Saturday, August 13, 2005

  • Maxine Waters
  • has gone to Crawford, Texas to join forces with Cindy Sheehan! I LOVE Maxine Waters---if there is anyone in Congress that I wouldn't mess with it would be HER!
    I used to recite three poems all of the time, "The Lady of Shalott,","Lord Lovel," and "Lady Clare." God if I were in the third grade again.
    Oh there was once a time when I could recite "The Lady of Shalott," in its entirety. I can still memorize and recite poems. I just moved from " The Lady of Shalott" to "Cultural Exchange,".;-)

    Gas for $.26 a gallon

  • here
  • Why Did Maria Schriver Marry This Man?

    Arnold Schwarzenegger is in
  • trouble
  • I Have Always Loved this Song

    Strumming my pain with his fingers
    Singing my life with his words
    Killing me softly with his song
    Killing me softly with his song
    Telling my whole life with his words.
    Killing me softly with his song.

    I heard he sang a good song
    I heard he had a style
    And so I came to see him
    And listen for a while.
    And there he was this young boy
    A stranger to my eyes.

    I felt all flushed with fever
    Embarrassed by the crowd.
    I felt he found my letters
    And read each one out loud.
    I prayed that he would finish
    But he just kept right on.

    Strumming my pain with his fingers
    Singing my life with his words
    Killing me softly with his song
    Killing me softly with his song
    Telling my whole life with his words.
    Killing me softly with his song

    He sang as if he knew me
    In all my dark despair.
    And then he looked right through me
    As if I wasn't there.
    And he just kept on singing
    Singing clear and strong.

    Strumming my pain with his fingers
    Singing my life with his words
    Killing me softly with his song
    Killing me softly with his song
    Telling my whole life with his words.
    Killing me softly with his song.

    Friday, August 12, 2005

    I think the most touching scene from the film Ray is the funeral scene for George, Ray's little brother. Great movie.
    I think that perhaps all of the against John Roberts are efforts that will be done in vain. Perhaps other tactics are necessary to get the results desired.
    If the United States were Barbra Streisand and Nikki Giovanni I would love this country immensely, but it is not. This country is George Bush and white men with power and all of the lynchings that have taken place in this country, and all of the filipinos that they killed during the Spanish-American War,all of the Indians that they drove out of the Eastern states and destroyed on the reservations. This country has a lot to pay for. And if you wish to ally yourself with it or pledge allegiance to this crap, then go right ahead.
    I have not written much at all about Mattie Roper,which I don't know why as she was such a strong and powerful figure. She and Morgan Goodson stand head to head within the Goodson family. Alas, last summer, when I was again in Prattville, I went to the courthouse and found a document where she made him pay her--in money and in goods, for money that she had loaned to him before their marriage. She was quite a character. My great-great grandmother was a strong, beautiful spirit who drove hard to do for her children and to make sure that, as the mother from the Women of Brewster Place said, "her children would never have to apologize to anyone for who they were or what they were, whatever they looked like." Morgan Goodson was fierce, but he was a bit of a lazy man--intelligent, but when his children got old enough, he let them work his land and he sat down.
    He was also strong willed and as I said, mean. When he would get in his moods, when his children were younger, he would take his seat in his chair on their porch and wouldn't move for days on end and would leave her to get food and work the fields for their children. Mattie was a strong woman. She was also reportedly the best shot in Autauga County. She knew herbs and medicine, and in her later years went around from house to house visiting all of her children and their families, giving them medicines so that they wouldn't get sick during the year.

    Mattie was fourteen when she had her first child. She was born in 1857; Morgan was born in 1854. Her mother was a white woman named Caroline Roper, the daughter of a methodist minister and her father was a stud on the plantation(owned by someone else, I don't know whom), named Greenberry Smith. A stud is a breeder, which means that Greenberry's job on the plantation was to have children. He had 49 of them that we know of. Greenberry's was an odd case, as he was a mulatto and they rarely bred mulattoes as their children could run away. However, mulattoes were bred because a light-skinned mulatto slave, especially a girl, brought a higher price on the market than the average slave. Mattie Roper was a very, very light skinned woman. I may post her picture sometime if I figure out how to do that. Anyway, she was all but a white woman. They said you couldn't tell she was a woman of color until her children were surrounding her. Morgan, on the other hand was dark, a very dark brown with red eyes. His father, Philip Goodson, is said to have been a mulatto as well and his mother was a full-blooded Cherokee by the name of Pee Y( I do not know how to spell this).

    They say Mattie could rarely be caught wearing a dress and could work a plow better than any man. Indeed she represents a kind of strength that I hear a lot equated with women of color, especially slave women, of that time. I have heard that some slave women, when they were pregnant, would be in the field when it was their time to deliver and would simply stop their in the middle of the field and have that child and then get right back up and go to work. Incredible. It is said that she told, when she was a girl, on the plantation(I should find out who's plantation, although it is said she was owned by her Grandfather--so perhaps), that it was her job to fetch water for the white men when ever there was company. She said that she would take her bucket and get the water and then dip her hair in it and take it to them to drink. Her hair was so fine( I don't know what that means) that they wouldn't know it was wet and would go right on drinking that water. This is one of the first acts of resistance that I had ever heard of and I thought it was fucking fantastic!

    Mattie Roper died in the 1920's and the story goes that once Morgan Goodson was fussing loudly at her and she told him, " Morgan, if you don't stop fussing at me you're going to make my heart overflow." Well, he kept on and so she killed over. Both Morgan and Mattie are buried in our family cemetary. I will definitely try to get her picture online( I highly doubt I will be successful).

    The Way I Feel About It

    I have caught quite a few stares now and then with what I say, especially with my political views,but frankly I don't give a shit. I will state again that I am Afro-American, that I am not American and the word Patriotism does not even register in my vocabulary. Some have said to me, " you sit here and reap the benefits of this country and then complain about it or reject it, why don't you just leave?" Well my response is that this country didn't do and hasn't done shit for me. Everything that I am and all of the blessings that have been bestowed upon me are reapings from the hardwork and labour of John Archie Deramus and Sadie Mae Goodson DeRamus and Morgan Goodson and Mattie Roper. America didn't do shit.Thank you. And to all of my ancestors that have come before me, I give all of my thanks and give my utmost respect.

    More on Afro-Americans and Landownership

    My great-great grandfather and great-grandfather bought land(and inherited some, but those are other stories) in the late 19th century and the early part of the 20th Century. To be exact, my great-grandfather bought his property in 1913. Afro-Americans for a long time held a considerable amount of property in the Southern states. After the Civil War,Congress passed an act which effectively broke up many of the old plantations in the south and divided them into plots of land which they sold to the newly freed slaves and others who could buy. If I remember correctly,I believe one could purchase 100 acres of land for $40. As a result of this, many many Blacks bought land which they primarily farmed, and which became the foundation for the growth of the Black Middle class after the Civil War. Since 1910,this economic stronghold for Blacks has been slowly eroded as Blacks have lost their land for various reasons. In cases I know, my aunts and uncles (actually my grandmother's first cousins, but we call them aunts and uncles as they are so close to all of us), the Fraziers lost their land about five years ago now. Their father, Harrison Frazier, left them 500 acres of prime property surrounding the current high school. After my Uncle Amos died, my uncle Sylvester and others began to quarrel and the land ended up in court, and thus was sold( as that is what white judges do to Black property ownership in the south). What a loss that was, they didn't even get what the land was worth from the sale. Anyway, if you are Black and you have land KEEP YOUR HANDS ON IT and hold it for dear life. Land is the basis of economic stability.
    Land, Money, and relatives do not mix. This is something that I have said for a long time. Nothing but a big headache. My great-grandfather, J.A.B (John Archie Bradson) left 97 acres for his children and my great-great grandfather, Morgan, left 300 acres for his heirs.We are all the beneficiaries of this land as they left it as
  • heir property
  • My Uncle Lawrence ran the Goodson estate until his death and my Aunt Earnestine (mis)managed the DeRamus estate until she became unable to, and now my Aunt Betty, who can manage it, but who has no imagination and I certainly don't want her to run it, but she is. If it is one thing about my Aunt, she can hold on to a penny until it burst, so we know the estate won't loose money, but she is not the type of person I would want running anything for me. However, Uncle Lawrence didnt want his hands in it as he didnt want to hear every mouth in the world yapping, which I can understand. Lord, he moved to Enterprise when he grew up and rarely made his way back to Prattville-- in order to stay out of that fray. Anyway, I suppose I will take over at some point.

    Thursday, August 11, 2005

    Snippets of Gossip

    Thinking more on the subject of career and the idea of finding a mate versus defining one's role in the world, alas Dr. D once told me that when bell hooks was in Graduate School she was involved in a hot steamy affair with a professor. Well, this professor fell head over heels in love with bell and proceeded to divorce his wife so that he could be with bell. When he told bell of his plans to leave his wife so that he could be with her, she reportedly looked at him and said" You stupid fool, you did what?" Haha. There is definitely a reason why I love bell hooks.
    I baked a cake today. The presentation could be better but I am utterly pleased with myself;-)

    Cindy Sheehan

    This is the text of a speech that Cindy Sheehan gave in Dallas a couple of Days ago. Cindy Sheehan lost her son in Iraq and is now camping out in Crawford,Texas to ask the Bastard in the White House(soon to be painted another color) exactly why her son had to die.

    Cindy Sheehan: It’s so great to be here.

    Last year when you guys had your convention in Boston, my son had only been dead a few months, and we were really honored because the Santa Barbara chapter took my daughter’s poem A Nation Rocked to Sleep, (and they did it again this year), and I remember Michael Cervantes, he brought the booklet over to our house and showed it to us, and I never dreamed in a year I’d be standing here in front of you as one of the speakers at your convention, I never dreamed I’d be doing this at all, but isn’t it weird what life hands you…

    I never heard about Veterans for until, I can tell you the exact day I heard about VFP, it was May 4th, 2004, and my son had been dead exactly a month, and I was watching CNN, and something came on, it was a report on Arlington West in Santa Barbara, and we lived about 6 hours north of Santa Barbara, and it was the May 4th before Mother’s Day, which was May 8th, and VFP was going to put it up on Sunday, every Sunday, so I called my husband and I said, “There’s only one place I want to be on Mother’s Day this year, I want to be at Santa Barbara. I want to go and see Arlington West.”

    When we went, the first time we went, there was a little over 700 crosses, now there’s over 1,800 crosses.

    And I’m glad to hear everybody else’s words, because somebody’s gotta stop those lying bastards. Somebody has to stop them.

    I got an email yesterday - - If you guys heard I just had a story published that talks about - - it’s called Where Do I Live?, it talks about an Iranian-American who got the shaft because a recruiter liked him, and the recruiter falsified his paperwork, so he ended up in prison. He’s been in prison since November without due process. Another mother whose son was found dead in Iraq, they told her that he died from a drug overdose. Three months later, they got the toxicology report; no drugs. She was devastated, she said, “I know my son, he did not do drugs.” She was told that her son’s wife and his battle buddies said in a report that yes, her son abused drugs in Iraq. But when she got that report it said categorically that no, he did not abuse drugs. So how did her son die?

    And then there’s Kevin and Monica Benderman. Kevin did exactly the right thing and got 15 months in prison. Whereas like Dahr (Jamail) said, the war criminals in Washington, D.C., they don’t even lose a night’s sleep. Then we have this lying bastard, George Bush, taking a 5-week vacation in a time of war. You know what? I’m never going to get to enjoy another vacation, because of him.
    My vacation probably - -this is really sad because I have a really cute dress I was going to wear to the banquet tomorrow night, but I’m either gonna be in jail or in a tent in Crawford, waiting until that jerk comes out and tells me why my son died.

    Anyway, I got an email, I kinda got off track, a man emailed me yesterday, I get contacted by all kinds of people with their stories, and he said Cindy, I read everything you write, I read it on, he said, “I get tears in my eyes, but today I cried real tears, and I screamed, because my dear sweet nineteen ear-old cousin was killed in Iraq.”

    And he said, “Cindy, why didn’t I save him? Why didn’t I knock him out, why didn’t I take him to Canada?” and I wrote him back and I said, “You know what? We all think that.”

    I said to my son not to go. I said, you know it’s wrong, you know you’re going over there. You know your unit might have to kill innocent people, you know you might die. And he says, “My buddies are going, I have to go.” He said, “If I don’t go someone’s going to have to do my job, and my buddies will be in danger.”

    So what really gets me is these chickenhawks, who sent our kids to die, without ever serving in a war themselves. They don’t know what it’s all about.

    30 of our bravest young men have already died this month, and it’s only the 5th of August. And the tragedy of the marines in Ohio is awful.

    But do you guys remember back in March when we were having our 2nd year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq which was pre-empted by Terry Schiavo, so that’s all that was on the news, not 5,000 of us in Fayetteville, Wolf Blitzer said it was insignificant, but they put Terry Schiavo on, and I wrote something then called The Amazing Hypocrites and I asked why does she deserve life more than my son, and the Iraqi people? And more than the other people that this war has killed.

    But do you think George Bush will interrupt his vacation and go visit the families of those 20 marines that have died in Ohio this week? No, because he doesn’t care, he doesn’t have a heart. That’s not enough to stop his little ‘playing cowboy’ game in Crawford for 5 weeks.

    So, as you can imagine, the grieving parents who lost - - lost, I don’t like to use that word, whose child was murdered, it’s extremely difficult, you can’t even get a small scab on our wound, because every day it rips open. Every day, I don’t know why I do it because I already know that war is ugly, I already know that war is hard. But I open up the DOD site to see, who became an angel, while I was sleeping.

    And that rips my heart open, because I know there is another mother whose life is going to be ruined that day. So we can’t even begin to heal.

    So anyway that filth-spewer and warmonger, George Bush was speaking after the tragedy of the marines in Ohio, he said a couple things that outraged me. Seriously outraged me. And I know I don’t look like I’m outraged, I’m always so calm and everything, that’s because if I started hitting something, I wouldn’t stop ‘til it was dead. So I can’t even start, cause I know how dangerous that would be, but George Bush was talking, and he never mentioned the terrible incident of those marines, but he did say, that the families of the ones who have been killed can rest assured that their loved ones died for a noble cause.

    And, he also said, he says this often, and this really drives me crazy, he said that we have to stay in Iraq and complete the mission, to honor the sacrifices of the ones who have fallen.

    And I say, why should I want one more mother to go through what I’ve gone through, because my son is dead. You know what, the only way he can honor my son’s sacrifice is to bring the rest of the troops home. To make my son’s death count for peace and love, and not war and hatred like he stands for.

    I don’t want him using my son’s death or my family’s sacrifice to continue the killing. I don’t want him to exploit the honor of my son and others to continue the killing. They sent these honorable people to die, and are so dishonorable themselves.

    So, as many of you have heard, and I didn’t mean to cause any problems with the convention, but I was writing an email to everybody, and I was so mad, like I said, and I just had this brainstorm, I’m going to Dallas, I don’t know where Crawford is. I’ve been in Texas, Casey was stationed at Fort Hood. I drove from northern California to Fort Hood one time, it took like, 30 hours. And I thought, I could be driving for days to get from Dallas to Crawford!

    But I don’t care, I’m goin’. And I’m gonna tell them, “You get that evil maniac out here, cuz a Gold Star Mother, somebody who’s blood is on his hands, has some questions for him.”

    And I’m gonna say, “OK, listen here, George. #1, you quit, and I demand, every time you get out there and say you’re going to continue the killing in Iraq to honor the fallen heroes by continuing the mission; you say, ‘except Casey Sheehan.’”

    “And you say ‘except for all the members of Goldstar Families for Peace’ cuz we think not one drop of blood should be spilled in our families’ names. You quit doing that. You don’t have my permission.”

    And I’m gonna say, “And you tell me, what the noble cause is that my son died for.” And if he even starts to say ‘freedom and democracy’ I’m gonna say, bullshit.

    You tell me the truth. You tell me that my son died for oil. You tell me that my son died to make your friends rich. You tell me my son died to spread the cancer of pax Americana, imperialism in the Middle East. You tell me that, you don’t tell me my son died for ‘freedom and democracy.’

    Cuz, we’re not freer. You’re taking away our freedoms. The Iraqi people aren’t freer, they’re much worse off than before you meddled in their country.

    You get America out of Iraq, you get Israel out of Palestine…

    (massive round of applause)

    And if you think I won’t say bullshit to the President, I say move on, cuz I’ll say what’s on my mind.

    So, what’s gonna happen? I started this, I thought it was gonna be just me and my sister driving to Crawford, but it kind of mushroomed and people from as far away as Dayton, Ohio are coming, to help us, to stand behind us, because I travel all over the country, I speak, I write, I get feedback on my writing, and just in the little over a year that I’ve been doing this, I’ve seen a major turnaround in this country.

    People don’t just want to hear it, they want to know, what can we do? What can we do to get him out of power? And I’m gonna say the ‘I’ word. Impeach. And we have to have everybody impeached that lied to the American public, and that’s the executive branch, and any people in congress, and we gotta go all the way down and we might have to go all the way down to the person who picks up the dogshit in Washington because…

    We can’t let somebody rise to the top who will pardon these war criminals. Because they need to go to prison for what they’ve done in this world. We can’t have a pardon. They need to pay for what they’ve done.

    So anyway, I’m gonna go to Crawford tomorrow, and I’m gonna say I want to talk to him, and they say, he’s not coming out, I’m gonna set up my tent there until he comes out to talk to me.

    And I have the whole month of August off, just like him. It’s just the way it worked out, I was supposed to go to England tomorrow to do some Downing Street things, but Conyers cancelled, so hey, I have a lot of free time on my hands, and I’m gonna stay until he comes out and talks to me. And if he quits his vacation and goes to D.C., I’ll pull my tent up, I’ll go to D.C., and put it on the White House lawn, and I’ll be waiting for you guys when you get there September 24th.

    Another thing that I’m doing is - - my son was killed in 2004, so I’m not paying my taxes for 2004. If I get a letter from the IRS, I’m gonna say, you know what, this war is illegal; this is why this war is illegal. This war is immoral; this is why this war is immoral. You killed my son for this. I don’t owe you anything. And if I live to be a million, I won’t owe you a penny.
    And I want them to come after me, because unlike what you’ve been doing with the war resistance, I want to put this frickin’ war on trial. And I want to say, “You give me my son, and I’ll pay your taxes.”

    I live in Bacaville, come and get me if you can find me there and put me on trial, because like Camilo (Mejia), Camilo knew what was right. And he went to prison for that. And Henry David Thoreau he went to prison, he refused to pay his poll tax, and Emerson, I call them HT and RW, and RW came to visit HT and said what are you doing here, buddy? And HT said, why aren’t you here? This is the only place for a moral person in an immoral world.

    It’s up to us, the people, to break immoral laws, and resist. As soon as the leaders of a country lie to you, they have no authority over you. These maniacs have no authority over us. And they might be able to put our bodies in prison, but they can’t put our spirits in prison. And I know that Camilo came out a much stronger person, he’s one of my heroes, it’s great a row of heroes in front of me here.

    And everyone gave such great testimony this evening, I have to wonder, why do we keep doing this to each other? Why do we let this continue time and time again, why do let it happen? And it’s because our country, is so good at demonizing people, I still have relatives from WWII that still call Japanese people ‘Japs’. And we demonize the Iraqi people, where, most of this country doesn’t even think we’re killing innocent people.

    Because, “Oh Cindy, don’t you remember what happened on September 11th?”

    “Yeah, but, were any of those people in Iraq? And the people who flew those planes into the Trade Center, where they from Iraq?”
    When I was growing up, it was ‘Communists’. Now it’s ‘Terrorists’. So you always have to have somebody to fight and be afraid of, so the war machine can build more bombs, guns, and bullets and everything.

    But I do see hope. I see hope in this country. 58% of the American public are with us. We’re preaching to the choir, but the choir’s not singing, if all of the 58% started singing, this war would end.

    I got an email the other day and it said, “Cindy, if you didn’t use so much profanity… there’s people ‘on the fence’ that get offended…”
    And you know what I said? “You know what? You know what, god-damn-it? How, in the world is anybody still ‘sitting on that fence’?”
    “If you fall on the side that is pro-George, and pro-war, you get your ass over to Iraq, and take the place of somebody who wants to come home. And if you fall on the side that is against this war and against George Bush, stand up and speak out.”
    But whatever side you fall on, quit being on the fence.

    The opposite of good is not evil, it’s apathy. And we have to get this country off their butts, and we have to get the choir singing.
    We need to say, bring our troops home now. We can’t depend on the people in charge binging our troops home. Because you don’t plan on bringing the troops home when you drop so much of the reconstruction money into building permanent bases.
    I was hoping to come to the banquet tomorrow night, but unless George comes out and talks to me, I’ll be camping at Crawford.
    Thank you.
    Yesterday I watched the final episode of Living Single, which is one of my favorite shows(ok, so its been off the air),but alas I found myself cringing as Maxine Shaw attorney-at-law relented and gave herself to Kyle Barker. While the show didnt say that she gave up her career for him, and indeed hinted that he returned from London for her, I found myself not liking it, prefering that Maxine stay single (away from Kyle) and continue as a successful lawyer, with her child, without him.

    So my question is, why is it that I dont like the idea of anyone giving up their career for someone(which I totally don't like)? Further, why is it that I always seem to prefer the image of the single, successful person(especially woman), especially women like Maxine Shaw attorney at law and dislike it if they find someone and alter that image in any way?Does it have to do with not liking the idea of submission, which I dislike wholeheartedly? I remember when I was in the seventh grade, one of my teachers asked the class a series of questions like Will you ever get married? If so, when? What do you want to be when you grow up? Alas, I have always wanted to write, ever since I was three years old, so I always knew what I wanted to do. However, what I remember specifically from that question and answer session is that most everyone in the class answered that they wanted to be married and have children, and mostly in their twenties. It was only myself and a girl, Courtney Brooks ( who I might write about later), who said that we didn't ever think we would get married, and if we did(not to each other) it wouldn't be until we were in our forties and had established ourselves in a career. Both of us, as well, were iffy on the subject of having children. I still find that interesting and odd. I am very much about finding oneself and having a purpose in life- and have held to the idea, perhaps wrongly, that people should want more out of this life than to find a man or have children. I totally realize at this point that the idea of "career" is inherently capatilistic and not progressive, but I do believe that finding one's purpose in life is much more fundamental and natural than defining oneself in a career.I have since given up the idea that everyone should want this, and that for some people drifting (and indeed, perhaps for us all) is something to do,but still, for myself, I prefer the idea of the single, successful person who reaches their fullest potential and explores the extent of their possibilities.

    Wednesday, August 10, 2005

    My favorite male singers definitely have to be Stevie Wonder and Michael MacDonald. I love both, and also, Michael McDonald is perhaps the only man who could absolutely put me out(using an old-fashioned expression) with his voice.
    Hungry Blues has a great post on the Cindy Sheehan case
  • here
  • Yesterday I watched a movie called Man Under Fire with Denzel Washington. I felt several things after watching this movie as it just tugged at me quite a bit. Firstly,I am troubled by some of the dynamics in this film. I know I perhaps look at things too politically all of the time, but I always do as I feel I must. Firstly, I am troubled tha this man gave his life to save this white girl. This is absolutely politically speaking, for personally it is quite a different thing, but on a political level-- when was the last time a white man died to save a black child? Would they? Also, the film also gives the sublte impression that this man had to die because A: He was a former assassin and B: Because he killed high positioned officers who just happened to be corrupt. I think Denzel Washington's politics are quite good, but I would definitely like to ask him about this film and what he feels about these troubling conflicts within the film.

    This from Barbra's Website

    Confronted often by Internet and media information that is frequently incorrect, in 1994, working on her speech for Harvard's School of Government, Ms. Streisand had noted, "I love information, but I'm afraid of the information age - too much information and not enough spiritual growth to handle it. I'm still afraid our technology is more advanced than our hearts. There's something lacking now - this gap, this void between technology and compassion."
    Bellatry's has a great analysis of the Cindy Sheehan case.

    Tuesday, August 09, 2005

    Sometimes you need to stop, eliminate all of the words and exist totally within your heart. To reach that level where there are no words, just the rhythm of your heartbeat. "Live while you live and then die and be done with it."

    Sunday, August 07, 2005

    My grandmother and my mother are both too much into fulfilling the roles handed to them by society, or the ones which they accept-- wife, mother, daughter,respectable . Whatever.My grandmother told me today that she was taught by her mother to be obedient. She said it with such pride. I looked at her. I dont think that word even registers in my vocabulary. Alas, I will define my own way. "Don't tell me not to live just sit and putter. Life's candy and the sun's a ball of butter don't bring around a cloud to rain on my parade!Don't tell me not to fly Ive simply got to--if someone takes the spill its me and not you who told you you're allowed to rain on my parade?! I march my band out, I beat my drum, and if Im fanned out your turn at bat sir, at least I didn't fake it, hat sir-I guess I didnt make it! But whether Im the rose of sheer perfection a freckle on the nose of life's complexion a cinder on the shiny apple of it's eye- Ive gotta fly once, Ive gotta try once only can die once, ooh life is juicy juicy and usey and Im gonna get my bite sir!"
    A few nights ago, I heard Monique give kudos to Condoleeza Rice. You know my sentiment. Black people need to watch out. When you play with a dog he will lick you.
    I remember once when we were living in Chicago, my sister and her class at St. Ambrose put on a play to the music of Ray Charles'"Hit the Road Jack." It was a great time. My sister was/is a gifted person, even though she doesnt use them anymore. Very gifted dancer. I also remember when her ballet class put on a performance to the music of Gloria Estefan's "Do that Conga." I enjoyed that too. I should have taken ballet when my mother offered. I was too shy.
    Tonight I revisited, with my sister, the songs of my childhood, particularly the music of Ella Jenkins. Ella Jenkins is an absolute favorite of mine stemming from the time that my Aunt Johnnie used to play her records in our class from the time I was was in Head Start til I left her class when I was in second grade. My aunt was my first teacher, a pivotal point in my development and in the current of my memories. She was a gifted teacher, and not just because I was her nephew, but she always sought to engage and awe us with the wonderful things that we had to learn in her class. She also doted on me and spoiled me( my relationship with my Aunt is a point of interest that I need to reflect on), letting me set up her movie projector in class when we were going to watch a film or pop popcorn or play with all of the things that she had to use in our classroom.

    My aunt had a basement full of objects that sometimes made their way into our classroom. I remember most vividly the movie projector, the popcorn popper(on days when we would pop popcorn there would be those exciting trips to the grocery store before school). God memories are flooding back. We lived right across the street from Aunt Johnnie and Aunt Bertie and everyday we would carpool to school and work, dropping my mother off at Robert Taylor, my sister at St. Ambrose, sometimes Aunt Betty at her school or Aunt Bertie at hers and then Aunt Johnnie and I would make our merry way on to Price-- that is if her car made it. Sometimes her car would stop on the road(Aunt Johnnie had a peppermint green Cadillac, her pride and joy)at which we would load onto the bus and make our way to Price, or we would see Mrs. Bull, who would give us a lift to school. I remember once when Aunt Johnnie had a wreck, and there by the grace was Mrs. Bull, who took me to school while Aunt Johnnie stayed and cursed at the woman who hit her.

    One of my favorite songs was "Little White Duck" that went

    There's a little white duck
    Sitting in the water.
    A little white duck
    Doing what he oughter.
    He took a bite of a lily pad,
    Flapped his wings and he said,
    "I'm glad I'm a little white duck,
    Sitting in the water."
    Quack, Quack, Quack.

    There's a little green frog
    Swimming in the water.
    A little green frog Doing what he oughter.
    He jumped right off of the lily pad
    The little duck bit.
    And he said "I'm glad,
    I'm a little green frog,
    Swimming in the water,
    Glumph, Glumph, Glumph."

    There's a little black bug (bzz)
    Floating on the water.
    A little black bug (bzz)
    Doing what he oughter.
    He tickled the frog on the lily pad
    That the little duck bit.
    And he said, "I'm glad,
    I'm a little black bug,
    Floating on the water.
    Bzz! Buzz! Bzz!"

    There's a little red snake
    Playing in the water.
    A little red snake
    Doing what he oughter,
    He frightened the duck and the frog so bad,
    He ate the little bug,
    And he said, "I'm glad
    I'm a little red snake,
    Playing in the water.
    Hiss, Hiss, Hiss."

    Now there's nobody left
    Sitting in the water
    Nobody left
    Doing what they oughter
    There's nothing left but the lily pad
    The duck and the frog
    Ran away - I'm sad
    'Cause there's nobody left
    Sitting in the water
    Boo! Hoo! Hoo!

    God I remember us singing that in class and listening to those records. When they werent at school those records were in Aunt Johnnie's basement and the last I have traced them, they made their way into Aunt Earnestine's storage house when Aunt Johnnie retired and moved back to Alabama. Hmm... What a Memory.
    Tonight I had a very long, lovely conversation with Kelly. I love talking to him. He is a sweet man and I value the bond between us. I would love for him to be mine again.