Aaaaahh…It’s April – 2014!!!

Baseball season has begun! I was pleased to see my Seattle Mariners whomp on the L.A. Angels, sweeping the 3-game series quite decidedly! Outscoring the ‘Halos’ 26 – 8 through the series, giving the mighty Ms their first 3 – 0 start since 1995…I remember those days! “King Felix” got the 10 – 3 win in the first game; great pitching was also done by Tom Wilhelmsen and Danny Farquhar, while a line drive from Mike Trout connected solidly with the lower leg of Charlie Furbush…I hope he’s all right. The bats were on fire as well, with explosive blasts from Justin Smoak, Kyle Seager, Mike Zunino, Brad Miller, and Robinson Cano. Michael Saunders made an unbelievable catch as he was falling which robbed a double from the afore-mentioned Mike Trout; it was spectacular to see. Erasmo Ramirez was dynamite in the second game (final score 8 – 3), and southpaw rookie James Paxton was sure and steady through his 7-inning appearance during the third game (final score 8 – 2). Hisashi Iwakuma, Stephen Pryor, and Taijuan Walker are on the 15-day DL; I wish them speedy recoveries and hope to see them back on the field soon. Also, I must admit that I was surprised to see Raul Ibanez wearing an Angels uniform, as I hadn’t heard that he’d been traded. That’s the way it goes in the sports world!

Seattle Mariners 2014 Schedule

Speaking of sports, it appears that the owner of the Washington, D.C. football team is sponsoring an ill-named ‘charitable’ foundation, which is a direct slap in the face to the First Nations peoples. Why, then, are none of the Twitterpated idiots (a.k.a. ‘twidiots’) jumping on that bandwagon? You would think that the ‘hashtivists’ would be tweeting, tumbling, Insta-gramming, Reddit-ing and Facebooking over that. No; they would rather go apeshit on Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, D.F.A., over a Tweet that he didn’t even send, from an account that he has no control over. What’s really amazing is how many of them have sided with Michelle Malkin! Yes, that Michelle Malkin, the Asian darling of FauxNews and the self-hating slagheap who wrote a book justifying the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII. Back to the ‘hashtivists’ – those same people also sided with the ‘female’ who started the #CancelColbert campaign. From what I saw, the picture associated with that account shows some slutty-looking Asian chick, and we all know that some overly-made-up, barely-legal-looking female striking a ‘sultry’ pose will always garner attention. What gullible fools the knee-jerk reactionaries are! No surprise, there…

It’s easy to distract people whilst getting their attention!

Speaking of fools, I want to shout this from the rooftops: “P.E.T.A., STFU!” Ye fucking gawds…Michael Vick, whether you like it or not, has done his time and paid his debt for that long-ago incident. Time to move on and get over it! Fucking hypocrites, anyway – if you’re so concerned about animals, why aren’t you bitching at the people working to find bodies after the landslide in Oso? Those poor dogs are being exposed to harmful chemicals from ruptured septic tanks and overturned diesel drums; why not go protest there? Oh, that’s right…it’s easier to target a single Black man – heaven forbid that you might piss off an entire group of grieving rednecks! I really can’t get behind a group that needs to use nude women for promotional purposes, anyway…seriously, though, animal-rights ‘activists’ are a hypocritical breed. Case in point: there is a veterinary hospital here on the Washington coast, located in the community of Raymond. A recent news story  on KOMO News spoke of how the employees lauded ‘Barefoot Bandit’ Colton Harris-Moore, who apparently ‘donated’ some of his ill-gotten gains to that hospital – that money is now up for auction. So, in a nutshell, these P.E.T.A. pricks want to hang Michael Vick from the nearest tree for actions done in 2006, but have no problems accepting a donation of stolen money that is mailed to them by a white criminal. That’s PERFECTLY logical, right?!? Sheesh…

What a sweetheart that thief, the “Barefoot Bandit,” is!

All right, enough from my soapbox for now. I’m off to Tamriel with my mighty, fighting Uruk-Hai! If you have to ask what I’m referring to, then don’t worry about it. It’s a gaming-geek thing…you wouldn’t understand!

Hellacious battles, anyone?

Springtime Sunshine!

Ah, yes…Spring has sprung! Yesterday was the Vernal Equinox, the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It entered the Pacific Northwest at 9:57 a.m. PDT (16:57 UTC) and the day was beautiful – mostly soft sunshine with a few light showers passing through. Other parts of the country aren’t as fortunate, as the snow on the ground reflects any sunlight, preventing it from melting. Since there is so much of it, it could be another two weeks (at least!) before people in Chicago or New York will see any bare ground. More sunshine today with intermittent showers, and a light, warm zephyr wafting gently – it’s positively idyllic.

Spotted towhee

It’s been fun identifying the various small birds that flutter around the house. Besides the hummingbirds, we have chickadees, spotted towhees, and dark-eyed juncos. I’ve been able to get some of them to respond when I whistle, and a few will stand by the porch when I scatter seed for them. Sometimes they forage on the porches if they don’t see me moving by the window – they’re so cute! I refuse to have birds in cages…it’s such a cruel thing to do. I like watching my little feathered buddies doing their birdy things in their own environment! The deer mosey through the yard regularly now that the shrubs are leafing out, and Mr. Fluffy-pants paid us a visit a couple of nights past.

Dark-eyed junco

Springtime means that baseball’s Spring Training is going on, and the Seattle Mariners home opener is 8 April – I’m looking forward to it! Their lineup has changed slightly since some trades were made, including the addition of Robinson Cano. Hisashi Iwakuma has been rehabbing a sprained tendon in his finger, Taijuan Walker was recently diagnosed with bursitis, and Stephen Pryor is recovering from a torn lat. Hopefully they have swift recoveries and return soon; their presences on the team are solid and their contributions are necessary!

There are many interesting happenings in the world, lately. Vladimir Putin missed the Cold War so much that he’s decided to throw the U.S. right back in the middle of it, what with his figurative buttocks-baring towards NATO, the EU, and President Obama. Not sure what can be done if Putin brings back the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, remodeled in the image that he grew up under as the son of a KGB agent. It’s fascinating that the FauxNews fucktard crowd seem to want a fascist like Putin for POTUS – they positively drool over Putin’s shirtless horseback-riding. Xenophobic racists have their new poster-boy for the 21st Century! Meanwhile, their juvenile name-calling of President Obama finds new lows on a daily basis. When the next white is elected POTUS, you can bet that they will get treated with kid gloves…especially if they are a darling of the RethugliKKKans or the nazis who are toolin’ for a warm tea-bag!

The Malaysian airliner is still missing and unaccounted for, even as the focal point of the search is now somewhere off of the southwestern coast of Australia…halfway to Antarctica. My husband and I had talked about what might have occurred and came up with an interesting probability, but I don’t want to speculate here – especially when there are so many grieving families. I will say, though, that the lack of a debris field immediately following the disappearance indicates that the plane didn’t crash after takeoff, as initial reports suggested. If and when the plane is found, it will be interesting to see what, if anything, the black box and the data recorders reveal.

Speaking of tragedies, Seattle residents were horrified as a KOMO-TV News helicopter plunged from the station’s helipad as it was taking off in the early hours of Tuesday, 18 March. Both men aboard the chopper were killed on impact, while a third man is receiving excellent care and treatment in the burn unit of Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center. The man was in a car stopped at a traffic light when the chopper landed on the vehicle; he managed to extricate himself approximately 2 minutes afterwards, with his clothing alight, and a security guard at the KOMO studios helped snuff out the flames. That footage of the burning fuel from the chopper, running swiftly down Broad Street, was unbelievable…

What else…oh, it seems that some troll, who is overtly obsessed with Seth McFarlane, simply can’t stand that fact that I had the audacity to criticize the Family Guy creator in a post I wrote quite some time ago. They keep begging for my attention in a manner that befits a desperate, pathetic creature who needs the firm ministrations of a mistress. Backhanding them in the mouth with the butt of a whip would be a fun start! Anyway, I might get around to giving them the attention they’re crying for – when I get really fucking BORED, that is!

Back to important shit – yes, I’m still gaming…why wouldn’t I be? As long as computer games that appeal to me keep getting made, I’ll keep on enjoying them. It beats being a sad, little Internet troll with no life, LMAO! I’ve been sorting out some new and recent screenshots from Half-Life and Skyrim, and having a lot of fun exploring  Morrowind…that old game still has plenty of appeal! I noticed that there’s an expansion pack for Starcraft II coming out soon; I will definitely scoop that up and see if it’s any good…and, we’re seriously considering checking out TESO. Our curiosity got the better of us and we enrolled in a couple of Beta tests, so now we got sucked into another MMORPG. Oh well!

Belated Ostara blessings, dear readers…have a fantastic weekend!

Birthday Wishes…

My birthday is coming up soon, but I wanted to talk about someone else’s special day – my father, who just turned 90 years of age. He is much older than my mother, who will turn 60 later on this year; he is also much older than my stepmother, who turned 56 over the weekend. He certainly liked the young ladies, LOL!

My dad was born in Louisiana. He left home at the age of 17 and joined the U.S. Army, where he served for 21 years. He is a decorated veteran who fought in WWII and Korea, and served through the Vietnam conflict. He was part of the Red Ball Express. He knows well the era of Jim Crow and segregation; he was one of many Black servicemen who served this country with honour, but was treated like a subhuman entity upon returning to U.S. soil.

He is a business owner. He’s had three successful neighbourhood markets, where he butchered meat and sold homemade sausages. He sold real estate for many years, and opened one of the first Black banks in the Greater Seattle area. He was very active in the community and the church, and bought brand-new baseball outfits for a Little League team one year. He’s worked tirelessly all of his life, retired in 2010 – even a quadruple-bypass couldn’t slow him down for long.

He is a Freemason. He is loved and respected by a great number of people – he has touched many lives. He has a quiet strength and a masculine grace. He is dignified and courteous…a true gentleman. He is my father, and I am proud to be his daughter. I am one of his three blood-related children, not ‘married-in.’ His courage, strength, and dignity flows in my veins…nobody can take that from me.

Happy birthday, Dad…all my love to you.

Lastly, a belated Lá Fhéile Padraig to my Irish kin, wherever they may be…happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Beauty, Food & Fashion

With the changing of the seasons and the accompanying ‘Spring Cleaning,’ my thoughts turn to light, airy clothes for the warm summer months ahead. I can tell that the weather is going to be wonderful, even better than last year – I can’t wait! The warm sun calls for long, lightweight skirts that cling in just the right places, paired with feathery, lacy tops…I like wearing them just about anywhere, whether out here on the coast, or in the city visiting friends or relatives. Casual wear, for attending baseball games or going on a quick jaunt on the bike, consists of jeans and t-shirts or the tops that I pair with casual skirts. Finding jeans is difficult for me because of my height; inseams need to be at least 36” to look proper on me, especially when I sit down. The clam-digger look only works on girls with big thighs and fat calves!

My favourite style of sandal is the ‘gladiatrix’ – I have ankle-high, mid-calf, and knee-highs of that style…I love their versatility! I don’t like spending a shitload of money on one entire outfit; I like things that mix and match even if they are made by completely different designers, sell in different stores, or even wear in different seasons. I have the ability to make things work, so I do – hell, I used to model clothes so I know what to do with them, and I’ve always had my own unique style…I simply play around and have fun!

Evening wear depends on the occasion, so I have a nice variety of outfits – even a few which would be perfect for wearing on a late-night talk-show to promote my book! Speaking of my autobiography, I have determined that it will be completed by March of 2015, so that is the final word on it…promoting it has already begun.

Recently, I’ve been working out a bit more and getting my fitness regimen on a more regular schedule. On sunny days we try to wake up early and take a bicycle ride to the ocean shoreline, then take a long, roundabout way back home. When it rains, the elliptical machine and the fitness DVDs get more use, but we use them about three times per week. I really enjoy weight training, so investing in a home universal machine is in the works. We already have free-weights and kettlebells, but I need variety in my workouts – especially since I have no access to a private swimming pool. I’d really like one of those ‘swim spas’ …that would be ideal.

Speaking of beauty rituals, my skincare and makeup test is complete. I use the Bare Escentuals / Bare Minerals line on a daily basis, and Fashion Fair Cosmetics for evening and special occasions. My skin is looking fantastic by alternating those brands. My hair is looking great, too – I’m in my third year of growing ‘locs, and they are coming along nicely. I have an appointment this weekend for a deep-cleansing and conditioning, followed by a touch-up on the twists – I’m looking forward to it, as the stylist has been tending to the ‘locs of my mother and my youngest sister and he came highly recommended by them. I love what he does with their hair! For home use, I’m looking into a good-quality brand of hair-dryer, along with a steamer, so that I can finally do full-maintenance on my own hair. Steaming is essential for moisturizing and tending to the new growth, keeping hair from matting and ensuring that each strand is oiled and conditioned properly. Thorough drying prevents mildew, mustiness, and dulling buildup. I love how my shoulder-length ‘locs look and feel…they are soft, fluffy and bouncy!

As the seasons change, so do the types and amounts of local foods in the stores. Shellfish makes way for spring runs of trout and Copper River salmon. Oysters and clams will be inedible after April, especially if the warm-weather trend maintains its course. There is truth to the tale of only eating mollusks in months containing the letter ‘R!’ Fortunately, chicken is available year-round thanks to local, free-range farms. Local beef is excellent as well – it’s a shame that there are few local pig farms that raise quality pork under humane conditions. Local fruits and vegetables are varied and plentiful throughout the year, and I utilize my window-box herb garden to the maximum! I love cooking with fresh oregano, thyme, rosemary, and sage…rosemary is a fantastic seasoning to use when grilling kebabs. Garlic, shallots, and onions are also favourites of mine and are generously used in certain dishes. If I’m making something with lots of carbs, it will most likely be a breakfast dish such as waffles or French toast with a nice portion of fresh fruit on the side.

In the spirit of ‘legalized’ recreational marijuana use, I will close with one of my favourite ‘Scooby snacks’ that I used to make for my own, personal ‘pot parties.’ A tasty little hors d’oeuvre, which was healthy as well. Keep in mind that these ingredients are best used fresh, so are most likely only going to be available on the West Coast and in the Pacific Northwest – if you don’t reside in these locales, then you’ll just have to use your imaginations for substitute ingredients!

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 2 Hass avocados (California)
  • 1 French baguette (small to medium)
  • ¼ lb. of Havarti cheese (sliced, if you prefer)
  • ¼ lb. of Nova Scotia-style lox
  • A tasty beverage of your choice, to wash it down with

This is easy to make: thinly slice the avocados, cheese, and lox and arrange on a plate. Slice the baguette in ¼ inch-thick pieces and arrange accordingly. Take a slice of bread and layer one individual cheese, avocado, and lox slice on the bread in that order. If cut properly, there will be even distribution of all of the ingredients, but if you have a little extra avocado or cheese left over then you can use them in a guacamole topping for the bread as well. Another fun option is toasting the bread before or after the toppings are on; it all depends on your taste – so it’s a nice, versatile snack that can be served anytime, anywhere! Hope you like it…

Random Tuesday Thoughts…

My mind feels like a pinball machine sometimes – the thoughts bounce around with a clanging, jangling clamour…zig-zagging and careening here and there. They zip to and fro like a hummingbird, lightly touching for a moment and then soaring off.

For instance, I heard of the unfortunate incident in Florida, where a young woman named Ebony Wilkerson suffered a severe mental breakdown and drove her SUV into the surf off of Daytona Beach. She was attempting to take her own life and the lives of her children, one who is still in her womb. Family members tried to get help for her, to no avail. Police officers had stopped her before the incident and felt that “something wasn’t right,” but claimed that they had no reason to detain her and let her go on her way. I wonder; if they had a valid reason to pull her over in the first place, why couldn’t they have waited for any of her concerned family members? It’s sad that this woman felt so overwhelmed and desperate – I wonder if her domestic situation is a dire one. I sincerely hope that she gets the help she needs, and incarceration isn’t the answer…but, knowing how ‘fair and just’ the legal system is in Florida, I fear that she will become another sad statistic.

A plane has vanished in Southeastern Asia while en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. All aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 are feared lost, and there has been much speculation over what might have occurred. This is what ‘news’ has been reduced to: innuendo, speculation, conjecture, and opinions based on rumours. It used to be that facts were reported; now, stories are created. One used to be able to find different news-pieces on different stations – now, every station airs their own version of the exact same ‘story’ which, again, has been created with very little fact. Salacious ‘teasers’ are used to keep people tuning in and making sure that the ratings and revenue remain sky-high.

We’ve lost an hour because of Daylight Savings Time in this country. It’s funny how we humans strive to control nature by attempting to control time itself, amongst other things. Science has given us the power of gods, which we misuse horribly and to detrimental ends. Pollution, destruction, and extermination are things which we have mastered. Too bad all of that energy wasn’t put towards conservation, creation, unity, and non-invasive explorations…imagine where we could be if we’d done these things long ago! Instead, we focus on divisive politics, brain-dead celebutards, and idiotic attention-whores.

Dr. Carl Edward Sagan: 9 November 1934 – 20 December 1996

Speaking of science, I was excited to see the new Cosmos series, which is sub-titled A Space-Time Odyssey. I adored the original as a child, which sparked my burgeoning imagination – along with books, music, and Dungeons & Dragons. Cosmos was originally hosted by Dr. Carl Sagan, it aired on the Public Broadcasting Stations (PBS), and produced by KCET, BBC, and Carl Sagan Productions. The new Cosmos is hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist who is the director of the Hayden Planetarium. It airs on FOX-owned stations, including National Geographic, making it a heavily-incorporated show. The executive producer is one Seth McFarlane – the same Seth behind idiotic, racist tripe like Ted, Dads, and the Cleveland Show. I’m truly amazed that Mr. McFarlane is involved in this show, since he’s never struck me as one with intellectual pursuits. Since Cosmos is now airing on FOX-owned stations, I was triply amazed to see an opening statement by President Obama – but the President’s interest in the sciences is better-known to me.

I had to laugh at the latest move by the politically-correct crowd, which is some celebrity-backed ‘initiative’ to ban the word ‘bossy,’ especially if it is directed at little girls. Really?!? Are you fuckin’ KIDDING ME?!? There are far worse things to be called than ‘bossy,’ for one. If people are really concerned with things that have adverse effects on the collective psyches of girls and young women, then they should focus on the negative images that we get bombarded with before we even leave home for that first day of elementary school – and, of course, that begins with PARENTS.

Now that I think about it, it seems that the whole gender-identification and reassignment arguments made popular by Facebook and Twitter have rendered Women’s History Month moot, no? If people like Janet Mock, RuPaul and their ilk get to decide and define what is ‘feminine’ and/or ‘female,’ then it’s only a matter of time before anyone with enough money can make themselves into whatever they want to. Oh, wait…that’s already happened! Never mind, then.

The sun is shining beautifully today! The deer wandered past the yard this morning, nibbling on the shrubs on the outside of the fence-line. There is LOTS of yard-work that needs to be done, so we’re divvying up the chores and getting things done a little bit each day the weather permits. When it’s raining, we tend to the yard equipment so it will be ready for mowing. I need a different weed-puller, and I wouldn’t mind a roto-tiller to tear up the matted grasses and roots; get the earth tumbled and jumbled to assist with the natural growth process, and clear out the moss that wants to take over! Keeping a lawn looking pristine is much harder than it looks…why do you think that cemeteries and golf courses have large maintenance crews?

Ah, well…y’know what? It’s been a while since I posted some music, so I crawled into the dusty corners of the music vault in my mind and dragged out a few long-forgotten favourites. They keep with the ‘Cosmos’ theme, IMHO. Enjoy!

Elton John: “Rocket Man

David Bowie: “Space Oddity

Peter Schilling: “Major Tom (Coming Home)”

The Moody Blues: “Legend of a Mind (Timothy Leary)”

Sacred Spirit: “Yeha-Noha

A Very Merry Mardis Gras…2014!

Ah, yes… ‘tis Fat Tuesday! My Louisiana relatives are certainly whooping it up down in N’awlins – my dad’s side of the family hails from that Gulf state and we’ll be heading that way next year for a big-ass family reunion…I can’t wait! It should be a blast. I want to eat a mess of crawdads at a fais dodo, romp and stomp to some zydeco, and visit the gravesite of Marie Leveaux – get some more good gris-gris flowing towards myself and my family. I’m glad to say that my son has gotten out of his funk, knuckled down, and now has two jobs! He’s putting money away to get away from inbred Alaskan fuckwads, moving south to be closer to me and his other Washingtonian loved ones. It’s been bumpy for him recently…glad that he’s taking initiative.

Mardis Gras means that it is the month of March. It arrived gently, like a lamb, in my neck of the woods; not so for most of Washington state, the rest of the West Coast, and pretty much everywhere east of the Rocky Mountains. Those folks are getting hammered by more snow than they’ve seen in over a decade. I imagine that a lot of people are wondering if Spring will…well, spring! At any rate, St. Patrick’s Day, the Vernal Equinox and my birthday all occur this month, so it’s my time to celebrate. The flowers have begun blooming on various bushes around the yard, the frogs have been singing loudly in the woods, and the birds have been very active. The ocean has been frothing from the various systems moving through…it’s soothing to hear.

March has also been designated as ‘Women’s History Month,’ which should more accurately be called ‘White Women’s History Month’ – the achievements of white women are lauded, while non-white women are pretty much tossed aside. I guess that’s why the Sports Illustrated Slut Parade Swimsuit edition was just released; it perfectly captures the ‘empowerment’ of the white female, and using a plastic Barbie® on the cover this year is ideal – after all, most of the so-called ‘models’ are 50% plastic parts anyway!

I don’t watch awards shows, so I didn’t watch the Oscars. I do, however, keep up with current events, so congratulations to Mr. Steve McQueen, the first Black director to hoist the trophy. He directed the much-discussed movie 12 Years a Slave, which took the ‘Best Picture’ award. 12 Years a Slave is based on the true story of Solomon Northup. Mr. Northup was born a free Black man in New York, who was wrongfully and unlawfully captured and sold into slavery in 1841; after regaining his freedom, he wrote an autobiography about his harrowing experience.

Lupita Amondi Nyong’o: 1 March 1983

Congratulations and a happy belated birthday to young Lupita Nyong’o for winning Best Supporting Actress for her role in…you guessed it – 12 Years a Slave. I guess I have mixed feelings on this; on one hand, it is refreshing to see a beautiful, dark-skinned sister winning an Oscar and reaffirming my notion that Black women don’t need to be pale-skinned mulattoes to be beautiful or noticed. I was happy to see a woman whose skin tone more closely resembles my own, being front and center. She also displayed a great deal of class, grace, and style, from what I saw in clips on The Daily Show, the Colbert Report, and Conan O’Brien. I’ll have to say that I was disappointed in Conan when he interviewed her on his show last week, before the Oscars. Usually, when he introduces a white actress, he always talks about how ‘beautiful’ she is. He did not use that adjective when he mentioned Ms. Nyong’o as an upcoming guest, nor did he say it when he announced her to the audience. I grow so weary of the false assumption that we cinnamon-colored, honey-toned, deep-bronzed or dark-chocolate sisters are somehow ugly simply because we are dark. Guess what, people: WE ARE FUCKING BEAUTIFUL, so STOP YOUR HATING. We aren’t going anywhere.

On the other hand, it seems that the only time a dark-skinned Black woman is recognized in films, it’s for portraying a slave. In February of 1940, Ms. Hattie McDaniel was the first Black woman to get an Oscar award, also for Best Supporting Actress, for her role in Gone With the Wind. Since the Oscars were segregated at the time, like everything else in this country, she was seated in the very back of the theatre – what a bittersweet victory for her, no? Since then, how many dark-skinned Black women have gotten that honour? Where are the bronze bombshells and sultry vixens? Why are there no serious roles for us, such as being a teacher who takes a student under her wing and becomes their champion? Or the warrior-queen of a country, commanding men-at-arms? Or a goofy, silly, ‘a-dork-able’ Awkward Black Girl? People want to limit us and our images, and so many of us give power to those who don’t have our best interests at heart…but that’s part of my topic about my series on ‘Black History Month,’ so I digress.

Topic switch: it looks like the murder trial of ‘Blade Runner’ Oscar Pistorius has begun in Johannesburg Pretoria, South Africa. He is the first amputee to run in the ‘regular, able-bodied’ Olympics, so became a well-known athlete. He is accused of shooting his live-in girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day 2013. He claims that it was accidental, citing fear, while prosecutors say that it was done during a heated quarrel and Oscar acted in a fit of jealous rage. I suppose it will be interesting to see what transpires with that…

Thoughts on ‘Black History Month’ – Part I

Part I: A Celebration Of…?

February is drawing to a close, which means the end of awareness promotions for the so-called ‘Black History Month,’ also known as ‘African-American History Month.’ If Black history in this country was being showcased, it was certainly difficult to see!

Black History Month was officially recognized in 1976, but was originally proposed by leaders of the Black Student Union at Kent State University in February 1969. The precursor to Black History Month was ‘Negro History Week,’ announced by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, historian and author of The Mis-Education of the Negro. The second week of February was chosen because of the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (12 February) and Frederick Douglass (14 February), two people who were celebrated by Black Americans since the 19th century. Black History Month is supposedly also recognized in Canada (1995) and the United Kingdom (1987). It is not recognized or celebrated in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, or South America – other countries that were involved in, and benefit from, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.

I suppose it made some sense to expand from one week to the whole month, but history doesn’t have a starting and stopping point – it goes on and on. At any rate, the dedication of one short month to Black history in the Western hemisphere is one excuse whites cite as evidence that racism is over: “You people have a whole month dedicated to your history – isn’t that enough?!?” There are many reasons why it isn’t enough, and I wanted to talk about some of them. On a side note, whites also use the strawmen of Ebony magazine, BET Networks, Oprah Winfrey, and President Obama to derail discussions about how racism is still prevalent and insidious in our society.

‘Black history’ doesn’t begin or end with slavery. We existed before the continents were named and lines on maps were invented, just like everyone else. We had our explorers and documentations of events, just like all cultures have done. Sadly, circumstances created by people have caused great imbalances as some groups have attempted to annihilate others – and succeeded in many instances. Such a waste…

Digressing – this post is about ‘African-American History.’  This country was founded in 1776 after the decimation of the First Nations peoples by invading Europeans, who declared ‘divine right’ and ‘manifest destiny’ as valid reasons for slaughter. These Europeans then enslaved peoples from many countries of the African continent by means of deception and brutality, and brought them to ‘the New World’ to re-create the separatist ideals and suppression they claimed to be escaping in their mother countries. Slavery was eventually recognized as a repugnant travesty (although some believe that it wasn’t, and desire a return to those foul times) and supposedly abolished, but freed slaves and their descendants weren’t granted the same freedoms handed down in the Declaration of Independence – because slaves weren’t considered ‘people’ or ‘human.’ That inequality resulted in many injustices against the descendants of slaves, which still continue in this day and age, the year 2014, 151 years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.

Yes, it is 2014. We are well into the 21st century. I look around and see that this nation has come a long way since those horrific times – but in many ways, nothing has really changed. ‘Black History Month’ is a prime example of this. For instance, cable television channels have certain target audiences – this relates to marketing and advertising revenues and other boring shit. Channels such as BET, Centric, and UPN are geared towards the ‘urban’ audience. ‘Urban’ is code for ‘Blacks’ – people such as myself are referred to as such by RethugliKKKans, DemoKKKraps, Teabaggers, talking heads on FauxNews, and pretty much any and every media outlet in this nation. Anyway, brief mention is given on these channels about historical African-Americans, and not just the ones that are briefly mentioned in high-school classes when they give 5-minutes due to that little bump in the road known as slavery. Harriet Tubman, W.E.B. DuBois, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, George Washington Carver, Crispus Attucks, and Mary McLeod Bethune are the ones that immediately spring to mind – the Google doodle on February 1st, for example, was a tribute to Harriet Tubman. She is one of very few Black people to be honored with a Google doodle, from what I’ve seen – Ella Fitzgerald was, and so was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There are many notable Black men and women who deserve recognition, but they have been overlooked by many.

The movie Roots was shown in class during my sophomore year – that was the teacher’s way of talking about slavery without saying a word. This is why I cringe when I see Roots marathons on BET and Centric…that movie was forced down my throat, but the true atrocities of slavery were never discussed: the movie was pretty much used as a diversion. Slavery is the main reason that the Civil War was fought, but revisionists would have one believe that it was a silly little battle over tariffs! We’re also taught that the Underground Railroad was the sole means of helping people escape slavery, but no mention is ever given of the Black people who went West in wagon trains – there were Black cowboys and frontierswomen, but you wouldn’t know it.

Yes, the history of the U.S. is intrinsically tied with slavery, no doubt about it. However, there is far more to our history in this country – and the world – than slavery. Sadly, the shameful, whitewashed rewriting of ALL history has marginalized us and minimized our contributions, while exalting those who raped, murdered, pillaged and plundered. For instance, February happens to be the month containing the birthdays of two U.S. presidents – George Washington, the first president, and Abraham Lincoln, the ‘Great Emancipator.’ Their birthdays used to be separate paid holidays, but at some point an arbitrary Monday in-between those dates was chosen as ‘President’s Day,’ and that is advertised more than ‘Black History Month’ pretty much everywhere you look. The Hitler History Channel devoted some time to all of the white presidents, while elementary schools go on and on about Washington crossing the Delaware River. Slave-owning presidents such as Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, or racists like Theodore Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and both G.H.W. and G.W. Bush are praised and lauded while their faults are swept under the carpet.

No, one month out of the year is not adequate. It’s an insult – a veritable, collective slap in the face. There are many layers to our rich history; why are we satisfied with a thin, dried-out crust?

Up next, I’ll examine how Black people are defined and categorized by others. When, how, and why did we give up control of our images? Or, better yet – why do whites feel that they still own us?

Random February Ramblings…February 2014

It’s a nice, relaxing day – I was doing some work around the house and took a break, so I figured I’d jot down some random thoughts and upcoming topics. It is high noon and “beer-thirty,” so wander with me a while, won’t you?

First off, it is February, which has been designated as “African-American History Month” or just “Black History Month.” I am working on a long post about that, which will be published by the end of the month since I’m still doing some research – but it will be worth the wait!

February means that spring is just around the corner…well, actually, that depends on your location! Here in the Pacific Northwestern corner of the USA, it’s been positively balmy and mild. Sure, we’ve had a little bit of blustery weather and a couple of decent snowfalls (snow on the coastal beaches is beautiful, by the way), but nothing compared to the deep freeze back east and in the deep south, or the storms hammering the UK and other parts of Europe! We have some clouds moving in at the moment, due to a system coming in off of the Pacific Ocean, but the sun was shining beautifully this morning and flowers are starting to bloom on some of the bushes. I love it when the wind kicks up and I can hear the ocean roaring when I open the windows or doors! It will be a wet spring and a beautiful summer, from what I can see. If the wind and rain keep kicking up, I have a feeling that March will roar in like a lion!

Injustice, again, in the state of Florida – isn’t it sad to not be surprised by bullshit like that? A panel of stupid people deadlocked on whether or not Michael Dunn of Jacksonville, Florida, acted in self-defense when he murdered 17-year-old Jordan Davis. Remember, Mr. Dunn was the instigator when he walked up to that Dodge Durango in that parking area and demanded that the teenagers inside turn down their music. Mr. Dunn lied when he said that the youths had a gun. He fired 10 rounds in all, 9 directly into the vehicle – the 10th shot was fired AFTER HE STEPPED OUT OF HIS OWN CAR AS THE SUV WAS IN MOTION. There should have been no question that he was guilty on all five counts, but morons in this country believe that when a Black person is murdered, that person must have brought it on themselves – regardless of the situation. Just like Jordan Davis, Trayvon Martin, Rekia Boyd, Oscar Grant III, Renisha McBride, Marshall Coulter…the list goes on. It is virtually impossible for Black people to get true justice in this country. We are constantly and consistently vilified, dehumanized, minimized, and marginalized – it’s disgusting. This idiotic comment from this Al-Jazeera article says it all:

“Clay Hickman
NEW
5 days ago
 
Michael Dunn is another idiot that has abused the right to self-defense. I will use deadly force when my family is threatened but I KNOW what a real threat is. A bunch of wanna be teenage thugs with their ground pounding thug music is NOT a threat. I’m white and listen to rap and hip-hop but I don’t turn it up loud enough to piss off everybody in the area. Teach young black men to respect everybody, white, black, men, women, and themselves.”

…note how the commenter states that only “young black men” need to “respect everybody” but no other group is given the same directive - also, the telling usage of the term ‘thug’ illustrates the hateful stereotypes the ‘concern troll’ has chosen to use to demonstrate how ‘inclusive’ and ‘progressive’ they are…FUCK that racist nonsense!

More needs to be done about addressing that issue, not spouting off ridiculous, phony statistics about crime rates and so-called “Black-on-white crimes.” In fact, there is some new online movement of whites who claim that there is an upsurge in ‘retaliatory crimes’ where Black people are randomly attacking whites anywhere and everywhere. There is some WordPress site called ‘Violence Against Whites – the fallen’, which I have no intention of linking here whatsoever, but it is easy to find! Talk about recycled bullshit – there is plenty there.

No, I see the reality so I see otherwise – I mean, the white guy who got shot in the movie theatre in Florida was murdered by another white guy, who happened to be a retired police captain, over a fucking TEXT MESSAGE and THROWN POPCORN. I’m shaking my fucking head over that one…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. On a side note, I’ve been working on a post about guns and concealed weapons permits, since I recently obtained my CPLs. Stay tuned for that one to be published!

I’ll be glad when Putin’s Bazaar of Bigotry the Olympics is over – the Winter Olympics might as well be called the “All-White Games” or “Nazis on Ice,” no? Oh, sure, there is a smattering of darker-hued individuals this time around, including the ever-present Jamaican bobsled team that inspired the crappy movie “Cool Runnings.” Remember the sister from France who was a dynamite figure skater? Reports on her always had a negative tone to them – she would be described as “arrogant” or “cold” on a regular basis, while her talent was minimized. The women’s U.S. bobsled team has some Black female participants, and one of the male U.S. speed-skaters is Black. Funny how people find a reason to dismiss Black athletes who participate in cold-weather sports! Speaking of the Olympics, everyone knows that these games were bought and paid for by Putin. Russian corruption is notorious, so why are people acting surprised over the shoddy conditions of hotels and other facilities? Newsflash, people: just because a country is all-white, doesn’t mean that it’s superior, progressive, or ‘safe’ – Eastern Europe and a majority of the former S.S.R.s are some of the most backwards, crime-ridden, dangerous places on earth. I mean, all you have to do is take a look at what’s going on in Kiev, Ukraine right now to see what those people are like!

Winged Twilight in Morrowind

Subject switch: My husband and I purchased The Elder Scrolls: Anthology; it contains all of the Elder Scrolls games, including Skyrim, and all expansions of all of them. I love the maps that came with the set! They’re always nicely detailed, making it easy to follow the roads between the towns. I always like taking the scenic route so I can get my skills up by fighting monsters or assisting NPCs, and oftentimes, you can find interesting things along the way. Anyway, trying to play the first two installments was tedious at best – they are Arena and Daggerfall, respectively. After fumbling around with them and getting killed by rats, we have been pleasantly surprised by Morrowind, which is Elder Scrolls III. Even though the graphics are dated (similar to Half-Life), the game has enough challenges and puzzles to keep us as entertained as Skyrim has – it will be interesting to see what Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is like! I’d forgotten how intensively and extensively detailed certain things were, particularly in the spellcasting department – needing to have certain reagents and equipment on your person for alchemical needs, for example. Gamewise, the graphics made a quantum leap between Daggerfall and Morrowind, so seeing the shift between Oblivion and Skyrim will be the final comparison. On a final note, I’m pleased to see that the Redguard character has been dark-skinned from the beginning of the series…it is definitely the first game I’ve played that has the option of being a darker-skinned person, with realistic skin-tones. It would be nice to have more variety of hairstyles, though – especially longer dreadlocks or Afros for the women!

Trophy Room screenshot from Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Hearthfire

I’m looking forward to seeing Neil deGrasse Tyson hosting the new Cosmos – I used to watch it back when Carl Sagan hosted it on PBS; I hope that it doesn’t get bastardized by FOX, but I’m certain that Mr. Tyson will do an excellent job…he’s brilliant!

Last but not least, I was saddened to hear of the death of yet another DEVO member, Mr. Bob Casale. He joins fellow bandmate Alan Meyers, who passed away in June of 2013. Rest in peace, good sir…the music you made kept me moderately sane during my ‘teens-ages.’ The link about Mr. Meyers has my five favourite DEVO songs in it, so enjoy them while you research the band and their contributions to the socio-political music scene.

Bob Casale: 14 July 1952 – 17 February 2014

YEAH!!! Seahawks WIN!!!!!

Congrats, Seahawks! #WeAre12 #GoHawks #SuperBowlChamps

Oh my fucking GAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWDDDDD!!!!!

SEAHAWKS WIN SUPER BOWL XLVIII 43 – 8!!!!!

From the BBC:

“The Seattle Seahawks utterly dominated Super Bowl XLVIII, thrashing a badly misfiring Denver Broncos 43-8.

Marshawn Lynch’s one-yard touchdown run and Malcolm Smith’s 69-yard interception return helped Seattle into a deserved 22-0 lead at the break.

Percy Harvin returned the second-half kick-off 87 yards for another touchdown to all but end a horribly one-sided affair in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

It was the first Super Bowl staged outdoors in a cold-weather state.

Pre-match fears of an 82,500-strong crowd having to endure sub-zero conditions proved groundless, with the temperature at the roofless MetLife Stadium just outside New York hovering around 7C (44F).

In Superman’s New-York inspired Metropolis, when an apparently unstoppable force meets an immovable object, they surrender.

And that is exactly what happened to Denver’s attacking line-up when they ran into a rampant Seattle defence.”

Happy Super Bowl Sunday! Who's watching and who are you rooting for? You know I'm going with my hometown Seahawks!

YEAH!!!

As promised…mindless exclamations of joy!

BOOM!!!

FACE!!!

BOOYAH!!!

SHAZAM!!!

BORT!!!

FEZ!!!

SHOE!!!

TOTAL DOMINATION!!!

BOY HOWDY!!!

TARDIS!!!

GERONIMO!!!

ALLONS-Y!!!

FAR OUT!!!

ENGAGE!!!

MAKE IT SO!!!

‘NUFF SAID!!!

Need I say more? What a game, what a game…it was fantastic!

CONGRATULATIONS, Seattle Seahawks!!!

Happy Lunar New Year – 2014!!! ** UPDATED **

Today marks the Lunar New Year, also known as the Chinese New Year – however, China isn’t the only Asian country that celebrates it!

In China, the festivities are known as spring festival (春節) or Lunar New Year (農曆新年) — the new year is determined by the lunar calendar.

From late January to mid-February, Korea, Vietnam, Japan and other countries celebrate Lunar New Year.

Anyway, it is Year 4712, marking the Year of the Green Wooden Horse. I enjoy Chinese astrology as much as I like Western astrology, so I know what my sign and element are in each of them – it’s just a little hobby of mine for fun. I’m an Aries with a Leo Ascendant and Moon in Virgo, and I was born in the Year of the Dog. I think this is the perfect time to start my mini-series on signs of the Western and Chinese Zodiac!

Both Chinese and Western zodiac have 12 signs, but the Chinese signs change each year, while Western signs change each month. The Western signs change on a fairly fixed date, while the Chinese signs change in January or February. Because the year follows the lunar calendar, the new year’s entry has to do with the date that a certain New Moon falls, and the New Moon was yesterday – it’s the dark of the moon.

It was a Blue Moon, since it was the second one this month; two New or Full moons in a month is classified as a Blue Moon…and I’m getting off-topic!  :)

Each sign has a specific element and gender applied to them, but the gender doesn’t necessarily mean that a male with a feminine-associated sign will be more feminine, or vice versa. Also, there are different designations for the signs, depending on which chart you are utilizing (Chinese or Western). Western signs have planets associated with them, due to historical links with astronomy, while Chinese signs are more ‘Earth-bound,’ if you will – they are associated with elements on our own terrain.

Coming soon: Spotlight on Signs – Aries

On another topic, the big game is only two days away…Superbowl XLVIII! I’m stoked and ecstatic – I can’t wait. My Seattle Seahawks will face the Denver Broncos, so this is a rivalry for the ages! A lot of people forget that the Seahawks and the Broncos were AFC rivals for a good long while, so this is a game I’ve been waiting to see for 20 years or so…and we are prepared!

First off, we have ingredients for a proper game-time feast – we’re making homestyle guacamole and Oysters Rockefeller; my husband is a fantastic chef and has a magic touch in the kitchen, so this meal will be decadent and delicious! We have plenty of ale and wine to wash it all down with as well.
I also have my “12th WoMAN” gear ready – a Golden Tate shirt, since I couldn’t get a Richard Sherman one, and these awesome shoes from Hourglass Footwear in Ballard! I wanted to get the platform stilettoes but my feet just can’t handle heels that high anymore…downfall of modeling, I suppose.
Golden Tate Jersey – Seahawks ProShop
12th Woman Home Colours Platform: 2014 Champions Limited Edition – Hourglass Footwear
At any rate, we are ready to whoop and holler until our voices are gone…YEEEEEEEEEEE-HAW!!!!! And, win or lose, I will post right after the game – whether in jubilant victory or agonizing defeat! See y’all on Sunday…

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