Friday, September 29, 2006

Random Thoughts

I can't breathe. I have a cold and I can't breathe through my nose. I keep touching my forehead to see if I have a fever. Maybe it's time to go to sleep, but it's just 9:06pm. I can't go to sleep this early. Actually, I have before, but I just don't want to get in bed yet. I am home alone on a Friday night. I don't feel like going out anyway. Today, I picked up dinner from a restaurant I discovered a couple of months ago. The last time I was there, I met a guy that I thought was attractive. I called the restaurant a week later and asked him if he wanted to go to a festival with me. He told me he was surprised, and happy, that I called. That was my first time ever doing something like that. He didn't call me back. Today, he told me he was sorry he didn't call and asked me about the event. I was cordial. I didn't throw it in his face.

Last night, an old friend called. I usually have to initiate contact with him (and most of my other male friends), but I was pleasantly surprised to hear from him. Sometimes, when I'm feeling down, I call people that I haven't talked to in a while or I send an egreeting to a bunch of old friends. I do it because I want to let them know that they are on my mind. I also do it because I hope that they return the favor. I know that's selfish, but sometimes I need to know that I am on someone's mind too. Why am I crying? What was so deep about that?

Last week, one of my friends said that I'm an Ice Princess because things don't get to me. I'm probably the most sensitive person she knows - I just don't show it. What's the point in showing people how I feel all the time? They don't care anyway.

Happy thoughts, happy thoughts...
Last night my nephew called my mother "MyMy", her preferred grandmother name. She said he also tried to say, "I love you". I miss them. It seems like half the women at work are pregnant. I hung out with my friend's 3-year old last weekend. She's so smart and funny. She made (pretend) cake for me and we drank (pretend) tea. We sang songs together too. My years of watching PBS (to this day) came in handy. I felt so silly. We had so much fun together.

I'm watching 20/20 and they're talking about gender differences and sex. They are talking about the myth surrounding men desiring more sex and women desire less. Thirty percent of women have a low sex drive. "Women need a context to have sex." We have to be with the right person, in the right mood, at the right time. We can have sex without an orgasm and still be happy. It's all about the emotional connection. We can have emotionless sex too, but that doesn't last very long. At some point, you stop and say that you need a deeper connection. Sex is more than physical. It's hard to tell someone that when they are used to having things (you) their way. It hurts knowing that they don't really want you when you tell them it's over.

Something good is going to happen to me.

I am beautiful no matter what they say
Words can't bring me down
I am beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can't bring me down
So don't you bring me down today
- Christina Aguilera

Monday, September 11, 2006

A Day That Shall Live in Infamy

The 20th century was a very eventful period in our country. Women gained the right to vote. The US participated in 2 world wars, along with a few more wars and a “conflict”.
We started driving cars, which led to the creation of the interstate highway system. We sent a man to space, and he walked on the surface of the moon. We also saw space shuttles that didn’t complete their mission, like the Challenger explosion on my birthday.
We started living longer. We had the British Invasion and the birth of Rock and Roll. A beloved president was assassinated. We also saw advances in human rights in the form of the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Panther Party, LULAC, NAACP, National Urban League, United Farm Workers, labor unions, and more.

I was privileged to grow up in the latter part of the past century in such a place as this. However, the beginning of the 21st century brought a change to the mindsets and actions of people around the globe. The eyes of the world were on the US on September 11, 2001. This was the first time that the US had been attacked on its own territory since Pearl Harbor. The last time there was an actual battle on American soil was during the Civil War. Some might say that we were due to have something happen in this country, because the rest of the world experienced some form of detriment at our hands throughout the 20th century and earlier. On that day, Malcolm’s words rang true. The chickens had come home to roost.

I think that any one who is old enough to remember 9-11-01 has a story to tell. My parents can recount what happened when Kennedy or MLK was assassinated, but my generation has September 11, 2001 - The day that terrorists hijacked several planes and flew into the World Trade Center and The Pentagon. There was another plane headed for an unidentified DC target that was redirected by its passengers. It crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.

This is the story I will tell my children:

It was the beginning of my third year in college. I had a bad summer and the beginning of the school year didn’t seem like it was going to be any better. I remember going to the internship office that morning to see what positions were available. I walked outside the office and stood there reading a bulletin board with job postings. My friend, Shante, walked down the hall and said, “Did you hear about the plane that crashed into the mall?” I asked her which one. Our college town only had 2 malls. She said it was The Mall in Washington with the monuments and stuff. She was fuzzy on the details because someone else told her in passing. We went upstairs together to an office with a TV. We stood there watching the news with a professor, his secretary and 2-3 more students. We were all in a state of shock. It was like watching a movie and we couldn’t turn away. Somehow, we heard an announcement that classes were cancelled for the rest of the day and all the government offices were closed too. I don’t remember if it was on the news or if there was a phone call telling us to go home. Our school was in the state capital with the president’s brother down the street. There was much speculation about him being a target if someone was angry with the President.

I don’t remember how I got home. Either someone dropped me off or I rode the bus because I didn’t have a car. I went to my place and put my things down. I went upstairs to my neighbor’s apt. because he had cable and I wanted to tell him what happened. We sat in front of the TV for hours watching the coverage until he went to work. He let me stay there while he was away. I didn’t know anyone in NY at the time, but I still grieved for the children, families, and others who were directly impacted.

I must admit I had no desire to visit Ground Zero on my first trip to NY. My friend and I planned a trip to Century 21, and she told me as we were walking out of the train station that we were in the area where the World Trade Center towers formerly stood. I walked around and took pictures of the fence surrounding the gaping hole. I could not imagine the buildings that were there before. This wasn't like downtown Dallas where I was familiar with the buildings and I would know if something changed. I stood at Ground Zero feeling... empty. I didn't feel the way I thought I should feel. I didn't feel sadness or any other emotion. I just wanted to go inside Century 21. I don't think I've ever admitted that to anyone before.

There's hope
It doesn't cost a thing to smile
You don't have to pay to laugh
You better thank God for that
- India Arie

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one
- The Beatles