Friday, July 27, 2007
You know, I was just over at BFP's site reading where she posted a small sample of the hate-mail that she receives. "Loved White One" sent her a message explaining that the cause of her financial problems. For all of you other folks who may be experiencing a few economic difficulties, here's a little piece of her advice that maybe you could benefit from:
"I’ve got another suggestion: Perhaps you are sad, depressed, and angry because you are lunging blindly through life without God and his only son, Jesus Christ. Perhaps what you see as 'white privilege' is actually God bestowing upon his adherents the rewards of faith."
Now if someone reading this sees some logic in this, please show me because I know plenty of people who are believers in "God and his only son, Jesus Christ". Yet, they are even more miserable and angry and dirt-poor than many of the atheists that I know. Are they just not believing enough and God is punishing them? I'm being sarcastic here, of course. Loved White One's notion is just ridiculous and counter to the actual messages that "God and his only son, Jesus Christ" commanded his believers to follow. God does not reward people by creating a system that is responsible for the oppression of marginalized groups throughout this country. That is man's doing. God has nothing to do with Loved White One's claims. Anyway, that person was just the regular run o' the mill religious lunatic. However, what was even more entertaining was the e-mail from Luckynkl.
Now you may be unfamiliar with this...hmm, what's the right word to describe someone like her? Let's just say she suffers from Rectal-Cranial Inversion Syndrome. I make it a point to stay away from armchair diagnoses but this is as clear a case as could ever be presented, so I'm pretty comfortable with my observation. Apparently, I am not the only one who has reached a similar conclusion about this waste of protein that is Luckynkl. A couple of folks on a LiveJournal thread got a good laugh out of her claim that female humans are parthogenetic. Yeah, that's right. Luckynkl claimed that men have successfully fooled us into thinking that human egg cells must be fertilized in order to make a baby. In other words, the next time you're ovulating, you'd better watch out because even if no sperm ever comes in contact with your eggs, it could just start developing into a baby. Perhaps someone should ask her where human offspring get those other 23 chromosomes needed to bring the total number up to the 46 that are found in most human beings on the face of the earth (people who are intersexed may have more or fewer chromosomes but are not cases of parthenogenesis). Anyway, that's just one of her finer moments. She's usually busy proving to the world that she's even more ignorant than the parthogenetic claims reveal.
Now, I know Nubian has discussed how we (women of color) should not devote our energy to engaging in discussion with these pathetic folks (they would have us believe it's just a coincidence that they are all white, American, self-professed "radfem" women) who like to visit our blogs and tell us about how awful we are for having the audacity to call ourselves ____ women. You can fill that blank with the word "Puerto Rican" or "Native American" or "Chinese" or "Jewish". And I think that Nubian has a good point. Those conversations can really wear you down sometimes.
However, sometimes, it's a helluva lot of fun to point at the monkeys and laugh. And that's just what these people are to me: a bunch of poop-flinging monkeys. Heart/Cheryl, Chasing Moksha, Luckynkl, Stormy, AmazonRage...There arguments and tactics are all the same. And before them, there were others just like them. Remember Nio and her crew of most-oppressed-in-the-world white women? Sometimes I wonder if there isn't a factory somewhere out there just pressing out white American women genetically imprinted to seek out women of color that they can convince to feel sorry for them and worship them. I wonder if maybe I could call them up and tell them it's time to update their systems because interacting with them is like talking to that old computer game Eliza.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
This case is both interesting and tragic, although much more of the latter than the former. A seven year old girl reported being raped repeatedly by one of her relatives. The judge ruled that the charges had to be dismissed because the suspects right to a speedy trial had been violated due to numerous delays. The delays occurred because of language difficulties. The suspect speaks some English but his first language is Vai, which, according to the article, only has about 100,000 speakers in the entire world. Unfortunately, even though the state determined that the suspect needed a Vai interpreter in order to understand the proceedings, for a period of almost three years, the courts were unable to produce some one qualified to do that. So, as I said, the judge dismissed the charges against the person.
On the one hand, I think that the state really did need to provide a Vai translator here. If you can't really understand what the suspect is saying and the suspect can't even effectively express himself or understand exactly what's going on, then you can't possibly provide the sort of fair trial that people are supposed to be entitled to here in the USA.
However, I am none too comfortable with the fact that this little girl was raped and no one will be punished for doing it. I have to wonder how much effort the state would put into finding a proper interpreter if the victim hadn't been a little black girl. What if the girl hadn't come from a family of African immigrants? What if she was white with blonde hair and blue eyes?
I'm not saying the state didn't try because it's evident that they did put a good bit of effort into finding an interpreter, but the fact that the Washington Post was able to find several of them in one day leads me to believe that the state could have done much more. I mean, all the newspaper did was contact the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT) and they were able to find an available Vai interpreter in the same city as the trial was to take place.
Why didn't the state contact NAJIT? I mean, I typed "judiciary interpreters" into Yahoo's search engine and NAJIT was the second entry. I Googled it and NAJIT was the first entry. While the state was busy supposedly contacting the courts in 47 different states, why--in three years--did no one even bother to contact them. It's not like it's a new organization. They've been around since 1978. This debacle could have been avoided with a fraction of the effort the state claims it expended.
The state acted completely incompetent in this case, but you know what? I think that this situation proves an even bigger point: It is absolutely shameful how the US government refuses to make an effort to promote multilingual education in the schools. We are only fooling ourselves if we (US citizens) think that our children will be able to succeed and compete for jobs in this new century without being able to speak more than one language.
Today I had an experience in Wal-Mart that really brought this home for me. I think I'm going to write a separate post about it now.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
Sassywho has the story here:
Driving while Black and Pregnant in Kansas City Could be Hazardous to Your Health
Thursday, July 19, 2007
"My Feelings About Gay, Homosexual, Et Cetera"
It made me a little bit sad to read it because it mentions her memory of when my youngest step-sister had to leave home because she was gay. She's never even talked about it with me. I didn't know that she knew for sure that this was why my sister left. Anyway, it seems as if she's turning into quite the little activist around here. She's definitely challenging The German's feelings about issues of sexuality in ways that even I hadn't been able to accomplish. That girl is my heroine!
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Remember when....for N.O. folks
You knew Cash Money before they became famous and were living in the
*You know who UNLV is and what the letters mean.
*You went to
Man-Chu's for Wings
. *You understand that Red Pepper is different than
*You remember Manuel's Hot Tamales.
*You were never crazy enough
to eat a Lucky Dog from the cart in the French Quarter.
*You know about
Hank's, St. Roch Seafood, Deanie's and Jaeger's.
*You know which
sno-ball stands have the soft ice.
*You know that Creole tomatoes taste
different than the regular ones.
*You know how to pronounce some of our
crazy names: Dejoie, Robicheaux, Hilaire, Villere, etc...
*You know what
people are talking about when they say "across the river".
*You know that
damn near everyone from N.O. is Creole.
*You remember the furniture
commercial "...come see the special man, let her have it"!
*You had to
get a new ESPRIT bag from Krauss or Maison Blanche every school year.
*You either had a Medallion Chain, Ring, or Bracelet. Was N.O. the only
city that had JESUS or CHRIST head rings?
*You remember the pie man...
*You remember the old lady on Canal Street singing old gospel hymns in
front of Krauss with her karaoke machine...
*And how about ya boy on the
corner of Canal and Carondelet trying to get everybody at the bus stop
to be saved, with his bible in his hand...
*For those Greater St.
Stephen members, remember the lady that sold cakes and pies outside church
after service. God bless her soul.
*The ultimate best - Easter Sunday on
the lake - everybody was there and you couldn't hardly drive your car
down the street because everybody was showing off.
*When they mention
the B.W. Cooper on the news, you're confused 'cause you know all the
projects by their old names... Magnolia, Calliope, Desire, Florida ,
Iberville, St. Bernard, etc...
*Someone has told you that you look like you
from the 7th Ward...
*You still sing " Rosenberg 's,
*You remember the " Seafood City " commercials...
*You went to
Bachemin's Meat Market on St. Bernard or Patton's on Delery for hot
*You can't get pickled tips anywhere but New Orleans and
*You know what "snap beans" are...
*You don't eat
everybody's gumbo or potato salad (definitely)
*Once you met your
girlfriend's (or boyfriend's) mother or grandmother they asked, "Who's your
family?" or "Is your family from the 7th Ward?"
*If you or someone you know
is related to a Broussard, Boutte, Pichon, Doucette or Mercadel they or
you are from the 7th Ward...
*You know where the "Point" is on the
*Your mama used to whip yo tail with Daniel Green slippers...
*You remember Pontchartrain Beach ... How about The Bottom Line, Discovery,
Whispers, Crash Landing and Nexus
*You still want to sing or scream
"Hey Pocky Way " *You know "It Ain't My Fault", "They All Axed for You" ,
"Who shot the LaLa", and "Mr. Big Stuff"
*You only ate Chinese food at
Chinese Kitchen or Five Happiness...
*You remember that manager (with
the Jheri Curl) at Circle Food Store...
*No matter what part of the
Eastbank you are from, you will drive to Haynes to get seafood from
*You remember when Harrah's Casino was at the Municipal
Auditorium (calling out all casino visitors:)
*You went to a St. Mary's and 35's
Talent Show (to go to any school's talent show was a big deal!)
thought McMain, the birthday cake school was for the nerds.
remember Maison Blanche, McKenzie's, Tastee Donuts, D H Holmes, Times Savers,
. *You lived in Michoud and people didn't want to visit because
you lived too far...
*You knew what the 3rd floor at Charity was all
*Someone asks you where you are from and you reply 9th ward,
Uptown, the East, Gentilly, Downtown or the Westbank! (you never give your
*You know that THE GAME at Tad Gormley was 35 vs. St.
Aug, and that was a major social event, even if you didn't go to either
*You refer to the French Quarter as "the quarters" and really
don't go to the Quarters like talkin' about it, just when you have
family from out of town that want to go there...
*You refer to St. Bernard
Parish as "The Parish"... *
You know how to pronounce Tchoupitoulas...
*You know that Mardi Gras really goes down on Claiborne under the
bridge and not on Bourbon...
You knew if somebody important or ghetto died,
there would be a 2nd Line....
*Dressing up to go "uptown" or "downtown"
(depend where you lived) aka Canal Street .
*Going to Woolworth's to
eat at the lunch counter.
*You bought po-boys from the corner store.
bought frozen cups from the lady down the street or yo' mama was the
lady down the street who sold them...
*Eating those good donuts at
Woolworth (and they were greasy!!)....
*You know what huckle bucks are...
*You used to shop at Krauss...
*You always got a new outfit for Easter
off Canal Street ....
*Someone at your job used to sell "suppers"...
know where Lincoln Beach or Little Woods is... *
You remember "Buck Jump
*You know who Harry Lee is - so you don't hang in Jefferson
*Y! ou take the Huey P. Long Bridge to get from The Westbank to the
*Eastbank, 'cause you don't want to pay that dollar on the Crescent
*You end each sentence with "yeah" or (now the
youngens say) "ya heard me? Example: "It's hot out here yeah" or "Holla at
cho' boy, ya heard me?"
*Your maw-maw "made groceries" at Economical on
Gentilly and Elysian Fields or Venus Garden on Dryades St ..
referred to mayonnaise as "my-naise"
*You drank "earange juice" and
got your "earl" changed in your car on the "cordner"
You went to the
"Lafitte" or Orleans & Claiborne to watch the Zulu Parade...
the "Gondola" and the "84 World's Fair"
*You piled in a car with
cousins to drive pass Al Copeland's house to see the Christmas lights and
then spent the drive home talking about how he stole the recipe from an
old black man...
*You USED to refer to Betsy as New Orleans ' worst storm
*You were looking for YOUR house on TV during the CNN
coverage of Hurricane Katrina...
*You got tears in your eyes after reading
This morning I was slumming on MySpace and I got a message from one of my favorite local Jazz musicians, a cat named Sam Williams. Big Sam and I go way back. I don't know if I first met him through my little brother or from watching him play around town. I'm pretty sure he used to play in the Li'l Stooges Brass Band with my brother for a while.
He's one of the dedicated musicians that came back after the storm. I'm sure that wasn't an easy decision to make. After all, Sam could easily have relocated to some place else and continued making music. Right now he's touring in Europe but I hope he'll be coming back soon. Meanwhile, I think anyone who likes Jazz should check out his page at
Big Sam's Funky Nation
(Left to Right) Jamelle Williams, Keith Richardson, Big Sam
Big Sam at Hudson River Rocks, Ny
Photo by Jim Criskos
Sunday, July 15, 2007
bint alshamsa="daughter of the sun" or "sun-girl"
Well, it's actually a little more complicated than that. Like many languages, other than English, Arabic words are gendered. They are either muwanath (feminine) or muthaker (masculine). The Arabic word for "sun" is normally masculine so, when you transliterate it into English, you'd usually spell it as "shams". However, you can change a word that is usually masculine into a feminine version by adding a letter called "taa' marbuta". "taa' marbuta" means a letter "t" that has been tied-up. When taa marbuta is at the end of a word, it is pronounced kind of like "ah!" By adding the "a" on the end of "shamsa", I gave it a feminine ending making its meaning more like "daughter of the feminine sun".
I was looking for a word that I felt reflected my personality. I think of myself as the sort of person who always tries to liven up the room no matter where I go. I like seeing people interacting with each other. I see it as a bit of a shame that people can be sitting right next to each other and never even say hello to each other. The German says I have a sunny personality, so I guess that's where I got the idea to use sun imagery. I also wanted to reflect womanhood which is why I changed the gender on the "sun" part of it.
I named my blog "My Private Casbah" because I wanted it to be a place where I could just be me and express my thoughts without having to worry about what my family thinks, what my (old) religion teaches, et cetera. I wanted it to be my fortress against the world. Writing helps me to keep my stress levels manageable. I can speak my mind without being interrupted. I can focus on what's important to me. It's my fortress.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Well that was certainly a bit uncomfortable but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I stayed up until around 2 a.m. so that I'd be pretty tired when I woke up because I've found that feeling sleepy trumps feeling stressed out.
As usual, I got a totally amazing nurse. I know some folks don't buy into it but I really do think there's something extra lucky about being Irish. I have yet, in all my years of having lupus and cancer, had a mean nurse assigned to my care. This one was pretty and bubbly and she's been a nurse for 27 years. As she recorded my vital signs, she and I had a nice conversation that could just as well have taken place over a cup of tea in my living room.
She said that one of the most important things that a nurse can do is try to put herself in the shoes of the person having the procedure. She says that you should treat every patient as if it were your own mother lying on the bed in front of you. It seems as if she really applies that principle too, because I couldn't have asked for a more reassuring person to have in front of me.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
The man asks me if I was ____ (the name of one of our extended family's friends) and I told him that I am not that person but I am The German's wife. So then, the man starts asking me if I know how to get in touch with our friend____ because they are looking to collect a debt from them. I got really aggravated and I told the guy that his business was with____ , not with us and I have no information about that person to give them. At that, he starts demanding that I put The German on the phone and that he'll keep calling until we tell them how to get in touch with____. I told him that now he definitely wasn't going to speak to The German today or any day, for that matter and I hung up the phone.
Next, the guy calls my house again asking me if I'm going to put The German on the phone now. Again, I told him that it just wasn't going to happen and he starts making his demands again. Suddenly the guy's partner takes the phone from him and threatens to harass us unless we help them. She says, if we don't tell us where____ might be reached, then she's going to show up at_______(an address that's a bit like mine but certainly not mine) with the constable and have me arrested for obstruction of justice. I already know that I have no legal responsibility to help these jerks and, secondly, they don't even know our address, so I told them that if they think that's where we live and they believe they can get me arrested, then I guess I'll see them when they get here.
They were getting pretty irate and practically yelling into the phone, both of them at once, demanding that I give them information about____. I started realizing that this is probably how they got our phone number and the address that they thought was ours. I'm figuring that they harassed some one else and that person gave them our number to get the jerks off their back. It's understandable. They are probably pretty at intimidating the average person. Instead of caving in, I laughed and told them that they were absolutely hilarious. The guy keeps threatening to come over to my house--never mind the fact that my actual address is inside of an apartment complex with over six hundred units so even if they wandered through my neighborhood, they'd never find my flat.
The male jerk says to me "Well, you must not care about going to jail but if they have to come down there,____ and The German go to jail because we're going to have them arrested too. I bet you care about that!" to which I said
"Not particularly, no."
Then the female jerk says "Sounds like we must be talking to a nigger!" Well, it was all down hill from there.
I paused and said, "Wait? Was I supposed to get upset about you saying that? All it shows is how trashy you are and that you obviously didn't receive any decent home training."
She screams back "Look, you nigger, put The German on the phone! We don't need to talk to any of you niggers!"
I must admit that I was quite pissed off but I was determined to keep my cool. "You know, this call is really making my day! I feel like I'm talking to the last of the Dodo birds. I'd almost quite forgotten that there were people this ignorant still on the planet." They hung up.
I sat there thinking about it for a second and then I called back the cell phone number that had shown up on my telephone. The guy picked up the phone and said "Hello?"
From me: "Oh, it's just me again. I was hoping that your wife would pick up the phone so that she could make me laugh again and I could let everyone else hear what trashy racists sound like. Besides, I figure, as long as you're on the phone with me, you can't use this phone to harass other people who have no business with your company."
At that point the guy calls me a bunch of other racist names, tells me not to call there any more and disconnects. I hang up the phone and couldn't help but smile at the idea of the annoying jerk who called me first, telling me not to call him any more. But you know what? I'm still pretty angry.
The German woke up around this time. A few minutes later, my mother-in-law called. It turns out that the two jerks had already gone down to her house and tried to browbeat her into helping them find____. That infuriated me. My mother-in-law and partner are white and I am a woman of color. Yes, we are an inter-racial relationship and they are free to be displeased by the fact that they had to go through me, a person of color, to get to The German. Even though I'm sure they weren't very pleased with the fact that they couldn't get a rise out of me and I'm proud that I didn't lose my cool, it still angers me that this incident even occurred.
VanGoghGirl heard bits and pieces of it because her nosey little ears couldn't stop trying to listen in to my half of the conversation. Fortunately, she didn't actually hear the jerks ranting at me from the other end but she still asked me about it afterwards.
I tried to tell her that some people say that kind of stuff when they don't think they're smart enough to find some better way of getting their point across. The German said that only people who don't feel good about themselves talk like that because if you feel good about who you are, then you won't feel the need to try to make other people feel bad too.
Meanwhile, I'm trying to just cool off and forget about it right now but it's on my mind and I can't seem to let it go just yet.
Monday, July 02, 2007
The doctor said I'll only be there for a few hours. They'll do the procedure, monitor me for awhile and then release me. It doesn't sound too major. After all, they aren't even anesthetizing me completely. Instead they're just going to sedate me to take the edge off so that I can relax while they stick the tube down my throat and into my stomach. Still, I'm feeling anxious.
The nurse gave me a brochure that explains exactly what they're going to do. I've been reading it over and over again all evening.
During the Procedure
- You lie on the endoscopy table.
- Your throat may be numbed with a spray or gargle. You are given a sedating (relaxing) medication through an intravenous (IV) line.
- You swallow the endoscope. This is thinner than most pieces of food that you swallow. It will not affect your breathing. The medication helps keep you from gagging.
- Air is inserted to expand your GI tract. This air can make you burp.
- The endoscope carries images of your upper GI tract to a video screen. If you are awake, you may be able to look at the images. Prints of the video images can be taken. These prints are stored as a record of your exam.
- After the procedure is done, you rest for a time. An adult must drive you home.
I can do this, right? I always try to go into each procedure with the determination to be as brave as I can. After all, I've had much more dangerous things done to me, right? It's just so invasive. I'm trying to keep telling myself that this is not something that is being done against my will. If I want to, I can reschedule the endoscopy for another date. This is my choice. It's something the doctor is doing in order to help me. After it is over, I will be glad that I had it done promptly. This temporary discomfort will result in long-term benefits because it will help my doctors determine how best to treat me.
This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:
Well hell, if that's enough to make a blog R-rated, then I'm definitely a lot more bad-ass than I thought I was!
Sunday, July 01, 2007
About a week ago, it seemed as if it were about to start--I was feeling the usual anemia-related fatigue and my fingertips were decidedly blue--but it never came. I suppose I'll have to tell my doctor about this on Tuesday. What a pain!