Thursday, January 31

i want to fly away


Can't post now - LOST is on tonight and I'm too excited to type straight. Seriously, minions, today I don't even hate my job, that's how excited I am. Is it silly to be so happy about a TV show? I say no, take your happiness where you can get it! I get mine from a soapy, psuedo-intellectual, almost sci-fi, pop show which I will watch while eating Haagen Daaz Cinnamon Dolce de Leche ice cream.
I'll be back tomorrow if I'm not in a happy-coma.
Sigh.
Happiness is good.

Wednesday, January 30

you know she's only waiting on the next best thing

It seems like everyone these days is trying one of those online dating sites. I’ve signed up in the past myself. I’m always amazed at how I can answer the survey questions truthfully and end up with a profile that is nothing like me. So I thought I’d make my own questionnaire. Hmmm…let’s see…

Please answer honestly. Remember: you have no idea of my preferences, so there’s no reason to try and shade your answers one way or another – just tell me.

How many times have you been called an idiot this week?
Is this an average week?
Are you an idiot?
Do you use drugs? What? How often?
Do you have now or have you ever had a sexually transmitted disease?
Did you finish high school?
How far did you get after high school (if you finished)?
Why did you keep pursuing education or why did you stop?
Which sports are you a fan of?
Which ones will you watch just because they’re on TV?
Which, if any, do you play?
How much attention do you need?
Do you remember details?
Do you remember relationship details?
Have you ever walked out of a movie?
If yes, which one?
Do you ‘get’ Monty Python?
What annoys you? (go ahead, list away)
How many friends do you have?
How many times a week do you see them?
How many times a week, month or year do you talk to your parents/siblings?
Do you read a newspaper?
If someone gave you a billion dollars what is the first thing you would buy?

OK minions, your turn. What would you ask in your dating meme?

Monday, January 28

*look for this pic in this week's Jet magazine*



“That’s what we do Abby, we run for things and we hope that in the process the people force us to do something good.”



Josiah Bartlett, West Wing Season 2: ‘The War At Home’

The picture is of Aunt G meeting Barack Obama earlier this month at the College of Knowledge, otherwise known as the College of Charleston. The G family in all its’ splendor is supporting Mr. Obama (except for some random Republicans in MA that we don’t talk about…we just pray for their souls). In the picture Aunt G (who taught public school for over 40 years) was telling Mr. O how very proud she was of him. I think it is a beautiful picture of two beautiful people, so there it is.
I had a conversation about Mr. O with Mama G last night. She was excited about his win in SC but worried. Mama G wasn’t worried about the rest of the primaries, or the general election, she was worried about whether or not any of the candidates would or even could do anything about the issues she cares about. I reminded her of two things: one – politicians don’t do anything they don’t have to do. I believe that many of them have great aspirations. I also believe that we need to keep a sharp eye on all of them and stay loud in their ears. Now is the time in the process when we have the greatest power and most direct access. Go to events being held near you. Ask a question. Make sure that they don’t get out of the diner, gym, or church without having addressed your issue. I was amazingly jealous of my SC family for having so many opportunities to do this with all of the candidates; it’s one of the best things about living in that state.
Mama G volunteers at the food bank and has gotten her company and a couple other insurance companies in Chucktown to start staffing it as well. There are things that the federal and state governments can do to support the food bank. There are things that they can do to reduce the need for the food bank. What they can’t do is what Mama G does, which is roll up her sleeves and go to work. Legislation can’t sort or box cans and it certainly can’t inspect expiration dates.
Yes, there are so many things within the power of the president and especially at this time of year there are so many powers that we, as voters, have. Our greatest power, every day, every year, is our power to decide and to act. We don’t have to wait for our leaders to inspire us, we can inspire them. We don’t have to wait for them to save our communities, we can do it ourselves. For all that we should be focusing right now on which choice to make for our future, please do not forget to keep working in the present.

Thursday, January 24

snow white is washing dishes again


It was not a good day. We traded emails trying to decide how to implode until after hours of thinking and rethinking, writing, rewriting and answering my day was finally over. I decided to treat myself with the things that always soothe: a bacon bleu cheese burger, a couple new books and some music. (I had the whiskey at home)
I bought Little Voice, by my new friend Sara up there, mostly because they didn’t have James Morrison. Thank God. We’ve all done it and if you haven’t I’m so sad for you. I fell in love with this album; every single song.
There are times when I can’t be a critic. There are certain movies, books, plays, albums and paintings that I just instinctively love and I can’t tell you why. All of my words seem radically unspecific for the complex emotions involved. This is one of those times. I can’t explain to you everything that these songs make me think of, let alone feel. I have no idea how she does it. I could compare her to so many women before, and to some men for that matter, but I think you should just go wherever you go and listen for yourself. As great as Love Song and Gravity are they barely scratch the surface. Check out Fairytale, it’s this morning’s favorite.
** Special Side Note For Mama G and Susan: Just trust me and buy the album.
by the way Susan, this is oddly perfect...annoying...
The Recipe For Graeme
3 parts Silliness
2 parts Superiority
1 part Friendship
Splash of Creativity
Finish off with a little umbrella and straw

Wednesday, January 23

leave the unsaid unspoken

I’m not going to talk about how the celebrity machine sucks talented people in, chews them up and spits them out onto sidewalks, hotel rooms, apartment floors.
I won’t compare him to River.
I’ll just say that this is sad.
It’s sad.

Tuesday, January 22

wwkd?

I don't generally steal quite so blatantly but this was written by my home pastor so I can't say that I feel too bad about it. All I can add to Rev Darby's words are "Amen".


King offers moral touchstone for vote
BY the Rev. JOSEPH A. DARBY
Special to The Post and Courier
Sunday, January 20, 2008


One of the more popular Christian phrases of the 1990s — "What Would Jesus Do" — actually goes back to "In His Steps," an 1896 book by congregationalist minister Charles Sheldon. Sheldon dealt with the application of Christianity to daily decisionmaking by asking, "What Would Jesus Do," portraying Jesus as a moral example as well as a savior figure. I thought of that phrase as America prepares to celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday.
King Day 2008 is bracketed by Saturday's Republican Presidential Primary and next Saturday's Democratic Presidential Primary. Candidates in both parties often package their political positions in the language of faith, even though those positions are sometimes very different, and racial controversy has cropped up in the Democratic race over the role of Dr. King in the passage of the civil rights laws of the mid-20th century. Since Dr. King is seen by people of good will as a "drum major for justice" who reshaped public policy in America, and since Dr. King was also a Baptist minister, I couldn't help but consider the presidential primary rhetoric and ask myself, "What Would King Do?" The answer may lie in the divinely inspired words that he left behind, for Dr. King spoke of much more than judging people "not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
I am amused by the way some candidates in both parties shape their messages to appeal to emotions and trends instead of clearly stating their positions, and by the way they exercise great caution in tackling problems head on and working for timely change. They would do well to remember the words of Dr. King: "The time is always right to do what is right." They could then clearly and concretely state their positions, and embrace not just what rings in voters' ears, but what is right for our present needs as a nation.
I am troubled by candidates who stir controversy for controversy's sake and who limit their "morality" to matters of the flesh that cloud voters' visions of societal problems we're morally obligated to tackle. They would do well to remember the words of Dr. King: "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?' " The candidate who gets my vote will be the candidate who sees morality not just in terms of "who sleeps with whom," but in terms of feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, and seeing that all citizens have an equal chance to achieve the elusive "American Dream."
I am disappointed to see how some candidates serenely and graciously claim the "high ground" of positive campaigning when they're comfortably leading in the polls, but quickly slip into the politics of accusation, insult and thinly veiled slander when their lead in the polls deteriorates. Too often they try to regain the lead by tearing into the opposition, and then become the picture of innocence and conciliation if the tactic backfires on them. They'd do well to remember the words of Dr. King: "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge or controversy." The candidate who gets my vote will be the one who has a consistent message and well-articulated plan regardless of how the polls and political winds shift, for if one believes in what one says, then deviating from the message is unnecessary, even when others make mean-spirited attacks.
Dr. King changed America by practicing what he preached and by bringing the words of Christian Scripture to bear in a way that touched hearts, changed minds and shaped public policy. That's what I try to do in my ministry, especially prior to any election. I never tell people how to vote, for doing so insults their intelligence. I do, however, try to link public policy issues of the day to the Scriptures of my faith, welcome candidates to articulate their faith and positions to those in my congregation, then urge those in the congregation I serve to choose the candidate whose positions best reflect their faith.
I also urge all of those in my congregation and all Americans to go to the polls, to exercise their right to vote, and to do so in an informed way so that their faith speaks truth to power. Dr. King did that; as well-informed voters, we should, too. For Dr. King was on target when he said, "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
The Rev. Joseph A. Darby is senior pastor at Morris Brown AME Church.

Copyright © 1997 - 2007 the Evening Post Publishing Co.

Saturday, January 19

get up, stand up, don't give up the fight


"After one has discovered what he is called for, he should set out to do it with all of the power that he has in his system." MLK


I won't be sleeping in this Monday. I'm taking the day off (after a quick early meeting with the sales guys) so that I can have a 'day on'. I'll be heading down to one of the AME churches in Norfolk where I'll sign up to volunteer wherever they need me. This one day a year they become a volunteer clearinghouse for our area, sending people out to do good works in the community. Should this happen more than once a year? Of course. I am, however, getting tired of people who see each effort as never enough to be worthy when they are making these pronouncements from the comfort of their couches. The point is that each and every one of us has the power to affect change in the world. We can do something as small as march in a parade or as large as building a house for a family who needs one.
You all know I love to talk. Talk is great. At some point the talk becomes mere noise; more accolades and words do less to honor this amazing man than even the smallest action would. Do you think he'd rather have another proclamation read or have you register voters or collect cans for a food bank?

I hope all my minions have a great weekend and a great day off. But please think about making it a 'day on' instead.
The best way to start a movement is to start moving.
DO SOMETHING.

Thursday, January 17

this is our country


Wednesday, January 16

you give me something that makes me scared alright

Dear BPM,
I have absolutely no idea what you’re doing with me. That is not a cue for you to compliment me. It is a statement of fact. What is it that made you wait so long for me to realize you were waiting for me?
This is new to me. I love that we’re taking things slowly, letting them happen, not pushing or jumping in. OK, sometimes it drives me a little crazy, but mostly I love it.
I have a tendency to move too fast and to ignore the signs all around me telling me to slow down because I’m about to get hurt.
I’m a little at sea here, honestly. I’m not quite sure what to do. I have this feeling though, that I don’t need to do anything. That I can trust you. How did that happen?
So, here’s what I do know: I’m happy. I like where this is going even though I have no idea where that is. I’m scared. I wish I knew…more. I wish I could read you better. Sometimes I wish it was three months from now and sometimes I revel in the happy/scary/excited/giggly/nervous/shivery thing that happens right before I see you or when I hear your voice. Obviously I have no idea what I’m doing. Sorry, but you’re gonna have to be in charge.
Just keep doing what you’re doing…with more hugs.
I think we’ll be fine.

Love,
G

Friday, January 11

One Rule to Stone Them All

There have been many times lately when life has reminded me of ‘Any Given Sunday’. I know, I know... when the real world starts seeming like an Oliver Stone movie you’re in trouble. I’m hoping it’s just the cold meds. This morning I was over on Field’s blog reading Kelly Tilghman’s apology to Tiger Woods and this quote from AGS popped into my head, “We know you’re dumb but we’ve made this shit simple enough. We made this shit real fucking simple.”
We, as a nation, do not ask for much from our media. We, as a Black community ask for even less.
Do we ask for truth? Nah.
Do we demand equality of portayals? Nope.
Integration on our airwaves and in print? Nope. (there is a difference between integration and desegregation – look it up)
Respect? Rarely.
Basic human decency? Yeah, that we’d like. We’d like that not only for our super stars, but for every citizen and we tend to get pissed when that request is blatantly ignored for many average Joes or one Tiger.
No one will be able to convince me that Miss Kelly isn’t a racist. She is. Imus is. Dog is.The only way to choose those ‘poorly chosen words’ is if the WORDS ARE ALREADY IN YOUR HEAD. If you weren’t a racist it wouldn’t have occurred to you say some racist shit. See? Like my man said, ‘it’s real fucking simple’. Now, we can’t regulate what people think, so all we ask is that you not ACT like a racist where you can get caught. That is the only rule. DO NOT ACT LIKE A RACIST WHERE WE CAN SEE OR HEAR YOU.

How hard is that rule to follow?

Wednesday, January 9

Sexist, Racist Punditry

I have been hearing for a while now about how ‘torn’ Black women must be in this democratic primary season. On the one hand we have a woman, Hillary Clinton running and on the other hand we have a Black man, Barack Obama. Something about this is supposed to be ‘tearing’ our loyalties.
I’m confused. Can someone please tell me when exactly Black women became stupid? Are there no other issues in this race besides race and gender? Who ever said that just because Hillary is a woman she will agree with my stance on gender issues or that because Barack is Black he will agree with my stance on racial issues? What kind of political idiocy is this? I swear, it makes me want to scream at people. Look at the difference between Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas and tell me that race matters more than actual issues.
As a Black woman who was raised in SC and has many Black female relatives registered to vote in that primary let me just say that this is ridiculous. Of course there are women who will vote for Hillary because she is female. Of course there are Black people who will vote for Barack because he is Black. There are also people who will vote for Hillary because of her last name, for Edwards because he’s a White male and for Barack because his wife is awesome. People vote for reasons having nothing to do with governance in each election. The Black women I know who will be voting in the SC primary will be casting their ballots for myriad reasons and I believe they are just as offended as I am to be boiled down to a sexual or racial voting bloc. We care about more than that. We ARE more than our race or our gender. We ARE more than our race and our gender.
I have an idea, before you start making demeaning generalizations about voters try asking one what she thinks. It might be a good place to start. Would I love to be able to tell my children one day that I voted for the first female or Black president? Of course. Will that have anything to do with how I vote? Nope. Not one damn iota. This country is more than that to me, this election is about more than that and MY VOTE is definitely about more than that. Stop for moment and have a bit more respect for me as a whole person before you try boiling me down again to predict my voting choices. Try it.

It Takes Two

I love making new friends. You get to explore a whole new world through their eyes… or you just might get a Meme you’ve already done. Guerre over at In The Search sent this to me. The last time I did it I was kidding so this time I’ve decided to take it seriously, in honor of something or other. Don’t worry, I WILL be tagging people for this!!!

…(two names you go by)…
1. G

2. Best Daughter (it’s how I tagged myself in Papa G’s cell)

...(two things you are wearing right now)...
1. Mascara
2. New shoes

...(two things you would want (or have) in a relationship)..:
1. Trust
2. Passion

...(two of your favorite things to do)...:
1. Read
2. Laugh

...(two things you want very badly at the moment)...:
1. For the Packers to make it to the Super Bowl
2. For the phone to ring

...(two pets you had/have)...:
1. Maya
2. Cuervo

...(two people you think will fill this out)...:
1. Pater (he likes to steal from me)
2. Susan (because I beg pretty)

...(two things that you did last night)...:
1. bought fruit
2. ate fruit

...(two things you ate today)...:
1. cereal
2. soy milk

…(two people you last talked to)...:
1. Jamie
2. EJ

...(two things you're doing tomorrow)...:
1. going to work
2. watching Grey’s Anatomy

...(two longest car rides)...:
1. Columbia, SC to Santa Fe, NM
2. Charleston, SC to Plymouth, MA

...(two favorite holidays)...:
1. Mama G’s Birthday
2. My Birthday

...(two favorite beverages)...:
1. Coffee
2. Coffee with alcohol in it

…(two people no longer alive who you'd like to talk to)...:
1. Paternal Grandmother (never got to meet her)
2. Maternal Grandfather (miss his hugs)

Now it's your turn:

V (this is what you get for leaving me!!!)
Jay
Eslocura
Meno
Pater
No Regrets
Not Star Jones

Tuesday, January 8

The (Not So) Tragic Mulatto

My maternal grandmother’s honeymoon was 18 months as a guest of the State of Massachusetts. By marrying my grandfather she had broken the miscegenation laws. They were rarely enforced unless one party was turned in, which she was, by her family and so my eldest uncle was born in jail.
Mama G has always publicly identified herself as a Black woman. Up and down the New England seaboard we’re known as Portagee, these Portuguese/African families from Cape Verde. We have our own festivals (usually on Saints days), our own food and our own version of the Portuguese language. Julia Roberts’ played a character based on us in Mystic Pizza (she didn’t get the tan down). However, once you get inland or start moving south you’re Black and so that’s what Mama G has been. She has been a blond haired, blue eyed Black woman for years now.
I cannot begin to understand what it was for my mother to grow up in her family in her time. To make it worse there was no money. None. And so my mother grew up with an outhouse and as an outcast. The woman she is today is amazing: strong, vibrant, giving and loving. She is also scarred.
If I hear the term ‘tragic mulatto’ one more time I might just take someone’s head off. No more ‘half and half’ or ‘oreo’ either, thanks. Is it a cliché – the poor mixed race child strung like a bridge between two worlds? Sure it is. But until you’ve been the rope fraying as it is walked across please shut your mouth.
The fact is that with all the strides we have made as a country it is still not possible to live in both worlds simultaneously. You must give something up in order to move between the two and so you shift pieces of your identity around like toiletries trying to decide what is necessary for each trip. At some point my mother laid down her English heritage. She doesn’t ever mention that we are Mayflower descendants (not even to shut up annoying DAR types) and she rarely speaks of her family’s betrayal of her mother or of her mother’s strength. It is a choice she made and has had to live with. I don’t feel sorry for my mother, her life is too rich to allow room for pity (and she’d knock me on my ass) but I do get angry at the world that forced her into such a choice. I get angry at the world that has tried to force the Irish out of two of my sister’s or has tried to divide my sister’s and I along color lines.
No one wants to talk about it but there are tests you have to take every day in the Black community when you are a child of mixed race. They happen on the street and in church, in the office and at my own family gatherings. (T&K are the ‘black’ daughters; L&G are the ‘white’). So your skin gets tough and your identity becomes a hard fought for, prized possession. To the white community you are not ‘really black’ either. They can tell the jokes in front of you, make the borderline comments with much less care. Or so they think.
There is not a damn thing tragic about it for me. If the world can afford to deny the gifts, talents and insights of my mother, sisters and the hundreds of thousands of people like us on the basis of our races go right on ahead. Throw the tests at us, the insults and the jokes. Deny us and turn us away from your community. It will be your tragedy, not mine.

Pundits are now saying that sine Barack Obama has won Iowa and is likely to take New Hampshire the Black community is more likely to take him seriously in South Carolina. People have also questioned whether the Black community is ready for a Black President.
I happen to think it’s a little more complicated and sad than that, but there is no tragedy here.

Saturday, January 5

Magical Flying Moron

Yeah, yeah I’m back. Stop the weeping and wailing and put away the damn hair shirts! They shed. I am NOT sweeping all this shit up.
So, where have I been? Good question.
There is something about Mama G’s house that makes me too to post. Maybe it’s the alcohol. I spent plenty of time driving out to the Island to see Papa G, but I’ll post on that drive later.
Mostly I spent time trying to figure out how to get through the next 10 months and get out of here without any of the self-sabotage I am famous for. What do I really want? What am I willing to do to get it? Why the hell am I thinking so hard when there is champagne in the kitchen? These are the questions one asks while lying on the futon in Mama G’s guest room and watching the massive projection screen TV.
Did you guys know that the History Channel beams crack directly into your brain? I’m not kidding, that shit is addictive. People usually freak when they find out that I don’t have cable but the only things I really miss are the History Channel and Comedy Central.
Mostly what the time in Chucktown taught me is that Mama G and I should never live together (which I already knew) and that Papa G and I each miss each other more than we can say out loud sometimes (which threw me for a minute). It was a good, usually drunken, shoe and clothes buying fun with assorted family members, political discussions, tons of seafood and three slightly crazy dogs all mixed in kind of time.
And it’s possible that I might have found a smokeable, illegal substance in someone’s bathroom, but I won’t name names because she reads this blog.
Since I’ve been back work has seemed like some special kind of torture that an exceptionally cruel Fate has dreamed up for me. Ten months is feeling like an eternity. My evenings at the Children’s Hospital and phone calls to V are keeping me (somewhat) sane, so don’t worry too much.
Now minions, at the end of last year I was thinking of splitting this blog up. I was going to have a personal blog and a political blog. Reading my blogroll and my past posts you’ll see something of a split personality emerge. This past week as I haven’t posted I’ve made a decision. Fuck it. This is my fiefdom, my place to define and redefine who the whole new me that I committed to will be. Well, that whole new G cares about her world – from the kid ganbanging on the corner to the dying species of bird on a mountain thousands of miles away. I also care about my family, my friends, and the stupid movie I am currently obsessed with.
I want freedom for the full expression of my personality."

Mahatma Gandhi (stolen from EsLocura)
So in 2008 you’ll get to hear about it all, from my anger about the apathy I believe is rotting this country to my musings on why Jeffrey Dean Morgan is my new secret lover. I’m not making resolutions, I’m making changes and you’re all invited along for the ride.

Hint: the blog title is from the current movie obsession.