Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Presidential speech preparedness…


Let’s jump right on in, shall we?

President Obama will address the nation tonight and this bitch will be watching!

Confession – I’ve been more than a wee bit lax in my coverage of Presidential speechification this year.  I’ve watched them…a bitch is a firm believer in getting my news from the source…but I’ve neglected my post speech recaps.   

Fuck it – my ass has been busy as hell!

Anyhoo, I shall endeavor to resist lazitude going forward.

Where was I?

Oh yes...preparitude!

Longtime readers know that this bitch likes to watch political speeches and debates in style.  Translation – there ain’t no way in hell I can get through a political speech or debate without some good food and vodka.

Shark-fu’s preparitude list of needed things for watching President Obama’s address to the nation…

Yummification…
A bitch is gonna grab some soul food on the way home – something smothered, something mac & cheesy and, if the gods are generous, a slice of buttermilk pie!

The drink…
Vodka followed by cran followed by ice
Ice water…’cause it’s a school night and a bitch will need to hydrate (wink)

The channel selection…
My beloved TiVo will be taping the coverage on PBS and odds are I’ll bop around between the networks just to see who is spinning what where and why.

Pause…consider…continue.

Depending on how this speech goes a bitch will cleanse my mental palate by watching Network, Thirteen Days or Apocalypse Now.

Blink.

Toodles!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A text followed by a picture of some fantabulous news…


Long time readers know that this bitch is a mentor.  My mentor relationship began prior to my blogging – I was matched with a fantabulous 11-year-old girl with a whole lot of drama and unlimited potential.  Over the years I’ve shared a lot about my mentor experience…a bunch of ups and a lot of downs.

I’ve also withheld a lot of stuff to protect my mentee’s privacy.

Over a year ago I stepped back from having an active role in my mentee’s life.

I did so with context – I let her know that I could not continue to support her as she made decisions that put her life at risk nor did I think my active support was helpful. 

That step back was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

I’ve worried…but I truly felt that distance was the right thing.

And all the while I’ve continued to believe that my mentee was capable of pulling through and landing on her feet.

Last week, as I recovered from my volunteer work in Alaska and tried to come to terms with a painful political loss, I received the following text.

“Hey Pam this is [my mentee’s name].  I’m graduating 2day & starting college. Thanx 4 everything that u have done 4 me!  I could not have done it without your help!”

A picture of her in her cap & gown holding her high school diploma followed.

I’m rarely at a loss for words, but…whew.

Yeah.

Wow.

Being a mentor was not about me…I get a lot out of it, but it’s really about my mentee.

And knowing her…knowing what she has overcome and worked through and the thousands of challenges she has met…knowing my mentee makes that text one of the most inspiring and empowering messages I have ever received.

Great things don’t always happen when we volunteer…and it ain’t always easy or pretty or a living Hallmark card.

But amazing things can and do happen when we get involved in the lives of others…when we take the time to listen or give advice…to care or fuss or care and fuss.

Amazing things happen every single day…and, if we’re lucky, we see them for what they are.

Thank you to all ya’ll who have offered encouragement, advice and support over the years.

My mentee is a high school graduate.

How ‘bout that shit?!?

Sounds like a fantabulous beginning to me…

In remembrance and with awe, five years later…

Sometimes the river is high.
Sometimes the river is low.
But we who live in river cities know that the river is never still…never silent…never really calm.
1,836 people…
Sometimes the levees hold.
….mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, cousins, co-workers, friends, strangers…
Sometimes the water come right over.
1,836 human beings lost their lives to Hurricane Katrina and what came after.
That water can be your best friend…providing work, food and transportation.
And that water can be a relentless enemy…taking and taking, rising and rising…flexing power without mercy and wrecking havoc sans compassion.
I’ve not forgotten…can’t imagine how a mind could forget what water and wind and disorganization, corruption and apathy can do.
Sometimes the river is high.
But today I pause in remembrance of those who died and those who mourn their loss.
Sometimes the river is low.
And I stand in awe of those who remain and returned to be a part of rebuilding the region.
The water is never still.
Never silent…
…or ever really calm.
Y’all go on now.
Always moving forward.
Go on.
Always

Friday, August 27, 2010

Untitled…


This one goes out to my mentee, who graduated from high school and starts college this week. 

Long time readers know the saga of my mentor-mentee relationship…and I promise to post more about it this weekend. 

Pride doesn’t even begin to sum up what I feel…go on, sister girl! 

Pause.

Step up on my thinker box.

Begin.

I do not “own” the Civil Rights Movement.

Ownership is too basic a term.

I own my car…I live the movement.

Everything I am…everything I will be and can be…was fought for and earned through the blood, sweat and tears of regular folks who set aside fear and kept their eyes on the prize.

And when I say everything I mean everything…that’s not debatable – some shit is just fact.

The Civil Rights Movement is my inheritance and I defend and perserve it through action and activism, along with words.

When simple minded attention seeking fools attempt to turn American history into a third rate theatrical spectacle, my response is to demonstrate through the example of my life what the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement is.

Tomorrow August 28th, in honor of the anniversary of the I Have a Dream Speech, I will be volunteering at a shelter for homeless pregnant teens in St. Louis city.

Tomorrow…August 28th…47 years after Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke his dream into history…I will volunteer with homeless vets at another local shelter.

Tomorrow…remembering how thousands gathered 47 years ago to promote peace, equality and empowerment…I will honor the movement by doing anti-poverty work, by taking books to a domestic violence shelter, by signing up for a Habitat for Humanity build, by dropping off clothing to a shelter...by calling up my Aunts and Uncle and telling them THANK YOU for their struggle, courage and strength.

I do not have to reclaim what is mine…every second of every minute of every day I live a life made possible by the social activism of those who came before me.

Tomorrow isn’t about a reclamation…it’s a realization that anti-poverty work, reproductive justice work, anti-war activism and pro-labor work is not and should not be relegated to a few pages in a history book until poverty, restrictions on reproductive health care, war and injustice toward workers are history.

Tomorrow is about consciously remembering sacrifice and rededicating myself to the movement…

…and may those who try to distract from that or redefine that be damned.

I, who inherited this legacy, shall not be moved.

Breathe in…and then release.

Step down…

…and get about the business of social justice work.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pondering the results…

Hi y’all!

I’m sorry that I haven’t had a chance to post in the past few days – I’ve been pounding the pavement and some sorta-pavement in Anchorage Alaska while volunteering on the No on 2 campaign.  No on 2 was the campaign against Ballot Measure 2, which was a parental notification measure – it requires notification of parents in order for teens under the age of 18 to access abortion services.

Campaigns against parental notification laws are challenging everywhere.  Most parents pause at the thought of their teen having an abortion without them being notified.  The reality is that most teens communicate with their parents.

This isn’t about most teens any more than this is about parental rights…the opposition may have pitched it that way, but that don't make it true.

Ballot measure 2 was about passing yet another unnecessary abortion restriction that will do nothing to lower the number of unplanned pregnancies, at risk teens be damned.

And well, shit…damn it all to Juneau and back if Alaska didn’t vote that piece of shit ballot measure through yesterday.

Fuck.

Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, FUCK!

Pause…collect thyself…continue.

It’s hard as hell to lose.

But it’s devastating to think of the Alaskan teens that will face the ramifications of this electoral fail.

I often say that the masses get the government and the laws they work for and vote for…

…but our youth get the government and laws that those 18 and older deliver to them.

Trust that the teens of Alaska don’t deserve ballot measure 2.

Sigh.

I'm exhausted.

This bitch is going to go look at a glacier and then fly my ass on home…

Monday, August 23, 2010

Some pictures from Alaska...

More Mountain Fantabulousness
Okay, so this bitch rarely takes pictures.

I'm way more interested in experiencing a happening than documenting it.

But I whipped out the iPhone while canvassing and took some shots of the fantabulous mountian-based views.













Mountain Fantabulousness

The mountains are in the distance...

...and they are absolutely beautiful.
















Proof of Bear Murder on display at shoppe & very likely to piss off Bear relatives!
Anchorage is cool...and it's way more diverse than I thought it would be (hooray!).

I'm sort of getting used to all the stuffed bear standing about, but I have to question whether it is wise to leave proof of having killed bear about when that bear's relatives are likely to see it and get pissed.

Blink.





Saturday, August 21, 2010

More on why a bitch is in Alaska…


Hi y’all!

My ass is in beautiful Anchorage Alaska to volunteer with the Alaskans Against Government Mandates No on 2 Campaign.

Ballot Measure 2 is an intrusive new government mandate that puts bureaucrats and the courts right in the middle of Alaska's families.  It would establish a parental notification law…and when the government attempts to mandate parental communication teens are put at risk.

Alaskans will head to the polls Tuesday August 24 to vote and we sincerely hope they vote NO on 2!

I know a little something about parental notification laws…we’ve got ‘em in the Midwest.

I volunteer at several shelters for teen mothers in St. Louis city and one of the first things I noticed was that some of the residents have fantabulous relationships with their parents and some have not so fantabulous relationships with their parents.

For a bunch of my students at the shelters, they were get kicked out of their homes even as they face an unwanted pregnancy they did not have the legal right to make reproductive health care choices about.

We don’t need government planting itself in the middle of our family business.

For more information about why folks need to vote NO on Ballot Measure 2, click here.

And if you live in Alaska, vote this August 24th…and vote NO on 2!

p.s. – I’ll try to take pictures of the mountains…they are AMAZING!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Heading to Alaska…


A bitch will be traveling to Alaska today, so bitchitude is on hold!

I’m going up there to work to defeat the parental notification initiative some fool has proposed…if you live in Alaska vote NO on 2!

I’ll try to post while I’m there, but if you don’t hear from me just know that my ass is working hard for reproductive justice.

Toodles!  

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Life or death by the numbers…

230 cases.

190 tainted convictions.

Investigators in North Carolina have uncovered 230 cases where crime lab analysts filed reports that resulted in at least 190 tainted convictions.

8 crime lab analysts are alleged to have manipulated evidence to aid prosecutors for 16 years.

One man has been exonerated after having been incarcerated for 17 years.

His case led to the investigation into the crime lab…

…and 4 people with cases under review are on death row.

3 of the cases under investigation involved death sentences that were already carried out.

3 executions…4 people on death row…190 tainted convictions…1 man exonerated after 17 years…8 crime lab analysts cooking the evidence for 16 years.

Life or death by the numbers.

There’s “finished” and then there’s Favre…


Ahem.

A bitch is not a football fan...which is why I had to edit this post to correct the spelling of Favre's fucking name (thanks to Rileysdtr...mercy!). 

For me, pre-season football is just a signal that the hockey season is just around the corner (thank the gods!).

I usually skip football-based news, but Brett Favre’s yearly return to the sport is far too amusing to ignore.  It reminds me of Jimmy Connors not retiring from professional tennis back in the day…the man kept making it to the quarterfinals and, when some reporter asked him when he planned to hang up his racket, he pointed that shit out and said something along the lines of “when these bloody kids start to beat me.”

Anyhoo, NFL quarterback Brett Favre retired and then came back…more than once, if memory serves. 

So, there’s “finished”...

...and then there’s Favre.

If Brett Favre says he’s done playing football…but then his happy ass shows up at training camp, suits up and play…well, then Brett Favre isn’t done playing professional football.

Pause…sip coffee…continue.

And if the United States says the last combat troops are leaving Iraq…but 50,000 troops remain and shit is still blowing up and stability still a goal rather than a reality…well, then the United States is still hip deep in Iraq and out of range to kick a field goal.

Favre!

Blink.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Yeah, what she said...


I’ve been struggling to write a post about the "debate" over the mosque in Manhattan and I keep failing.

It’s rare for me to find myself unable to articulate my bitchitude, but that’s the space I find myself in on this issue at this moment.

Thank the gods for Michelle Chen's post Sensitive Bigotry and the “Ground Zero Mosque” Meme over at ColorLines!

Yeah, what she said.

Sigh.

Pondering the incredible inedible egg…



A massive recall, y’all!

A call to recall thousands upon thousands of eggs…don’t eat them, for the love of all that will tear your innards up and keep you chained to the toilet for weeks!

Longtime readers know that this bitch adores cheesy eggs.   

They are a sometimes food, so I can’t enjoy them daily…but there’s nothing like a plate full of cheesy eggs on a Saturday morning!

Yumtastic.

Anyhoo, if you too enjoy eggs you should take note of this recall and make sure your eggs aren’t on the list.

Toodles!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Get Back to School!

Happy Monday, y'all!

A bitch would like to remind a St. Louis city folk that today is the first day of the new school year.

Pause…sip coffee…continue.

Not that you’d know that by reading the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s website this morning.

Lawd, have mercy.

A bitch sincerely hopes that this city’s daily newspaper managed to put Back to School on the front page of the print edition…cause they sure as shit don’t have it up on the website at 5am in the morning…

…and that would have been a good time to highlight that shit, instead of the news that Kings of Leon is planning a concert to make-up for the one they walked out on due to the infamous pigeon shit incident.

Cough.

Anyhoo, today is the first day of the school year for St. Louis city schools…and we’ve got a major problem when it comes to getting students to plant their happy asses in the classroom during the first weeks of school.

So, remind your friends and family…and be extra careful driving to work this morning as youngsters will be at bus stops or walking to bus stops.

Toodles!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Pondering the outbreak of people making absolute statements about black people…


There’s been an outbreak of people making absolute statements about black people.  You name it and there’s some asshole making a statement about how all black people do it or believe it or want it or say it.

I’ve often wondered if these believers in a black monolith think black folk get a complimentary weekly newsletter telling us how to be black when we sign up for our Race Card.
 
Shit.

Dear people who make absolute statements about black people,

Some of us don’t go to church…some of us do.

Some of us can’t dance…some of us think we can dance…and some of us can dance.

Black comes in every gender…and when you talk about how black people feel about same-sex marriage you should know that some black people are also lgbt people.

There are black people in other countries…and black people speak lots of languages. 

We did not elect Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson as our official spokesperson.  But some black people dig their shit…some of us don’t.

Some black people play hockey…some of us are HUGE hockey fans (go Blues!!).

Some black people use hash tags while getting their tweet on…lots of black people could give a shit about hash tags on Twitter.

Some black people find the name of my blog offensive...some don't.

And, while some black people use the n-word, lots of us don’t.

Are you getting the theme?

Yeah, well...fuck it.

This black person is tired of your bullshit.

***logs off to read the Post Racial, My Black Ass Edition of the Official Guide to Blackness***

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pondering coverage of the latest serial killer…


A bitch is a crime buff and a news junkie, so I’m more than a little surprised that I didn’t know about a serial killer who was wanted in the stabbing of 20 people.

I’m particularly disturbed because the killer in question is believed to have targeted black people specifically.

Jesus!

20 people stabbed…5 people dead…and the morning news shows tucked this story between the weather and an update on the latest antibiotic resistant superbug.

Lawd, have mercy.

I first heard about this a few days ago…and then news broke that a suspect is under arrest…but this is the kind of shit a bitch would like to know about as soon as possible.

I know all about Chelsea Clinton’s wedding.

I know how much Michelle Obama’s vacation cost.

Hell, I could pick out the JetBlue flight attendant’s face from a line-up if I had to!

But some dude has been roaming the Midwest…a region where I fucking live…stabbing black men and I just now got a look at the composite sketch and they’ve already arrested his ass!

Maybe there’s some investigative reason for the lack of details…I seriously hope so…but damn it all, is it too much to ask for the press to fuss about the lack of details being release so a bitch could know that there’s a series of murders believed to be racially motivated where very few details are being released? 

20 people stabbed.

5 people dead.

And on a much lighter note, we’re live from the Plaza with a segment on how to shop for back to school on a budget!

Blink.

Looking back at a “nativist” riot…


Let’s jump right on in, shall we?

I truly enjoy it when my hometown daily publishes a look back at a day in St. Louis history.  It’s amazing to read about long ago happenings in places I drive by or visit everyday.  So, I eagerly dove into the article looking back at the city’s “nativist” riots in 1854.

Nativism ain’t new.  I’ve always found it interesting…a group of immigrants move into a territory, plant roots and live there for a spell and then freak out when a new group of immigrants moves in and tries to establish roots.  The use of the term “nativist” is also interesting, given that a lot of Missourians seem to forget that there were people living here before people “discovered” here.

Even though we have a strong immigrant history, St. Louis has a history of reacting violently to the introduction of new populations.  One of the worst race riots in America history took place here in 1917…with over 100 people murdered and wide spread destruction of property…when white workers felt threatened by cheaper black laborers who migrated North to flee Southern oppression.  But, although many remember the 1917 riot, few recall the riots of 1854 that were kicked off by the arrival of Irish immigrants to the city.

The 1854 riots are particularly interesting because they center on the vote.  One political candidate courted Irish immigrants while “nativists” were courted by another…a call for “nativists” to monitor polls to protect against illegal voting triggered all manner of violence and ultimately led to the riots.

Fastforward to the present and not a damn thing has changed.

Missouri has a standing date with legislative attempts to impose voter id requirements…and now we’ve got this shameful mess about amending the Constitution to deny citizenship rights to babies born on American soil.  All of this is about politics…fear of the other and fear of losing the power that comes with being the majority.  The voter id shit is a continuation of this state’s never-ending fear of black liberal voters…the citizenship drama centers around the fear of Hispanic babies growing up to become Hispanic voters.

And the language is often the same too…pundits spoke of Irish immigrants “dropping babies” and then they moved on to speak of black people “dropping babies”, so it’s not surprise that they are now pontificating about Hispanics “dropping babies”.

This has all happened before and it will unfortunately happen again.

But a look back shows us that the root of the problem isn’t documentation…that’s just the hook.

The root of the problem is fear of losing the power that comes from being established and knowing that some other group is moving in and may shake shit up.

Pause…consider…continue.

I suspect that in the subconscious of those “natives” from 1854 was a remembrance of what they did when they were the new kids on the block.

I can’t help but wonder if that fear and the violence it inspired had something to do with how they manifested their destiny and how they imagined the new other would plant their roots…like they did, on the neck of the people who were already here when settlers “discovered” Missouri.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

By request, anger versus rage and practicing the fine art of bitchitude…


A certain Valerie from the great state of Montana sent this bitch an email asking for my thoughts on the flight attendant take this job and by the way fuck you JetBlue incident.

Pause…sip coffee…continue.

Here you go!

As a self identified angry black bitch, I often have folks reach out to me with requests or demands that I cease being angry because the world needs more civil discourse.  While I appreciate their position…bitchitude does not apply to every situation…I must respectfully decline. 

Sometimes we need to discuss shit…we need to sit down and get our debate on or we need to chat about this or that.

And sometimes we need to keep it real.

This bitch believes that some people actually diminish the integrity of their argument by being too damn calm about shit…passion and anger are normal.   

Calmly debating whether The Man should have his boot on your neck is not normal.

Anyhoo, some folks may think the JetBlue flight attendant who lost his chili and went off after a passenger broke the rules and grabbed her bag before the pilot said that shit was cool, and the bag then hit the flight attendant which allegedly triggered the losing of his chili and subsequent going off followed by quitting followed by nabbing of beer followed by exiting via emergency slide…

Mercy.

Some people may think that the flight attendant was angry.

But that shit was rage.

Understandable rage – a bitch recently flew on a flight where I witnessed a dedicated asshole across the aisle have to be asked four times to turn off his motherfucking iPad, put his tray up and raise his seat back upright…and that shit wasted time and made this bitch wonder if the passenger was going to be a serious security risk.  I'm pretty sure the flight attendant was beyond pissed at that asshole.

But rage comes from not properly venting anger…it is anger built up that explodes in such a way that is not constructive and damn near dangerous.

By comparison, the video of the woman quitting her job via a dry erase board email is a fine example of practicing the fine art of bitchitude.

I don’t even care if that shit is for real…it cracked my ass up and didn’t involve the police!

Anyhoo, I sincerely hope the take away from the JetBlue incident is that a body never knows another person’s life or how close they are to the edge.  

Confession - for all the attention being lavished on the flight attendant, this bitch is far more interested in the woman with the bag who triggered the shit in the first place.  Someone needs to score an interview with her ass…stat.

As for the rest of us, odds are our sympathy for the flight attendant will last until our next flight…when some of us will resist turning off our smart phones, not return our seats to their upright position and try to remove our bags from the overhead compartment prior to pilot approval.

Blink.

Watching the dust settle the day after another Primary Tuesday…


Hi y’all!

A bitch is thanking the gods that I caught the news last night, ‘cause as a result I went to bed knowing that the future of the Obama Presidency rests in the results of the Senate race in the Colorado Democratic Primary.

Blink.

I’m just playing!

Sort of.

Wink.

The herd of political talking heads recently shifted to follow the Colorado Primary because that was the race with the best chance for drama – President Clinton backed the challenger while President Obama backed the incumbent Bennet and both Presidents actively campaigned for their pick.

After months of covering Tea Party rallies and analyzing Sarah Palin’s 2010 political bracket for signs of either brilliance or extreme ig’nance, a bitch understands why the political press would latch onto Colorado’s Great 2010 Primary-based Presidential Show Down like it was a gift from the gods.

I have this mental image of a gaggle of reporters hunched over their iPads last night, desperately clicking to check the returns with hopes that President Obama’s candidate Senator Bennet would get the boot and thus allow them to craft a Fall of the President angle-based story…

…and I can easily imagine their disappointment in having to write about Bennet’s Primary victory instead.

But hey, at least they’ve got Linda McMahon to cover through November!

That should turn those frowns upside down, kids!

And bless Ms. McMahon for her one woman infusion of economic stimulus funds…by all that is holy, she may end up spending enough of her personal fortune to save a daily newspaper or two!

Lawd, have mercy.

Anyhoo…

With Georgia’s GOP gubernatorial proxy primary (this one has Sarah Palin’s Karen Handel versus the GOP establishment’s Nathan Deal) so close that a recount is likely, this bitch is looking at that Southern battle to see if the tea has been watered down or if Mama Grizzly Handel can muscle out a squeaker.

Pause…consider…continue.

Confession – a bitch is holding out hope that the Demon Sheep make a surprise Connecticut appearance by November.

What?

A bitch just adores those red-eyed sheep!

Sigh.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Some thoughts from BlogHer 2010...


Hi y’all!

This bitch wasn’t able to post yesterday due to technical difficulties (translation – AT&T found it technically difficult to deliver my high speed internet service until I reached out and touched someone in customer service)…but that problem was easily cured by a healthy dose of bitchitude.

Shall we?

Last week a bitch participated in a panel on autism and blogging at the BlogHer convention in New York.  Many thanks to Squid of Squidalicious for inviting this bitch!

I truly enjoyed the panel and the questions from the audience.  One question in particular really touched me – a woman who identified as a mother of a young person with autism asked me whether having a brother with autism influenced my decision whether or not to have children.  At the time I answered as best I could…but I’m rarely asked that question and can’t remember ever being asked it by a parent.

I could tell that the mother was feeling somewhat guilty that her son was saying he didn’t want to have a child…and I wish I had thought to tell her that I have friends who said the same shit because they have a sibling who was a pain in the ass to parent for reasons unrelated to autism or any other ism other than normal bad ass child-based contrary behavior.  I also know folks who are eager as hell to become parents who grew up with a sibling with autism…I’ve found that thoughts on parenting vary person to person and there are no absolutes, just as there is no guarantee that a sibling of someone with autism is going to have a kid with autism or that a person with no family history won’t have a kid with autism.

Pause…sip water…continue.

As a sister of an adult with autism I’ve certainly asked myself whether I could do what my parents did back I the day.  Things were a lot different in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s…autism was practically unknown to most folks and programs were basically non-existent in our community.  I grew up watching my mother advocate for funding, services, respite care and programs…I also watched her juggle complex therapies year after year.  Because of the work of parent’s and advocates like my mother, finding resources and educational opportunities for folks with autism isn’t as hard as it used to be…we’ve got a long way to go, but we have come a long way already.  I’ll admit that my image of parenting a child with autism is greatly influenced by the challenges that I witnessed growing up.  That image is changing now that I’ve met parents like those who attended the panel and learned that parenting experiences and options are as diverse as the lives of people with autism.

Having said that, life is nothing if it isn’t complex. Ultimately my decision to not have children has everything to do with me, myself and I and little or nothing to do with growing up with an autistic brother.

However, growing up with an autistic sibling did make me confront the reality that there are no guarantees when it comes to babies…and it helped me realize that’s okay.  I’ve always thought that one of the most amazing parts of being a parent…whether a body adopts or gives birth or fosters…is discovering who a child is and watching that individual’s ways, wants and needs revealed over time.

And I suspect that fantabulous sense of discovery doesn’t discriminate.

Anyhoo, many thanks to Ms. Squid and my fellow panelists...I had a blast!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

A bitch was on NPR’s Tell Me More with Michel Martin!

Many thanks to the fantabulous folks at KWMU for making it beyond easy and fun to go on the radio…

…and a special thanks to Michel Martin for inviting me to participate in the Beauty Shop segment – ‘twas beyond fun!

Here’s a link to segments from Wednesday’s Tell Me More.

You should listen to them all, but this bitch is on the Shop Talk segment.

Toodles!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Pondering those Mormon ads…

Last night this bitch did something I rarely do…I watched commercials.
What?

Since my beloved TiVo entered my life I haven’t had to sit through a series of commercials in prime time for years.  But last night I watched Shark Week programming live and thus caught a series of ads about Mormons.

Pause…sip coffee…continue.

Yes, Mormons.

The first ad featured a 30 something woman who looked as nice as nice can be and who chatted about her volunteer work in…I think it was Central America…and about how helping others humbled her chil’ren and that she’s a mom and a Mormon.

The second ad featured a 30 something man who also looked as nice as nice can be and who chatted about his love of surfing and his belief that people are cool or something like that and then he said he was a husband and a Mormon.

Blink.

Now you’re wondering what the fuck this is all about.

I have no idea.

Let’s speculate, shall we?

Maybe Mormons are feeling misunderstood.  When I think back to the 2008 election season I recall some anti-Mormon rhetoric being tossed around.

But the timing is off.

Why now?

And these ads aren’t just tardy on the response to a 2008 hate-fest tip…they come across as a re-positioning of all things Mormon.

Mmmmhmm, this bitch thinks these ads are the Mormon version of those BP we’re in it for the long haul and we care so fuck you for not noticing ads that are polluting the television.

‘Cause while these ads show nice as nice can be people who anyone would like to share a cup of coffee with, they completely ignore the other Mormons up in the temple…you know, those Mormons that tossed enough money to feed a developing country for years into anti gay marriage campaigns a couple of years ago and are proud to have done it.

This bitch has the same reaction to these ads as I do to the BP we’re in it for the long haul and we care so don’t call us soulless environment destroying beasts cause that hurts and is bad for bitness and you’re lucky we didn’t just let you rot ads.

Smells like bullshit to me.

But I’m willing to bet they’re a HUGE hit in the House of Romney!

That’ll show ‘em…

Missouri morphed from being the Show-Me state to being the You Can’t Make Me state last night by voting to approve a proposition allowing the state to diss the benefits of federal health care reform on behalf of we the residents.

Way to fucking go, Missouri.

Even though no one believes this proposition is enforceable…with the exception of those freaky state sovereignty folks who are hoping this kicks off a revival of the Civil War…it does send a sorta-message.

By sorta-message a bitch means that this isn’t exactly the hands down Tea Raver victory the press will make it out to be.

Sorry…it just isn’t.

Voter turn out was beyond low…it was 110 degrees in the shade and many Democratic races weren’t seen to be facing a serious primary challenge.  GOP races, however, had some spice.  Add to that the fact that many Democrats didn’t start talking about Prop C until this weekend, while Republicans have been railing against government “mandates” for months.

Sigh.

But by calling this a sorta-message I also acknowledge the reality that lots of Missourians, regardless of their political affiliation, don’t like health care reform and plenty of them don’t like President Obama and the majority of those folks really don’t like the current state of things so fuck it, they voted AGAINST the federal government and that’ll show ‘em.

And it doesn’t matter that they’ve just declared their opposition to protecting women against gender discrimination by private insurers, ending the practice of dropping coverage because of pre-existing conditions (such as breast cancer and pregnancy)…that they have now gone on record as being against significantly increasing private insurance and Medicaid coverage of reproductive health care, including family planning…and to women having guaranteed direct access to ob/gyn services and no longer needing a referral or prior authorization from their health insurance company.

Hell, this vote was a vote against allowing parents to cover their chil’ren as a dependent up to the age of 26 and protecting chil’ren from falling through the cracks as thousands do now.

Now that’s cold.



Fuck it - don't tread on them or their right to not be able to insure their chil'ren or get insurance for their own ass!

Pause…consider…continue.

Confession - this bitch wishes this vote did mean something.

I wish Missouri could opt out.

I do!

I really wish that Missourians could fuck themselves and their neighbors twice on Sunday and then have to watch as folks next-door in Illinois or upstairs in Iowa enjoy not getting dissed for insurance because they’ve had to use health insurance or for one of the other dumb ass greed-based justifications tossed out by insurance companies.

The tragedy is that Missourians won’t suffer for this trifling ass electoral toddler tantrum bullshit.

Mayhap they would have learned something from the ramifications of their actions - but then again, this is Missouri where folks will double down on a fuck up in a heartbeat just to be contrary.

Blink.

This bitch no longer frets over my state hemorrhaging jobs and people...

...and has moved on to wonder why the fuck I'm still here.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Hooray, it’s Election Day!


A bitch is preparing for Election Day today!

I’m going to kick the day off by volunteering outside the polls…and then I get to drive a bunch of voters so they can get their vote on (‘tis too hot to walk serious distances)…and then I’m going to bring my happy ass home and watch the returns.

Gawd, I love Election Day!

I heard a news report that claims that only 1 out of 4 Missouri voters are expected to head to the polls today.

Pathetic.

After all the talk about patriots and not treading on me and taking government back for the people, a bitch thinks it is a damn shame that more folks don’t intend to use their vote.

Pause…consider…continue.

Then again, low turn out amplifies the power of those of us who do vote and 1 out of 4 voter turn-out makes this bitch one powerful super voter.

Blink.

Happy Election Day...vote NO on Prop. C 'cause it's trifling...and I hope to see some of y’all at the polls!

Monday, August 02, 2010

A shark is born...

A bitch is beyond excited about Shark Week…and I’m not just talking about the series of shark-based shows that will air on The Discovery Channel!

Let’s see, we’ve got Great White sharks swimming off the East Coast...a couple of ethics scandals for Democrats in the House, the where-the-fuck-did-the-oil-go BP spill mystery in the Gulf and a primary election tomorrow in Missouri (vote, vote, VOTE!!) and other states.

Let the feeding frenzy begin!

Shall we?

Let's begin with how this bitch became Shark-Fu.

I love sharks.

Not in a let’s jump in the H2O and get up close and personal kind of way, but in an appreciation of their beauty, strength and fierce-i-tude way.

Folks are always asking about my nickname and if it has something to do with my shark fascination…but one came before the other.

When this bitch was a wee bitch I was often bullied at school.  One specific bully fixated on my teeth…specifically on the fact that some teeth were coming in behind other teeth on the bottom row.  He taunted and teased and called me a shark and a freak.

Gawd, he was an ass.

For some reason, being called a shark bothered me more than the pushes and shoves on the bus.

I ran home one day…in a full hiccup cough crying fit…and vented to my mother who told me to hush and followed that up with some advice that if some asshole kid is gonna call me a shark then I need to just go on and be a shark.

That shit confused the hell out of me and I ended up in my bedroom curled into a ball of absolute misery.  My sister C-Money came in and backed up my mother’s advice…she said that if I claimed my sharkdom then it would take the air out of the asshole's taunt.

Thus, Sharkie...or The Shark, Shark-Fu, Sharkella and so forth…was born!

Over the years I’ve made a study of sharks and they truly are amazing creatures.

Pause...consider...continue.

Not in a let’s jump in and have a party with them kind of way...sharks can be vicious, but the same can be said of this bitch.

Wink.

Anyhoo, via la shark week and happy Monday to all y'all!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Happy Now - Bon Jovi at Soldier Field

Hey y’all, this is C-Money rocking the Bitchitude today with a review of the totally epic Bon Jovi show last night. Shark-Fu and I went to see my favorite band for my birthday. It was totally awesome. They opened with Happy Now, my favorite song off the new album The Circle. And I’m still happy, filled with afterglow, optimism and bitchitude.
C-Money and Shark-Fu at VIP Party

Yes, Jon, I’m gonna live before I die. I’m gonna stand my ground. I’m gonna work for the working man. I’m gonna love, love, love and fight, fight, fight. I’m livin' on a prayer, but I know I can always go home. I’m gonna be happy now. Cuz someday I’ll be Saturday night. Oh, yeah.

We made the pilgrimage to Chicago to worship with the faithful in a 50,000 strong tribal love fest at Soldier Field. During our weekend sojourn we met fellow fans. This is a band for the people and Bon Jovi fans are great folks. At the pre-party we met two women from Chicago and talked hockey and reminisced about our first Bon Jovi shows while sipping vodka crans and munching deep-fried mac and cheese, cute little chicken pastries and sliced meats.

Memories. Our first show was the New Jersey tour in St. Louis. Shark-Fu had 80’s bangs and I had black plastic bangles and purple lipstick. I was a senior in high school and Shark-Fu was a sophomore. Skid Row opened up. We were in prime spot on the way to our seats to be the Youth Gone Wild and jump the rail to the floor, but The Shark grabbed the back of my t-shirt, emblazoned with “We’re Back, Kickin' Ass!” and cooler heads prevailed. We nestled into our seats waaaaaaay up in the rafters but when Bon Jovi hit the stage Jon was still larger than life. Bras were flying, girls were crying, Richie Sambora was laughing under that iconic hat. Two, Three, Four. Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah. Pyrotechnics from the stage. Lighters in the stands. Jon going for it on Livin' on a Prayer. We left the definition of an arena rock concert with our ears ringing.

Remember back when pants were tight, hair was long and MTV played music? Everyone we met this weekend did.

Flash forward about 20 years to last night. We sat next to a couple from Rolla, Missouri, who saw the band during the Slippery When Wet tour. And on the other side sat folks from Texas who cut their teeth on New Jersey. I stood in line for the bathroom with women who were on their fourth show this year, in town from Kansas. We stood behind women holding signs begging Jon to sing Damned; after I saw him work the maracas I was glad he obliged. I got a note through to my friend Tammy’s buddy who tours with the band and asked for Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night, Who Says You Can’t Go Home and Happy Now. They played them all. (I like to think the note got through and Jon was all, “For Crystal, I’ll do anything.” A girl can dream.) We walked back to our hotel with folks who flew in from Iowa. And we rode to the airport with guys who came from Arkansas and Tennessee; they last saw Bon Jovi open up for the Scorpions right after Runaway hit. This is a long-term relationship we’re in with this band. It was great to meet so many who sing along to the anthems I like to sing along to. Even the TSA agent at O’Hare was in the tribe. She went Friday night and loved it. So if you read a bitchy review of a Bon Jovi show from some snobby rock critic, know that they just don’t get it. Bon Jovi delivers songs about love, survival, home, fighting, living and dying with rock star flair. They’ve seen a million faces. And they’ve rocked them all.

The boys from New Jersey didn’t hit the stage cold. The sold out crowd was suitably warmed up. First up was a band I’d never heard of but thoroughly enjoyed called The Worsties. Their lead singer reminded me of Debbie Harry and Gwen Stefani with her punk-pop energy and confidence. I don’t think their song Let’s Go is out yet, but it rocks. “Let’s go, let’s go, L-E-T-S-G-O” is an earworm hook. The Worsties bassist has a really pretty blue guitar and he knows what to do with it.

Cue Don’t Stop Believin' and prepare for the happening that is Kid Rock live. That man is crazy good in concert. At one point he had the whole place singing his name in a cool call and response: Kid. Rock. Rock. Kid. Rock. Rock. He was all over the stage, playing every instrument, including scratching on turntables, while pouring a shot of Jim Beam. My favorite part of his set was when he did So Hott and sold that line “I wanna fuck you like I’m never gonna see you again” over a funk-nasty guitar riff. It was sexy as hell, an achievement for a man who needs to eat more to fill out his jeans. I’ll forgive him for inviting the Blackhawks onstage to hoist the Stanley Cup and be adored. But only because I got to see the Cup itself up close. Yo, St. Louis Blues, y’all need to go get that trophy!

Then the sun went down. The air was thick with anticipation. And the mother of all opening montage light shows began with video of Bon Jovi walking through The Circle tunnel in moody blue. The music builds. Then Jon appeared: “What would you say to me. If I told you I had a dream …” I grabbed Shark-Fu and was all “OMG! They’re playing Happy Now! I love that song! Whooaaaa!!!” She laughed and it was on. Jon worked a white mic stand and seems to be mostly over his leg injury. He told us to get up out of our seats like we weren’t already standing and dancing and singing. It was a party y’all.

I went to the pisser during Bad Medicine and was on my way back, walking by the circular ramp area, when Richie took the spotlight for a terrific gospel rendition of Lay Your Hands on Me. I noticed bitches crowding the ramp. Trusting the wisdom of crowds, I found a patch near a security dude and stood my ground, iPhone in hand to catch whatever was gonna happen next. Then Jon emerged on the ramp in a new outfit with a black guitar and did a cover of Turn The Page with Kid Rock. Then a mini-acoustic set broke out with the band on the circle ramp. I hung out, semi-blinded by the spotlight on Jon. (We were behind the band when they were on the ramp.) Richie turned around and smiled at me. I’m serious. It was a moment.

They did Have a Nice Day, Who Says You Can't Go Home and Someday I'll Be Saturday Night. Happy happy, joy joy. Then Jon said, "G'Night!" But we all knew that was bullshit. They went away, Jon changed into a blue tank that matched his eyes, and they came back for an encore.

The encore was epic, yet for some fans, I’m sure it was controversial because it wasn't a hit parade. They did Dry County, a long moody song with a terrific chorus. This song is best live. Jon was feeling it. I was feeling it. He pushed the crowd to join him in the tale of a boom town gone bust. They followed that up with Wanted Dead or Alive, I Love This Town and the epic closer, Livin' on a Prayer. I would have put Keep the Faith in instead of I Love This Town, but Jon was masterful all night – in good voice, dramatic, beautiful – so I’ll just say thank you for a wonderful night.

If you can’t tell, I’m in a terrific mood. I’m off to sing Livin' on a Prayer in the shower at the top of my lungs. I’m turning 39 this week. And to quote a Bon Jovi lyric, I’m not old. I’m just older.

Peace-out,

C-Money