Does anybody read these?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I have a secret. It's something that not even those closest to me know.

And, no, I'm not telling you.

However, there is someone I should tell because it affects them as well.

But, I don't really like the person. And, I'd rather not talk to this individual at all. Like, if I saw this person on fire on the side of the road, I'd probably call 911, but I'd most likely not pull over and piss on them to put the fire out.

Some people are just better left in the past. And, after all, it was not I who burned the bridge.

I really just feel like if this person was supposed to know the secret, they would have not been an asshole who needed to be put in time out.

And, while it's kind of shitty of me, I feel like adults can figure some things out on their own without having to be told by others.

Not my problem, really. And not feeling like opening up that can of worms. Not looking for a reunion, not looking for redemption.

Just wishing the teeny tiny pang of guilt I occasionally get would just adios right out of my brain.
I'm sure it will someday, when things have been in the vault much longer...

I've got your back.

So, last night (or this morning, really) I had a dream.

I had a dream that Jennifer Granholm, the former Governor of Michigan and all-around great gal, was president of the United States.

Alas, this was only a dream because she was born in Canada. However, the events of this dream reminded me what we, as Americans, need to do right now in our country.

In this dream, we were all still struggling financially, similar to the America of today. (Hell, it was my dream, and maybe in my dreams she becomes president instead of Obama, not just after him, like I previously thought.) We were at an event, which was in a big city, I'm going to guess Detroit, and people were begging this mythical President Granholm to help them. They had no jobs, they were sick and hungry without access to affordable healthcare and food.

Finally, as she walked by me, I said:
"You have to help us. Just push it through if you have to. Don't worry about consequences. We've got your back."

In this dream, President Granholm goes home, helps her kids with their homework and then goes on to tackle America's problems one by one, steamrolling anyone who didn't want Americans to be prosperous.

People were calling the White House telling them that the President had to do something about the state of the country, and if she did the right thing, we would not let her fail. They did the same thing with their Members of Congress.

Finally, our government started to get things done. Our elected officials realized that we, the voters, are the ultimate decisionmakers, and listened to us more and big money less.

And while I realize this was a dream, probably even a fantasy, I think we need to do this. I think we need to call/email/tweet our representatives and our president and tell them "If you make the right decisions and work hard to get America back on track, we've got your back." And for those who don't, we need to not have their backs. We need to vote and we need to be loud. After all, we elected these people to represent us and we need jobs, food and affordable housing and health care.

It's time to tell politicians that they need to stop worrying about the people who write the big checks like the Koch Brothers and start worrying about the people who pull the levers. The Koch Brothers might have a lot of money, but they only get one vote (in one Congressional district, I might add) just like the rest of us.

Call your elected officials. Tell them to get things done, and if they do that we have their backs.

And, if they don't, be loud so that people know that when it's time to head to the polls.

This is our America. Let's treat it that way.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Table for how many?

So, it's my turn to host Thanksgiving. Last year I wanted to host in my new house, but it was Ashley's turn, so this year it's my turn.

My dining room in my house is pretty big, which is good, except I only have a little table right now, which is not good. I'm going to make a new table out of a door, but this means I have to find a vehicle big enough to carry around a door and actually find a door.

I really should do that before Thanksgiving.

So here I am, planning a menu, buying extra pieces of Fiesta, making an inventory of my table linens in my head and mentally arranging pies on top of the buffet, and I have no table. And, actually, if I get a bigger table, I'm probably going to need to procure a few chairs, as well.

Although, I'm not even sure how many people are coming to Thanksgiving.

AND, if the Lions are on TV, are we really going to have some big sit down dinner in the dining room, using gourds with everyone's name carved into them as placecards?

Hmmm... really the holidays are just about the friends and the food, so even if we're eating on card tables, it will be fine.

In fact, as long as there's pumpkin pie, cornbread stuffing, green bean casserole and wine, everything will be OK.

And, if I didn't plan, well, I wouldn't be me!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's time.

Today I went to the store to buy a few household items and get some more fall decorations for my house. Anyone who knows me knows that Halloween is my favorite holiday and fall is my favorite time of year. So as I loaded my cart with pumpkin-scented candles and a sparkly spiderweb that I'm going to use for a wreath (and Coke Zero, since we're being honest), I was in a pretty good mood. You know, one of those really good moods where it's hard to come back to reality.

But luckily, there was a rude, hostile customer to help me out with that. This woman was not only rude, but she was racist and rude. She was so distressed that there were three people ahead of her in line that she started that passive-aggressive, griping customer talk to no one in general.

"Oh my god, this place has really gone downhill. I can't believe that there's only one checkout lane open."

And the cashier did exactly what I would've done if this lady was at my workplace. She ignored her rather than call her a racist bitch to her face.

The lady didn't like that. She decided to go a step further and say: "Maybe you didn't understand me because I didn't speak Spanish, you Mexican piece of shit. I wonder what happened to that nice white lady who used to be the cashier here."

OK, so then I might have called her a racist bitch, but I don't think she heard me over her passive-aggressive, asshole customer routine.

I thought the cashier (who may or may not have been Hispanic; she did speak English with an accent I couldn't quite discern. I actually thought she was Middle Eastern) was going to cry. She quietly left the register and went outside and told whoever the girl was on her break to come back in and help her. When she came back in and turned the other girl's light on, bitch lady said thank you in a way that let you know she was not really thankful.

As I was loading up my car, I see bitch lady come out and get into a car that was broken down in the parking lot. From its temporary tags, she appears to have acquired it five days ago.

She really should have not created all that extra bad karma for herself.

After I got over my amusement at her new-to-her car being broken down, I got really upset. This is the second day in a row that I have experienced racism in the neighborhood where I work (yesterday I read some disturbingly racist comments on a neighborhood Internet forum created by the area's city councilman). All of a sudden, this is not really a place I want to be. This is a neighborhood that is allowing its hatred of the "new kids in town" to stifle its growth as a community. And it's just mean and ugly. I don't care what your perceived grievance is, no one deserves to be called a "Mexican piece of shit."

And as I usually do when people are ugly and racist toward Latinos, I thought of my own family.

I worry so much for my nephew, my sister-in-law and my Mexican family in Florida. They are all American citizens, and they contribute to society. (Not that mistreating them would be OK if they didn't.) People here in the United States see brown skin and hair and hear words that aren't in English, and they flip out. They assume you're illegal; and they assume you are a drain on society.

I told someone yesterday that I know more Asians and Europeans who are here illegally than I do Hispanics. But it's only the ones who look different who are getting persecuted. Adam told us one time that he was asked for his "papers" one day while he was fishing. This is an American citizen, folks. Who was asked to prove he was an American citizen while he was fishing. How many times has that happened to any of you?

Yeah, I didn't think so.

Our immigration system is broken. Only a minute number of people are able to come here legally each year. I just read an article today about students coming here on student visas and being forced to work in awful conditions in factories and not even getting to go to school. Our citizens are being harrassed. A record number of people were deported this year, even though there are very few legal paths to citizenship. People think it's OK to call someone a "Mexican piece of shit" because they had to wait in line at the store for a few minutes.

Our country is an ugly place these days. It worries me to death what kind of life my precious nephew will have here because he has brown skin and speaks Spanish. I don't want him to lose his culture, and I don't want him to ever be called a "Mexican piece of shit." It is breaking my heart just thinking about it.

My mom always says, "Unless your grandpa was named Cochise or Geronimo, you need to be for immigration reform, and you need to not bitch about people who come to our country for a better life, 'illegal' or not."

I think that's good advice here. We all have a stake in making our country a better place for everyone who lives here. We all have a stake for providing more safe, legal avenues for people to become citizens of our country.

Very few of us are truly natives here. Your family didn't get deported by the sheer grace of God, and now it's time to pay it forward. It's time to provide opportunity to the next generation of new Americans.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Motor City Madness

I'm not the world's biggest sports fan. I rarely watch ESPN. I love Keith Olbermann more for his political banter than his baseball observations. I don't always know the names of cities' sports teams, let alone their players. I don't eat, breathe or sleep sports.

But I'm a Detroiter, and sports have always been what united Detroiters. And, for the most part, our sports teams have always given us a lot to cheer about.

Right now, the Detroit Lions are one of two undefeated teams in the NFL. And yes, I know it's still early in the season. But for a team who rarely wins five games in a season, being 5-0 is a major accomplishment.

The Tigers are in the American League Championship Series right now. I'm hoping in a few short games they will be headed to the World Series.

And hockey season just started, and the Red Wings never disappoint.

(Of course, basketball is still locked out, so that sucks. But maybe eventually the Pistons will join the fray.)

In a side note, the Michigan Wolverines football team is also currently undefeated. That may be more impressive than the Lions.

Last night, I cried watching the baseball game. I don't normally cry watching sports, but I cried last night. It wasn't because the game was particularly moving, it was because I was overwhelmed thinking about what these sports victories mean to Detroit.

Detroit's had a tough run of luck over the last few years. The unemployment rate is higher there than anywhere else in America. People's cars are worth more than their homes. The city and state are pretty much broke.

There's not a lot to cheer about in Detroit these days.

To me, and most Detroiters, the Tigers' and the Lions' victories mean more than just winning games. They represent a city coming back. A city that isn't giving up even when the rest of America is telling us we should. Imagine if the Lions had given up when they were left for dead. Or, for that matter, imagine if General Motors had.

Detroit has faced many obstacles in its 300+ years as a city. It's always been like a phoenix, rising from the ashes.

Maybe to rest of America it's just football or baseball, but to us it's all about not giving up. Detroit's a city that you may leave, but it never leaves you. It's always home, and it's always there for you. That's the way it's always been, and that's the way it always should be. I think of my brothers (along with Eminem, Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker) with their Old English "Ds" tattooed on their arms. I think about the way I crank the radio up everytime a song by Bob Seger or Stevie Wonder comes on.

I miss home. I pray everyday that things will get better for all of my friends and family that I left behind. A lot of times, I hate myself for leaving, but I do love Nashville and my life here as much as I loved my life there. (Even though Nashville really needs an MLB team.)

Things are getting better. There's still a long row to hoe, but GM and Chrysler are making money again. And even for those who are still looking for work or even maybe have given up, they are getting pleasure from watching the Tigers kick some ass.

Whether we bring home the pennant or not, Detroiters are winners, and the rest of the country shouldn't write us off. We'll be back. We always come back.