caffeine – fun and foul

Netflix gives me the opportunity to see movies I’ve never heard of – I like that.

I just watched Caffeine. caffeine.png

No, not that one. The movie. I really liked it. I think I gave it four out of five stars. There’s this girl Marsha Thomason in it – and she’s beautiful, and I love her hair. And Breckin Meyer, of Clueless fame. And Katherine Heigl – with a Brit accent. That was weird to me, cuz Breckin didn’t have one and she did. What’s the point of that?

Anyway, it was hilarious at moments, and actually brought tears to my eyes a couple of times, in that respect. The movie was generously peppered with the f-word but in it’s most chuckle-generating uses. [A word which I choose not to use for many reasons, not least of which is the fact that my parents could run across my blog at any time. don’t judge.] There is a bit of the ‘Empire Records’ feel to this movie, which of course would endear it to me, since I am a big fan of that movie, too.

All-in-all: “two thumbs up, fine holiday fun” (travis birkenstock)

here’s the thing

I’m cool with Obama. I think he’s a nice guy. And it’s all good, as far as that goes. I do think he’s more of a politician than he’s getting credit for – come on, anyone who can talk to me for 30 min – not say much of anything – and still have me end up wanting to have his baby? that’s a good politician.

But I said I’d decided to vote for Hillary – and I did. [it was actually really awesome to vote for a woman for president – as I think it would’ve been to vote for a black man.] To bring it down to brass tacks, I think she’d represent me better – and that’s what I want. My voice/view represented.

I don’t find a whole lot of difference between the two candidates. But Obama has kinda got me wondering about his loyalty to the party – his platform stance on ‘hands across the aisle’ has me wondering how he’s gonna get that to work. I really do think Hillary’s against the war, and will work to get us out of Iraq. I think she got caught up with a lot of other people at the outset and said some things that continue to haunt her in regard to the war.

I hate that the media’s blowing every interaction between the two of them up into some kind of skirmish…but I get it. A lot of people aren’t comfortable with either one of them. But the picture I’m getting, as the dominoes fall, is that there are a fair amount of white people who are congratulating themselves on backing Barack instead of Hillary. White people who are quite comfortable using euphemisms to say that they think Barack is ‘white-enough‘. [At least, they’re comfortable saying it around me, and I understand – they know I know it’s a euphemism, but I don’t feel like making work into a hostile environment – and they think I’m white-enough, too.] So I make an edgy comment here or there, to let them know it’s not ok to take it so far as to tell me something we couldn’t come back from [I’ll fill this space with an example when I’m not so tired].

But yeah – I’m getting that there are quite a few people [some of whom are racist] who have decided that a black man, is still a man – and that distinction is enough to make him the better choice. I don’t see that as so much progress for racial issues in America. Just a setback – or maybe more of a reality check – for the gender issues we’ve got.

Of course, we can’t rule out the folks that actually, actively HATE Hillary. [There is a lot of that here, where I live. Women and men alike vilify her.] And I just don’t get why they are so angry. I know people who’ve hated her since Bill’s first term – for having the audacity to be more than a[n] (inanimate) fixture in the White House. People who hate her for staying with Bill through the whole ‘Monica-gate’ thing. Aack! Stop hatin!

So, I feel like Hillary would be more loyal to my concerns, but I can’t tell for sure. Not with anyone. I like Obama, too. I like his honesty. His seeming transparency. He looks like he prizes his integrity, and I think that he’s probably felt some of the push we all feel – to live to a higher standard because we’re “examples” for our race. [Boy is that some pressure]

So maybe this post feels like I’m waffling. Maybe I am. I’d kinda like Hillary to win it all this year – I don’t know when there’ll be another viable female candidate for the job. But if Obama wins the nomination, I’m for him with both hands – and both feet, too.

The thing I don’t want is for this nit-picking, drama-baiting thing to continue. It doesn’t make anyone look good.

the ghost in the kitchen

Last night I was up late writing what has since been misinterpreted as a semi-explanation of How Black People Think in a comment at Spectrum, with the wind whipping around my house. All of a sudden, the door to my garage creaks open, and the motion-sensor light in the kitchen turns on. ::cue Twilight Zone theme::

I froze on my couch for about 30sec – but there was no human besides me in the house. So I closed the door, and figured it probably opened due to some kind of pressure change [or something] because of all the wind. [what’s weird is that just as I was writing this, something fell or dropped in the kitchen. but the light didn’t come on – and when I went to look – I didn’t see anything out of place.] I don’t actually believe in ghosts – the freezing on the couch was cuz I couldn’t remember for a split second if I’d closed my garage door. If it’d actually been somebody walking in…woo! Freakout.

All this on top of the very special Oprah all about FEAR [didn’t you know it was your secret weapon?] that aired yesterday. I hate being afraid. And it’s actually pretty rare that I am. I don’t put myself in bad situations frequently, and I simply refuse to believe that a woman outside after dark is a recipe for disaster. I have no qualms [besides a bit of laziness, esp. if I’m already comfortable] with going out at night to do some shopping/visit friends/whatever. But I know women [around my age] who don’t leave their houses after dark, have security alarms and dogs and more.

Oprah’s show was about how listening to your intuition can help save your life. An example was given about how sometimes women will get on an elevator with someone they have a bad feeling about/scares them because they don’t want to offend the person on the elevator. [anyone else reading between those lines?] I don’t want to contradict the basic premise that listening to your intuition is a good idea – cuz I actually agree with that. But you might wanna spend some of your downtime analyzing whether or not there’s a pattern to the ‘bad feelings’ you get.

This all reminds me of an article that was in B*tch a couple months ago (wow, it was actually last summer). The same woman I know who doesn’t go out after dark is prone to send me those fear-mongering emails. You know the ones – they usually say something like “send this to your wives, girlfriends, sisters, mothers and daughters all the women in your life” and then proceed to tell some story about how a woman was out at night, or doing something completely normal by herself – like shop in the daytime – and she was accosted/assaulted/saved-in-the-nick-of-time by a man. It boggles my mind how people can cognitively know that exists, yet send out unsubstantiated drivel to overfill my e-mailbox on such a constant basis. And *believe* that you should never smell a perfume sample cuz they might try to drug you, that every time you go to a gas station at night you better check your backseat for serial killers, etc.

What’s up with the fear always being the tool for the woman? And how come it’s so acceptable to heap fear on women? same ol’, same ol’, huh.

Our brothers and sisters in the North

I’m wandering the blogosphere today, and what do I come across but the most bizarre story I’ve seen in a minute – apparently there’s a new code word for black people: Canadian.  The story goes, that there was a lawyer in Texas who sent out an email about a case that had been won through convincing even the Canadians on the jury.  Of course, we all know you’ve got to be a citizen to serve on a jury – so what’s the deal?  Well, of course, there weren’t any *actual* Canadians on the jury – but there were some black people.

This article suggests that the dude who made the comment might not have known what he was talking about – or perhaps the author doesn’t?  it’s a bit unclear…

The e-mail was sent in 2003 but came to light only this month as part of an unrelated controversy with his office, forcing Mr. Trent to defend himself against accusations of bigotry — not because he offended the people of Canada, but because “Canadian” has apparently become a code word for blacks among American racists.

“There is a double meaning to that word and I didn’t know it. I was horrified when I learned what it was, and I immediately addressed the issue with the people who brought it up,” Mr. Trent told a local Fox News reporter in a recent interview.

“I’d never heard of Canadian being used as a term for a black person or for a racial slur,” he said.

“If I had, I would never send that out in an office-wide e-mail that’s going to go to people who are going to be offended if they recognize it as such. That would be crazy…. I’m not a racist. I’m not a bigot,” Mr. Trent said.

So, my question is, uh, how did you come to use the term Canadians if you weren’t aware of it’s usage/meaning?  I can’t imagine accidentally calling black people Canadian.  How would that occur?  The requisite “Hey – I’m not a racist!  That’s ludicrous!” follows the assertion that he apparently wrote an email and sent it to the whole office, but had absolutely NO idea what he was talking about at the time.

I can agree with his statement though – I’ve also never heard of Canadian being used as a term for a black person or for a racial slur.  Til today.  Woo.  I wonder how the Canadians are taking it.

Here, you can see further exposition of the story:

Trent’s response at the time: Freyer, the prosecutor commended in the e-mail, had used the term “Canadian” in a conversation and Trent took him literally, thinking there were real Canadians on the jury — no racial slur intended. The rookie checked all the jurors’ cards and, not surprisingly, found indications of blacks on the jury but no Canadians. Trent sticks to his story.

“Do you guys think I’m crazy?” Trent wrote recently in response to a blog post. “Am I insanely stupid enough to send a racial slur to 250 LAWYERS? Litigious, complaint-ready lawyers, some of whom are African-American?? That is just absurd.”

Of course, one might argue that it’s also absurd to believe Canadians were serving on a Texas jury.

And there’s the rub.  We’re supposed to believe that a lawyer just figured that there were Canadians – actual citizens of Canada – serving on a Texas jury.  Cuz, of course, privilege wouldn’t coax him into a sense of invincible entitlement strong enough to actually send out racist emails to everyone at work.  That’s never happened before.

So, this thing called the racial slur database references the term Canadian as a replacement for the ‘n’-word.  If I were Canadian, I’d be pissed about that.  As I’m not, I can’t help thinking that I’d much rather be called Canadian.  You could call me Canadian all day long – and you could be thinking the ‘n’-word, but…it just wouldn’t matter to me.  Cuz really, there’re plenty of times when I encounter people who’re thinking it.  They don’t have to say anything to think it.  So, yeah, I don’t really care if you call me Canadian.  Maybe somebody already has.  But I just don’t have the same type of history/emotion tied up in the title.  And there are several Canadians that I like.  So.  There ya go.

Ciao, bella

I happen to love Ciao Bella passion fruit sorbetto – a lot, a lot. But I have refrained recently cuz it’s just too cold to be having ice cream/sorbet.

I’m in the mind of having some, as I’m in the midst of the whirlwind of planning/co-planning a long overdue trip to Rome. My sister and I were actually supposed to go last year, and we could just never get our schedules to mesh. She’s in school and has much more freedom than the ball-and-chain that my 5-day/week grind has turned out to be. [This 5day a week crap with 2 weeks of vaca a year – it bites.] Anyway – we’re still a tad bit undecided between March and May cuz the prices in May are astoundingly outrageous in comparison to those in March.

Initially, my sister had concerns about the temperature in March, but the longer I think about it – the more I realize that my best clothes are long-sleeved anyway. [That is so feminist of me, right? eh.  I wanna look good.] Continue reading

5 minutes in Paris

I’ve just watched Paris, je t’aime. Eighteen glimpses of the various arrondissements, with a look at the beginnings and endings – and middle – of love.

Each piece was approximately 5min long, and they were all directed by different people [from Wes Craven to Gurinder Chadha] – and all their own variation of lovely. I had several favorites, with some I loved a little less, but overall, it was a delight to watch. For the most part it’s in French – so you’ll need the subtitles if you aren’t fluent. But the subtitles weren’t the only reason that I couldn’t take my eyes away from this film. [Often, I am reading/writing/playing on the computer whenever I’m watching anything that doesn’t require my full attention (up to and including reading subtitles – which I use [in the form of closed captioning] more frequently than most for watching scary movies with the sound off).]

Each piece was an introduction to a place I wanted to get to know better – well – all except for the one with the vamp. Only in the daylight for me, thank you. I regretted not having visited the cemetery while I was there – really, there’s so much to do, and I just want to go back. If my French were better I’d definitely consider living there. [As it’s not, I prefer London. Also, there’s less smoking in London.]

All in all, this movie made me want to go back to Paris – to revel in the love for a city I only barely know. It also brought me back to an idea I believe the French may get a lil more than we Americans sometimes do: what is the point to life if we do not enjoy it? Life is not supposed to be a punishment. Pain exists, but it is not everything. We can appreciate the pain, because it reminds us that we are alive. We can appreciate the rest of life because of the beauty that is always there – because of the love that exists – in children, mimes, the sick, the beautiful, the rich, the poor, the old – in us all.

That’s a lot for one movie, right? But it’s all there. Quick shots of life and love to make you homesick for Paris – even if you’ve never been there, but especially if you have. Two thumbs up!

I effing LOVE Torchwood

New season began tonight. Torchwood is my fave BBC show – I quit Dr. Who when Christopher Eccleston left. [I can’t see anyone else as Dr. Who, and that lil guy with all the hair and the skinny head – he irritates me.] Except for now I think I’ll hafta figure out how to find the reruns cuz it seems that Cap’n Jack was with the Doctor.

And now Spike is on the season premiere? Yay. That kiss was also quite hot.

luv me some BBC America.

Enjoying Life

One of my goals in life is to enjoy it. I think this is something that kinda defines who I am. I tend to rank things in order of importance to me quite quickly, and ignore or pay attention as warranted.

Perhaps some of the ignoring could fall into the ostrich scenario [head-in-the-sand], I dunno. But I don’t go out of my way looking for fights. Today at work we were discussing idiots on television [they really should have their own network]. CNN is on continuously in our breakrooms, so we get treated to Glenn Beck’s ‘Inconvenient Minute‘. [He’s not thoroughly idiotic all the time – just enough to do some damage.] Anyway, I expressed that I don’t understand the allure of watching a blowhard on tv. My boss [a Muslim woman] watches Bill O’Reilly sometimes because she thinks he’s interesting [even though he is very anti-Islam]. The only other Democrat at work has the misfortune [that’s how I see it] of being married to a Republican – who likes O’Reilly. But he says he can only stomach a few minutes, before he has to leave the room or change the channel. My uncle actually used to listen to Rush Limbaugh just so he could alternately commiserate and disagree with him.

I don’t get it.

None of the aforementioned nincompoops hold any appeal for me. Ditto Howard Stern, Imus, Dr. Laura, Ann Coulter, ad nauseum. These people are mean/rude, and in my opinion, wrong. So why waste my time? Like I said, I’m tryna be happy, here. I don’t have a problem with people who hold differing viewpoints – just the ones that think you’re proved right/winning the argument if you’re louder than the other guy. Also, I’m not into racists and sexists. You know – being a woman of color, and all.

This philosophy informs more than my decisions about loudmouths, though. It’s why I prefer comedies to drama. Why I work to live [instead of live to work]. And probably why I have avoidance issues.

But it’s all me. [I realize that all of life is not a game, there are hard choices, hard times, hard work to be dealt with. In my opinion, that’s all the more reason to leave all that ‘hard’ stuff behind whenever you can.]

so I’ll leave you with my current fave way to unlax:

what’s been building up

I think I’ve begun to look at things with more of a critical eye in the last few months. Or perhaps I am less caring if someone labels me as ‘too sensitive’. Eh. Either way, I’m noticing things – and if I don’t say something – well, I just have to say something.

Like when I was home [Daddy’s house] this wknd for MLK and the local news coverage mentioned kids working together to make their school a better place [yay!] and the Nationalist Movement rally in Jena [BOO!]. They either had a feed from the Jena local news – or they actually had their own reporter there [I’m not sure which], but the camera was on a white girl who looked to be about 15 or 16. She grinned at the camera and then she said something about how she was there to support White Pride.

I think the thing that gets me more than anything else is how people can teach their children to hate. Anyone. For no reason.

The story about this fellow in Colorado who was just released from jail after nine years for a murder he didn’t commit…that’s kinda bugging me. I don’t want anyone to stay in jail for a crime they didn’t commit – I’m just wondering why this guy has had continued media coverage after doing nine years, when I remember something I posted on my myspace blog in ’05. I was talking about two guys who had also been released from prison due to DNA evidence. They got the traditional 15 minutes of fame, though they were in jail for 19 and 26 years. One blip, one day’s news. In case you can’t use the link, here’s what I said: Continue reading