Monday, November 28, 2005

I had a date friday night with A. I kind of liked him. I was not sure if I was going to go even down to the last minute. In fact, I did not even start getting ready until 15 minutes before I needed to leave to meet him. I put on some clothes I had worn to our last team going away party from the week before, slapped on some make up and brushed my hair out. I had worked that day and did not even bother with a shower or perfume. Not sure what was up with that. He brought me a small holiday teddy bear and we went to eat at Red Lobsters. He was short, but stocky with skin darker than mine and a sexy little goatee. He was definetely not bad to look at. He was quiet and we did seem to somewhat lack anything to really say to each other. He is 30, has a 7 yr old son, is divorced, is Salvadoran, works for Fords and seems to lead a pretty basic normal life. He is raising his son by himself and works afternoons which he says inhibits his ability to meet ladies. He does not seem like he would have problems in that area, as he is less nerdy and akward than the guys I usually go for. However, he does seem quiet and to be lacking in what CL would call "game". I could not see him picking up a girl at the grocery store, much less a bar. Also, he seems like a bit of a loner. Either way, after dinner we came back here to watch movies. He was definetely attracted to me and did eventually manage to get my shirt and bra open. He is a breast man-and I have lots of breast:) I was not really wanting to get that physical and he kept insisting that he was not trying to have sex with me. It kind of reminded me of being in high school and the guys claims that they just want to put the tip in-whatever. I liked him and would not mind seeing him again. I do not think much will develop between us-whether we see eachother again or not. However, I think he could be a nice distraction and I would not mind being distracted right now!
~~~~Where ever you go, There you are!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Update Part2:
Well, I had not had a report card or progress report from A yet this year. I knew one had to have come, surely, but I was not sure if A had lost a book again-the school will with hold report cards until it is paid for, or if she was hiding it. I knew she had not done well, she never does well first marking period. I kept asking her about it, asking her to tell the truth-I was going to call the school and find out anyway. She insisted that she knew nothing about it and would ask. Well, I finally called her counselor who faxed me over her progress reprt from September and her grades from the beginning of November. Her progress report was awful, 2 D-'s, but her report card was not that bad. All B's and C's-mostly C's. Certainly not bad enough to warrant her hiding it and lying about it. So, I placed her on punishment until the next marking period. Mostly for lying. I also told her that she has to bring home her books and study every night. If she does not have an "A" in a class she needs to be studying for it. There was many missed assignments noted on her report card. Typically that is why she does poorly. She can not be bothered with homework or turning assignments in or studying. So, I am making her bring all of her books no matter what I will have to take the time to lay out a study schedule for her. I also need to pay better attention to report card times and parent teacher conferences. A is basically a good kid and sometimes I spend too much time treating her like an adult and not enough time treating her like the 12 yr old she is.
~~~~Where ever you go, There you are!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Well, it has been some time since I have posted. In some ways feels like much has happened, on the other hand it also feels like the same shit different day:)
First vacation: I was in major lazy mode over vacation. I did not even get dressed most days. I slept in, watched tv, read-lounged and chilled. I spent some quality time with A and even managed to see B both weekends. I also had a date. It was nice. I went out with J. We both really like sci fi and fantasy-read the same books, watch the same movies, some of the same shows. I was pretty excited. I have never really dated a man into sci fi and fantasy. Which is odd since both sci fi and fantasy are both largely marketed to men and are very male dominated genres. Well, J is 20 years older than me. That kind of threw me for a loop. I had promised myself after my ex-husband that I would never again date or be involved with a man who was that much older than me. However, since we had so much in common I decided not to make a mountain out of a mole hill and see what developed. As it turns out, nothing much developed-but it was a nice date anyway. It was kind of weird. He came around the car and opened my car door-which I do not think I have had anyone do since I was a kid or maybe when I was pregnant or right after surgery. He was nice but kind of snobby and elite-ist. Sigh, oh well. It was good to get out of the house and he paid!
I finished up my vacation by going to D and N's for dinner. It was great. It was good to see them again and it almost felt like old times.
I also heard from Je over my vacation. He called me on Samhain. He said that he had a dream in which he saw me and A in the mall and we all hugged each other and cried. He brought up the money right away and offered to pay me back $50.00 that friday and $50.00 the following friday. He told me a little bit about what was going on with he and Ja, but our conversation was pretty short. Of course, the following friday he did not call me nor answer when I called him. I finally sent him a text message after about 10 days asking him why he bothered calling and saying he wanted us to be friends again if he was just going to not answer when I called nor bother to call me back. He called me about week later and told me he had a relapse and was back in treatment and off of work. He sounds bad and I felt sorry for him but at the same time I am sick to death of him dicking me around. I did talk to him very briefly this past saturday and he sounded much better, he was out of treatment and headed back to work today.
I missed F and S's wedding. I really wanted to go but as soon as I got back to work after my vacation I got sick. First I lost my voice than I got a full blown cold. It was awful. We are short staffed and I do not want bad attendance so I worked sick. The bad part is I gave it my cold to many of my co-workers. A' was back from sick leave and it was good to see her as well. I was just too worn out on the day of F and S's wedding to make it. I felt bad though. I heard it was really nice and that F looked absolutely beautiful.
I also had a rough patch at work. It finally worked out but I was really, really stressing there over it for awhile. This is what happened. The Tuesday or Wednesday after I was back from vacation, E was helping me with merchandising. I was sick and tired and irritable. It was just the two of us in the inventory room. I was sitting on either a step stool or in A's chair. E got a text message laughed and said, "Look what E(her boyfriend) sent me, he is such a nut." I took her phone and looked at the text message, it said something along the lines of, "Those monkeys in Detroit voted Kwame Kilpatrick back in." I could tell E was sorry she had showed me the text message, in all honesty I think because of my eccentricities she forgot I was black. I lack words to describe the feelings I felt when I read the text. On the one hand, I was angry about it referring to blacks as "monkeys". On the other hand, it bothered me most because it was E. E and I are cool and while I might not have been as bothered had it been someone I barely speak to, the fact that it was E showing me that made it worse. I would have been bothered if it was someone else showing me the text, but I would have let them know in no uncertain terms that it was racist and belittling and told them to get the f*ck out of my face. Instead, I handled it horribly. I did not say anything to E at all. I wanted to give myself time to ponder it first, see if I was being too sensitive about the situation. This is where I further compounded my mistake. A asked me what was wrong and I told her about the incident. YIKES!!!!! At the time she was really nice about it. She suggested that I tell E it bothered me. I did not think anymore about it that day. The next day I was a closer and came in late. When I got there A told me that I needed to say something to E or else she would. She had also told C-the other black employee and he was pretty ticked off about it. This was starting to grow into more than I ever intended for it to be. I tried to call D-the assistant manager who was on vacation and ask her for advice about how to handle the situation-but she was unavailable. I was still trying to decide how to handle it myself when A called me and told me that she had told S-the store manager-and that I needed to talk to her about it myself. I was shocked. I was not happy with the situation, but had no intention of telling upper management about it. I can handle E and the situation on my own and did not want to file a formal complaint against her. On the other hand, at this point I am backed into corner because it is against company policy to gossip about other employees. So, I go in and talk to S. She was pretty upset and tells me she will have to talk to E about the situation and possibly R-the district manager. I tell her that I do not believe that E is a racist and said that perhaps she did not realize that "monkeys" was a derrogatory term for blacks. S said well, it is a big deal and not ok and E may very well get into trouble for it. This was the truly f-ed up part. E was on vacation until tuesday, at which time S would not be there to talk to her about it and I was not supposed to discuss it with anyone. Of course I told my best friend, CL. CL thought it was kind of sad if E got into trouble for it, but she also felt that the her showing me the text was way out of line and perhaps getting in trouble would teach her a valuable lesson. Either way I was upset about it getting out of hand, upset about the issue even escalating to management and also upset about not being able to talk to E about it myself. Well, I was off wednesday and thursday and thursday E was supposed to meet me to see the midnight showing of Harry Potter. I was not sure if she would show up or call, but she sent me a text asking what time we wanted to meet. We met at the theatre and after we sat down she asked me about it. On the one hand I was very relieved to finally have it out in the open as I had been stressing about it for almost a week at that point. On the other hand, I was distressed at how little responsibility E felt for the situation. She did not really see herself as having done anything wrong. She also remembered the events very differently than I did, or claimed to anyway. In a sense I do not blame her since S made it very clear to her that her job was on the line. She said that I must have seen the text on her phone, that she never showed it to me. I did not bother to comment or argue it with her. If I wanted to press the issue I could easily ask for the inventory room tape of that day which would show her handing me her phone. I do not ever pick up or look at anyone else's phone with out permission much less read their text messages. She did apologize to me if I was hurt, but she definetely felt that she was the victim and even felt that I was being vindicative by pursueing the incident. I explained that I was not persueing the incident voluntarily and had told S repeatedly that I did not believe E to be a racist. E said her boyfriend E was a racist-which did not much surprise me. I made it clear that I was not after her job and that even if she and her boyfriend were both racists I really do not give a shit. This is America and they are entitled to be as small minded and bigoted as they like. E said if she was terminated she would sue, since other people make inappropraite comments and do not get terminated for them. I could see the unfairness of it, however, it is not much of a defense. It is like speeding-if you get pulled over you can not point out that people all around you were speeding as a defense. You still broke the rule by speeding and the cop stopped you-other people getting away with it does not make you innocent if caught. However, I could see that E was desperate to keep her job and her sanity. I am sure it was a nightmare not knowing what was going to happen. I spoke with S the next day and after talking to me she told me the situation was over and to come to her next time-as if! I let E know and she was definetely relieved. The situation was strange. I felt that the rules about racial slurs were being misused in this situation. The comment bothered me, but E is not in a position of power over me and I do not feel intimidated by her views or the remark. My feelings were hurt by her lack of sensitivity but that had more to do with her being friendly with me than the remark itself. I felt like the rules were in place to stop intimidation in the work place and while I was pissed I was not afraid nor did I feel belittled. On the other hand, I will never see E the same way again. It was eye opening in many ways. It also brings home to me the level and ways I have matured. There would have been a time when E's job was not enough to make that text ok. There would have been a time when I probably would have smacked the taste out of her mouth for even daring to think such a thing was funny. I am glad and sad at the same time. Has living here and spending my life in this area made me less racially conscious? Should I have wanted E punished for her carelessness? On the other hand I am glad that I am no longer carrying around my ethnic identity like baggage-it would only hurt me and burden me to be ultra sensitive about it-but surely there is a happy medium somewhere between the two. I have always identified very strongly with being black. It has been as important to me as being female is. When did that change? Is that change good or bad? In many ways I am socially more white than black and where once I would have rejected that part of myself, now I accept it-even embrace it? I date more white men than any other race and think it is highly probable I will marry a white man next time around. I do not wish to be white, nor thought of as white-but am I losing my blackness in my lifestyle and the choices I make. Do I care? Is it important? Complicated.

~~~Where ever you go, There you are!

Monday, November 21, 2005

A Few Zen Buddhist Thoughts on God or Diety:
These are not MY thoughts, but are instead taken from a Zen Buddhist MSN group I belong to.

Most buddists neither affirm or deny the existence of diety.
I have found that to be the case. One of the things I like about Buddhism is the lack of importance placed on diety. For me, buddhism serves to focus me on my life right this moment-the question of diety just is not important in that context.

Belief is the very hindrance of spiritual advancement,it is a pathetic look at spirituality through the mind..when the mind comes to an impasse...we resort to belief ,which basically is "not knowing"...because if you knew..there would be no need to believe.
The proper avenue to pursue spirituality is through "prajna" or awakening of the "intuitive insight"....which is present 100% in all of us...yet "camouflaged" by the fluff of intellect. Mediation is one instrument used to help one ,to peel through the layers of intellection so as "prajna" may belch forth on its own.

Well, I consider this take to be a bit harsh. Honestly, buddhism requires faith. I have faith that I can achieve enlightenment. I have faith that Buddha existed and achieved enlightenment. The religion works for me without the faith-but faith is definetely a part of it.

saying god exists means being deaf for the truth
saying god doesnt exist, means being blind for the beauty
he who sees and hears remains silent

I like this. Buddhism is often full of answers like this one. Keeps you thinking and seeking within.

For Buddhists the source of creation is not a personal God, but the abstract essence of existence. The experience of Emptiness shows people this face of ultimate Reality. The experience of Loving Presence shows people the personal face of ultimate Reality. As for me, I have seen and felt both faces.... the personal and the impersonal.
Genuine spirituality in any tradition is not a matter of 'belief' but of direct inner experience.

Well, I think at base buddhism is bit more basic and simple than "abstract essence of existence".

First of all, Buddhism requires us to see things as they are, and to recognize that beliefs are not facts. The Buddha denied the existence of any supreme creator deity, seeing it as a delusion and as Buddhists take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, belief in an omnipotent creator deity is incompatible with being a Buddhist. This link may help clarify the Buddhist attitude towards such belief:
I agree with the first part of this statement-that Buddhism requires us to see things-and ourselves-as they are. That is simple to say but very complicated to do. I do not believe that belief in a omnipotent creator would be incompatible with Buddhism.

It seems to be irrelevant where we are from or where we are going. The only thing that seems to be relevant is where we are, here and now.
This is pretty much how I deal with issues of deity and creation myths, etc. It has no real validity or relevance on the here and now and is therefore of no consequence.

~~~~Where ever you go, There you are!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

What can I say about this wonderful, amazing, fantastic woman? It has all been said by those much more articulate than I will ever be. So I will simply say thank you. Your act, your one act done for whatever reason, changed my life and life of my daughter-forever. I often get discouraged feeling like I can not and do not make a difference-often that is certainly the case-but when I am truly disillussioned I will remember you and how your one act changed this country forever.
Rest In Peace.,tate,69522,6.html,fmurphy,69558,6.html

October 31, 2005
Op-Ed Contributor
The Long History of a Bus Ride By

ROSA PARKS led an inspiring life.
Unfortunately, we rarely hear about it. That may sound surprising at a time when Rosa Parks is probably mentioned in every American history textbook and is the subject of dozens of biographies. The problem is that her story is usually presented as a simplistic morality tale. It is a paint-by-the numbers picture of virtue that goes like this: On Dec. 1, 1955, Mrs. Parks is an ordinary 42-year-old seamstress in downtown Montgomery, Ala. She leaves work and gets on the Cleveland Avenue bus to go home. When the whites-only section fills up, the bus driver yells at Mrs. Parks to give up her seat to a white man. She refuses and is arrested. Simply by sitting on a bus, Mrs. Parks sets off the year-long Montgomery bus boycott that galvanizes national attention, brings the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to the start of his journey as a civil rights leader and creates a model of nonviolent protest against racial segregation.There's no denying the appeal of this story - her body began lying in honor in the Capitol yesterday. But this telling of the tale does a disservice to Mrs. Parks and twists the history of the civil rights movement. Her story is about more than one bus ride. And the civil rights movement is more than one moment of defiance. The focus on Rosa Parks leads to the neglect of other civil rights pioneers who did far more to shape history.Take two other black women who died recently with much less attention to their life work. Constance Baker Motley, the first black woman to be a federal judge, was an N.A.A.C.P. lawyer who helped to write briefs used in arguing the Brown school desegregation case. In the 50's, she went into hostile towns all over the South and won case after case to make sure that their school districts really integrated. She also directed the legal campaign that led to the admission of James Meredith to the University of Mississippi and stood by him as he faced down segregationist violence to enroll. And she stayed with Medgar Evers as he battled the racists who eventually killed him.Another woman who recently died, C. DeLores Tucker, didn't face that kind of drama. But she broke through political barriers to become Pennsylvania's commonwealth secretary, then blazed new paths by working to get other black people into elected office and challenging misogyny in rap music.The one-dimensional telling of one day in the life of Rosa Parks takes her away from the real story - and to my mind the really inspiring story - of extraordinary black women like Judge Motley and Ms. Tucker, who rose from working-class backgrounds to become dedicated to creating social change. The truth is that Mrs. Parks was not someone who one day, out of the blue, decided to defy the local custom of blacks sitting in the back of the bus. That story leads some people to the cynical conclusion, once voiced by a character in the movie "Barbershop," that all Rosa Parks did was sit on her bottom. That's not only insulting but a distortion that takes away the powerful truth that Rosa Parks worked hard to develop her own political consciousness and then worked hard to build a politically aware black community in the heart of Dixie.Before that one moment of defiance on the bus she was a civil rights activist who had long fought to get voting rights for black people in Alabama. Apparently it is too confusing to mention that as far back as 1943 she had refused to follow the rules requiring black people to enter city buses through the back door. And it invites too much complexity to mention that in the late 40's, as an official of the local branch of the N.A.A.C.P., she was forming a coalition with a group of black and white women in Montgomery to fight segregated seating on city buses.Her education in rural Pine Level, Ala., came at Jim Crow schools that taught her only enough to work for white people as a washerwoman, maid or seamstress. In Montgomery, she worked mending dresses. One of her employers was Virginia Durr, the wife of a powerful white lawyer. Mrs. Durr, a member of the interracial Women's Political Council, became Mrs. Parks's ally in a long-term effort to use political pressure to end the daily indignity of riding segregated buses.Mrs. Durr introduced Mrs. Parks to the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee. The school taught strategies to empower white and black people to get better wages, to register to vote and organize as a political force. Even before Highlander, Mrs. Parks had championed the rights of a teenager, Claudette Colvin, who was arrested in March 1955 for refusing to give up her seat to white people on a Montgomery bus. All of this preceded the moment when Rosa Parks refused to give up her own seat on the bus. Even after her arrest she had to agree to fight the charges of violating segregation laws, and risk angering the white establishment in town and losing her job. Her husband and her mother told her she was going to be lynched for becoming the named plaintiff in a challenge to segregation. She made a deliberate decision to take up the fight. There was nothing spontaneous about this. And she knew that she would not be fighting alone. Rosa Parks was uncomfortable with the sainthood thrust upon her, and used to say there was more to her life than "being arrested on a bus." Her full, not so simple story is a guide to activism, an inspiration to every American trying to find the power to create social change. The best way to honor her memory is by also celebrating those people whose stories are not so easy to grasp, but who played roles that Rosa Parks would have said overshadowed her own. Juan Williams, a senior correspondent for NPR and a political analyst for Fox News Channel, is working on a book about Bill Cosby and race. a.. Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company b..
~~~~Where Ever You Go, There You Are!
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