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A Happy Birthday to one Miss AL-X 10 November, 2009

Posted by silentpyjamas in shout-outs, thing-a-lings.
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It has become the tenth of November and Alex is 7 now. Woohoo!
You may recall my banner was made by Goonigoogoo of Bigger than Cheeses. What you may not know is that every year for the past five years, and until Alex is 18, he has an agreement with me to draw a picture of her for her birthday. Pretty much every year I begin to remind him around Sept, he groans about it, and then finally I get a photo to him just in time and he makes something magic with it! I thought that this year I would put up a gallery of the past 5 years of birthday images. This year’s is a really awesome one! I hope you like these images as much as Alex does. It’s a great way to look back on not only how she’s grown, but 6 birthdays of awesome drawings by a big-time comic meister!

Thanks Goon! ❤ You're awesome <3<3

A little secret about me 8 November, 2009

Posted by silentpyjamas in inflammatory!.
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Sometimes, I wish I were a white girl. Not because I think white girls are better or prettier or something. I love my skin color, my features, my boingy hair. Sometimes I wish I were a white girl because I could go hide, in a far-removed white community away from the specters of racism and self-hatred. I don’t hate my blackness, but sometimes I’m encouraged by other black people to do so.

What brought this on is a little journey I took online this evening to find ways to teach my niece to love her hair. That’s her in the flickr feed on the sidebar. She has gorgeous hair. It’s curly and springy and it’s a beautiful color and it fits her just right. She would rather look like Hannah Montana. She doesn’t care to see the new Disney princess movie (I hate Disney Princesses for the record, but I think The Princess and The Frog might be a neat film) because the princess is black. Where is this coming from? My sister and I don’t teach her these things. We don’t ever use the phrase “good hair” or tell her that her hair is a pain to work with. We don’t ever tell her that white is prettier but she believes it. It hurts my heart so. How do we fix this?

So I began this little journey tonight, to find information. To find ways to reinforce to her that SHE is beautiful and she is more than the sum of her assorted parts. I found some great blogs which exulted inner beauty and the idea that every type of person has his or her own beauty which simply cannot be compared against others.

Then I ran across this thread which answered questions I never even really considered asking or wanted to know the answers to. I managed to make it down to the bottom of the first page before I left. “So what?” I thought. Kooks abound on the web and who’s to say that’s not an entire comment thread full of trolls?

My Google search term was “teach little black girls to love their hair” and I kept running across various posts about the new black Barbie, one of which I finally read. Some of those comments…wow. I don’t really know what to say. I didn’t even know the phrase “these people” was still in use and I was pretty stunned by this particular comment which I found barely decipherable:

“So, da baby mommas is don gettin all wiggly coz dey gots straight hair. Hoo, boy. Dats dis crim in na shun! Dey not only ones with black hair. Ever see Indian from India. Dem mommas knows non thing.”

What IS that? Is that even necessary?

Ignoring that I moved on to a post with a very awesome video linked and a GREAT comments discussion about hair in general and a bit of the differences between the hair types of different ethnicities. It has the amusing title of “Attention Black People with Jobs” and I quite liked it and felt buoyed by the discourse. Don’t get me wrong, some of the comments on the Barbie article were good, like the ones saying that Barbie is pretty completely unrealistic in comparison to any race/ethnicity of people. That I can deal with.

What I was not prepared for was this whopper of an essay which I kept seeing links to in my search results. I wasn’t even sure why it cropped up so often until I realized about 3 paragraphs in that every fifth word in the article is “black” or “blacks”. It’s written by a schoolteacher who wanted to share with the world what savages we negroes really are. I was taken aback, flabberghasted, aghast, and at a loss for a reaction. I still don’t know what to think about this and I haven’t even read the whole thing. For those who are interested, it’s contained in a blog post by Marty Nemko (who did not write it) and it is entitled “What is it Like to Teach Black Students?” Now I haven’t read the rest of Mr. Nemko’s blog because I was trying to find a link to this essay that wasn’t on some insane message board or on some racist website. I can’t say anything about Mr. Nemko’s politics but the essay is contained there. For the record, I search by the name of the essay and hoo boy I learned there are sites out there where people really, really express their hatred. A few kooks on the internet indeed. It looks like there are a lot of kooks. Do they live in my town? Do I pass them in the store? Is one of them the guy who only grimaced at me when I smiled at him in the grocery store? Did he feel, as one person did in the Topix post linked above, that blacks (including myself) look like apes?

What a scary world we live in. A world where my six year old niece is full of self-loathing for a reason my sister and I cannot fathom. A world in which a schoolteacher, who is a sort of person I always envisioned loves children and sees the potential in each, can write an essay in which he absolutely excoriates pretty much the entire black race. Am I to believe there are scores and scores of parents out there that don’t give their children what is commonly known as “home training”? Or am I to believe that there is a teacher who, upon seeing students of the brown persuasion, automatically associates them all with savages?

I’ve BEEN looked at like that. I’ve been told that I’m a credit to my race. Been told that “I wish more of your people were like you.” I’ve been called a “house nigger” and “high yellow” by people of my own ethnicity while from the lighter persuasion I’ve heard that I’m the “kind of girl it’s okay to have fun with but you don’t bring her kind home.” I’ve been told that I “talk white” and that my parents are sellouts because they worked really hard to buy a home with a pool. That I’m a sellout because occasionally I entertain relationships with not-black men. That I’m a sellout because I read science fiction or that I’m ghetto because sometimes I wear my hair in twists which resemble braids. At the same time I have encountered such wonderful people of all ethnicities who are open and warm and who don’t judge by those measures and I should be happy and thankful, and I am, but it stings. It stings every time I realize that no matter what I achieve, no matter what President Obama achieves, no matter what all those black people in space have achieved, we’re still niggers and that is all we will ever be in the eyes of way more people than I had ever imagined. That cuts down to the bone, and to know the echoes of that pain in the voice and eyes of a young girl is like the realization that the knife is made of salt.

There’s no end to the amount of despair I feel right now. I want my niece to grow up to love herself, to know she is an intelligent and beautiful young lady and that she has the potential to do as much as she aspires and applies herself to. I know someday she must hear the dreaded N-word and someday she must come to us asking what’s so wrong with her just because of the ethnicity she was born into. How can we tell her that there are people in the world, a lot of them, who will never see past that? People who will never think of her as the girl who can draw and read wiring diagrams or the girl who wants to fold proteins or the girl who enjoys science fiction but only if it asks questions. People to whom it does not and will never matter one whit that black people get degrees and doctorates and can be the president because deep down inside we’re all monkeys, right? God, I am so angry right now and so in pain. What the fuck, people?

So yes, that’s my dirty little secret. Sometimes I wish I could look, from a removed stance, and see the things that exist with regard to race from a position of noninvolvement. I think a white girl is about as racially and sexually safe as you can get with regards to issues of color, ethnicity, and privilege. And no, I don’t think this is exclusive to black/white. It’s ugly everywhere and to everyone and damn, I swear one time I thought that someday, it might go away.

This is all I really have to say right now 31 October, 2009

Posted by silentpyjamas in blather and claptrap.
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Stephenie Meyer: The Utimate Troll

C'mon tell me she isn't

I know I spelled her name wrong in the image. Don’t be mad (Unless you’re a Twilight-head then feel free. Your madness started long ago). I tried to read Twilight several times since last year. I’m struggling to make it past Chapter 2. That’s how bad it is. And I’ve read the Gor novels. I was fighting with MSPaint and by the time I realized it was wrong I was too damn tired to try to fix it. If you disagree with me check out any number of anti-Twilight websites and posts. A troll’s job is to rile people up, right? Her work here is done (but I bet she won’t stop).

And now for something completely unrelated 29 October, 2009

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I noticed today that Burger King’s burgers are small. I like this. They are not insubstantial and it took me a while to eat one of these little burgers, but I have this guilt thing where I feel like if I have something like a burger I have to eat the whole thing lest I crap upon the suffering of some starving child somewhere. It is nice to know someone is thinking about those of us who have to eat some candy at the end of the day to meet daily caloric requirements because we can’t eat piles of food without feeling gross. I don’t even LIKE candy but I would like my body not to begin hiding calories from this exercise I keep doing and we’re out of fruit.

I shouldn’t have eaten all the fries though.

What do I do now? 28 October, 2009

Posted by silentpyjamas in blather and claptrap.
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I spent the day watching Lord of the Rings with my sister and niece. We’ve already seen The Fellowship of the Ring so we decided to watch the second one today. Then we had to watch the third because it was too actiony not to. It got our minds off things.

I still don’t know what I am supposed to think. It seems simple enough: these men deserve my anger for reneging on their agreements with the State of Nevada and trying to change things. I had reached a point of forgiveness. I had put the death penalty out of my mind. Most of all I had finally let my brother become lost in the perspective of time, growing smaller in my sight but not in my heart. I finally could accept what happened and move on because I had been pierced through the heart with the evidence of it and seen justice being done. Only now it wants to become undone and I don’t know if I can go backward that way. Am I to renege also, to take back my forgiveness? I don’t think I can feel mercy for a man sitting at the defendant’s table while I look again at grisly death photos and listen to testimony about how he and his friend died. I really don’t want to reach a point of anger like I did before, either. I’ve been through that and I don’t want to again.

A friend told me I shouldn’t go to the hearing or to any new trials if they happen. I can’t not go. I have to be there. I have to.

So this leaves me wondering if I am supposed to level up. Do I need +50 Maturity? +100 Strength? With my Cha stat help me with this at all? I hope there’s something because I feel low on mana. Real low.

I wish I knew the answers to this stuff. Without some distraction my mind has come back to this and there it will dwell unless otherwise occupied. It will only get worse as Monday approaches. My appetite has already gone and I feel restless and angry. In the back of my mind I have fear and doubt. The evidence was enough to convict them. Ciolino allocuted and thus had no trial. But now they are claiming wrongdoing on the part of the State. Could this be even a little bit true? What will this mean? And if it means one or both of them can walk free will I feel cheated and angry like many do? I certainly don’t blame them. Or has it been long enough that I can just go on and say “They spent one-third of their lives in prison and that is enough.”?

Waking up to a nightmare world: Return to the Building of Tragedy 27 October, 2009

Posted by silentpyjamas in blather and claptrap.
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I propose a detour. If you’d like to know what I’m talking about in this post I recommend reading these old blog posts from my old emo blog. These are a chronicle of our days in court and some newspaper articles linked which covered the story. I was going to try to hide all the other posts because it’s the lamest blog ever but I just don’t feel like it. And I shouldn’t be ashamed to say I was emo and dorky and a whole lot of other things a few years ago, including a drama queen, a diva, and a bunch of other not-that-awesome stuff. I’m still kind of a diva but I try not to be so dramatic about it these days.

“Building of tragedy” is the name given to the Clark County Courthouse in downtown Las Vegas, NV by Glenn Puit who covered the court proceedings of the two men who murdered my brother. Glenn’s gone on to writing crime fiction but the phrase still stands.

And so it will be again, at least for my family and me when we darken its doorstep once again on 2 Nov. Next Monday. It seems one Ralph E. Goodman III and Stephen F. Ciolino have decided they do not care for their life sentences without parole and would like, more than anything in the world, to have their convictions overturned. Woke up and it was grey outside and it’s, like my sister said, as if the weather knew we were going to get bad news today.

I’m not as emo about it as I used to be, which makes it a little harder somehow because the pain is targeted now. I don’t have the whine and the wibble and the flailing around like I did before, now I just have whatever it is grown-ups have when they’re dealing with this kind of shit.

I’m not looking for sympathy, pity, or any other such thing. If I’m looking for anything, it’s understanding of how this can happen. I know our system allows for just this sort of thing but Ciolino pled guilty and allocuted, now he’s claiming tampering and wants a trial. He pled, of his own free will. How in the world can evidence tampering be an issue now? How could they have waited for so long to bring these complaints up? These questions are flying around me like gnats and I can’t find any answers. I suppose I will learn the answer on 2 Nov at our sick little reunion. Us and them, all in the court at the same time.

The Nature of Twevil 22 October, 2009

Posted by silentpyjamas in blather and claptrap, pimpery, shout-outs.
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I’ve been twittering like crazy. It’s neat to just meet people and talk to them. Yesterday I had a really great conversation on the nature of evil with a twitter friend which I would like to reproduce here. By reproduce I mean go through and turn into delicious copypasta. All the @’s after the first refer to who the tweet was addressed to.

(from @Alaksir) I could never understand some people’s pursuit of painting others as evil. Perhaps it makes them feel they’re better than everyone else.

@alaksir does this include or exclude actual “evil” people?

@silentpyjamas I really don’t believe there are actual evil people, well, unless in an MMOG of course, LOL

@alaksir really? I believe in evil people. It’s an argument I had with my brother many times, for he did not believe in evil people.

@silentpyjamas Okay, probably some people are more inclined toward evil than others, but I think everyone has similar tendencies

@alaksir I think, I guess, it is intent which means evil or not. I may be biased, however. Said brother was murdered

@silentpyjamas Oh man, I’m deeply sorry

@alaksir I don’t, however, believe the criminals in this case were evil. Whether I continue to feel so remains to be seen

@silentpyjamas You have every right to feel otherwise, I think

@alaksir oh absolutely! I think that it is whether the person is intent on pleasing themselves at the expense of others, again and again…

@silentpyjamas Thanks! That is also my opinion =)

@alaksir which is the demarcation for evil. If someone simply does not care, even if they know they are wrong, they’re leaning toward evil

@silentpyjamas Yeah, then people who are constantly pursuing to paint others as evil would actually be themselves evil

@alaksir It’s always been a big question for me and I ponder it periodically. It’s good to know I am not alone in thinking about it

@silentpyjamas It is a big question for any thinking people I think

@alaksir I can agree with that. No good can come of trying to spoil the reputation of another

@silentpyjamas Anyone who can feel empathy toward people marked as evil by others has certain virtue about them. It can be quite difficult.

@alaksir I concur. I think the answer a person arrives at is likely to strongly color their ability to empathize with “evil” persons

@silentpyjamas I think you are right. It is always much easier to blame others for our own shortcomings, even if we know what they are

@alaksir It can be difficult. At the same time, there is always the element of the fear of seeing some of them in one’s self and vice versa

@alaksir I think that’s why it’s a lot easier to Other them that way. It’s very easy to turn a blind eye to shared qualities with “evil”

@alaksir We may not all BE evil, but I have yet to meet someone who hasn’t DONE evil even once, ever in their lives

@silentpyjamas Nobody, except in fables and religious tales of course

Afterward we thanked one another for a fun convo. To be honest, I never expected to have such a great conversation with a total stranger in volleys of 140 characters or less. It was a good time and a thought-provoking chat. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Also seen on twitter, a link to the art of one @FatChickInLA which can be seen here. This lady is talented and I can’t even pick which one of her works I like best. She’s got it going on, man. Check it out!

Please feel free to add me on twitter, I can’t say I tweet about anything terribly interesting (well maybe a little) but it’s always nice to have more people to talk to all the time.

If you’re a twitter pal, hi!

Final note before I sign off for the night, Sunday (Sunday Sunday) the completely awesome (<3) @Abbalinio is helping me to attempt to create a couple of trendig topics, so if you tweet please tweet #pepperoniday and #RobotOverlords (previously my sister @SimianMobile and I have been rocking the RO) so that these topics of mine can achieve fame and fortune. I just wanna be cool!

Puhups and Situps and Squats (Oh My!) 22 October, 2009

Posted by silentpyjamas in blather and claptrap.
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This week I began some working out. I’m always talking about it and never getting around to it because I feel sort of like it’s pointless. Getting in shape itself isn’t pointless, but I haven’t become any less insecure.

Well maybe a little.

I have made it to day 2 and I feel pretty good. My body is aching but it’s alright. I’m doing One Hundred Pushups, Two Hundred Situps, and Two Hundred Squats. I will make it through all 6 weeks because I’ll be 35 next April and there’s no reason not to look fabulous on my birthday.

Another post momentarily. Gotta take some Advil!

You Sail Away (Mu) 21 October, 2009

Posted by silentpyjamas in poem-tree.
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A followup to this poem (it’s really from here, the short link was just because I was too lasy to copy the long one).

A sky so blue
Echoed only in the blue of the sea
And your eyes

You came a-sailing
I forgot the rules
I should have burned my flags

I saw your smile in the summer sun
So open and warm
Where could be any harm?
The wonders you’ve shown
And the seeds that you’ve sown
Turn the wheel and sail away

I’m used to all the solitude
Me and the fishes
Me and the birds

The outside world is fraught with danger
The kind they warn about
The kind that hurts

I wish I never heard of the summer sun
I prefer the night breeze
Whispering through the trees
The silence is stark
With me here in the dark
Watch the stars and sail away

I believe you’ll be guided by the summer sun
To the place of your dreams
Hope it is what it seems
Brave sailor you’ve found
What is forbidden ground
Turn your back and sail away

So Busy 21 October, 2009

Posted by silentpyjamas in blather and claptrap.
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I’ve been a little busy lately.  Have a lot of projects in the pipe and I didn’t think I would ever catch up with my backlog but I have been, slowly.

This is just a short post to let people know that I am indeed still posting.  I’m slow slow slow, but I’m getting there.  I’m trying to think of something even remotely interesting in my personal life to blog about but I just want to make Kanye jokes.  Thank heaven he’s not dead or it would be in poor taste.

Too soon?