Friday, December 22, 2006

Perra Perrísima

Most of my life I have tried to help the people I love. I have tried to be supportive, (but not always succeeding) I have tried to be understanding, (I've got a few failures under my belt there too) and I have tried to be objective (may be the greatest shortcoming of all). If MMM wants a bike, I say "no!" but then go get it for him for Christmas. If my friends like La Rubia Que Todos Quieren wants me to come to a party in which she explicitly states she will be holding a satirical 4th of July party to celebrate the long-awaited amnesty of a close friend of ours, I say "of course! What can I bring?" knowing there will be plenty of Bush-bashing and "I'm so glad they're letting me stay here but I still hate this country" talk. So last night I attend the said FOJ party and have a great time mingling with everyone, enjoying apple pie, macaroni and cheese, Ruffles, and hamburgers (these items, minus the mac and cheese as it is considered "soul food" have never been consumed at one of our functions before).

Since we were celebrating the amnesty of the friend, we decided it was an important time to pay respect to those who don't have the same privilege and to say a few kind words about our friend. Words of nostalgia about the friend, and blessings were given. Talk of matriarchal ancestors who have given her the strength to survive what she was been through, anti-Bush rhetoric, and "I hope you all know I would never actually celebrate 4th of July or wear red/white&blue for real" was also spewed by LRQTQ and the friend.

MMM, being the sporadically present mate that he is, actually decided to attend this function with me, against his better judgement. He lingered in the background as everyone said their piece, and then at the end, told me he was ready to go. I then said goodbye and he pulled me outside. I won't bore you with the full transcript here, but: according to MMM, there were murmurs of anti-military sentiment going on around us, a suspicious gentleman in a cheap suit who he thought he recognized and "kept staring at my ass" it was not the best environment to be in. We had a chat outside and I decided it was better for me to go with him even though we arrived in separate vehicles and these were my friends. I would usually stay and let him go blow off steam, but I really felt that I should support my husband, and I honestly did not want to stay any longer than I already had. (Plus, he already feels like I choose my friends over him anyway, so I felt this was a perfect opportunity to show him I don't.)

I go in and tell LRQTQ that we're leaving, she asks if MMM is OK and I say "no". She (naturally, as she is not one to start conflicts) did not think she said anything offensive. I just briefly said that the red/white&blue comments were offensive to him because he has friends who have died for those colors. I hugged her and the friend, and went on my way with MMM to see Blood Diamonds (a little too Hollywoodish for an international conflict awareness piece for my taste, but a good story nonetheless). The friend could tell something was wrong, and LRQTQ is probably mad at me since I haven't gotten a call or text from her today, but there really is no love lost. I knew they were all flaming radicals before I went to the party, but it was out of love and my support for the immigrant struggle that I went.

-(3 hour pause)-

Following the movie, MMM and I go home and for some reason I decide to bring up the fact that he is getting a dog without my blessing and I am really freaking out. I have had near panic attacks thinking about dog hair on the couch, in my bed, on my clothes, in the grass...and the permastench of wet dog in my house not to mention the fact that we just installed brand new wood floors and I shudder to think of the friggin' scratchmarks a dog will leave on them. So I push and push the envelope and he says "forget it, I will call the lady tomorrow and tell her I don't need the dog". Now, usually that kind of guilt trip works, but he received no argument from me and I went upstairs to go to sleep. Did I feel like an a$$hole? Yes. Did I think of how I was hurting the little boy's feelings whose only dream was to have a precious little puppy dog? Absolutely. Do I think he needs a dog at the expense of my décor, sleep, sanity, aromatic comfort? Nope. I, being the full-time employee, graduate student, and 2-3 hour commuter everyday do NOT think having a huge (did I mention it's a German Sheperd?) animal in my house is even a mediocre idea.

So, as you see, these are the reasons why I have resisted doing such things as standing up for what I believe in, causing conflict, and saying anything to hurt people's feelings for quite some time. However, I really really feel like my actions were justified on both accounts. But, I left LRQTQ's house to support MMM who is now mad at me so I am stuck with no one to turn to except the internet. So thereyahaveit.

Have a fantastic Christmas, and let's all not forget the reason we celebrate it; Christ's birth. I hope I can find some comfort knowing many years ago my many sins were preparing to be paid for by a little baby in Bethlehem.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Fracaso Total

Fracasé. Fracasé algo horrible. I failed my Statistics test and got a C- in the class, which in grad school means I have to repeat it. This is the second class I have failed since the beginning of my MBA program. I got a D in Finance and now a C- in Stats. I work full time, own a house, am married, and I feel like a total failure. I have tried a million things to get the prof to give me a chance to retake the exam or find some lost points somewhere to bump me up to a C, but I am running head first into a brick wall. I never thought an MBA program would be easy, but I certainly never thought I would feel so miserable and waste so much money on repeat classes.
After I exhausted my options last night, I broke down. I had been trying to hold it in for a while, not wanting to drown in anxiety, but it was fruitless. I felt angry, ashamed, and totally defeated. I worked my ass off in that class and totally failed the final. Could I have studied more? Sure. I just want to know what kind of a lesson I'm supposed to get from this. Is it that I should slow down or work harder? Should I drop out or get back in the saddle? What am I trying to prove anyway? Why do I need my MBA? I am already in the career track I need to be in at work, I have everything else I need, and school is holding me back from having kids- not that I want them right now. I know what I set out to prove, that my undergrad GPA is not a reflection of my intellect, that I am a more mature, focused, driven person now who can go out and get a Masters in a field she never studied before. I know I never want to have to rely on someone to support me financially, that my credentials could always get me ahead in life even if I were in dire straits. I know I don't want to be like my mother and be 60 years old with 3 divorces under my belt looking for the next guy who's going to support me for the rest of my life. I hate failing. I hate failing. I HATE FAILING!!! I feel like everyone is going to laugh at me, they're going to celebrate my failures, that they're going to smirk and gloat under their breath. I have to figure out what I'm going to do with my life. I know it's not a wash, I know I can finish grad school if I get my ass in gear, so will I? I think I have forgotten my central purpose in life. Honestly, I really have forgotten- I can't think of it now, and I certainly think I should remember something like that.


Monday, December 18, 2006

Design District Delights

Took off from work around 3pm on Friday and had some time to kill before the MBA program end-of-semester celebration at the pizza joint in Old Town, so I decided to make the best of it and shop the hoity-toity design district for oddities, furnishings, and fixtures. Found some fantastic light fixtures, including about a million chandelier choices for the formal living room (one of my favorites pictured above), and a zig zag bookshelf in espresso at P.H. Reed. MMM says we have to wait until after tax season to make any big purchases, so my visions of grandeur for the front room have to be put on about a buzzkill.

I then decided it was probably time to think about other people, so I went over to Oblation ( to pick up a birthday card for my friend and ended up getting journals and artsy notecards for my friends and family for Christmas. I got my sister the coveted moleskin journal whose claim to fame is "the journal of Hemingway and some other esteemed writer" but this particular journal is for writing music, which my sister has been doing a lot of lately along with creating original works of art for my living room.

On Saturday morning I had breakfast with the boss, her husband, a co-worker, and his girlfriend- very nice. I then went on another time-killing spree before my haircut and purchased some awful-sounding but very cool soap logs which are basically rolls of over-priced organic-looking soap with fun flavors like eucalyptus and lavendar oatmeal.

That's all for now- more tales of delight to come.


Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Miami Today is U.S. of Tomorrow

December 5, 2006

Leonard Pitts Jr. -- Miami Herald columnist

There's a joke I tell behind Miami's back. I'll be elsewhere in the country and someone will ask how race and diversity are viewed from a South Florida perspective. I reply that, according to the Census Bureau, Miami's polyglot population represents what America will look like in about 40 years. And if America really understood that, it would be worried. Rim shot.

My point is that, for most of the years of the American experiment, our dialogue about race and diversity has been strictly bipolar: black and white, minority and majority. But by 2050, the conversation will be three way - black, white and brown - and none will have dominant numbers. We will ALL be minorities.

Given that America has never mastered the bipolar debate, the challenge of a three-way debate should give us pause. Especially when you factor in the racial and cultural stresses that periodically rattle and rend Miami.

Consider the young woman who told me once how her newlywed sister went to their mother with marital problems only to be told that such problems were what she deserved for being in a "mixed marriage." The upshot: both newlyweds were black, one born in the United States, the other in Haiti. Take it as proof that in South Florida, even black, white and brown is more complicated than you'd expect.

Similar complications are coming soon to the nation as a whole, as evidenced by the growing Hmong population in Minnesota and an influx of Africans in Maine. So the country ought to watch Miami with interest because it has a stake in the city getting it right.

Or, it could take the Tom Tancredo approach: write Miami off altogether. In a recent interview with a conservative Web site, Tancredo, an anti-illegal immigration hawk who has championed the building of a fence along the U.S. border with Mexico, said Miami "has become a Third World country. You just pick it up and take it and move it someplace. You would never know you're in the United States of America."

For this, Tancredo has been publicly and properly rebuked by two prominent fellow Florida Republicans: Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Gov. Jeb Bush.

Me, I think the fact that Tancredo calls Miami not just another country, but a "Third World" country is rather telling. Apparently for him, Spanish accents and the smell of jerk chicken automatically equal poverty. It may surprise him to learn, but one seldom sees donkey carts on Miami streets and electricity is available almost 24 hours a day.

It is worth noting that Tancredo represents Colorado's 6th District, which is centered on the town of Littleton. Littleton, according to the last census, has a population of about 40,000. Just 1.2 percent of its people are black, 8.4 percent Hispanic - both significantly below the nation as a whole.

Not to dump on Littleton, but it represents precisely the sort of stark homogeneity that will become obsolete in the nation the Census Bureau predicts. So it's not hard to understand why Miami scares its congressman.

For the record, Miami scares Miami sometimes. Like when there are Cubans in a snit or American blacks up in arms or Haitians feeling put upon or whites feeling left out. You look around and ask yourself if, from this cacophony, it is possible to make harmony.

But really, what choice do we have but to try? What else have we ever done? Change is coming, but then, change is always coming. You cannot fence it off, cannot legislate it away. You can only face it and confront its challenges as best you can.

That's what we did when whites went West, when slaves became free, when Europeans streamed through Ellis Island. It's what's we are doing now. Miami is just the noise you get when a mix of peoples jockey for opportunity and shout to be heard.

Tancredo says that's not America. I say, when has America been anything else?

Source: (C) 2006 Charleston Gazette. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved