Sunday, January 28, 2007

Bitching! You can skip this one, it's a pity party.

May as well call it what it is...

I am tired. I am fighting off a cold. I worked six days in a row this week for a total of 62 hours. (No, I VOLUNTEERED for it. Being in the Army should have taught me to never volunteer, but I never learn). I got a complaint from a guy who did not like that I put him on hold. In addition to working doubles, my co-worker did not come in for 3 days. So it's just me and the guy I'm training all night. WHICH MEANS IT'S JUST ME! Give me a fucking break already!

I freaking HATE snow, temps in the teens, and snowstorms. I hate flat tires, especially at 6 am, when hardly anything is open, then you have to fish around for 3 quarters for AIR! It was so cold that after 20 seconds my hands were blocks of ice, with gloves. No one is supposed to live with temperatures in the teens, and below zero wind chills! It's inhumane! (See, Kelly, I told you I'd be bitching about the weather soon enough.)

I have been dreaming about my father and my grandmother this week. I just woke up with an ache in my stomach and my heart.

I am lonely. Hate that. HATE it.

I can't even go wander the art museum because they are renovating and are only open for special exhibits.

I wish I could just have 1 month where I was not the mature, responsible one. I want to be the one who 'forgot' or doesn't show up. I want to be the LAST one someone calls when they need whatever they need today. I mean, at work, I am training because NO ONE else wanted to do it. Our boss asked us all, and no one answered. So he comes to me and says please, and blows smoke, and here I am training. I went to nights to get away from all of the BS. Here I am, Little Susie Sunshine, 'Sure Juan, I'll train him. No problem.' WTF ! Damn, Damn, Damn!

Do you have any idea how hard it is to train someone to be ready for anything and to miss nothing? There is no training manual or formula for that.

Just shoot me!

I'll get over myself in a day or two.


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Serena is BACK!

I love tennis. I mean, LOVE TENNIS. And I would be lying if I did not admit that I think Serena Williams is damn sexy.

(but I digress)

Did anyone see her spank Maria Sharapova's butt? She disposed of her in short order. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL.


SIXTY THREE MINUTES. She beat her 6-1, 6-2. Sharapova couldn't even get herself together. She was quite ill-equipped. Serena Williams wasn't even ranked coming into the Tournament.

Now, don't get me wrong Sharapova is very talented, but Serena won so effortlessly. It was classic. She rocked. I mean it really was just beautiful.

Serena is back.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Trying to Motivate Myself

I have been pretty upset with myself lately.

I still am not painting or writing. It is driving me crazy.

I miss painting. I miss my artwork.

I am finally not angry with myself about it. For a long time I felt that I had given so much of my energy to other people that I had neglected what was beautiful within me; and once I realized my mistake it was too late, my creativity had been left out in the rain and was ruined.

For years I felt that I had nothing to say.

Now, I feel that even if I did, who'd care to hear it?

So, these are a sketch from last years life drawing class, two old paintings (Salome and I'm Ready) and one more recent sketch (Red Corset) that still has not made it out of my sketchbook and onto watercolor paper.
I hate being stuck.


copyright 2007

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

What people don't understand about terror

I was elated when I first heard the news that not just one, but two kidnapped boys were found and returned to their relieved families. The elder had been held for more than four years.

I have since been frustrated at how 'perplexed' people are that the elder of the two did not try to escape his captor nor let any of his friends know the truth.

I don't question that he did not bring any attention to himself. I guess it is just that most people have never seen such things up close. I guess I would compare it to adult victims of domestic violence who don't leave or children who are molested and rarely, if ever, tell.

Imagine, not with your adult mind but as your eleven year old self, that you are taken from all that you know. Imagine that you are innocently out riding your bike and suddenly your whole world becomes chaos. Imagine the power that someone would show you they have by doing what they want to you. Taking you away from all you know, everyone you love, and threatening you and your family if you do anything that displeases them.

Imagine how powerless you would feel. Every waking moment you would try to not displease someone who seems more powerful than God (surely you prayed to not wake up in this nightmare, only to wake up to find yourself still there).

Not everyone is a fighter. Not every spirit can survive oppression, abuse, or constant fear.

No one should know such things. So, I do not understand why adults think this child peculiar. How many adults remain in abusive relationships and never say a word about the abuse to anyone, even those closest to them? Plenty. Most people do not know the kind of fear that stops you in your tracks and renders you helpless. No fight. No flight. No sarcastic comebacks. Just paralyzing fear. It's easy to say 'well, I would have...'. The truth of the matter is that unless you have been there you don't know what you would have done.

How easy would it be to exert control over the right type of person, especially for a predator who preys on the weaknesses of others. Mind control is what it's all about. Sometimes they miscalculate and get a fighter/runner/biter/kicker/screamer, and sometimes their instincts are dead on and they get someone who will become docile under their control.

I understand that most people have no clue when it comes to the things that some human beings are capable of doing to others. Sure, people think they know. People carry mace, have alarm systems on their cars and homes, lock their doors and windows, hold their purses closer to their bodies when they pass someone 'suspicious' on the street. However, they never realize that the most dangerous people rarely make them check the locks on their doors. The most dangerous ones are the ones whose neighbors say 'he was always such a nice guy', or 'he kept his yard so tidy', because what else do you say when you've lived across the street from evil and never recognized it because the yard was pretty.

I wish none of us ever had to understand.


Thursday, January 4, 2007

People are Strange

I work in Downtown Cleveland. We have a problem with the homeless panhandling in the area.

I wear a uniform to work. I am an African-American female. My hair is locked (dread locked). I work full time, earn a decent penny, and own my home (in a suburb). I am a quick-witted, polite, well-read Starbucks fiend who is only rude if someone comes between me and my grande-traditional (dark)-roast-with-hazelnut-and-room-for-cream (and 2 equal) [this is all said in one breath]. I am divorced, a mom, a lesbian, a writer, a painter...I mean really who has time for all their labels; what is most important for this posting is that I am a law abiding, employed, relatively normal citizen (I mean, really, I even VOTE).

I am fat and need to lose weight, but at 5'4", intimidating is not one of the labels I would think apply to me, at all.

But am I?

I have come to see that on any given day, regardless of the time of day, I strike fear in the hearts of those who pass me.

Most days I laugh at this. I have arrived at 1:40 for my 2:00 shift and asked passersby if they had change for a dollar (dollar in hand) and they would speed past me or say no! Men walking fast with change jingling in their pockets. WTF? You gotta laugh. Most days.

I have walked down the street and watched women move their purses to the other side of their bodies.

Oh shit. Most time, I must admit, if I am in a very bad mood, I will look over as she is passing and say "BOO!" Bitchy, I know but WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU SEE?

I am a police dispatcher. I can check any U.S. citizen for warrants, driving records, criminal history, etc. I can find out all sorts of nifty information with just one other piece of information, I get paid well to know how to do this. In the military I had a security clearance. I know Korean, and some Spanish (more than most people but not fluently). I have heard more shit about the things that human beings do to one another than most people could even imagine. But, for whatever reason, even wearing that uniform with the badge and the police department patch, I am frightening to some people. And, wearing that uniform, I am invisible and dispensible to others.

I want to say that this never bothers me.

But, I haven't lied to you before, why would I want to start now.

It infuriates me.

My former sister-in-law, used to have her boyfriends call our house, listen to our answering machine and then have a ball because the guy would never guess that it was a black woman speaking. She'd corner them into conversations where they swore that they could tell some one's race by their voice; she always won the bet. She got a kick out of explaining that I was her sister's girlfriend. I should probably call Beth and give her my new phone number, just for giggles.

Every so often I call a store and ask an employee to hold something for me and it rarely fails that when I get there they have a hard time hearing me. Not because I don't speak well, but because they were expecting something else. I mean I don't look like my name should be Kellie--in their minds at least. I know what's going through their minds when they say "What's your name?"
They are expecting something 'ethnic' or 'colorful', and I don't mean to disappoint. Kelly is a shade of green, so it has some color to it. But, it seems that they are listening hard for something else: a unique name, or poor diction. I guess the disappointment of not having to work hard to decipher my meaning causes a shortage. I end up repeating myself anyway. Now it's a running joke in my family, we wait for it and laugh. I know they can understand me; I talk for a living.

It is my job to be articulate and clear.

But at those moments, I also feel very alone. Because even though I know I haven't done anything wrong I am still the one viewed as suspicious.

I mean, of course that guy should have made sure his alarm was set when he turned and saw... ME?


Is it my brown skin? My nappy, nontraditional styled hair? My uniform? Or is it racism or classist?

It's not just downtown. At my favorite lesbian bar, I am eyed suspiciously. My hair is too long and ethnic. I wear make-up (most times), carry a purse, wear tight jeans and heels. Though I enjoy Killian's, I often order red wine--preferably a Zinfandel. I mean I just don't fit in.

I stick out like a sore thumb nearly everywhere I go.

But I am tired of being polite in the face of other people's rude behavior. I am tired of turning the other cheek.

The only place that I have not found this, recently, has been my church...and I haven't been there in months.

I mean I really wish I could have people know that I am not anything they would probably assume of me.

I took my last semester of classes on line. I would bet that most of the students in my English class especially, where I earned something ridiculous like 107%, would pass out if they had a picture to accompany my ass-kicking essays and test scores.

But the truth of the matter is, I am glad that those people walk on by, because if they are so shallow that they cannot see past my hair or skin color or uniform, they do not deserve my time.

The thing most people don't get is that we are all outsiders, somewhere and in some way.

Being different is the tie that binds us-it is what most of us know. It is one chord that rings true most often among us.

But, it sure is lonely and cold sometimes walking alone.

For everyone who can relate, in one way or another, I dedicate People Are Strange by The Doors (yup, I'm a fan; please don't say you're surprised)

People are strange, when you're a stranger
Faces look ugly when you're alone
Women seem wicked, when you're unwanted
Streets are uneven, when you're down

When you're strange- faces come out of the rain (rain, rain)
When you're strange- no one remembers your name
When you're strange, when you're strange, when you're str-ange


PS: I hope you can see the irony of the situation. I am the person who people call for help, often in their worse moments; but on the streets they run from me. It really does make me laugh out loud as long as I am having a day where I can laugh at it. Every day is different.

29th Carnival of Feminists actually included ME...

Oh My Goodness....I am so late.

I have been included in the 29Th Carnival of Feminists being hosted at the imponderabilia of actual life. It was posted on December 20Th and with all of the hub-bub from the holidays, I did not even realize that I had been included. In fact, I thought that my submission may have been too much.

I submitted Last Night I Decolonized My Thighs.

There are quite a few different topics covered in this edition: violence, sexism, labor paid and unpaid, and work/life balance, status and equality, our selves our bodies and our choices, books and history and, a miscellaneous. It's very interesting reading, and honestly after looking at it, I am surprised and proud to be included.

Take a look, read, enjoy, explore new blogs.