I haven't posted anything in over six weeks--my longest hiatus from this site, I think. Well, I'm doing just fine! I'm working on a re-design of my blog and I'm tossing some ideas around. I'll be changing the content of the site and making some other major changes. So, don't worry, I'm still writing and taking photos.
Recently, Alex & I accepted a portrait assignment from a friend & coworker of Alex. You can see the set here. My favorite is this one of their super-cute daughter:
Also, my friend Eri is having a baby shower, and we made cookies for her. Here's a preview of the finished product:
And I couldn't resist this one of Alex icing something:
*The title references my super-cool grandmother, who likes to read my site. If she doesn't see anything for a while, she wonders how I'm doing.
When I was growing up in the suburbs, inevitably there were times when we lived in areas with very few blacks. When we saw another one, I remember my mom would always smile and wave--and whoever it was would wave in return. I always asked, "who is that, Mommy?"
"I don't know, but we should say 'hi' anyway. Hi!" she would call out, even if we were in our cars and couldn't be heard through the windows. Mom's smile is infectious, anyway; they didn't need to hear us.
It was a time of unparalleled solidarity. No matter what else was going on, when you saw a black person you always smiled and were cordial, and could expect the same in return. There was a sense of, "We made it!" There were few of us, but we were proud and strong--and self-aware in the process.
Of course, white suburbs with few black residents still exist, but "we made it!" has changed to "I made it, now why is this fool smiling at me?!" But today was different.
Every time I go to vote, I carry my history on my back; all those riots, all those years when we couldn't vote (and that includes blacks and women). Even if the election doesn't matter to me, I vote because I can. And today, well today just might have been the last chance my generation has to vote for a black man for president. It's not supposed to matter, but it does.
And the hearty smiles and thumbs-up signs were shared liberally at the polling place, when the nice black lady greeted me with her Obama sign and saw the bumper sticker on my car. But in perhaps the best victory in this historic race, the nice black lady was joined by several other nice people, of various races & ages, all holding their Obama signs, proud and smiling.
The Hilary supporters, on the other hand, frowned most of the time. Ha! Resigned to their fate! Just kidding. :)
Lately, whenever I see something and am overcome by girly delight, I exclaim, "Oh, it's soooo pretty!"
It happened last weekend, when Mr. Boyfriend and I were walking around outside the Breadwinner's Café (a lovely place). I walked by the window of this incredibly beautiful store, and saw that it was the famed Paper and Chocolate. And can you imagine two things I'd love more--beautiful paper, and chocolate?! I couldn't help myself, "Wow, it's soooo pretty!" I said. Giggling ensued.
I wanted to stop and look, but the store was closed for the morning, and besides, I'd have spent so much time in there, we'd have missed our reservation! Perfect stop on a girly shopping trip, though.Their website contains some gorgeous images, as well. Tiny colorful items, just perfect for small-scale photography... I wonder if I could bring my 50mm?
It's snowing outside right now. I ran to the windows, accompanied by my cat, and I said to her, "Look, the snow! Oh, it's soooo pretty!"
I'm on day 5 of my strep throat experience. This is the part where most of the pain has subsided (yay!), and I'm just getting a little of my energy back. Friday was undoubtedly the worst day; the most painful, the most uncomfortable. All of this was compounded by the fact that it's the day I went to the doctor.
Having tested positive for strep, the doctor's first words upon walking into the exam room were, "I don't have to touch you, do I?" It was downhill from there.
He started off normally enough (aside from his completely inappropriate reaction to the strep test), by asking me where I've gone to school and what I studied, what I teach. But it was apparent that he'd already made up his mind about me; inevitably it came out that I studied music of the African Diaspora. He said, "Why'd you do that? That's an easy topic, something you already know." Because apparently, all black people know everything about all black music ALL OVER THE WORLD.
From there he went on about black music, about the one time he sang gospel ("hey, do you know you sing it without any written music? And it actually sounds good!") and subjecting me to stories of the two or three black people he knows in the world (only slightly different from the "i have lots of black friends" cliché). It was awful.
And the worst part? I just had to take it. I was helpless, sick, devoid of energy, and didn't even have the heart to invent any snappy comebacks, and he knew it. I was sitting there, leaning against the wall, praying for it to be over. Meanwhile, I listened to his inappropriate prattle and his talk of his favorite hobbies and his bad jokes and thinly veiled insults. He also made it clear that he's close friends with someone I work with, so any mention of job stress was out of the question. I can't believe it was only a 15 minute visit.
I've been discriminated against by doctors before, either because I'm overweight, because I'm black, or both. The medical community's discrimination against the overweight is well documented, and anecdotal research seems to suggest that blacks, regardless of size, are subjected to crappy treatment as well.
"Real" research, on the other hand, says that the level of medical treatment blacks get is comparable to that received by whites. But what about emotional & verbal treatment? Doesn't that matter?
It's true that blacks are less likely to seek out treatment in the first place, and the reasons for that are infinitely complex. I know my reason, and I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. Who would want to visit a doctor who's a jerk?
Number of swollen tonsils I woke up with: 1 Temperature: 98.9 Minutes on Hold only to find out the doctor works impossible hours: 30 Number of Times left message for said lazy doctor: 1 Number of times my call was returned: 0 Number of times I've wanted to kick myself for listening to the nurse who said 98.9 really isn't a fever and there's nothing wrong with me: 5,934,578
Number of swollen tonsils I woke up with: 2 Temperature: 99.2
Number of times I tried not to cry from the pain while at work: 7 Cost of stronger antibiotic and 15 minute dr. visit: $34 Minutes spent arranging & waiting for 15 minute doctor visit: 40 Doctor's hourly rate based on said visit: $120 Minutes in tearful phone call to my mom where I rant about the Great American Rip-Off known as health care: 30
Cost of manicure & pedicure Mom said would make me feel better: $40 Cost of books to read & DVDs to watch (now's a good time to tackle that wishlist): $80 Cost of throat-friendly groceries, OTC meds, and comfort foods to last until I get better: $80
Number of swollen tonsils I woke up with: 1 Temperature: 98.6 Hours slept: 9 Number of "strep throat weekends" I've had this month: 2 Pain pills I've taken in the past 3 days: 14 Antibiotics I will have taken in a month's time: 50
Via Gawker, an interesting scientific study on celebrities and their connectedness. Apparently, these people have fewer degrees of separation than the rest of us (4 instead of 6) and some, like Oprah or Elton John, have less than one degree. Finally, I can justify celebrity watching--it contributes to scientific knowledge. (!)
So three weeks before Valentine's Day, I ordered the wildly popular Wii chocolates that I discovered via Shiny Shiny. I thought they'd make a perfect gift. Not only is Mr. Boyfriend a tech guy (although he doesn't have a Wii) but this gift could be personalized--I could order the girl avatar in dark chocolate and the boy avatar in white chocolate. How unbelievably super-cute! So I promptly placed an order, right before they sold out.
It took over 2 weeks to arrive, and I happily opened the box. But instead of a "replica wii box" I got this.
On the box I received, the cover was peeling off and the photocopied paper was faded. But surely, all would be redeemed when I saw the little interracial avatars, right? Perfect mirrors of us--how adorable! But I opened the box and saw this...
What?! These are not personalized wii-people, although they are very cute. These are just two little now-irrelevant pieces of chocolate, and one with a broken-off head! ::sigh:: So the box looks cheap and my order was wrong. I checked my order three times--both my receipt and the notation on the bottom of the box state clearly that I ordered Male-white chocolate, Female-dark chocolate. :(
I got my boyfriend a better gift and wrapped that instead. Since it was too late to send these back and I am avoiding sugar at the moment, I decided to explain my dilemma and give the chocolate as a secondary gift. To his credit, I was more disappointed than he was. He just wanted to eat it!
"Your head is delicious!" he exclaimed.
A clever idea and admittedly very cute (and tasty!), with some flaws. Oh well; maybe next time, Mr. Pape!
In my last post, I lamented my own lack of color-blindness with regard to this election, and expressed my disappointment that a candidate whose values match my own will be terribly unlikely to win even the nomination, much less the presidency. Of the two main democratic candidates, Barack has my vote (Come on, do we really want to let the Clinton Soap Opera back into our lives again?).
And he's done it again, winning voters and "surprising" the right-wing media. I can't deny how thrilled I am. Am I playing into stereotypes, the black girl voting for the black candidate? Do I really like Obama on his own merits?
I wonder if the fact that I'm so happy for Obama's success betrays my loyalty a little too much. On one hand, he's clearly charismatic & energetic in a way no one else is, and he has good ideas (whether he'll act on them remains to be seen). I endorse him for all kinds of reasons besides racial solidarity (and the millions of non-blacks who'll vote for him confirm that those reasons exist). But there's nothing like being a member of an oppressed group and watching one of "your own" succeed in a mainstream democratic race. None of us know who Barack really is. I've done the research, and in my analysis, I perceive him to be a genuine person who really has good intentions. Maybe he'll turn out to be something completely different; maybe it's all a mirage. But illusion or not, it feels like a realization of Dr. King's dream, and how can I resist that?
I'm so embarrassed. Why didn't I know that before? Why is it that I endorsed Obama when my policy views (according to this quiz, anyway) don't even match his? I thought I agreed with almost all of his views, except the border wall, of course. (Tear it down!)
Honestly, I don't think America in its current climate would vote for a candidate who didn't support a border wall. It's true that my reasons for picking either Obama or Clinton were because I believe that they are more viable Democratic candidates. The WSIVF explanation page says as much: "What is the point of voting for a candidate to get the party's
nomination because they reflect you views if they have limited chance
of winning on the national stage? ...Most people are voting because they want their candidate to win the overall nomination for their party."
But what other reasons were there? Was I, a reasonably intelligent woman, guilty of blindly cheering for the candidate with the smoothest rhetoric and the biggest smile? Or seduced by the symbolism of having a black person or woman in the white house for the first time? Probably. What's wrong with me? And worse, how many other people are doing the same thing?
Don't be blind, America! Vote for John Edwards! (How's that for a campaign slogan!)
P.S. I took the test again as an independent (much more questions to choose from) and my new answer? Mike Gravel. I am really left of center! :S