Friday, October 30, 2009

'Scuse Me, I Believe That's My Lung...

Ugh. I have been sick this whole week which of course means... WASTED week. Yup. I was lucky to even get out of bed, let alone write.

I've made it through the killer sore throat phase, the can't take two steps without blacking out phase, the "Ohmigosh I'm freezing/burning up" phase, the I can't breathe phase, and now I'm fully into the nose won't quit running/hacking up a lung phase. During all these phases, sleeping at night is a joke. Which means come daytime I'm so exhausted I sleep all day. No writing being done during any of this.

Who can focus during all the hacking and nose blowing?

In a way, it's kind of a good thing that I don't have a job because there's no way I could have worked this week. However, I'm still getting the run around from unemployment which means I still have no income and I'm about to run out of money. Not good.

If I'm not working, not receiving any compensation at all, I need to at least be doing something productive that could equal income later. I start every day with a job search. After searching & sending out resumes & applications, I write. I tell myself I might as well use this "time off" to get a lot of writing done. I've made writing a "job" with regular hours and quotas to be achieved.

Now I feel guilty for taking 4 days off. I want to take today off too. Why? Didn't sleep last night. Went to bed and all, but just tossed and turned, got up to blow nose, etc. all night long. Total amount of sleep? 3.5 hours. I am exhausted and being exhausted and drained does nothing to promote better health.

It's kind of a bad spot to be in. I no longer have health insurance so I have to keep myself from getting too sick & of course I have to keep my kids healthy. Unfortunately, that means I need to get plenty of rest, even if it's during the time I am normally most productive. So... I'm chalking this whole week off to a waste but next week... I better be good and healthy because next week there will be no excuses. If I haven't been hired anywhere by then I will be writing all day long, at least 6000 words a day to make up for lost time.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Rude American ( - ;

A special thanks to my favorite poet, Regis Auffray, for sending me this...

Rude American

The train was quite crowded, and a U. S.. Marine walked the entire
length looking for a seat. There seemed to be one next to a
well-dressed, middle-aged, French woman, but when he got there, he saw
it was taken by the woman's poodle..
The war-weary Marine asked, "Ma'am, may I have that seat?"
The French woman sniffed and said to no one in particular, "Americans
are so rude. My little Fifi is using that seat."

The Marine walked the entire train again, but the only seat available
was under that dog. "Please, ma'am. May I sit down? I'm very tired." She
snorted, "Not only are you Americans rude, you are also arrogant!"
This time the Marine didn't say a word; he just picked up the little
dog, tossed it out the train window, and sat down.
The woman shrieked, "Someone must defend my honor! Put this American
in his place!"
An English gentleman sitting nearby spoke up. "Sir, you Americans seem
to have a penchant for doing the wrong thing. You hold the fork in the
wrong hand. You drive your autos on the wrong side of the road. And
now, sir, you seem to have thrown the wrong bitch out the window."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Keith Bardwell -- Racist or Misguided?

By now, we've all heard the story of the Louisiana justice of the peace who refused a marriage license to an interracial couple. We've heard the outcry of racism and know the couple is deciding whether they can or should press some type of charges against the justice of the peace for his refusal.

Stories like these touch me directly. Why? Because I have three biracial children. This could have been me that this happened to.

However, I am not angry with this man. In a way, if what he's said about his reasoning is true, I can even understand him.

I've dated men of different races. White men, black men, Hispanic... I had the biggest crush on a Vietnamese boy in middle school. If he actually spoke english, I would have talked to him. Obviously, I see no problem with interracial relationships. But I live in Louisville.

Keith Bardwell states he will not marry an interracial couple because of their offspring and the fact that offspring of these unions are generally not accepted by black or white communities. Well, Mr. Bardwell lives in Louisiana. Deep South. I remember going on vacation in Tennessee and my mom freaking out, worrying someone would do something to me or my children there. We've all heard the stories. The deeper south you go, the more racism you hit, so maybe in his area this is true.

Or maybe he is misguided.

One of the hardest things I've ever had to do was tell my father I was pregnant. I was nineteen, unmarried, and having a baby by a black man my father hadn't even met.
He hadn't met him because my dad didn't want me dating black men. He didn't have anything against black people. In fact, I once saw his high school yearbook and was proud of the fact that every black student in his graduating class had signed it. He was friends with all six or however few number of them were in his graduating class during a time most white students wouldn't dare even talk to them, were in fact wanting them out of "their" school. Not my daddy. He was better than that. He wasn't racist.

It wasn't because of racism that my dad didn't want me to date outside my race. He didn't want me having a biracial child. Why?

I remember a story he told. It was a true story of a biracial child who had to run home from school everyday. The child had to run to avoid the rocks being thrown at him. He had no friends. He was outcast from both the white and the black community. A mixed breed. A "mutt". My dad didn't throw the rocks, but there were more people like the rock throwers than there were people like him. This was his knowledge of what happened when interracial couples had children. This was the knowledge that decided for him he did not want his offspring or the offspring of his offspring suffering such an existence.

So the first thing he asked when I told him I was pregnant by my boyfriend he'd never met was "Is he black or white?"
When I said black, he said "I want to meet him" and walked out. I'll never forget the look on his face or the slump of his shoulders as he did.

He met my boyfriend. He loved my boyfriend. Though we never officially married, he was his "son-in-law" and he never shied away from introducing him as family.

My first child was a girl. She was my father's little princess.


She had my daddy wrapped around her little finger. He adored her. My father, who never allowed sweets before dinner, would come to my house with his coat pockets full of cookies and candies for her. If she wanted it, she got it. Even if I said no.

Some would say my father was racist because he didn't think people should have biracial children. He wasn't. I wish to God he was still here with us because he was the best grandfather my kids could ever have. He loved them all despite their biracial heritage.

Because he wasn't racist. He was misguided. He always thought of the biracial child who got pelted with rocks because of his interracial parentage, and feared it. He'd rather his children not take the chance of suffering that way or having a child who would suffer. Like any parent would.
He lived so in fear of that that he didn't look around him to realize times were different.

Very few times have I had any sort of trouble due to being in an interracial relationship or having biracial children. But this is Louisville. There are many interracial families here.

What is it like in Louisiana? Sadly, racism does still exist. A Mississippi school held its first integrated prom last year! LAST YEAR. 2008. Seriously. There are still small towns where racism is not only rampant, it is ACCEPTED. Most of these towns are in the deep south. I've never been to Louisiana but I've heard enough about it to know interracial couples probably aren't treated quite the same as they are here in Louisville, KY.

I don't think any charges should be pressed against Keith Bardwell. From what I've read or seen in the news, the statements he's made, his thoughts are for the children and he doesn't want to be a willing participant in the existence of a child who may be discriminated against. Is what he did right? No. But I don't believe he had any malicious intent.
I think he is misguided.
Maybe in Louisiana biracial children are treated horribly. I don't know. But refusing a marriage license wouldn't stop biracial children from being born. You don't have to be married to have children, for one thing.
Mr. Bardwell needs to look around and see the changes being made in the world. We have a biracial president for crying out loud! The world is changing, we as people are more accepting of things that were considered completely unacceptable decades ago.
You can not let ignorance of the past stop you from seeing the potential of the future.

And for those screaming "Racism! Racism!" Take a minute to cool your emotions and really think about it. Racism is an ugly thing and Racist is a horrible label to attach to anyone.

I have had black men accuse me of racism when I've turned them down. I have three children with a black man. Anyone with a brain knows I am not racist against black men. Is it right for a black man to accuse me of racism because I don't find him attractive? No, but there are people who just throw that word around like it's nothing.

Let's look at another situation. White male. Black female. He's attracted to her but she is not attracted to him. More than that, she's not attracted to white men, period. Is that racist? No. It's called "preference." But I guarantee you there is someone out there accusing her of racism.

Not dating outside your race does not make you racist. Believing biracial children should not be created due to fear of them being outcast their entire life is not racist. Believing they should not be born because you think different races don't have the RIGHT to be together or because you think one race is superior to another is racist. There is a difference.

Maybe everything this justice of the peace is saying is bull and he is racist, but I haven't seen evidence of that yet. From what I've seen, read, and heard about this particular case, I believe seeing a happy, well-adjusted biracial child is all he needs to see how misguided he has been. That's what it took for my dad.

Mr. Bardwell didn't do anything to keep this couple from getting married, he even suggested another justice of the peace for them to go to. He just didn't want the birth of a child who could be mistreated due to their particular union on his conscience. I just can't get mad with him about that.

It was stupid all the way around but you have to think of his intentions. As ridiculous as they were, his intentions were good. He needs to visit Louisville and see my community. He'll soon see that this era is different than the one he grew up in. It might just change his mind completely.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Legend Of The Seeker

I just discovered a great show called Legend of the Seeker. Unfortunately, I've discovered it a bit late. The 2nd season is sset to start airing next month. However, I can view all the season one episodes online to catch up on the ones I missed early on. From the 4 or 5 I've seen though, it's really good. Here's a preview of Season 2 I found on YouTube:

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Drawing David Cook

I used to sketch people all the time when I was a kid, but somewhere, sometime... I quit. It's a shame too because I was pretty decent at it. I remember being around twelve years old and drawing Christian Slater for a friend. It looked just like him.
I took out a sketch pad and pencil a while back and tried to draw a realistic portrait... It sucked. Bad.
So I broke out the "How To Draw Real People" book I'd given to my daughter forever ago and watched a bunch of Youtube videos on drawing people... I checked out the amazing Art by Aurelia (She is AWESOME!) website.

And I declared I would sketch a portrait of David Cook.

This was the outcome (in about 5 phases):


This was the basic outline. No shading yet. Nose & mouth just weren't right, and my brother pointed out there were some issues with the left eye that needed major fixing.


After the shading.


After work on the nose & mouth, and the clothes.


After adjusting eyes some more & working with the hair.


After deciding I was not as talented as I wish and it wasn't going to get much better.

All in all, I'm proud of myself. It's the best thing I've drawn in quite a while. And hey, it's my first in forever. With more practice, I can only get better. Sure can't get any worse... I hope.