Monday, June 28, 2010

Pride Weekend 2010. C'mon and Celebrate!!

Ah! Once a year all of my gay wishes come true! I went to the Pride Parade this weekend (just for a short while) and it was magnificent! Coming from a *slightly* conservative background, I get a lot of questions when people realize that I am excited about Pride- not just the celebration, but the concept. I changed my facebook profile picture to the equality sign and received a couple emails... *sigh*

So, let's clear up some confusion. I love diversity. I love hanging out with people who are different from what I see every day. I love to learn about different backgrounds and expanding my way of thinking. That said: I am *not* a lesbian and I have no aspirations of being a lesbian- thanks. I do think that my country should re-evaluate the way they deal with minorities of ALL types. I don't care about your ethnic background, your financial background, or your religious beliefs. I don't care who you love or what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedroom.

What I do care about is what kind of person you are. Are you honest? Are you hard-working? Are you reliable? Are you intelligent? How do you treat me and the other people around you? I don't care about anything else and no one else should either. I don't want anyone inspecting my love life... though, it has been mostly non existent throughout my adult life, but still it is mine and it is private. I hate that people judge me based on who I date. I could say a lot about the men I date, but the one thing that sticks out is: they are all great guys (except one, ok possibly two). At the time we were together, they were exactly what I wanted. I look back on some of them and shake my head... now. Should I be judged because some of the guys I have dated are dickheads? Nah, I am still an awesome chick! :) So, then is it fair for me to judge someone simply on the sex of their partner? No. Is it fair that a couple can be together for 20 years, one dies and the surviving partner can't collect the pension of the deceased? No. Is it fair that if one half of a gay couple is in critical care in the hospital, the healthy partner cannot visit? No.

So- in honor of Pride, practice being a little more understanding about other's predicaments. The best thing about all of us is that we are different. Honestly, how would you feel if every day you woke up and saw people who were just like you? I mean, I am super opinionated- on this blog and in real life- but I appreciate that people are different and think differently than I do. I am (clearly) some kind of Democrat and most of my closest friends are Republicans (hey, Ohio is a very Republican state most of the time). I am Black, my best friends from high school aren't; my best friends from college aren't; my last few boyfriends have not been. I grew up in a middle class neighborhood- I know very poor people and some very rich people. Different does not even begin to describe the layout of my immediate family. My youngest brother is the same age as my nephew. There are foster kids and furbabies... we are all over the place!

We are all different and that is the best thing. We have all had different experiences, different triumphs and different failures. We help each other avoid life's pitfalls and we rally when one of us has a victory. That is what friends and family are about. That is what life is about. That is what Pride is about. Embrace differences, and as corny as it sounds, love your neighbors... no matter who their significant others are!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

hope Pictures, Images and Photos

Monday, June 21, 2010

Unemployment and Rand Paul- What does he know?

I don't work on Mondays. Let me re-phrase that- I do not leave the house to work a traditional job on Mondays. Actually Saturday through Monday night I am usually in front of the computer applying for jobs or traveling the city putting in applications... and avoiding the temptation to drink heavily. Tuesday through Friday, I work for a temp agency part time. My situation makes me want to pull my hair out. I am actively looking for employment. I have reworked my resume so much it is nauseating. I want nothing more but to have a job (or two, or three) to go to everyday so I can pay my bills- in full, when they arrive at my house. I don't care what those jobs ARE- I don't care what I have to do. I am not looking for a career- I am looking for employment and I am looking everywhere.

If you have not been affected by the economic climate in the United States, good for you! I hope that the economy will soon turn around for all of us. For me (and countless others), however, the present economic climate has been hard to weather. Make no mistake, I know that I am not alone. There are thousands upon thousands of people, from every background and every age group, looking for a way to support themselves and their families. Whoever falls into that category often falls prey to public opinion. Case and point: today I was applying for jobs and I ran across this article. Rand Paul, who is trying to get elected to the Senate has told people in my predicament to "stop whining and get back to work." Really??? And how does he propose that we do this? He is not sure. So, he wants me to take whatever job I get offered so that we can get the economy resuscitated and so that he and his cronies can cut the unemployment benefits (that I am NOT currently receiving) but he has no plan to go on. Sounds...MORONIC.

Let's all be clear: I have not received unemployment benefits at any point this year; I look for full time employment at least 5 days a week; I took a HUGE pay cut after I got laid off from a large non profit management position and I am not looking for a permanent handout. I have a college degree, but the job market is over saturated with people like me. I apply for grocery store jobs and have been told that I am way too overqualified. I apply for management positions and I am under qualified. I apply for whatever position falls into my employment background, spending my days off putting together cover letter and resume packets, praying for the chance to get a call back and an interview and for that I get a "stop whining"? Let's all take a collective guess as to what my response to Paul would be.

All I want to do is work. All I want to be is self sufficient. I am not looking for an extended handout- if I could have three jobs and pay my bills- I would take it, no hesitation. So I gladly type a great big "go to hell" just for Rand Paul and those that follow his line of thinking. Last time I checked Kentucky had double digit unemployment numbers- just like most of the United States, you jerk. Tough love? Sure, if there were jobs going unfilled or if I was just sitting on my ass doing nothing, you douche. Just because Rand Paul is not *in* my situation, does not mean that he can trivialize my situation. Shame on him. Rand Paul: you don't want to spend more money on unemployment benefits? Cool. You try to live off of $738 every two weeks (paying a mortgage and other bills by yourself), then come back and let me know how that works out. I am not holding out for a similar job, Rand Paul... I am trying to find any job.

Rand Paul is misdirected to say the least, but after reading about his other antics, I guess that I should just feel sorry for him and the people of Kentucky if he ever gets elected.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Where are the Parents with Heart?

Ok- short post now, longer post later. I was just visiting the Chicago Tribune website (for the 30th time today) and I ran across this article. Ok, I realize that 1. I don't have any children and 2. I have a tendency to be a little drastic when it comes to punishment, but I am going to stand by my first thought, which was this grown man needs to be in jail. For a long time.

All too many times, parents run to the rescue of their children, but I think that I would be hard pressed to try to rescue my son if he poisoned me with anti-freeze. Really hard pressed. What were his parents thinking?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Where Are The Parents??

On top of the "Fantastic Five" idea, I am also going to start shorter entries called "Where Are The Parents" (WATP). You would not believe how many stories I read everyday- mostly from the Chicagoland area- about children running amok and parents being noticeably absent or negligent. If you read some older entries, you see that I am no pushover when it comes to the kids. I see absolutely nothing wrong with correcting ill behaving children. Someone did it for me and I am nice enough to do it for the kids now. Generally, I am not fond of children. Let me qualify that-- I am not fond of children who have smart mouths and have not been raised to respect their elders or their surroundings. Kids that stand on the corner outside my house; kids who walk down the street shouting obscenities; children who throw garbage down in their neighborhood; kids that destroy their own neighborhoods, all examples of people who would be on my shit list. But, even when I am looking at those kids and wanting to punch them in the forehead, I often wonder where exactly are their parents?

Now, don't get me wrong. My parents took an active role in my life and definitely taught me right from wrong, but they were not with me 24 hours a day, every day. I get that sometimes kids get a taste of freedom and participate in questionable behavior... BUT... every day? The same kids? The same events? Where are those kids parents? Why are we letting our kids run households and neighborhoods? How is it possible that the kids in this entry (and any subsequent WATP entries) have the time to be nuisances all the time? Where are the hands that are supposed to guide them? Where are the parents that are supposed to mold them? Care for them? Correct them? Why do I have to do the work of a parent when I am clearly *not* a parent? The attached links will illustrate my point and while some of these stories are so ridiculous they are funny, please do not mistake my disdain for the kids AND the parents involved (or not involved as the case may be).

17 year old twin brothers in Dolton attempting to be pimps.

15 year old charged with murder.

18 year old charged with hit and run of her classmate.

Man hiding drugs in the diaper of the child he was holding.

SMH. Where are the parents?

Fantastic Five. My Monday Five

So I saw this concept on another blog and decided to participate in this fad- if you will. The actual title of the game is Friday Five and yes, I do know it is Monday, and the rebel in me does not care. :) You are supposed to list five people (dead, alive, real, fictitious-- from any time in history) that you would like to have lunch with, including what you would talk about. Wow- I can see that this will have to be an ongoing Friday (or any other day of the week) theme because I cannot limit my list to five- that is truly one of the downfalls of having one of your college degrees in history.

I think that looking at these fantastic five lists will give people great insight into what matters to you in life. You can see who they look up to; can probably figure out where they fall in the political spectrum; who (or what) they find very attractive and what may be going on in their lives at that particular moment. So needless to say this ongoing list by a liberal, underemployed, proud, 30-something black woman should be interesting, to say the least! I will say that this "assignment" will show everyone that people are multi-dimensional. None of us are *just* Democrats or Republicans; Black or White; conservative or liberal; gay or straight. We all have different sides, different things that we will stand for, and things that we will not. Those things have less to do with where we are presently (in life stages or location) and more to do with who we are (or are evolving into). Needless to say- I am excited to participate. So, without further adieu , here is my very first fantastic five list:

1. Barack Obama (and yes, I would invite my mother!): I would invite my mom because she loves, no really, *loves* him and her birthday was Saturday, so she deserves it! I would love to congratulate the President on breaking down some barriers and taking on a task that cannot be easy- being the leader of this country. Being as disagreeable as I am, the lunch would not go as smoothly as the President would like. I would tell him of my disappointment in the Arizona situation (blog coming), and the fact that we are still at war (2 times over). I would have to bring up the fact that I am very concerned with unemployment (still) and the uptick in violence that comes along with joblessness. We would also talk about how cities all over our country are struggling and maybe his next point of business should be to be a little more isolationist in nature, i.e taking care of the American people before we worry about other countries- bringing back programs that help the less fortunate, the infirm, the hungry, homeless, unattended to masses, those who are attempting to get their lives together and just need a little more help.
I would tell him that above all else to keep his head up... haters come and haters go and all he can do is do what he thinks is best for the American people.

2. Harvey Milk: if you don't know who he was- google. Immediately. If you are a regular reader of this blog you know where I stand on gay rights- if not, let me recap. Gay men and women should have the same rights as everyone else. Please don't give me the Defense of Marriage rap. Number 1- I don't want to hear it and number 2 in the year of Tiger Woods and Jesse James, just to name two, I would be hard pressed to think that heteros should have a monopoly on marriage. We are not shining examples. Life partners should be able to see each other in the hospital, adopt children and whatever else. People should not be denied because of who they love- and if you disagree, I absolutely appreciate your point of view, just practice some self control (and save yourself the embarrassment) if you are about to send me an email telling me that I am going to hell. We can all do without the ugly turn that would bring! :) As far as what I would ask Mr. Milk if he were still alive: I wonder how he would feel about the gay rights movement presently, what California (where he lived) lawmakers are doing to the movement, and where we should go from here. I think it would be an eye opening experience.

3. Emmett Till: I would tell him thank you for the ultimate sacrifice at such a young age and I would ask him what he thought about the Black community now. What he thought of the graduation rates of Black children. What he would say if he could... and if his sacrifice (and the sacrifices of his contemporaries) was worth it. Hmmm.

4. Jane Byrne: first (and so far- only) female Mayor of the City of Chicago. I won't tell everyone what I would ask her specifically, but generally I would ask her where to start. :)

5. Anderson Cooper: are you kidding? Super hot, smart AND a Vanderbilt? OMG. I would totally fail at keeping it professional, but I would (attempt) to ask him: when we are getting married! :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tonight's Saviors of Chicago

I just watched the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Philadelphia Flyers to win the Stanley Cup. In overtime. Amazing!! The city is on fire (not literally) and up until about an hour ago, the sounds of fireworks ( I hope they were fireworks) could be heard from the northernmost point of the city to the far south side.

I am convinced that I am a good luck charm. Ten months after I moved here the White Sox won the World Series and now the Blackhawks and the Stanley Cup. Yay!! Tonight's victory is super sweet and I am headed off the bed with a smirk on my face.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Mushiness Caused by Insomnia

I can count on one hand the times that a song has evoked an emotional response from me. There are a couple songs that make me tear up as soon as I hear the opening beats, but mostly I hear music and correlate it with every emotion but sadness. I added another song to the list this morning. Maybe it was the Blackhawks win or just insomnia in general, but as I was sitting here, drinking coffee regular (that is what my mom calls it), listening to YouTube videos from my childhood and reading the newspaper online, I really connected with this song.

It seems so weird that a song from the early 90s can still get me a little teary-eyed, but yesterday was a rough day, and if that excuse doesn't float I am totally blaming crying on the lack of sleep. :)

Just as I was going through some random playlist on YouTube I was reading a story about Chicago crime (shocker). Clearly, my blog reflects the fact that I am not impressed with Jody Weis (Superintendent of Police), so I read all the articles I can that include him.... Hey, you never know, I could be wrong about the guy (highly unlikely) or I could just find more fodder for my disdain (that is more like it). So "You Will Know" is playing and I am reading about Jody saying that homicide in the city is up 4% versus this time last year. Immediately, I hate him. This is the same guy that violent crime was down this year. This is the same guy who said that he would take a pay cut to keep his job, but offered no suggestions on how we can hire more police, or adequately pay them... even though he makes upwards of $300,000. Every time I see his face, tv or newspaper, I find it hard to talk myself out of cursing at him. I seriously want to slap his face!

So maybe I just needed a hug this evening or something! Whatever the case, this song came on and I felt a little better. Whatever happened to inspirational mainstream music? I think we need something like this or We Are the World again. Knowing that at the end of the summer more *young* Chicagoans will be the victim of homicide is disheartening. I look around my neighborhood and the sinking feeling that I get EVERY day cannot be accurately described. The ridiculously disrespectful kids, the non caring, self serving parents, the homes in disrepair, the joblessness, the drug dealing, hell- the laziness. Whatever happened to caring? Pride in your community? Pride in yourself? I get sick to my stomach when I go to the grocery store and see people acting... stereotypically. The world has enough jackasses, so why are we allowing ourselves to become part of that statistic?

I look around at the kids in my neighborhood and think that the future is in some serious trouble. Maybe people thought that when I was growing up? But I don't overhear conversations about becoming doctors and lawyers or store owners. I overhear stories about banging chicks, becoming a baby daddy (jeez, I hate that term) and playing basketball in the NBA. These kids are begging (silently) to be led in the right direction and we are doing them- and ourselves- a disservice by not setting boundaries for them. As a society, we should be ashamed that it has gotten this far from the goal of producing productive members of a working society. Where are the fathers?? You know, men who are an example for *all* the children that he is responsible for fathering? Where are the men that go to work and pay to support *all* their children? Where is the love and respect that children can only get from a father figure? Where are the real mothers?? You know- the ones that teach their kids wrong from right... the ones that you want to grow up and emulate. The ones that go to work to put food on the table, showing her children that independence is a wanted virtue? Where are the families?

Did I need Jody Weis to tell me that homicide was up 4%? Nope- I read the paper every day and I see a steep decline in my community already- and I know that it is city, state and country wide. Did I need Jody to tell me that our children are in jeopardy? No, I see it everyday. Parents are not visible, children are running the street. They think they can do what they want. They think that the world owes them.... and it doesn't. It is unfortunate and we need to work together to turn it around. Quickly. Before the kids decide they don't care; that they are not worth saving. We have to show them that times won't always be fantastic when you do the right thing, but it all pays off in the end. They are looking at us- and we are not showing them a great example.

So, for the music:

Key lyrics:

*I fought hard, y'all to carve out my place.

* Stand up tall, don't you fall... You will know.

* Your dreams ain't easy, but stand by your plan.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...