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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

~All Things Catty (aka The Meow Roundup)

In more confusing kitty cryin' news...

I'm chatting with one of my longest friends, LEM, by phone a few states away. Hummmm...she's not in the Guinness book or anything. She's actually only about 5'6"ish. Not particularly long. I thought I'd try that over oldest. She's not my oldest friend by a long shot. So see, why that seemed wrong. Plus, who wants to be called your "oldest" friend? We're only separated by weeks in age. Oh fuckin' politically correct and sensitive world, you're making blogging difficult!! I've known her since we were in the 4th grade and has been one of my besties ever since, now, let's continue.

She (and her hubby Evil E) are first time parents of twins. Beautiful, healthy and happy twins. So we're chit-chattin' about both everything and nuthin', and I hear a baby crying and ask who's fussin'? LEM bursts out into laughter and as she could regain her composure and ability for speech, informed me that it was their cat Buster wailin'. Are you fuckin' kidding me?!?! I've now been punked by a cat for the second time in about a week. And now in two states?!? Outfuckingstanding.

LEM did admit that Buster did sound very much like a baby.

This is of the other kind of catty. Yes. I am a petty and shallow person. But serious biz, tell me I'm wrong...

Now, I am not gifted in the math department. So much so, that I don't even try any more. 32 - 17...carry the two...equals...I donno. That's why God gave me a handy calculator on my computer and my cell, neither of which am I often parted from. But as sure as I am that Pi is 3.14, I know the following theorem to be true:

(Christina Aguilera)
+

(Mon Chi Chi)
+

(Ommpa Loompa)

=

Snookie

I probably will not be contacted by the Nobel committee over my discovery of the Snookie Theorem, but I think demonstrates some pretty sound reasoning, no?

Lastly, file under misery loves company:



I have yet to scrub this sight from Sunday's Golden Globes from my soul. Eckkkkk!!!

I have zero understanding of this. Once up on a time, I didn't feel good. I went to my doc, who told me I was having an appendicitis and to go to the ER. So I left his office. Then I went back to work where I finished some stuff and junk and got things so that others would be able to find crap and make arrangements for my duties, while I was off. Then I went the hell home and shaved my legs. Only then did I scoot to the ER. Why? Because no girlie wants to be Sasquatch. Except for, apparently, Mo' Nique.

Think of it like ice skating. When I fall, I grab out to anyone within reach. If I'm goin', I'm takin' someone with me. If I've gotta be creeped the fuck out, so are you. You'rrrrrrre welcome! My apologies to your peepers.


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Monday, January 18, 2010

~Dear Martin Luther King Jr.,


I was born the summer after you will murdered. I imagine my life is in some ways vastly different than how things were when you left. In other ways, things remain uncomfortably, and sadly, status quo.

I should start by letting you know that my experiences are a tad different than perhaps the "average" white or black person.

More and more people are being born these days who find themselves, like me, a hodge podge of ethnic mixes. My ancestors are black, white, German and Native American. I mention this because, due to it, it makes my viewpoint different, because that ethnic makeup alone- my look, often skews how the other people perceive and treat me. I have caucasian-ish features and hair texture and the look of someone merely well tanned. Most people have no inkling at initial glance "what" I am. While I never think of myself as black or white, in fact, I tend to use "tawny" as a descriptor, as it's always seemed more appropriate to me, if I must be categorized by my skin color. I feel like I shouldn't be reduced to having to claim one or the other, when I am both. How can you deny any of the things that make me, me? I can't. I won't. I don't.

I share this because, obviously, there are extenuating reasons why I don't experience the world as many blacks or whites. Oh, Dr. King, that's soooo not a complaint. No woe-is-me going on here. On the contrary, I've always felt it gave me an extra special view of life as I'm able to see it from the perspective of both sides of the table. Not just an experience from one side of the table, or the other.

I like to think I represent some of your dream in that regard. In part due to happenstance, because it is impossible to be prejudice or bigoted about something that you are. In much larger part, attributable to how I was raised. Which did not include slurs or the mindset that it was acceptable, or appropriate to judge any one by their skin color (nor religion, sexual orientation, economic status, etc.). A quote by our Vice President's mother-- "You're no better than anyone, but no one is better than you", sums up my raising perfectly. I think it's a mindset you would be wholeheartedly for.

This ambiguity of the perception of my race has allowed me entree into a lot of situations where I've seen the best and worst of people.

Although, clearly I had nuthin' to do with it, it's worked to my advantage, like the time I went to the restricted country club down the road. I didn't know. I was 11. My friends were going swimming. They invited me along. I went. I had fun. I had probably never heard the term 'restricted' before in that connotation. It wasn't until I came home and told my Nana where I had been that I began to understand that my looks shelter me from some of the more nasty things that go on in life. Read: had I appeared more black, and less interestingly tawny to others, my lil' swimming excursion may have indeed ended in some sort of less pleasant way. Just this past summer there was some big dust up over some youth group who rented out a private pool, only to be turned away when the youth group showed up comprised of lil' black kids...and that was 2009. My heart went out to those kids, learning such an hate-filled lesson about their world.

My "fortunate" experiences, as the byproduct of ambiguous looks, isn't to say I've been spared my share of ugly incidents.

In ways the world hasn't changed enough, I've both had the n word hurled at me and cavalierly tossed out in my presence. I was once called the n word in church. IN church. During mass. Yep. Some folks still hold pretty strange ideas of acting "Christ like"...and isn't that what Christian's are supposed to be doin'? Many people who hold such divisive views honestly consider themselves to be brothers in Christ. ...Just not brothers with anyone who's skin is a different shade, I guess. There must be some sorta intolerant loophole that I am unaware of.

Unfortunately, I still find myself hearing the n word, by people who would never in a million years consider themselves racist. Yet, they hold such words in their mind and I've always felt if you can hold it in your mind and have it pop out of your mouth...you hold it in your heart. This still has the ability to both sadden and anger me to my core.

In some ways, it's kinda an odd time in America. On one hand we've managed to vote a man into the White House who like me has the benefit of being made of multiple races. He was elected based on the content of his character, and of course his promise to manage our country better. While this demonstrates a sizable shift in the state of acceptance and perceptions of minorities in our society, I almost feel odd and errie, as if we're on the brink of seeing some awful things from some of our countrymen.

We're in the midst of hard economic times. People are afraid. Fear of change and the unknown has historically been the catalyst for fervent and more demonstrative outburst of racial biased behaviors and actions in our country. The klan didn't start when Africans were brought to our shores, it started after the Civil War when so many white Southerners were frightened by what free blacks might do, how former slaves freedom might change their way of life, and when they were left in terrible economic straights as consequence to the devastation of the war. It was the easily plyable and those with overwhelming fear who took to the klan's message. The klan positions itself as an organization rooted in Christian ideals, making it's message more palatable and "acceptable" to the target audience.

Do I anticipate a cross burning in my yard anytime soon? No. But, I'm seeing a surge in a more subtle and subversive racially based tone happening in our nation. Some talking heads are busily making up all kinds of new buzz words and catch phrases under the guise of commentating on current events, that are just veiled racist rhetoric. Some times not veiled at all. I find it scary, because it to positioned as "acceptable" and many followers don't view it as anything other than that. I fear that too many good men (and chicks) will do nothing and let evil and hate gain a larger foothold in our society.

I'm not an alarmist. I think I'm fairly pragmatic in my assessment of race. I've always said, black people need to look for racism less. Every time something doesn't go your way doesn't mean it's racially motivated. Some times life just isn't fair. On the converse, I believe white folks need to look for racism more. Just because it's not directed at you or you didn't notice it in the course of your everyday doin's, doesn't mean it's not happening. Because, guess what...life isn't fair. You may not experience discrimination (see how the "not fair" thing is working to your advantage), but it is indeed out there. I'm hoping that as we continue to work to make your dream of true equality for everyone, that everyone starts to acknowledge these truths as being self evident.

Before you think we're going backwards, there are so many positive things to take note of. Just last night, the news told me about the U.S. families in the process of adopting Haitian children, and how so many of them couldn't connect with their to-be kids due to the lack of communication. Nine hundred families, many white couples, trying to adopt these little loveable, orphaned black kids. On the eve of your special day, to see so many who Americans who see a child to love and are bringing them into their families despite of the differences in their melanoma, I think would be very pleasing to you.

Interracial couples are also on the rise in America. I'm part of one. I like that the statistics show that when you have a loving heart-- a heart without prejudice, and an open mind, that people are less and less bound by constraints of something as trivial as skin shade as they look for their happiness. Recent Census info reports a rise in interracial marriages to 422,000 in '05, from a reported 65,000 in 1970. To me it just proves that the heart is color blind, but it's the mind that must allow it to be so. It's mind over what matters.

For all of the things we still need to work on to fulfill your dream, I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you that we are a better nation, a better people for your work. I enjoy a life full of opportunities. Opportunities that would not have been available to a lil' brown girl in your time. I realize that my experience is only slightly removed, time-wise, from the nation as you knew it. Race- including relations, perceptions and treatment continue to be a somewhat awkward dance. We're getting better at it. But we don't all of the steps down pat yet. I hope there will come a time when we can report that race, for all, has truly become a non-issue and we are all in sync with one another, for that is when we will shine.

Love & Gratitude,
-BigBrownGirl


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Friday, January 15, 2010

~Abandoned Babies Are A Buzz Kill & Other Minutiae

(my view from the tub)


So, there I was, gettin' all kindza relaxed. Just a BigBrownGirl trying to commune with the hot tub and find a lil' peace. What do I do, oh-so stressful that I need peace? Ok. Nuthin' out of the ordinary. But, really now... IS there such a thing as being too peaceful?!? No, I think not. Don't begrudge me my chillaxin'!

Alert! Alert!! Now is the time to conger up the haze of a fade out as the scene transitions into a flashback sequence. (A blog that's making you do sumthin', is that wrong? I donno. If I'm faux pas-ing, apologies. I do not like being a rule breaker.) Cue: chimey music to signify flashback.

...I was out in the hot tub scopin' out some stars. The water was the perfect temp. The air was still. At any temp, uber windy makes tubbin' less fun, in my opinion. (Oh, it's still tubbin'(!!), it's just not optimal, ya know?) The snowfall from the other day (past 17 days, in fact) dampened the sound of the world to nil. Until I was jolted into to wondering if I was on the cusp of having to give the police my statement on the child abandonment case seemingly unfolding in my hood!

Whaaaaaaaa. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Period of quiet. Whaaa. Is exactly what I heard.

I went from all delightfully submerged and floaty goodness to a rush and bundle of adrenaline. At first I tried to figure out which direction this cry was even coming from, trying to simultaneously process why anyone would leave a baby on a step here. I mean, outside of hospitals, police/fire stations, and maybe churches, ummmmm, ok. But leaving a baby on some residential cul de sac-y kind of place on a cold winters night seems like a pretty fuckin' bad idea.

All turned quiet on the hot tub front, then I heard crazy ass rustling in some bushes. And the distinct sound of two cries. Figuring that an abandoned baby probably wasn't tusselin' (I don't even know...with an animal?...with another baby?!?...I donno.) in the landscaping, only then did I decide that cats were the more likely culprit of the night time ta-doin's.

While I was relieved to find out that no babies were harmed during my hot tubbin', I can not say I ever achieved the peaceful feeling I had been in search of when I hopped in.

Honestly, I may have found myself extra perturbed because I don't even like cats to begin with. They seem very hoity-toity. They usually seem to look at people with contempt and condescension in their wee weird peepers. Everything seems like a big ass favor for them to do. Ugh. Cats. The only good feeling I have associated with cats are the Garfield sheets I had as a kid. I loved those damn sheets. Took 'em to college with me. There was something sooooooo uncool and square about it, it somehow seemed kinda coolio to me, at the time. Yep. I was that girl. Eh? Probably still am.



(Check, check, check, check it out- my Garfield sheets in my dorm room. Also note we had been trick-or-treating. Yes. In college. For beer, I suspect. I was the Great Pumpkin that year as you can barely see as I "drink" from my big ass High Life inflateable. Yep. Classy with a capital K, even then, baby!)

For the record, it's not like I want to pick up a cat, grab it by it's tail and start swingin' it around over my head like a lasso or anything. I've certainly never harmed a cat, although I can't say the same for them in return. Those fuckers make my eyes swell shut. FYI, not a particularly good look in a BBG. Plus, one beat Uncle John up! ...Poor ol' Uncle John being pummeled by the paws of a big ol' mean alpha kitty. This is when I learned Uncle John is not a fighter. His solution was very Gandhi. He sat down and put his little doggy nose in a corner with his back to that cat. Before you think my d oh double g is some kinda wimp dog, that damn cat had six or 7 pounds on Uncle John. Hardly and even match up.

I have no idea about the equity of, or outcome of the match up between the crazy (infant sound alike) clawin' cats. Even though I don't like them, I did find myself saying a silent prayer that they left each others company with their eyes. (I don't know why, but I always think a cat wants to scratch out an eye. Yet another reason I think they're shifty and not to be trusted.) And one for babies on door steps. What can I say? You can take the girl outta Catholic school, but you can't take the Catholic school outta the girl, I guess.

So, lessons for the day:
-BigBrownGirl has allergies & cares not for the felines.
-Leaving babies on doorsteps = bad.
-Uncle John is NOT a pussy.
-Begrudged and chillaxin' can be used in a sentence.
-Hot tubbin' is not always relaxing and peaceful.
-Reason #581 why my mom is cooler than me. She taught me the term "chillaxin'".
-Cats are assholes.


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Monday, January 11, 2010

~Things I don't care about...but am taking the time to blog about




So they've announced that Jay Leno is likely moving back to the 11:35pm time slot. And the hub and bub is whether or not Conan O'Brien will stay on at the helm of The Tonight Show, which would, as consequence to Jay's move, slide into a 12:05am start time.

Here are my feelings about something that, really, in a time where we have real things going on, ya know, wars (plural kids, plural), major nationwide concerns like healthcare reform, national security, financial quagmires, et al, I freely admit this has all the gravitas of Carrot Top, and as an extra bonus has zero impact on my actual life...

With that said, I think Jay comes off as a sore loser in this lil' life drama. Albeit one with huge income generating ramifications for NBC and their affiliates. None the less it strikes me as poor form to upset O'Brien's apple cart by accepting a move to 11:35. I mean, Leno turned the watch of the Tonight Show over to O'Brien. There was a clear changing of the guard. Sappy send offs and all. Leno decided to leave. I feel like now that it's proven to be a bad decision and outcome for Leno, he should do what the rest of us do when things don't go our way in life. Step one: Suck it the fuck up. Step two: Move the fuck on. Not turn around and sucker punch the guy behind ya. Just seems wrong to me. And makes me think a guy who I never had strong feelings about one way or the other is a dick.

Really, Jay Leno? Do you want me to think you're a dick?!?

In a more pragmatic vein, so if O'Brien moves to midnight oh-five, can ya even still call that The "Tonight" Show? Or must it be renamed as the "First of the Day, the NBC Way Show"? Also, such a switcharoo sets that tool Carson Daly up for an abrupt transition from the latest in cool kid music and Trojan ads to the first of the super ass early morning news shows and their buttoned down delivery.

I say: awkward.

For the record, I like O'Brien better than Leno. I find myself catching the Tonight Show more often than usual of late. If they came on at the same time in my market, I would choose Jimmy Kimmel over O'Brien. But I feel like O'Brien is getting a bad deal and that Leno's actions seem classless. Neither of which ingratiates NBC or Leno to me. I'm guessing that wasn't part of the plan. Hell. I'm starting to wonder if NBC even has a plan...



Random Ending: These are my Sporto Duck boots. Remarkable that I own them? No. Remarkable that I have had these boots since high school? Hellz yeah! High School!! They are over 20 years old. They don't get a ton of use. Obviously. They only make their appearance during hefty snowfalls, maybe 3-4x per year. But come on now?!? Since high school!?! Props to you Duck boots. You do a BigBrownGirl proud.


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Saturday, January 9, 2010

~7 Degrees

Yeppers. Seven degrees is what I woke up to this morning. (And 5" of snow.)





Before you pull out your pity party accouterments and make a run to the booze store on your way over, not to worry. The temp is expected to almost triple, to a high of 20 this afternoon.
:-/


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Monday, January 4, 2010

~Merci Coach Tressel!!

In the heart of it all, within a two hour drive north or south one will find professional sports. The land o' Cleves' offers up it's Cavilers, Browns and Indians. Point your car in the opposite direction and you will find my personal faves, the Reds and Bengals. Yes. I am fully aware that backing the Bengals is an ongoing lesson in humility and coming to grips with dealing with loss. Well, unless you some how manage to delude yourself that it's still the hey day of Kenny Anderson, Boomer Esiason and Mr. Shuffle himself, Icky Woods, as I do. In the real world, people refer to your team as the Bungles. A moniker I can hardly make an argument against in years of late, but I digress.


In the center of the state you will find THE Ohio State University. In fact, a whole 15 minutes away from my front door you can step foot on the hallowed grounds Woody once walked. Oh, sure, if I drive an additional 5 minutes I can find our only truly pro team, The Columbus Bluejackets. They're kinda cool. I mean, while the game is wickedly fast, too fast for me to keep up with given my limited understanding of hockey. Hitting a game is fun. There's beer. There are guys zoomin' around on surgically sharp skates lookin' for an opportunity to drop the gloves. And there is the Zamboni. All-in-all a pretty good time.


But at the end of the day, this is Ohio. The land of corn fed kids, raised on the religion of football. And in Ohio, particularly, central Ohio, football...OSU football is pro sports. Until about a decade ago when the NHL expanded and dropped the Bluejackets in our lap, OSU was literally the only game in town.


We take our Buckeye football seriously. If you've ever met a Buckeye fan, you know that this is a complete and utter understatement of the facts.


You've seen us. Decked out in too much scarlet. Donning more OSU logos at one time than are allowed by the laws of fashion and good taste. Sportin' lil brown (buckeye) nuts strung together in necklaces or brackets. We own enough variations and classifications of scarlet and gray that we can show our support at the bar down the street, or in the board room. On game days we have a block O temp tattoo on our cheeks. Some may have special glittery gray game day glasses. We are unabashedly unbridled in our support of our team. It's a sickness really. Perhaps attributed to some additive in our local water? I don't know.


While the past several years have brought more wins than losses. In the era of Coach Jim Tressel OSU is 94-21, which by any one's standard is good. To a Buckeye fan the only litmus is the record vs. michigan (8-1, under our savior, Coach T) and how they fair in post season. Anything other than those two markers is quickly deemed, unimportant by people in these parts. Post season has been a doozie of late.


I have experienced the pure unadulterated dejection of starting off a new year with a big dance loss. '08 brought a loss to LSU for the National Championship. '07 brought a loss to the Gators, again, in the National Championship game. (And actual tears from the guy who I was dating at the time. 6 year old, lil' girl tears...) The losses were bad. Mostly because, for a girl, I am a world class trash talker. I know, I know, what gives me the right to label myself 'world class;? Well, when the day after the national stage games, CIO's and CFO's of Fortune 500 companies are lining up on the phone (and email box) to dish it out because your team lost, you know I'm doing something at an elite level! I'm not down on those guys. I'm the first to admit, I would have been the first voice they heard had things broken my way. Yep. I'm that girl. While that ramification is bad...


...The worst part is waking up on the eighth day of a new year, knowing your team is a looser on a nationwide level, and knowing you'll have to live with that until August/September until your team has a chance to hit the gridiron and gain some redemption. And that my friends, is a long ass time to be bitter about your team's performance.


Needless to say, this New Year Day as the tv showed me floats made of flowers, I found myself somewhat on edge about the impending Rose Bowl match up of OSU and the Oregon Ducks (btw, I know this takes a lot of nerve outta someone who backs a team who's mascot is a nut, but serious biz, what the hell kinda mascot is a duck?!?) later in the day. Pins and needles was the order of the day. Oh, and shots of Beam.


Thankfully, for my psychological well being, and outlook for the next 8-9 months the Buckeyes brought home the victory. Roses for all of my friends!!! To be the mocker and not the mockee?...as the credit card commercial goes; priceless. A perceptible weight has been taken off of my shoulders. Sure it's a high of 16 degrees and snowing, but I feel like I'm walkin' on sunshine. And it does feel gooooood.




So thank you Buckeye's. Job well done. Now this is what I call the startings of a happy new year. My wait for the next kick off is infinitely more pleasant that the past couple of years. I no longer have to harken back to the '06 Fiesta Bowl win over Notre Dame for a taste of the good ol' glory days. Woody would be happy. I am happy. Thank you! And as always, Go Bucks!!



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