Thursday, March 30, 2006

Dirty Laundry

Black.White episode 3...

"What does racism mean, Nick?"
"A'on kno."
"Instead of spending all this time trying to get through to Bruno, I should have been talking to my son."

When this exchange took place during episode 2, I was hopeful. Finally the Sparks family was realizing that they had failed to educate Nick about his history, about the people on whose back he stands, about the stinging reality of the race and class inequities in this country. I thought that they would start having some conversations that were long overdue.

Sadly, this never happened. Rene and Brian don't appear to be able to communicate anything of substance to Nick or anyone else. Even more sad was that within the first 15 minutes of the third episode it became obvious that their conversation needed to be about something far more pressing.

"Nick is 16 years old with an 8th grade education and he's been expelled from school."

(Um...y'all....your slip is hanging!)

Two years ago, Bill Cosby spoke out about the sad state of affairs that is the undereducated, disrespectful inner city teen. He scolded the parents of the BET generation for not instilling a sense of pride in their children; for allowing them to internalize the hyper-sexualized, misogynistic, violent stereotypes that have become the norm in music videos, movies and television shows targeting black youngsters; for not insisting that they take their education seriously.

These comments came as quite a surprise to a lot of people, as it is human nature not to want to publicly discuss the problems of your own social/racial group. No one wants to air their dirty laundry out in the open. But, as Mr. Cosby pointed out, "your dirty laundry gets out of school at 2:30 every day. It's cursing and calling each other nigga as they're walking up and down the street. They think they're hip...they can't read, they can't write, they're laughing and giggling and they're going nowhere."

Well, the Sparks family's dirty laundry is showing every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday night on FX. And they don't seem to realize it.

Over lunch, Rose casually remarked that Nick embodies the stereotype and appears to be proud of it. And his parents don't seem to notice.

When he bought the $150 watch, their reaction evoked different responses. Bruno was excited to have a front row seat to the black-face-tongue-lashing. I, on the other hand, was extremely disappointed. There was never a time when the Sparks adults explained to Nick why he shouldn't have a flashy, expensive watch. They did point out that he didn't have a job, but then the question becomes where did he get the money? Why does an unemployed 8th grade dropout who lives at home need more than $20 in his pocket at any given time?

When he slurs his words & uses slang, they don't even bat an eye. I was in college before my mother would stand for me speaking anything other than standard English. Until then, I had to demonstrate to her every day that I was capable of being bilingual & that I knew when to use the "other" language. But the Sparks parents don't seem to be the least bit bothered by Nick's broken English. And they have demonstrated that they don't know how to correct him.

When he failed 5th grade did they have anything to say? How about when he failed 8th grade? Or when he was expelled for having the knife in school? I wonder if these people can ever manage to say anything of any substance. If those past, off-camera conversations were anything like the one all of America witnessed last week, I can see why Nick is having difficulty getting it together.

adult - "You need to go to school, get an education, go to college."
child - "Why y'all so concerned 'bout me goin' to college?"
adult - "Cause I'm yo daddy, that's why."

Yeah, I can totally see why he doesn't get it. His mother seems to think that HE is going to take the initiative to re-enroll in school or start working on his GED. I'm not sure where she got this idea. Nick is a child and he has proven that he is an irresponsible one. He also doesn't seem to have any interest in school. He is not even ashamed that he was expelled, or that he is 2 grades behind. Perhaps she should take that matter into her own hands.

Perhaps the Sparks adults need to sign up for the "Bill Cosby Parenting Boot Camp".

Or maybe they are watching themselves on TV now and realizing that their collective slip is hanging, their business is all in the street, and their dirty laundry is being aired in High Definition.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A little help here...

I am not ready to post about episode 3 of Black.White.

But for a thorough & insightful recap, look and see what Jenn has to say. There's sure to be a lively discussion on her page, too.

I'll try really hard not to take a week to post about it this time. But until then...

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Matters of Grey a.k.a. Episode 2

"I can only offer my ignorance...and be relieved by the growth of people"
- Rose Wurgel, Black.White

Ignorance is defined as the condition of being uneducated, unaware or uninformed.

This definition of ignorance applies to each one of us. As educated as I am, I don't know everything about everything. (Yes, I know it's shocking, but it's true.) I try to open myself up to people who can educate me in the areas of my ignorance. My friend who is working on her PhD in Biochemistry constantly informs me about the ins and outs of proteins & stuff. She lives and works in a city where she is surrounded by people of all ethnicities & nationalities, so she is able to share some of what she learns about these people's cultures. The Coolsteins share themselves with me so that I can continue to learn about the Jewish religion and the traditions that go along with it. Afro-Creole medicine woman is always able to drop some knowledge in the realm of spirituality. I spend a shameful amount of time reading news related blogs since I have no tolerance for television news.

The Wurgel family (Black.White) also embodies this definition. It seems that Bruno is unaware of any social norms that dictate how to speak to strangers. To prove his point that racism doesn't exist, he disrespected a young barmaid by asking her to describe the sexual prowess of the Black man she once dated. Turns out Carmen isn't aware that strangers don't like to be called creatures or asked whether or not they are gay. She's also unaware that "bitch" is not an affectionate term used among acquaintances. I would like to say that Carmen & Bruno are taking full advantage of the opportunity to learn about another culture...and perhaps after tonight's episode I'll be able to. But as of now, they are content to stay ignorant.

There is an exception to the not so nice picture that I paint of the Wurgels - Rose. Since the first time she opened her mouth to speak, I have been impressed with her. She gets it. She will never be anybody but who she is. She gets that there is no formula for acting black (or white). She gets that she has been given an opportunity to become less ignorant. Not less white, not more black - less uninformed, less uneducated, less unaware. And she is embracing it. I applaud Rose for her honesty. Hopefully her housemates will learn from her.

I wish that I could speak to the ignorance (or lack thereof) of the Sparks family. Unfortunately, there has not been much real action with them. For the most part, the adults have been reacting to the Wurgels and the other whites in the community they are living in. Nick has certainly shown some signs of indifference. He refuses to speak without mumbling and using poor grammar. I would like to say that it's because he's a teenager, but I suspect that his parents have not emphasized the need for him to be bilingual. (Nor have they pointed out that NOW is the time to use the other language.) I'm guessing that tonight's episode will give us more insight into his world.

And in case you didn't hear her the first time...

with matters of grey
there's no one word in fact i can't even really speak about it
don't get me wrong because i talk all the time
i'm a talker by nature but
when it comes to black and white
it all turns grey

i can only offer my ignorance
these are the words of a girl who has attempted listening to another side
hoping that the
d i v i d e
is slighter than expected
and that i will be relieved by the growth of people
if color means so much
then why can't we get it straight
- Rose

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


I am so thankful this evening. Where would I be without the leadership and guidance of some of the political leaders and activists in this country? How would I survive day to day if I had only my own sordid morals and poor judgment to rely on?

Yes, I am thankful.

Thankful for the elected officials in 16 states (including my own) who are trying to prevent gay couples from adopting. I appreciate their efforts to make sure that the only people who have that opportunity are those they deem morally fit parents. This list of suitable would-be parents will surely include this heterosexual man: he adopted a 5 year old orphan, only to chain her up in the basement, rape her repeatedly, starve her and post thousands of sexually explicit photos of her on the internet. Well, of course, because if gay couples adopt, the children will be subjected to much worse. I can rest easy tonight, because I'm confident that these all-knowing politicians have identified loving, non-gay homes for the 520,000 children in foster care.

I am thankful that the AFA and 18 other groups of concerned citizens are taking a stand against Ford Motor Co. Their gripe? Ford advertises in gay publications, supports gay rights groups and makes their employees take diversity training! Well, of course they're launching a boycott - this "treating people with respect / human rights" thing is getting wildly out of control. If swift action is not taken, all the gays will certainly get in their ill-gotten, American-made vehicles and drive to Washington, where discrimination against them is no longer legal. Thank goodness these 19 organizations are exposing Ford - thanks to them, I now know that Ford's real goal is to promote gay marriage. And all this time I thought they were just manufacturing & selling cars.

Monday, March 13, 2006

What had happened was

My bad, I got totally sidetracked. I started the morning ready to share stories of the weekend I spent with my favorite Chosen People. And then this happened.

What I meant to share with you is how happy I am to have this family in my life(we'll call them the "Coolstein's"). They remind me so much of my own family, it's hard not to love them.

I went to see one of the Coolstein's in a play Friday. This was my first time seeing her onstage; I mean really seeing her, 'cause the last 2 times I saw her onstage, I was onstage too. She is spectacular. She embodied her character with such honesty and passion. I know that she worked very hard to get there & I am blessed to have had an opportunity to watch her character unravel. The play itself was pretty darned good too, as was my friend's hunky co-star.

As if that isn't enough, when I got to the theater, Cool Mama Coolstein and Big Bad Brother Coolstein were there with big smiles & warm hugs. Like my own family, the Coolstein's are enthusiastically supportive of one another. That was probably Cool Mama's 4th time coming to the performance, and she laughed, shrieked and cried like she was seeing it for the first time. Brother was back for a second (or, perhaps third) time too. (I just found out he has been checking me out for a year now. All this time I thought he was just happy his sister had a new friend. Turns out, he wants to "Something New" me!)

The evening ended with cocktails, more hugs and laughter at a nearby tavern.

But the fun didn't end there. No siree, it was just beginning. I had been invited to a party the following evening at Rockin' Sister Coolstein's house. And this wasn't just any party. At this party, the guests didn't just taste the punch & cookies or pass around joints (gasp). We tasted nipple cream & hot cinnamon tingle oil and passed around purple vibrators. A good time was had by all.

And, because one weekend of Cool Coolsteins isn't enough, we will all get together and do it again this coming Saturday!

I love these people. They have such an open, loving and accepting energy. I don't know a whole lot about why God chose them, but I sure am glad they chose me.

And the winner is...


Jerusalem ( Update — Jews, whose troubled, 10,000-year term as God's "chosen people" finally expired last night, woke up this morning to find that they had once again been hand-picked by the Almighty. Synagogues across the globe declared a day of mourning.

According to a worldwide survey of faiths, not a single group expressed an interest in being chosen, and the only application submitted before last night's filing deadline, on behalf of the Islamic people, proved to be a fake.

Due to the absence of voluntary candidates, God's Law stipulated that the Almighty had to choose a people at random to serve out the next 10-millenia term. Elias Contreau, director of the International Interfaith Working Group, said he wasn't surprised it came to a blind drawing.

"According to the Bible, God promised to bless Abraham and those who came after him," said Contreau. "Who knows, maybe that sounded good at the time, or maybe 'blessed' meant something different back then, like 'Short periods of prosperity interrupted by insufferable friggin' chaos.' Whatever, I think it's safe to say that people didn't know what they were agreeing to."

In Jerusalem, Jewish leaders said they will propose an amendment to God's Law prohibiting a people from having to serve more than two consecutive terms. "Hopefully, G-d will hear our prayer," said Meyerson. "No, wait, that's what got us into this."

Sunday, March 12, 2006


Have you ever felt like you were invisible? Like people aren't interested in embracing and honoring what makes you you?

People of color in this country live with that reality every day.

This week, I watched FX's new documentary "Black.White". The two families spent the first day or so planning how they would teach one another how to assimilate into the other's culture - how to pass. The Wurgel family brought some interesting ideas to the dinner table about how they would walk, how they would talk, and how long it would take before someone called them nigger. They had lots of questions and were very eager to get to the business of acting black.

I wonder, where did the adult Wurgel's get their ideas about how to act black? Did they poll their black friends? Do case studies on all of their black co-workers and neighbors? Did they spend several hours a day watching reruns of "The Cosby Show"? Did they aquaint themselves with the films of Spike Lee, John Singleton, Melvin Van Peebles and Gordon Parks? The writings of Toni Morrison, Walter Mosley, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, and Michael Eric Dyson. The plays written by August Wilson, Ntozake Shange, Ruben Santiago Hudson, Lorraine Hansburry, Amiri Baraka, and George C. Wolfe? The poems of Phyllis Wheatley, Countee Cullen, Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes, and Nikki Giovanni?

I kind of doubt it. Frankly, the Wurgel's were painfully clueless about black culture on any level.

During this dinner-time conversation, Mrs. Wurgel asked her black housemates, "Is there anything we need to teach you about how to blend in?". Rene Sparks responded by saying "No, I have to do that every day."

And she's right.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

It's Hard Out Here For A Penguin

Last night I watched the Academy Award Winning Documentary, "March of the Penguins", gently narrated by Morgan Freeman. I have wanted to see this movie since the buzz began last summer. Unfortunately, I was far too busy seeing Crash a million times and enjoying not being an actor for a few months.

So, as an animal lover, I thought surely this would be a delightful way for me to spend a Monday evening - watching & learning all about the Emperor Penguin. And for the most part, it was. After all, those penguins are darned cute. Especially when they have stored up lots of food for the winter and their bellies drag on the ice when they waddle to and fro.

They live in "the coldest place on Earth" - the ice deserts of Antarctica. During the winter, this area is so cold, that it is unable to support any wildlife other than these amazing birds. It is during the winter months that they all flock together to embark on an annual journey to the place in which they were all born. Because of changes in the formation of the glaciers (largely due to global warming, I'm sure), the route can change significantly from year to year. But they still manage to find their way. The sole purpose of their trek is to find one other penguin to mate with.

At first glance, this seems like your ordinary, run-of-the-mill procreation deal. But the courtship dance that takes place prior to mate selection squashes all of that. These penguins go to this sacred ground to find monogamy (until the next year, when they go back to find monogamy with a new penguin). The mates are chosen, the deed is done (they even make this look graceful - none of that wild, reckless humping you see on National Geographic) and the egg is laid. After months of just sitting around waiting in 50 below weather with no food or shelter, mom hands off the egg to dad & goes all the way back to where they came from to get a bite to eat.

At this point in the film, Morgan Freeman has told me, at least 3 times that not all of them will make it. Some will "lie down on the ice and disappear" during the initial journey. Some of the females will not get pregnant, and since there's no other reason for her (or her mate) to be there, she (and her mate) will go back home. "Some will not make it", says Mr. Freeman. The egg handoff is particularly tricky because the eggs can only survive a few seconds if they are not covered by the "pouch" of one of the parents. So while watching a botched handoff, I hear him say again, that "some will not make it".

So the moms get together & leave the dads in care of the eggs. During this mom journey, Mr. Freeman tells me AGAIN that "some will not survive". He means the moms. He also means the dads. He also means the eggs. All three have some pretty serious obstacles in their paths.

It was about this time in the film that I said (probably out loud) "(expletive) a pimp, it's hard out here for a penguin". I didn't do it on purpose. I mean everybody is singing that song after Sunday's rousing performance at the Academy Awards, right? Whether you want to or not (mark me down for "or not").

I mean, really - I can't think of any other animal that has that much trouble 9 months out of the year just staying alive. Granted, I don't know much about many animals. I did do a speech about the opossum in the 2nd grade, followed by a brief obsession with cheetahs a few years later. Based on that research, plus what I know about cats, dogs and humans, turns out the Emperor Penguin has got the survival-of-the-fittest thing locked down.

Don't get me wrong - I realize that animals living in the wild have that whole circle of life thing to contend with. And certainly the ongoing genocide in Darfur puts the survival of the Sudanese people to the test.

But the Emperor Penguin stands out among these and other survivors.

Their struggle is not only for life, but for love. They travel for weeks to a place where there is no shelter, food or entertainment so that they can kiss, cuddle and make love. Watching the courtship dance and seeing each family dance and sing with joy when they are reunited, I know that their struggle is not only about procreation, but about family. If one member of their family unit does not "make it", the entire family is sure to meet the same fate. They are entirely dependent on one another for their survival, both physical and emotional. Their struggle is not about trying to get from one part of the continent to another, it is about living a life that is quiet, graceful and simple.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

cell phone crazies

Last night I finished the latest novel of one of my 2 favorite authors - "Cell" by Stephen King. Boy, does it have me thinking...

The premise of the story is that, some unknown thing happened on October 1, 2005 that sent a "Pulse" to everyone in possession of a cell phone. That Pulse caused all of them to turn instantly into brainless, murderous zombies. Well, those that didn't commit suicide first.

In order to get through the book, I had to constantly remind myself that (a) this is a novel, and therefore, not really going to happen, and (b) if this does happen, I can only hope that I will be one of the "cell phone crazies" that kills herself early on, thereby avoiding the weeks of horror to come.

So far, the things in the book have not come to pass (thank goodness). But it certainly does make one think about where cell phones fit into our culture. When will there be a widely accepted and distributed manners guide for phone use?

Now don't get me wrong - I am a faithful user of said technology. I do not go anywhere without mine, I hardly ever turn the power off and if I misplaced it, I would have no way of getting in touch with anyone except my parents, since theirs are the only numbers I have committed to memory.

But I often worry about etiquette. (Yes, I really do.) I'm not even talking about my one-woman crusade to make hands-free units the law, damning those caught driving while holding their phones to their ears to immediate & indefinite jail time. No, that's not a blog post; it's a strongly worded letter to my Congressman. (I'll let you know when I actually do that.) No, no, dear readers, I'm talking about how to handle the day to day situations where cell phones have begun to appear. For example,

I'm on the phone (on my hands-free, of course) in a store. We'll say CVS. Another shopper engages me in small talk. Do I
(a) smile & point to my earpiece & keep it moving
(b) tell the person on the phone to hold on & chat it up my fellow shopper
(c) assume that my fellow shopper doesn't realize I'm on a call & just talk to them, with no warning for the person I'm on the phone with

Should I be on the phone in CVS anyway, or is that somehow rude too? I mean, let's face it - as busy and important as I often am, typically I am not talking about anything of substance while purchasing greeting cards and chewing gum in CVS. No, the truth is, when I'm making business calls, I am usually at my desk or in my car.

I can remember not very long ago when it was wildly inappropriate to place or receive personal calls via cell phone while at work. And now, it seems that it has become commonplace. Make no mistake, I do it too. My phone is on my desk (on the vibrate setting, of course) all day in case I get a call. But because of the nature of my job, it is painfully obvious that any calls I may place or receive during the workday are not work related. So have we now "evolved" to a time where it's acceptable to engage in personal phone conversations at work?

A very good friend recently upgraded her cell phone technology to the ever-popular Bluetooth device. I'm still a little fuzzy on all of the benefits, bells & whistles of this doo-hickey, but I'm certain that before the end of the year, I will have one. It's wireless, and it's cool and I'm in.

But I can't help but question why we as a society "need" all of this crap. When I got my first phone in 1996, all I wanted was to be able to respond to my pager (remember when pagers were the hot new thing?). That's it - just to place a call from time to time. There was no logging onto the internet, no Caller ID, no text messaging, no ringtones, no free roaming, hell, voicemail wasn't even free.

All of these features are fun and convenient, without a doubt. I make full use of all of them (except for ringtones, which I find quite annoying) on a daily basis. And my upcoming and eagerly awaited purchase of the Bluetooth ready phone and the accompanying wireless earpiece will be the final step in my conversion into a "cell-phone crazy".

But in the meantime, I can't stop wondering, where in the world are we going with all of this?

P.S. If the "Pulse" that S. King writes about does, in fact, happen, and you see me wandering the streets of Cleveland looking like a bloodied psychopath, please shoot me. All of this soul-searching and reflecting is nice, but I really don't want to live in a world without my cell phone.

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Year of the Reunion

I'm not really a big fan of interacting with people outside of my cozy little group of buddies.

I tend to opt out of the "Oh, let's take the new guy out to lunch with us" thing. And I typically don't go for mixing otherwise unrelated groups of friends (been there, done that, still trying to convince one friend that the other friend is no longer a stuck up bitch...and that was 20 years ago). I typically have no interest in reuniting with anyone I may have known anytime before now, hence the stealth settings I apply to every people-meeting website I join. Yes, I know that seems like an oxymoron, but when I'm spending my money (or time or energy), I think I have the right to decide who I'm going to interact with. It started with Caller ID and now that whole "Right To Choose" thing has overtaken me.

So anyhoo...

The first day of 2006 I was sitting on my green couch, minding my own business, scrolling through my Caller ID to see who had been trying (in vain) to reach out and touch me. Much to my surprise, among the myriad calls from "Out of Area", "1-800-this-is-not-a-solicitation-call", and The Plain Dealer, there was a familiar name listed on the screen. It was the husband of a former friend. So after 60 seconds of staring at the phone, I decided that it was a freakish coincidence and kept it moving. (Well, I guess moving would be a stretch, since I was technically laying down on my green couch, as always.)

By now you may have deduced that this call was, in fact, not a freakish coincidence, and that in fact this former friend was trying to get in touch with me. You would be correct. Lo and behold the next day I was standing next to the phone when it rang and there was that name again.

(A brief history of this "friendship" might be appropriate here. This young lady & I had a pretty on-again-off-again relationship that started our Junior year of high school and ended in approximately 1998. She was always the person that decided that we were in the "off again" part of the friendship. Her various reasons included her distaste with my daily consumption of malt liquor, my decision to quit a job I was unhappy at, you know, the types of things that make or break most friendships. Now that I think about it, she was also the person that decided when we were in the "on again" part, too. And it always came as quite a surprise to me after being royally cussed out and told what a horrible person I was!)

So I listened to the voicemail message (which went on for at least 4 minutes) while making the face many of my friends have come to know and love. (The face usually indicates when my inner monologue is "Are you fucking kidding me?") I laughed. I probably said the previously referenced inner monologue out loud. I laughed some more. And I got back to the business of being lazy. A few days later I got an "urgent" call from my mother indicating that this same young lady had tracked her down also & left a similar message. "I'm trying to get in touch with her and I don't know if I have the right number so can you give her mine because I would really like to talk to her and we lost touch and blah, blah, blah." I laughed.

I didn't know it yet, but that set of voicemails kicked off THE YEAR OF THE REUNION (known to some as 2006).

Now at this point, you might be thinking to yourself, "Self, that PisceanPrincess sure seems neurotic - who would waste precious work hours blogging about one missed phone call?" But, no, dear reader, it gets worse.

From time to time I like to throw money up a wild goose's ass (often referred to as Internet Dating). So around Thanksgiving, I decided to try a new site. Much to my delight, this new site offered a "Stealth" privacy setting! (My description, not theirs.) Basically, what that means is that no one could IM, email, wink at, or otherwise communicate with me unless I approved them. That means I had to initiate contact with any of the dudes that looked reasonable. (Reasonable, in this case, means black, no kids, lives alone, and bachelor's degree.) That also means that, for the first time in my Internet Dating (I.D) experience, I had to...
(insert dramatic, foreshadowing music here)
Yes, this was a fine example of me "walking on the wild side." My worst I.D. nightmare involves some guy seeing my photo, knowing all of my turn ons/turn offs, and running into me in the grocery store, thinking "That's that girl from the I.D. site - I know all about her. She's a thespian, a CPA, a food snob, a........". The horror. But I did it. I went out on a limb. I threw caution to the wind.
And I ran across a guy that seemed pretty cool. According to his profile, he seemed to have some of the same interests and dislikes as me, he had no children, lived alone, gave off an employed vibe. So I contacted him. I went on and on about myself and how much it seemed that we had in common. He emailed me back to politely let me know that although his I.D. membership was still active, he had started dating someone and wanted to see where it went. He went on to say, "Hey, by the way, you look like someone I know. Did you go to (insert name of high school here)?"
I will spare you the background music, the panicked look on my face, the scurrying around to compare this dude's photo with yearbook photos from the late 80's. He was in my class and quite frankly, we weren't really friends. I had known his entire family since I was about 10 years old, but still not really friends. Well, I think we both immediately knew that this was not a love connection and we started the whole "So what have you been up to" thing that I hate so much. He proceeded to tell me that I had packed on quite a few pounds since high school and that I was getting pretty old. We never did go have that coffee.
Within minutes, my membership to said I.D. website was cancelled. "High-School-Dude" was by far the best available option on this site and none of the other people ever responded to me so I figured I might as well cut my losses and move on. (Maybe I should have used the picture on this site with the girl covered in chocolate! Next time.)
So fast forward to last week. My good buddy suggested that I become a member of When I asked her why on earth I would do that, she starting going on and on about reuniting with people you've lost touch with and "networking" and things like that. Naturally, I reminded my good buddy (from now on, I'll refer to her as Emerald. my good buddy takes way too long to type) that I had no interest in reuniting with anyone. We were all set to move on to a new conversation when I said "Can you have a blog on there?". "Why, yes" she replied, "you can".
I had heard of this website in news articles that cautioned parents that on this site, their children are sitting ducks for child predators. Well since that's not applicable to me, I went for it. Of course, within the first 24 hours, I found the "Settings" features that made me virtually invisible to anyone that I didn't invite into my private little web of madness. And the blogging began. It didn't take long for me to realize that the website was not really cut out for stealth-types like myself. It was obviously designed for people who want to be in touch with other people. Most importantly, it was way too hard for my friends to get on the damn site to read my stupid posts. And when they did, they could never get far without some stranger wanting to be their "friend". So I packed up my blog & moved it here. I left the other stuff out there in case anyone was a little late catching up to me.
I went back there this afternoon to tidy up a bit & leave the keys for the landlord and lo & behold, I had someone asking me if they could be my "friend". Now, I must admit, in a moment of silly curiosity, I did in fact do a search on my high school to see who was out there. I saw, I had 30 seconds of fond memories and then I logged off. Turns out, that whole high school searching thing goes both ways & my new "friend" was actually an old friend (no quotes) that I haven't talked to since approximately February of 1991.
It would be absolutely silly for me to rehash the reason why she & I lost contact. I mean really, that was a very very long time ago. And I'm positive that if she and I discussed it now, there would be much laughing and wondering why we waited so long to squash it.
However, this 3rd occurence has left me no choice. I must officially declare this T.Y.O.T.R. I am quite curious to see who I will reunite with next. And I'm hoping that 2007 (or even the last 3 quarters of 2006) will be The Year of The Mega Millions Jackpot, or The Year of The Appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show, or The Year of The Meeting of The Man Of My Dreams.
I'll keep you posted...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Instructions for Use

If you're a minority in this country you have one.

You learned about it at a relatively young age. You probably found out you had it after an unpleasant incident.

When your parents (or aunt/uncle/sibling/etc.) told you about it, they may have been shouting angrily. Or, they might have been whispering, or using the tone of voice that you knew meant, "This is something we don't talk about".

You have seen countless news stories documenting it's use.

It has come to my attention, however, that it has been used inappropriately. It seems that someone has misplaced their owner's manual.

So, as a courtesy, I will use this forum to reiterate the do's and don'ts.

Instructions for Use

*CAUTION* Excessive or inappropriate use of your card could result in it's revocation and/or invalidation.

Read Instructions for Use thoroughly.
Check with another card-holder to make sure that you haven't missed anything.

There are very few reasons to put your card to use on a daily basis. They are listed below. When doing so, keep in mind that no one but you needs to know that you are using it (see statement of CAUTION, above).

  1. To remind yourself that you are beautiful (often used in slogan format ie. "Black is Beautiful").
  2. That was it.


  1. Check with another card-holder to make sure that your incident qualifies as a card-worthy emergency.
  2. Get all of your ducks in a row (ie. paperwork, media-friendly statement, etc.).
  3. Contact a kick-ass lawyer.

Tear at the perforated edge below for a handy card you can carry in your wallet or purse!

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Do...when you don't want to go hiking/kayaking/bungee jumping/(insert dangerous activity here)
Don't...when you don't want to get a speeding ticket

Do...when you arrive at the open house & are told that it's no longer on the market
Don't...when you neglect to pay the house note & are told you have 30 days to vacate

Do...when a co-worker whispers racial slurs every time you come around
Don't...when a co-worker "forgets" to say Good Morning once or twice

Do...when you live in a Red state that wants to re-district "certain areas"
Don't...if you don't vote

Do...when the levee breaks, you're stranded on the roof & it takes 4 days for anyone to "realize" you're there.
Don't...when the sniper turns out to be black