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Archive for June, 2017

Several weeks ago, I was asked if my kids could participate in a photo shoot for Krispy Kreme donuts.  I of course said yes, because my kids are cute.  The pay was also good, we received 8 coupons for a free dozen donuts.  That’s a lot of donuts!  As we were preparing for the shoot, the photographer informed me that I needed to be there by a certain time.  She insinuated that “I” needed to be there.  Of course I needed to be there, I can’t just leave my minors alone with photographers.  No, meaning that I was going to be in the pictures as well.  Well, that just seemed crazy to me.  My kids are cute, me, not so much, at least not national photo shoot cute.  It turns out the shoot was meant for Father’s Day, hence the request for my presence.  I just assumed they had fake dads for that, but I digress.  I don’t know if Krispy Kreme will actually use the photos taken, but if they do, I will provide a link.

(I began this blog long ago, but never finished it. Since that time, I have discovered that Krispy Kreme did post a pix from that shoot. It was for Father’s Day. They did not post a pix with my daughter, which is ridiculous, as she is the cutest of us.)

Well, if I am going to have my picture taken, and those photos may end up nationally available, I needed to get my head right.  I needed a hair cut, more importantly, I needed a barber shop (roll credits), specifically, a black barber shop.

Now, you may or not be aware, but black folks have different type of hair compared to other races.  Of course, there are races with similar hair challenges, but if we just stick with the ever popular black/white dichotomy, black folks have different hair from white folks.

One day while driving to the grocery store, I thought I saw a black person leave a barber shop.  I thought, cool, a barber near my house.  So, before the photo shoot I stepped into the shop.  It was a very hot day and the blinds of the barber shop were closed.  I could not see into the place, even though I tried really hard.  The last thing I wanted was to enter into an unknown situation and embarrass myself.  (Can you guess what happens next?)

I took a deep breath, open the door and walked in.  A wave of cold air hits my face, both literally and metaphorically.  The white barber and the white customers stopped what they were doing and stared at me for what seemed like an eternity.  This type of event has happened to me before.  I always envision the old Wild West and band players playing their Wild West tunes.  A stranger walks into the bar, and the music stops and everyone in the tavern looks at the incoming man, as if to say, telepathically, in unison, “You don’t belong here.”  The closest I have ever come to this in real life, was at a pizza parlor in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  A bunch of bikers were eating and drinking and I felt so out of place, I ended up leaving.  A friend who was their and stayed, later told me that the group of bikers ended up ordering sodas and laughing a lot.  Never judge a book …

So, the white barber asks me, “Can I help you?”  Luckily for me, I think very quickly.  “Um, I thought you guys would be black.  My bad.”  This story would probably be funnier if I actually said that, but I was having a clever day.  What I actually said was, “I’m sorry.  I think I am in the wrong place.  A friend of mine said he was going to meet me at the barber shop, but I think I have the wrong one.  Because he’s obviously not here.”  The barber than asked a very appropriate question, “What’s the name of the barber shop?” I replied, “That is a very good question.”  No, not really, I said, “I can’t remember.”  The barber preceded to give me directions to a barber just down the road.  And said maybe I’d find my friend there.

I turned on my heels as quickly as I could and headed to the next barber shop.  I don’t THINK I turn red when I blush, but if I do, I was a strawberry in that place.  Once again, the inside of the next barber shop could not be seen, so I took a deep breath and entered.  The cool black breeze wafted over me like Lando Calrissian (come on! that’s funny).  I had found my barber shop.

Now, here is the real punch line to this blog.  White folks were getting their hair cut there.  What!?!  When did this happen?  I remember going to the barber as a kid.  It was like a secret society.  A place where black folks could let their hair down (insert rimshot).  Music in the background.  Barbers asking after your family.  People being loud.  Someone telling a story that someone else thinks is hilarious.  And always the one barber that had nothing to do, because everyone knew he was going to mess your fade up!

Is the opposite true?  Outside of Super Cuts, or Sport Clips (and no matter what they tell you, they do not know how to cut a black person’s hair) are black people going to white barbers?  I think not!  The stealing of black culture stops here!  White folks, you don’t need to be going to black barbers.  You just don’t need it!  You know what?  I blame Trump for this.  That’s right, I said it.

Maybe this is good, maybe it’s not, but it was one of the last places of segregation that I thought everyone was still amazingly OK with, but I guess I was wrong.  Yeah, I know, this blog has taken a weird turn, but it just surprised me is all.  Maybe next time I need a hair cut, I’ll head to that first white barber.  And once again, he’ll ask, “Can I help you?” And I’ll say, “Yeah you can help me.  I got next! ¡Viva la Revolución!”

 

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I was originally planning on writing about Wonder Woman.  I still might, it was an awesome movie and if you have a daughter, you should go see the movie together.  Scratch that, daughter, son, kids, no kids, you should go see the movie.  In my opinion, the making of the movie itself speaks to a deeper issue, but like I said, I need to blog about, eventually.

However, I am currently stuck in a personal issue that I would love to be over.  I don’t see it ending anytime soon, but nonetheless, it is a situation that is not fun.  Someone I know is in the hospital.  I don’t like naming names, and I won’t here, but someone close to me is in the hospital.  From the outside, or people new to this person’s plight, one might incorrectly assume that they have had a series of misfortunate events that have led to their current state.  However, for those that are aware of the facts, would know that this person has made decisions, choices, basically orchestrated the inevitable outcome that is their life and most recently, led them to be in the hospital.  Do you know someone like that?  Do you have a person in your life that you watch self sabotage their life and no matter how hard you try, you can’t get them to see the error of their ways?

I’m not talking holier than though BS, although philosophy and religion can play a major positive role.  It can play a negative one too, but that too is another blog.  I am talking about that person that despite all the advice, all the evidence pointing North, all the signs that say Go That Way, they choose to go South, because “They just want to do what they want to do.”  And then, when everything does go, literally South, they ask for help.  But more than that.  They ask for help as if it is your job to help them.  And maybe you do.  And then one day, you don’t.

This blog is only marginally about that.  Soon after Memorial Day I wanted to pay respects to all those that “go towards danger” on our behalf.  Today, I had the pleasure of talking to some people that choose to live in danger on our behalf.  And I have decided, they need a day, Social Services Day (roll credits).  The name can be negotiated, but I think we need a day for those people that live in the quagmire of someone else’s life.

I have spent multiple conversations with a medical doctor and a social worker about the best plans for the future of their patient.  Both worked over several days to get the best support for this person.  They made promises that they would look into help, and they kept those promises.  They chose to ask questions to learn more, and expressed real concern and compassion.  I actively tried to limit their exposure to the mess, and they actively leaned into the situation.  Man! Do you have any idea how many people out there are working their butt off to help others?  Today, I stand before you in awe of the tireless efforts humans are putting in to help other humans.  In a previous blog, I stated that you can hate the police, but if you call 911, they will arrive to help.  Today, I learned that you can be lying in the hospital bed of your own making, and doctors and social workers will still try to solve your problems, both physically and mentally.

There are so many things in the world that make me question whether or not humans are experiencing stunted growth along the evolutionary chart.  But I am writing this blog to tell you, there is an army of women and men trying their best, working long hours, and committing their heart and souls to humanity, whether humanity deserves it or not.

So, we probably have too many days as it is, but I’d vote for this one.  To the doctors, nurses, social workers, and all those that work in social programs, thank you.

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Another quick blog.  If you read grammatical or spelling errors, shut yo’ pie hole!  I don’t want hear it.  Just read and enjoy.

I hate running (roll credits).  Do you know runners?  Runners love running.  You have probably heard about the runner’s “high”, the adrenaline rush, or just the dopamine pleasure center being stimulated.  Maybe it’s true, but for me it’s hogwash.  That’s right, I said it, HOGWASH!  Man do I hate running.  So, why do I run?  Because I said I would.

I have a weird personality in the sense that if I say I am going to do something, I am going to do it.  I treat everyone this way.  If you want to piss me off, than say you are going to do something, regardless of how small, and then don’t do it.  (side note:  Did you know that “piss” is one of the words that you can’t say on radio and I think TV.  Google George Carlin’s 7 words you can’t say on TV, hilarious).  Anyhoo, I made a promise to my self that I would run a 5K.  I feel like everyone should be able to run five kilometers.  Seems reasonable, right?  So, I promised that I would try a new app, called C25K.  I did make one caveat, if my asthma kicks up or my knee acts up, as they are both prone to do, I would come up with plan B, maybe biking (which I enjoy).  Guess what?  Neither has happened.  Damn it!  Insert Carlin’s seven words here.

Everyone told me that once I improved my running, I would start enjoying it.  WRONG!  The crazy thing is, the app is working.  I am about to complete week six of the eight week program.  Granted, I often repeat weeks, but nonetheless, I would recommend the app.  I am theoretically two weeks away from running five kilometers.  And then what?  Because I hate the running.  Knowing me, I will download an app to run 10K.  Why? Because I’m an idiot.

I hate the fact that I run slow.  I hate sweating, which is stupid, because I sweat a lot.  I always have, and I have always hated my sweating.  So, basically, the longer I run, the more negative things I say about myself.  Seriously, if you could be in my head as sweat drips off my body like Niagara Falls, you would think I was talking to Hitler.  I hate the fact that I don’t have asthma attacks.  I just keep breathing.  I hate the fact that despite the fact that I am tired and feel like my body is going to collapse, if I just keep running, my body keeps running.  Stupid body!

Here is what I do like about running.  I like the trail.  North Carolina has Greenways which I think are awesome.  I like the surprising amount of wildlife, deer, butterflies, frogs, millipedes, snails, red-tail and sharp-shinned hawks, tree squirrels, and diverse human beings.  There is a group of women from India that I see all the time.  Every time, they remind me of my friends, Vic and Daisy.  I haven’t decided if that is racist or not.  I’m going to chalk it up to missing some really good friends.  A group of old black and white women, a group of old black women, a group of old white women, couples of various racial combinations and people walking their dogs.  It’s silly, but I love it!  It all distracts me from the thing that I hate, my running.

But I will continue.  Because I said I would.  And I will be excited when I finally run my first 5K.  Maybe my next goal will be, “Is it really so bad to weigh 400 pounds?  Let’s find out.  Because I said I would.”

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I hate writing blogs fast, which is why I don’t blog more often.  But I have had this blog idea in my mind all week and I think it won’t leave my brain until I write this one.

We just recently celebrated Memorial Day.  It is the day when we take a moment to remember those that we have lost serving in our armed services.  Or, it is a moment we have an excuse to get the grill out and see how many hot dogs we can eat in one sitting.  It is a day that we often do not take seriously, perhaps because of the freedoms that the lost men and women have provided for us, we take for granted the fact that we are here because of them.  It has become the American Way.  Let’s complain about not having it good when we have it better than most.

So, despite our differences of opinions about how the country should be run or what laws are good and bad, or which groups of people are being underserved or overserved, I wanted to say thank you.  Thank you to all the people that run TOWARDS danger.  I will be the first to suggest that our armed services could do things better, but I’m not going to fight in there place and that gives me less right to criticize.  It does not remove my right, but it does place my right in its proper perspective.  Here is one basic fact that I believe to be true:  I could bad mouth the police all day every day and if I am in trouble and call 911, a police officer will show up at my location.  How amazing is that!?!

So, thank you.  Thank you Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.  Thank you to the Coast Guard.  Thank you to the police officers.  Thank you to our fire departments.  Thank you to all of you that run TOWARDS danger.  Because if you are like me, that is not the direction I would choose to go.

Happy Belated Memorial Day!

 

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