just a little update

ok so i'm off work this week (yay!), and since i am still without technology at home, you won't see me much until next week.

but i've got some cool shit in the works...

i would say more, but i wanna finish up my panang (w/ tofu, of course. and i can't really taste any fish sauce either...but it's so damn good that if it's there, i don't care. if you're in the md/va/dc area, check out cafe asia if you get a chance) before i have to run off to yoga class, plus i have to get home and change clothes first and...

you get the idea.

but let me just say that while i'm happy for a sista's success & all, tyra gets on my damn nerves. probably just my personal problem. but i'm interested in tomorrow's show...

see y'all sometime after 12/5.

love & peace

(p.s....if this tour is coming to a city near you, GO, DAMMIT, GO)


so the restaurant we were gonna hit is closed....

dude's checking on another option....

we may wind up just holed up in the kitchen together...which wouldn't be such a bad thing.

no thanks to thanksgiving

One indication of moral progress in the United States would be the replacement of Thanksgiving Day and its self-indulgent family feasting with a National Day of Atonement accompanied by a self-reflective collective fasting.

In fact, indigenous people have offered such a model; since 1970 they have marked the fourth Thursday of November as a Day of Mourning in a spiritual/political ceremony on Coles Hill overlooking Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts, one of the early sites of the European invasion of the Americas.

Not only is the thought of such a change in this white-supremacist holiday impossible to imagine, but the very mention of the idea sends most Americans into apoplectic fits -- which speaks volumes about our historical hypocrisy and its relation to the contemporary politics of empire in the United States.

That the world's great powers achieved "greatness" through criminal brutality on a grand scale is not news, of course. That those same societies are reluctant to highlight this history of barbarism also is predictable.

But in the United States, this reluctance to acknowledge our original sin -- the genocide of indigenous people -- is of special importance today. It's now routine -- even among conservative commentators -- to describe the United States as an empire, so long as everyone understands we are an inherently benevolent one. Because all our history contradicts that claim, history must be twisted and tortured to serve the purposes of the powerful.

you can read the entire article here.


antiques roadshow and thanks(for nothing)giving

i like antiques roadshow. it's rather neat to see people come in with something they paid $2 for that winds up being worth over $10,000. every thrift store shopper and garage sale-addict's dream, right?

but sometimes i'm a little disturbed by the finds and heirlooms folks bring in.

last night they were in oklahoma city, and various references came up regarding indian territory. according to wikipedia:

The Indian Territory served as the destination for the policy of Indian Removal, a policy pursued intermittently by American presidents early in the nineteenth century, but aggressively pursued by President Andrew Jackson after the passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The Five Civilized Tribes in the south were the most prominent tribes displaced by the policy, a relocation that came to be known as the Trail of Tears. The trail ended in what is now Arkansas and Oklahoma, where there were already many American Indians living in the territory, as well as whites and escaped slaves. Other tribes, such as the Delaware, Cheyenne, and Apache were also forced to relocate to the Indian territory.

The Five Civilized Tribes set up towns such as Tulsa, Ardmore, Tahlequah, Muskogee and others, which often became some of the larger towns in the state. They also brought their African slaves to Oklahoma, which added to the African-American population in the state.

In time the Indian Territory was gradually reduced to what is now Oklahoma and, with the organization of Oklahoma Territory, the eastern half of the state. The citizens of Indian Territory tried in 1905 to gain admission to the union as the State of Sequoyah but were rebuffed by Washington. With statehood in November 1907, Indian Territory was extinguished. Many American Indians continue to live in Oklahoma, especially in the eastern part.

my mother recently saw an episode where a pair of native american moccasins was appraised at something like $25,000. apparently it's rare to find artifacts from these people, and they had never been worn.

she said that she would put the shoes up for auction and give the money back to the nation who made them.

it would be nice if you heard that more often, wouldn't it?

it's easy for some to forget how this country was built and whose homes were trampled upon to expand this nation from the atlantic to the pacific. this history has left us with a salad bowl--not a melting pot, imo--of peoples and tensions that have never been properly explored, examined, healed, or even revealed. there are too many who do not understand their stake in this land from a holistic perspective.

everyone resting on this land has a story to tell.

which leads me, naturally, to the upcoming holiday season.

please consider the spirit, if not the practice, of buy nothing day. i touched on the idea of a sustainable future yesterday. at the rate we're going, we don't have a great chance at said future.

there are some of us who are able to downshift and simply won't hear of the idea of giving up the pretty baubles we enjoy from day to day.

be thankful for the real things in life...the things that don't cost a dime, and that you'd still have even if you were dirt broke and living in a crappy studio apartment like the one you had in college.

and if none of those things have a presence in your life, reevaluate.

that said, i hope everyone reading this winds up with a full belly and good memories by thursday evening. do everything you can to skip the drama (whatever that may mean for you & yours) this holiday season.



and on another note....

why do they always have to have these massive layoffs just before the holidays? are you telling me they couldn't have waited a month and a half?? not that anything would truly soften the blow...

i suppose it has something to do with clearing things up by the end of the fiscal year, but nobody wants to hear that bullshit.

america is determined to shoot herself in the foot. we are not keeping up with the times, and it's beginning to show.

unless we wanna wind up in paris' shoes, it's time to wake up, folks.

two americas

what the hell is up with fresno?

This city at the heart of the richest farmland in the world has been poor for so long, no one can remember it otherwise. Last month, when the Brookings Institution issued a report that said a higher proportion of poor people in Fresno lived in areas of concentrated poverty than in any other major city in the country - pre-Katrina New Orleans was number two - no one here was surprised...

...[Fresno mayor Alan] Autry said that although officials have no idea how many illegal immigrants live in Fresno (the city is about 45 percent Latino, mostly Mexican, with a rising number of Hmong refugees), 20 percent of the people in the county jails are illegal immigrants. About one quarter of emergency room visits are from illegal immigrants and the vast majority of the tenants in the worst housing in the worst neighborhoods are immigrants, presumably including illegal immigrants.

"If we don't have a policy that allows an immigrant to come across with their dignity and their respect as well as their work ethic, we're going to pay an awful price," Autry said. "We already are."...

But illegal immigration...cannot be blamed for all of Fresno's woes. As those fleeing the skyrocketing housing prices in Southern California and the San Francisco Bay area have converged here in the past three years, land and housing prices have increased by nearly 60 percent... Meanwhile, rents have increased by nearly 15 percent.

i'm still amazed at the fact that i can go to a store full of food on any given day and buy just about anything i want, and there may be someone in the apartment next to mine half starved.

ppl are still jumping over the border (well, the border that jumped them anyway) to get to this country because they want something better for their children. but i'm sure it hurts more when their babies turn against them in favor of the ruthless and sometimes soulless "american way".

what's the win-win solution for these immigrants?

how can they stake out a living for themselves without having to succumb to the vices and pitfalls of american culture?

is a hovel in america really better than a shack at home?

is there some way to improve their quality of life at home so that they don't have to go thru heartache here?

where does the sustainable future for us all lie?

obviously, i can't speak to what would make these people risk life & limb to get here. still, when i hear that ppl in other lands are still telling their children about our gold-paved streets, all i can think--as the descendent of kidnapped and bound "immigrants"--is that slavery due to socioeconomic factors is really not a whole lot different from chattel slavery.

granted, at least they willingly came, but the freedom of poverty is even less than the freedom of being human property.

i don't know. just rambling.



have you ever had a moment where your happiness depended on the pain of another?

it is not an easy thing to endure.
particularly when you love that person deeply.


pensées aléatoires

~i'm finding out what a gift it was to have parents devoted to making me feel loved, safe, and secure. not only that...they valued my personhood enough to allow me to become myself. and all this was done without turning me into an insufferable braggart, stuck-up shrew, or spoiled brat.

~i don't have nearly enough sex. my winter solstice present to myself will most likely be a new toy. or two.

~my current job bores me to tears. speaking of jobs, i've only really had "jobs". i have not embarked on any particular career path in my life. i think i'm getting to a point where i need that to change.

~cable knit sweaters = heaven. i also want more heavy shawls/wraps. and a new winter coat which i will probably get from a thrift store to avoid the cookie cutter effect.

~i said i was going to do some work in 5 minutes about an hour ago...

~my camera needs to become a part of my body. part of my tax return may go towards a decent analog cam and plenty of black & white film. i also have digital shots that need to be printed up.

~seen on the train: blk man with huge green rasta crown and silver studio-sized headphones. khaki burlap bag. jeans. earth-brown skin. boots. looked more new york than baltimore. i had an overwhelming desire to know who he was & where he came from.

~i'm fasting for the next solstice.

~i want the poems to come back. and the stories. i need to organize and consolidate my work. i want to stop fighting my creativity and use it instead.

~investment in more tams/crowns soon come...i'm still feeling the need to cover. i feel naked without a headwrap these days.

~i am caught between two worlds.

~my new laptop needs to be easily portable. i wanna do more work outside or at least in places like restaurants and coffeehouses. that's the energy that will keep me going. photoshop will be a must.

~i plan on getting fairly drunk friday night...probably because it'll be the last time i do so for awhile. but i still plan on cutting out most alcohol by age 30.


all i wanna do tonight

is sit with him, maybe watch a movie...listen to some music...
fall asleep in his arms...
wake up to his smile in the morning...

but instead i'm gonna wind up cleaning the apartment and playing with the cat.

*sigh* oh well.
i could always hop out for a drink later, tho...

have a blessed weekend, y'all.


say what?

as seen on alternet...i haven't read this in its entirety, so i'll leave those with a stake in the discussion to speak amongst themselves.

Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible

By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

THE hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has published a teaching document instructing the faithful that some parts of the Bible are not actually true.

The Catholic bishops of England, Wales and Scotland are warning their five million worshippers, as well as any others drawn to the study of scripture, that they should not expect “total accuracy” from the Bible.

“We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision,” they say in The Gift of Scripture.

The document is timely, coming as it does amid the rise of the religious Right, in particular in the US.

Some Christians want a literal interpretation of the story of creation, as told in Genesis, taught alongside Darwin’s theory of evolution in schools, believing “intelligent design” to be an equally plausible theory of how the world began.

But the first 11 chapters of Genesis, in which two different and at times conflicting stories of creation are told, are among those that this country’s Catholic bishops insist cannot be “historical”. At most, they say, they may contain “historical traces”.

The document shows how far the Catholic Church has come since the 17th century, when Galileo was condemned as a heretic for flouting a near-universal belief in the divine inspiration of the Bible by advocating the Copernican view of the solar system. Only a century ago, Pope Pius X condemned Modernist Catholic scholars who adapted historical-critical methods of analysing ancient literature to the Bible.

In the document, the bishops acknowledge their debt to biblical scholars. They say the Bible must be approached in the knowledge that it is “God’s word expressed in human language” and that proper acknowledgement should be given both to the word of God and its human dimensions.

They say the Church must offer the gospel in ways “appropriate to changing times, intelligible and attractive to our contemporaries”.

The Bible is true in passages relating to human salvation, they say, but continue: “We should not expect total accuracy from the Bible in other, secular matters.”

They go on to condemn fundamentalism for its “intransigent intolerance” and to warn of “significant dangers” involved in a fundamentalist approach.

“Such an approach is dangerous, for example, when people of one nation or group see in the Bible a mandate for their own superiority, and even consider themselves permitted by the Bible to use violence against others.”

Of the notorious anti-Jewish curse in Matthew 27:25, “His blood be on us and on our children”, a passage used to justify centuries of anti-Semitism, the bishops say these and other words must never be used again as a pretext to treat Jewish people with contempt. Describing this passage as an example of dramatic exaggeration, the bishops say they have had “tragic consequences” in encouraging hatred and persecution. “The attitudes and language of first-century quarrels between Jews and Jewish Christians should never again be emulated in relations between Jews and Christians.”

As examples of passages not to be taken literally, the bishops cite the early chapters of Genesis, comparing them with early creation legends from other cultures, especially from the ancient East. The bishops say it is clear that the primary purpose of these chapters was to provide religious teaching and that they could not be described as historical writing.

Similarly, they refute the apocalyptic prophecies of Revelation, the last book of the Christian Bible, in which the writer describes the work of the risen Jesus, the death of the Beast and the wedding feast of Christ the Lamb.

The bishops say: “Such symbolic language must be respected for what it is, and is not to be interpreted literally. We should not expect to discover in this book details about the end of the world, about how many will be saved and about when the end will come.”

In their foreword to the teaching document, the two most senior Catholics of the land, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, and Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Archbishop of St Andrew’s and Edinburgh, explain its context.

They say people today are searching for what is worthwhile, what has real value, what can be trusted and what is really true.

The new teaching has been issued as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of Dei Verbum, the Second Vatican Council document explaining the place of Scripture in revelation. In the past 40 years, Catholics have learnt more than ever before to cherish the Bible. “We have rediscovered the Bible as a precious treasure, both ancient and ever new.”

A Christian charity is sending a film about the Christmas story to every primary school in Britain after hearing of a young boy who asked his teacher why Mary and Joseph had named their baby after a swear word. The Breakout Trust raised £200,000 to make the 30-minute animated film, It’s a Boy. Steve Legg, head of the charity, said: “There are over 12 million children in the UK and only 756,000 of them go to church regularly.

That leaves a staggering number who are probably not receiving basic Christian teaching.”



Genesis ii, 21-22

So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man

Genesis iii, 16

God said to the woman [after she was beguiled by the serpent]: “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

Matthew xxvii, 25

The words of the crowd: “His blood be on us and on our children.”

Revelation xix,20

And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had worked the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with brimstone.”


Exodus iii, 14

God reveals himself to Moses as: “I am who I am.”

Leviticus xxvi,12

“I will be your God, and you shall be my people.”

Exodus xx,1-17

The Ten Commandments

Matthew v,7

The Sermon on the Mount

Mark viii,29

Peter declares Jesus to be the Christ

Luke i

The Virgin Birth

John xx,28

Proof of bodily resurrection



i had a dream that i was gazing into a man's eyes...they were indigo-blue and flecked with black....

it was like i could see the entire universe in them.

i felt connected to him somehow...i didn't know/recognize him, but he seemed to have feelings for me. i wanted to look at him forever.

he started to tell me about how he was somewhere doing something that was important to him, and he looked out into the crowd and i wasn't there.

and he cried.

i held him. i could sense how comforted he was by that. his calm seeped over to me.

but in a nice way.

santa, my baby, and me

i've had a friend--as the old folks say--for the past several years.

we love each other and all...but it hasn't been easy.

...not that i expect it to be easy. i've had my share of relationships and probably more than my share of soulmate-worthy experiences, yet even at my most hopeful and naive, i've never expected easy.

but this experience has been...unique. to put it mildly.

e.g., for the last 2 new years of our relationship, by dec. 31st we've either been barely speaking or not together at all.

i'm beginning to realize how things that have happened over the course of those years have--from my point of view--stunted our growth. not to mention made me more shell-shocked (vs. increasingly comfortable) as time goes by.

i mean...first of all, i'm not an off/on kinda woman. either you're in or your out. the fact that we've broken up twice (three times? who's counting...) and bounced back for more has been distressing enough. i've always said that i was NEVER going to be that woman...

but i digress.

the holidays have been our special kind of hell.

as the season approaches once again, i can't help but get a little nervous--even if we did spit our annual quota of venom out over the last part of the summer.

most of you reading can probably tell by now that i don't put a lot of stock into the holiday season, at least not from any religious/material point of view. but it is a time when i get to see family i don't always see, maybe eat some good food, exchange some gifts, and have some fun.

i'm also very used to my significant other factoring into said time period in one way or another. it's just a part of being part of my life. adult commitment. or so i thought.

suffice it to say that i've walked into some land mines with this man.

one thing leads to another and before you know it, a whole year's worth of issues have snowballed into "why can't you just come to..." or "why can't i go with you when..."

as i said: it hasn't been easy.

still, with all that, we have grown.
and i still love him.
and he still loves me.

so here's to hoping that we can make it to dec. 31, 2005 intact, in love, and in friendship.




if you can get your hands on this book, do so.

(note: used bookstores and libraries are probably your best bet...if you find it on amazon or ebay, you're going to probably pay $40+ for it. $30something if you're lucky)

i'm less of a 1/3 of the way through this, but it's an astounding study. if you weren't satisfied with, say, the isis papers, i highly suggest this instead.

ani's ideas--so far, anyway--are not so much controversial as they are a means of de-programming and stepping outside of the usual boundaries of what blk people are exposed to regarding themselves, their worldview, and their culture. we desperately need more scholarship like this.

if you and those around you just can't seem to "fit in", yurugu may hold some answers.