Saturday, June 18, 2005

So, what happened?

Hey, y'all.

First, thanks to David and Aleksa for some great comments! I like having feedback to my blog. It makes it into a kinda journal that can talk back. And I can erase comments if I want to ;). I promise to comment back in yours... ALEKSA. GET. A. Blog. Tis really easy. Click on the 'get your own blog' above.

OK, so... what'd I end up doing ant'ayer and yesterday... I never did get to Guayama. Which makes me license-less still. I don't want to talk about it. It'll just have to wait until one of my free days next week. And then, I'll have to go even if it kills me.

I ended up going to the convocatoria day before yesterday (I HATE having to say this. I like the spanish. Much more compact. I digress.). When I was there, of course, I had arrived without one of the necessary documents, and of course, my school, the one I worked at for the 2004-2005 year, wasn't being 'presented', or up-for-grabs, at the meeting. My directora happened to walk in while I was writing the required essay, and she mentioned that they'd tell her Friday or Monday exactly when ELA is supposed to go up. Which means that I could've saved myself some serious stress on the issue, but also that I didn't have to go, because now the principal of one of the schools that was presented is in love with me and wants me at her school.
I'd actually be quite excited about it, since it's one of the escuelas especializadas, the one for science and technology, and it'd be a 10th and 11th grade position, with about the same class size as last year, and the schedule would be from 12:30 to 5:30 pm. I heard that and I thought, "Are you KIDDING ME?! HECKY YEAH I want that spot! Oh, to not have to rise from my cushy bed so early! To teach students who aren't groggy and sleep-deprived! To be able to run errands and still arrive at school on time! To not worry about rush hour bus scheduling! Ohhhh the joy!"
Of course, the down side would be that I'd be at my third school in 3 years. Boo.

One other good thing came out of my going to convocatoria; I saw Melly again! I literally ran into her as she was coming out to show off her twin boys to some other compas. Melitza, (because I met her when I wasn't blogging and so y'all don't know her from jack) is one of the 11 people who took class with me in the RED-UPR program for teacher certification. She, Norma (who no longer speaks to me for reasons unknown), and I were thick as thieves while we were in the program, especially b/c Melly was in her 6-8th months of pregnancy with twin boys. She's petite, and the chirens were kicking her ass, quite literally. She was having contractions, and when one of the boys would kick her, she'd grunt. She was HUGE. I know everyone has said this about a pregnant woman before, but no. Melly was the BIGGEST pregnant woman I've ever seen who only had two kids. She was a stick woman with a 40 pound belly at 5'1''. I missed her dreadfully after she gave birth, and when my cell phone was stolen I lost her number. We were sooooo glad to see each other! And her kids are dolls. I named them before they were born, Taiwo and Kehinde, after some other special twins I know :) but finally meeting them outside the womb was awesome.

Wow. I was more enthused about that than I thought.

'Crash'. AHHHH yes. I'm going to see that movie again, but anteayer (for NSS, this means 'day 'fo yesterday') I was on my way to the theatre on the bus, and so of course arrived late for the 4:30 show. Instead of going to the show at 7, for some reason I just decided to go see another movie instead. Oh , yeah, I remember. It was because I was on the last of my cash and wanted to use it to see something new. Anyway, I saw Mad Hot Ballroom, and I liked it as well... but I'm stilll stuck on Crash. As I told David, it's like 'Traffic'... it's like Traffic's big brother.
One thing that does puzzle me, though, is why this movie hasn't got the press of other movies here. I mean, it's showing at Fine Arts, not at Plaza Las Americas or another theatre that gets mad play, and I along with everyone else I know who has seen it think that it it's a major Oscar contender. But then I was discussing it with my mama, and she asked me what it was about, and I said... "Race... and violence. Really, about how people interact." And she replied, "There you go. That's the big secret in this country. No one wants to talk about race."

This is a shame. Everybody get off your tushies and go see Crash because it's an excellent movie with an ensemble cast and truly great acting. Make the effort to get OVER the culturalization that race is not to be discussed. Please.

Anyway. 'Crash' made me examine my own perceptions about race... as a Black woman but also how I think other people should act. I know I cringed SEVERAL times at the realism of the things one wife said to her husband after an act of impropriety by a policeman...I cried like 3 times, not from just sadness but by overwhelming recognition of a situation the characters faces. The screenplay is AWESOME here, but I have to give it to the actors. They are like people from my own life. Especially Ludacris, Lorenz Tate, Sandra Bullock, Thandie Newton (SISTAH ACTED HER ASS OFF!),Ryan Phillipe, and Matt Dillon as an absolutely scary but human man. Whoa. Go see it go see it go see!

'Nada, Ima bounce. Love you people.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Drastically Discontent

I woke up this morning discontent, and the feeling continues. Be warned. This post is going to be more like 'barf on paper' (thank you Miss Mahin) than any post I've written in a while.

I woke up unhappy this morning. And I felt the old stalker of depression breathing down my neck. I woke up way late, and so couldn't get to Guayama like I'd planned. I needed to go to Guayama to get my license, which three weeks after my purse was removed from my home I still haven't had replaced because of all the damned bureaucratic bullisht I have to go through in order to do so.

Last night, I saw the movie 'Crash'. Highly recommended. Loved it. I'll get to the synopsis and all that in a sec, but what I'm saying right now is that it REALLY REALLY REALLY affected me. I was deep in thought about that movie and all that happened in it for hours after I'd caught the bus home. Which probably didn't help me sleep, after I'd watched the finals in Odalys' apartment and then gone to bed late... which didn't help me get up early this morning... so I set myself up for a great part of what I'm feeling.

Back to today. I'd spoken to my old boss at the multicultural student center at my alma mater yesterday, basically letting him know that I'm looking for a job in the DC area. I'm hedging bets in the job arena period, (which is causing me some indecision about what I'm gonna to tomorrow that I'll get to in a second) because 1) I don't know what I DO want to do, I just know what I DON'T want to do, and 2) I don't know WHERE I want to live, much less what I want to do. I'm getting back to my old fear of not being able to support myself. I do NOT want to go back to Cincinnati with my parents, I've posponed (sp? I can't even flippin' spell in English anymore, yaRabb!) Columbia until next year, and so basically I have a year to play with. Hmph. I have to eat during that year, and my apartment is expensive and tiny. And I actually wanted to SAVE money during the year, not just scrape by, which is what looks like I'll have to do . I'm not a happy camper when I think of all this. If I were a comic strip character by now I'd have a big dark thought bubble over my head detailing my emotional state.

Spent most of the morning dozing after I saw that I wasn't going to be able to get to Guayama without paying the ridiculous $40 the guagua publica driver asks for after the first bus leaves. Read a little. Ate mostly food that's bad for me, including cold pizza and way too much soda, which I bought because I was feeling bad. I have no cereal or milk substitute and felt just too tired to be cooking even though I wasn't really tired tired. I don't know how to explain it. Again, I set myself up for these things.

Got a phone call from my girl Efua, who now works at the MSSC, since she saw the message that I'd left for Mr. Cannaday the evening before, and we chatted, but then since my old classmate Trash (a play on his real name) was around, I asked her to transfer me to him. I speak to him, seriously, like once a year, normally about this time every year, not sure how that happens but whatever. He's happy; finished his master's in higher ed admin, so now he's scoping out different jobs in the area. We chit-chatted about various classmates and what they're doing, and he mentioned that his girlfriend also finished her masters and has a position working at that other university up the street from our alma mater.
I should mention here that his girlfriend is one of the few people on earth that I genuinely have hated. I mean, such that I am STILL struggling to forgive her four years later... praying for God swt to help me open my heart and not go off when I hear her name. Hearing that she's doing well, elicited a "that's awesome!" from me, which is a pure lie, but like I said, I have hated her. AstaghfirUllah, God forgive me. Those of you who know me personally know who this is and why this is. Anyway, point being that when I hung up with Trash, having discussed a bunch of people I haven't talked to in a while, I felt even worse. Hating his girlfriend and berating myself for doing so because it has no point, it just makes me feel guiltier because I should get over it, and the chick ain't thinking about me, and wondering about a couple of those friends we'd discussed , since one has stopped returning my phone calls and I just miss the rest of the bunch. I'm happy, finally, or getting to a happy place here in portareeco. But today was a bad day.

Feeling so damned horrible, though, was the reason I finally pulled on some real clothes, make up my bed, glance around my extremely messy apartment with a promise to myself to clean it, and head to the comp lab. I just checked my email. I couldn't even write this until hours later. I just felt bad. I'm feeling better with every word I write, but there are still issues out there.

La directora was nice to me, and drove through my neighborhood to deliver my paycheck, which brought home the fact that I really really should have gotten my license today, since I have no way to cash it or deposit it until I do... or I do, but my account is compromised until I can change it... so, yeah, need license. During our convo, I asked her if she'd heard about the convocatorias, the teacher tryouts that are a crucial part of my backup job plan. Basically (I think I've described this in some of my first posts), if you're a teacher without a permanent license here on the rock, you have to go EVERY year to a meeting and pick your school, kinda like a lottery, but with a lot of BS mixed in, such as a health certificate, birth certificate and I9, police background check, etc. etc., and then you're informed of the choice like two weeks later, when, after passing the drug test, you're allowed to work for the public schools for three months before they pay you if you're lucky. The puertorican government has been shot in the foot by this ridiculous method of paying new/unlicensed teachers. Sorry, I get quite pissed over this.

Point is, the convocatoria is tomorrow at 2pm. Great. I can't count on getting down and back to Guayama in time to be there, and if I'm not there, my (already small) chances of getting the position that I had this past year plummet to almost zero, plus I'll have to wait until August and the opening of the lottery again to apply for a school, thus lengthening the time I spend without a paycheck and benefits unless I pay for them. Hoo-ray.

It was at this point that I bought a fried chicken and biscuit dinner, complete with fake mashed potatoes and a soda (pepsi! not even coke!), and scarfed all down. Followed by a Djarum. I told you I felt bad. My (cute and cool) neighbors all passed through our tiny lil courtyard, saw me eating and smiled, and let me be. I felt sooo bad after that though that I had to just go sit in my darkened room and pray. *Sigh*. God always answers prayers in God's fashion... I found the push to get off my bed again and come write this. So now I feel good enough to quit narrating my day and actually think about what's wrong here.

Hamdullah, I've had the opportunity over the past couple days to do some real reading and thinking, and this isn't the problem so much as the cause of some of my symptoms. For example, I went back and bought that book edited by Taigi Smith that I talked about in this blog a while back. LOVE THAT BOOK. But tis about the relationships between Black men and women. While I like thinking about that, it brings me hard to the point that I've Never Been In A Relationship With Anyone, Let Alone A Black Man.

Really, what do I want here?
1) A clean house
2) A relationship with God
3) A relationship with a Man
4) A clear idea of what I'm doing to do for the next year.

I've got twenty minutes left before the lab closes. Let's see how much I can do, here.

The clean house issue: I fugging hate cleaning. No. That's simplistic. I hate spending time on tasks that I feel could be more enjoyably spent on something else, especially since cleaning isn't a definite task you can do and be DONE. You're ALWAYS having to flipping clean! This is my main and grand irritation with house chores in general. I'll cook, I'll make beds, I'll wash and fold away clothes, I'll sweep, but I don't want to do all that (besides making the beds; I'm fastidious about that) every day. Not even twice a week. The problem with Living is that the Cleaning doesn't stay done. It's funny, 'cuz I'm nuts about cleaning at work. But then, not only is it not as messy as my house, but I feel like I'm being paid for it, so it's more worth it. I guess I don't really care about my ownself, except that I like living in a clean space. Maddening, huh. Suffice it to say that if I had a boyfriend, my house would be clean, and I know that because whenever I have a lot of guy friends who randomly drop by, I'm neater. I care about what others think in this arena. I'm rambling.
Beyond that, I detest throwing away possessions, and I don't know what to do with them. My house is full of books that I don't want to throw away when I think someone else would be happy to have them. Seeing as how I'd be happier to have them if there were space for them in my (tiny) studio apartment. I guess y'all can guess that my dream house has wall-built bookshelves in almost all of the rooms, huh? Point being that I haven't yet forced myself to begin cleaning since it involves not only cleaning itself but separating myself from my things, the things that replace my family in my physical security zone... being that my family is so damn far away. If my sister were here, she'd have told me what to do and I'd have done it already. Want another excuse? I don't have all the 'cleaning stuff', like terry towels and sponges and such, that I'd want when I feel the random cleaning energy that takes over and leaves my house sparkling. This happens quite often, but if the stuff isn't there I just find something else to do.

I feel like I'm on a psych couch pouring out my guts. I suppose I am, and I only have to pay $3.50 an hour to do so... which is more than the base rate for my waitressing job at PB. Which brings me to number two with ten minutes left:

The relationship with a Man (let's leave me and God to me and God, we're ok just now.), haven't had one and it bothers me not just for the fact itself, but because as a tall Black woman living on this rock I already have so many places I can base any lil ole insecurity. I'm not looking for a prince. I'm not. I'll take a human, just regular joe. Doesn't even have to be Black (hell, here it's near impossible) but I want a man in my life. I've been over this, go read my previous blogs. Nothing has changed.... I keep going through points where people close to me at work or school are hooking up, and I'm envious. Not jealous of the person, but seeing them with something that I know is lacking for my mental health. Sure, I can and do and will get along without a man just fine. But I'd never really been the type of girl to mean it when I say that I don't need a man. I want one. Now. Darnit. I always have... since about 14. And not once have I had one. What I have had are all types of tipos abnormales, dudes who are uniformly at least 5 inches shorter than I and twenty years older. What the hell is that about? Can a sista get a holla from someone who wasn't a grown-ass man when she was born? I just want to be hugged tight for a long time. I want to feel appreciated by someone who will let me appreciate him right back. Damn. My twennyfourth birthday is in less than a month and I don't know of a man not related to me who cares enough to remember such. This is making me cry out...inside.

I got three minutes. Let's see what I actually do tomorrow. Y'all take care. Pray for me.


Thursday, June 09, 2005

Mah Money is Funny...

Submitted to the Radical Women of Color Carnival :

Wow, it has been a while.

And I'm almost out of internet minutes. Joy.
*Edited by TwennyTwo June 9 2005 at 20:03 Atlantic Standard Time*

Which made me think of something 'we' like to say (I'm not getting into who exactly 'we' is just now. If the shoe fits, wear it.)

You know, there has come many a time a point when Mama or Papa or Auntie or Granny or even you yourself has been out of money. But when a situation is just that dire, no one seems to want to say, "Honey, I have no money."

We have to put the spin on it; folk say, "I'm broke."

Those of us who don't like the connotation of being broken over not having a few pieces of paper in our wallets or electrons in our accounts, say: "Chile, I'm broke 'den a joke!"

Even when we have no funds, we have our humor. And that, people, is everything. Way more than the means to eat and pay the bills. That, we've found, will come.

You can see this attitude just about everywhere, even in our music. How about Kanye West's 'We Don't Care', the first song on his 'College Dropout' CD (said CD makes fun of not having a college degree at every turn. I love it. See item on humor above.): "Sittin in the hood like community colleges/ This dope money here is Lil Trays scholarship/ 'Cause aint no to tuition for havin no ambition/And aint no loans for sittin your ass at home/ So we forced to sell crack, rap, and get a job/ You gotta do something, man, your ass is grown..." Or try this, " Drug game is bulemic/ It's hard to get weight/ Nucca's money is homo/It's hard to get straight/ So we gon' keep baking 'til the day we get cake/ And we don't care what people say..."

I'ma wear that CD out. But anyway, Kanye makes my point. We dance all around our money: call it food names (ahem, those who deny this: cheddar, cheese, cake...), but even when it's serious it has got to be funny.

Which gets me to my point: my money is funny! Even when it's weird though, I make it into being funny, ha ha. And that's just what gets me and the rest of us by.

Yesterday I spent SEVEN ENTIRE HOURS just in getting out to Carolina and back to replace my license... and I haven't replaced it yet. That was just so they could give me an appt. to do the whole journey over on Monday. Not having a car in this country should legally qualify as torture. Especially since there are THREE cars per person on this lil ol' beautiful rock. WTH?

Gotta run. Check this out: I was reading it today and was fascinated.