Wednesday, December 30, 2009

So Tell Me How You Really Feel?

This conversation I'm going to share happened at work while I was on the clock. To clear things up: Girl 1 and Girl 2 are both white, Anwar is from the middle east, and I'm of course black...in case you were wondering. There is language in this post so be aware of it.

Girl 1: *laughing* Oh my God I have to tell you what Anwar said!
Me: No, you don't I'm sure I don't wanna hear it.
Girl 1: No seriously I gotta tell you.
Me: Sure. What is it?
Girl 1: Ok. So I asked him what did he get for Christmas and he said his friend got him a gun-
Girl 2: Well that's an interesting gift...
Girl 1: Yea, that's what I said. So yea I asked him was the gun for his store and he said no it wasn't he just got him one for Christmas. Then he looks around as if he was making sure no one was around and said "I don't have problems at my store, I don't have many niggers around my area".
Me: Whoa, excuse me?
Girl 1: *laughs* yea, that's what he said I was shocked!
Me: Yea, you could have kept that to yourself.
Girl 2: Yea, what's worse is he's looking around making sure Chauncey isn't back here to hear him say it.
Me: He knows he's fucked up for that. And furthermore he just assumes all black people steal so that's why his store doesn't get knocked off?
Girl 1: Well I just thought it was funny he said it because its Anwar and I was shocked he'd say something like that.
Me: You shouldn't be, because he made sure I wasn't here when he said it so I'm sure he says it all the time. He could have simply said black people. Still fucked up but...yea whatever. *walks away*
Girl 2: Of all people, you'd think he wouldn't stereotype like that with the profiling they get around here since 9/11.

The conversation pretty much ended there after Girl 2 said that and we all started working. I was obviously pissed the rest of the day but continued about my business just didn't speak to Girl 1 much for the rest of the shift. The customer I'll handle accordingly, because that's my job. I'm gonna have to be cordial to him as I help him but I'm still gonna feel resentful in a way because of what was said. But as far as my co-worker repeating that word for word, a specfic word, is the problem. I didn't quite voice it then because I was so pissed she said it AND thought it was funny, I knew I'd say something wrong and it'll just explode from there. So, what I'll need from you is this:

Comment on your thoughts of what happened, how does this make you feel that this was said by not only a caucasian but a person from the middle east?

What do you think was worse: the racial slur or the blatant stereotyping?

How would you handle the situation with the customer and the co-worker?

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Empty Space

I went somewhere on February 11th of 2006 and I don't think I've fully comeback yet, mentally. Actually I'm certain of it. I don't talk about what happened to me almost four years ago, and I'm not going to here. Mainly because I trained myself to not think about it. I struggle to remember so I couldn't give an accurate story if I tried. As I'm writing this, the memories flash in my head like a slideshow but nothing makes complete sense. But lately its as if the barrier I put up around these memories is trying to escape and fill the empty space from 2-11-06 to...well now. Every once in a while I space out or something small that triggers an event in my past and the gate opens to seep out a memory. Either I smile or I get close to crying. No matter the emotion I stop it. I don't want to remember what happened on that day specifically and what transpired the years after. I have no clear recollation of what transpired on that day. And I'd rather not visit there. Even now, I'm trying to remember to give at least an accurate time frame and I can't.

I don't know if I want to release this Pandora's Box of emotion and events. I don't think I'm emotionally or mentally strong enough to really face the past I try so hard to suppress. But I'm starting to get the feeling its not up to me. That it will surface one day and catch me off guard at the most unexpected moment and there will be nothing I can do about it. There's a huge gap in my life, at least a 2 year gap of events I know I lived. Everyone has their secrets and skeletons hidden. My problem is I did so good of a job hiding them I forgot where I put them and now they are attempting to come out. I need to find out what happened. Deep down I want to know, I want to move on. I want to remember and forgive and just move on from those moments. I can't do it in one day, I'll need to take some time away and to be alone to do this.

That's my resolution. Not a New Year kind of thing, its just something I must do to finally put my mind and heart at ease so I can be the man I want to be. Or to just simply function correctly. I'm always tired, but restless. I constantly have problems remembering things I just did a mere hour ago let alone years. The spacing out happens more often than naught and its starting to put me in bad situations. I almost ran off the road the other night coming from a friend's house so I know its getting worse. It needs to be done, facing my past. And I'll do it in due time. I'll go away for a while without warning, I do at least want to give that much of a heads up. So any close friends who read this, this is my only time really announcing this. It just needs to be done the right way. No grand announcement, just me gone for a while. I know I have vacation time I can use and I will. When, I'm not sure yet. But its coming.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Check

"Life is like a game of chess...

I'm not the best chess player in the world. Or even in any given room I walk into. I don't know any of the fancy strategies. I can't read any more than 5 moves ahead, let alone 2. I do know what piece is what and what it can do. I know the objective of the game is to trap the opponents King into not being able to move to win. So in short, I know the basics. With that, I can count on one hand how many games of chess I've actually won. The games I lost I'll need my fingers, toes, and another person's fingers and toes to count. That's also how I approached life up until recently.

My objective when I played chess was to just move the pieces and hopefully I'll be able to trap the king somewhere down the line. That's...not a very sound strategy. Hence my losing record being 5 times more than my winning one. That's how I feel the "Life is like a game of chess" metaphor plays out for me. The same way I played chess is how I used to approach life, just knowing what to do in order to hopefully place myself in a spot where I can win. That's fine but there's too many holes and flaws in that approach. For starters, your chances are winning are slim to none. You're not protecting yourself as the game progresses leaving you wide open. You never are prepared for what the opponent has in store for you along the way as you make your moves since you are blindly going in with the ultimate goal: trap the king. That's my main problem.

I can see and even know beforehand the answer to a problem before even hearing the whole question. Some say that its a gift to see the whole picture. I call it a curse because I overlook details on how I got to the conclusion. I just work, work, work, until I get to my goal but I couldn't turn around and tell you how I got there. I know for a fact, the only reason I won some of my games is because I played against a lesser opponent. Times are changing. My opponents are getting stronger. Obviously my strategy needs a bit of remodeling. I may have put a few of my goals in checkmate, but its time to go back to basics, create a sound strategy on how to constantly KEEP them in check. That's how you should play chess, and also how you should play life. And now to finish my own "Life is like a game of chess" quote I started earlier:

"...Know what moves you want to make before you start making them. Sometimes you don't have the luxury of being able to recover if you go in a game with a blind strategy and you'll forget the other game's objective is to also protect your King. Your opponent does have some control over how you get there, but remember its also how you play them as well. So just make sure you have room to maneuver and stay as many steps ahead as possible. The more sound moves you have planned out in your strategy to meet your goal, the quicker you'll be the one saying Checkmate."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Santa Doesn't Make Mistakes...

This is a story of a young boy who was way to smart for his own good that saw the story of Santa Claus unravel before is very eyes and realized it was all a lie. And that rhymed. Two times? Alright...anyway, onto the story.

Once upon a time, little Ch...Chadwick? Yea, Chadwick and his brother Alouicious Geoffrey were visiting their great-aunt in Winter Haven, Florida a couple of days before Christmas. Great Aunt Lucille owned a pre-school where Chadwich and Alouicious...ok that name is terrible. Sam. Alouicious is Sam. Now, Chadwick and Sam were playing with the other kids before getting a surprise visit from none other than Santa Claus himself! Chadwick was buggin! All the kids were so excited to see Santa and couldn't wait to meet him and tell them what they wanted. But Chadwick being the oldest noticed something odd about Santa. He was black. All the Santas Chadwick saw up to that point were white. Chadwick even went as far as voicing this to Aunt Lucille but she replied "he's just helping Santa find out what you want then he can tell him in case you forgot to put it in your letter to Santa". Chadwick bought the story and got in line with the other children to meet Santa. Chadwick's turn came and he sat on Santa's lap and told Santa's helper he wanted an X-Men video game for his Super Nintendo. After Santa took all the little boys and girls Christmas wishes he left to "go back to the North Pole". Chadwick and Sam both exchanged their Christmas wishes with each other, by that time their parents came and they went back home.

Fast forward to Christmas Day and Chadwick, Sam, and their parents were around the tree opening their presents. Chadwick noticed he didn't get the game he told Santa's Helper and was upset. His parents asked what was wrong but he didn't say and just continued playing with the toys he did get from "Santa". Later that day, family and friends came over to exchange more gifts and pleasantries. A close friend of the family, Albert, came up to Chadwick and asked him did Santa get him everything he wanted. Chadwick sadly replied no. That's when Albert pulled out a present from his jacket and said "well this was at my house and its for you. Santa must have dropped this off by mistake." Chadwick took the present, opened it and it was the X-Men game he asked for! But he was confused. Albert noticed this and asked Chadwick what was wrong. Chadwick replied, "well, its just Santa doesn't make mistakes." Albert simply stated, "sure he does. He just forgot to give it to you." "How can Santa just 'forget' to give me something, doesn't he know all and see all?" Albert didn't have an answer for that so Chadwick bombarded his parents with questions. "Why did Santa make a mistake this time and why did he drop the present off at Albert's? Albert lives far away, if it was a mistake then the neighbors would have the present not Albert."
Like I said, Chadwick was way too smart for his age. That's when Chadwick asked "is Albert Santa Claus?" Chadwick's father felt he had to tell him the truth despite his mother not wanting to do so. At 6 years old, Chadwick learned the awful truth that Santa Claus was indeed not real. On Christmas! This broke Chadwick's little heart and he never again saw Christmas in the same light as he used to. Although, there is a bright side, there was never a Christmas Chadwick didn't get exactly what he wanted just as long as he didn't tell Sam the truth...since his dad owed it to him after ruining Christmas for him. The End!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Chris Henry Legacy

Chris Henry is being honored by his teammates of the Cincinnati Bengals in today's game by wearing a No. 15 decal on their helmets, a common trend for a fallen NFL player present or past. Yet, Chad Johnson (yes, Johnson because I personally refuse nor do I have to call him Ochocinco) wants to honor Henry by wearing his jersey. League rules prohibit other players from wearing the jersey number of another player and are fined if found doing so. Before I get into this I want to state first of all I know what its like to lose a friend and/or family member and I'm sure most if not all that are reading this do know that feeling. In the past 3 years I've lost my mother, two grandfathers, an aunt, an uncle, and a dear friend. So I know loss. And I took it very hard, I'm still dealing with it actually. And with that said I also don't approve of this and I'll go as far as calling it another charade done by Mr. Johnson. He is no different than any of us but yet continues to act like it. He knows the rules, he knows he can't do this. But yet he's been reported that he's taking strides in wearing Henry's number to honor his memory. I personally don't feel this is a nobel deed to honor his friend's memory 100%, I feel this is partially indirectly another way for him to stand out. To put himself in the spotlight and also above the league in which he plays for, in which pays him and fines him for breaking the rules as he is attempting here. This is a great gesture don't get me wrong and if it was within the league's rules I'll be for it, ONLY if the all the other teammates can wear number 15 to honor Henry and not just Johnson. And that's my gripe with this issue for the few reasons and examples I'm going to give here.

Like I stated before, wearing a decal on the helmet or jersey of a NFL player that has passed away is a common practice in the league. All of the other Bengals are doing it, but yet Johnson wants to wear Henry's jersey number for a game. Its a violation of league rules that's why they wear decals for moments like this and not change numbers. Believe it or not, the league made this rule in order to keep the refs from making mistakes on calling flags on the incorrect player and also for each team to have a fair advantage on who to cover on the field. If you've played any sport, the best way to communicate is to call out who's number you're defending against. That's why this rule was implemented and he should honor that rule. Ruling aside, he can still honor Henry by wearing the decal on his helmet or jersey just like everyone else is and just make the game and commentary focus on something other else than Johnson for once.

He may not be doing this to just show off but he is indeed alienating himself from his teammates and the organization once again by doing this individual and slightly selfish act of wanting to wear his number. Chris Henry was in no way an ambassador of the NFL let alone the Bengals and quite frankly shouldn't be treated as such by Johnson. I don't know the relationship of the two former teammates but regardless, Johnson can honor Henry just like his teammates are. If I could, I would tell Johnson to just wear the decal. There's no need to "showcase" your admiration and grief for Henry anymore than the others are by wearing his number today. The WHOLE team lost someone, not just you. Be one with your teammates just this one time. This is a moment where you should be in sync with your team on the field and not being involved in propaganda tactics and gaining attention from the media. Because that's what you are doing. You may not be purposefully doing this but that's what its panning out to be. Just lace up the cleats and play ball. For one time be like everyone else. There's no need to stand out anymore than you already do. Again, they all lost Chris Henry not just you.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Testing 1, 2 *feedback*

Testing from my blackberry so this doesnt count as my first entry. I'd rather write from here since its attached to my hip and I can do instant blogs. Plus I don't have a computer as of now. Well I do, I just dont care to make room to hook it back up since its prehistoric and has a 60% chance of bursting into flames. I figured I might as well start using this thing. I have WAY too much in my head just floating around. Once upon a time writing was my therapy. A way to release any tension or doubts i had. Or to just express myself and talk about my week. I think its getting to that point for me to do so again to stay sane. Just being honest. And expect that same honesty for the next several entries after this. I'll rarely talk about myself, mostly about other things. This is my way of therapy so don't be offended by what you may read after this unofficial entry. It all is for a greater purpose for ME.