Wednesday, July 29, 2009

beer summit....

seriously? SERIOUSLY? No matter who's side you are on - you have to admit - there are bigger fish to fry in this Country.

If you don't know - Prof. Gates of HAHHHHVAHHHD and Officer Crowley of the Cambridge Coppers got into a tif and the Presi decided to comment on it. And really - if you didn't know - how much is the rent on the rock you live under?

That said: here was my thought process:

Report: b&e reported in Cambridge - white cop shows, verbal exchange with black resident, racial issues erupt, cop arrests professor.

My initial take: Cop is on testosterone high on his way to take down a criminal - resident is insulted about officer questioning his resident status and cries racism. Cop gets aggravated. BUT - and this is a HUGE BUT - I wasn't there. There were rumors and old lady neighbor called in about "2 black guys" was this her fault for not knowing her neighbors? Was the cop a hot-head? Was the professor frustrated from being locked out of his house and was taking it out on the cop?

So I started off thinking it could go both, or either way. SOMEONE overreacted. There is obviously more to this story.

THEN - Mr O said the police "acted stupidly" well - ummm - were you there? I wasn't - to my knowledge - 5 people were there and a few others were involved via radio transmission. Why is the president commenting on this? OH - he's friends with Gates - I get it now.

THEN we hear tapes of Gates talking about profiling and racial issues and all that jazz - he even breaks down his heritage for us... why? He is deep in it. He talks about this stuff all the time - it's on the tip of his tongue - if you expect something - isn't it possible that expectation may tinge the situation a little?

THEN the Governor of Mass and the Mayor of Cambridge pipe up all leaning toward the alleged "racist cop" How quick we are to judge? Because this Country has a history of racism found in white police officers - or white people with power in general, it is almost easy to think it's the truth of the case - right? Profiling right? white + cop = racist. hmmmm is THIS profiling? Is this reverse-racism? NEWSFLASH: racism is racism people - "reverse" means you don't know the definition of racism.

THEN we find out Crowley is a highly respected officer who trains rookies and other officers in racial sensitivity... hmmmm... so he's considered his racist undertones and covered it up by teaching sensitivity to hide his true self???? WHY THAT MUST BE IT!

THEN we hear the tapes. The tapes of the 911 call not mentioning race until asked, and even then it wasn't given as "black" anyone. The tapes of a calm police officer keeping record of the incident. Tapes of the officer saying the suspect is not cooperative (still calm) and then stating Gates name as the resident. (which came first? Must be the egg...)

THEN things transpire not on record, not on tape. A photo of calm officer taking a screaming Gates out of his home. But we don't know, and will never know what happened off the "record"

Did they NEED to arrest him? Was it justified? Was it excessive? possibly. Again, I wasn't there - but for all they know Gates had just been fired and broke in to burn the place down (it is owned by Harvard) So many variables... we just don't know.

My OPINION: I think if he was being belligerent - in his home or not - him arguing with officers who were called for a B&E was him acting STUPIDLY. (yes I said it) What if 2 men broke in, had his friend in the other room with a gun to his head while Gates flashes his ID to get rid of the cops? Who's fault would it have been had they left that situation and Gates was murdered? Hmmm....???? Yes this wasn't the case - but the police are trained to follow through - and that was what they were TRYING to do and Gates got in their way. This had nothing to do with the color of a person's skin, hair, car, house, or dog. This had to do with a man not wanting to be bothered in his home and the police trying to investigate a call. SIMPLY that.

Unfortunately, in our Country and others - more often than not, this is not the case. The stereotype of the black man assumed criminal being set aside by the police while they prove him innocent - that is, if they take the time to do that - we see it all the time. But just because this happens, doesn't mean it happened on this particular day.

NOW - Obama. Dude... be careful what you start - it doesn't take much to flip the switch on racial tension. And BOY did your comment do that. And trying to get your photo op with beer in hand is just ridiculous - this should have been handled in-house - in CAMBRIDGE.

People started choosing sides based on whatever profile they believed in. Admit it - anyone who heard this made assumptions before knowing all the facts - basing it on what they know about police/professors/Cambridge/friends/experiences and that my friends, is PROFILING. We STILL don't know all of the details - and as I type I could be off base too. this is just my opinion. I will admit I have seen/heard gates before and thought "oh boy here comes a "don't you know who I am" moment" when i heard it was him involved. I still believe that is part of the situation. If you are MOTHER THERESA you would have to give ID and wait for the Police to search your house. They Id'd me when I thought someone was in my house... stood right next to me near the sleeping kids while officer #2 searched the house - and I was glad.

What did we learn? Be respectful of people, be calm when dealing with difficult situations - and carry a tape recorder at all times - maybe a camera crew too.

Go ahead - let me have it - what's your opinion? I'm cool with listening to yours... you just read mine!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Confessions of a known egg donor

Yep I'm an egg donor. There - I admitted it. Of course - I have no problem admitting it. I thought it through, did my homework, took the tests and did it - for a friend - who happens to not be my friend anymore, but possibly wants to be again..... I'm so confused...

As the title of my blog says - problems like me - they really do - I'd love to admit that I hunt down the drama - and typically I do not, however this one... well - I guess I walked right into it.

She was my friend, my neighbor, and her eggs weren't viable. So I gave her a few of mine - 20 something if memory serves (I have a crappy memory so don't quote me). I had already had one baby, and I was getting a divorce, I didn't see myself using any of my own anytime soon so why not?

Many people chimed in on if I should or shouldn't. She was so hell bent on my being a part of their family because I was such a good friend was what sold me. I love my friends, and I would like to think my friends love me back in the same intensity. She didn't want lies or secrets - another reason I went for it. There is no winning in secrecy. Some other neighbors knew - because she told me it wasn't a secret. The particular neighbor was a friend of mine as well - so why would I think she'd ever be insensitive?

I feel no maternal bond to a cell. I feel as though I donated an organ - a body part of sorts. She was going to carry the baby - feel it move in her belly, give birth, stay up all night soothing and feeding - not me. So when the baby came - I was still fine with it. OK - I was a little proud that I had helped. She asked me 4 or 5 times if the baby looked like my daughter and I tried to avoid the subject to be sensitive. The fifth time I caved and said "yeah, a bit".

By this time I was divorced, and had moved, and the other neighbor/friend started giving me the cold shoulder - as if I had divorced the neighborhood - which was very hurtful. I stayed away from the neighborhood because it felt like a war zone to me, the place where my divorce took place - and because I did not want to crowd my friend and her new baby - they needed to bond.

I got a letter from my friend telling me something I had not expected. She wanted me to stay away. The neighbor noted the similarity between me and the baby which had to be hurtful. She wanted me to throw away the picture of the baby. She didn't want me talking about the baby to anyone. She didn't want me talking to my daughter about the baby she had just visited in the hospital - she wanted me to lie to my daughter. Lie. I hate that word - that action - and everything about it. Lie to my DAUGHTER - a child.... ugh - seriously?

So I avoided in lieu of lying in hopes one day my daughter would stop asking. Then, a year or so passes by and I get a new note and a photo of the baby-now toddler. My friend, against therapist advice, wants us to all get together - a real feel good meeting.... ummmmm.... no. I was newly remarried, dealing with in-law issues, family issues, and oh yes - pregnancy. Should I go visit my old friend with my newly popping preggie-bellie? Me thinks not. More important - do I want to rip open the scar over the old wound she put in my heart? ummmmmm..... no.

I said No. I explained why. I was pretty clear that if the baby needed me medically - pick up the phone - other than that - move along. I just didn't have any openings in the drama department.

Now, 2 years later, she's trying again.

I did it for the GOOD of it. It=the donation, the separation, the disappearing, the refusal. All for the good of the BABY. So that she could have an enriched life with her Mother. And her Mother wouldn't be comparing, or feeling anything other than Motherhood.

Did I do the wrong thing in the first place? Was it worth the loss of a good friend? Was it worth the drama? Will the baby grow up feeling like her mother doesn't love her? that "something" isn't right?

She is linked to me genetically but she is not my daughter. I feel strongly about that. If she needed me would I be there? Absolutely - just as I would be there for any of my friends, my friends kids, and even some people who just need someone. But I will not jeopardise her childhood by confusing her Mom. She only has one after all.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Capitol Grille...

Today has been a whirlwind of discussions, thoughts, arguments and opinions on race, racism, and the like. Sparking my memory of crappy things....

It's been almost a year since my lovely Husband went out of his way to make surprise reservations at one of my favorite restaurants. Should I name names? Hell ya! it's a free country no?

The Capital Grille in Newton - oh sorry, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.

I'm from Newton. I've been to this restaurant. The best steaks I've ever had. So my husband gets a sitter, puts me in the car, drives me to an early reservation, and we wait. Why wait? It doesn't make sense - they blew the surprise by calling to confirm the "surprise" reservations by leaving a voice mail "Mr. H, this is the Capital Grill calling to confirm your reservations". I got the message, he was pissed since he asked them NOT TO CALL THE HOUSE. Well, they did - no biggie - right?

So when we got there and they didn't know where to put us we were surprised. We had a reservation, they confirmed the reservation, and only two tables were seated.

After about ten minutes of whispering and scurrying around they sat us - in the back of the restaurant, by the kitchen and the meat locker, behind the solid full height wall at the bar where we couldn't be seen from the door, or seen by the diners who had the luxury of sitting in the main dining room. The waiter was nice - seemed like his first day - very nervous. The best part was it was a booth for about 6-8 people set for 4. They didn't even bother to clear the other 2 place settings. VERY romantic on our anniversary let me tell you.

Was it my breath? My un-lost post baby weight? Toilet paper on my shoe? Oh no.... must have been the black man I was with..... me thinks yes. Not wanting to make a scene I said nothing. My husband looked aggravated and as it turned out neither of us wanted to upset the other by pointing out the obvious. So we waited until that poor soul, our waiter spilled water all over my lap. Yes it was an accident, but it was the tiny straw that got us to say "should we leave?"

We got up, walked out, followed by the Manager who wanted to know if there was something wrong. My husband said nothing. She prodded again and I asked her why she would seat us in the back of an empty restaurant - then told her to take a good look at us, and ask herself the question again.

Apparently there is a separate dining area at the Capital Grille for interracial couples we were not informed of...

My anniversary is next month and I'm wondering if we should take TCG up on their offer for us to "come back for your next anniversary" on them. Ummmmm no. I think we will go where we ended up going, and where we should have gone in the first place - Dali. Where the sangria is yummy and the people are warm and friendly and it is always romantic - even if you are with a group of 20!

Just in case you would like to make reservations at The Capitol Grille - here is their link, but please, make sure you "fit in". This means you are a middle aged pasty white guy in your business attire followed by co workers or wives that are similarly colored and dressed.

However, if you want delicious food, great atmosphere, where you can be anybody at anytime and you are welcomed openly.... go to Dalhi - order the sangria - you won't regret it....

Beautiful Browns?


Don't people have other people LOOK at what they put out on the internet before they make themselves look like something they just may not be?

My brown eyed girls will not be showcased on this photographers webpage I'm sure. Does she not realise the majority of HUMANS have brown eyes? I'll leave the race card out of the discussion totally... for now... but c'mon - have you seen my babies? I'm sure there are MILLIONS of babies with beautiful BROWN eyes - why are they not in this group?

Talk about cutting out a huge portion of your customer base!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Race or Ethnicity? Who chooses?

Black or white? Somewhere in between?
How do you describe yourself, or prefer to be described?

In today's society - it it getting harder and harder to put people into categories.

Me - I'm Irish/Italian like so many Beantowners... people may say I'm "white" due to my pigment-challenged skin tone (thanks Dad). My Husband - A whole list of things that I'm not even sure he is sure of! Begian (from Barbados), Native American - Blackfoot, French, Russian, African-American... African American... or Black? He says "Black" because, as he puts it, "that's how people see me" so for future reference people - I'm going with his wishes and using "Black" for the sake of this discussion.

If we must choose a label - which label do you choose? If you were filling out the United States Federal Census in 2000, the there are 15 options. One of which is "some other race", and if you are Asian or Native American you have boxes to fill in your specifics. If you are "Black" you are either "Black, African American," or (ahem) "Negro". Now, in Beantown - "Negro" isn't a word we use - maybe it is elsewhere, but I was surprised to see it on the census. And if you are "White" you are just white. There is no "Irish" no "Italian" not even "European" I'd like a box to specify. I think my Grandparents may appreciate a little recognition.

Hey - How about AMERICAN? or is that a bad word?

To see the form:
Yes, you can check more than one... but why check any? Should we fill in "some other race" as "human"? If there were no computers - who keeps track of the billions of blends found in the US? Anyone have a statistics degree? Sheesh....
I'm more than "White". My husband is more than "Black"
Our daughter... well... is there a check box on the census for "cute"?
Now that that is off my chest - I'm off to bed.
Happy 4th of July people!

Do you feel welcome?

After years of people telling me I should blog... I'm blogging. I think.

What the hell is "blogging" anyway? Bitching? I certainly hope so - it is one of my strengths after all.

So here I am, at 3:30 am with my mind filled with things I want to say... hmmm where to begin?

I've got many hobbies, many thoughts and ideas to share, and so much drama to vent before my head explodes!

baby steps...