Archive for June, 2008

Sometimes I get bored

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on June 30, 2008 by klysha

Occasionally I get a little bored. This sensation often prompts me to do one of several things that may include:

1) attempting to create my own dance sensation to replace the “Soldja Boy”

2) loudly living out my dream of being a backup singer for a major recording artist from the comfort of my home (possibly to the dismay of my neighbors)

3) writing letters to various public figures, publications, government agencies, major corporations, or other random jerks in general that I have some type of grievance against just to see if I can get a response, preferably an angry one, from said entity.

One instance of boredom relief option #3 occurred on Friday when I stumbled upon an article that featured a letter to Larry Elder and his response. For those who don’t know, Larry Elder is a “libertarian minded” Republican radio talk show host. I can’t honestly say that I have followed his work well enough to fully appreciate his political lines of reasoning. So the opinions expressed in the letter that I wrote to him were based primarily on the article that I had stumbled upon. The letter that I wrote to him is below.

Dear Mr. Elder,

I am sure that you get hate mail from Black people on a regular basis so I will try to refrain from framing my letter that way, but I just read a letter that you wrote in response to a letter from “A former supporter” (http://news.yahoo.com/s/uc/20080626/cm_uc_crlelx/op_246500) and I was appalled. Are you serious? You noted that historically the Republican Party was more pro-Black than the Democratic Party. Yes, perhaps the Republican Party was more pro-Black than the Democratic Party up until about the civil rights movement. But they have blatantly turned their back on minorities in all the years since then. I personally don’t think either party is pro-Black since the policies of both parties and the issues affecting people of all races are more economic than racial in today’s political world anyway. I for one don’t subscribe to any political party because I think that whole partisan structure dumbs down politics and eliminates real choice. I noted that you are a Libertarian not a Republican but you would throw your support behind McCain over Obama in this election. Can you please explain to me why you think that’s a good idea? What is it about McCain’s policies that you think are good for this country? First of all how can you view vouchers as a real solution to the problems with underprivileged schools? That is just a putting a band aid on a huge gaping wound. School vouchers serve no purpose other than to divert funding that should be used to improve the schools that are actually in the underprivileged neighborhoods. Shipping some of the kids over to more affluent schools to get them out of their neighborhood schools helps a few of the kids. (And I’m sure that the parents are happy to have this option.) But what about the rest who are left behind in underperforming schools? You can’t voucher all of the kids away to better schools. That will just overburden the better schools and leave the less privileged schools to deteriorate into ruin. And for the record it’s not politics that discourages marriage and destabilizes families. It’s a culture in which Black men are disenfranchised from the power structure and are disproportionately undereducated, underemployed, and incarcerated that put the odds of Black women finding a suitable mate and marrying only slightly better than the odds of winning the lottery. Do you honestly think that women who are victims of this so called “welfare state” that you speak of choose not to get married because of politics?? And why in the world should politicians be allowed to dabble around with peoples personal family choices anyway? And while I don’t think abortion should be used as a form of birth control I am avidly pro-choice. Why should a stranger get to decide what a woman does with her body? These are just a few of the issues I have with your ideals but you like every other American have the right to your own opinions and the freedom to speak on them. And I have the right to disagree.

Sincerely,

Kendra L. Hill

He gave me the following response:

Dear Kendra,

I suspect that article is the first and only thing you’ve read that I have written.

Virtually all of your questions have been addressed in my writings. I am a New York Times best-selling author, and regularly appear on CNN, MSNBC, and FOX. Too bad you are unaware of my work.

But on my website-larryelder.com- you’ll find some 500 articles I’ve written, three published books, plus a documentary. For fifteen years, I’ve hosted a daily four hour radio show, based in Los Angeles, from 3p to 7p west coast time. You can hear it real time or through pod casts via kabc.com.

If you really want or care to know what I think, you can readily find out.

Larry


Essentially he just blew me off and told me to listen to his show and read his 500 articles. So based solely on that I’m thinking he might be a bit of a jerk. But at the same time I’m sure he’s a very busy man. But in my personal game of see who I can rattle, this still counts as a a score for me though since I actually got a response that did not appear to be automatically generated. (Whether he wrote it himself is unclear but who cares).

Next time I get bored there might be a more practical result like a video of me teaching the steps to the “Crank Dat Bama Girl” on YouTube. Stay tuned!

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Picky Eaters

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on June 21, 2008 by klysha

I just happened upon this Washington Post Article that was written about otherwise rational and well adjusted adults* who like me entered adulthood as a picky eater. I felt like I had found my people. I used to say that I wanted to open a restaurant that catered to people who don’t get so excited about the idea of putting random unidentifiable substances of questionable texture and flavor into such an intimate and personal place as their mouth. Incidentally I found this webpage while doing a search for restaurants in the DC area that are good bets for picky eaters.

Nasty Looking Food

The article mentioned several categories of picky eaters, at least five of which I fit into to some degree. Reading this article was one of those special moments for me where I got to momentarily feel normal about something that had caused me to feel like an anomaly for most of my life. The quotes from other picky eaters sounded almost like they had recorded some of my conversations I’ve had in my life about the issues I have with food. Some were in the exact same words I have used to describe my issues. It was incredible!

I mentioned on my About Me page that I don’t like rice. I mentioned this because this is the food issue that seems to come up the most frequently because so many people feel like rice is a perfect compliment to so many things. I for one disagree. I don’t like rice and as far as I can remember I never have liked rice. I used to suffer through it as a child with sugar and butter on top of it (I’ve even suffered through it this way as an adult). But there is no fixing it when it is mixed in with a whole bunch of other stuff. It’s no so much the taste of rice (although I don’t like the taste of it either) it’s the texture and the way it makes me think of hundreds of little maggots when I see it. But this isn’t the kind of explaination you want to give in polite company while  sitting down for a meal.

Rice, however is only the tip of the iceberg for me. I also don’t like most condiments except ketchup and barbecue sauce (which is why it took until adulthood to embrace cold sandwich eating (peanut butter and jelly sandwiches excluded). And I still have a hard time with this because I still have to make special requests to make a sandwich taste as plain as I like it to taste.

I don’t like most vegetables (and I’ve been really trying because I desperately want to eat healthier). My favorite veggies are corn, potatoes, and sweet potatoes which I am often reminded are actually starches so they don’t count.

Ham casseroleI don’t like most dishes with a lot of stuff mixed together. Who knows what offensive food might be lurking in there! I don’t like my wet and dry foods to touch. I don’t like most foreign foods that haven’t been “Americanized”**. My list of foods I do not like goes on and on (coconuts, melons, cherries, almonds, grits, olives, broccoli, cabbage……)

Being a picky eater isn’t easy because food is such a central part of the way that people socialize. It makes it tough to choose a restaurant to eat at with friends and makes for a host of different uncomfortable social situations. Accepting a dinner invitation at a new person’s house is like stepping on a minefield for me because I never know what food issue is going to be a problem. People take offense when they prepare food in their home for you and you don’t want to eat. But how offended would they be if I eat the food to not appear rude then throw up on their carpet because my stomach didn’t agree with it. I feel like I’m sparing them from the potential clean-up.

The article mentioned a forum for picky eaters to share their tales of woe and I for one plan to join. Hopefully I can learn something about navigating through life’s tricky food related challenges. And maybe I can find enough interest to look into starting that restaurant after all.

* This of course is a relative term as my own level of well adjustedness varies widely from situation to situation

** I understand that there aren’t very many foods that are truly American in origin. I am just trying to describe foods that have been adopted into the American diet and modified to accomodate typical American eating habits

Something to talk about

Posted in Uncategorized on June 15, 2008 by klysha

I don’t really have anything in particular to talk about. The title of this post just happens to be the name of the song I sang last night in my Karaoke debut. I sang “Something to Talk About” by Bonnie Rait before a crowd of about… oh I don’t know… 100 maybe. Singing Karaoke was definitely an experience considering the fact that most of my life I have been painfully shy. I am still pretty shy…just not painfully so anymore. I learned several things from my karaoke singing experience

1) singing karaoke wasn’t nearly as scary as I expected it to be *

2) I will probably not be a famous recording artist in this lifetime **

3) having a chubby girl on the side of the stage yelling “and you better sang it!” is a little bit intimidating

4) It takes a bold white man to rap all of the lyrics (including numerous repetitions of the N word) of a Dr. Dre song in a room full of black people but as my good friend who goes by Mimi noted it makes little sense to get mad at him if you weren’t mad at Dr. Dre when he wrote the song

5) I probably won’t find my future husband hanging out in a karaoke bar but I can get loads of laughs

I also learned that there are some people who really miss the point of karaoke. Karaoke is supposed to be fun. Not an opportunity to show off your talents to the non-existent talent scouts trolling the karaoke circuit trying to find the next superstar.

Oh yeah and I learned that there are still men walking around who think that the shirt unbuttoned to your sternum showing off nappy chest hair look is sexy.

So yeah I made it through karaoke so hopefully the presentation I have to do at a public meeting for my job next week will be a piece of cake. If I start to screw up the presentation I now know that I can switch it up and start singing Bonnie Rait to divert the crowds attention away from any errors.

* either that or I learned the exact amount of mojito and vodka and cranberry juice it takes to remove all inhibitions that would keep me from doing that in my normal life (1 strong mojito + 1 strong vodka and cranberry = K LySha superstar)

**but with much vocal coaching and possibly a bit of bribery I could fulfill my dream of being a backup singer for a famous artist

Help me please

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on June 11, 2008 by klysha

I’m struggling right now to find the nicest and most uplifting way possible to communicate to a guy that he hasn’t got a chance on this side of the universe of going out with me (and that his chances on the other side of the universe are even slimmer).

This would be really simple in a casual one-time meeting situation. I would simply say I’m not interested or possibly tell a little white fib and say I’ve got a boyfriend and keep it moving. I’m currently faced, however, with a situation where my normal sweet as pie responses followed by hasty getaways are not effective. There’s this guy who is apparently a friend of one of my neighbors who has been persistently trying to ask me out for several weeks now. He always catches me when I’m getting out of my car to go into my building (or today when I was walking home from the bus stop). I usually speak politely and try to keep it moving but I feel so rude walking away from someone when they get out of their car just to talk to me (which is exactly what he does). The previous times he caught me when I was trying to get my mail out of the box which gave him a full sixty seconds or more to try to grab my attention. I have already turned him down a couple of times but my turndowns were clearly not decisive enough and were usually uttered in haste as I tried to hurry up and escape into the safety of my condo. Today when he asked if he had a chance at going out with me, I replied in the most cheery yet apologetic tone I could muster “I don’t think so.” But unfortunately I think he might have detected a glimmer of hope in my tone. I also spit out some nonsense about just getting out of a relationship…which isn’t a lie. But I think that just gave him the impression that all he needed was more time. Then he asked me how many times he was going to have to ask me before I agreed to go out with him. He asked “Would it be a thousand? Because,” he said “I’m already up to at least three.” I just laughed and hurried off. As I closed the front door of my building he promised that he would see me tomorrow. And judging from his impecable timing at being outside when I arrive home he very likely will.

Now you might ask why am I giving this young man such a hard time? Well It’s hard to answer that question without sounding like a stuck up bougie snob. But I promise I’m not a snob and I don’t think I’m stuck up either…..now my level of bourgieness may be up for debate. But in most circles I’m pretty sure I would not register as bougie. Based on my visual assessments and the brief exchanges we’ve had I think I can, with a fair amount of confidence, surmise that he and I would not have much in common. Let me try to describe his appearance on the occasions I saw him. He is always dressed in dirty jeans and a dirty t-shirt because I always run into him right after he just got off his obviously blue collar job. Now I have no problem with a man putting in a hard day of honest work for honest pay. But I can safely say that most guys (NOT ALL) who work blue collar jobs have different ambitions than I do. But in this case it’s not the blue collar work that’s the problem. He had these disheveled twisty sprouts sticking out in every direction on his head that he stood there twisting the whole time he was talking to me. I am not a big fan of grown men with …let’s just call them “expressive” hair styles like this, and the way he stood there twisting the twisties while he was trying to talk to me was unnerving. Approximate appearance of his hair

The first time he spoke to me I noticed that he was smoking a cigarette. This is a definite deal breaker for me. I tried to overlook that flaw once in a past relationship and that was a huge mistake. I am the anti-smoking Nazi. That stance really doesn’t make for a pleasant relationship with a smoker. But the real clincher for me was when he used the word “conversate” while describing what a wonderful time we would have together. And he used it in his most earnest I’m trying to impress you voice. The EBP in me (thanks Stuff Educated Black People Like for the term) cringed at the utterance. That was the last nail in the coffin of this guys hopes of ever going out with me. Okay the last nail was actually when he told me his name was Chino. I’m not sure whether that’s a real name or a nickname but either way I can’t for the life of me picture myself dating a guy named Chino. (And I don’t care how bougie that makes me sound)

I try my best to be a nice girl and give people a fair chance. I really do. I tried not to judge him by his outward appearance. (Okay for real my initial assessment was that he had past charges for a domestic dispute, had been arrested at least twice for drug possession, had never been to college, had at least two children with whom he had minimal contact, and that he consumed copious amounts of weed in his spare time. But I felt really bad for pre-judging one of my black brethren this way. This is why I felt obligated to at least afford him the courtesy of a brief conversation before I dismissed him and ran away as fast as possible). What is a nice girl to do short of selling my condo and moving to PG county?

For now the hasty escapes are getting me through, but I will need to devise a more decisive method of turning him down for future exchanges since he has promised to keep trying. I don’t think telling him that I can’t date him because he looks like he strangled his last girlfriend will go over very well. So what in the world should I say?

Please tell me people are not this stupid

Posted in politics with tags , , , on June 8, 2008 by klysha

Okay I have this theory that I pray is completely unfounded, but every day I get more and more evidence to support my theory. My theory is that people as a collective are overwhelmingly stupid. I just happened upon this website through a link on a friend’s blog called  Ex-Hillary Clinton Supporters For John McCain. Just reading the comments section of this website let’s me know that there are far too many stupid people in this country. I attempted to post the following comment on the site but I’m pretty sure that my comment will be filtered away by the site administrator because he wants to maintain the site as a haven for people with IQs that rival that of crazy glue. They even have the nerve to have a button on the site where people can donate to their “cause”. And there were actually commenters who wanted to donate! Further evidence that the target audience for the site is the people I described above.

My comment: 

Anyone who would donate a hairy lintball to this website is stupider than the hairy lintball and deserves to have their identity stolen and all of their money siphoned out of their accounts and sent to Iraq to buy big screen TVs for the terrorists. This website is further evidence to support my theory that as a collective people are overwhelmingly stupid. Has anyone on here thoMay have a higher IQ than some ex-Hillary supportersught about the fact that voting for that dumber than chewing gum candidate John McCain is cutting off your own nose to spite your face??? That video is just the kind of propaganda that I would expect out of the clowns over at Fox News, designed for people who think with the mucus in their nose instead of their brain. The creator of this site is obviously a Republican preying on the less intelligent among the Democrats. I can’t even express my disgust with this in a post. I will have to make this website the next topic on my blog so I can let people know what kind of ignorance Obama supporters are up against. Please feel free to visit my blog tomorrow because the post will be up by then www.mysixcents.wordpress.com

 Like I said I’m pretty confident that my comment got filtered out and was probably in vain anyway, but I had to get that off my chest. Maybe the site’s creator actually read it. If it gets posted at all it will probably have a response from him in red posted along with it. At any rate there is little point in trying to reach out to the hopeless. So to counter this maybe I will start a voter registration campaign in the hood or something to get some of the people there who have managed to not acquire a criminal record involved in the political process.

Anyway this is three posts in a row about the election already and I’m not even that political of a person. I will seriously have to take a break from this topic and talk about my favorite breakfast cereals or something in my next post.

On a side note it’s hotter than 5 fat people in a Ford Focus with no air condition driving through the desert here today. This global warming thing is serious. People please do your part to save the planet. I know the whole green movement hasn’t quite caught on in the black community but it’s about time we started doing our part. If you happen to be one of those 5 fat people driving through the desert please park the Focus and get out and walk. It will save on CO2 emissions and it might help you and your other 4 overweight passengers shave off some of those extra pounds. Anyway I’m about to go lay still under a fan now to fight off the temptation to turn on my air conditioner.

It’s Obama Baby!

Posted in politics with tags on June 5, 2008 by klysha

Do you smell that? I do too. Don’t it smell good? That’s the smell of Black pride and I think I got some of it on me. It was all over the place last night when they announced that Obama had gotten the nomination. I did a little victory dance while I responded to the many celebratory text messages I got last night.

It’s cool to celebrate because this was a hard and long fought primary. But we have to remember that while the first battle may be over, the war is far from won. We ain’t seen nothing yet. Now the gloves will be officially coming off because the Republicans fight extra dirty. They will use anything and anybody to bring an opponent down. I just hope that through it all Obama continues to keep it clean and brings the one thing to the table that has been missing from politics for a long time. Integrity.

Obama is quickly emerging as America’s black superhero. He is one piece of the Black American dream personified. This role comes with a HUGE responsibility that I pray that Obama is up to handle. As the first Black man to be a major party candidate going in to the race in November he has a very good chance at becoming the first Black man to be President of the United States. Which means that his every move will be watched even harder than the moves of all of the presidents who came before him. So he can’t afford to screw up even once. There can be no Obama intern scandals, or Obama prostitute scandals, or Obama Watergate conspiracy or any of the other crap so many of our former presidents have gotten caught up in. There is just too much at stake. But Barack Obama is still just a man and every man has flaws and weaknesses. So we’ve got to help him out. Every Black person in America needs to say a collective prayer of strength for the Obama family that they have the will to withstand the trials that will face them.

Now I need all my Black people to make this promise with me. Say it together. “I will not holler racism at every caricature and political comic strip that comes out from now til Obama’s last term is over” (Yeah I said last term. I’m naming and claiming this election and the next one!) You know how we do Black people! I can’t even front. Today when I was walking to the metro I saw a poster that had a picture of the white house then this wall of grafitti in front of it. I momentarily got all huffed up about it thinking to myself “Dang Obama just got the nomination last night and they already got the racist BS posted on the wall!” until I actually read it and realized it was an advertisement for some play about the Berlin wall meeting the white house. That’s when it occurred to me that I needed to let my sensitivity guards down a couple of notches. Every president to date has been caricatured and if Obama gets the job he will be no different. Although I imagine this might put some white cartoonists in that uncomfortable position of trying to tell jokes about a Black person without sounding racist. I look forward to seeing how this is handled.

Okay now back to the celebration. Go dap a black person in honor of the dap that Michelle Obama gave Barack last night before he gave his speech. I’ll be over here busy doing the preliminary planning for my inaguration party on January 20, 2009.

This never ending primary

Posted in politics with tags , , , , , on June 2, 2008 by klysha

I know I can’t possibly be the only person who is sick of the primary election. For the past several months it has been impossible to turn on a news channel and not hear either the name Obama or Clinton within a maximum of

2.5 minutes of turning on the TV. Even if you did happen to turn on the TV during either a commercial break or during one of the rare occasions when an actual news event trumps election debates there is a 99.75% chance that along the bottom of the screen is a reminder about the primary that never ends parading across the screen in the case of the later, or a commercial promising more coverage of the primary in the case of the former.

 

For me this election has been a stark reminder of how much the American democratic system is anything but a true democracy. First of all the whole primary process is ridiculous in my opinion. What the Democratic Primary looks like from my perspective

 

Every state apparently has its own rules about who gets to vote and how these votes are counted. I.e some states have regular old balloted elections and other states have caucuses (what in Cracklin John is a caucus anyway) and some states have both. Some states allow only members of the party to vote in that party’s primary while others will allow anyone to vote in their primary. And at the end of the day it’s not actually this hodgepodge of votes that counts anyway, it’s the number of delegates that each candidate is assigned. But both parties don’t assign delegates the same way. For the Republican Party it’s winner takes all while for the Democrats the delegates are assigned proportionally to the number of votes the candidate received. Given that these delegates don’t provide enough of a majority for a clear winner in come the superdelegates to save the day. Who the heck are the superdelegates and why are they so freaking super anyway?

 

(Disclaimer…while in the process of typing this post I got hungry and paused to fix myself some breakfast. In this process I placed a couple of eggs on the counter and somehow one of them rolled onto the floor. In my unsuccessful attempt to intervene in the eventual fate of this egg I banged my knee on a cabinet. Therefore the remainder of my post could possibly be tainted by my current state of mind as I sit here rubbing my knee. End disclaimer.)

 

This year there is the added drama of the debacle over the seating of the Michigan and Florida delegates. Since their elections were held early their delegates got stripped away from them. How does a state get to have an illegal election anyway? Clinton of course wanted them counted because she won the majority of the votes in these contests. But is there even a slight possibility that she won the majority in Michigan, at least in part, due to the fact that she was the only major candidate on the ballot? If your name is the only one that anyone has heard of there is a strong possibility that the people who showed up at the election just to get the I Voted sticker will pick you. Now given this scenario Clinton got about 57% of the vote. But about 40% of the people chose uncommitted. It is very likely that at least 95% of those who voted uncommitted were people who had actually been paying attention to the election and wanted to somehow cast their vote for Obama (or possibly one of the other candidates not represented on the ballot). Given these circumstances there is really no fair way to allocate the delegates from this contest. But alas the DNC made an attempt at it anyway. And even though Clinton got the majority of these delegates she is still whining about the fact that 4 “extra” delegates from Michigan went to Obama. This is further evidence of Clintons win this at any cost approach that she appears to have been using the entire election. Obama on the other hand has done all that he could to run a classy campaign despite the mud that has been thrown at him from both the Republican candidate and Clinton’s camp. (That’s another post entirely).

 

The whole primary process frankly has given me severe indigestion. The worst part of it all for me is the fact that I haven’t even had a chance to cast a ballot since I refuse to align myself with a party therefore I’m registered as an independent. And in Maryland independents are excluded from the primary process. (While I understand the whole threat of crossover voters skewing the results I have major beef with this rule, but that too could be another post entirely).

 

I could write an entire post on my beef with sheer length of the primary season as well but I’m pretty sure the majority of the three or so people who might have started reading this have since gotten tired of reading my whining by now. So to the one person who has stuck with me through all of this I leave you with this parting thought. American politics suck, but most of the rest of the world’s politics suck more. So since residing in outer space is not yet a viable option we’re stuck with the flawed systems we currently have for now.