Everything Rhymes With Alcohol

I’ve written another post about my nerdery. I love “The Fades”. Its an amazing supernatural drama that will reel you in before you know it. Find out how you can see the first episode for free:

British TV That PWNS: The Fades.

Yes, There Are Black People in Your “Hunger Games”: The Strange Case of Rue & Cinna.

Check out my post I wrote for http://nerdgasmnoire.wordpress.com/

I write there weekly about all kinds of nerd things.

I was upset by the initial tweet as I had just finished reading this article on Jezebel. A transgender woman was beaten near to death after two cisgender women (one was a girl of 14) “found her out” while in the McDonald’s women’s restroom.

One of the employees filmed the attack (while laughing) and the video went viral. This woman was beaten for 15 minutes.

According to WBALTV, Brown also asked for forgivness today and said she wanted to apologize to the victim. Polis wasn’t in court, but her victim impact statement made it clear that she isn’t ready to make amends. She said:

“While being beaten, I felt like I was going to die that day. I was kicked in the chest, crotch and head. Chunks of my hair were pulled out. They were all over me, and I couldn’t get them to stop … My private life has been exposed to the world. I lost my job. I can’t go anywhere without the fear of getting hurt again. I want to go into a hole and hide. I do not forgive them for what they did to me.”

Vicky Thoms, a woman who was hit while trying to break up the assault, was in court and said, “I never dreamed I would see anything like that in my life — never. It’s like you were watching someone being murdered almost.”

A great example of what privilege means to those with and without it.

Today I'm feeling 101-y, I guess, so let's talk about privilege. It's a weird word, isn't it? A common one in my circles, it's one of the most basic, everyday concepts in social activism, we have lots of unhelpful snarky little phrases we like to use like "check your privilege" and a lot of our dialog conventions are built around a mutual agreement (or at least a mutual attempt at agreement) on who has privilege when and how to compensate for tha … Read More

via Sindelókë

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When I was younger, I had my hair hot combed until my first perm at the age of 13. I’d always wanted a perm, b/c I loved swimming and couldn’t take the tenderheaded pain of combing it out afterwards. I wanted hair and styles like my mom’s & sister’s. I took pride in my long hair and never thought of cutting it. I wanted to be like Sampson!

A day before my business trip to D.C., I went to my new favorite salon to have my hair hydrated, flat ironed, and chopped. By “chopped” I mean having several inches cut off. I decide to go from past shoulder length to just below chin length in a concave inverse bob.

I’ve been into bobs since TLC and the idea of having one only grew stronger when Rory on Gilmore Girls cut her hair upon her entrance to Yale. Even though the character is younger than me, I thought the hair cut looked so sophisticated and adult. Something I desperately wanted to be considering the fact that other adults where always mistaking me for a high school student even though I was a junior in University.

Recently, a friend of mine told me about her concave bob and how much she loved it. I did some googling and found this really dramatic picture that I feel in love with and decided on it immediately.

Now, this is not the first time I cut my hair. A few years ago, when I first tried a bob, my stylist cut it much shorter than I desired, but I liked it all the same. I warned friends and family that I planned to get it cut and many tried to dissuade me.

“Your hair is so long and healthy! I like it long. You shouldn’t cut it.”
Other folks that I hadn’t thought to tell where shocked. Some almost seemed angry that I had cut my hair. It was as if I had done something to them personally. Although most never said more than “But it looked so good long! How could you cut it? Do you know people are buying/trying to grow hair like yours? And then you go and cut it all off!”

The feeling, the meaning behind the words communicated to me that I was some sort of hair ambassador for black women. That my long hair proved to others (possibly white others) that black women could have long, healthy looking hair. That there’s some sort of community bonding or ownership over the state of my hair. People seemed invested in it. Maybe some saw it as aspirational? I don’t know. I don’t want to go that far into thinking people looked up to my hair.

Even in the salon people questioned me, “Do you really want to cut all that pretty hair off?” Unlike the first time I cut it, I had supporters who reminded everyone that it was “just hair” and that it would still look just as pretty short.
Has anyone else experienced this? I can understand the obsession with having long, straight hair. I know where that comes from (fake, racist ass beauty myth!). However, the idea that I should not cut my hair for the sake of others, including I may not even know personally, truly puzzles me.

Below, a funny anecdote.

After the chop, I went home and hung around for a little while. I got ready to leave again, but noticed my father hadn’t noticed my hair! He usually does and often says something like, “Wow, my hair looks beautiful!” (It’s always HIS hair!)
I asked him, “So, nothing to say to me?”
“My hair looks really nice.”
I put on a playfully exasperated tone, “Is that all?”
He turned on the lights and looked me up and down, but only looked confused.
“Sigh, I cut off six inches!”
His confusion melted into a look of sorrow.
“Oh, you didn’t even notice but now you want to be sad?”
I laughed and left.

The other day Sarah of Feministe wrote Grandmothers. A bit of a tribute to Elizabeth Taylor and the meaning grandmothers in her life. At the end of the post, Sarah asked, “What do you wish you could ask your grandmothers (whether they’re blood grandmothers or otherwise)?”

I replied with this.

My grandmother & I were never close. In fact, most of the time I didn’t like being around her, especially if I was alone. My first memory of her is her yelling over my protestations, forcing me to drink some V8 b/c she didn’t want to see it go waste.

See, my parents are peaceful people who NEVER yelled at me out of anger–not to themselves, not me. Yelling was the one of the surest ways to make me burst into tears.

When my grandmother’s cancer returned in 2008 (She’d been w/o cancer for 40+ years. It disappeared when my mom was a child) she moved in with us. Which was fine, the house is big enough for everyone. This meant more interaction. I was always nervous about, but she would say things like, “You have to be strong. The world hates fat, black women” or she would ask why I didn’t have a boyfriend and then brag about all the times she had been asked for her hand.

She was demanding, “always right”, and could talk for 15 minutes non-stop. We were not close. Although, she’d ask for “sugar” she wasn’t affectionate. I never went to her with a problem, ever.

Having to help take care of her was really, very hard for me. Not only because of our relationship, but b/c it took GREAT patience which I hadn’t cultivated having never had to care for anyone but myself. And she was having an extremely hard time adjusting to a life of increased dependence (the end of which was certain death) on other people and would try to take it out on us to the point where my sister had to threaten to have her put in a nursing home in order in an effort to make her cooperate. It wasn’t coercion, she was fighting against us and the paramedics we’d been forced to call.

One day, before the days she lost her ability to talk, she asked me, “Have I been horrible to you?” I was so shocked! I just yelled “no!” and hurried up whatever I was doing and got out of there. If I could tell her, I would say that she wasn’t horrible. But our relationship had not been easy at all for me, but that I loved her and admired her so very much. That she had given me the gift the priceless gift incredibly, nurturing, supportive loving mother who always sought to comfort & understand me, but never shied away from discipline!

With out you, I don’t know where I would be, but with you, I have an amazing family I wouldn’t trade for the world. I know that was possible because of her. Even if it was because my mother decided NOT to be like her own mother.

I would also ask if she liked her funeral. If she liked the video I made for her. I would ask what she thinks of me thinking about getting a tattoo in her honor that says “The fat lady is doing just fine”, like she used to say.

This is chat between myself & my best friend Jess. Here I’m telling her some of the recent frustrations I’ve had trying to get medical care at Grady Hospital in Atlanta. A lot of people talk badly about Grady due to poor or what is perceived to be poor service. However, it’s important to note that Grady is the ONLY hospital where I, a long time unemployed individual, can receive medical care. It’s also the only trauma hospital for hundreds of miles. Grady routinely serves the underserved, the poor, the uninsured–all those in need.

As frustrated & stressed as I am–I *NEED* Grady to live. And WE need to improve our health care system. Things like this shouldn’t happen. This isn’t my first incredibly negative experience with Grady, hopefully, it will be the last. Still I would recommend Grady to the jobless, b/c no one should be w/o healthcare EVER.

I need a depo shot to treat my PCOS. Luckily, it’s not  life threatening.

me: And then there was this whole fiasco with the doctor
I had an appointment for my depo, but my “card” which lets them know how much I should pay expired in the meantime
my appointment was at 2
at 2:30 I’m told to go to another office for financial eval
I go
and it’s 2.5 hrs before I get seen
Only to find out I don’t have the documentation they need
I’m told to bring in a bill and proof of income, which can be a bank statement
so no depo shot for me that day!
I make an appointment for a week later
I bring a print out of my electric bill, which has a Decatur address b/c I can get cheaper fees that way, and a bank statement cause I can’t find my letter from the unemployment office about how much I get per week
I get there two hours before my appointment,as recc’d
and am seen almost immediately!
they tell me they don’t accept print outs of bills

Jess: …two hours?!
me: cause I could’ve doctored it
Jess: .

me: and they won’t call the electric company
cause “they don’t do calls”
they said my bank statement wouldn’t work
b/c they need to know how much I get a week, including taxes that might be taken and for how long I’ll be receiving benefits
Also, b/c my bank statement & my license both have Conyers address, they’re going to have to give me an “out of county card” which means I will have to pay MORE
and the woman says to me, “my supervisor says you live where your money goes”
and I ask what that means cause my money goes to my account!
not to my address!

Jess: by that logic i still live in ontario… i wish!!
me: so in order to get the cheaper ‘in county’ fees, I’ll have to change my address on my bank statement and on my license
which will cost money for the latter
so I end up getting an out of county card
instead of paying $10 to see the doctor
I have to pay $25
So, going to this hospital for a doctor’s appointment is an all day thing
which is fine
I can wait
I bought a book “Wiches & Wizards” by James Patterson
it’s fucking awful
but is some how getting a movie made out of it
it’s extremely simple and the kids sound like they live in a 50’s sitcom
ANYWAY
I get my blood pressure done & get weighed
go back out & wait
I see the doctor and it seems like I have to tell every single time that I have PCOS and what exactly was going on with that
and I’m thinking “DO I NOT HAVE A FUCKING FILE? I WAS DIAGNOSED HERE, GODDAMNIT!”
But this doctor asks about work and I tell her and then she asked if I’m depressed and I just about danced, cause no one has asked me that
and I tell her I really was for a while, but I am feeling better lately by trying to set small goals each day, which is true.
so, after all this I take a pregnancy test, go back out and wait
my appointment was at 3pm, btw
so, around 4:15, I finally get back there to the nurse who’d administer the shot
she gives me a form take up to the front desk f
where the woman there tells me that this form is for a different financial evaul and the woman who does those LEFT at 3:30pm
Now, I actually checked in at the obgyn at 2
so I have been sitting here for 2+ hrs and now am told I cannot get the shot today b/c the woman who needs to evaul my finances LEFT nearly an hour ago
and then the woman at the front desk says “Well, if you had told me it was for family planning we could’ve done this earler”
earlier
I say, “I had no way to know I was supposed to tell you that”

Jess: …cuz it’s YOUR fault.
me: ALSO
I bet you my last $5 that it was on my appointment sheet that I put on the front desk at 2pm
at this point I am so mad & frustrated I am crying and just trying to hold it together so I don’t yell at anyone
I go back to the nurse
(I’m getting hot talking about this right now)
and she is very apologetic, understanding, empathetic, sweet
She tells me to come back tomorrow & they’ll get me in & out and apologizes
and I’m telling her, holding my tears in my eyes
that this will be the THIRD appointment I have made for this shot
That it’s 62 miles (102.998 km) round trip from my house to the hospital
That I am unemployed

that this THIRD time I’ve paid for parking and the total for that will be $15
Jess: i really think you should blog about all these visits…
i think it’s good and demystifying shit
and it might help you to have commenters commiserate?
me: Well, I had a screening that evening
I wanted to go home, but i was like NO
I’M GOING TO ENJOY SOMETHING TODAY GODDMANIT

Jess: good!!
i’m so glad
but you can blog it later ;)
me: So I went and ran into some friends at Moe’s and when I was asked about my day it all just came rolling out

Jess: aw :(
me: and they were like O.O
and I went to the screening and sat next to this woman I see at screenings, Gwen
and I told her about it and a friend of hers at the screening used to work at Grady (the hospital)
and she commiserated with me
I blasted music & listened to Blacking It Up! all the way home
but the stress was in my body
i felt it physically
like I was on adrenaline and everything was tight.
and I couldn’t escape it for too long
because it was in my body
I tried to literally shake it out
it’s hard to explain
anyway. I made some chai & felt better
and I talked my mom and she was sympathetic
she advised thinking of how things could’ve been worse
but I stopped her and told her that doesn’t work for me

Jess: nor does it change how things were bad.
me: cause it doesn’t make thing good NOW. It won’t get this stress out my body

Jess: yeah
me: so I went back on the next day and got the shot
and the nurse asked me about my job situation & I told her
and she said she really hoped something would come along for me b/c she says I look like I have a lot of promise and that she’d pray for me and that was nice to hear
and I feel like I’m about to cry now
yeah
Thursday Chris invited me to go bowling with them
and I went
and I was going to suggest that Chris go to Grady, cause she has no insurance and seems like she is sick ALL OF THE TIME
but I couldn’t do it
I couldn’t talk about it cause it was still stressfull to me
like it is now

Jess: thank you for talking to me about it.
i appreciate you.
me: i appreciate the hell out of you too

What I’ve posted & when! Handy~

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