year old heart, our friendship might as well have been a grand passion, with him cast as Triston and me Isolde. It was a courtly love; we shared doubled stuffed oreos and he gave spine tingling foot rubs. Although nothing ever really happened between us, he always held a special place in my heart reserved for the sweetest, most sensitive guy. He sent me flowers on my birthday; we spent hours on the phone pining for each other. What does that all mean now? Suddenly those feelings are one-sided and foolish, and I can't help feeling bitter about it. This always happens to me. Guys that get past my new millenium titanium defenses, my weapons-grade plutonium level self preservation instinct, ones that I genuinely feel for, no matter how innocently, turn out to be bad choices for one reason or another. In my entire history, I've never crushed on a guy without feeling like a fool (or worse looking like one) later. It may take years, but inevitably I will be made a clown. This could be positive however. When I finally do find "the one", there will be no ghosts in my head. I am truly free to love!

I also reconnected with someone dear to me this evening by phone; it's been a year. We talked for hours, and it was great. I love that about friends; how you can reconnect after a long time and simply start where you left off, how each friend's rhythm and conversation are different yet equally deeply satisfying, how laughing with someone you've missed is a special ecstatic release, how you smile for hours after the conversation ends. I can't get enough! Hello again.

Post Theme: Wheel by John Mayer

Monday, February 18, 2008

Am I High?

I've been in a weird, psychadelic place today. Is this what magic mushrooms make you feel like? I've been giddy since I took a benadryl in response to an allergic reaction brought on by a sinister, though innocuous, english muffin. Imagine my surprise that there were walnuts listed in the ingredients! All of a sudden that "health nut" label took on a new meaning. What was once a cheery encouragement became a dire advertisement: WARNING! POISON INSIDE.

Ever since then, I've been staggering around, eyes too bright, slurring my words, and nursing a champagne headache without the bubbly stuff, not to mention the three and a half hour mandatory nap that ensued once the medicine kicked in. How can a little dissolving film strip, pretty much an identical sensory experience as a breath mint, cause so much trouble? If I had been operating heavy machinery today, I might have been killed. As it were, other hijinx ensued.

I opened a can of evaporated milk today, fresh purchased from the store. It wasn't until a few disgusting sour clumps plopped onto my special k that I realized it was completely sour. When does that happen?! The whole point of it being evaporated and sealed in a can is to preserve the damn milk! The answer: NEVER. Further proof of a world gone sideways. (You have to be good at reading the signs)

I sat down to watch the end of Larry King and some of 360 with Anderson Cooper, and that's when I really knew I was on the other side of the looking glass: the "mudslinging" in the democratic primary resembles nothing so much as toddlers rolling around in the sandbox. The accusation of plagiarism by Hillary Clinton is both laughable and pitiful. McCain made the unbelievable gaffe of saying "no new taxes" while simultaneously accepting George Bush's endorsement (for someone calling themselves most experienced, he's acting like a rookie). Michelle Obama, feted as God's gift to the position of first lady, is now being attacked on her patriotism. What a wild ride! Someone get me off this merry-go-round before I'm sick!

As I sit before this glowing screen in the dark, blood rushes sluggishly through my body and my tongue feels thick. I am floating through en ephemeral brain fog of the mind. I know my eyes are rolling around in my head, and I am joyfully anticipating the landscape of dreams to follow my head hitting the pillow. There's a perfectly good explanation for all of this -- it's the drugs. But it feels like life. Bring on tomorrow.

Post Theme: Then I Got High by Afroman

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans

I went to New Orleans yesterday with my mom to return an expensive purchase and visit some of my relatives who remain there. It was a great day, and I returned home with memories of laughter, smiles, and of course beyond delicious food, but my heart was heavy with wistfulness. I miss New Orleans, deeply, in a way that a bi-monthly weekend visit cannot remedy.

It's been two years since catastrophic Katrina, and I am literally still exploring the wreckage. I feel in turns a developed bitterness, a shocked shame that I'm not "over it", especially considering how well I made out compared to so many others, and a frustrated and futile yearning to turn back time, which is a completely hopeless (and therefore pointless?) desire. With every corner that I turn in my struggle to cope, I encounter another part of what has become, quite obviously, a maze. The question is, am I navigating this maze with purpose, or wandering aimlessly, blinded by tears and a mind full of the unhelpful detritus of a full life abruptly destroyed like a fussy toddler's block tower? I must admit that tonight I am the wanderer; purpose is hard to find.

When Katrina hit, there was no thought but of the immediate survival of myself and others. It was in the wake of the storm that damaging epiphanies buffeted the shores of my consciousness like residual storm surges, continually destroying my ability to understand how my life had changed, was changing, and would continue to change. I realized that my career was over, as was my home, my community, my routine, my possessions. In essence, my situation in life, a tangible construct resulting from the execution of plans, realization of dreams, and achievement of goals, was immutably annihilated. This has translated into: not holding a job for more than a year, long bouts of unemployment, loss of health benefits, living in communities to which I do not belong, starting over financially an average of once a year, changing addresses every six months, scattered family members across the country, seeing my grandmother once or twice a year instead of weekly or more frequently, and just plain old missing my hometown like a phantom limb.

I told my mom yesterday that New Orleans fits me like a pair of old pajamas. I've never meant anything more. This is something that I should have known. I've been around the world, and never understood how fundamental that home base was to me until I'd lost it. I left for months, years at a time in pursuit of an education, of cultural immersion, of adventure, but also counted on it to be there when I was ready to return. And it always was there. It still is there, a testimony to the fact that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Something in me aches, and the irony of living an hour and a half away and being forced to move farther away to support myself does not escape me.

Sadly, I am not unique in this. So many people know what it means to miss New Orleans, and so many will not return despite that. I just can't stand the fact that returning is not beyond my reach, and yet it is. I won't waste time trying to articulate what makes New Orleans special, describing the sights, smells, sounds, events, and the like, because greater writers than I have done that for literally hundreds of years. I'll end by saying that I want to go back, and am determined to do so eventually. It's like a piece of myself is missing, and I know precisely where to find it.

Post Theme: Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans by Louis Armstrong

Friday, February 15, 2008

A Modern Freedom Struggle

It occurred to me today that it's Black History Month. Duh, right? I should know that, should have realized earlier, should have paid attention to the one month of pseudo-solicitousness that I am entitled to per year. Somehow I missed it.

Last month I attended a certain Sunday morning's services at my parent's uber-traditional Baptist church. I remember being mortified as Sister so and so (complete with hat that could be seen from outer space) asked all the "youth in the church 10 to 15 years old" to stand. She then asked them to come to the front of the church. They slinked forward, barely compliant, disgruntled to be interrupted from their Sunday morning social hour activities of texting, flirting, eating, and other assorted nonsense. The good sister lined them up at the front of the church and shoved a packet of papers into each hand. It turns out that last year's church-sponsored MLK essay contest only got 5 entries, so this year she was obliged to trick and shame them into entering. The essay question: "Has the civil rights struggle and heroes of yesterday influenced your life as a teen today? If so, how?" I was struck by several things at once:

1) What have we come to when the substance of a month of reverence and remembrance is reduced to this? African-Americans have always had a rich culture of oral histories and collective consciousness. We've honored our ancestors through libations and dances, stories and traditions. Now our children, indeed our young adults, can hardly be bothered to remember any but the most "commercial" black figures. You know what I mean: Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington, and of course, Martin Luther King. What about the less popular heroes? What about the still living local heroes, scattered in communities across the nation? I have often found it sad that we have not mined and preserved the still living civil rights story being carried in the hearts, minds, and memories of our elderly. Even baby boomers were a part! The crux of the Civil Rights Movement was barely 50 years ago!

2) Why are we still asking the uninspired question, "how has this affected us"? An essay question that boring is asking for nothing beyond a recitation of black history facts and firsts and a few platitudes of gratitude. It is a moot point to ponder, how history has affected us. Why aren't we leading kids to analyze, to think critically? The struggle isn't over. Every day another news blurb proves that the frontier of the struggle is barely explored. What about the inextricably linked aspect of class? What about the rights of other minority ethnic groups in America?

As I watched the church debacle from the fourth row, I felt conflicted. I was happy there was a contest at all, and also happy that someone was passionate enough about it to put in the effort, but I also felt a burning desire to stand up and say something. I wanted to write an essay of my own, give a speech, do something to steer everyone from the rutted, oft-traveled road they were mired in. But I was silent instead. I realized that there was nothing to be done at that point, and I held it all in. I may not be able to affect ironclad Baptist tradition at a church I don't belong to, but I can make a difference in my day to day life, and I can certainly teach all the people I get my hands on differently. And so that is what I am doing.

This Black History month, think differently. Know that Black history is American history. Learn a cool new fact about Black people every day. Watch an edifying "black" movie. Think about the issues in our current cultural paradigm that comprise the current racist or classist problems in America. Set out to pay more attention. You'll begin to notice them everywhere. Lastly, stand up where ever and whenever you can against them. If we all strive to cherish each other, then change gon come sooner rather than later.

Post Theme: Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud) by James Brown

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Rooting for the Underdog

Have no fear, underdog is here! It seems like 2008 just may turn out to be the year of the underdog. I can't help but note two fine, recent examples: Uno the beagle, winner of this year's Westminster Dog Competition, and my favorite candidate, Barack Obama. Both of them have recently raised eyebrows and blown up skirts by leading the pack and whipping the competition's ass, giving a big leg up to "lesser breeds". Their glossy coats, smooth lines, proud stride, and high energy win best in show hands down!

It's so awesome to see the momentum behind Obama's campaign increasing, restoring my faith in Americans as a thinking people!! Could it be that we are disengaging from celebrity gossip, red carpet reviews, and reality tv long enough to turn our attention to the political race of the century? And not a moment too soon. I thought it was the method of the Republicans to steal an election, but apparently not -- recently the Clinton Campaign has made great strides, with the current debacle over Michigan and Florida's delegates and their right to representation at the coming Democratic National Convention. Better pay close attention, America!

I know personally I'd better the see the vote of the American populace count for something, and not be superceded, overruled, or countermanded by some damn superdelegate. What the hell does that even mean? Are you telling me that in the end, my vote doesn't count for anything? We shake our heads in pity at how corrupt and devious other countries' elections are, and the whole time ours are just as rigged, full of rules and contingencies -- a veritable insurance policy against a straight up race for the popular vote. God forbid if the people actually decided free and clear who our leader should be!

And yet... there is hope. Uno and Obama are showing us that all too often there is nothing common about a common breed, whether man or animal. I look forward to the debate next week (nothing more than another type of dog show if you ask me). I'm anxiously anticipating the details for these plans of change that are being promised by all the candidates. I can't help but love watching Hillary, who started off as top dog, bugging out at her losses, pinning her win on the state of Texas, and slinging the first mud in the race.

It is said that no matter who wins these next states, this race for the nomination will be a real prizefight (or should I say dogfight). Some speculate that in the dust cloud of flying fists, McCain could run away with the presidential office. I say that fate couldn't be so cruel as to send Bush III into the fray. I'm rooting for the underdog!

Post Theme: Atomic Dog, by George Clinton and the P-funk Allstars

Happy Valentine's Day!

My brother's girlfriend sent me this Valentine's Day card, and it made my day! I got a mysterious red envelope in the mail yesterday, and I didn't recognize the return address. Luckily, I am not a fan of the American campaign of fear, or I might have thrown it away out of fear of anthrax! It never crossed my mind either that it could be a Valentine's Day card, because the only V-day cards I have gotten since the tear off elementary school ones are ones that my parents sent. Yep, you heard correctly. I have never been mailed a V-day card by someone not sharing 50% of my genetic code. Needless to say it couldn't be a card from my parents, since I live with them. Besides, these days everyone does e-cards and quick text messages. Even my parents sent text this year! What is the world coming to?!??! This is momentous, if for those reasons alone.

So I open the card, and there it is -- pretty much the funniest card that I have ever received! I had to hold my stomach! I was in tears. And when I got to the inside, it was over. I was no good for the rest of the day. I spent it giggling. Because the universe is against me, I was over my cell minutes for the first time in years and couldn't call anyone, but I sent mad text messages! I also spent most of the night on the phone describing the card for the masses. I am keeping this forever. How clever!

As you, astute blog reader, may have guessed this card ain't that damned funny in and of itself; it's the inside joke. Which I will now divulge because I can't help myself (I will strenuously DENY this if asked about it by any person or in any situation that makes me uncomfortable). After the Zulu ball earlier this month, I went to sleep and had a slutty dream (and that is as much as I will elaborate) about a certain underdog Presidential candidate, which I related in detail to several friends, one of whom sent me this card. Get it now? Good.

Hope your Valentine's Day is as filled with laughter as mine this year!

PS: Starting a new blog tradition -- the blog theme song. Can't guarantee one for every post, but listening to the playlist today is a dead giveaway!

Post Theme: Happy Valentine's Day by Andre 3000

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Money Pit

Tonight, I am listening to bluesy jazz (Charlie Parker, All The Things You Are), and listening to rain pound the window. I am writing from the money pit. It sucks down here. There's no funny Tom Hanks to make me laugh by falling down the stairs.

I have come face to face with my own dire and desperate straits. Each day that passes I am cognizant of the bills due, the bills on the way, and the lack of money in my pocket. It's either invent something brilliant in the next twenty seconds, win the lottery, or get a menial job and tread water until the first paycheck. Even as I submit my resume for six figure jobs, I'll be scrubbing floors somewhere soon. I can't believe it's come to this. The only thing worse that not having a job is having one like the one staring me in the face.

Oh well. Better hit the streets tomorrow, trolling for open positions. Thing is, down here in the land that time forgot, the open positions are the equivalent of sharecropper gigs. Needless to say I am highly resistant to letting my life turn into a remake of O Brother Where Art Thou?.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I am Dust

Check out my man Van Hunt singing today's anthem, I am Dust.

I had a mock interview today, and am ready to begin my spam campaign on all the Fortune 500 companies with marketing job openings... but I know the one I really want. Send up some prayers for me!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Our Love

Our love is gleefully silent
like a teen sneaking home
in the morning hours.
It has passed the time
sweetly, secretly
whiling away years
on the whim of a stroll
with a handsome suitor.
When I let go of your hand
I had your heart.
And morning never came.
The sun never rose on us,
burning its harsh light.
We made our home instead
in the balmy bosom of night.

It's Official! Yes We Can

Why does it seem like my life, as insignificant as it may be on a global scale, is so reflective of our current times? It seems like at this juncture, I am continually skating a cliff side road bordered on crisis. Is the same not true, with our nation, our world? During these times, I know that God is sovereign, but it doesn't stop the maelstrom of thoughts in my head. I am reminded that the Chinese character for crisis is also the one for opportunity. (I'm not even sure that's really true, as I don't read Chinese, but there's something so poignant and wise about it that it doesn't even matter.) And I am comforted by the quiet still voice in my own spirit that rarely speaks, but was heard to say a few weeks earlier: "THIS IS YOUR YEAR." (How does it seem to scream yet be so quiet? That's the nature of God. Simple, yet divinely complex in His simplicity.)

And so, to the American nation, I say: I can't help believe with rising certainty, that this is our year.

I read a great article that started all this called Why Obama Matters. It was a link from a friend's status message on Gmail. A friend that I will always be grateful to. I, like so many in the nation, feel really disenfranchised. It could be a youthful, generation Y thing, but I don't think so. I think that the current government that we live under is non-reflective of the real country in which we live. I believe that it's current voice is not my voice, not our voice, and that we are under-represented. After all, what's the alternative? To believe the opposite? That's enough to send me emigrating to Canada for certain, no joke. If I imagined myself for one minute, even in Mississippi, which I believe to be the very bowels of America, to be surrounded by the kind of smug, supercilious ignorance, and fundamental disregard of human dignity that I see (and hear) every time I watch our leaders on television, I would WALK until I got away from it. No matter how long it took. I would take a Rabbit Proof Fence walk, people. I might end up in Asia. I say all this to say that I was not paying attention to the upcoming presidential election, certain of a few things:
1) that the current dissatisfaction that people are expressing would lead to the certainty of Democrat in office.

2) that I would be picking the Democratic ticket.

3) that therefore my candidate would win.

4) that Hillary Clinton is an equal choice to Obama.

5) that having either a "first woman president" or a "first black president" is enough to prove our desire to progress and our willingness to do so.

All of these are wrong assumptions, and dumb too. Read them carefully and you'll see the problem. These assumptions are ignorant and born of apathy and laziness! (Yeah, I can be really tough on myself can't I?) I was thinking these things because it was the easiest thing for me to do: wait on the world to change while doing nothing to change it, certain that it won't really change and ready to be "surprised" and disappointed. I'm glad that I got shocked out of this, and that I am now rallying. If you change nothing, then nothing changes! (That sounds really good, so I know I couldn't have just made that up...anybody know where that's from originally?)

Recently, there have been some changes in my mindset. I have been convinced over the past few weeks that we need Obama and the grassroots, radical can-do ideas he represents. I am convinced he is the best presidential candidate, bar none. I am convinced that we need out of the baby boomer cultural identity confusion that has been driving our political dialogue and disagreements. I am convinced that the next president needs to be "free" in a way that no one else is. We need no pre-established political machinery, no network of secret contacts, lobbies, and scorecards of favors owed and favors due. I am convinced we need to do immediate and effective diplomatic damage control in our relationships with other nations. We also need a shocking, undeniable statement of our LACK of racist, religious, and/or sectarian agenda (even if that's not exactly true... yet). What better way than a black man with a Muslim name? Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to reduce Obama to only that, although God knows he must be used to it and get it a lot as do I as a black woman in America. I just mean that he is refreshing: the face, the name, the family, the religious outlook, the policies, the lack of scandal, the prospective plans. THE POTENTIAL. THE HOPE.

As I walk towards a time of triumph and radical change in my personal life, I pray that my country would too. I know that I am on my way out of a valley, and We, the People, can and should do the same. Get out and vote, and make it happen. Barack the Vote, 2008!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sick and Tired of being Sick and Tired

Feeling crappy -- my nose is swollen and full of that nasty stuff. As I am one of the nation's millions of working poor -- no wait -- make that unemployed poor, I cannot afford to pay for health care, and I don't have overpriced insurance. I hate this! Every time I have the least sniffle I can't see a doctor right off, I have to try and manage. It's only when it gets to the point that I either get some antibiotics or go into a Victorian decline that I go to the free clinic, mostly because I feel bad to use those services when I am so eminently employable and others really need then, but also because I am ashamed to show my face in there all the time. Universal health care. Really, am I the only one that can see the perfect sense this makes?

We need a revolution in this country. I can see myself, a Che-like figure. Out of my mouth pokes a thermometer, and my eye is patched. I scream around a mouthful of medical grade glass: Give us free care! Thousands rally around my cries.

Who's the bad guy in this? Money is. Our system is a capitalist market and health care is the valuable property. Only one problem: health is a right, not a good or service to be exchanged. All of the rest of the civilized world sees this and operates accordingly. Why can't we?

Enough of this, or I really will buy a beret!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Zulu Ball Tonite!

Going to do the Zulu tonight! I'm bought to get my jocomo fina neh on some too!

Okay, enough Louisiana patois. I frivolously spent the whole day getting ready for a ball. That's right. Deep down south we still do truly formal occasions. I will be attending the 2008 Mardi Gras Ball of the Zulu Krewe! It's my first time, and that's saying something considering I'm New Orleans born and raised. At least I still remember how to get my Nola party on. I can't wait!

Being as poor as I am, I had to fall back on the formal gowns I keep for just such an occasion. I even surprise myself with just how much of a Southern belle I can be. I will be, regretfully attending minus the long gloves and tiara that I am envisioning and will have to make do with the old and borrowed. I am comforting myself by telling myself that I am so NOT the focus of attention, it isn't funny, and no one will be paying me any attention whatsoever. There's the king, queen, and court to be worried about.

I will, however, eat my face off, imbibe too much free liquor, and then dance off the calories to the sound of the famous local DJ Captain Charles, and Doug E. Fresh. Lodi Dodi, do we like to party!!! Maybe I can squeeze an invite to the Nomtoc parade on the West Bank (one of my faves, and I am sure that I can find at least one block party full of old familiar faces). It turns out that the friends I expected to be there won't be here until next week, so if that's a no go, I'll probably be leaving in the morning.

Well, gotta go... the readying for a ball is a long and drawn out process. I must:
1) Give myself a spa mani/pedi. (normally I would just go to a salon, but $$$ is a BIG object)
2) Take a Deluxe Shower. This is the type of shower that wets the windows, even in the room down the hall and hikes up the water bill. I must exfoliate, depilify, and wash and condition my hair. (which, of course looks like a schizophrenic rooster's)
3) Deep condition, spa facial with hair removal.
4) Put on pantyhose and foundation garments.
5) Style hair. Deluxe makeup.
6) Glitter powder on decolletage.
7) Steal best scent in house (no matter who it belongs to) and spritz on.

Wish me luck!