Archive | August, 2010

Raising Brown kids in a White World

31 Aug

This is one of those posts that will probably come across as disjointed so I will apologize in advance but I hope  in writing it, I can work through some of my own issues…after all blogging is cheaper than therapy.

It’s school time and this year the kidlet enters school. We have been getting ready for this by attending the various screenings and Open Houses. I have been putting on my best happy face all the time stuffing down my own deep feelings related to the idea and of having my daughter start school and frankly my pot boiled over last night.

Growing up I was what folks called a good kid, that meant I didn’t backtalk my parents or any adults (considering how quick my father was to spank for small things, backtalk seemed like a great way to end my young life before it started), I made good grades in school and generally speaking I was a studious well behaved kid. The type of kid parents and adults rave about, after all I didn’t cause anyone any grief. Instead my black relatives teased me for talking “white” and made my life uncomfortable which I suspect is why I have little contact with my extended family to this day. My classmates either ignored me or made fun of me for my dark skin, funny hair and overall lack of whiteness.  Problem was deep down I was an unhappy bordering on tortured kid who in 4th grade threatened suicide, yet no one believed me and thankfully the idea never went beyond being just an idea.

The older I get, I am convinced that my parent’s decision to send me to a magnet school that was predominantly white played a huge role in my general unhappiness. However my folks were working class and it’s a known fact that by and large working class and poor families do not value or encourage much dialogue on issues like feelings. So I held my feelings in and it was only when I got to high school and discovered weed and booze that I found a release for my unhappiness. Besides the stoners were less bigoted and more accepting of a skinny gawky Black chick. So much fun I had for the first time in my life that going to school became less important especially when I realized I wasn’t going to get my ass kicked any longer by my parents. So when I turned 18, I said fuck it and dropped out and the rest is as they say history. Thankfully I did eventually realize school is not all bad and did return to school as an adult.

The reason I share this is because the kidlet’s impending arrival to formalized education has brought up many of these painful memories, memories of feeling like I had no place, being teased for my kinky hair, shiny legs…thanks to ashy skin my Moms believed in oiling me up so I went to school glistening. Add in the fact my folks were Black hippies and were into shopping second hand long before it was hip, I was a walking outcast.

Truth is while I moved to Maine for my son, I never saw myself putting down roots here. I figured as soon as he turned 18, I would get the hell out of dodge and either go back to Chicago or maybe move to San Francisco. But life happens while you are making plans and well I lost both my Mom and Granny, became a homeowner and well the kidlet was born. On some level maybe I was thinking the magical fairies would get us out of here by the time she was school aged but life doesn’t work that way.

In some ways when it comes to the kidlet we lucked out, her previous daycare was actually diverse, but it was not in out town, it was the town I work in which has a higher percentage of low income families that somehow correlates to greater racial and ethnic diversity here in Maine. Seriously, if you want racial diversity, look for the poor people! She loved her daycare and was fortunate to have as a good friend another biracial child but its school time and she must attend the school in our town and well it’s not terribly diverse. Oh, it’s more diverse than it used to be but long story short the kidlet is only one of two kids of color in her class and the other child is Southeast Asian and does not speak English.

I know this because today when I went in for the last minute school preparations I talked to the kidlet’s teacher and wanted to know how she will address the issue of diversity and was met with a blank look. No, I really mean a blank look. She finally told me that she didn’t think there was going to be any issues because well kids don’t see race or color. Um…..what fucking planet are you on? I suppose my temper started rising when I realized that she had no clue what I was talking about considering the glazed over look her eyes got as I had been explaining some of my concerns with the kidlet starting school and the purpose of this meeting was to talk about the kidlet’s readiness for school based off the assessments that had been done coupled with any concerns I had. Needless to say I have a dilemma, there is no question in anyone’s mind that she is ready for school and from an academic standpoint I think she will do well but I admit it’s the social piece that concerns me.

This past year she was in a preschool that was far less diverse than her previous childcare center had been and already I saw a slight change in how she viewed herself, her hair was not long like so and so. Well no, your hair is curly and while it is long it does not flow like that kids. It’s those little things that concern me because it’s the fact that the standards of beauty are not a kid who looks like her. I think the fact that we have no extended family of color here also bothers me and concerns me, right now the only woman she sees that looks like her is me. At least for me when I finished with my day of torture at school I was surrounded by folks that looked like me at home. On the bright side my Pops is moving out here soon so she will have more exposure to folks like us.

I realize some readers will say well just move, in a perfect world maybe that would be possible but moving is not an option for a myriad of reasons. None worth going into but at the same time I am scared, every kid of color I know out here has at one point or another dealt with racism and bigotry in the schools. A dear friend of mine left Maine last year because she was worm down with battling the schools over the distinct lack of sensitivity to race and difference. Sorry, but no one is moving me out till I am better positioned to do so and that will be a good 5-6 years away at the soonest.

So that leaves me considering what I consider the nuclear option…homeschooling. I won’t lie while I have always been attracted to the idea, I have been attracted to it in the same way you admire your buddy who works out 7 days a week and has a killer body yet you know you have no time or energy to do so yourself. Yet while I don’t wish to put my issues on my child at the same time I feel like I need to start thinking about homeschooling in the event school is a bust. I admit it scares me, the idea of school harming her through the possible cruelness of kids and cluelessness of teachers scares me. But at the same time the idea of teaching my own kid scares me…after all what if I fuck up and scar her? What if she is like 12 and can’t read because I can’t figure out how to teach her. On some level I know I am being silly but these are my concerns. Never mind the fact that the hubster is not proponent of homeschooling though after one of the most volatile conversations in our 15 year relationship he is willing to give it a try but has his own concerns.

I tell ya raising kids is hard enough but raising brown kids in a white world at times makes it even harder.

Revisiting Mainers and their Dogs or maybe White Folks and Dogs

29 Aug

The post that follows is a reprint from one of my first posts back in June 2008. Considering that I went into my favorite local cafe to grab an iced coffee this afternoon and was greeted by an adorable pug, re-running this post seemed appropriate. Clearly since this post ran in 2008 a few things have changed that are mentioned in the post, namely that Obama is no longer the Democratic nominee but actually the president. I will also add that my attitude towards dogs continues to evolve as my daughter is a dog lover determined to wear me down…kid really wants a dog though any pet will do for the moment. Yet I still have issues with dogs in certain spaces…like the place that serves my food and drink.

In case you didn’t know, Maine is a very white state, I believe its only second to Vermont as far as the whiteness factor. Now, when a sista decided to move here 6 years ago, I knew it was white but I figured what the hell, I already own one white person (aka spousal unit) and despite growing up in Chicago I attended predominantly white schools, so I felt as comfortable as a sista can around white folks. Heck, I figured one white person is about the same as another, how different could the Maine white folks be versus Chi-town whites or my own California version?

Well I would soon learn, they are a little different out here, for starters they all seem to have a deep love affair with fleece and anything that comes from LL Bean. Now in the defense of my fellow white Mainers, LL Bean is headquartered in Maine, so that makes sense and while I do find most fleece clothing lacking on the style factor, the reality is its cold as shit here 11 out of 12 months (nah, I am kidding its cold 8 out of 12 months, on the real I generally turn my heat off in June and that is real.. mind you I am from Chicago so I know cold weather, here it’s not hawk cold like in Chicago, it’s a low-grade type of cold that never ends).

However the one area that I discovered where Mainers are different from the folks back home is with regards to their deep and abiding love for their dogs. Now to be totally stereotypical, in general it seems white folks love the dog’s way more than Black folks. I have known Black folks who loved their dogs but it just isn’t the same. Back in Chicago, my biggest gripe with dogs was that folks seemed to never want to keep em on leashes or they would use a leash so damn long that you wondered why they even bothered.  That said, most of my dog issues back home were in my neighborhood, so I could reasonably assume that if I went to downtown Chicago, I didn’t have to worry about seeing dogs. It was an understanding, you keep the dogs at home, the park, or near your home.

Mainers though, well, they take their dogs everywhere and I don’t mean that jokingly, I have seen pooches sitting patiently in the car at the movie theatre parking lot. Um, why? Seriously, the average movie is at least an hour and a half if not longer with previews, you cannot bring Fido in the theatre so it seems to me, Fido would be happier at the crib chilling out. I have seen dogs at eating establishments in our largest city despite the fact that there are laws forbidding such things, yet I guess the general assumption is everyone likes dogs.. Who cares if Fido is running around while you are enjoying a latte or in a real life example trying to get a burrito?  Most Maine folks don’t but guess what I do, I don’t like dogs, I used to be extremely scared of dogs, now that fear is only reserved for large dogs and scary breeds aka Pitbulls, dogs of that ilk.

Which brings me to last night, the family and I went to a street festival in town, gorgeous night to walk and partake of some good greasy french fries and other foods I generally avoid. So how come my night was almost ruined by folks strolling around at a festival/fireworks with dogs? Not cute lil dogs, no folks walking Rottweilers and Pitbulls at a family festival, come on now what the hell is that all about?

I guess I was more bothered because just a few days earlier a dear sista friend originally from NYC who lives here in Maine, contacted me about a situation she was having with dogs. She has asthma and was trying to connect with a group of folks for a work retreat and she simply asked the leader of this get together to not bring the dog because she has asthma, well long story short, leader woman who is a  White Mainer said no, the dog is family and he goes where I go.

Well, as you can imagine that spawned some heated dialogue but for both my girl and I we realized that culturally Black folks just don’t dig on the dogs like White folks do. I have a Black girlfriend here who has a large dog and whenever she invites me over, she has no problem putting the dog up for the few hours I am going to be over. Yet with white folks, you ask can they move the dog so you can breathe and they act like you tried to smack the shit out of em.

Its cultural differences like that, that despite folks like me being married to a white guy and Obama being the Democratic nominee for president that keep me aware that we have a long way to go before white folks and black folks will truly connect. It’s cool to love your dog but damn what about the humans?

Computer Beg-a-thon Needs You!

26 Aug

OK, I have realized that quite of few of my regular readers were definitely put off by my recent announcement of the BGIM computer beg-a-thon in the wake of my workhorse computer catching a nasty virus that turned it from a machine I can work on to basically being able to only surf the web with. Even that is janky at times.

I understand that here in America, talk of money or lack thereof is viewed as tacky and frankly makes folks feel uncomfortable and that most certainly was not my intent. On the other hand, I like to think if you are a regular reader, well we are friends and well friends share the things that are going on in each others’ lives and might even say can ya help a homie out!

In a little over two years, I have built up a comfortable readership and loved interacting with those who take the time to either email, comment on the blog or follow me on Twitter. I have actually even had the chance to meet a few of ya’ll in real life and there are definitely a few more than I hope to meet in the near future. You guys rock!

Which is why when I realized that my computer was fucked, I thought I would take the bold move of running an online beg-a-thon to see if anyone could or would help out. I chose to make my blog’s home here at WordPress because I think they run a lovely user friendly operation, also rarely do you see ads. In fact I can’t have ads and frankly that is fine by me. In the blog world, its big business to monetize your blog and sure I’d like to earn a few extra shekels…who wouldn’t? But the fact is I blog because I enjoy it and I am just into it for the fun of it. I’m a big mouth who likes to talk and the blog affords me that opportunity.

However it does mean that since I work in the non-profit sector, am married to a freelance writer, got a kid in college and am not monetizing this blog, when stuff happens like my laptop dies…well I need a little help from my friends. (or in this case readers, though real life friends who want to donate to the cause, please do…I’ll bake my famous banana chocolate chip muffins for you)

I am not the first blogger to pass the hat around and I won’t be the last but in light of the fact that while the beg-a-thon started off good, it seems to have fizzled but my need for a computer has not. So while I don’t want to turn off any readers, I do want to say that hey, if you got a few bucks to spare, think of me. 🙂

PS: While I would like to move away from PC’s based off my incredibly bad luck with them (4PC’s…3 of them laptops in the past 8 years) I am not married to the idea of a Mac, its just my first choice, though at the this point a good dependable laptop is my priority. The reason that I am adding this is I have had several folks contact me on why I want a Mac rather than a PC since PC’s are cheaper. Also while Linux may be groovy, after doing some research, I think I am not quite tech savvy enough to be messing with Linux, so while using Linux would be the cheapest option, I know my limitations.

It’s not all about us

24 Aug

Once upon a time in a world not that long ago, people who chose to have children understood that the end goal was to raise the kids to be productive members of society. It was understood that well, the babies don’t stay babies and that while it’s bittersweet to think of our precious babes as grown ups… fact is it happens. Then my generation (that would be Gen X’ers) started having babies and well, many of us were unhappy with our upbringing and we swore we would do better than our parents. Damn our parents for working, divorcing or whatever crimes against us they committed. We would become Super-Parents! All the things we never got, by Golly Miss Molly our precious babes would get…and before you get snippy please know I am guilty of this. My folks had very little in terms of financial resources and I have struggled with being overly generous and never saying no to either of my kids as far as things and possessing things. It took getting a child who I swear was born with a materialistic streak to realize this never saying no is not a great idea.

In modern day parenting being a super parent often means always being with our child and never allowing them to quite grow up. I remember at 18, I was definitely an adult, shit I was married and with child. Now I definitely don’t think most 18 year olds should follow that path and I am quite thankful that elder child now known as college boy did not choose my path, on the other hand I think 18 year olds are most certainly capable of being the young adults that developmentally and legally most of them are.

The problem is super parenting creates a screen where we never quite see our kids in the correct developmental stage and well you have issues like this. For those not interested in clicking, the piece talks about how more and more colleges have to create diversions and tricks to get parents off the college campus when parents come to take their offspring to college. Many of us are so used to guiding the process for our kids that we are having a hard time letting go despite the fact its healthy for both parent and kids to let go.

However the way I see it this problem now starts early, in our eagerness to enjoy our kid’s youth many of us no longer feel the need to start the slow dance of growing up at the early stages. Home schooling which I have no beef with has surged in this country, and while there are plenty of places in the US where the schools are shitty, homeschooling is most certainly a better alternative to sending your kids to the shitty local schools. (There are also kids and situations too numerous for me to delve into where again homeschooling is a great choice) But in some cases people choose the homeschooling path because they simply cannot bear to be away from their progeny the 6-7 hours a day that kids spend in school. Hey, if that works for you and yours who am I to complain? But just remember generally speaking a day will come when the birdies will want to stretch their wings beyond your nest and you need to be prepared for that.

On the flip-side we have folks who send their kids to school yet cannot abide by the rules in matters such as dropping kids off and not walking the kids to the classroom. This is a big hot button issue for many, the kidlet starts kindergarten in two weeks and I have already be warned by my Mama friends who have kids at her school that even for the little’s, the expectation is that we the parents will drop them off with their teacher and classroom outside and the class enters the building together. I admit last year when I heard this I was emotional and weepy about it, now at 5 though and knowing that my girl is ready, this policy makes sense.

Maybe its because I did a brief stint as a teacher of kids before I taught adults some years ago but let me tell you, if 15-20 sets of parents bum rushed the classroom in the morning with their kiddos, let’s be honest…chaos! It’s already hard enough for a teacher to get the kids acclimated and adjusted to the classroom without a Mama Bear hanging in the wings. I know when the kidlet was in preschool, whenever I attempted to take her and stay a few minutes afterward, it was always a bad idea. My presence did not calm her instead she looked to me and often figured since I was present that listening to the teacher and following the instructions was optional since obviously Mama’s presence overrode the teacher. After a few weeks of sensing the teacher mentally sending me the “Mama Bear be gone” vibes, I kept my presence to a minimum and kidlet not only loved preschool but thrived and made deep connections to her classmates and teachers.

I wonder if because I was so young when my firstborn entered school that  many of the issues that are stressing my parental peers out make no damn sense to me. (I was weepy when the boy started school but it also seemed amazing that we had hit a milestone) Hell, in many ways going to school is a milestone, yes its an emotional thing but to actually say well fuck we are not going to follow the rules, well that is wrong. See I moderate a parenting discussion board and many Mamas have stated that rules be damned but they will be walking their kids in the classroom and staying to make sure little Dakota & Tiger are okay in the classroom.

Alrighty now…but let me ask you as parents we model the behaviors that eventually our kids will come to see as acceptable and maybe I am confused but blatant disrespect for the rules in an institution you have agreed to be a part of seems wrong. Yeah, if a rule is unjust definitely fight it, but even in choosing to fight unjust rules there is a way to go about it and do it in a manner that is still respectful.

Our kids are watching us and yet when they grow up and seem too focused on self if what they have observed us doing is thwarting rules and focusing on our needs well how can we be mad? Guess what? It’s not all about us…we live in a world with many and need to be mindful of others.

Raising a Black Man…off to College He Goes

19 Aug

Two days ago, my son got on a plane to head back to his Pop’s house to finish backing and to head off to college. I cried like a baby. When that boy was born 18 years ago after 4 days of labor, if someone would have told me that one day I would be shipping him off to college, I might have chuckled and said…um, ok. After all, I was a 19 year old high school dropout when he was born. Hell, not only was I a dropout but I was living on government assistance at the time since me and my first husband were young and dumb and didn’t have two nickels to rub together.

This is an emotional and weepy Mama piece, as my Pops told me the other day “Mama, you done good.” I suppose if you are white and reading this you may be wondering what is the big deal? But for a young Black boy and make no mistake, oh he is half white but in these Fractured States of America even in 2010, being a half white dude doesn’t count for much. Unless you are a passable shade of white as far as your skin color…well you are Black.

For a young Black man to get to 18 with a good head on his shoulders and not be headed off to prison or be in route to being a Baby Daddy is sadly not as common as I would like it to be, therefore every time I know of any young brotha headed to college or graduating, I rejoice.

See, raising a Black boy to age 18 and seeing him go off to college takes a lot, it takes a fucking village, some prayer and some luck. Truth is it ain’t much better raising our girls either, since I got friends dealing with major issues and heartbreaks with their daughters who are the same age as my son.

Nope, I looked at my son the other morning as we went on a long walk before he left and realized he is indeed a young man, no longer a baby but he will always be my baby.

So excuse me while I take a few days off as I gather my composure since as parents we spend so much time dealing with the day, its a strange feeling to see them make that transition to adulthood.

Evengelical Parenting

16 Aug

I am becoming more and more convinced that there are certain segments of the population for whom the act of raising children closely resembles the conversion that happens when folks become Evangelical Christians. I know because in the past I was closely aligned with Evangelical Christianity, now I consider myself a simple Christian.

Yet in the early days of my coming to Christ, I was passionate and on fire for Jesus always looking for a chance to share my story and lead folks to Christ. In the past I attended churches where the leaders implored us to testify often, where we were told that if we did what Christ and thus the Bible said then health and prosperity would be ours. Only problem with such dialogue is that if one truly reads the Bible and studies it, never once does it say that if you come to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior that you are on easy street. Good health and financial prosperity are not the rewards for being a Christian. Yet folks like Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyers both who in my two cent opinion would be better served as inspirational speakers insist that God wants you to be healthy and wealthy. Um…that is simply not true. Now I am not about to turn this into a biblical discussion but if you want to ask me why I think this way, feel free to leave a comment or email me.

Nowadays when we choose to have kids unlike our parents and grandparents we have so many choices. Hell before the baby even arrives earth side we must decide how we want the child to arrive. Do we use the medical model and use an OB, or do we use a midwife? Do we birth at home? Hospital? Freestanding birthing center? Shit, the kid hasn’t even arrived and we have to make all these damn decisions. I must admit back in 1991 when I was pregnant with my son, I didn’t have all these choices, he was born in an hospital with an OB. Now I will be the first to say that choices are good, believe me women we need choices when it comes to how we give birth. Problem I have is too many of us put too much damn stock into individual details not realizing parenting is a journey, one that you may start off with the best of intentions but like a bad vacation, shit just happens.

Now it appears that one of the biggest choices that women face is whether or not they should breastfeed their baby. Clearly there are amazing benefits to breastfeeding, while I did not breastfeed my son in part because I knew nothing about it, I did later go on to nurse my second child for three and a half years. It’s quite funny that I nursed that long considering I was ambivalent about breastfeeding, in large part because I was not personally familiar with it. I started off with a goal of nursing 6 weeks and went on for years because I opened my mind and got informed but also because at the time I bought into some of the hype. I admit that will probably piss some of ya’ll off but the truth is that some women in their zeal to see more women breastfeed will tell you all sorts of amazing things will happen if you nurse.

Yes, there are some breastfed babies who are healthier than formula fed babies, yes some women do lose weight while nursing but guess what? I was not one of those women, hell I gained 50lbs in 8 months while nursing, see I took that you will lose weight thing way too seriously and forgot to remember that if you consume way more calories than you burn off that you will gain.

The more zealous lactivist though will have you thinking that should you nurse your babies that well, bad things will never come your way. Look, nothing could be further from the truth. I have been following this story. In case you are not up for clicking, it’s the story of Katie Allison Granju, back in the 1990’s she wrote the book on attachment parenting and some credit her for creating the word lactivist. I read her book when the kidlet was a baby and often wondered what happened to her, not realizing until a few months ago that she was still a writing Mama. Her story in many ways is tragic; losing a child is hands down one of the worst things than can happen to you. In her case despite being a gentle and thoughtful parent, her eldest got involved with drugs.

Granju’s story has haunted me in part because her lovely son Henry was the same age as my boy, the same day that my son was graduating from high school, Granju was saying good bye to her son. I admire the hell out of Granju and how she continues to go on and hell even blog through her grief. I can only imagine that most days it takes such strength and courage to go on and please know that in no way am I saying anything negative about this Mama. However Granju in a recent piece confessed that she is not nursing her new baby, pretty ironic that the woman who wrote the book on parenting and breastfeeding is not breastfeeding. It was in the comment section to her piece where a nerve was struck for me where most folks let her know it was okay to not nurse after all she has suffered one hell of a loss. Yet one commenter really felt compelled in my opinion to lay a guilt trip on Granju.

Look nursing is great but its only one of many parts of parenting. Truth is I had my first kid at 19, didn’t follow any books, made a shitload of mistakes in raising him yet he is one of the most thoughtful humans I know…how we got him I do not know, but am thankful that he chose me to be his Mama. I have a 5 year old who I followed all the current protocol with and there are days frankly where I want to beat my head against the wall. My daughter is not an easy child to parent and daily my dreams and assumptions are dismantled and challenged with her.

Point is, this parenting gig is the hardest you will ever have, and folks who speak in absolutes have no idea what the fuck they are talking about. Parenting is hard enough without zealots running around making us feel bad. So I say down with evangelical parenting. Just parent your kid to the best of your ability and trust that it will all work out.

It’s okay to be mediocre

12 Aug

We are living in crazy times here in the US, many of our fellow country men and women are struggling to survive to the point where just keeping food on the table is a struggle. Yet at the same time many of us are still playing our role as the ultimate consumers. Fancy meals, coffee drinks (yeah, I am guilty of this one), standing in line to get the newest and latest iGadget, all the outward signs of success. I often wonder how many of us can really afford these things? Make no mistake, I know not everyone is struggling but most of us are living in denial. If we lost our jobs and didn’t find one in six months or so our world would collapse.

Yet despite the grim statistics that in this new America a permanent underclass is being created where a good 10% of us at any given time will be jobless and many more are underemployed. We still cling to the dream that we must achieve success and that well… success will include climbing the corporate ladder or maybe the non-profit ladder or owning our own business. Success is often defined by what we have rather than by who we are and frankly I think that is fucked up.

Social media allows me to stay connected enough to remind me that the second reason why I chose to move to Maine was that I wanted to get off the hamster wheel. Prior to our move to Maine and the eventual downsizing of our life, the Spousal Unit and I worked hard to the point early on we had a patch where work was fucking with our marriage. A boss who does not give a damn that your wife is sick has a funny way of creating tension in a marriage especially when your presence is requested on a Sunday just so you can sit in the office and be on call for a client. When the Spousal Unit was fired from his lovely well paid position at a Big 4 firm, it was the beginning of a turning point in our marriage that turned out to be preparation for life in Maine. Yet because we made the conscious decision that our marriage and family was more important than anything else I suspect its one of the biggest reasons that we have weathered the financial storms of life.

In many ways we have reached the point where we are okay having less, that as long as our basic needs (and I admit we are defining basic a bit broadly), are met that we are fine. In a world that says mediocrity and settling is bad we are at the place where we are ok with settling professionally and even financially when our personal life is so rich. It’s funny because the past few months have been some of the best times personally for us as the kidlet has gotten older and a bit more predictable (i.e. regular bedtime).

Last night before I drifted off to bed, I told the Spousal Unit that I was content with our life and he replied that he wished he could do more for us, like rehab this 127 year old dungeon we call a home. I won’t lie, it would be lovely to just hire contractors to fix this place but I am happy to just have a home and more importantly a home that is paid off, the rest will come in time.

To my young readers and maybe not so young readers, I guess what I am trying to say is life is too fucking short to spend your time chasing shit that won’t really make you happy. Sometimes we set goals of things we think will change our life and guess what? Those things often aren’t all they are cracked up to be. Instead happiness must come from inside, true its hard to be happy when your belly is empty and you are sleeping on a park bench but the fact is if you got a place to lay your head, food, and more importantly you have good people in your life that is the shit that matters.

I guess in some ways this may seem strange coming from someone who is holding a beg-a-thon to get a new computer after all if I had a better job I could just go out and buy the damn thing. But while that would be nice, the fact is even this blog is a labor of love that I could not do if I were tethered to some high paying gig, thus not having the chance to meet all you fabulous folks who read my ramblings. So don’t let others define who you are by what you have or don’t have, know that you are fabulous no matter what!

Can you help a sista out?

11 Aug

If you read my last post,or follow me on Twitter you are aware that my main computer (i.e. the one I use for my day job as well as stuff like… oh writing this blog) is dying a fast death. Over the weekend I got hit with a virus that while the virus appears to be gone has made my already janky computer damn near unusable. If my computer was just for pleasure it would be sad but I could limp through using my mini netbook and the broken down computer. However I work for a very small non-profit and my flex schedule allows me to do a great deal of work from home but in order to do that work I must have a functioning computer. Sadly our organization is small and convincing  the board of directors to buy me a computer is not going to happen since as the person who puts together the budget I know the cash ain’t there.

Now I could do all my work at work but then I would end up spending a lot more hours in the office and frankly as a working parent that would suck. So I looked over my budget and the truth is with house taxes coming due in less than a month and college boy starting college in 2 weeks, running out and buying a computer right at this moment is just not happening. The Spousal Unit and I are working hard to dig out of debt and as much as I need a working laptop (computer travels with me from home to office so it needs to be a laptop) running out and using credit is just not the responsible thing to do.

Once upon a time I would have thought nothing of charging it but after years of living beyond my means and dealing with the aftermath I am trying to be responsible so I am holding a help BGIM get a computer beg-a-thon. Oh I already know there are some who will say and have already told me they find such things tacky and hey that’s cool. Yet over the years I have heard of too many folks who have asked for help online in some cases to dig out of debt and guess what? Folks helped out. So I created a page at Chip In where if the spirit moves you, you can help a sista get a computer.

I am hoping to get a Mac, I realize that sounds luxurious but after having 4 computers in 8 years I am getting a little tired of PC’s. Seriously in the past 8 years I have had 3 laptops and 1 desktop, all either were infected with viruses that rendered them unusable or they simply died. My ole desktop got me through grad school and after realizing the hard drive was literally smoking it was replaced with the laptop that is now headed to computer heaven.

I would have a widget on the side but since I use a hosted WordPress account I am not allowed to put a begging widget on the sidebar though it looks like it may be possible to get a paypal donation button up.

Seriously though any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Got $2-3 in your paypal account, every little but helps and if for whatever reason you are just not down with helping a sista out, well send some good vibes this way. Better yet you got a good usable laptop sitting around collecting dust, I would be happy to take it off your hands.

So if you can here is the place to go for the help a sista get a computer fund. Thank you dear readers.

Online begging…yay or nay?

10 Aug

Fair readers, I need your advice and input. If you read my previous post you are aware that a nasty virus seems to have rendered my trusty 3.5 year old laptop not very usable. I was already on borrowed time with my baby but now it is literally knocking at death’s door. Boo hoo. I have a mini netbook I bought a while back but as I have learned it’s too damn small to be useful for daily work and writing, or maybe its the fact I am getting old. Therefore my age is preventing me from seeing the screen well. I don’t know….

In any event I need a new computer, I use my baby for work and writing, both the blog and my columns that run in the local paper. Obviously I don’t get paid for this blog but I do get paid for my column so a fully functioning computer is essential. Now I have not talked frugality in a while but lets just say slamming down at least $1200 for a Mac is not in the budget and probably won’t be for at least another 5-6 months.

I had pretty much resigned my self to the fact that it would be a while before I had a new computer until I came across a well-known blogger who is holding a fundraiser. Actually I know a few bloggers who have used their blogs as a vehicle to solicit money and then it hit me…hey I could do that? I have to be honest though the idea leaves me feeling a little uneasy. On the other hand I have thrown spare change at causes and I know a little bit of change from a lot of folks can add up.

So I am asking you, what do you think about bloggers and others online who hit you up for money? Is it tacky or a great and ingenious way to avoid debt for a good cause?  Better yet if a sista went that route might you considering helping out? Or maybe I should see if the local strip club needs a black woman with a potbelly.

I have so much to say but…..

9 Aug

Hello dear readers! I am actually anxious to get back to a regular blogging schedule, it seems this blogging thing actually helps me to clear out the bits and pieces of shit I hold in my mind. However a few nights ago I was doing some surfing, actually I was on twitter, clicked on a link and….fuck, I caught a virus! My primary computer which I might prize more than anything aside from my kids and the Spousal Unit is fucked the fuck up.

Looks like I caught something called Ativir, anyway it basically fucked up my browser so it no longer works and long story short it’s going to be a moment before I have my computer back to normal. Thankfully I have a backup netbook but I must say that bitch is fucking tiny and its hard to use or maybe it’s that my ass is getting old. Anyhoo, I hope to be back up and running soon, however if you just need to know what’s happening in my world, follow me on Twitter.