Tuesday, November 25, 2014

For The Sake of My Siblings

I have nine brothers and a nephew. That is ten, count them, TEN men that could possibly been seen as a threat and ripped away from my family in the blink of an eye. Well, let me revise that statement: I have 1 Black nephew, 1 Bi-racial brother, 7 Black brothers and 1 White brother. In our family, I can honestly say, that the race of my siblings do NOT matter, ah, but here in America, it matters. Looking at the history of our great nation AND the events of tonight, it is easy for me to see that my youngest brother, my White brother, will not have the same lifetime experiences as the others. The way that they are raised will be the same. The consequences for bad behavior in our house will get you the exact same punishment that has been handed out since I was a kid. My parents haven't changed; what is right and wrong hasn't changed, but somehow, my sweet little brother Jonathan has the possibility of being treated like a HUMAN BEING, while, at some point in their lives, that WILL NOT be afforded to my nephew and my other brothers.

Tonight, America has had the real opportunity to see what the justice system is like. Not a Law And Order episode, but real life. The story of Mike Brown could have taken a real turn towards America actually recognizing that Race Relations are not anywhere close to where we want it to me. It could have given hope to those who had lost it; it could have restored some faith in humanity; it could have been a representation of the justice serving those that can do nothing for her (and that is rare). It could have. But it did not.

Let me be clear, for those of you who don't know-- a grand jury has ONE job, it is to say "hey- this is enough evidence to go to trial." That is it. An indictment does not mean that Darren Wilson would be found guilty or pay the price for shooting a Black child in the street and letting his body fester in the August heat. An indictment does not mean that Michael Brown was completely innocent in this situation. An indictment does not mean that race relations would get better in Ferguson. An indictment would simply mean that the state could move on to TRY Darren Wilson in a courtroom. That is all. So when I see that the grand jury could not even muster an indictment, could not even say that "hey, ONE of these autopsies show something that y'all should discuss at trial", or "hey- there is an UNARMED teenager lying dead in the street and maybe someone should be held responsible for that." The fact that they could not even move on to a trial... you can understand how I would be dismayed. Shocked. Angry. Frustrated. Right?!

This case is not about fairness. It is not about protecting a police officer. It is not about ridding society of a leech. It IS about Blackness in America. It IS about the overreaction of police officers when dealing with Black men. It IS about the awful reality that Black children are far more likely to be killed by police officers than their white counterparts and it IS absolutely about the vast majority of Americans closing their eyes- WILLFULLY- to the suffering of their fellow man. Continuously blaming these victims for their OWN deaths. It IS about Michael Brown, Eric Garner, John Crawford, Ezell Ford, Dante Parker and Tamir Rice. It IS. It IS about my nephew, Justus. My brothers: Jeff, Ronald, Frank, Christopher, Tyron, Les, Joshua, Jackson and Jonathan. My father. My cousins. My neighbors. My city. My state. It IS about entire states showing that they don't give a damn about the lives of more than half of their constituency. It IS about the legal system disregarding the rights of the Black and Brown populations. It IS about an entire system which continues to persecute races unlawfully and without remorse.

It keeps me up at night. It makes me worry. It makes me happy that Lefty and I do not have children that would be subjected to this unkind, unfair and unnecessary treatment. It makes me want to hug my brothers and watch them, wherever they go. I am sad, y'all. The people of Ferguson have been done a huge disservice. The state of Missouri SHOULD be in uproar. Major cities that have large minority populations should be epicenters of (peaceful) protests-- even though they don't deal with US peacefully. The Brown family should sue Darren Wilson, the City of Ferguson, the Police Chief, the Prosecuting Attorney and whoever else they can think of for the wrongful death of their son. As of right now, the legal community that I once wanted to be a part of so badly has let me down...again. And not just me... I have nine brothers and a nephew.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday Wants

I have had a stressful day. Seriously. I need to relax. How do I relax? I bake. But I am off baking right now... because I am fat. So what am I going to do now? List making. I like to look at all the crap I am not getting done on a daily basis. Hey, what can I say? I have a winning attitude today. It has just a really, really long day. So, here is a list of things that I want on this horrendous lovely Wednesday.

1. I want a job where I am super appreciated and get paid, very well. I mean doesn't everyone? Because, yeah, I got bills to pay, sucka! Plus, I have to say, I really think that I should be the boss. Like, always. And if I can't be the boss then I should be well paid. The end.

2. I want people to live forever. Ok, not assholes, but nice people? Nice people should live forever. We received word that a super nice guy (a co-worker of Lefty's) passed away today. Unexpectedly. And I hate it. Someone who worked at my job passed away last week. He always had a kind word and a smile. I'm saddened by both deaths. Death makes you re-evaluate or it SHOULD make you re-evaluate. It has been two years since we said goodbye to one of my aunts and to Lefty's brother and each time it.is.heartbreaking. This Wednesday I want nice people to live forever.

3. I want a million dollars, the best credit score a person can have and a maid. In that order. It is all necessary.

4. I want to reignite my will to work out. It leaves every other day and for real I just need that bitch to be loyal. What?!

5. I want Cat Knapp to stop staring at me. I just looked over and he is staring at me. He has no shame and no regards for my feelings.

6. I want people, in general, to be a little more concerned for one another's wellbeing. People just don't seem to give a fuck about anyone or anything, other than themselves. I am not saying that I want a utopia. I don't want to be Snow White, singing songs in the forest and having birds land on my shoulders (because ewww, birds) BUT it would be nice if people were a little less self centered/noticed and acknowledged other people's issues and problems/cared about other's suffering.

7. I want it to be November and not have the Hallmark channel playing Christmas movies. They aren't even playing Golden Girls reruns anymore. Who does that? I need to Sophia and her sassy old lady mouth. Plus, it is NOVEMBER. Christmas is over a month away. Are you kidding me?

8. I want more hours to do fun stuff, because today being a grown up sucked balls.

Here is to hoping that tomorrow is full of unicorns and glitter.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Birthday, Love and Honor

Ah hmm, two weeks and a couple of days ago I celebrated a birthday. It wasn't a big one, per se, that is to say that I didn't just turn 21. Or 30 (what?) Or 35... so stop guessing. I really didn't want to do much. I mean, I wanted to hang out with Lefty and my birthday was (finally) on a Saturday, so relaxation and Ohio State Football was at the tippy top of my list. Lefty asked what I wanted to do and I left it up to him.

Originally we were going to go to the Penn State/OSU game. But Happy Valley was not cooperating. We could find tickets (but not sit together) and there was not one freaking hotel room available. I was not going to see a night game in PA and drive back to OH to sleep, no thanks. So I decided that maybe we should head on down to the most beautiful campus in all of colleges, my alma mater, Miami University. They had an afternoon football game (which I was not feeling that great about... our record is a little... lacking) and I knew that we would be done watching them play in time for the Buckeye game. Again, I left the details up to Lefty and waited for the weekend!

I had NO worries. I took Friday, the following Monday and Tuesday off work because HEY, It's my birthday!! And I didn't have to plan a hotel stay or anything like that. It was magical. So magical that I didn't even trip out when Lefty told me that we were staying in Indiana. I mean I raised my eyebrow, but I didn't say anything. Well, let me just say-- IT WAS AMAZING. Lefty found the CUTEST Bed & Breakfast just over the state border. While we did laugh about the fact that while driving you could totally tell when you crossed the state line back into Ohio because the roads improved (significantly) that drive was totally worth it. It was about 15 miles from the B&B to Oxford, so the drive was an easy one. More information on the inn can be found here... We stayed in the East Fork Room. Let me just say, if you get a chance to stay here, do it. The owner is amazing, the remodel done on the house is flawless and the small town feel is just what the doctor ordered for me. We will be back, for sure. Loved it.

The football game was second only to the lovely weather we had. It was family weekend in Oxford, so the college kids were more or less on their best behavior, saving me from wanting to slap the hell out of smart ass college kids. Win/win situation :) Our team won! Second win of the season and I was there to witness it... on my birthday! Amazing! We had hours to burn so we decided to head back to Brookville and do something daring. Something that we had never done before. Something I more than likely will never do again. But, start the new year of life off with a bang, right? We went back to BFE... and zip lined. In the DARK. What?!?! Listen, I'm no sissy with most things, but honey... no. Just no. I didn't do too bad, going down the MOUNTAIN that we were on, however, getting from the platform to the ground, was NOT one of my finer moments. I am okay with it.Without going into great detail about my possible *screaming* for the stairs to be brought to me, I will just say that the people at Skyward Adventures will not forget me anytime soon. And I am ok with that too.

It took me two weeks to recover, but I started off my new year with a bang! I wish every birthday started with a new (and sometimes exciting) adventure. What do y'all do for your birthdays? Anything as shocking as zip lining in the dark? Here are some pics of our weekend trip!

Love and Honor

Historic Black's Covered Bridge in Oxford

Getting some Vitamin D at the game- What a Beautiful Day!

Lefty practicing in the dark. Zip lining is not for the faint of heart. 

Brookville Lake, Indiana

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Soulful Saturday - Cuffing Season

Welcome to November 1st, the official start to the cuffing season. Lefty asked me what "cuffing season" means. I explained with the precision of a college professor. Cuffing Season happens in two separate time periods. For us in the midwest, it starts when the weather takes a turn from fall to winter-like... like today. The first set of dates is November 1 - December 20. Second group of dates is New Year's Eve - February 12/13. See what I did there? No major holiday gifts to be purchased but tons of together time before and after Christmas, then a quick make up so you don't have to spend New Year's Eve alone, but that final break up before Valentine's Day. It is strategic and happens more than you know and more than your closest friends want to admit.

Makes sense though, I mean who wants to spend all of the cold weather months alone? If you spent the cold weather months alone in Ohio, that could actually mean that you would be alone from October to late April. Ain't nobody got time for that. For real. So the season of not that many alone nights is upon us. And the season needs a soundtrack. A good one. Yes.

So here is a soundtrack for your cuffing season. Use it responsibly. (And be responsible during cuffing season. Hot, Black and Bitter does not co-sign cuffing season partners having babies together. It is short term, both parties should know that and y'all should be using condoms. Always. *end rant*)

ForTheNight - Musiq

 Forever Don't Last - Jazmine Sullivan

All The Things Your Man Won't Do - Joe

Turn Off The Lights - Teddy Pendergrass

So Anxious - Ginuwine

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