the feeling that comes

Photo by Jackson Solway

Photo by Jackson Solway

Yesterday folks at work talked about Obama’s speech [which I hadn’t yet watched].  Apparently Oprah mentioned that she cried a great deal during the speech.  No one could understand why people would be crying.

I caught up on the DNC this wknd [the parts that I wanted to watch from PBS] and while I didn’t cry, I can certainly understand anyoe who may have been overcome by emotion.

In fact, I think my own tears may have been averted due to the fact that I was trying to keep my mind on the present.  Any person who starts thinking about the American legacy, the anniversary of Dr. King’s dream, has got to be touched.  But any person who has experienced what life can be like for a person of color, considering the history, you can expect some tears.

IMO, that really tells more about the people I work with.

For me, no matter the politics, the nomination is worthy of note and celebration, and I wish the family well.  I will be very happy to see a family that looks more like mine (not exactly, but more).

the romantic bone: tickled

Tonight’s DNC avoidance was a well-timed viewing of Mansfield Park.  I had no idea I was in the mood for a romance, but I was.  Exactly.  I haven’t read most of the classics, and have only gotten into Jane Austen recently, but her knack for a well-put-together story keeps me coming back for more [even if I am watching movies].

So another day has come and gone, Barack is firmly ensconced as the no-longer-presumptive nominee, and my eyes are drooping.

I need this holiday break, this wknd.  Enjoy!

watch the breathing – and don’t sit down

Yeah.  If a designer gave me those directions after getting all pissy at me, I don’ know what I’d say.  I’m watching Project Runway in lieu of the DNC tonight.  (I’m sleepy, but don’t wanna go to sleep on the couch…)  Keith is a whiner.

Just cuz the judges aren’t impressed with him now he’s gotta go around complaining all the time?  eh.  I have no pity for you, young sir.

And how can he say that he has more riding on this than the model?  Both of them get to go to Bryant Park at the end.  And now he’s crying?  Not impressed.

Auf wiedersehn.

Speidi crashes the party

Because The Hills is about drama.  It’s Steph’s bday party and how would it be if there wasn’t a good clash between LC’s crew and Speidi?

Lo looks so old, but I’m likin’ her more these days.  Lo’s always saying just what she thinks.  [“The people who matter get along.” Ha! “I’m glad we talked.” HA!]  Audrina’s definitely coming off bad in these first two episodes.  And she seems a tad too vapid to be able to redeem herself.  What a shame.

Meanwhile, Kelly Cutrone is SO wanting to get a ton of publicity from this show.  It’s kinda hilarious how obvious it is.  And we all coulda predicted that girl getting fired, and Whitney getting her job.  I kinda feel like I’d like a bicoastal life – at least for a little while.  Maybe it’d get old, I dunno.

As for Stephanie – is LC the only one who doesn’t know she’s transparent?  At the end of the day, she’s Spencer’s sister.  That’s one thing Spencer has right.

I definitely like that Brody left the moment Speidi got to the party, he may be kinda lame, but at least he has a personality.  This Doug fellow is like a dead fish.  No personality.  Yawn.

Anyway, I’m having a party of my own tomorrow night, so I gotta get some sleep.

getting exiled: MTV screws brats and their indigenous hosts

We’re all familiar with Sweet 16, right? Well, MTV has found a way to capitalize even more off of this sad franchise. Recycle the faux debs after their 18th birthdays, and thrust them upon some 3rd world folks that are eager for some o’ that Western money [though the dollar bill ain’t what it used to be].

Throw in a bunch of reruns of the shows for the lucky divas and divo (who could forget Bjorn?) and then clips from the respective parents who’ve decided that 18 is a perfect age to start parenting their children. Great! Add a slew of indigenous peoples around the world and well, there’s sure to be drama.

Here’s a bit of Mtv’s own take on this:

A few years after tossing the parties that made them stars in their schools and fueled rivalries among the rich kids, you’re going to see some of the Sweet 16-ers you loved to hate the most — Ava, Sierra, Amanda, Bjorn, Marissa, Chelsi, Meleny and Alex — shipped away from their plush homes and easy lives and Exiled to foreign locations such as the jungles of the Amazon, the tundra of the Arctic Circle, the Andes mountains and remote islands in the South Pacific where they’ll have to live like local commoners with none of the amenities of their normally privileged lives.

Yes, we are now inflicting our own badly unraised children on MORE of the international community. CLassic question from one of our lucky prizewinners: “Have they even seen people before?” Parental response: “They are people, hon.” Common people.

This has train wreck written all over it, so of course, I might have to watch. But my sentient mind will be protesting. The anthropologist in me will most likely die a slow, painful death.

How do I reconcile participating in this tripe? I have no idea. I might actually be morally superior enough to avoid the entire show. But I don’t know. Where’s Bjorn going?

catching up: Olympic moments

my heroes

my heroes

I’ve recorded just about all of the Olympics and I’m trying to catch up on my viewing.  My heroes of this Olympic Games?  May-Walsh.

These ladies dominate the beach volleyball like nobody else.  THey’re phenomenal, in that they haven’t lost a game in almost a year, and they just do things that no one else can do.  It amazes me every time one of them dives into the sand and the next moment – they’re back up – digging that ball again.

But when did equestrian events enter the olympic arena?  I was fast-forwarding through commercials and talk and stumbled upon this strangeness.  How are equestrian events in the Olympics?  The horse is doing all the work.  In fact, the horse would have an easier time if the human wasn’t on its back.

I saw Phelps win his 7th gold (and 8th, but the 7th was the crazy one).  Watched Torres win her silver medals.  Saw Fountain win the first American medal in the women’s heptathlon since Jacki Joyner-Kersee.  It’s been an exciting games so far.  Which is interesting, since I’m not really that into sports.  I used to be a lot more into the Olympics than I am now.

I don’t really get how they do some of the judging for diving and gymnastics.  Gymnastics used to be my favorite event.  [Back when the two Dominiques were our American stars…and Kerri’s amazing vault.]  But now?  No one has really grabbed my attention.  I don’t even know their names.  I’ve never been into men’s gymnastics.  I think they look kinda goofy.

My sister has called me several times to complain about the injustices involved in the gymnastics judging.  I just watched it myself and it seems like there’s been some shady stuff going on.  (Cheng Fei vaults (badly) – lands on her knees – and still gets a score > 15.  Bela Karolyi is incensed – he keeps calling the judging error a ripoff.  And then there’s the whole age thing.)

Oh, and I forgot about the trampoline.  I had no idea there was a trampoline event in the Olympics.  [Or maybe I did and I forgot.]  It looks really fun, though.

But I’m still puzzled about the equestrian events.

the company that comes

Cuz I admit that I am into the Hills.

famous. for no reason.

famous. for no reason.

It’s the premiere, tonight, and I am loving it.  Trash tv at it’s finest, ‘the Hills’ is a little piece of what’s wrong with America and I love it too much to quit.  Sad, but true.

(Note the vacant look in Whitney’s eyes.  As though there is nothing behind them.  And you thought it wasn’t a candid shot.)

Tonight, LC’s decided to throw a bday party for Audrina to try to smooth things over with her and Lo.  Everyone except LC knew this wasn’t going to work.  For some reason my sister loves Lo.  [I think it goes back to the Laguna days, and I don’t go that far back with the show, so I don’t get it.]  Lo gets on my nerves though.  The editing makes it look like she’s just being rude to Audrina [who, in Lo’s defense, is a bit of a dimbulb – evidenced by her continued dalliance with the now-famous Justin-Bobby].

In the villain arc, Heidi’s sister comes to town, just as Spencer’s moved back in to the apartment.  I will never understand why anyone would want to be with Spencer…other than money I suppose [which Heidi doesn’t seem to need].  He is the opposite of attractive, in my opinion.  [Sometimes I throw up a little in my mouth when I see him.]  Anyway, Heidi’s sister comes to spend some time in LA and heeeeeeeeeeeeeere’s Spencer!  ::shudder::  Not the welcome, I think she had in mind.  She tries to be delicate, but ends up with a very thinly veiled comment about how Spencer is cutting Heidi off from her friends and family.

Best moment so far?  The break, where the VJ du jour [I don’t know her name] talks to Heidi’s sister (Holly) live, and mentions Spencer’s rudeness.  Holly stumbles all over herself trying to be diplomatic.  Cuz we all know Heidi’s all into him…and they’re supposed to be getting married and everything.

As much as I like this show…I can’t do this 6th grade BS between Lo and Audrina.  Because I seriously lived this crap.  In the 6th grade.  Ok.  Well.  Not me personally.  But I watched all this crap go down when I was in the 6th grade.  To the point where these girls got permission [I do not even know how this worked] to get out of class and sit in the hall and talk about their feelings.  It was like – 6 of them.  And I think it was all about some birthday party that some of them got invited to and some didn’t.

So, now we see, Audrina’s the one who’s the actual *beep*.  “We’re never gonna be friends.”

This season looks like it’s gonna be good.  Best real life soap opera ever.

in that hip-hop way

Seems like there’ve been a few conversations going on [for a while] about being black and what that means.  Or being biracial [specifically black and white, most frequently] and what that means.   Some of the hype might be because Obama’s got the [presumptive] nomination and everyone who’s not black is looking for a crash course.  Or it might be because of that whole 2007 being the year of the noose, thing.  Or maybe it’s cuz the veneer cracked a bit, and somebody was taping it.

I don’t know why black people are on the radar now – shoot – maybe they’re not and I just think they are.

But as a ‘mixed’ girl, living where I live, I mostly identify as black.  And I know what that means to me.  My life has been my life, typical of nothing.  I don’t really know who has the actual ‘typical’ life – I don’t think I’ve ever met them.  I know a few folks who lead a fairly stereotypical life – and that’s their choice.

I’ve had the privilege of being exposed to ignorant as well as enlightened people from multiple ethnic backgrounds, and I’ve gathered that we all are who we are.  Sure that’s general, and it really says nothing to distinguish one from another, but that’s kinda my point.  People choose their words, their clothes, their lifestyles, their careers based on a host of different factors.  I’m not a sociologist or a statistician, so I’ll leave them to their philosophizing and numbers.  What I know is that any one person, from any given group, may be as alike or different from any other person, from any other group.  You can’t really get more specific, because it’s all in the details.

Our brains love to box people up into one category or another – we love to find patterns.  Which is why the imagery we see, and hear about, affects our perceptions.  Beyond that, we have our own lives/experiences to color how we filter the material we’re exposed to.  Maybe I hung out with some ragamuffins and self-proclaimed hoodrats, but then I saw family and friends with a whole ‘nother approach to life.  They’re all black, and I couldn’t say any one wasn’t simply because they listened to baroque music and didn’t say the word “ain’t”.

So, uh, that’s why I’m kinda puzzled about Ms. Evin’s comments.

Didn’t grow up around many African Americans?  Me neither.  Private schools?  Check.  Assumption that I can’t relate to black people because I’ve been exposed to a couple knot-heads from the so-called [in my specific situation: wanna be] hood?  Naw.

Really?  You prefer not to speak “in that hip-hop way”.  Well, I think I discussed how I feel about Mr. Cosby’s diatribes about black folks, so you already know.  Can’t say I’m surprised – first comes the tree, then comes the apple – but when is it gonna stop?

like sand through my fingers

Recently, I’ve been spending money like it’s going out of style.  Which, in a way, it is.  I’ve been called a spendthrift many a time, but for all the name-calling, I do ok when it comes to saving.  Well.  It’s all relative, right?  Depends on who you’re comparing me to.

I have a good plan – I hide my money from myself.  Money is taken straight out of my check for my 401(k), and two savings accounts – before I even get my share (which goes to my checking).  Then – out of my checking account, comes more money towards a high-interest savings account.  That leaves me with enough to pay my bills.

For everything else – there’s MasterCard.

Basically, I pay for everything I possibly can, using my credit card.  This is because I get cash back on purchases, and I don’t get anything back from using checks, or my check card, or cash.  I rarely even carry cash anymore.  [So when I’m at work and feenin’ for a bag o’ chips, you can find me digging through all the crevices in my purse, or biting the bullet and sticking a freakin’ $20 bill in the change machine.  I know.  I’m half-crazy.  Anyway.]  But I was reading an article about how using credit cards makes people spend more, and it got me thinking.

I can completely attest to the fact that I spend more freely because I know I can just pay off the card by the end of the month.  Of course, I have to keep things within reason [i.e. within a range I can actually pay off].  The problem with that is that I sometimes forget what I spend, or what my current balance is.  So when I looked at my bill last week and it was much higher than I wanted it to be, I was a tad bit peeved with myself.

Generally speaking, my financial philosophy can be summarized thusly: I view myself as a conduit for money to pass through, in order for me to get the things I want/need.  I am not a money storage facility.  This is why I have to take every step I can into fooling myself into thinking I have less money than I actually have – so I won’t spend it.  And if I know that I’ve got money somewhere, it needs to be a lil bit harder to get to – so I won’t spend it.

Knowing myself is really half the battle.

But anyway, I had been doing well for a while, and then things kinda crept up on me…within the last month, I’d say.  Every day I got off from work I didn’t feel like cooking.  So I ordered takeout, picked up fast food, etc.  That adds up.  Quickly.  Then there was my dad’s bday to prepare for, baby showers to buy gifts for, graduates to congratulate, my trip to HH, etc., etc., etc.

That doesn’t take into account my higher gas prices, which I don’t fully take into account, considering I don’t have an actual budget.  [Yes.  I know I’m supposed to have one.  But I can’t seem to make myself do it.]

So, this week, inspired by my friends who are also trying to get handles on their fiscal outlook, I decided to tighten my belt.  I am proud to say that I have eaten at home every night this week.

Baby steps, y’all.  Baby steps.

I’m really thankful, though, for the knowledge I’ve gleaned from people who have been looking out for me and my finances my family.  I coulda been in a bad way, because of my habits.  It wasn’t SO long ago that I carried a balance on my credit card and collections on my credit report.

I understand now, that I’ve got to maintain relationships with people who want to be as fiscally responsible as I do.  We have to encourage each other to keep our priorities straight.

And if we eat at each others’ houses, we won’t have to cook as often.

ok. no cool title. I just love dance.

Opening with a Shane Sparks routine hopefully foreshadows more great things to come.  This is what hip-hop IS, y’all.  Cool that the judges are all back – nice to see Debbie Allen again, but we need to bring Shane Sparks back to the show for good.  ABDC is kinda sucking right now anyway…

Woo!  Nigel’s 1st fave is the Bollywood number by Katee and Joshua.  I don’t remember every move from the first time they did it, but i feel as though tonight it’s even better.  WAY better than the group piece they did with everyone.  Josh and Katee really should be the top two this year.

And Mary’s fave is Courtney and Gev’s rumba.  So anyway, where is Sabra, y’all?  I haven’t seen anything from her this year – and she was freakin’ awesome!

The Pop-Off is a little bit awesome, y’all.  I kinda love them.  But I think I’m leaning toward Philip.  Robert is actually kinda freaky to me, and Philip’s smoothness made it look like he has no bones.  But both of these guys should be in commercials or something.

Adam’s fave is Dave Scott’s choreography for what we now know is an extended Wrigley’s commercial with Twitch and Comfort [who, btw, was on FIRE in the opening Shane Sparks piece].

Lil C’s pick is ‘Bleeding Love’ by TabNap and Chelsie and Mark.  I really like Chelsie.  Really a lot.  She’s all heart up there.  I like her hip hop a lot, too.

But uh, what is this?  Mary Murphy dancing?  I couldn’t not look…but…that was weird.  But good.  In a way.  I think if Mary had gotten a different dress it would’ve been better.  How weird for her to be dancing with Dmitry, too.

Katee and Will are incredible.  The pas de deux was incredible.  This season really has been the best in choreography.

Sonya’s take on ‘The Garden’ with Courtney and Mark still has SO much flavor.  What a suck to follow the pas de deux, tho.

1st out? Courtney.  Woo! [next should be Twitch]

One of this things about this show that really getrs me is how it really works. Dancers visibly improve as the show continues, and the top 5 guys doing ‘Five Guys Named Moe’ are much better than when they first performed it.  I totally forgot Nigel choreographed that.

Criss Angel is a whole nother animal…as is, apparently, this piece by Wade Robson.  Just what is his Vegas show?  I thought he was a magician.  I liked the work, though.  Cirque is awesome.

2nd out? MF-er. Effing piece of crap.  NO!  She deserves to be at least 2nd [if not 1st].  Folks, Twitch is my hunnybunny but uh – he better not win.  It better be Joshua.

Oh HOT.  Prize for top boy and top girl.  Katee gets 50Gs.  WOO! I could totally be consoled with 50Gs.

I luh Debbie Allen.  And she is doing great work with her Academy, and the kids are awesome.  Nigel’s better than I thought – though he’s also extremely cheesy.  That dude is a ham.

I did love Mia’s piece with the door.  Katee and Twitch.  La la – I love it.

I don’t believe in the Jonas Brothers.  This is when I thank God for DVR and the fast forward button.

Twitchington!  The Viennese Waltz that Jean-Marc did.  This piece really is beautiful.  And I like Kherington.  It’s too bad she couldn’t’ve held on longer.

And the last piece?  No Air.  I don’t have the words.

And the top SYTYCD’ers?  Love ’em!  Donyelle’s working with Shane Sparks?  AWESOME!  Lauren’s working with MC? hrm??  Benji, Benji, Benji!  [but, er, uh, where was Sabra?]

Thanks for listenin’ to me y’all.  We voted, and Joshua is the new winner!  Love goes out to ya Josh!  Live life!  Be it – Do it!