Musings of a Chicago-Born New Yorker


Fighting The Ughs In My Personal Life And My Politics

Anytime I see the word trump in the news, capitalized or not, I just get… ugh. Yeah, that’s the word. I get ugh.

It doesn’t help that I’ve got some personal things happening right now in my life that for the first time ever make me feel prolonged sadness. I feel very ugh almost all the time now.

But, there are some things going down that are fighting the ughs.


  1. I finally booked an Airbnb for the Paris portion of the trip my husband and I are taking to Europe for New Year’s. Nothing like having somewhere to sleep so you don’t end up in a hostel to make you smile.
  2. I have started playing Sims 4 again, and writing stories about my Sims. The SimLit community is fantastic and I’m so happy to rejoin them after a long hiatus.
  3. I’ve finally got my younger cat Jasmine on my side! She seemed to barely tolerate me since we moved to New York, staring at me with contempt every time I dare to show affection to my husband or older cat Belle. But yesterday morning, she climbed into my lap and sat there purring while I petted her. Chris and Belle were just as confused as I was.



  1. The protesters in North Dakota triumphed! Read about it on NPR. CNN has this picture on their website that is just so powerful to me. It reminds me of the interconnected struggles of all marginalized communities. I’m hopeful that all the naysayers who swear protesting does nothing will now shut the entire fuck up. If you’ve been under a rock, and you don’t know about #NoDAPL, well, all you need to know now is the Army has agreed to reroute a pipeline that had the potential to damage the groundwater and desecrate the burial grounds of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The Army backed down from the latest in a series of violations of a treaty signed long ago. The celebrations that are happening today are heartwarming. It is so much better than what we thought would happen. December 5th was designated as the day they were going to forcibly remove people from the land to setup a “free speech area”, supposedly “for their safety.” So much bullshit and gaslighting went into that concept, but it matters not! Instead of that crap, December 5th is now a day of celebration for everyone who supported their cause.
  2. Yesterday was the anniversary of the day Fred Hampton was murdered in 1969. You may not have heard of him, but you should go learn about him. He died for the cause and is an example of what you must be willing to sacrifice for progress. Today is the anniversary of the start of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. You likely have heard of that, but you should still learn more about it, and the Freedom Riders too. These sustained protests are examples of the economic power of the oppressed, as well as their ability to fight against unjust laws. Looking back on the significance of these days informs our present and future. The varied forms of protest as well as the varied outcomes leave me with pride, courage, and resolve. And believe it or not, it also helps me push the ughs away.
  3. In the context of history both decades and hours old, I look forward to what’s coming next. For me, that is the Injustice Boycott. In just over an hour after this post publishes, we will get details of who the boycott targets are. I grew up hearing stories about how economic protests made Montgomery, Alabama integrate their city bus system and how all the major national African-American organizations boycotted Arizona until they observed Martin Luther King Jr Day. I’ve always believed in the power of protest to affect change. I was on board with protests against Chick-fil-A and other companies that have been associated with discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, and I’d like to think I’m a good ally for that community, ever learning and evolving to be an even better ally. I’m just glad that now I get to engage in a protest that helps my own community. Once they put up details about the protest, I’ll probably put up another post explaining how I’ll participate.

I’ve been struggling as of late to stay positive and happy and optimistic about the future. But on days like today, there are glimmers of hope that the darkness won’t last.

Everything Is Awful! A Song That Definitely Wouldn’t Make The Oscars

If you have small children or great whimsy in your life, you know about the song Everything is Awesome. It was liked so much, it was used as one of the performances for the 2015 Academy Awards.

I think about this song because it mostly makes me feel happy/amused/smiley, but the song itself is represents a way to fool the masses into falling in line and distracting them so they don’t question authority. I wonder if a song about fighting the power would make it to the Oscars.

For the past several posts, there hasn’t been much happy in my life, and I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. I will say that the title of this post is hyperbole. Everything is not awful. Just a lot of things are.

So what awful thing am I talking about today?

I was walking in to work this morning, checking notifications that came up on my phone when I saw the news that Florence Henderson had died. This made me really sad; I immediately thought of her on Dancing with the Stars, and when she visited this past season for Maureen McCormick.

I will never get tired of seeing celebrities break out of their molds on this show.

I will never get tired of seeing celebrities break out of their molds on this show.

These days, I have very little patience for white-washed TV shows like the Brady Bunch. But this show came out before I was even born, so I was watching reruns on Nick at Nite as a child before I knew better.

I remember a holiday episode where she sang O Come All Ye Faithful, which for years I wrongly remembered as her singing O Holy Night. It’s an absolutely absurd plot, but I loved it. The kids contemplating cancelling Christmas because their mom couldn’t sing is likely a contributing factor to why I don’t want kids, lol.

I wonder about Florence Henderson’s political beliefs. Is that weird? I’m not sure if she’s on record having voiced an opinion about women’s rights or race relations or LGBTQ+ equality or the Dakota pipeline/Flint water crisis or any of today’s pressing issues that I care strongly about.

I’ve been keeping a running tally in my head for a few different lists:

  1. Wholly Against Us
  2. Suspiciously Quiet When It Matters
  3. Too Little Too Late
  4. Oh, Now You Wanna Speak Up When It Affects You and Yours
  5. I See You Making Efforts, But It’s Not Good Enough
  6. Social Media Warrior, Okay, Okay, But What Are Your Actions?
  7. I See You Speaking AND Acting, You’re Down for the Cause
  8. You Should Definitely Be Considered a Leader of the Movement
  9. It’s Like This Isn’t Even Happening In Your World

Florence would definitely go on list #9. Most people seem to speak highly of her, she was an amazing woman by all accounts. My perception of what makes a person amazing, however, is evolving. I don’t know that I can consider someone “amazing” who isn’t helping the fight for equality move forward.

Today is particularly rough at work too. A lot of the deaths we’re getting in are under suspicious circumstances, very sad, and hard for even the doctors and medical examiners to deal with.

I’ve got a lot of conflicted feelings. For instance, there’s this article in the NY Daily News: NY Daily News: Sorry, America, but ‘The Brady Bunch’ was a lousy show. The tweet for this article was even worse:



It feels a bit disrespectful, no? It’s not so much the sentiment because I was basically just saying above how a show like this would do nothing but piss me off were they making new episodes today.

For me, it’s the language. “No disrespect…but..” I mean, come on. Only dedicated assholes say things like that. And yes, maybe the show does suck, and maybe that’s been this journalists opinion since he was a little kid. But to decide that today is the day he must share his opinion with the world is a bit tone deaf.

Florence Henderson spent a lot of time defending the show from critics with very real and accurate criticism of the bubble in which the show existed. So confronting her stance on the show is… I guess… fair game. Kinda like when you review someone’s legacy after death, it’s usually okay to point out the parts you specifically agree with.

But the article didn’t address anything she’d ever said about the show. It was just an opportunity to crap all over a show he clearly never liked. This was in poor taste.

I was genuinely sad at the news of her passing this morning, but I think focusing on it today is helping me cope with some personal issues, as well as the continued craptastic current events (Jill Stein getting hinky with the recount money, Dakota Access Pipeline injuries and assaults at the hands of police continuing, more black folks dead at the hands of hateful white people, more minorities assaulted by Trump supporters).

Seriously y’all, how fucking long until 2016 is over? I swear something moderately bad could happen 1/1/17 and I will be less bogged down by it that if it happens on New Year’s Eve.

Race Baiting. Let’s Talk About It.

Oh yeah, I’m going there.

I spend a lot of time on twitter. Every time one black activist or another posts literally anything about race issues, someone responds with hateful awful language. They usually spout the worst stereotypes anyone has heard about whatever group being discussed.

Sometimes that activist retweets the words or responds to them, usually highlighting the bigotry, prejudice, or outright racism of the language.

Inevitably, a third person responds, accusing the activist of race baiting.  Every time I see that accusation show up on some activists timeline, I get confused.

My first thought always is: how is it race-baiting to simply talk about and acknowledge that race issues exist? How is that activists to blame for some awful language of some random online troll?

The mere mention of possibly settling Syrian refugees in their home state makes many an online troll express dangerous and scary views. I’m an American born and raised, and the words are frightening to me. I can’t even imagine how those words land in the world of a refugee, simply here to make a better life for themselves.

But then, the part of me that is always looking to try and understand the sliver of logic that usually exists in even the most fucked up arguments kicks in. I think: Do I know anyone who unreasonably lashes out at a culture they don’t understand the second they perceive a threat from that culture?

The unfortunate answer is I do.

In black American culture, there is a lot of intolerance towards others who don’t follow traditional black (read: protestant/intolerant Christian) views. The stereotypes towards the LGBTQ+ community, Asians, Latinxs, and women are damn near intolerable to my ears. They are mostly rooted in ignorant stereotypes because of how segregated so much of the American black population is from the rest of the country.

I think about the communities I don’t hear a lot of aggression towards: indigenous Americans, refugees, disabled people, vets. I’m not sure why those people have escaped widescale ridicule in the black community. Or maybe they have and I just don’t know those people.

Let me finally get to my point.

In the times of life where I’ve been present for one of these ignorant rants against another community from the mouths of black folks, their justification is usually along the lines of, “well, if you didn’t bring it up, wouldn’t have to share my crappy views with you on the topic.”

They literally accuse whoever mentioned the touchy subject last of being at blame for their toxic language. It’s the same though pattern that produces such gems as “I don’t care if you’re gay, I just don’t wanna see that shit” and “This is why the black family isn’t intact, feminism is tearing apart black men and women”.

For the record, I’m not saying that ignorance in the black community makes it okay for the white trolls on Twitter. The ignorance of both makes me sick to my stomach.

What I am saying is that because this toxic pattern of behavior touches closer to home for me, I think I understand this thought process a little bit.

That’s how I know it can’t be tolerated. This gaslighting bullshit cannot go without challenge. I’m not suggesting getting into an online fight with a Twitter troll, but I’m suggesting confronting it when you hear toxic language come from the mouths of your friends, family, and colleagues.

You may not change someone’s mind, but we can at least restore some decency in terms of what is okay and NOT OKAY to say to and about others. Free speech is one thing, but targeted hate speech and menacing is on a whole other level.

Even if you can’t get through to someone, you never know who is listening. Maybe the person overhearing your defense of what is right will come around.

Don’t let the accusation of race baiting back you down from talking about marginalized communities. If your words precede someone spewing toxic language, that’s not your fault. If merely the mention of someone different makes someone go off like a crazy person, that’s not your fault. Don’t let them drag the fight down to their level.

Keep standing up for what matters to you. Keep fighting. Keep speaking up. Continue to fight for your own community and work harder everyday to be an ally to other communities.

Don’t let racists, xenophobes, homophobes, and misogynists turn your words of power into bait.

If you’re looking for a sound argument against gaslighting, particularly in light of the results of this most recent American election, check out this Twitter thread.


Heading to Times Square, After Some Prayer

I thought I’d have a funny story to tell for my first consistent blog post in months. My girl is in town with her cousin for her birthday. They’d never been to New York before, so she wanted to visit.

I know her  through some degrees of separation. My best friend joined a fraternity in college. Her husband is one of his line brothers. The first time we all hung out is when he brought a very pregnant her to their fraternity’s annual party called The Champagne Sip (don’t worry she didn’t drink).

We did have a laugh-filled night at The Waffle House though after the party. And they cemented themselves as the favorite couple I’d met through my best friend. Over the years, we’ve had some good times though we don’t see each other nearly often enough.

This couple now has three children, all of whom call my best friend godfather. There have been many gift-help-picking-out moments over the years, which always result in something fun & educational… and maybe noisy.

But I didn’t see my girl last night. She arrived to her hotel in Times Square yesterday and we planned to meet for drinks at my favorite bar in Times Square, Havana Central.

But then I started hearing about everything happening in Paris, every terrible detail as it arrived in a push notification to my phone from CNN.

I said a prayer for the people of Paris, and decided I wasn’t going out.

Since Chris and I moved to New York, I’ve been more aware of what it means when a major city gets attacked,

I know Chicago is a major city, so is L.A., and a few others. But when I worry about American cities, my first two thoughts go to D.C. and NYC.

Whenever there is a concern for the safety of major cities, my first thought is to stay in/immediately head to Brooklyn. Manhattan is where I spend a bunch of my time, but I live in Brooklyn.

I don’t know if I was overreacting, I just know that I live in New York now.

The world kept turning, people kept coming together in Paris to deal with a tragedy, and I went home last night.

At the time I’m posting this, ISIS has claimed responsibilities for the attacks in Paris last night, Belgium has already begun to make arrests, and Paris is still treating the over 300 people who got injured.

It’s hard to wrap my head around what’s happened, to just continue with a normal day knowing that so much has changed for so many people.

But I’m going to try because that’s what we do, right? We say a prayer, put something supportive on social media, donate some money to a fund, then… keep it moving.

It never seems like enough, but I don’t know what else to do. There’s power in prayer, I do know that.

I’m going to go see my friend today. In Times Square. They say it’s safe. I hope they’re right. I’m definitely going to pray some more before I go.

Wine School?? Hell Yeah, Challenge Accepted

Did you ever have that moment where you’re reading something on Wikipedia and you look up 7 hours later wondering how you got from Batman comic books to a historical exploration of homosexuality in Greece to the population demographics of African countries in 1900s to Reese Witherspoon’s filmography?

I know it is not just me.

This type of thing happens to me more than I’d care to admit. And it is not just Wikipedia. It happens when I Google something and then jump from website to website reading randomly connected articles all linking to one another. Last night, I was berating myself for somehow missing that Fred Armisen and Elisabeth Moss have divorced and they met when Jon Hamm hosted SNL. How did I miss that?

Anyway, this type of internet browsing happens to me often enough where I’m officially frustrated that I don’t have a wonderfully pithy catchphrase to describe it.

Last night my browsing took me to the New York Times online. It started where it always does, at the Opinion pages. Then The Gun Report. By the way, ten people got shot in Chicago on Monday. The first day over 50 degrees. Really, Chicago?!

After hopping from article to article, somehow I ended up trying to decide if I would beg Easy to try a new recipe for polenta or quinoa. My gut says polenta because he’s weird about texture, but somehow that sent me to a string of articles about which wines to pair with which meals.

Then I had that moment, where I’m all like, “my people!”

Then I mentioned this concept to a co-worker and she called it pretentious.

Then I was sad. She didn’t mean it as an official insult, just as an observation, but still.

Then I remembered I don’t really care what people think, which is why I don’t mind that even writing this blog post is furthering me being labelled by my entire family of in-laws as bourgie (is that how you spell the hood way of saying bourgeois? I never knew for sure).

Anyway, back to my point.

The man recommended champagne as the perfect wine pairing to fried chicken. I think I just met my best friend y’all. Eric Asimov used to write in Chicago, now he writes in New York. I don’t know how I’ve managed to miss all the wonderful things he has to say.

I’ll forgive myself for not seeing the man before today. It’s like the nerdy guy in high school that no one noticed was hot the whole time until he returns for Thanksgiving break freshman year of college.

Yesterday was the perfect day to notice Mr. Asimov because today he started Wine School.

Here’s how it will work: Each month I will pick a type of wine we will explore together. I will suggest three representative examples of that wine, and if you want to join me, I hope you will be able to find at least one of those bottles. If they are not at your wine shop, which is always frustrating, consider asking your merchant to find them, searching for them in other wine stores or ordering them online. You have time to hunt them down.

I was in when he told me to get out my corkscrew. Just reading pas articles of his about wine pairings let me know I have so much to learn. Right now, I’m all Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon. In every single article of his I read, there were at least three wines mentioned I didn’t even know existed.

So, I’m getting out my corkscrew and signing up for wine school. I’m so excited!

The first wine type is Bordeax. It just so happens that I have a bottle of white Bordeax at home. My favorite wine shop in the West Village recommended it to me the last time I was in retail therapy mode. But I’m going to stick with his list of recommendations.

His best suggestion for wine school? This is not wine tasting, it’s wine drinking. Wine tasting is how professionals learn a lot about a variety of wines quickly. But he wants his pupils to learn about the wine and really dive in, get to know the wines, drink the entire bottle over more than one meal, if you can.

If all school were like this, I’d have 5 degrees.

Here are the three wines Eric Asimov wants me to try one or two of:

CHÂTEAU BERNADOTTE HAUT-MÉDOC 2009 $32 (Sherry-Lehmann Selections/Le Reine Importing, New York)
CHÂTEAU CANTEMERLE HAUT-MÉDOC 2009 $53 (Frederick Wildman & Sons, New York)
CHÂTEAU SOCIANDO-MALLET HAUT-MÉDOC 2009 $62 (Frederick Wildman & Sons)

I wish they cost less money, but advanced education is hardly ever cheap. Eric Asimov says there’s no need to buy all three wines. Just pick one, pair it with simply prepared lamb or beef, and don’t forget to take notes.

Like I said, challenge accepted.

I Can’t Do Nothing Anymore

Recently, my sense of justice has taken a hit. I’m speaking specifically of LGBT rights. I really cannot explain why, but recently their issues have taken precedence over other rights issues in my mind.

I think I got close to the tipping point when I came across an article published on my birthday last year. Michael J. Klarman from Harvard Law School wrote an Op-Ed article entitled Gay Rights May Get It’s Brown v. Board of Education.

I’ve noticed that black people sometimes have a knee-jerk reaction to LGBT civil rights struggles being compared to those of black Americans. The only argument that resonates with me is that under most circumstances, you can’t look at someone and tell they are not heterosexual, but you can’t hide blackness.

There are many fallacies to that argument. Black people don’t always look black. Gay people don’t always blend in. And someone seeking to discriminate usually doesn’t have to search too hard to make it happen.

That being said, the comparison to Brown v. Board of Ed really made sense to me. It was a landmark decision that altered the future of black people in this country. All Michael Klarman was saying is the gay community was on the cusp of getting their version of a Supreme Court ruling of that magnitude. They were on their way to getting a ruling that would alter the future of LGBT people in this country.

At the bottom of the article, it mentions that he wrote a book called From the Closet to the Altar. At the time, I barely noticed that line and moved on with my life and my birthday celebration.

Then around Christmas, there was another article in the New York Times called Utah Ruling Means No Respite for the Supreme Court on Same-Sex Marriage. They have a quote from Michael Klarman in there. It’s only one sentence, but it stuck with me for some reason and before I even finished reading the article, I went back to his line and read it again.

Then I went to Amazon and bought the Kindle version of his book. I’ve always enjoyed non-fiction as long as it was on a topic I actually cared about, and so I really enjoyed reading this book. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but some part of the book brought tears to my eyes. Some of the people he talks about went through so much and fought so hard, but the fight isn’t over yet.

Also, he mentioned Nate Silver. Nate Silver is basically a rock star in my mind. He’s the most amazing statistician. He was over at the New York Times doing politics, but now he’s at ESPN with his first love, sports. Nate Silver has a model he created that predicts exactly when the states will cross over to 50+% approval of gay marriage. Anybody wanna guess who’s last?

After reading this book, along with the time I spend at the soup kitchen where I volunteer, I have gone from feeling supportive of gay marriage and LGBT rights to feeling even stronger. I want to do something about it. I want to have an active role in improving the lives of people who cannot marry the person they love today. My 2 year anniversary is in 2 days, and there are people who currently live in places where they can’t have that yet.

For years now I’ve donated money to the Human Rights Campaign. I signed up with one of those street volunteers they have out asking people for credit card information and a monthly donation.

Usually I give those people the side eye and keep it stepping, but even though I hadn’t even heard of this organization, their message resonated with me, so I signed up. That was almost five years ago, but it’s not enough anymore

This weekend, HRC is having their annual gala at the Waldorf Astoria. But those tickets are around $500, so that isn’t the way I’ll help either.

I’m going to keep looking for a way to get actively involved with the cause. Something other than buying a t-shirt with a rainbow on it or dancing in the streets during a pride parade. I haven’t done either of those things yet, but I think I will this year. As long as it’s along with something more substantial.

When I think of people defending “traditional marriage,” my feelings are hurt. How could a grown man being in love with another grown man and wanting to make it official for their family and their future be bad?

Heterosexuals aren’t doing a great job with marriage. The divorce rate is awful and when some people are on their third marriage, or getting an annulment because they made a decision to marry after 24 hours, the argument of a rock-solid institution being taken apart by gay marriage doesn’t fly.

Then there are the arguments that the bible is very clear about sodomy being wrong. The bible is very clear about a lot of things, but our interpretation of it over time changes.

For instance, when you sin against your home, do you go to the priest, slit the throat of a young goat, flick the blood of that goat on an altar then rub in on the earlobe of that priest? The bible is very specific about that too.

My point is that quoting one part of the bible as immutable when you eat shellfish, openly disrespect your president, and don’t celebrate three chosen festivals each year is a bit hypocritical.

It’s been hard for me as a Baptist to reconcile how I feel with the teachings of my religion. The church I attend has yet to mention the topic, like at all. The husband loves that church too. I don’t know what I’m going to do about that, but for now, I’m keeping my ears open for any sign of intolerance.

Because I’m a black woman, I know making discrimination go away is frankly impossible. But just because something is hard isn’t a good enough reason not to try.

When I was younger, if I saw an interracial couple, specifically a black man with a white woman, it upset me. I was a teenager at the time, so what the hell life experience did I have to feel so strongly about it? None, that’s what. I’ve dated guys of every race, so I was being such a damn hypocrite.

What changed it for me was moving to an area where there was more interracial couples than other types of couples. After making friends in the checkout line with the hundredth cute biracial kid, I got over myself and my gut reaction to that type of couple. Looking back on it, I feel like such as asshole.

My family raised me to see color, and I’m glad I was. I just wish I wasn’t raised to judge color. Who am I to have an opinion on how someone else lives their life? I keep coming back to that question because that’s the crux of my issue. Who are you to judge? None of us are in a position to judge someone else’s life. If you are living your life and you’re not hurting someone else or making their life worse, live on.

I am at the point where I feel that so strongly, I want to actively stop other people from infringing on other’s happiness.

I was walking down the street to work today and I saw a couple with their children. It was a black man, a white man, and two small children of indeterminate race. I two men were holding hands and making flirty eyes at each other. I noticed a lot about this couple, even down the color coordination of the family’s outerwear.

But you know what I noticed most? Their comfort. I don’t know if they’re married or not. And I don’t care. What I care about is that they are as free to live life openly as the husband and I are. They aren’t hurting anyone. In fact, looking at those two children, I’d say they are helping a lot of people. Those kids were healthy, happy, and full of life.

Any kid would be lucky to belong to that family.

Y’all just give me a few weeks. I’ll be back with a real plan to help make a difference for families like that one. I’m sure there’s some version of this family just waiting for the opportunity to thrive. Maybe they’re in Utah. Maybe they’re somewhere else. This Op-Ed Column I read in the New York Times today by Frank Bruni titled Love, Death, and Sochi reminded me that this isn’t just a domestic problem.

Like so many other stories, I was left feeling frustrated with tears in my eyes. I have to remind myself that as awful as I feel today, there are people who have been in this fight for decades. I have to have strength if I’m going to sustain to help progress move forward.

And strength is something I have no shortage of. I have strength. I have resolve. I have passion. Now, I just need a work assignment.

Google will help me figure it out.

I also have loyalty and confidence.

Pretty soon, I’ll also have a plan.

Supreme Court Keeps It Real

Unlike with the Citizens United case, this time the Supreme Court acted like they know how to interpret the Constitution. Well, at least some of them did.

Focusing on the constitutionality of each part of the Affordable Care Act, they realized they should uphold it.

Just like we all have car insurance, now we’ll all have health insurance too. Like every other commerce law, some people will fall in the gap. They will make too much money to get Medicaid and too little to afford insurance even with the subsidies. I can only pray that some new not-for-profits pop up to help those people.

Now Republicans will campaign on repealing their law. They will claim the only hope for America is to elect them. More of the usual “the sky is falling” crap.

It’s up to the Democrats to finally start making some memorable sound bites about the provisions of the ACA. All the polls about the law say the law is unpopular, but most of the provisions are popular.

We won the fight about the constitution. Now let’s win some battles in the media. People like not being refused insurance. They like that there’s no cap on benefits. They like that their kids can stay on their insurance. Lower income people will love being included in Medicaid. Let’s talk about that a bit, shall we?

As I finish, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Anthony Kennedy, you all suck.

Thoughts On A Move To NYC

I love Chicago. I was born and raised here, and except for college, have not spent more than 15 days in a row anywhere else. But I also am enthralled by the excitement and adventure that comes from grabbing life by the balls and stepping into the unknown.

I am blessed to be married to someone who feels very similar to me in that respect. The husband want to move to New York City at some point. I took it one step further and decided that once we were through with NYC, we’d go to Europe. Because I work in organ & tissue donation and he is a musician, we can both work almost anywhere on the planet. That type of mobility leaves me feeling hopeful for our future globetrotting.

One thing that takes my hope and douses it with ice water is a current issue facing New York. No, it’s not the de-criminalizing of marijuana or the ordinance against large drinks chock full of high fructose corn syrup. It’s the stop-and-frisk policy that the NYPD unfortunately still follows.

I’ve been reading several articles over the last several weeks, and they always get me down. I will admit I’ve had a sort of, “it’s not really my issue yet” reaction to the situation. But something about this latest article really gets into my head.

Personal accounts from young black and Latino men really drive home how fucked up this whole policy is.

“The husband and I will be living in NYC. His father is from Honduras and his mother is an African-American. The husband is a young man who will be all over NYC because of his music at all hours of every day and night.”

These horrifying thoughts went through my head. There have been a couple of situations in Chicago in which the husband was stopped by the police and it left a bad taste in his mouth. He’s never carrying drugs, weapons, or open alcohol. He never has anything stolen in his possession. He seldom even resembles someone enough to “fit the description.”

Once we’re in NYC though, it won’t matter. The husband will be stopped and frisked, and if he’s  lucky, he’ll get a wallet sized card with an apology from NYPD saying they “regret any inconvenience.”

That thought has me on a complete What-The-Fuck loop. I can’t believe we’re going to a city where this shit is okay. The New York Times and several other media outlets and public figures are drawing attention to the situation. If 88% of the stops result in nothing except spreading ill will amongst  the minority citizens, why does it continue?!

I can only pray that this mess gets sorted out before we change our address. I’m gonna be on some civil disobedience shit for real if I end up living in a New York City that condones having so many of its people treated this way.

When I Say Supreme, What Comes To Mind?

Do you think of Diana Ross? Only a slim maybe.

I bet you think of all that’s going on with the Supreme Court right now. Maybe you don’t live in America, so the rulings aren’t a huge deal.

But if you live here, and you don’t know, I’m here to help.

They don’t rule on healthcare until tomorrow, Lord help us all.

For Arizona, they kicked in the balls the most egregious part of the law. The part where they can marginalize and detain people merely for looking “illegal”, whatever the hell that meant, is no more. Unfortunately, those they arrest will still be checked for legal status.

They refuse to re-examine campaign finance laws. Big f-ing surprise there. I can’t wait for the day when we actually start paying attention to the finances of certain judges so their “impartiality” can be looked at with truth.

They ruled that some minors sentenced to life can apply for parole. When I think of the sick sociopathic and psychopathic folks that end up with life in prison at age 15, I’m a little worried. But when I think of the poor kids who made his or her life’s biggest mistake and got made an example of, I breathe a little easier. This was a good ruling.

The whole point of this post is so I can say the main reason I hope Obama gets re-elected is so he can name at least one of the next Supreme Court nominees and balance out this mess a little better.

How To Prove You’re An Asshole

Step 1. Say really mean things about someone else.

Step 2. Realize you’ve made others really really upset and devise a plan.

Step 3. Apologize, but only half-heartedly and only for one tiny part of what you said.

Step 4. Accuse others of being too sensitive and defend your actions before your apology has even settled.


If you have been following current events, you know what I’m talking about. One asshole in particular, Rush Limbaugh has been a bad bad man. He’s been worse than usual. After the Republicans wouldn’t let any women testify about the rule that employers have to provide contraceptive coverage in their insurance packages, the Democrats brought in their own people.

One person they brought in was law student Sandra Fluke. She’s a very nice lady who had very sound argument in support of coverage. But Rush, never to debate someone on the issues, began attacking her. For three days straight, he called her a slut and a prostitute.

He lambasted her for the large amount of sex she has to be having, saying there are men lined up around the block. He said he’s her pimp since he’s responsible for getting her so much sex through his taxpayer dollars. He requested that if they’re paying for her to have all this sex, she repay them by posting videos of this sex online.

His apology (after he lost several advertisers) was only for calling her a slut and a prostitute, not for anything else he said over 9 hours of radio show. There are so many things wrong with what he said. Sigh. Where to begin?

Idiot Correction #1: you don’t need a new birth control pill every time you have sex. It’s not like some disposable diaphragm or whatever else you conjure up, ridiculous man. One pill per day, no more. Plus she’s a law student. There’s no way she has time to have that much sex and still be in law school.

Idiot Correction #2: Taxpayers don’t pay for birth control. You’d have to play 6 degrees of separation or more to find a way from insurance company subsidies over to the coverage for contraception. And like John Stewart said, taxpayers don’t get a say for where their money goes. If they did, liberals would’ve been able to opt out of the Iraq War.

Idiot Correction #3: What is up anyway with this assault on sex? Men have had Viagra covered for 15 years under most insurance plans. How is the pill any different? Believe me, Rick Santorum, the men taking these pills aren’t doing it just to procreate. Not when these pills are selling by the millions to mostly white people, who have the lowest birth rate in the country.

Idiot Correction #4: Most women age 15-44 have used contraception at some point. for the sexually active ones, it’s up to 99%. 99%. 99%. It’s an irrefutable fact that this is essential to women’s health. Whether it’s to choose when to procreate or to manage acne or ovarian cysts, it’s important. Married women, sick women, just women who want a predictable cycle (why I started using the pill back in the day) all use the pill. It is not exclusively for sluts.

Idiot Correction #5: If you want to make a point, make it. If your only point to make is a personal attack, that’s no point at all. Keep it to yourself. Your mother never conveyed it to you Rush Limbaugh, or perhaps you didn’t listen when she did. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Stop being such as ass.

Quickie Politics Post: Really Komen Foundation?!

Really Komen Foundation?! You don’t want to be associated with organizations who are under federal investigators?! Out of tens of millions of dollars you give away, this happens to only apply to Planned Parenthood, and you thought no one would notice? Really?!

Someone high up in your ranks is scared of a lack of donations from a couple of self-righteous conservatives and is using their political agenda to try and defund an organization that has literally saved the lives of hundreds if not thousands of women. How does that work with your stated mission?

When you take away someone’s funding and try to sweep it under the rug, you have no right to get mad at them for trying to replace that funding.

I have tons of pink ribbon stuff, but I’ve decided I’m not buying another thing. The next time I see a pretty pink pen or notebook or coffee mug, I’ll just take note of what it cost and donate that money to Planned Parenthood.

You chose angry conservatives over angry liberals. Let’s see how that ends. You all aren’t the only people who help those with breast cancer.

Black, Single, and Female

There is a New York Times article I came across a little over a week ago. It’s from December 20th. In the opinion section, there’s a subsection called Room for Debate. They have a topic up for discussion and then they have some experts offer their opinion.

This topic is started because a black woman is single and says her family and friends treat her like she has some condition that will never improve because the odds are stacked against her. This topic piqued my interest, but not for the normal reasons.

I’m not one of those people who is drawn to “black” issues simply because I’m black. I find myself interested in issues that affect cultures. I’m just as interested in the Jewish diaspora as I am the African diaspora, perhaps even more so because of Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent actions, but I digress.

Back to the black women who are destined to never get married because the odds are stacked against them. Based on my own world, I can say the odds aren’t good. The fiancé and I are having 8 women and 12 men in our wedding party. Only 2 are married, and those are the guys.

5 of the 8 women are in long-term serious relationships that could be headed towards marriage, but there’s no way to know for sure until someone proposes. And we have a boatload of single people at the wedding. In the under 35 range, there’s way more singles than couples.

Perhaps black folk are just waiting until later in life to get married. Perhaps too many black men are in jail, undereducated, under-churched, already fathers, etc. My friends who have really high standards (i.e., wanting a man to match their degrees, earning potential, love for the Lord, lack of parenthood, and good relationships with their mother and father) are painfully single.

I hit the jackpot when the fiancé found me. Even compared the guys my friends are dating, no one’s dating “resumé” looks nearly as good.

But is that what it’s about? Fitting a list of criteria? I don’t know. And I feel like I’m about to be even more out of touch since I’ll only be single for another month.

What do you think is the cause of all this black female singlehood?

Double Giving For Christmas

Alternate post title: How The New York Times Saved My Christmas And My Honeymoon

I read the New York Times Opinion page voraciously. One article I read recently suggested a great gift giving idea. This idea wasn’t novel, but this was the first time I’ve given it serious consideration.

The idea is to give gifts for Christmas that are actually donations made to charities in someone else’s name. I liked the idea for reason both altruistic and selfish.

1) We can really personalize the gifts and spend time searching for the perfect charity that focuses on an area or problem that the giftee really truly cares about. Our families and friends are really very caring people and it won’t be hard to find a charity that covers something near and dear to each of their hearts.

2) The money we’ll spend on charity donations will be far less than whatever we’d spend on actual tangible presents. All that money saved will make sure we can pay for the entirety of our honeymoon. Our joint family is a shitload larger than what either of us had before being engaged, so saving money is honestly a good motivator.

3) We care a lot about the world around us and the fiancé and I have been searching for a way to turn our caring into actual action. Seeking to do volunteer work and/or make a real difference (no matter how small) in the world is something we discuss frequently. This would be a great way to do that.

4) I love giving cards for holidays and a lovely stack of cards would be the perfect way to deliver the news of what we did for everyone’s Christmas gifts. I can imagine personalized cards with our pictures or classic cards with Christmas trees or Christmas angels or something. It will be great!

5) We will be getting tangible gifts for all these people less than two months after Christmas. Most of our family or friends qualify as gift-receivers for their part in our wedding. In particular, our gifts to our parents and the wedding party will be expensive because there’s so damn many of them. I’ve been picking up things here and there, but it’s not enough. There’s a big balloon payment out there looming like an underwater mortgage because I don’t think the fiancé has gotten anything for any of his people. Le sigh.

Of course, we have a number of children to buy actual Christmas gifts for. I can’t imagine anybody in my life under the age of 20 truly understanding and appreciating a gift given to them that’s actually a gift given to someone else. I know our parents’, cousins, friends, etc. will appreciate it though.

I talked with the fiancé about it and he seemed to kind of like the idea. We still have to discuss it further to be sure it’s what we want to do. I imagine he’ll go with it, mostly for reason #2 and #3. I’ll let you know what we come up with.