Friday, April 27, 2007

Public Information?

I was talking with a co-worker last week. Her brother had told her he wanted to boycott the media for releasing the video of the Virginia Tech killer. She agreed although she knew it wasn't realistic to expect them NOT to show it. Still, there should be some semblance of decency here where we don't show these things. She talked of Saddam's hanging being publicized. Sensationalism? Probably. She admits she was drawn to her computer to seek this out too. But upon seeing it, she wished she hadn't. I understood her view and I could agree and yet not agree. After all, though the world is full of people with a morbid need to see these things, there are folk like me who truly wanted to hear the voice of this person for themselves to maybe pull some speck of sense out of this senseless tragedy.

Maybe something would be shown that would make me go, "Oh! I think I see where he got off on Insanity Trail and things went horribly wrong." But I can't say that. I heard he was picked on and I assume life was not as good to him as he would have liked. Having gone to college in rural Virginia on the coast opposite Va. Tech, I suspect I've been around the snobby types he dealt with and I can even imagine how he may have felt a little out of place. The school's own 2006/2007 Enrollment Profile showed that out of 21,937 students, over 15,000 of them were white. A little over 1,500 were Asian. There were even fewer African-Americans and Native Anericans. This is the norm at places like this. But this is not to say he had an excuse. This is simply me saying that as big as these numbers look, I know they really don't translate like this face to face. Again, I've been there.

Still, he was clearly troubled by more than the average college student who is at the height of their identity crisis only, ironically, they won't know that until they get OUT of college. People must be curious about what it would take to turn into this person. People are wondering what to look for in the people around them to hopefully protect themselves and maybe even prevent such a thing from happening again. I'm sure it wasn't pleasant to hear this lunatic's rants but it could have been worse. He could have taped the incident somehow and mailed that off. That would surely force me to send my kids to another room but I still don't take away the media's right to have shown this. Somehow it felt necessary. Eight years in a newsroom, and four years before that on my college newspaper, probably embedded that whole free speech and right to know thing.

But then, in the same week, here comes Alec Baldwin and his rant against his 11 or 12-year-old daughter. He called her names I won't repeat because despite the inhumanity of how he spoke to her, this is one time when I think something should not have been made public. This was NOT necessary to disclose. This was not in the interest of public safety but truly was sensationalism, though I think some would disguise their curiosity as being concerned abut the welfare of this child they don't even know the name of. I am hearing him on the news at this very moment as I write this. Whatever is going on between him and Kim Basinger, we did not need to hear this and his daughter? Well apparently she stood him up yet again for a phone call they are supposed to have. From the sounds of it, she's already an angry kid or else mommy is whispering toxic nothings in her ear. Can't say. I don't live in their home. Still, I feel for her. I really doubt she will ever get over her father's words. Not on her own, anyway. If Alec thinks he can apologize the crushed feelings away, I'm here to tell him he is delusional.

But I recognize I don't know this girl and being a parent, I know some kids can truly drive you beyond the brink. Not mine, of course! Still, it just seems unnecessary. And even more unecessary was us having to be let in on that private moment. I'm embarrased for both of them. And I'm embarrased for all of us who had to hear that. It would be great to turn back time and stop that tape from being released. It's hard enough being a parent without worrying about someone exposing us at our worst and then villifying us as if this is how we always are. People without children, please don't tell me how evil he is because I just don't think you know as much as you think you do about the rough waters of parenting.

I can't defend Alec's tirade but I am defending his right to screw up as a parent without public scrutiny. My prayers go out for that girl that this is not the norm for her and that she won't carry on this hurt that has now been planted in her. I just hope that she too won't be the subject of ridicule among her peers and maybe even internalize things to such an extent that she turns into, what? A socially ostracized young adult with homicidal and self-destructive tendencies? Going too far? Naw.

Words are powerful and they can wound a person forever. Just ask Seung-Hui Cho. Oh wait. You can't. He's dead. And he took 32 lives with him.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Painful Parenting

Aside: Did you know that Hershey Park is 100 years old today? I love that place. It's the chocolatiest place on earth! One of my girlfriends was in med school down in Hershey many moons ago so Mr. T and I went to see her graduate and we hung out at the park one day. Just 2 childless people (unmarried at the time) having a fun day. We've got great memories. Sigh.

In other news, did you see the college football player who was diving for a ball on the sideline and took out a toddler by accident? I'm sure it's on YouTube somewhere but one of the things they talked about on the news this morning - as they aired the video - is whether or not this should be out there. I won't contribute to the voyeurism by finding the video and posting it here, even though it would probably be good for my traffic. People are saying they don't want to see it yet it's being played over and over. The 4-year-old boy is fine. He was bleeding from his head but he's purple and blue now. The tot's mom said it was one of those things where she turned to pay attention to one child and here is the other getting slammed - literally. I'm still waiting for someone to ask, "Why was the child on the field?"

I know very well how easily things happen to your kids. So does the mom down in NJ who sent her 7-year-old son into a bathroom alone and he got molested. Heard about that one last night too. I can guarantee she'll be beating herself up for that one for the rest of her life. Me? Son goes with me until Son is big enough to put a hurting on someone. It's as simple as that. I don't care if he's 7 or 10, and I don't care what anyone says about him being in the women's room. But you know what? I don't think anyone would ever say anything because it seems to be one of those things where everyone simply knows, no child should be left alone EVER. Most people anyway.

I won't even mention the Alec Baldwin incident. I wrote about him separately. Post it next time.

Now, I don't know why a toddler on the field is acceptable and I don't know what that mom was thinking sending that kid in the bathroom alone. I only know things happen and I have personal experience with that. The interesting part, at least as far as that football incident goes, is I wonder if social services will step in at any point. Too far you say? Oh no. Not in CT.

Briefly, because 7 years later I am still moderately PO'd and resentful. Son was 5 months old and being watched by his Godmother who at that time had been a foster parent for over 20 years. Not once has she or her husband had an issue. Never. A 2-year-old she watched as well put her hands on my son's face as he slept in his carseat and pinched him so hard I can't tell you the marks she eventually left. He looked fine, essentially, but the tell-tell signs didn't show up until the next day so Husband took him to the doctor because it looked worse than we thought. "You should have seen the way they were looking at me," he said. "Yeah. I can imagine."

The doc who saw him was new to the practice and I was at a meeting or something that night so I wasn't with them. He took pictures of Son and that set off the alarms. He didn't believe a 2-year-old could do this. He simply didn't believe it. Nevermind there is no history of abuse related to my son OR his Godmother. Nevermind that Husband brought him in and LET him take pictures. (Those are gone now.) Nevermind that our own records with the docs never showed them having concerns about him or us. Apparently we should have brought him in that very same night. Doc called me at work - my NEW job - the very next day and because I didn't say what he wanted me to say, decided to call in DCF.

Now, the docs have to follow certain rules. Granted. And I told him I was at work (in an office I shared with 2 other people, by the way). Plus I was the new girl and here he is accusing either my son's Godmother or even us of abusing our 5-month-old. I couldn't explain my level of anger and disbelief and hurt but in order to keep it in check I had to speak calmly AND cryptically, given where I was. I told him no, I did not believe the Godmother had anything to do with it and yes, I very much believed the girl did it. She has big hands and she is strong. Seen it for myself. Not good enough for him, I guess. He misinterpreted my calm for not caring or something stupid like that. (I told you I was still resentful.)

A DCF worker went to her house so I had to leave work early because I wanted to support her as well as show my face to this person. He, nice guy really, had to talk to her and he had to have a cop with him as he did it. Oh yes. Son's name is in some police file somewhere. I was livid about that too. But admittedly, the worker and cop were VERY accommodating and knew how to handle things. I told the cop afterward I appreciated his behavior. Apparently they could charge me with some kind of abuse or neglect EVEN THOUGH I WAS 5 TOWNS AWAY AT THE TIME IT HAPPENED. My allowing her to continue to take care of son was an issue for them. (The girl, incidentally, was removed by the parents because it came down to watching her or all the other kids she was watching and she had to choose for their safety.)

SO DCF guy had to go to MY house too. Must see how the child lives. Gee. Your son has his own room and clothes and food and toys all over the place, and he's happy. Plus, my pastor came to talk to the guy on our behalf. DCF guy could tell there was nothing to find and assured me of that. A day or two later a nurse went over to see the little girl and wrote in her report that the child is big and strong for a 2-year-old. The parents admitted that she pinches everyone and the nurse saw for herself what she was capable of. Done. The law-abiding citizens really were telling the truth. Imagine that.

We had a little chat with the head of the doc group and she defended her doc while understanding our position as well. But that doc? Well, I have friends who go to this group and not one of them will let him see their children. Neither do we. He meant well. I know it. But my son is now in The System needlessly. I also went to the DCF office to complain. I was the 2nd parent to ever do that, they said. What? No one wants to clear their name after an atrocity like this? Just you and one other, they said. Amazes them too. Still, the records are written and in the computer but the file goes away after a year and the computer file supposedly deleted after 2 years. I wrote a letter after years 1 and 2 but still no proof that it disappeared. This is the time of year when it happened so I think I should go revisit that one.

Lesson here? In the state of CT, children's rights rise above the parents. If you are a parent, you might understand how problematic that can be. But I wonder if anyone will be visiting that mom who's son got tackled by a college football player. Somehow I doubt it.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Boxes, Boxes, Anywhere?

I am sick of looking at my papers everywhere. Look at this mess:

I have big plastic bins full of things that I still have to go through and some paper boxes hanging around as well. And bags. Don't forget the bags.

And my desk? I can't even get a reprieve there when I jump online to check email or, of course, blog before the world. Do you see this stuff?

It's insane and I need some order. I had to spend a few weekends first thinking long and hard about the kind of bookcase I wanted in my office. I thought I wanted something green so I can have a bit more whimsy in the place. I was considering something like this green bookshelf I found online. Not too light, not too dark. Not too ornate.

But it just wasn't sitting right with me. As I thought about the bookshelf, I thought about what would live on that bookshelf; how my pretty boxes from I-don't-know-where would look on something like this. But pretty boxes would get lost on this, wouldn't they? And would the green really go well with the desk and chest I got that were in the blond wood family? I was beginning to think not. Maybe the best thing to do is to get something more neutral - say, blond - so the color of the boxes could not only help usher in the color in the room (nevermind that the walls are already Orange Blossom), but the color would simply pop better on that wood.

Now the chest and the desk have curves, so I was thinking I wanted a bookcase that had some curves, but so far no dice. Besides, the one bookshelf that won't leave my mind is the one I first saw long ago that caught my attention because it was open and would allow the color of the walls to show through. I'm past transitional living, mind you, but when something fits, I guess it fits and thank God when that something doesn't cost you your first born child. So even though the wood isn't quite the same wood as what I have on the desk and chest, I think I am going to get this from - shudder - Ikea.
Yep. Ikea IS a fun place to hang out. Don't get me wrong. But I am SICK of building furniture. The $60 I paid to have my desk put together in one hour sold me on never building furniture again. But I don't think Ikea has a furniture assembly service they deal with. Or maybe they do. I'll have to check.

So with the potential bookshelf possibly chosen, I came home tonight to once again look at what I have sitting around to see if I can figure out what kinds of categories I have growing under these plastic lids. I've already made a list of what I know I have in general and tried to figure out what might work best in boxes, and what would be better off in notebooks. I'm even working on going through all the magazines I've saved over a long time to finally tear out the articles that meant something to me and put them - in category order - in a notebook. Oh yes. That's how organized I plan to be in here.

As I lay the time-touched papers and magazines at my feet and surround myself with memories and reminders of what I still need to do, I come across one of the paper companies I have dealt with for my business and it occurs to me that maybe I have been searching all wrong on the Internet for the pretty boxes I am so desperately seeking. I know they exist. I saw loads of them at HomeGoods after work today, but they were florals and dark leathers and simply the wrong colors all over the places. And I saw about 3 -4 aisles of these wrong boxes! So hurtful. If I had no decor to think of, I could have gone nuts! But as always, I can't find what I want when I want it. Only lots of tempting imposters. Why can't I find beautiful containers like these:

Or these:

Or even these, but these are too small and they only come in these so-so colors:

I've searched Pottery Barn, Stacks and Stacks, The Container Store, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Linens n' Things, Walmart, Target, you name it. Why must it be such a chore to get the colors I seek?

In my travels, however, I did discover this great looking blog written by a professed OrgJunkie. I love her colors and the cartoon shelf in her header is pretty much the shelf I picture in my head when I look over at the blank wall behind me. Maybe this organization maven will have some answers for me when I get the time to go trolling through her posts. I do have a colleague from one of my business groups who is a professional organizer to whom I can resort as well, and she even lives on my street, so I know all hope is not lost. And oh! Do you like jewelry boxes? I found some beautiful ones here but here's a picture to entice you like it did me. Aren't they great? The color is what draws me. Plus, my also ongoing need for the perfect jewelry box. One with lots of little squared compartments so I can keep earrings separate but equal from the rest. But I digress.

In the meanwhile, I know what I want in boxes so I'll just keep on looking and searching and waiting to find perfection. I know they are out there. I know someday my prints will live in their own perfectly colored box on a shelf of my cubby-holed bookshelf. I can't wait for the day when someone asks me for something at HOME, like they do at work, and I can not only find it, but I can find it quickly and I can find last year's version as well. My writings will rest with my writing class information but not all mixed up. Oh no. Even in the box, things will be organized.

I gotta tell ya, I don't know what happened to make me so obsessed with all things neat and in order but then again, if I really think about it and I'm honest, I suppose I've always been this way. And color? Well, I did originally go to college to be an Interior Design major so maybe I've just come full circle 15 years later. I suppose there is something comforting in knowing that I've always been this way and I've just reached the age where my life-long loves can manifest themselves in new and personally exciting ways. Whoa! How did I get here? I was talking about boxes, for crying out loud!

If you have any recommendations for where to buy some - no. I will not make them. Don't have time or energy for that. - then I am all blog ears. Regale me.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Things Heard in My Home (or Car)

I just wanted to share a little of my world with you all. These are just a few of the witty, random little things that come out of the mouths of my children. In no particular order:

Daughter's song: I don't want to be a chicken. I don't want to be a duck. Quack, quack.

Daughter: I'm a zooooommbie!

Son: Do you want to borrow my legs?

Daughter to Son: You are annoying me!

Son to daddy while daddy is driving:
What are you eating? Do you have gum? I want some gum! Can I have some gum?
"I don't have gum."
What is it then? Is it candy? I want some candy! Can I have some candy?
"I don't have candy."
What is it then? Is it a mint? I want a mint! Can I have a mint?
"I don't have a mint."
Is it pie? I want some pie! Can I have some pie? (Mr. T and I roll our eyes at each other and I try so hard not to laugh as Mr. T. tries to keep his cool.)
"I don't have pie."
What do you have?
"Nothing, Son! Back off!"
I kid you not. This exchange happened.

Son playing with sister: You be the mother and I'll be the teen-ager. "Hi, mom!" Further explanation to sister/mom: "Now I've got to get a girlfriend."

Daughter to me as we get ready to go to the store:
(Hand out to me, neck twisting) Give me money. Give me money now. I KNOW you have it. (I'm being held up by a munchkin.)
Me to Daughter: Get a job. Get a job NOW. I've got nuthin' for ya!

Son and Daughter watching Scooby-Doo:
Son - I'm Scooby Doo!; Daughter - "I'm Dafanee!" Son -"If you're Daphne, that means you're always gonna get caught."

Daughter when given a yummy marshmellow Peep, which she's never had before: Mommy. I can't eat the duckie!

Daughter to me:
I wish we could have a baby.
(Startled) Excuse me?
I wish we could have a baby.

So I can hold him. Do YOU want to have a baby, mommy?

Do you want to have a baby?
Sigh. I just don't know.

In case you forgot, she's 3. He's 7. Unless he's around her, then he's 4.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Easter Egg-citement

In all the hustle and bustle of life, I never got to share my kiddies' Easter activity. I don't do this normally. Nana does. But Nana doesn't live here anymore. OK, so WE don't live with Nana anymore but I liked the way it sounded the first way better.

Nana bought the baskets and put the candy and toys in them. Nana decorated the eggs with them and I was fine with that because I'm not in that place yet where my spiritual beliefs and need to make that clear to them have happily found a place alongside traditional, non-religious activities such as this one. I had them as a kid, so it's not like I was denied and I'm passing that on to my brood. I'm just working on how to teach the life and keep the fun without compromising the life, you know? Not always easy.

But here is my attempt to go along with status quo because Son really looks forward to it. He loves eggs - as opposed to most healthy foods - so thankfully, it's not a waste. Daughter, on the other hands, hates them. So I may not have to do too many of these over the years. We'll see.

Son carefully pours the water and drops in the dye tablet.

I do the yellow and this is the last you'll see of that. Daughter spilled it not too long after that.

So Son does most of the stirring as Daughter looks on.

Time for the first egg! Son gets the honors.

Daughter is eager to help, however.

Eggs. Yuck! Fun to dye. Horrible to eat. Good thing Mommy and Son like them.

Finished product, stickers and all! They lasted 2 days. Whew!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Shock Jock No More

Well, well, well. Don Imus was fired from NBC. Maybe the world is ready for a black president.

UPDATE: Correction! Imus was fired from NBC and CBS. I recognize this is no small move for these giants. And since the sins of the husband also visit the wife, his wife, an author, had to cancel a book tour scheduled during this unfortunate time.

Will this widen the racial divide? There's nothing I can say at this time.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

What's YOUR Role?

So today I was called the "mom" at my job. Nevermind that when my own kids call me "mom" I scream, "Don't call me that!" Connotations. I can't explain it. They can call me "mommy" until they are old and gray but please don't call me mom. Forget the name of my blog. It's irrelevant. So there.

But at work, it's not an insult. I get comments about my being organized and people are getting to the place where they just about expect me to have something they have misplaced. Now, I wasn't born with this acceptable version of OCD so I can only conclude that becoming a real mother had something to do with my sudden organizational superpower. I was, however, born a "mom" because all of my life my friends have rolled their eyes as I did and said things for their own good. Or they simply said nothing as I told some knucklehead, "No, she's NOT interested in YOU. Go away." Man. I am a mother, aren't I? What's up with that?!

On my job, I started out as Editorial Assistant so it was - and still is - my job to keep track of things. Still, "You're the mom," made me laugh and made me wonder. Hmmm. Is that a GOOD thing? At home it means I nag people and I know I do it at work too. How else do you get things done that started months ago?

So, I'm the mom. I'm the mom? Yikes, I'm the mom! I suddenly feel old.

Do you have a "family" role you are playing out at your job?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Black, White and Red All Over (LONG)

I don't necessarily live every day thinking about my skin color. It comes to mind for all sorts of reasons, whether I want it to or not. But generally, it is what it is - a part of my life but not necessarily something I obsess or worry over. Many people are simply foolish and I choose to roll my eyes and keep going. Most of the time my mantra is, "Life is too short..."

But I had to think about it over the past few days. First on Saturday morning when a friend of a friend who is working on her PhD came over to interview Daughter. She needed to talk to kids between the ages of 3 and 5 to see how their view on race is evolving. We don't talk race to Daughter right now. She says, "I'm beautiful!" And we just agree with her. That's about as far as it goes. So it was going to be interesting to see how she did when she was interviewed. The woman gave me a questionnaire as well, so I saw and heard them from a distance but I wasn't sitting there watching. I suspect that was intentional.

You've seen the test or heard of it. She showed Daughter 2 sets of dolls - 1 black, 1 white - to see which she thought looked nice, which she liked, which looked like her, etc. She pointed to the black doll when asked which looked like her. Considering that doll was darker than she is, that was interesting all by itself but then again, I took an inventory of her dolls beforehand (out of curiosity) and 9 out of 10 - and she may only have about 10 - are brown-skinned black dolls that are darker than she is.

When asked which doll she liked, she pointed to the black one again. But when asked which looked nice, she pointed to the white one. Now, I didn't study the white dolls - there were 2 different sets - but my first thought upon seeing one was, "Gee, she looks more Hispanic in color than white." And I can't recall now if it was blond or not. I don't know. Maybe it was just my own thinking that it didn't matter that kept me from zoning in on that. I choose black dolls for her automatically but I don't cringe when someone give her a white one.

Daughter was also shown illustrations. She picked the male over the female when asked who washed dishes. Not your typical answer but maybe she equated it with cooking and Mr. T certainly does more of that in our home than I do. She also picked the black woman over the white woman when asked who looked like she wouldn't say, "You go away. You can't play with me." (I forget the exact phrasing of this.) But she picked the black man as the one most likely to take money out of his kid's piggybank. And the white man as the one who looked nice or safe or something like that. Overall, she fell in line with most of the kids interviewed so far, picking whites over blacks in one category and going about 50/50 in the other two.

It was interesting. I intentionally set out to do things differently from other people and I teach my kids the same. Still, we're all just so much alike. The Interviewer and I agreed that for her age group, there aren't many cartoons to point to as far as where kids can gain a little cultural perspective so it's hard to blame TV per se. Even in her preschool, it's mainly black and Hispanic children in her class; few whites, though one of her teachers is white. And again, I don't talk race with her though I do with Son because he asks and because sometimes we simply must go there. After all, he is one of 2 black kids in his classroom and when you are truly the minority, no matter how used to it you are (and I am very used to it) defenses go up automatically. Or in this case, defense of my kid.

When her study is done, it shall be an interesting read to see what the Interviewer does with the info. In the meanwhile, Daughter doesn't seem to care and yet she is clearly being shaped by something other than us. Not sure yet what I want to do with that. Or if it's even necessary.

Then again, something is necessary.

The Don Imus incident can make this point. If you live in this area, you know what I'm talking about. If you don't, you've probably heard about it anyway. Basically he was talking about the Rutgers women's basketball team and the clip I heard had him saying something to the tune of, "..they've got tattoos. Those are some rough nappy-headed hoes!"

Now the quote is not exact. The last 3 words are exact. Well, Imus has everyone up in arms and honestly, I'm still deciding what to think about it. On the one hand, he has apologized more than once from what I've heard and that clip DID sound like someone who spoke without thought. It did not sound intentionally malicious to me. It sounded like sheer ignorance. However, do we dismiss it? Is an apology enough? Many in the black community scream no.

One minister I heard on the radio likened it to the time that he was caught speeding. He apologized but the cop still gave him a ticket. (Please don't harp on the fact that a minister was speeding. They are human too, after all.) But is he right to equate the two? After all, they are calling for Imus to be fired. This man has been at the center of one controversy or another for about as long as I've lived here and known of him. I think that whatever is in a man's heart will eventually come to light and this slip - no matter how accidental it may be - is clearly an indication of what is in his heart. He may not realize it or intend it or even think of it that way, but some stereotypes are lingering there. But guess what? They are lingering in everyone. Some of us just don't have the format available where it might slip out like that.

A point was made that lots of black rappers, singers and such artists tend to use derogatory statements about our own people and this may give some the impression that it's alright for anyone to speak this way about our people. It's not. It's also not OK for us to do it either. But is firing him the answer? I just don't know.

I suppose part of the reason I am not screaming at the top of my lungs right now is because I'm just sitting here shaking my head at yet another example of how far we haven't come. So many people are calling for Imus to get fired and getting email protests going. I say, fine. If this is where the line will finally be drawn and if this will rally us to do more than complain, then maybe this can result in something good happening. Imus wouldn't think so, I know, but a fractured people finally coming together for the good of everyone is a good thing.

But what would happen if we took that same energy to elect Obama? We do rally around the negative things that hurt us as a people, which we should. It would be great if we pooled those same resources to make changes in the other direction - putting people of color into positions of power, financially boycotting the companies that exploit us, NOT buying into the things that feed the stereotypes about us. Demanding more out of our own. Supporting each other instead of denigrating each other. George Fraser pushes this agenda and this I can wholeheartedly support. But this is the harder job, I think - blazing a trail instead of jumping on a bandwagon. It would be the most wonderful thing to see us become one mind in THAT initiative. This is what will tell people how to treat us and they will think twice before dismissing us.

Here's the thing. When there is a wall between two people, the person who recognizes the wall and does something about it is the one who effects the change. It's one of the keys to creating positive relationships. You may be right. The other person may be right. Or you may both be wrong. But it only takes one of you to choose to bridge that gap. Yeah, that other person is stubborn, but you be the bigger one and walk away from the ignorance. That is what we need to do as a people.

Change starts from within. I'm not yelling at white peope right now because I'm sick of US degrading ourselves, belittling each other, perpetrating the crabs in a barrel mentality that is too often associated with us. What one of us does DOES reflect on us all so let's accept it and hold each other accountable.

Our children are angry and confused and hurt and we keep pointing the finger out - not that some of it isn't justified - but let's look at ourselves too. Let's finally fix it.
Let's not laugh at the brother who chooses to study or the sista who speaks proper English.
Let's stop calling each other the N word.
Let's stop acting like we are the center of the universe and go outside our neighborhoods to experience the world.
Let's stop being surprised a young woman has no children.
And while we're at it, we hate it when people say we're all alike. So let's stop expecting each other to be all alike!

Once upon a time, it was not acceptable to air your "family" business in the street. Now we let the whole world see how separated we are. We kill each other, we hurt each other. We are outraged when others treat us as we treat ourselves and each other and we blame them. They blame us. Where is this getting us? We need to regroup and try this again.

No, we should not let other people disrespect us as a people, as a culture. Email campaigns are great. But talk is cheap. Money is power and collectively, we've got it, ya'll. Oh, YES WE DO. We aren't using it right, that's for sure. Let's try putting down the weapons and putting our money where our mouth is and maybe we really can change the world.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Hello, Photo!

Look everyone! I am changing my photo for now. I've been told multiple times that I need to play with PhotoBooth on my Mac so I did. Here I am!

And here I am again!

And again, and again.

And here is me tired of this week.

And even more!

I am one twisted sista. Time to go home yet?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Picture Pages

Tired of talking about my house yet? I'm not! :-)

So, things aren't really THAT different in the (insert any last name here except ours!) household. But a blog without photos is like a colorless rainbow. So even though I have yet to snag the digital camera because Mr. T. took it with him when he went down South - thus ruining my chance to steal it for a while without question - I will post camera shots anyway! And it won't get much better than this, folks, until we have furniture.

These are all pre-satellite and so the missing ingredient in my room and the living room are the TVs. I didn't take a picture of the foyer either because truly there is nothing to see there yet.

First stop, coming in from the foyer, the family room. I am really loving the feel of the color in here and so I think I will be here a lot when there is more to sit on than my rocking chair. As you can see, Daughter has found something else to sit on. Excuse her hair. I just took out the braids.

And because the top view wasn't complete, I swung around to get the rest of the room, just in time to catch the Daughter's triumphant ride upon her brother's back.

Now if you make a left here and ignore the laundry room ahead, you'll find my office and a large painting that a friend of mine did of me exactly 10 years ago. I've mentioned him before. You can see some of the puzzles pieces in the corner there and my precious bombe chest on the side. Just ignore the wires. They are a mess but I intend to clean them up and then devise some sort of fabric cover to match whatever else I do in here.

When you come upstairs in my weirdly laid out home, you come to the kitchen first. You can probably see the legs of the stool at our makeshift dining table. Son likes to sit there. Son does not like to sit in the black chair. I have no idea why. Son is a unique soul.

Make a left and here is the unfurnished living room that will someday house a portable fireplace but for now serves as yet another play area for the kids. Much like the family room downstairs that you just saw and their bedrooms which you will see next. Amazingly enough, I am not annoyed by the clutter yet.

There is no other way out of the living room so duck back through the kitchen and make a left to hit Son's room. Yes, it is this messy right now but it's not his fault. I have to get that dresser over here, remember? I'm not enforcing making up the beds yet until we get into a morning routine that is predictable. We're still working out the new bus stop thing for Son who is still a little anxious about going home just to daddy who is not as predictable as Nana was as far as being home. Thankfully with daddy out on comp, we can have some predictability for him until it's time to get unpredictable again.

The kids' bathroom -really, there is nothing to see here. I told Mr. T not to paint it a color so the curtains and stuff can give the color instead. One day there will be curtains and stuff.

Down the hall we have Daughter's territory. She is sleeping in her big, new bed like the big girl she is. It is wonderful. She's seen a few spiders - in her imagination - and has come to spend the rest of the night with us a few times now. But it was usually after 2 a.m. or right when the sun is rising so still not too bad. She loves opening and closing the drawers of that temporary dresser I put in her room. She's much neater than Son right now.

Finally, our room, sans TV as I said already. I took this picture from the bathroom but really, it's a blank slate too so I didn't take a picture of it. No, the bed isn't made but that's OK. I like just lying there and listening to the kids NOT come in my room to bother me because they are still taken by the fact they have 2 floors to run wild in. I hadn't thought of it before this week but 2 floors is new to them. I grew up in 2-story homes with basements and the like but they have been in 1st-floors apartments and ranch homes all their lives. It's no wonder they still follow me everywhere I go in the house and call for me if they don't see or hear me.

I think I have a picture of the outside of the house. I can't recall if I ever posted that or not. Let me check.....

This was before we bought the place, thus the large Dumpster over to the side. But nothing's changed yet. There are pumpkins on the lawn. I already promised 2 of them to my friend/neighbor down the street so sorry, you can't have those. The stepping stones with ladybugs on them are adorable in and of themselves but I don't want them, plus they are broken so they have to go anyway.

I didn't take a picture of the back yard, which everyone says is big, but one day I shall, after I plant flowers and position my new petrified fairy (someone else's wonderful term) in her place under the tree. In the meanwhile, this concludes the tour of my freshly painted and carpeted home. Thanks for visiting!