New Books to Read! Yay! (via userdefinedlogic)

Due to sadness, this post has been removed.

 

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Racist Immigration Laws

The Chinese Exclusion Act is a shameful piece of racist legislation. (the following is a quote from wiki):

“With the post Civil War economy in decline by the 1870s, anti-Chinese animosity became politicized by labor leader Dennis Kearney and his Workingman’s Party[2] as well as by California Governor John Bigler, both of whom blamed Chinese “coolies” for depressed wage levels. Another significant anti-Chinese group organized in California during this same era was the Supreme Order of Caucasians with some 64 chapters statewide.”

This sounds to me EXACTLY like what the Governor of Arizona and the Republican candidates for Governor in Georgia are saying about Latino immigrants. This is what ” good ole Americans” have always been saying about the most recent immigrant group to hit our shores.

My heart is breaking to see other citizens of the world being treated this way. No matter how many people quote the “jobs bullshit” or the “crime bullshit”, it’s simply racism and our country’s morals are going bankrupt. We need to remove the Statue of Liberty and admit that we don’t give a shit about the poor, the tired or the huddling masses yearning to breath free.

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Event Stuff

I’m holding an event today and I hope to make it a regular thing.

I’m calling it “Asshole-Free Tuesday”.

I’d like everyone to participate and the requirement is simple: DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE.

Before you open your mouth to speak today, please remember what the day is, and modify your speech appropriately.  DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE.

Before you cut that car off in your rush to get home to do nothing in particular, think for a moment and let that car go. DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE.

Before you have a loud conversation on the train tonight, think about the other passengers riding with you who really don’t give a shit and who really don’t want to hear about what you and Pookie did last night. DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE.

Before you give a few hours of additional work to your staff at five minutes to five, stop and remember that they have committments outside the office, and if this really needed to be done, you would have assigned it earlier in the day. DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE.

Before you take her number, decide if you’re really going to call her. If not, just decline the offer and go on with your life. DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE.

Before you take your 19 items to the 12 items or less register, look around and see all the tired people in the store who all want to get home as much as you do and take your butt to the proper register. DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE.

Before you accept the drink from the stranger at the bar, decide if you want his company. If not, pay for your own damn drink. DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE.

Before you send that forward to your whole online  address book, read it again and check Snopes or other references. DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE.

Before you start bashing any group, realize that you’re probably being an asshole. DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE.

I’d like everyone to participate in my event today. It’s not difficult to stop being an asshole, at least for just one day.

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I’m Sad Stuff

No matter what you’re going through (and I know some have it tough today), imagine dealing with your exact same situation while living in Haiti. Appreciate your life and do what you can to help. Please.

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Give With Your Heart

Yele Haiti – An alliance of organizations sending relief to Haiti – http://www.yele.org (It took me less than one minute to donate)

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“You Look Like” Stuff

In the last few years I’ve been told that I look like different celebrities, depending on the day or I suppose my look that day. The speaker will  interrupt my life to make their proclamation and then look at me expectantly, as though this “compliment” will somehow make me happy.

I look like Erikah Badu, Natalie Cole and most recently Whoopi Goldberg.

Whoopi Fucking Goldberg.

Remember the movie, The Color Purple? “You sho’ is ugly!”

A stranger feels it’s cool to tell me that I’m ugly. Why is this acceptable? They look crestfallen when my response isn’t what they expected and they take offense when I explain that I think it’s rude.

I have friends that have experienced this too. Black men look like either Michael Jordan if they’re bald, or Michael Vick if they wear braids. An older Black man might be called Billie Dee or Shaft. WTF?

I wish people would gain a little self control and learn not to blurt out everything that comes to mind.  Each of us should be judged by individual achievement – not by a passing similarity to a celebrity.

How is my life improved by one iota by someome telling me that I look like someone else.

If you don’t know me and can’t compliment my scarf or my hair, please leave me alone.

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Friends and Memories on Facebook Stuff

I reluctantly joined Facebook a couple of years ago thinking that I might catch up with a few friends from my past. I didn’t think much of social networking when I signed up. I did a couple of “friend searches” to no avail and decided that FB wasn’t all that I’d heard about.

Bamp! (that was my sound effect for wrong answer for those of you who don’t speak “jali”)

I was absolutely, completely, totally, and unquestionably wrong. Facebook is amazing.

Today I found Yolanda, my dear, dear friend from the 9th grade.

I remember driving past the house where she once lived, on 120th avenue in St. Albans, Queens, about 15 or 20 years ago. A pang of longing hit me so hard that day that I pulled over to stop and see if there was a chance that she might still live there.

No.

I got back in my car and cried a little. I couldn’t find Yolanda so I couldn’t find my 9th grade self either. It was an overwhelming feeling of sadness when I realized that one of my ties to my past was lost.

September,1971

Yolanda had the perfect ‘fro.

Bigger and badder than Angela Davises’  and redder than she should have been allowed to wear back in the olden days.

Yolanda was a St. Catherine of Sienna girl. I was a St. Pascal Baylon chick. We met at Bishop Reilly High School at the beginning of our freshman year. Both of us came from predominantly Black (I cannot use a lower case b here) Catholic grade schools and both of us were shocked to find ourselves in the minority at Bishop Reilly.

We both had afros. We both smoked Newports in the 216 bathroom between classes. We both rode the 17A bus to Jamaica Ave every day and we both hung out at the library across from the terminal instead of going directly home after school. We joined the Black History club and created our own punk-ass girl gang (she was Red Tamu, I was Ebony Malika and Deidra (I have to find her)was Green Emerald. We were the “red, black and green” officers of our gang. We made jackets and wore our “colors” only once or twice since we were afraid of the real girl gangs out there.

We planned our famous Central Park picnic together and high school kids from all over the city attended. I remember being amazed that hundreds of kids cut school to hang with us. (we were off that day for a Catholic holiday).  We made a bunch of sandwiches and others brought food and liquor and we had a ball. I drank “Tango” and Boone’s Farm wine that day and thought I was all grown up. We played touch football and cards in the park. A perfect day.

more to follow…

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Writing Stuff

I ordered my 250 free business cards from Vistaprint.com, and I’m pleased with the product. I received a 25% off coupon with my delivery, so I ordered 250 cards of my own design and I’m getting excited.

I’m excited since the cards are another step in my journey as a writer. I write because I have the need. I write to make my point, to have my say, to leave a mark.

My business cards are a reminder to myself that my book can’t speak until I write the words, and that I need to stay serious and get back to work. “Granny” is important to me – I love the story. 

(Talking to myself now) “Stop editing! Let the completed chapters rest a while. Just effing do it!.”

I’m going to do this.

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Rant-a-rama Stuff

First thing:

For 8 years we couldn’t find Dick Cheyney – he spent his vice presidency either hidden in a bunker or out shooting his long time friends in the face. When it came to any issue of importance, Cheyney stayed silent. How many Sunday morning news programs has Dick (such an appropriate first name) Cheyney appeared on since our president, Barak Obama’s term began? STFU! (I’ve been feeling that for a few weeks now, so it had to go first)

That confused little man with the last name West needs counseling. What an ass. STFU! (See how hip I am, I actually saw that happen last night)

Parents that refused to let their children watch a “stay in school” message from our president. It’s over. Get off my TV screen and STFU!

Justin Case.  He’s such a smarmy and annoying spokesperson. STFU!

PETA and their followers who continue to try to make news of no news. I’m glad that The Eagles signed Michael Vick.  I’m a life time Philly hater who will now root for the Eagles (except for when they play the premier team of the league, my beloved Giants) because of the ugliness and hatred spewed by that ignorant group. PETA: STFU!

Ooh. Blogging is fun!

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Obsession

I am obsessed.

“Oh jali..” some of you might say. “You’ve said this before. What’s your new obsession?” ::group sighing in unison impatiently::

It’s a game called Mafia Wars. ::cue doom-type music: Duh-Dah-Duh::

I started playing the game on Facebook, at the invitation of a high school friend that I hadn’t spoken to in over 20 years.  My plan was to join, then ignore the game, just to pacify Ray. I was getting tired of all the increasingly urgent requests for my participation, and figured I’d take the five minutes or so to register and that would be the end of  it.

Registration was easy. I needed to choose a character type: Mogul, Fearless or Maniac.  (of COURSE I chose “maniac” – I was afraid that I’d be refused the title “mogul” based on my current credit score, and since I’m the original punk, “fearless” just ain’t jali. Maniac suits my personality perfectly anyway, so I clicked the button.

I was in.

I wasn’t very busy so I decided to give the game a go. ::cue doom-type music: Duh-Dah-Duuuuh::

My first assignment as a Maniac Street Thug was a mugging. ::click:: Simple job, simple payoff and I was hooked.

I used all my energy in a couple of moments on simple jobs, and started expending my stamina on fights. I lost my first fight and I lost my freedom at the same moment. I was determined to win at all costs and I started playing almost all the time.

I took a day off from work and I was accused of taking time off to play the game. Sooo not true. I had…ah… other stuff to do that day. I just finished that stuff early and didn’t have anything else I needed to do, so I played for a little while. (yes, I could see that pile of laundry, those unvacuumed rugs, that pile of dishes: &$%^ you!)

I leveled up pretty quickly and added to my Mafia. After about a month of playing the game, I was at level 170 with 2400 people in my Mafia with billions and billions in the bank.

I read a message on the main page of Facebook one day, warning people of hackers on the site and asking everyone to block invitations from certain members since they could take over your RL email account. I checked my list of friends and felt safe – I didn’t let the wolves in.

I tried to log in to Facebook another morning and read a message that almost broke my heart: “Your account has been disabled due to violations of the Facebook terms of service”. Looks like someone got me. I sent urgent texts to my Facebook friends that my account and my email were hacked then tried to access my Mafia Wars game from the Zynga (the game creator) site.

“Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo”.

My MW game was connected to Facebook and unretrievable.

I wasn’t concerned with losing Facebook privileges. I only cared about my Mafia Wars game. With a disabled account, there was no way to access my game in progress.  My heart cried for loss of my achievements, my money, my Mafia.

I needed to start again, on a new social networking site with new friends.

Tagged is a social networking site that’s less visited than MySpace or Facebook. The draw for me was that I could play Mafia Wars there and I quickly registered and started scouting for friends who would be willing to play the game.

That was a week ago.

Today I’m a level 45 with 83 in my Mafia. I have $130,450,976 in my account and I’m going strong.

I’m able to write this now, only because I have a little time to kill to allow my energy and stamina to rebuild.

Oh, if you decide to come to to visit, I’m known as “jali, pissed at FB” – join my team.

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