Thursday, August 17, 2006

My crazy mixed-up purple mind

If you wanna know what *that's* about, keep reading. Further, further...

Our friend took the TV. Her kids begged her to. I just asked, "Do you know anybody who can use it?" I stressed that it was going to Second Harvest or somebody if I couldn't give it to someone I knew. So she'll be picking it up on Saturday. COOL.

My aunt's pissed at me because I hyphenated my last name. She found out because my mom forwarded her and a few other people a joke I sent her, and kept my name on it. My aunt told me it looked "really stupid" to "attach that name on," and that I wouldn't fool anybody into thinking I was married. Then she asked why I haven't e-mailed her myself! I told her she answered her own question a few minutes earlier. Oh, yes. Surf's up for Thanksgiving.

Mom thinks it's "a little cumbersome," but understands that if I were to have married a guy, I'd have done the same thing. She also changed her address files to reflect the name change for us both. I'm glad for that, even though she joked about it aggravating her carpal tunnel.

Also, this morning, L'Ailee practiced her signature because her paychecks are finally coming in under the new name for her, and she needs to sign them properly to cash them. (It happened earlier for me because I'm the one responsible for that stuff at my work!) She said it felt a bit awkward to "jam your last name in the middle." I've had to practice, too. It felt a little awkward for me to keep going, where I used to stop. I can't say I didn't feel a little upset by that comment, though.

I've been told I was a unique combination of red-state and blue-state before. I actually used the phrase "red state culture, blue state politics" to describe myself this week, too. I smacked my own self upside the head at that one, for buying into the hype. But perhaps that actually is a good way to describe me. On an e-list devoted to Tony Stewart fans, other posters started talking about how nice it is that NASCAR keeps the pre-race prayers and how surprised they were that "liberals" didn't try to ban them. What the hell?! I mean, I'd joined to talk about things like how cute Tony is and the latest outrageous thing he said to the press, you know? So I decided to say some things I never thought I'd say on a racing forum:

WOW. You know, I'm Pagan. I have a NASCAR gathering almost every week with atheists, agnostics, Jews, and other Pagans among us. I know there's prayer before the race--most of us tend to think of it as time to go grab a drink or to the restroom. Somehow I don't think Brian France minds. Somehow I think he primarily cares about "In God We Trust."

I have told several friends that NASCAR isn't a festival of bigotry like they think. I live in NYC now, where many people think NASCAR fans are just ignorant yahoos. (I grew up in Florida and moved 2 years ago.) I have Tony Stewart stuff in my cubicle, and someone in my office told me he "moved up here to get away from that NASCAR sh!t." "Sorry to disappoint you," I said very pleasantly, but I broiled inside. I think a lot of anti-bigots are awfully bigoted themselves, when it comes to what they think NASCAR fans are.

I hate to think that they're right. I hate to think that the sport I love is more about conformity and bigotry than fast cars and rivalries. I hate to think that I'm not welcome in a sport that I've been taught to love since I was a baby, one that has given me great joy and connects me to my father and grandfathers.

I don't actually care whether the prayers stay or go. Hell, I actually say a little prayer myself, to Legba, a God of roads and machinery. (Seemed appropriate.) Nobody's forcing me to pray along or to watch. And if a driver rides with a ministry or Christian movie or the name Jesus on his hood, who cares? I don't have to go along with that any more than I have to patronize Lowe's or drink Budweiser.

Got some apologies from that. I was happy to accept them. But I meant every word I said.

Sometimes I feel weird because I'm so culturally blended. Sometimes I feel like it's just my natural personality--bisexual half-Midwesterner half-Southerner high-IQ dyscalculiate who moved between social strata growing up, how could I be anything else? Sometimes I feel blessed that I can talk to all kinds of people, and like maybe that's even part of my *calling*, as pretentious as that sounds. This week is one of those times.

About that sign: It was made by a cute little generator from a site called Ronald McHummer. They're upset because Mickey D's is giving away toy Hummers in Happy Meals, thereby joining two icons of American excess. I see their point, but it's bootless to me. I mean, if not toy Hummers, it'll be some other cheap plastic crap that won't rot in our landfills, and besides, by the time today's kids are grown, they won't be able to buy enough oil to keep a Hummer going anyhow. The generator's real nice, though. You gotta save your results to Flickr or something if you want to share them.

EL's My Amusement Park had me thinking much too hard about gender, appearance, and race tonight. I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Franny Syufy at teaches us how to stop cats from bickering.

Why doesn't America believe in evolution?

I'm still a YouTube leech with lots of favorites but no videos of my own uploaded. Still, I created some playlists today. You can access all four from here: Smiles and Laughs (comedy, cartoons, pandas); Old-School New Wave; Mmmm, Sinead; and Backpacker Girl Hip-Hop. Another thing about being culturally mixed is that you can find a wide variety of stuff to like on YouTube!


LeLo in NoPo said...

I find your weird combination of pagan+nascar loving+all of the other wonderful things that are unique to you, make you amazingly unique and AWESOME. I'd say you march to the beat of your own drum, and that is THE BEST.

The Fat Lady Sings said...

Wonderful post - really wonderful. And I applaud what you said in that forum. It’s important to speak up. We all tend to pigeonhole people - and that can be very limiting. Also - if you want to hyphenate your name - go for it! I chose not to. I go by the name I was born with - and it has caused no end of problems my entire married life. There are so many people who think it’s wrong, or that I'm dissing my husband in some way. The truth is - I identify with my name. It's very ethnic - and I like that. Nothing against my hubby or his name - I just prefer mine. Also - I don't wear a wedding ring. No need for one. A ring doesn't make me more or less married. But I understand how some people love theirs. It’s all a matter of choice, as far as I’m concerned. So go do what makes you happy my dear. And more power to you!

cats said...

if i was to try and explain why i like you... well, i'd just have to point out your post.

hubby and i thought about hyphenating our names, but decided against it (sounded too funny) then we considered a neutral name, like gonzolas, but in the end i just added his name to my three (now i have four and i never know what to put on forms when they ask for one middle initial

alan said...

I'm with Lelo, I love all of the contradictions about you! You make me smile everytime you write something, and your beautiful soul shows in every word!

As for me, I used to watch every race, but got to the point that every crash caused me to cringe because I'd seen too many that didn't just walk heart just wouldn't take it anymore. Now I peek every now and then, but don't sit down for a whole race anymore.


Kelley Bell said...

Every coin has two sides. Names, Nascar, and Mc-notions too.

As for Nascar, hey, they have done much to advance automotive technology over the years.

As a fellow Paganish thinker, I can only hope that one day soon they will be racing hybred fuel cell cars that promote ecological principles to the masses who worship Nascar as Oh-SO-COOL.

-A girl can dream, right?

SassyFemme said...

I really like that you guys hyphenated your names. We talked about doing that, but it just seemed like more of a pain than anything, so we've left them as is. For now, anyway.