Tuesday, November 07, 2006

My Damn Cat

I have a cat. Not a breed cat, a regular ordinary off the street cat. Interestingly, I'm allergic to cats but somehow this one just kinda fell into my lap and wouldn't get off. There is a part of me (probably about 85%) that hates this cat. It's a friggin needy, demanding, picky, lil shyt that has tripped me by wrapping itself around my ankles while I walk, has made me stop breathing by laying on my face in my sleep and has destroyed my hallway having scratched the paper off the walls.I feed this furry bag of shyt every day (against my better judgment) - I give it a can of food which it will discriminately nibble at, eating, at most, 1/16th of the can - but can I just give it a little and put the rest in the fridge - NOT. Once it's in the fridge it's considered inedible and the friggin cat would rather starve than let it touch its palate. I also give it dry food which it demands is always available - at all times - no matter what. So why the cans? If I don't give it some at least twice a day from a can, that fucker screams and cries until either I do or I punt it's dumbasss - all depends on the kinda day I'm having.

The cat loves water, but will not drink it off the floor - it must come fresh from the tap at all times thus I leave the water running at least in one place in the house at all times.The cat does not like to sleep alone, it likes to lay up against me, its head on my arm, and woe is me if I move - swipe with the claws. Since life is so damn exciting I usually fall asleep on the couch so I try to position that fucker so I can shove it between the cushions when I want to get up - the shock usually gives me that few second head start I need so as not to get my assed kicked.

I went to Jersey last weekend and that really screwed up with the cat's schedule. I got home and in acts of open defiance this idiot destroyed my house. Down came curtains, blinds lay broken in my kitchen window, glass shattered on the floor, ashtrays knocked over (one inside a crowded chest/table that will now require emptying and cleaning), beverages came-a tumbling down, and my favorite towel full of piss. Yet, idiot that I AM - the cat lives.It's quieted now - my daughter got back from vacation and put the fear of God in it - but the memory lingers. I look into those dead green eyes knowing what it's capable and I stand at alert - I will not be taken by surprise again.

Right now I'm shopping for a dog - A VERY BIG DOG - that will guard me and my home against Eightball the cat from hell - then, and only then, will peace be restored.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Heading for the Weekend Countdown

Ain't that a shame, we count down to the weekends. Like 5/7ths of our life is cursed and only 2/7ths are worth anticipating. Wow I need a new job don't I?

Nine days until my lil boy and his wifey come to town. I have not even begun preparing for this - arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. What the hell am I gonna do? Not like I have help in getting things ready, nor even someone to inspire or encourage, nope not I. But that is no excuse becaue I'm a HUGE believer in personal responsibility.

All my life I've watched, and at times joined into, the drama, "What People Have Done To Me." I used to blame my frigged up childhood, my ex, my parents, my siblings, my finances, my location and my education for every bad thing that ever occurred to me. But let's face it, we are who we permit ourselves to be and do what we empower ourselves to do.

I listened to years of "My Dad was so mean, My Mom was so neglectful." All of which would come streaming out for hours after a bottle or two of wine - but at some point you are the Dad or the Mom and if you are focused on yourself all the time, you are doing it to your own kids.
Nothing in life comes easy, not to me, to you, to the poor, to the rich. There are consequences and responsibilities for everything we get or have in our lives, so since we are all burdened with "what people would do to you IF THEY COULD" we are separated then by that WHAT WE DO ABOUT IT.

Wow, rambling - must be end of a long day syndrome. This post isn't even going anywhere, it's just what I tell myself at moments when I catch myself complaining. Oh things aren't getting done because I am "being crippled" by someone acting crippled. Nah, can't go down like that. Things are not being done because I'm seeking an excuse because I'm just not feeling doing it right now. PERIOD.

So let me go do nothing for the moment (I give myself permission) until 5:30 when I get to play my game on the train and go home to try to start getting things done.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Just some BS Since I'm Cranky

Wow, November first, the holiday countdown begins - argh.

Work sux, too much petty bullshyt and procrastination. My job requires absolutely no imagination nor intelligence - yawwwwwnnnn.

Yesterday got to see Jesse - young woman with amazing potential and is as nice a person as you will ever meet. She's doing great (not that I had any doubts she would) and it was the highlight of my day just having lunch with her. Miss ya Jesse.

My love life is it's normal chaotic thing but I do love my baby. He'll be going away for a week while my son visits - and our time away from one another might actually be a good thing. It will give him time to see life without me, and if he likes it then I will wish him well. Hell, I might want him to stay there myself - who knows.

A week and two days until my son visits - it's been such a helluva long time that it's gonna be weird trying to catch up all within a week. Wow I so need to work on the house though - argh.
My lil one is having monumental work issues and the Mom in me would like nothing better than to go there after work and do a number on a certain perverted, egomaniacal bastard who is making her life hell. But she pleaded with me not to. The asshole actually pushed her on a stairway so although I am calmish now, there's no telling if I will be able to maintain. Stay tuned.

Otherwise, beside rewriting a Graduate School essay that blew me away with its awfulness, and shopping for some uglyass clothes for work - I am, as always, just doing me.


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Okay off the soapbox and some real shyt

Okay enough being preachy and opinionated - that's not really me, just me trying to hide beneath the blanket of "the world" and its needs.

Me, I am doing. I don't know what I'm doing most of the time but I am doing.

Today I spoke with a friend who was given the wrong number by a dude. Now that might have been an accident, transposition or some such thing, but it might not have as well. Could be he just wanted her number "in case" with little or no regard for her feelings. This person is beautiful, funny and smart but at the moment she questions herself - because of the insincerity and manipulations of others.

OTHERS DO NOT DEFINE WHO WE ARE. They cannot see and feel the world as we do. They have not suffered our ills nor carried our burdens so to judge us as this or that is not only unkind but IGNORANT.

It's hard to maintain a sense of indivuality and self in a world of mass media projected images and the judiciary public which we are thrust up upon daily. I know, I often find myself in a state of self-loathing based on the actions of another. It is far too easy to slide into the mud that the dirty asshole and your tears creates - but as strong, intelligent people we MUST claw back to the top where we belong. We are our own universe, we create a good and bad, we give and take, we judge and are judged, we can either decide to be GOOD PEOPLE who MAINTAIN or we can let those dirty bastards who lift themselves up by stepping on you to CHANGE THE BEAUTY THAT IS US.

I know, I started off trying not to be preachy - trying to be me but I have at least two friends out there (possibly more) who will completey understand this posting, and who I hope gives it some credence because in those two (possibly more) there is a wellspring of beauty that I pray continues to flow.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Of Communication in the Electronic Age

Thoughtful speaking and common courtesy is a still important, but less practiced, factor in creating a better future. More people take interest in Roswell's purported UFO's or Elvis sightings than in maintaining civility and decorum as part of their daily lives. As each generation expects less and less in terms of courtesy, soon "thank you" and "excuse me" will be considered Old English.

That which separates humans from other forms of life have traditionally been our ability to reason, our vast avenues of expression through language and our opposable thumbs. Well, as common sense becomes more and more a thing of the past, and linguistic abilities slowly descend to mere grunts of recognition and learned statements used in hopes of obtaining a reward (be it money, affection or position etc.), soon all that will make us unique will be our thumbs, (and I have seen a cat with thumbs so...). I pity the day when we have need to celebrate "We're Human, See Our Thumbs Day".

Although I must confess that I still hear people use please and thank you, I have noted that my use of "pardon me" rather than saying "what" raises eyebrows, causes snickering and elicits a look that clearly states, "you think you’re special don’t you." Correct me if I am wrong but was "pardon me" not once an oft-used phrase in the English language?

It has been claimed that Women's Lib was the ice age of courtesy between men and women, such as door opening and pulling out chairs, which may or may not be true dependant upon perspective (and I simply cannot cover every subject known to man in this book, after all, what would its sequel be about). It seems; however, that gentlemen giving up their seat to the elderly, expectant mothers or small children has also fallen causality to the metamorphoses of genteel society. As I ride the subway to and from work daily one would think I would be accustomed to the scene; however, no matter how many times I see it I am always chagrined at the men, relatively young on the most part, who are seated as an elderly man or woman flail about; or an expectant mother nearly falls to the floor. For over a year I would take my train back two stops so that I would be assured of a seat as it pained me to not have one to offer in such instances. People, please, a little courtesy.

In this day and age of high tech, low human contact, those characteristics which we once depended so much upon, i.e., communication, respect and caring, have been replaced with E-mail, voice mail, pagers, caller I.D., internet, etc. Where once answering one's own phone was commonplace, we now have caller I.D. to let us know if our caller is worthy of lifting the receiver for. Anonymous people are living imaginary lives via the internet while the ability to be proactive and develop sincere relationships built on mutual respect and understanding becomes as obsolete as the Victrola (the word Victrola was not even included in my spell check).
Although progresses in technology is of paramount importance, what good comes of all the inventions in the world if the destruction of humanity is the consequence of this progress?

My daughter once had a best friend named Claudia. Together she and Claudia would scamper about the playground, climb hills, go for ice cream, whisper secrets and in general were inseparable. Now, however, Claudia’s best friend is someone she plays with on the internet. As she pales in the darkness of her home, the scampering in the park has been replaced with interactive card games and comparisons of quizzes on the world wide web. The closest they come to playing hide and seek is a game called "Find the chat room where I am." Needless to say, this does not actually enhance the little darling's social skills. Sure her typing speed is equal to that of the most highly paid administrative assistant in the entire corporate world but she withers in the darkness of her own home.

Human contact, eye contact, these are building blocks in a sincere and real relationship. Sure, exchanging words are an important part of communications, but any fool can say or type what they WANT YOU TO KNOW rather that what they really feel. Does it even matter at present whether our converser is sincere - after all, if we are unable to ascertain their sincerity, often found through looking one in the eyes, inevitably we become numb to whether it matters at all.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Ask the Questions Your Don't Really Want the Answers To

Ask the Questions that you Don't want answers to Current mood: bored
I have heard it said that if you don't want the answer, don't ask the question. That is a pithy saying with little substance, which on the most part, if followed, would be counterproductive to living a good and meaningful life. Wouldn't it be nice if every question were answered in a way that would make US happy? Of course, that is impossible, since what makes US happy might make THEM miserable. I have seen people ask the question: "How are you today," and continue to walk without pause. Do they merely ask to be superficially polite, and if so, what effect do they think walking away as someone is answering has on that image? This is one type of question that many do not want to hear the answer to. "How are you today?" is a booby-trapped question which offers little to the act of communication. How do you answer this question? Do you say, "Well, my corns are hurting and my girdles is too tight but that's O.K. since I'm only going to visit my daughter in jail and my son in the institution." Of course not, even if it is true. On the most part you will hear the response "Fine". But, are you really fine? The reason that you answer fine is two-fold, one being the desire to maintain your privacy and the other being the fact that you know the person asking does not care at all about your issues. By answering fine you acknowledge only the act of a question being asked, and in return you feel the necessity to say "And you?" Let's look at that, what is actually being said in this exchange?

"Hello, I've got nothing else to say to you but since you are still looking at me I'll try the old 'How are you?' I just really hope you know the million dollar answer."

The other person in turn is saying, "Fine, as if you give a damn that I only have six months to live and I have now wasted five minutes of that time talking to you. Now I'll have to ask you the same thing, I just hope you don't waste any more of my time telling me."

Pretty nice exchange huh? Of course this does not apply to everyone; however, I have seen it more often than not. Why not, for a change of pace, ask the question "How are you?" and mean it. There are signs that you are being genuine -- such as stopping to hear an answer. People due tend to notice the difference in a question asked with sincerity. You might want to follow up the "How are you" with "and how is Jennie and Chris?" Take some time and share a meaningful rapport with a person with whom you are acquainted. You might actually enjoy a brief diversion to the day's hustling and bustling.

Another question often laced with land mines is "Am I happy?" When you ask yourself that question what answers come to mind?

  • Nobody is really happy.
  • Sometimes.
  • No, but if I hit the Lotto I would be.
  • No, but if I had a new job I would be.
  • No, but if I had my own home I would be.
  • No, but if he or she were nicer to me I would be.

For the record, if you are not happy now, no "but if I" event will change that. Happiness is an emotion derived by a sense of satisfaction in living a life in tune with your principles. Being free from envy, overindulgence, anger, greed and regret. You are the only one who can make you happy.

NOBODY controls your moods and happiness level but you. Certainly there are times which try one's soul, and at those moments you may feel certain that you are going to pop an artery in your head; however, no matter how outrageous the situation, you have the ultimate power to choose how you will allow these events to affect you. Scream and yell if you want, but understand, it is because you want, not because someone MADE YOU. Nobody can make you feel or think anything that you are not prepared to feel or think. It's like a small child sitting in a car, no matter how many times you tell them the story of the bus driver, the sign post and the ripped off arm, they do not believe that it will happen to them, thus you cannot make them afraid. Emotion comes through a door for which you possess the only key. Happiness, fear, rage, sorrow, all emotions you allow to enter you through your thought process.

In reading Plato's Republic, Socrates is explaining why there is such importance in how it is that you teach a child death.
"Another thing we must banish is the wailing and lamentations of the famous
heroes. For this reason: if two friends are both men of high character,
neither of them will think that death has any terrors for his comrade; and so he
will not mourn for his friend's sake, as if something terrible had befallen him.
As shown, the learned horrors of death are the cause of the emotions of mourning and fear of death. Without that learned and feared vision which lies in the great beyond, death would not be a cause of such despair Teach yourself to feel as you will and answer the question "Am I happy" with a resounding "YES!"

My all-time favorite question is the one asked in hopes of an answer that is a lie such as "Are you cheating on me?" Well listen, if they are cheating - chances are they will lie as well. How about the question "Are you on drugs" again, would you really expect the answer to be "Yeah, I just shot up and I was thinking of going into your pocketbook and stealing some money so I could shoot up again." So how do you get answers to these and other questions of their ilk? You ask, "How are you doing?"

I can hear it now, "yeah, right, sure, that will work just as long as I'm waiving my magic wand and sprinkling fairy dust about." But the reason that I say ask how are you is that by having a continued open line of communication, and showing a genuine concern about the life of another person, you are more likely to be able to reach into that person. Perhaps they will lie, but you are much more likely to know that. By asking questions regularly you are showing your interest in a person's life in a substantial way; however, if you ask ridiculous questions, only in times of crisis, you are likely to receive a lie, and there are many of you who not only know that but count on it.

Another problem is that the act of asking a question has somehow gone through a metamorphosis where query has become statement. Somewhere along the way we have lost our ability to effectively communicate in a way which differentiates between knowing something and trying to find out. We assume knowledge, thereby disregarding any input from others. "Don't try to confuse me with the facts" seems to be the keyword of our new definition of answer - after all, why get the facts when we've already formed the opinion. If we hope for open communication between others and ourselves we need to start hearing answers with our ears and not our minds. How can we hope to understand where another person is coming from when our own voices are drowning out their answers? An exchange between two people cannot hope to be productive if we no longer understand each other. Listen first to understand what you are being told, than seek to be understood based on the facts rather than your own dialogue.

Monday, October 23, 2006

There's No Place Like Home (Home? Huh?)

Location, location, location. How many times have we heard that a mood, a moment, a special memory is attributed to a location. When was the last time you looked outside your window? Not a passing glance, but an honest look. Forget the weather and focus on who you do or do not see. Go ahead take a look, I’ll wait. Some of you might be looking at a brick wall while others may be looking out at a bed of roses. Is your neighborhood an integrated community or a slum? Who is walking past? Do you see your neighbor, the one with whom you share your concerns for the community or do you see your neighbor "what's her name"? Do your children play with their children or have you told you child for the millionth time to stay away from them, they're not your kind? One cannot help but be influenced by what lies beyond their window.

Does this mean that only those who see beautiful foliage and singing birds will be successful, happy people? Will the child who looks beyond the alley, over the trashcans, past the homeless man lying behind the liquor store be doomed to a life of poverty and squalor? Of course not! But the perspective that a person holds in their heart is directly affected by the environment which greets them as they head out into the world each day. This is why we need to create a peaceful, clean environment. Although you may not be able to change the fact that you are living in an apartment, which is attached to so many identical apartments, you can still do something.

Perhaps a good way to start would be to introduce yourself to some of your neighbors. I lived on the same block for 17 years and one day realized that I knew the full name of only four people on my block -- and three people by a name, although I am not sure it was their name. There had to be in excess of 70 different families that lived on that street. Although I did the usual nodding hello to some, I did not have a clue as to who they really were. Rather than creating the proverbial village that raises one child we have chosen to become islands upon ourselves. Disconnected from our neighbors, we view our neighborhoods as the place where our stuff is. Gone are the days where your neighbors looked out for your children and you looked out for theirs. This is the dawning of a new day -- every man, woman and child for themselves.

Warm is the memory of children selling lemonade, block parties, the neighborhood grocer, the cop on the beat, borrowing a cup of sugar or just the way your dog nipped at Joe the Mailman's leg. Yes, warm are those memories -- but those memories are not yours. In our quick fix, detached society we view our neighborhoods as a place to pass on the way to and from work. If by some miracle we allot ourselves some time to enjoy, we pack up the car and race out of our neighborhood. Interestingly enough, many people only know the path they travel to and from work, yet, are unable to give directions only a few blocks away. This environmental disassociation enables us to continually turn a blind eye to even those things that are within our power to fix. We are a people who take no pride in their homeland as would be evidenced by even the simplest attention - such as picking up some trash rather than tossing more.

What has taken years of disinterest to create cannot be fixed in a simple, one-step manner. Does that mean that it cannot be improved? Ask yourself a few questions: What does the front of your house look like? Are the hedges trimmed or does it look like Amazonian underbrush? Is your sidewalk swept or do you have to leap over the garbage and tiptoe around the care package that the neighbors' dog left just to get by. It is up to you to take pride in the outside of your home as well as the inside. There is no reason why a person who lives in an apartment could not make sure that the front of their building is neat and tidy. This may be the job of the building owner or the super, but it is YOUR HOME. I’m sure your landlord’s home looks simply wonderful. In the grand scheme of things, you are the one who can either take pride in your surroundings or have your date drop you off two blocks away so they don't see where you live.

Whether you sweep up trash, paint a railing, or screw the door handle back in place, you have made a difference. Others will show more respect for a well kept home than for a home in a state of disrepair. Shedding apathy is contagious; therefore, you can look upon your newfound concern for your environment as a way to change more than just your 3 feet of space. But is beautifying enough? There is still the people whom you have dutifully nodded at for the last 10 years or so. Perhaps you have, at last, found a common ground, it is their neighborhood too.

Involving yourself in your neighborhood can include many different activities. You might want to join -- or create -- a community group. Maybe the neighborhood playground resembles a prison exercise yard. Churches are always organizing something; become more involved in their activities. Get to know the stores and merchants in your area; after all, the small merchant depends upon your business to survive (so if you don't like them, well . . . you know). Meet the parents of your child's friends. Heck, why not meet your child's friends. Start a petition to put a speed bump on the neighborhood drag strip. Do you know who your politicians are? Do you know what they are? What are they doing (or more often than not, not doing) to help the community? The point is, even a little work, if done by many, can effectuate major change. If you walk through your neighborhood feeling pride and community spirit, rather than apathy or disdain, certainly your perspective would be improved. Feeling good inside transcends you and touches those people and things around you.

On a final note, it is a common understanding that plants which bask in the sunlight and warmth of your care thrive (yes I know, they need water too). On the other hand, put your plant on the windowsill, shove a little water at it now and again and watch. Chances are you will be looking at yourself when walking through a neighborhood which you care nothing about, and which cares nothing about you.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Great Race Card, Thank You Johnnie Cochran (hate me-hate me - I don't care)

Although prejudice has been around for time in memoriam, there are those among us who would like to take it to new heights. Sure, the KKK and Neo-nazis are disgusting parasites who prey on hate, but they are not quite as dangerous as some of your newer hate mongers. The old style bigots are an ignorant bunch of loud mouths who practically wear a sign saying HATE ME PLEASE; they go on Jerry Springer or Geraldo Rivera and start fights. They look funny, dress funny and talk funny, and the only non funny things about them is their rhetoric and the fact that they are desperately trying to procreate a new militia, all while being supported by our tax dollars. But that is not what this blog is about, since anybody with a pen could write a list of expletives to describe this herd. It is the new group of malcontents who, with their three-piece suits, Ph.D.'s in sociology or criminology, law degrees, and self righteous, pious indignation toward ANYTHING done by those of any other race, religion or creed which are the cause for concern. They are the mega-bigot.

The mega-bigot preys on the fear of those who desperately want for peace. They raise their voices in violent war cries, ignore all that is good in order to magnify all that is bad, sit anxiously by their Police Bands waiting to pounce on any situation that even hints of a possible controversy. These same so-called voices of the people do not speak of how to find peace, only of how to win war. If the true goal behind the protests and marches is to obtain peace and unity, than why do we only see these self appointed leaders at times of crisis highlighting the negative? Where are they with positive ideas and words to create unity before the crisis? Leaders set the tone for their followers. A leader's greatest accomplishment is in bringing people into the light. It is as important to promote peace, as it is to rally against injustice. A true balance requires not only a call for change, but a sincere desire to build bridges between the gaps in thought which initially caused the crisis.

If the objective is peace, than the battle is full-time, not only when there is finger pointing and media circuses. More is accomplished in the quiet moments of inflection, where true spirit and moral character resides, than is ever accomplished with your lips pursed against a bullhorn. Does this mean that no person should rally? Of course not. Protests, marches, rallies, meetings, these are all places where positive change can be born. Where would this country be if we had not fought the wars that we had fought to obtain the rights we now possess? But if the only voices you hear are shouts of rage, it is hard to empathize with the shouter. Imagine walking down the street and having someone come up to you and begin to yell, would you listen to their words or watch their action? Would you give serious contemplation to what they are shouting if you felt as though you needed to take a defensive posture? If, however, someone were to walk up to you and speak to you with respect, true conviction and concern, how differently would you view such a person? There are so many of us who want and need change, yet rather than trying to gather strength in a positive, proactive way, we wait until tragedy strikes than take to the streets to vent. What have we accomplished by striking out, even in the case where anger is justifiable? Perhaps if we were to stay after the placards were put down to discuss the issues and brainstorm on ways to remedy the problems we might make the very change that our picketing calls for.

I named this entry "The Great Race Card, Thank You Johnnie Cochran" for 2 reasons. First, the term "playing the race card has become synonymous with Johnny Cochran's representation in the O.J. Simpson trial. Second, during the O.J. Simpson trial, which you must have heard of if you were even vaguely conscience in America at the time, there was a great divide in this country, or so the defense would have had you believe. The innocence or guilt of a man was decided based on what regular people thought of the actions of white and black. There was a man on trial -- not a black man; however, since this man was black and the police officers were white than of course you had the division in theory. O.J.'s trial was a faisco starting with out traditional example of bigot, the hate filled Furman who should NEVER been allowed to hold a position of authority. Still, how many people who thought Simpson not guilty would have felt the same if the investigators on the case were not white, or did not include Mark Fuhrman? How many people who thought Simpson guilty would have felt the same if Simpson were not black? There are those who felt that because O.J. was black he needed special protection from bias, and there were those who felt that because he had so many supporters, even prior to the evidence being presented, that someone had to label him guilty. Than there was Cochran -- his mouth, much like a small bomb, exploded the issue that underlined the already strained court of public opinion, forcing to the forefront the idea that the color of the defendant and the accuser had any place in a trial which should have been, but was not, limited to facts. So much trivial showmanship by all of the O.J. Trial Circus Performers, on both sides, made this case a landmark case for the court of the mega-bigot. Do we know, beyond any doubt who killed the victims, who by the way were shown only the lowest regard by the entire menagerie? No! Will we ever really know? I don't believe so. Can this happen again? Of course, and given that it was only moderately discussed for a brief period of time, probably will in short course. So what reason did I have for the whole O.J. paragraph? To demonstrate that the race card being played, in any situation, only served to detract from the fundamental issues which are in need of addressing. With focus only on the color of Mr. Simpson's skin, what truly needed to be examined was hidden in the shadows. To become A PEOPLE, we have to stop looking at the non-issues and bring to light that which is real and substantial.

Another subject which merits focus is the voluntary segregation of people of different cultures. We do not live beside THEM; THEY do not associate with US. Each day of separation adds heat under the melting pot until one day when it will inevitably boil over. Whether it is China Town, Little Italy or Spanish Harlem, this country seems to have no problem with segregation as long as it is by choice. This is; however, a real problem. First of all, segregation does nothing to foster understanding. If we view one another as separate entities rather than a unified people, we stand little if any chance of learning tolerance and understanding It is fear and ignorance which gives life to bigotry and prejudice. Isolating ourselves from our brethren only increases this ignorance and therefore increases prejudice.

Another serious problem with segregation is the balance of power in the political arena. If a community prevalently consists of one culture, a candidate which is part of that culture will have the strongest community support. But does that mean that this is the best person for the job? Rather than examining issues brought to focus by an unbiased voting community, we see far too often politicians voted in for only giving lip service to the "so called" needs of THEM. What I would rather see is THEM become US.

A community diverse in all cultural and racial fronts becomes the ideal of what America was meant to be. By having such a community the political power is shifted from special interest groups to THE PEOPLE. No voice raised should ever hold more importance than another; however, that is not the case. Affluent communities elect to office representatives which serve their interest. The less affluent communities also choose representatives which serve their interest. These elected representatives move upward; however, they do not serve OUR interest. Therefore, when a unified, high-level office becomes available there is a problem. The affluent community, better able to pool their financial resources for backing their candidate assure their candidate the position. It is than that the needs of the affluent become the primary focus of the politician and all bills and legislation passed before them.

People of lower income stand witness time and again to their candidate losing; therefore, they have become disenchanted with the entire electoral process. The growing frustration of the voters in less affluent neighborhoods who watch the system continually abandon them leads these voters to fall away from their polling place. It is, however, these very citizens most in need of representation as they are not looking to get a BIGGER piece of the pie, they only want for the ability to sit at the table.

One last note, just a sidebar really, I would like to know why we are expected to be "colorblind". Is it really necessary to not see our differences in order to treat each other equally? I would think it much better to see, and appreciate, each other's differences and still treat each other equally, but heck that's just me.


Lengthy and Likely Unpopular - On Being American

What does it mean to be an American? Often it is little more than a title we wear only when it fits our needs. My daughter, in second grade, brought home a chart she had made in school entitled: "What Am I?" On this chart were the names of her classmates with their ethnicity. Of the 35 children in her class, only two listed themselves as American. I know a number of those children and not only had they known no other homeland but American, but their parents have known no other as well.

Time and again, when a young person is asked what they are the list of all the "other" countries which are part of their heritage is given. What is the shame in saying American? This does not denigrate any heritage but accepts a responsibility to call the US HOME. I firmly stand behind the ideal of the melting pot, but somewhere along the way we should have blended into one. What constitutes an American?

When you commit to living your life in a country that you chose, you are making a larger commitment than you may realize. You are saying, "This is where I want to call home." Because of the diversity of the background of the American Heritage, people tend to look at us as a holding pen for "other countries". This is not the case. America prides itself on it's helping hand policy and has unquestioningly taken in people who would either want, or in many cases, need, to leave their motherland behind. Does that mean that we should assimilate into the cultures of each of the ethnicities that team onto our shores year after year? Of course not. Should they be ONLY American, not at all; however, for better or worse, you are now not only Irish, Spanish, Italian lalala - you are ALSO American. Wear it with the same pride you wear your geneology.

What that means is that you have chosen us to be host to your new life. You have come here hoping to make a better life for you and your family and we have welcomed you. Frequently we do this with open arms and resettlement money raised through taxes paid by those of us who are already here. Now you may feel that this new life you are creating is of your own doing; however, here's a little news for you, you are making this new life here - in America with us Americans. Yet anti-American sentiment is alive and well and living in the U.S. Not even covertly but openly. This is beyond tolerable. We have people coming here from other countries whose laws put to death anyone expounding ideas against the leadership of their country. However, there exists a freedom to come here and hate us, freely. This needs to be re-examined. To criticize an idea is a world of difference from criticizing a people. There need not be censorship in order to insist that those who come here to make lives do so with the same spirit that has us welcome them.

Alternatively, we Americans must also realize that as the host to our newest citizens there must be tolerance, understanding and acceptance. To levy the emotional fine of September 11th against those peaceful, law-abiding people who have come to join us in this country, is an affront to all that we as a people are meant to stand for. In every society, all across the globe, there are fanatics who will destroy - often in the name of the Father - but those people are radical offshoots of sincere and noble individuals. When we extend our hand across the globe to those who are in need, we must adopt the same philosophy that we have visited upon in the chapter of giving - doing so with an open hand.

Okay yell at me all you want but hey, it's my blog and I'll say what I want.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Politicians - Who Needs Them (another tirade by me)

The word politician has become synonymous with corruption, greed, moral perversion - but how? What happened to all those kids who could someday "even become President" as many a parent has said? We were not the morally bankrupt people which we now look to elect each November - we were idealistic, hopeful and patriotic. What happened? If we were all these wonderful things than how is it that these no-goodnicks managed to take over our democracy turning it into a scandalous money making venture? I think it's time we look more closely at those which we would empower to represent not only our best interests, but the best interests of all of the people in the world we seek to help. A vote cast for the "least corrupt" of the candidates is not a solution - we must find "the last honest man." Grab your lanterns my fellow Americans and a hunting we will go.

What qualifications should we seek out in our candidates? What characteristics could be used to gauge the true metal of a man/woman? These seem like broad ideals which would take many a philosophical debate to come to terms with; however, it is not so. An honest man who chooses a life of service is irreplaceable as not only a candidate, but a leader. Such a man does not need to be endowed with all the political skills that we so often hear is needed to be "the better candidate" as there are ample people who possess such skills to offer the right man the support he needs. It is not the diplomatic joue de vive that should decide who rises and who falls as sincerity and altruism take the back burner to baby-kissing, back room political dealings. Remember Honest Abe was not the most magnetic force in the universe but what he was able to display in his simple, home-spun language and common, middle of the road observations on the nature of the human being catapulted this man from a log cabin to the White House. While most people are capable of being taught from books and shown the "proper" and "correct" way to do things, you cannot teach common sense, you can not lie your way into sincerity and you cannot expect any politician to ever improve the human condition based on the ideas originating from a blackened soul.

When we truly decide to form a party that looks not at the charasmatic charms of a candidate, nor at which candidate did the LEAST number corrupt things, then maybe we might find our way back to the ideals that democracy stands for.

Okay, again, feel free to chastise my self righteous attitude since it's my blog and I don't care who thinks what of me. SOooooo HA. lol.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

On Self Esteem

Most of us have at least some modicum of self esteem issues. We may feel we are great people and just are not "attractive" or we may feel attractive but are just not "smart". There are those of us who believe we'd be great "IF" and finish with some item or quality that we are insecure about our lack of. The most put-together among us tend to have esteem issues. Why?

Through a way too long marriage I believed my ex when he would call me names, convincing myself that I was either too short, too fat, too young then too old, not smart enough, not blonde enough lalala. Always something to keep my self esteem low enough to stay with his stupid ass. Meanwhile, it was his self esteem all along that was truly low. The things people will do to those they love out of insecurity. To convince someone that they are anything less than completely loveable only to secure your partnership with them is criminally cruel and selfish. It is a crime of low self esteem.

I have learned that I am not perfect by society's standards, but screw society - they aren't paying my bills, raising my children, loving my man or holding my friend's hands. Society does not, nor will it ever, know me so why live worrying about their standards. My esteem comes from finding out what it is I value, what is important to me in others for that is what is important to me myself. Beauty, Intelligence, Charm - all barometers for developing higher or lower self esteem - but what are they?

Beauty comes in different ways, be it a work of art or an eye crinkling smile, so yes I do value beauty but the beauty that comes from the artist who creates it, not what was granted unearned and unmerited. I look at my children and as attractive as they may be on a superficial level, I obtain the most joy in their kindnesses, their compassion, their wisdom, their humor, their dedication, their loyalty, their smiles and the love they give freely and earn in return. I look at my baby and see the tenderness, the compassion, the amazing imagination, the humor, the smile, the eyes and the love he feels for me and I give him in return. I look at my friends and see their wit, energy, curiosity, loyalty and sincerity. Yes, I value beauty.

I also value intelligence. When I was younger I joined Mensa, the intelli-elite IQ society, but soon thereafter realized that an IQ is a piece of luck, at best it's a good day with insight. I don't need a card telling me I'm smart because I look at the choices I make in friends, in ethics and in emotion and that's all the card I need (so I stopped paying dues - hey, chalk it up to an intelligent fiduciary decision). I value the same in those closest to me. A lucky 4.0 for a class means nothing compared to a hard fought 2.5. The attorneys I work with are often among the most measured intelligent, but I wouldn't trust them to watch my child for a day. There is more intelligence in living out there in the real world and making intelligent choices, regardless of what others are saying, than you can ever get reading a book or studying a science. So yeah, I value intelligence.

Charm - don't even try to charm me cuz when I see through it you're through.

Money, shit, Money can make you very ugly or it can spread joy - Money is tangible and an entity upon itself so measuring your humanity against it is nothing more than paganism - oh mighty lord dollar.

So, back to esteem, self esteem that is measured by superficial beauty, inherited intelligence, a con-man's dollar or a smile in your face charm is too often the measure that we hold ourselves up to - but is it what we truly hold others up to. Why is it that we are so much easier on other people than we are on ourselves. Values, morals, ethics, concern, compassion and love all tend to be left out of the equation when we measure ourselves up to the imaginary ideal that really doesn't exist. Self esteem, from early on, should not be tangible because what is tangible can be broken or taken away - but those things, like God, that we cannot see but know are real, exist and are beautiful - JUST LIKE YOU.

Monday, October 16, 2006


Most of my life I've been around people who "advise" that to dream is fine but to dream within reason. While it is fine to envision being successful - keep it within the confines of what you can "reasonably" expect to achieve.


Dream BIG!!!!!!!!!!!!

To limit oneself to the confines of what is reasonable limits the minds hidden potential. That nay saying advice cripples the mind's capacity to envision innovative and exciting ideas as they are not reasonable. Want to dream of being the King of the World - friggin dream it. Allow your mind to go with that idea, what would you change, what is wrong/right with the world. Nobody expects you to take over the world Pinky but in dreaming BIG you unleash the leader in you. To put a negative connotation onto one's ideal is to convince yourself that YOUR DREAMS are not worthy to be dreamt. Maybe you aren't going to actually become King of the World, but in allowing your mind to explore those dreams who knows what potential you will unleash - clarity, organization, desire - all leading to you becoming KING OF YOUR WORLD. You own your dreams - they are part of you. Dreams, like fantasy, is not necessarily meant to play out but to see it, to understand who you are and what excites you allows you to know, master and tweak the you that you are to be the you that you can be. Are ya feelin me yet?

Anyone hoping to convince you of your potential only fears your success. They give you the excuses to abandon what is great in you because they cannot accept that YOU can dream and be while they are limited inside themselves. Who you are is a complex, confusing and wonderful thing to discover - but once you tell yourself that there are parts of you that are undeserving of seeing the light of day - you cripple yourself.

Okay well that's my opinion but then again maybe I'm just an unrealistic, non-viable dreamer here huh?


Sunday, October 15, 2006


Okay, naturally that is not the correct spelling of education, but, considering the public school system's methods, it is more than likely the way half of all college students spell it. Realize I don't have oodles of time to toast the dilapidated shacks that represent our universities of upper learning; but I note that the topic of a paper that a friend asked me to help with for college was entitled: What makes Eminem, and his song Stan, both radical and pop music. I'm thinking this foolish ass topic was for music class - nah - this is English? Argh. Isn't it bad enough that America doesn't have it's own language - like so many other countries? We beg, borrow and steal from virtually the entire universe (we are lazy at times aren't we?). Now we can't even use our rent-a-language correctly.

There is NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING, in an Eminem song that could possibly enhance a student's knowledge of the English language. That's the realist in me talking as I happen to actually enjoy Lil Marshall's tirades; but heeeeeeellllllllooooooooooooooo - college level grammar would be a refreshing change for a college English class.

Okay, well like I said, I have no real time to write today so I'll try to pick this up tomorrow (don't blame me, I do have to work a little here at my job).

For now, G'night ya'll

Friday, October 13, 2006

Life - Why Bother?

What's so great about life? I mean we have all heard how amazing the afterlife is so why should we cling to this one so desperately? Why not just say fuck it all and go on to the other side. Shyt, it'd be easy enough, give one of these lunatic world leaders an armed nuclear warhead and a fifth of E&J and we're history. So why not?

Simple, we're friggin doers. We do shyt. We bitch and moan and groan but every day we are doing things trying to make our lives better. We work hard for that raise, we give love to our loved one's to foster stronger relationships, we play hard to win - we just do shyt. We aren't ready for a lounge chair and harps cuz there's not battle to forge ahead with and no prize to strive for.

Human beings are just vain enough to think that we can make things better - unfortunately we tend to think along lines of the 4 feet that surround us. We just seek changing our immediate environment and that myopic thinking is what keeps us on the brink of universal collapse and sends your young people overseas to die. We don't seek to improve or win for someone else, we want for US. Well US will be no more if that self absorbed way of thinking continues. Look past those 4 feet or one day that 4 feet will exist no more. At this rate the destruction of man is not a question of IF, but WHEN - will it be in our lifetime? our children's? our grandchildren's?
We all know who to blame though don't we? THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not us cuz we mind our own business. We get up, go to work, pay bills, drink one too many beers on the weekend, and start again on Monday. We revel in our virtual world's be it internet or television. We're not doing anything wrong so it must be THEIR fault. WRONG!!!!!!!

If you are not willing to fight for more than your four feet maybe you should just accept that you have imprisoned yourself in a cell on Earth and all the world has to offer will be lost, just outside your grasp, because if you do not involve yourself in it - it simply does not belong to you.
Hey, I'm tired it's been a tough week but just a lil something something to think about.
PEACE (I hope


I'm beginning to wonder what the hell we get pets for. What could they possibly add to our quality of life. They either shit in the house or you have to walk them out in the rain, snow, sleet and dead of night. They shed, peel or molt, always on whatever you own that is opposite their color. They sleep all day while you're at work and all night it's a constant barrage of "give me attention - give me attention." I've heard say that people will come out of a coma when given a puppy or kitten. Sure they do, they wanna strangle the thing.

I have experience the joy of pet ownership since birth and believe me - I know - Pets suck.
When I was little we moved in with these people who had a three legged poodle. My brother, also little (5 maybe) so annoyed this damn poodle that it hopped away. Bye bye poodle. We got older so the dog got bigger, German Shephard. I don't even wanna know what kinda owner it had before cuz the first time it saw me in a robe, holding a paper, it attacked. The shephard loved rabbits though, which I know cuz he burst through the screen and just chewed them to pieces. I got to shovel the guts. Bye Bye Rabbits.

Once on my own I though, no more pets, simple. Not so simple. The collection of cats began with a calico with this snaggle tooth and bad attitude. She would not let anyone pick her up (except me and that's only cuz I didn't beat her to death for tearing a rip down my arm the first night), we went to the shore for the summer and when I went to load her into the car she bit me (my arm swelled bigger than a leg yo). Bye now Seasons. Than we got midnight, midnight was the epitome of evil. She found a way to fly into the air, hold on with one paw and grab the canaries outta the cage with the other. One day I seen her with this screaming bird in her mouth looking at me. I yelled, put that shyt down dammit (I hate birds) but with a twinkle in her eye (and I'm sure a song in her heart) she bit down. Bye Midnight.

We got a dog after, Charlie. We got this lab mix at Northshore - older street dog. This dog decided that going to the bathroom out in public was indecent and refused to go. We tried everything imaginable to teach this moron including chaining her to a wall with papers under her for a month. The minute we let the chain go she ran into the other room and went. Bye Charlie. We then got Suzie, Suzie was a cutie but we had a lot of hyperactive kids hanging out at my house at the time. This drove Suzie crazy 'til one day she decided she wanted to end her life and jumped off my roof (third story) - she managed to miss all the spikes and lived. Two days later she raced outta the building into the street. Again, she lived only her leg was badly broken. The vet quoted a price that left us stunned and speechless so we gave her to my ex's rich uncle, bye Suzie.

Never say die though right? We went through the Iquana phase. Petland was always selling these suckers cheap and we quickly found out why, they were all in critical condition. Time and again we would take it home, put it in the tank and in less than a week transplant it to the backyard (which we renamed the Iguana Burial Grounds.) We thought maybe getting a humongous one would help so a friend gave us a six footer. We lost it though in my daughter's room. It ran away (down the side of the building) and fled for it's sanity. My kid's room was such a mess we only gave up after looking for a week. The last iguana though was my biggest heartbreak, it stayed real small and lived for a good six months or so, thus, I got attached. One day it just started gasping for air so I tried to give it CPR, it exploded. That jaded me on the who iguana thing.

We than chose cute and cuddly hamsters. Yeah, the two of them were just adorable until it became the 22 of them. All night long 22 running vermin next to my bed - I started looking into therapy. Eventually one ate the other and the numbers diminished until there once again was two, and we gave them to my son's friend J---, yeah him. Than he had 20+ but he had a better way to get rid of them - he just dumped them into the cages at Petland. Ha suckers, selling me terminally ill iguanas.

We went back to birds since the cats were gone but it was cold and we hung the cage over the kitchen doorway and turned on the stove, guess there was a gas leak, bye bye birdies.
We got a dog after that, kinda a demented birthday gift for my 5 year old. It was a full breed cocker spaniel. Something, however, was amiss as this cocker was almost three feet tall. It spent half its life filthy and the other half costing us a fortune in grooming bills. It was weird cuz at one point there was this horrible smell emitting from its mouth, like maggots or something, so we take it to the vet only to find that it needed plastic surgery to make it go away. Yeah, okay, I'm gonna get the family dog plastic surgery before me. But still the dog had a real sense of self cuz once we took it to this cheap groomer who just made it the first ever completely bald cocker spaniel. The dog refused to walk in the street that way, it was embarassed. Well, I'm sure it looked much better being dragged with its legs outstretched down the sidewalk with my ex huh? Due to our limited ability to deal with the world's stupidest dog (dumb dumb dumb) we gave it to a friend who just ADORED it for their kids. Bye Cherokee.

Next we got the fat cat. Whoa this cat is huge. Anyone who lays eyes on it thinks it's the shyt, I think it's just shyt. She lays around shedding and eating all day and that's it. She developed a real hatred of me so whenever I would wash dishes she'd go to the bathroom and fill the litter, she'd only rub up on me when I was wearing black, she'd lay in my drawer the minute it was open, she'd tear at only my sneakers and leather coat - argh. But my entire family adored her highness so she stayed until I left.

Now there's little fellow and the members of the U.S. Catolympic team. They fly through the air, have races up and down my hardwood floors, climb up and jump from EVERYTHING, fit into the smallest spaces known to man, eat more than any sumo wrestler ever. They are these irritating little creatures who live in any step I'm about to take. Now the beauty is I either developed an allergy or there's just so many of these bastards that now I'm allergic to them - and they are forever near me. I can picture them causing my demise - resperatory problems - the whole nine. Yup, thinking of moving my bed to the back yard now and just letting them keep the house. Argh.

But now for the disclaimer *I have, over the past zillion or so years, been mommy to many other pets whose fates were kinder, and whose presence was not so traumatic. It is important to know that no animals, living or dead (except that iguane) has ever been hurt by me (unless you call the occassional step on the kittens who dart at my feet pain.)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

On Being a New Yorker

Being a New Yorker carries a certain connotation that I would like to correct - we are not the rudest state/city and our people are not callous.

I was riding the train this morning looking around at my fellow New Yorkers and I began to think to all the times I've seen one fall, have their bags stuck in subway doors, ask for or give directions and we rise. I recall this scene from some obscure and ridiculous movie, Joe's Apartment, where this performing artist lay on the floor covered in theatrical blood for days while people stepped over (or on) him - b.s.

I have yet to see anyone in distress in this city that at least three to four people do not try to assist. Given the multitudes of tourists, and the frequency in which the typical New Yorker gets stopped to give direction, we're pretty damned patient. We have busy, hectic, rushed lives while our "guests" are strolling side by side blocking the sidewalks and I have to see anyone shove past rudely (and Lord knows I've been wayyyyyyyyyy tempted.) You block subway stations steps with your cell phone calls while we try to single file by but do we shove you down the stairs - seldomly.

There are unspoken rules in New York which maybe, just maybe, if you understood you would realize why we growl and throw dispariging remarks your way. For example we have passing lanes - on the sidewalk. If you wish to pass and walk at the accellerated pace of a real person - ummm - I mean New Yorker - you go on the left. If you wish to lollygag around staring up going oooooooohhhhhhhhhhh STAY ON THE RIGHT! Not a hard concept but you foreigners from Nebraska and other out of the way places can't seem to grasp that.

If you need directions do NOT pick the person with earphones walking in the passing lane. If you ask for directions don't say things like "well she said the Village, how do you get there?" The VILLAGE is not a street - it is an AREA - narrow this shyt down before stopping us please.

We realize that street vendors selling "designer" bags is new to you - but only one row please, do not let your masses back up and block the entire sidewalk k? And we do NOT cross at the green not in between - you are not in Kansas any more - so stop blocking the curb we want through.

You cannot take pictures of anything further than 1.5 feet away or you are getting US in them since we will not be stopped.

Get your overpacked ass off the train during rush hour - we have somewhere to be. Additionall we fit six people a bench on the train, if you don't wanna sit right up on us, stand. We're tired.
We do apologize for casualties and you've seen us mourn however, think, do you really want to leave a bar in the bowery alone at 5 in the morning - we ain't even that brave.

Learn our language, we didn't call you nigger we said niggah - urbandictionary.com - use it.
But, should you seek to understand you will - and in that knowledge you will find that we stand together, we have each other's backs, we help and aid, we feel and show compassion - just follow the rules.