Friday, June 20, 2008

Counter Culture

We tend to get attached to material items in our lives, e.g. home, car, shoes, etc. for whatever reason. I get attached to my cars. I've had 4 in my driving lifetime, my first being my grandfather's 75 Chevy Malibu with the vinyl bench seats and 8-track stereo. I loved that car even when I had to use a towel on the seats in the summer or suffer 3rd degree burns on the backs of my legs.

My most favorite car was my 94 Nissan Sentra. I never named her, but we went through thick and thin together. Bought her in 96 with 91K miles on it (yes, it was only 2 years old and the previous owner drove the heck out of that car). I took her to NYC and she was a trooper through the brutal winters and mild summers. Brought her back to Houston in 2001 and we made it almost 10 years. Until 2006, some jerk backed into her. So I passed her on to a friend, I thought would take care of her. I cried when she left. I didn't even clean it out - I just let her go in tact. Well sadly enough, I received a call 2 months ago that my friend sold her for scrap. 270K miles later, she's gone - for good. I said my peace and she will never be replaced.

However, I now have Beanie, my big 1981 reddish brown 240 Volvo, with all his/her quirks. I think Beanie is a tranny - some days she acts like a girl and some days the man side comes out. The sunroof works for a while, then gets stuck. The windshield leaks. The glove compartment flies open unannounced. But all in all, Beanie's a great Volvo.

Have given all this background info, it's dawned on me that I have now entered into a counterculture of folks who drive the big box on wheels, those Balbo owners. We take so much flack because it's not the sexiest car on the road, but I tell you what - Beanie can handle a turn at 60-65 mph better than a mustang. We are laughed at because, yes it's essentially a box, but it is the safest car without airbags on the road. When you own a real Volvo (before Ford purchased them), other Volvo drivers look out for you, they honk, they flash their lights, all in greeting other Volvo drivers. It's an equivalent to a secret handshake.

So laugh all you want at my old car. But Beanie is mine, mine, mine - I wont trade her for anything in the world (not even that 2008 Nissan Altmia Coupe in Ruby Red). And even though I can't race you at 80 mph on the straight-a-way, I can still get you on the curve when you have to brake and downshift.

I love my Beanie!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Mother Know's Best

Ya'll tell me to take my own advice, which I rarely do. "We" always seem to know what's best for others but not for ourselves. Well, let me tell you - I am taking my own advice - deleting "can't", "fat", "dirty house" from my vocabulary. I will try to not make comparisons between what was the past and the present. I am on the slow and steady pace for several goals (school will be back on track in two weeks; weight loss is stalled, but is manageable; love life is materializing). Although, I have a difficult time forgetting, I have forgiven and have moved on the past irritants.

Thank you to T-Love for your kind words in my inbox this morning.

Thank you P-Diddy for being the encourager, the warrior, the fearless one.

Thank you KJC for showing me that little things do mean a lot to those around us and for being a survivor.

Thank you Big M for being the voice of wisdom and reason.

Thank you JCF for the passion, love and flowers.

And lastly, thanks to the Boston Celtics who overcame a deep deficit to beat those LA Beetchez!!!!! Yeah, baby.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

How Black is Too Black?

Recent NY Times article on “How Black is too black” started my wheels turning (plus, I am still reeling from the Defending Democracy exhibit at the Station Museum). We (most of my Black friends) are excited about the current trend of promised change and with the hopes that we will set a World’s record and vote a Black man into the White House. However, the NY Times has done another bang up job of saying, “Yes, he’s good but…”

Is Barack too Black to be our next President of this screwed up nation? Or has he learned, in his short tenure, how to play the political game and turn off and on his “blackness”? Is this just a milder form of racism? Is he appeasing da Man, playing the step and fetch? Is Barack staying true to himself? Or do we have to constantly read more articles on why he and Michele do the knuckle bump?

We all know the he is not staying true to himself (say what you want). Take a look at the Rev. Wright situation. He back pedaled away from a lifelong friend because it wasn’t White friendly. I am not going to beat that dead situation; however, Rev. Wright is from the same generation as Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson. So the message is the same.

Why is it that in this day and age, we still have issues with color? Take a look around folks, there are increasing numbers of mixed couples that we are becoming a nation of colorless lines.

So can we move past sounding White, acting Black/acting White, not claiming the Black members of your families or dissecting your ethic background and get on with the issues at hand – the senseless war overseas with over 4000 soldiers (not counting civilians) dead, the poor and hungry in our own backyard, the poorly educated youth who are supposed to be our future leaders, etc.?

Things that tend to irk me

I know I wont be able to get out my other thoughts until I get this list out of my head...

Things that irk me about commuting in Houston:

1. People who go overboard with the perfume, cologne, or lotion. In an enclosed space (ie the bus), the smells are heightened and trapped and make me want to hurl.

2. The wheels on the bus go round and round...why do you need to speak to the woman 2 seats up so early in the morning. Why not do 1 of 2 things, sit next to her so ya'll can chit chat like hens or pass her notes like you did in HS English.

3. If you technically should be in two seats, don't sit on my hip. Slide that girth two inches to the left so I'm not squished up next to the window.

4. If you plan to listen to your MP3 player, use noise canceling , not noise-enabling headphones. No one else wants to know that you still rock out to the Bee Gees at 6:50am.

5. If the train is crowded because our Metro service isn't bright enough to add double trains during peak hours, drop your packs so others can ride without being stabbed in the chest by your oversize luggage.

I know there are other irksome issues I possess, but this is a good start. Probably not the best way to start off this new journal, but hey - it's my journal just the same.