Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Difference Between Absent and Gone

I really dislike people. Not all people, mind you, but a good many of them.

I work as a paraprofessional with severe special needs kids in my local school district, and one of my co-workers is a prime example of why I'd just rather not deal with folks. The Petty Miss M is just that, petty. Because we have to do a fair amount of diaper changing, our school is reimbursed by medicaid, but we have to make sure we document it so we can get paid. On the wall of the bathroom in our classroom, we have a list that we fill out with the date, who changed our kiddos, etc. One morning, when one of our kids was not at school, I wrote that he was 'absent'. A few hours later, I ventured into the bathroom and discovered that our young man was no longer absent, he was just plain 'GONE'. And he was not only GONE, but he was GONE via a bright purple marker. Because being absent in black ballpoint ink is no where near the same as being GONE in purple marker. I didn't know that. I THOUGHT absent was sufficient, but apparently I was mistaken.

I know that it's a bit childish to get upset about what happened. I will even go so far as to say that it's petty. But that's the whole thing that pisses me off, is the fact that Petty Miss M was just so damn petty to begin with. I hashed it out with one of my very favorite co-workers ever and decided to get over it. At least THAT time I did. I even managed to handle it when it happened a second time. But by the third time, I just couldn't restrain myself any longer. I stooped to her level and though I'm not proud of it, I will sing to the heavens because it felt SO GOOD to write ABSENT in big, bold, black sharpie. Aha! I won!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Just how black is black enough?

Yesterday evening, 50 youtubers got to put forth questions to the 8 democratic candidates for president. Though I didn't watch the debate personally, I understand that Barack Obama was asked something to the effect of if he was "authentically black enough" to be president. Now what the hell is that about?

Just how black does Obama have to be? Does he need to be involved in a drive-by shooting (as the shooter, not the shootee) to be black? Does he need to have a certain number of children born out of wedlock by multiple baby mamas? Would that make him black enough? Does he need to have been in prison or in a gang or be a high school dropout to be considered black? Does he need to live in the projects and be unable to speak eloquently to be black enough to be the president of the United States?

Though this may be an unpopular sentiment, I think that that blacks should be thrilled that they have an intelligent, articulate, well-informed candidate who has the chance of being president. Why are people bitching? I mean, he's gotten a whole lot further politically than either Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton have. You ought to be thankful for what you've got instead of complaining because Obama's one of the more successful black Americans.

On a personal note: I really like Obama and the things that he appears to stand for. Unfortunately, he just doesn't have the experience that Hillary Clinton has. If he had waited until the 2012 election, you can believe that I'd be one of the first ones to back him, but as of now, he just needs more experience.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

There were no witnesses

"There were no witnesses, so officials stopped short of saying the flaming bird was at fault."

I discovered this little gem while purusing todays edition of the Augusta Chronicle, my old hometown newspaper.

I don't know what school of journalism that reporter matriculated from, but I was surprised to see that single sentence was also an entire paragraph. That one line left me wanting so much more in the way of explanation. Why do they think the bird was at fault? Did it leave a suicide note? And if so, why didn't the note get burned, too? Was an avian autopsy performed? Did another bird whisper into someones ear that they had a terrorist within the flock? I don't know about you, but I'm a little worried. I mean, what if Hitchcock's The Birds was just a test run?

Monday, July 2, 2007

Just 'cause you've got CASH doesn't mean you've got CLASS

We were supposed to go to Hunter's rugby game Saturday, but his feet were hurting him, or so he claimed. I suppose if I'd had half the skin of both feet frozen with liquid nitrogen (warts, don't ya know?), I might be in a little pain, too. I also might have believed him a bit more had it not been over a week since he'd had it done. But I digress... I'll be honest--I didn't want to go sit outside with no shade for 2 hours in almost 100 degree heat. I hate summer. It sucks. So anyway, seeing as how the rugby game was out of the question, Kenin got the wild idea to go look at garage sales and see if anyone had any good junk they wanted to get rid of. Junk that might match our junk, as it were. So off we went, out into the nasty summer sun. And heat. Did I mention I really don't like the summer?

On our foray into the various areas of Highlands Ranch, I discovered that the $250,000 house that I'm renting in is in the slums of Highlands Ranch. I pay well over $1,000 a month for rent, but it's the HR slum. Not the Denver slum by any means, but most certainly the Highlands Ranch slum. But then, as we followed the signs for a garage sale into a neighborhood that was very obviously NOT a slum, I panted like a dog in heat (because it was really, really hot) and even got a little excited that someone in a non-slum area of Highlands Ranch was having an ESTATE SALE and I might be able to get some of their cast off junk to go with my junk and then maybe I wouldn't be living in a SLUM any longer because I finally had some non-slum stuff! And then I was disappointed.

Picture if you will, a beautifully modern, yet classical, 6,000 square foot home. It's got an incredibly manicured lawn leading to a wide row of brick steps that proceed to the front door. You walk into a large marble-floored entry, a curved staircase standing before you. To the right, a formal living room, to the left, a wet bar. You walk through the living room (which, BTW, is almost as large as the footprint to my entire house), around the corner and into the dining room where you see a beautiful antique dining table. Past the dining room you see a gourmet kitchen with stainless steel appliances and beyond that the marble floors continue into what in more modest homes might be called the family room. Looking through the french doors, you can see a built-in outdoor fireplace, a fountain, and a small pond. As you exit the family room with the marble accented fireplace and built in bookcases, you can go downstairs to the library or the fully appointed mother-in-law suite, or you could go up the wide, curving staircase to the second floor. If you chose to go to the second floor and to the right, you'd find a master suite, complete with bidet, that I swear is bigger than the entire second floor of my house. If you went to the left, you'd find 3 more bedrooms, each larger than any bedroom I personally have ever had.

Now that you have this beautiful home in your head, imagine it filled with junk. This place was really rockin', until you saw the crap everywhere. Where you might see a nice turkish rug, there was an old, stained, half-bare thing. The carpet upstairs was old, worn out, stained, and faded and the walls hadn't been painted since the house was built, over 10 years earlier. The lamps in the living room and family room were the kind from the 1970's (and I know... I was there) that hung from the ceiling with the cords hanging down. The TV in the living room was an early 1980's model, and there were old broken children's toys lying all around. The antique dining table I mentioned earlier? It was missing a leg, and someone had carved their name into the top of it. The library in the basement had the most gaudy 18th century reproduction light fixtures (maybe it was 19th century, I don't know for sure, but it was UGLY) and the mother-in-law suite had no less than 6 very large dead spiders in the tub. The upstairs was just as nasty. These people were even trying to sell half used bath and body products! And I don't mean stuff from Bath & Body Works, I mean half used no name brand crap. (Just for the record, it's just nasty to try to pass off (and want them to BUY IT, no less!) used personal hygiene products. Don't do it, no matter how broke you are.) I won't go into the old, broken kids toys in the back yard, or how the pond was green with scum and that there was almost certainly a mosquito sex orgy happening before our very eyes. All I know for sure is that you know their neighbors were having a party the day those folks moved out.

I guess the biggest and most important thing that I learned on my excursion was that just because you have a big ass house in a nice ass neighborhood, you still can't buy class. But you ought to try.