We are people, a reflection.

My stomach hurts this morning.  It seems a bit of my surroundings leaked in while I slept.  Stress is heavy when it takes hold.  My eyes, just as dense with the weight of similarity, express their desire for slumber through fog. I’m foggy today.  I began this journey over a month ago and am now a weary traveler.  Life in spaces that are not mine has added its girth as well.

My bank and I lean on my friendships. I can see their weight and yet they do not break.  For that I am forever grateful.  I do make wise decisions though financial institutions does not seem like one.  It was at one point, seven points ago.  My friendships are some of the best decisions I make.

I awoke this morning to additional broken promises.  I called ING Direct to inquire.  I was put on hold.  The weight sat heavy and tears threatened their presence.  Apart of me knew I’d been deceived again and I awaited the news.  Luckily I now have the means to locate that which is mine and yet that does not assuage.  I’ll believe it when I feel it in my shaking hands.

My car, no longer a reliable means to get me to the hooded south, sits in the parking lot within eyeshot. My belongings take up space that is neither theirs nor mine in an apartment where I’ve been for more than 20 days rent free. A squatter. I’ve cooked meals out of love and not obligation. Dined and laughed, without mirth, at the folly of corporations and absurdity of situations.  I feel like I should feel like I overstayed my welcome but I don’t.  Those are the friendships that I’ve chosen.  I have chosen well.  I have been chosen as well and it feels good.  In my world where abandonment is common-place, betrayal second nature, and disappointment a best friend I have been chosen by kind, loving, genuine people.  Good people have chosen to love and care for me. That explains my history.  Good people have chosen to love me while bad people have chosen not to.

I am loved by good people.

Corporations are people. Your policies, actions, and inaction hurts people.  That’s what this is  all about. My bank has yet to acknowledge that I am a person who needed them to deliver and they didn’t.  Individuals under their employ drooled phrases from instruction manuals rarely deviating from their scripts.  As is common, they hid behind policy designed for all yet applicable to few and further alienating many. We are people.  When you have gotten so big that it is impossible for you to acknowledge that important reality perhaps your focus should shift to getting smaller.

An Open Letter to ING Direct/Capital One 360

This difficulty is multi-fold because I’m trying to get home to see my grandfather.  I don’t have much money and that’s why I don’t matter to ING Direct –soon to be Capital One 360. It’s one of my longest relationships with a financial institution to date.   My experiences with this bank have been neutral (almost good) thus far, and so this is hard. I’m trying to get to a home that I’ve never called as such but do now because of the people and not the place.  My granddad is ill and I’ve left Seattle to be with him.  Honestly, more for me than him, but with him nonetheless.  I quit my job saved and stored my belongings packed up my dog in an old car and am driving. And now, because of ING Direct, soon to be Capital One 360, I am losing time with him.

At some point on my road trip I discovered that my card’s magnetic strip was not working.   Being more responsible than I usually am I made all the necessary arrangements to have a new card mailed to an upcoming location on my trip.  When I arrived I realized I’d beaten the card, but did not worry. Days passed and still, no card. Additional phone calls and days passed with no change.  Eleven business (18 people) days and no card later I’m still waiting.

Circumstances provide an opportunity for thought.  The voices of all my mothers sing quietly in my mind that, perhaps, I should have other resources.  Perhaps. But, I don’t.  A lot of people don’t. We work for our compensation and should have the opportunity to access it, as we need.  Here in this deserved season of bank animosity I can empathize with the feeling of being out of control: the feeling of someone taking advantage.

I want to live in a world where I matter. Where banks aren’t so big that someone the size of me can disappear and no one is concerned.  Where customer service doesn’t consist of a different person with each correspondence and previous conversations are kept in digital logs.  Where I feel good about the choices I make as a consumer.  After my interactions with the consistently growing entity that is ING Direct/Capital One 360 I’m not sure that what I want coincides with what it can give.

Obama’s Luther vs. my Truth

I began to a comment on Minorities in the Media’s Key & Peele Challenge the Meaning of Blackness then stopped. My attention span is as long as a lightening bolt is visible. As a result, I can’t stand comments on the internet that are multi-paragraphed brain vomits. So I chose to vomit here, in my own home.

The author discusses how Key and Peele, through their appropriately popular Comedy Central show, comment on Blackness.  I don’t think the comedians would describe their work as strictly commentary on this construct, but I don’t know that they wouldn’t either.

We all have a Luther. My Luther goes by SoulBurner Truth. She’s part warrior princess, part goddess, and a shit ton of angry. She skates derby and likes fire.  Truth is the part of me doesn’t leave racist interactions with the foolish to think and gather herself.  She ‘a cuss dem in Patois then burns their shit. Truth is all exhale while I’m more waiting. When our powers combine, you get the thoughtful and intentional “I’ll hold you accountable with love” version of me.

Truth isn’t allowed to come out and play as often as I desire.  If she did, my happy ass would be in prison and Truth would be writing a blog about her softer side named me.  I like my life so she stays inside (thanks, girl).  Such is the case with many folks who present as darker descendants of the African diaspora.  No doubt all oppressed are similarly multi-faceted. It’s different for Black folk.

After researching my feelings on the internet I found solace in my notion that, Luther isn’t just Truth.  Luther is all of us watching Obama at home, thinking, “What? Why aren’t you saying something!?!” He’s that part of ourselves that exists when we’re in the car talking to ourselves after an altercation where we didn’t get to say all the things we wanted to say.  He’s brazen. He’s normal.  He’s a perfect representation of a great deal of people, present company included.  That’s why Obama is President and we’re not. He knows how to play the game of “politician.” He knows how to respond to situations in a socially acceptable manner.  Luther, however, doesn’t, or at the very least has gotten fed up with doing so. And when he does America heaves a collective sigh of relief and our political aneurysms lose a little bit of their girth.

In short, Luther is less social commentary on the Angry Black man stereotype, more an unintentional reflection of the distance between politicians and the average person, and even moreso, just great comedy.

Detox

What is it about the night that makes me want to eat my boredom?  Makes me want to eat boredom, hunger, joy, loneliness, pain. With the night comes my inability to be satiated. Crawling through my intestine this monster reaches for my weakness and offers it strength. The strength to do that which makes me weak.  Consumed by my inability to control myself I often give in regrettably, immediately.  Full from follies far from significant I offer my regrets simultaneous with relief.  It’s good to consume without consequence.

Seemingly without.

Yet the results are always there. Each season with skimpier clothes attempting to hide a larger body I take note of my mistakes from colder days.  I acknowledge my habits and vow to do better. Not lying, my habits change with the season. Exercise. Food. Outlook.  All different. Yet, the same come the same months. Always the same. Exercise lessens. Motivation plummets. I expand.  Always with the expansion.

The middle of this season is not the same. Armed with different tools my behavior is different. Slightly. Enough.  The onslaught of these colder months has introduced itself to a different me. And so I fast.  I’ve become accustomed to routines that are better than before but not good enough for yet. This depletion of the nutrients in me is giving way to passage of the toxicity in me as well.  I will meditate, exercise, grow, and accept all which greets me as enter I into difference.

Tripod the Yoga Destroyer

The friends I’m visiting (well, I think visits last a few days, I’ve been here a week. Stupid ING Direct/Capitol One 360) adopted a dog.  This visit is the first time I’ve met him. I think I like him more than my own dog.  No joke. He’s a little bit of something and a whole lot of Cairn Terrier minus his front right leg.  It’s been assumed that he was hit by a car, but no one knows for sure.

His name is Tripod.

We’ve been spending quite a bit of time together while my friends are at work.  We went for a jog the other day which ended in me carrying him because he decided to just lie down 1/2 through. It was adorable.

I’m starting a juice cleanse because while I’ve made better choices during this road trip than during past jaunts, I’ve still been eating less wonderfully than normal and exercising even less.  The cleanse is a bit of a reboot button on my digestive system.  I digress.

This morning I decided to do yoga on the floor of my friends’ living room.  Roughly 3 seconds in my “Oms” this happened:

First .

Then this happened:

second

Finally this

Eventually I gave up my pursuit of centered breathing and stretched muscles.  When I’m done writing this post I’m going to take both he and my dog for a run.  I’d like to wear them out so maybe mama can get peace.  If not, I’m seriously going to call him Tripod the Yoga Destroyer for the rest of his life.

P.S. Here’s a picture of my dog’s similar disregard for personal space:DSC_0021

At what point did Hulu stop being enough?

I’ve lived alone for quite sometime.  My usual routine is I walk in the door, up the stairs undress on my way up leaving a trail of partially wet clothing and dirt. Grabbing my laptop computer I’d walk into the kitchen find something on Hulu (or Netflix) and begin to cook a meal. Read Nachos.

I could sit in my apartment for hours — when not skating derby, or at work, and just watch tv on the internet.  Hours of television into my brain. Yes, please.

I’m currently on a road trip to Georgia.  I’ve driven down the coast of Oregon, through the coast and inland of California through mainland Texas and now I’m hanging out with friends. All of that driving? Completed by me. When I first got to my friend’s house I played Assassin’s Creed 3 for 3 days straight. Then I grew weary of that. Then I tried watching Hulu. By this time my queue was at 54 and that’s bizarre. I’m sitting down doing nothing currently and what I want to do is read my book “Staying Healthy with Nutrition.” I tried watching Hulu earlier, and just couldn’t do it. A few episodes of Grey’s played while I was rooting around in my car.

At what point does your brain say “…enough! stop! stimulate me!!”?  I’m unemployed, unengaged, homeless, damn close to penniless, but I’m bobbing around in a sea of not sadness.  Comfort. I’m bobbing in a sea of comfort.  I’ve been eating so healthy Rebecca Wood would be proud. I’m exercising regularly and not too much.  I started reading again. When did this happen? Did having a job turn me into a boob? Why? How does that happen? What is it about my lack of responsibilities that has turned me into the most humane version of myself I’ve been in years?

Eat Rite Health Promotion Center Amarillo, TX: a review

When I was a kid I tried to make bubble gum. I read the list of ingredients on the side of a Bubble Yum package and compiled what I could from the kitchen. It should be no surprise that mama’s ingredients did not Bubble Yum make.

Today at almost 30 years old I had a similar experience. I walked into “Eat Rite Health Promotion Center” in Amarillo, Texas looking for BCQ or Boswelia Curcumin Quercitin. They didn’t have it so they handed me other bottles with other ingredients including what I was looking for. Sort of. I was going to experiment, but then felt uneasy and told them I found it online. Which I did. The men– who were less than friendly– said oh, what’s in it? In one of the most condescending ways I’ve been spoken to in a very long time. I showed them the ingredients from my iPhone and they exchanged some dialogue and sent me on my way. I left the exchange feeling like they were mocking my choice and, in fact, me. I returned the items to the shelves and started to purchase the other items in my basket. I looked over my shoulder to find the older gentleman sneering at me. Sneering. Like Lord Voldemort.

It’s been 30 or so minutes since that interaction occurred and I’m still angry. I would drive away, but then they would walk away from that feeling like it’s okay to treat people in that manner. It’s not.

They were offering me dehydrated apples and apple juice and telling me it’d make an apple just fine. That’s not true. I had a specific product I wanted and they didn’t have it.

I’ll never shop at Eat Rite Health Promotion Center again and I hope you won’t either. In a second, I’m going to go back in there and give that gentleman some feedback that’s probably long over due.

Has anyone else had a similar experience at this location?

Road Trip Update: 1/12/13

Bleugh. I feel kinda crappy today. I haven’t eaten particularly well since my stove quit on me. Thanks a lot Coleman. I still have the back-up (MSR Dragonfly) but it’s been 30 degrees and CRAZY windy and I just haven’t wanted to sit in the cold and cook. Can you blame me? I’ll be at my friends house in a few days so I’ll get to relax, but for now I feel bloated and lethargic.

I miss my routine. I would go to work and stop by the co-op on my way home. I’d pick up seasonal veggies and fruit and I felt good. I knew that my purchases were pesticide free and contributing to the local economy.

Because of the route I’m taking I’m kinda far away from natural food stores. I tried to maneuver my way through San Francisco to find a health food store and ended up lost in Oakland, CA at like midnight. Not where I wanted to be. As a result, I’ve been trying to steer clear of metropolitan areas.

I also haven’t done as much hiking as I did on the Oregon Coast. Hiking trails were more frequent, and the weather was more mild. In the Southwest it’s sunny, but it’s WINDY and dust blows everywhere. Also, there are burrs that get in my dog’s fur and we can’t get very far. I feel like the trip is an audition for my next home. It seems like the PNW (Pacific Northwest) is where I need to end up.

Tomorrow is my 5th six-hour driving day in a row. I spoke with my grandad on the phone a few days ago, and I’m excited to see him. That might be why I can’t concentrate on the road trip anymore. I miss him and just want to be around him.

Wearing my apron: Cast iron biscuits

Cast iron biscuits

I made a giant biscuit is a cast iron pot over a fire. I am amazing. When it was done I literally exclaimed, “I just did that! I am awesome!” I would post more but I need to check out of this motel and I still have to take care of bidness. Till next time!

Roadtrip 2013

I’ve been on a road trip for about a week now.  I haven’t been writing much, or taking many pictures for that matter.  I have been enjoying my time with my dog and thinking about my future. Here are some of the pics I did take.

This first one is actually from November 2012.

Teddy Roosevelt National Grasslands

Oregon Coast

Oregon Coast

Oregon Coast

Oregon Coast

Self potrait. Making faces on the coast

Self portrait. Making faces on the coast