Wednesday, May 16, 2007

That changed things

Been a lot of big news lately in the--damn--almost a month between blog entries! We all know Jerry Falwell died yesterday. I was going to write about other stuff, but that changed things. Of course I have no love for Jerry Falwell, who made his living at the expense of lives like mine. As I told my work husband, "Mourning's kind of an overstatement." For all I know, he could have been a fantastic husband, father, and grandfather. I only know his public face. But his public face was so hideous! It's a struggle to stay compassionate. The group I really feel sorry for, aside from his family, is the students at his Liberty University, who are having graduation this week. Even from this college, students deserve to enjoy their graduation--they worked so hard for it.

Other people are dancing on his figurative grave, online and off. L'Ailee tells me I'm much too superstitious about this. But my paternal relatives, who were officially Southern Baptists but practiced a form of folk magick officially called "Stuff We Don't Tell the Pastor About," were ardent ancestor worshippers who drummed into my head the importance of respecting the newly dead. I can't be mean--honest, maybe, but I have to be careful not to be mean. I can't sing the "Kiss Him Goodbye" song, even though it popped into my head. I must repress those urges. And the thing is, it's not for him. It's for my family, my Ghede-Loa (a/k/a Vodoun demigods of death), and my Gods that I am trying to find my compassion and stuff down my cruelty. You see, it's like that line in Moonstruck, when Cher's mom was propositioned by a man who wasn't her husband and she replied that she couldn't "because I know who I am." No matter what he did to hurt me without even knowing me, no matter what others whom I respect and sympathize with do, I know who I am. Who I am is a daughter of my ancestors and the Ghedes. This may mean little to most people, but it's vital to me, and if Falwell couldn't stop it alive, he damn sure can't dead.

Actually, I came to a realization a couple years ago, about why it's so important to respect the dead. It hit me like a thunderbolt, even though it seems like it should have been so obvious in retrospect. The thing about respecting the dead is, it's never really for them, not even if you loved them and they loved you back. Wherever the dead are at, if anywhere, they're probably beyond anything we can be feeling and saying about them anyhow. It's for the living, just like the funeral. It's about respecting the survivors' feelings and letting them know you understand why they hurt. It's important not to heap extra pain onto the survivors immediately after a death. "Even if the survivors agree with him?", you might ask. Yes, even if. As long as one is alive, they can grow, learn, and change, so you can never really write anyone off completely. We all have that opportunity while we're here. If nothing else, we may mourn the fact that Falwell will never again have that opportunity.

His death pushed bigger news off the TV screen, bigger at least for me and others with connections to Florida. What can I say? The fires happen every ten years or so anyway, but that regularity doesn't make them any less devastating, or me any less worried. I wish I could go work for the Divine weather department. Obviously the rain ought to be spread around a bit better. Some places have way too little and some have way too much. I keep asking the Rain Gods for some parity and fairness. My kid brother's really close to the fires in Florida right now. (Of course, pretty much everyone in Florida is.) Dorkfish thinks he's gonna be fine and tells me I don't have to invite them up here and wonders why they can't put out a simple fire. Denial is a powerful survival tool sometimes. Our paternal family's hunting camp burned down, too. It's happened before, and could be lots worse. I hope worse doesn't happen. I don't have fingernails left.

Those of you who don't like my NASCAR updates needn't worry for a while. I'm not talking about NASCAR. There's a reason for that. I'm getting awfully tired of these Hendricks drivers!

But where I'm at, things are fine. My big problem is that once again, Dorkfish neglected Mother's Day and I didn't, so my reward was an earful of my mother's complaints. I really felt bad, because it seems like what I do doesn't count in her eyes. Because he neglected to send her anything or call her, it was a total loss, even though she's got two children and I remembered. She could barely bring herself to say thank you to me before launching in on her monologue! I know listening is a gift in itself too, but enough got to be enough quite quickly. I finally just told her, "Please, take it up with him. I love you, but I don't need or want to be in the middle of this." So now she's angry at us both. *sigh*

We're saying goodbye to one group of interns and welcoming another at my company. I'm the intern-wrangler, and this time, I had a lot more input in picking the new group and coordinating placements for them, so I hope I did a good job. I have a large group project for one of my interior decorating classes. I don't do well in group projects, never have, but I'm giving this one my best effort, not just in work but in patience. We at least agreed that we wanted to make things as eco-friendly as possible. We're learning a lot about how to recycle icky old particleboard furniture and outdated electronics, find good paint, use space and fabric for maximum energy efficiency, etc. I fully intend to keep using this stuff.

L'Ailee and I amused ourselves in a store on Saturday. The makers of the Headblade razor have a full line of products out for Bald Guyz in sporty yellow packaging. That Headblade razor really is a guy thing. L'Ailee, with her tiny hands and long, spidery fingers, nicked herself with it the one time she tried it, and the scalp has a *lot* of veins and capillaries, and...well, neither of us will touch one again. I've got small hands and long fingers myself, and mine aren't as steady as hers. The Bald Guyz grooming line features specialty items like towelettes to wipe your sweaty scalp, after-sun cream, and "head slick." "You can use the same things all over," noted L'Ailee, but I figured that if more women adopt her style, and they will if summer's as hot as predicted, a Bald Girlz line can't be far behind.

"Oh, these things, but all in pink," L'Ailee said.
I considered. "No, because it's kind of an edgy look, not traditionally feminine."
She waved her Barbie-pink fingernails in my face. "Edgy."
"You know exactly what I mean. Burgundy or purple would be better. And they could have stuff like flavored glitter lotion for a night out, fruity-scented shaving cream..."
"Dear God!" She bit her lips to keep from laughing.
"And then they can get Britney Spears to endorse it..."
"Shut up, right now, shut up," she managed to say between giggles. And Mom thinks my marketing degree's going to waste!

Then there's...

An MTF transsexual who once drove for NASCAR wants back in! An extremely interesting part of an interesting group of Newsweek articles about transgendered America. She's in her forties, so age isn't really on her side, but of course we all know that's not the only obstacle she faces. I want her to get into Nextel Cup just because it would be so fun to see Darrell Waltrip rendered speechless. Boogity-boogity-boogity!

Women in hip-hop are less visible than *ever*.

How depressing is it when we can forget about the war?

And just for fun, 'cause we need it, Bad ideas for Baby Einstein DVDs!


alan said...

The day we quit trying to put people in "pigeonholes" and categorize them to judge them will be a giant leap for mankind!

I try not put anything into motion I don't want coming back to me thrice fold; that covers Falwell and a lot of other things that are going on right now!

I can't believe you are going to stay silent while NASCAR has it's own full blown "silly season" just like F1 with everyone worrying more about where Junior is going than what's going on on the track!

May the fires be out soon for your family and so many others!


CrackerLilo said...

Well, one of my friends, who got smacked, did ask me if I could put a "voodoo curse" on Jeff Gordon by smashing a toy 24 car or something. But of course you know I can't. Personally, I'm hoping for Darrell Waltrip's "baby curse" instead. (A new baby makes drivers more cautious.) And I'm glad Denny Hamlin and Gibbs Racing fired those four pit guys. They really have screwed things up for him.

I'm staying silent about Juuuuuu-NIOR! because nobody else is. :-)

cats said...

the pobble and i were talking about falwell yesterday. my comment to her (and to my mother later on)was, "i have no doubt he is in the arms of the creator right now... but he is awfully suprised that she is black and a lesbian."

BostonPobble said...

So, I have just deleted a comment that was getting to be almost as long as your post. Let's suffice it to say that I'm glad to be reading your words again and we think a lot alike.

Where can I get me some bad Baby Einsteins? LOL

alan said...

I only wish you knew how much I delight at having you in my world!

My big vice for the moment is Andretti fever...


Ffleur said...

Hi Lilo!

Its been awhile that I last visited, and I'm trying to get back on track and regularly visit my blogger friends again. Thank you so much for your best wishes about my momma. Much appreciated.

Your post was very interesting. You write very well. Is L'Ailee bald now? When did this happen? I have really long hair myself and frankly, sometimes shaving it all off would be very liberating but thats never going to happen in this lifetime. hehehe

Are you from Haiti or Hawaii? (sorry if spelling is wrong). I understand about respecting the dead and elders because I am Canadian and grew up knowing a lot about Native culture although I'm not Native (Indian) Canadian myself.

As for Jerry Falwell, as dispicable as the words coming out of his mouth, I find it better for my nerves and my Zen calm to just not get caught up in his games. He and he alone is responsible for the negative energy he put out into the world. It need not affect all the rest of us unless we let it.

I have a very good friend who is a gay man and getting married soon. Its very exciting and I'm so happy for him. My family doesn't understand and sometimes make remarks about his sexuality. But I tell them: I only look at his humanity, at what a wonderful person he is, at what a loyal and kind friend he has been over the years, and how much I love him. He deserves all good in his life. I refuse to make judgements on his sexuality, that is such a small part of the lovely person he is.

CrackerLilo said...

L'Ailee's *been* bald, almost continuously, since we graduated from high school. (We met between junior and senior year.) She had really beautiful waist-length hair when we met, so she went from 60 to zero! I have mid-back length hair myself, and it's staying there! :-)

I am from Florida, where there are a lot of Haitian immigrants. I'm white (well, mostly--a couple Timucuan or Seminole Natives probably slipped into my family tree), and my father's family is Scots-Irish. But quite a few families like mine practice some form of folk magick and/or ancestor worship. It's dying off now, but two of my cousins and I still hold to it.

I completely and totally agree with what you said about Jerry Falwell! I don't know from Zen, which leads to a set of questions for you, but I know about not letting someone else's problem become yours.

Thanks for coming, Ffleur!

ConnieJane said...

Sorry to tell you I'm one of those Jeff Gordon fans... I'm thinkin' Baby will bring LUCK. He always does better when he's happy.

As for Junior... I couldn't care less except that I think he and the other kids are being screwed by their wicked stepmother. I predict RCR, in the #3, with Bud on board... or JR Motorsports!

CrackerLilo said...

Hey, disagreement's cool here, and I like you despite that... ;-)

You see if we can peacefully discuss our drivers, we can discuss trivial issues like politics and religion, too!

Carie said...

I hope JR finds a place where he can just be happy again, when I met Kerry E. at a race 2 years ago he was so sweet and man he raced his heart out I don't get why Teresa doesn't give him a shot...and did you see the all star race...I loved that harvick won was great...I haven't got to watch many of the races because of all the remodeling we are doing but I still read every article and keep up with it all lol...and since our season started here for racing Ken is jonesing to race again so we are saving up to get another race car lol...

I am glad when I come here and theres a new blog by you :) I love the way you write as well as your perspective on things...oh and about my little puppies you are so right about looking deseptively cute lol when I wanna ring their sweet little necks for getting into something they turn and give me those sweet little puppy eyes and I mealt lol

dondon009 said...

Well dear friend.... it seems that I've been tagged which made me think.... WHY should I be the only one to suffer?


Please stop by my site, read the rules and participate.

Love to you both,