2008-05-30

Racial Hierarchy and Acceptance


As you have noticed the past few days on this blog and others, there has been a HUGE break down in discussions, and it comes back to the Africans and Non-American Blacks vs. American Blacks. How it came to this I don't know. It has been an ongoing issue that occurs time and time again on the IR blogs. It is been argued ad nauseam.

I am going to touch on the reasoning why I feel this issue keeps returning from the African American perspective.

As I have said over and over again, there exists a hierarchy in this country based upon race and class. It isn't just based upon white and black, but various cultures in between. Typically blacks within American culture are seen as "other", with white being the norm. Typically speaking if a non black man is interested in dating IR, it is typically what Yan describes as ABB: Anything But Black. A lot of cultures and races have adopted this notion as well, including black men.

With that being said, it is refreshing to see blogs that focus on white men and black women relationships, not for the relationships themselves, but because of the hierarchy, black women are made to feel that ABB is what rules in the dating scene, including with black men. Those black women who date IR are definitely considered "other". We don't fit the mainstream beauty ideals, we don't fit the political and racial ideals, and we typically are seen as invisible. The blogs give you a place to appreciate the fact that there are those that see the beauty ideal outside the box. It is refreshing and then the bad stuff comes along.

On one hand you have those black women who are angry as hell at black men, who feel white men are the answers to all their problems. You have white men who go through the bashing of white women. Then you have the sore spot in between, the non-american vs. american black woman.

As a black woman who was born and raised here in America, I am painfully aware of the racial hierarchy, I grew up with it, I still see it. I see it with whites, asians, hispanics, it runs the gamut of people believing and accepting that blacks are "other", we aren't as intelligent, we are criminals, we are less than those of other races. Then we have the cultural aspect. I think that many people believe that the black american culture is one of lament and apathy. That we don't encourage education, but sports and music. That we are a culture of thugs and criminals. I would like to say it was media blame alone, but there are other factors, such as american blacks themselves buying into the hype. I think that in regards to the non-american black vs. african american, some non american blacks believe this as well. This is where the non american black vs. american black really takes off and causes a raw spot on both sides.

For the most part I stay silent, but since I have frequented these IR blogs, there have been comments made from both non black men and non american black women. The discussion of african american women's attitudes towards IR dating and race. Comments about american blacks holding on to the past. Our vastly different value system. It as if everything the african american culture brings is negative, and those who aren't part of that culture fall outside these generalizations, and again the hierarchy is exposed. There is again something better than the african american woman, and even if it looks like the african american woman, it is vastly different and free of any issues or concerns.

The comfort zone of knowing you have found a group of people who think like you, an african american woman open to IR relationships has been shattered, as the usual ABB mindset has expanded, but only slightly, and again that expansion and willingness to date a black woman excludes you, this time because of a history you have nothing to do with, and perceived stereotypes of your culture. It is another slap in the face.

American black women are damned. We are damned for not looking like white women. We are damned for a perceived culture. We are damned by most white men, and many times we are damned by SOME african american men, again for not looking like white women, for our perceived culture and stereotypes, and now because we have dared to think and believe we could venture outside the race for companionship. We are damned by those who believe and feel they have an advantage over the african american community because they were able to pick themselves up by the bootstraps and succeed in this country, without ever really acknowledging the actual success that many african americans have experienced.

That is the raw spot I think many african american women have in this discussion. This discussion resurfaces, because it seems the comments are repeated often, and are usually overlooked by everyone and accepted as true, except from african american women.

Maybe the solution for white men is to date non american black women, but I honestly don't think dating non american black women exclusively will make IR relationships any easier, as if american black women come with their own baggage, there has to be other cultures with baggage of their own. Colonialism and the slave trade did not begin and end with America. Colorism isn't exclusive to America, otherwise skin bleaching products and the preference for lighter skin would not be world wide. Even if there is no racial baggage, there is a possibility for cultural baggage. Case and point is there is no simple answer for IR. IR will be a different type of relationship no matter what country or culture you come from.

2008-05-28

Something Positive

2008-05-24

The Asian Ideal


***Disclaimer***Apparently the point of this whole post was lost on some people. No where in this post did I ever say that black women are ugly and need to become asian or white. What I am discussing is beauty ideals in America, and no matter how pretty or ugly you think you are, these ideals affect how women of ALL races see themselves. If you want to have a cheer party and have the "feel goods" you might not want to read this post. If you want my perspective on things, the good, the bad, and the ugly, continue reading.






Asian women are the luckiest women in the world. All men of all races want asian women. I have only met one guy in my life who has said he typically isn't attracted to asian women, and that is my husband. Thank god for that, as I can never compete with an asian woman's features.

Black men. White Men. Hispanic Men. Asian Men. They all love those girls with the exotic eyes, pretty skin, and long, straight dark hair. They usually have such small features (lips and nose), and they tend to be very thin and fragile, especially compared to the black woman. A black woman and asian woman can be the same height and weight and the black women will still look bigger, as typically we would have larger thighs and a more rounded booty. Asian women can shop at all the stores, us black women can't. Most of my jeans always fit loose in the waist and perfect in the thighs. If you are to date IR, it is the best choice, no one will bat an eye to your relationship. Hell even in the midst of World War II with Japanese Interment camps, American soldiers were steady bringing home Japanese wives. The same could be said for the Korean war. When Viet Nam came around, even the brothers were bringing home the asian women and no one gave them flack for it. As long as it wasn't a white women, white people had no problems with it either.

How did the asian women become the model ideal for all races of men? Can black women ever achieve this mainstream acceptance? Do black women in other countries get this treatment of being loved by all men, or is it only asian women? What is weird to me in the black and asian cultures is this: Black men have mainstreamed into society in terms of what is deemed as attractive, but black women have not. For asians, the asian women has been an ideal beauty for years, but the asian male still fights to even be acknowledged in the media as anything other than a scientist, engineer, or accountant.

I am going to say it, I am jealous, asian women can get any race of men, and black women are struggling to be accepted by those within our own race, much less other races of men. You have to look mixed, rock a weave, and have some great contacts to even get noticed by men of any race if you are a black chick. Depressing really, because I ain't rocking weave, my hair even though almost waist length straight, will stay curly (it takes THREE HOURS to flat iron my hair, and it is never silky straight), and I am scared of color contacts since the Big T Bazaar purchase a few years back. Not to mention the big nose, big lips, big booty, and big thighs, not very asian like at all!!!!!

Do asian women, or for that matter any other race of women, envy to be black? Are we the only race of women that envies the features of other races of women?

How do black women get love too?

Were Kids Always This Bad?

Watch this clip from Dr. Phil:



I don't like Dr. Phil in the least bit, but watching this kid and his mother is harsh.

I would be in a coma if I were that kid. Seriously.

Now remember Latarian Milton? Go here for a refresher.



Here is a corresponding news story. Thanks Thembi.



Remember these fools? Seriously you do bad things, don't be so damn dumb that you record the ish. Their parents should beat them for that alone. Too dumb to hide the dumb ish they do.

My question is this? Are kids just more violent? Have these kids become less intelligent. Seriously, I have never thought to steal my mom's car, or plan to beat up a girl and record it, or slap my mother, or beat my grandmother up over chicken wings. I would seriously be dead. My parents would have killed me.

People say it is the violence of music, television, and video games, but I don't buy it. Here are my reasons:

  • Kids have always been exposed to violence.  I know my father had access to guns and cigarettes in grade school, watched westerns where cowboys and indians would kill each other, and was exposed to people shooting horses and cattle as a result of living on a farm. 
  • Even as a kid, I remember playing cops and robbers with play guns that looked like real guns.  They were silver and black, and had no florescent orange tip or anything, and sometimes they were cap guns, so they could sound like real guns
  • We watched cartoons on television that are now deemed too violent to even show now.  Tom and Jerry, Woody Woodpecker, Bugs Bunny, The Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote.  Those cartoons are all but banned now in favor of gentler, more loving, cartoons.
  • Did anyone ever watch the Three Stooges.   Me and my father watched them together.  The face slapping, hair ripping, and ear pulling were common occurrences on this show.
  • I grew up with Salt N Pepa "Push It", but I didn't know how to push my own stuff, or was too scared to.
My overall point is what changed or appeared to change?  Has this always been there, but the media didn't cover it?  Or has the parenting style of yesteryear changed that has caused a shift in how kids view their parents?  Do kids now need more attention?

I can't blame media for bad kids.  I just can't fathom why it would be the fault of media alone.  Don't parents have any control over what their kids watch or do?   If you are in the car listening to Lil' Wayne with your kids in the car with you, something is wrong.  If yall all sit around watching Law and Order:SVU together, that is wrong.  Might be a great song and you all know I love Law and Order, but honestly should I be hanging out with kids when I watch or listen to these things?    

Don't do tha thick girl in front of kids.  Three year olds should not know how to booty shake. 

Another concern is the easy access to the internet.  Kids don't need computers with internet access and web cams in their rooms.   Why do parents allow this?  Put that thing in the living room, they can have access to internet porn when they go off to college.  Do not rely on the chincy parental controls and internet filter software to protect your kids, because more than likely, they know more about computers than you do, and can get around that stuff with a quickness.  Heck I learned about proxy servers and anonymizers from a high schooler.   My husband recently purchased Grand Theft Auto IV for himself.  The one thing he noticed is how many kids, with their parents with them, were purchasing the game.  Maybe they play video games together?   I don't know, even if they did play the game together, why Grand Theft Auto?   Don't you know about the violence and sex?   Are folks just not aware?

I think kids now are or have claimed an equal playing field with their parents.  I was never on an equal playing field with my parents.  We didn't have discussions. I got lectures.   We didn't compromise on punishment, I got beat down and grounded, no negotiations required.   My parents didn't let me watch TV all the live long day, and when I was in high school and we had the internet, or even in grade in middle school when my father had a computer, did I ever get to  use it unsupervised or in the privacy of my own room.   Hell I was in high school close to 18 in the living room playing on AOHell, not in my room.   My parents had me on lock.   I didn't get to choose what I wanted to watch, my parents chose it for me.  






2008-05-23

Friday Night Party-Ode To Foxy Brown

Hats off to C1 for inspiring this post.

Who is Inga Marchand? She is a mystery. She has gone deaf, beat up nail technicians, spit on hotel workers, and acted a damn fool in beauty supply stores. What happened to her career? Did the jail time make it go away? Or was it the hot pink lipstick and the need to enhance and brush down her baby hair edges?





Foxy inspired many a rapptress, in particular Trina. Maybe I am just making up, maybe Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, and a strip club inspired Trina.



I love this song, I still sing it every time I go to the cheap part of Target and buy crap I absolutely have no need for. It is called the Red Hot Shop, but I start dancing and singing I gotta go to the "Hot Spot". I embarrass my husband to no end sometimes. Yeah I have been known to sing and dance in a Target, in particular to some Mike Jones, or whatever ring tone I possess at the time that goes off when I am shopping.



What happened to the love between her and Jay-Z aka Droopy the Dog.



Foxy giving a shout out to her hood. Classic and classy






Damn Blackstreet Disappeared too? What happened to them?



Foxy and her counterpart Lil Kim. Da Brat and Total? What happened to them. I know Da Brat did Celebrity Fit Club, but I don't think she was really a celebrity anymore when she did that.



For an extra bonus, I am adding Trina. Did she have to sleep with Trick Daddy? Seriously. That is some scary mess. That man was fugly and has a speech impediment.



I just added Truth Hurts, because I used to LOVE this song!!!

2008-05-22

Where Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Meet




Yesterday as I was running errands, I had to take a trip to the gentrified area of Fair Park. Fair Park is an area of Dallas known for where the State Fair of Texas takes place. It has taken place there since 1936, and is a Siditty family tradition, we took road trips to Dallas when I was a wee tot to attend this event. Actually it is because my father had to do exhibitions (remember Siditty's daddy is in agriculture), but I will make this about me and say it was because I wanted to ride the ferris wheel that my parents did this.

Fair Park itself is known for it's classic Art Deco architecture, the Hall of State, the Cotton Bowl, the Women's Museum, Arboretum, Aquarium, Natural History Museum, and for the nation's largest Ferris Wheel. It's also known for the Red River Shootout between UT and the lame ass OU. Also for the "Al Lipscomb Classic", the awesome game between Prairie View and Grambling.

Then there is the surrounding area of Fair Park. It is known for it's let's say, being very "colorful". As a person who lives in the suburbs, I am pretty sheltered from hard, gritty life. I see homeless people on the corners of major intersections off highways every once in a while, but never do I ever see really hard living. The only times I really saw hard living was when my father drove me through some rough areas of town to convince me why I needed to go to college and not drop out of high school. His lesson was if you don't get good grades, you will end up on a street corner drinking malt liquor. I believed that lesson. I saw his lesson loud and clear in Fair Park yesterday.

I had the dubious honor of driving in the area of Malcolm X Blvd. and Martin Luther King Blvd. after taking a wrong turn to my destination, a nice gentrified office building. Neither Malcolm X or Martin Luther King would be thrilled. I saw grown ass men sitting on porch steps and standing on street corners. I saw "night clubs" with people walking out of them during the day. I saw women of all ages from their teens to 40s wearing outfits only deemed suitable for a music video or prostitution. I actually saw a prostitute or what appeared to be a prostitute get dropped off in front of a church while picking the wedgie out of her ass for wearing extremely tight, what appeared to be lycra, boy cut shorts that I think were more for use as underwear than actual shorts. Malt Liquor flowed from the street corners. People with shopping carts full of their life possessions and folks living under highway overpasses. Per my father, these people did not go to college or get good grades. There was a lot of as my husband calls it "activity", too many people hanging around. It made me sad because every single face was black, and this was the stereotype, this is what people hold to be true as the norm for African Americans.

I see this as the fringe of society. I see this as a case of classism. I know there are millions upon millions of middle class blacks. Those with jobs, those who don't drink malt liquor, those who just live like everyone else. As with those just living life in every other race those, we sometimes forget about those who don't live like us. Those whose lives day to day are to sit or stand on a corner with 4 or 5 of their cohorts. Women who feel the need to get prettied up by wearing too much make up and not wearing enough clothes to walk up and down the street. This is an issue of poverty. The vicious cycle that is ongoing and perpetuates the mentality of not wanting something different. Accepting the life they have as the norm, and not the exception. That the only way of life is just to exist, nothing more. It is a downward spiral of hopelessness.

The biggest fear I have is the gentrification that is slowly encroaching upon these neighborhoods, where will these people go when they can't afford to hang out on the street corner, or under the bridge? What will happen when the affluent neighbors in their expensive lofts desire a increased police presence in "their neighborhoods"? What happens when the classes clash?

2008-05-17

I Guess The Stereotypes Haven't Gone Away

In my last post, I posted some cartoons depicting blacks in a negative manner. I just read this article over at Slate about racist secret service emails. It seems the stereotypes are still prevalant, it is just now people choose to put them in emails, and not say these things out loud.









Coal Black And De Sebben Dwarfs-Have These Stereotypes Gone Away





Apparently back in the 1930s-1960s cartoons such as these were widely distributed and shown to children everywhere. Now there is a revival via youtube to show these cartoons. Should they be banned? Here is an article from the New York Times.


This is part of Warner Bros. Censored 11, it is also considered one of the best cartoons of all time:



This is from Fantasia, Disney had some very interesting cartoons back in the day:



This is Sunday Go To Meetin'

SUNDAY GO TO MEETIN' TIME (1936)

Clean Pastures:

CLEAN PASTURES (1937)

Jungle Jitters:



Scrub Me Mama With A Boogie Beat, this one does the Light Vs. Dark comparison:

2008-05-15

Will America Ever Truly Be Ready For A Black President?



I was reading this article about some of the experiences Obama's campaign workers had with racism in the midwest, in particular Indiana and Pennsylvania. One particular quote stood out from the rest:

Documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy, the daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, said she, too, came across "a lot of racism" when campaigning for Obama in Pennsylvania. One Pittsburgh union organizer told her he would not vote for Obama because he is black, and a white voter, she said, offered this frank reason for not backing Obama: "White people look out for white people, and black people look out for black people."


Is this mentality still hold true? I can say from my personal experience yes. Some black people, especially in the work place seem to have this mentality. I guess it is because we do know or at least feel the odds are against us in corporate America, so we feel obligated or it is assumed a black person of power will help others in the workplace advance or get promotions. I have had this experience many times. I have heard the "we have to look out for each other, no one else will" line more times than I care to admit. I assume whites do the same. Heck my husband's uncle has this mentality on our last visit with them. We were talking about his grandparent's rude neighbors who had the habit of letting folks park in their driveway, blocking cars in when ever they had a party, and would play loud music late into the night. His rationale is that they did it because they were hispanic and no one would do anything because the grandparents were outnumbered by hispanics in the neighborhood and there were not enough whites to "look out for them". It was very much an us vs. them mentality in effect. On a national scale is this still the case? If Obama is elected president, what will these people do?

We always want to think racist come from a low income, uneducated background, but in the article even a Mayor was spreading misinformation about Obama and declaring they could never vote for him:

In a letter to the editor published in a local paper, Tunkhannock Borough Mayor Norm Ball explained his support of Hillary Clinton this way: "Barack Hussein Obama and all of his talk will do nothing for our country. There is so much that people don't know about his upbringing in the Muslim world. His stepfather was a radical Muslim and the ranting of his minister against the white America, you can't convince me that some of that didn't rub off on him.

"No, I want a president that will salute our flag, and put their hand on the Bible when they take the oath of office."


Others were offended at the fact he was a "half breed".

How are race relations ever to improve if people have this mentality. If there are people who feel the only good president can a white, Christian president. How can Obama have a fair run in the White House, if he indeed does become president? No one is calling Obama the possible first biracial president, they refer to him as a black presidential candidate. He has publicly denounced Wright and has told the world he is a Christian, but he is still touted as a racist Muslim.

Apparently black is something to not desire, but just accept, and only in special circumstances:

Pollsters have found it difficult to accurately measure racial attitudes, as some voters are unwilling to acknowledge the role that race plays in their thinking. But some are not. Susan Dzimian, a Clinton supporter who owns residential properties, said outside a polling location in Kokomo that race was a factor in how she viewed Obama. "I think if it was somebody other than him, I'd accept it," she said of a black candidate. "If Colin Powell had run, I would be willing to accept him."


The more things change, the more they stay the same.

2008-05-14

Dark Days: Simply One Of The Best Documentaries Ever-Great Soundtrack As Well



I simply love this movie. I own it on DVD and I watch it all the time. This is a documentary about the homeless people in New York who called the abandoned subway tunnels their home. It was simply amazing how they were able to thrive and live on virtually nothing and had amenities that most "normal" people have. This documentary was interesting because not only did the film maker use the subjects as his film crew, but he actually lived down in the abandoned subway tunnels with them. This movie didn't make you pity the homeless, it made you look at them as actual people.

I see homeless people all the time, but never until I saw this documentary did I ever put a true personality to them. People who loved, laughed, smiled, and made the best of their situation. My views of the homeless before were glum, depressed, mentally unstable, uneducated people with drug and alcohol addiction. Never did I ever think in my warped mind these people actually had souls and real lives, no matter how different they may be from mine. I had grown up so desensitized to the whole concept of being homeless, I had never really thought of "those people" as anything more than people to pity. I was taught and raised to rush past them, not ever talk to them. Be scared of them, not compassionate.

As I grew older, I was a bit more compassionate, but I kept them for the most part at a distance. There were a couple of exceptions. I had regular "homeless" folks I would chit chat with to and from work, occasionally giving them money or offering food. My husband thought I was crazy, and for sure was going to get killed, as he was raised with the same mentality I was, but for the most part, most of them were harmless and had issues that most of us could never ever understand. Becky, was a woman with cancer and an alcohol problem who could tell the best jokes, even though from day to day, it would be hard for her to recognize you. Knowledge man, I never knew his real name, he always was reading between traffic lights, but was happy to share what he was reading with you, even offering to sell you the book, and on a good day even borrow it. Now, due to my husband's insistence and my indifference and apathy, I have become less friendly, not so quick to give money or food. I forget again to treat these folks, just like everyone else, with respect and compassion. I think being in a consumer driven society in which we use stuff and then throw it out, we tend to also do this to people, and we need to realize people aren't trash to be thrown away, and that is how the homeless is typically treated.

Anyway, this is a great movie to watch, rent it if you can.

2008-05-13

Where is Prom At? The Boom Boom Room?




To see the child model the dress, here is some video:



Seriously, where are her parents? I don't think at age 32 my parents would let me leave the house like this for a formal event. I want to know isn't there a dress code at the school, did she not think it would apply to the prom?

I like that she doesn't even have enough fabric to cover her little flat baby child chest. Anyone with boobs bigger than an A cup would be busting out of that top. The sad part is the prom folks didn't let her in even after she altered the dress, they feared she had no undergarments on. Let me white this out,  highlight if needed: dancing will make you sweat , and if that child were to enter the prom with no draws on, she will have a smell that is a mixture of sweat, body odor, and twat juice. That ain't cute.

She is mad the school wouldn't let her come to prom nekkid. At least someone there had common sense. So you notice that Proms over the last decade or show have become a showcase for future strippers and playmates? I blame Paris Hilton.

Apparently schools have become lax in the dress code, for example we run into the same thing over here.

2008-05-10

I See Divinity In My Vagina-NSFW



OK for as crazy as she sounds, if you weave through the craziness on occasion she says something I agree with.

2008-05-09

Friday Night Party-Bone Thugs N Harmony

Once me and the husband almost moved to Ohio due to a job offer. All I knew about Ohio was this:



this:



and this:



It's tha thuggish ruggish bone. It's tha thuggish ruggish bone!!! Bizzy In Da House!!!!!! Biiiiiiizzzzzzy in Da House!!!!!

Now my husband is a HUGE fan of Bone Thugs, I think he might have had deuce tendencies when we met. He owns Art of War on Vinyl, still sealed. He is still trying to buy their stuff, even Bizzy Bone's solo projects. He even owns the Mo Thugs Family stuff. Who the hell needs to own that.

Who could forget Ghetto Cowboy, with Powder, he was Eminem before Eminem:




Hhhhmmm maybe my husband was a deuce, a reformed deuce. When we met he was rocking FUBU, listening to Bone Thugs, and an avid fan of Tupac. Speaking of Tupac, an actual Tupac song I like with Bone Thugs:



OK so I can keep my hip hop music listening cred I will add Dead Prez, this has nothing to do with Bone Thugs



I just bought this a second time, and was told by my husband he isn't cool with my militant streak and militant music, and he doesn't listen to neo nazi music, why would I listen to Dead Prez and Mos Def (he thinks they hate white people, I don't think so, they might be slightly angry though?)

OK They might be slightly offensive to whites?

2008-05-08

Why Don't Fat People Disappear?



OK I have been "plus sized" in my time, I have been "normal" in my time, and I can tell you being thin is a lot better than being fat. Not just because you feel better, look better, or can shop for better clothes, but because people don't constantly pick you apart and ridicule you. As a thin or "normal" sized person I was never asked by anyone "How did you let yourself go?", snickered at when I attempted to work out, have people treat me like I was stupid or nothing, or better yet treat me as if I didn't exist. My mother asks me now, am I getting enough protein, or am I eating enough, but when I was bigger the questions were "Can you put the fork down?", "Did you hear about this new diet?", "You know your husband will leave you, after all white men prefer thin women". Looking at pictures of your smaller times, your mother reminds you how pretty you used to be.

When you are fat, when you go to try on clothes, people ask, "Can you still shop at regular stores?" , kids panic or fear if people tell them that they are going to look like you, when they grow up. Your uncles refer to you as wide load, and ask you how much you ate at the family reunion. When you go out to eat with acquaintances, all eyes are on you to see how much you actually eat. People give you nutrition advice all the time unsolicited, co-workers explain to you why you are fat. You never hear how people get sick to their stomach seeing thin folks, but you hear it about fat folks. People never assume skinny people stink and sweat, but apparently fat people do.

All in all, being fat sucks, you are discriminated against, told you are constantly ugly, and treated as if you don't belong. It is the last group of people where it is perfectly ok to make fun and ridicule folks. I imagine if I ever go to the point of being so big that I would have to wear elastic band clothes, I never got big enough where I had to quit shopping in "regular" stores, but imagine if I did, how would I have gotten treated at that point?

I know my breaking point came when my mother started nagging me about my weight, amazed, shocked and dismayed about how fat I was. I finally asked her, "Should I kill myself now or later, after all my weight is such a horrible thing, I must need to be rid of this earth?" This was after me losing almost 20 lbs, but apparently the weight was coming off way too slow for her liking. When people would give me unsolicited weight loss advice, I would ask them, what they did to lose so much weight, the usual response would be silence. I got angry, depressed, and my weight loss was started and enhanced with diet pills, starvation, and bulimia. As long as I was losing weight, it should have been all good right? This changed the first time I passed out after living off a 800 calorie a day diet and throwing up meals. But the saddest part was, it was at that point I was getting complimented on my weight loss. I remember around this time is when I had my second miscarriage, I had finally had enough courage and gall to announce I was pregnant to my mother, and her biggest concern was, please don't gain all the weight you lost back. I didn't, but I didn't get to keep my baby either, so she had nothing to worry about. People tend to forget people with food issues, have other issues they aren't dealing with. My thing is to go from one extreme to another. Either barely eating, or binge eating. I have to stay conscious of a happy middle. I have to constantly monitor myself, everything I eat I write down on a piece of paper. I look at that paper every time I grab something out of my fridge or cupboard. I eat separate meals from my husband, he can eat deep fried over processed foods, I can't. It is a daily struggle, and people still shock me at how insensitive they can be to folks that don't fit into the "norm", what strikes me even more odd, is that with most of the country being overweight, you would think people would be more sensitive, but now it seems they are more overt and downright mean.

Dating and Kids





I was over at this blog and it had two posts of interest. One about why single men shouldn't date women with kids, and another one for why single women shouldn't date men with kids. They both had some good points, even though I was a little miffed the guy who wrote the why you shouldn't date single mothers article is a single father, double standard anyone?

I have limited experience dating single fathers. I dated two* one, and the experience in that case was not positive. He was 20 and in college, working part time, and trying to support a child that lived six hours away. He didn't have time to try to get into a relationship. He had baby daddy tendencies, always bad mouthing the mother of his child, as she was again pregnant by another man after she had a child with him, and this was baby number four. This gave me the impression he wasn't good at judging people from the get go, and he likes to hang with people making bad decisions, which means more than likely he makes bad decisions as well. Another red flag to me is the fact he was having unprotected sex, to me that is dangerous, I have seen way too many after school specials about STDs and unplanned pregnancy. Not to mention he had a preference of no condoms during sex and that he would rather his women use birth control. I figured that is what happened with the last woman, and I was not having that. We never had sex as a result. I couldn't imagine going home pregnant to the mother who told me when I was 13 and "became a woman", "You can for sure get pregnant now, don't get pregnant, or I will kill you" and handed me a box of maxi pads and walked away. My mother and her compassion.

Needless to say if I were single now, I don't think I would want to date a person with kids. I say this because sometimes kids scare me, and I would hate to have to deal with baby mamma drama. I think I would be compared to the ex way too much, not to mention I don't want to be baby mamma #4 in a list of baby mammas. Also if you were to marry someone who had kids with another women, you would inherit child support payments. Not to mention I am also selfish, it is all about me!!!!!!! Maybe I would think differently if I had kids myself, but knowing that at 32, there is a greatly reduced number of men my age childless, I would have to Mary Kay Letourneau it, and troll college campuses for barely legal boys. That isn't very appealing either. So I guess as you would get older in the single scene, you would have to be more open to the prospect of dating someone with kids, or someone who has been divorced. I knew when I was 22 I had this thing about dating divorced folks, because they were usually out of my comfortable dating age range, and those within my dating age range probably got married at a young age due to the fact someone got pregnant, making a baby daddy and baby mamma drama I wouldn't want to deal with.



*He assumed he was father to a child he paid child support on for over a year, DNA testing proved otherwise, the hint should have been was the baby was blacker than Wesley Snipes,but he was white. It still sucked because he had bonded with the child and was heartbroken when it was discovered the child was not his.

2008-05-07

Saditty or Siditty?

OK I have gotten a couple of emails from folks telling me I spell my blog name wrong. Per some "Siditty", is really "Saditty". The spelling of my name came from Maya Angelou's "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings", I am sure it can be spelled either or, but I had to research things. Per the urban dictionary it is "saditty". Per Wikipedia it can be "Saditty", "Seditty", or "Siditty".

Either or, "siditty" is what my momma used to call me when I was little. I was a spoiled child and that was her way of telling me I was stuck up. She still uses this term, as well as my husband, and his best friend, and it is all in reference to me. I guess that should tell me something
I was over at ABC's in which there was a discussion on Lauryn Hill and racism, which reminded me of the movie "Restaurant", with Adrian Brody, Elise Neal, Simon Baker, and Lauryn Hill. Lauryn Hill plays Brody's ex and cheats on him with Simon Baker's character. Elise Neal plays Brody's current love interest, who gets hit on by Simon Baker in the subway. If Lauryn is indeed racist, maybe she got past her racist tendencies by getting excited over the possible loving between herself and Adrian Brody or Simon Baker. I know I would. Not that I would ever think such things considering I am married and all.

Liberals=Miserable, Conservatives=Happy





Conservatives Happier Than Liberals
By Jeanna Bryner, Senior Writer
posted: 07 May 2008 08:20 am ET

Individuals with conservative ideologies are happier than liberal-leaners, and new research pinpoints the reason: Conservatives rationalize social and economic inequalities.



Regardless of marital status, income or church attendance, right-wing individuals reported greater life satisfaction and well-being than left-wingers, the new study found. Conservatives also scored highest on measures of rationalization, which gauge a person's tendency to justify, or explain away, inequalities.

The rationalization measure included statements such as: "It is not really that big a problem if some people have more of a chance in life than others," and "This country would be better off if we worried less about how equal people are."

To justify economic inequalities, a person could support the idea of meritocracy, in which people supposedly move up their economic status in society based on hard work and good performance. In that way, one's social class attainment, whether upper, middle or lower, would be perceived as totally fair and justified.

If your beliefs don't justify gaps in status, you could be left frustrated and disheartened, according to the researchers, Jaime Napier and John Jost of New York University. They conducted a U.S.-centric survey and a more internationally focused one to arrive at the findings.

"Our research suggests that inequality takes a greater psychological toll on liberals than on conservatives," the researchers write in the June issue of the journal Psychological Science, "apparently because liberals lack ideological rationalizations that would help them frame inequality in a positive (or at least neutral) light."

The results support and further explain a Pew Research Center survey from 2006, in which 47 percent of conservative Republicans in the U.S. described themselves as "very happy," while only 28 percent of liberal Democrats indicated such cheer.

The same rationalizing phenomena could apply to personal situations as well.

"There is no reason to think that the effects we have identified here are unique to economic forms of inequality," the researchers write. "Research suggests that highly egalitarian women are less happy in their marriages compared with their more traditional counterparts, apparently because they are more troubled by disparities in domestic labor."

The current study was funded by the National Science Foundation.

2008-05-05

Shahrazad Ali-The Black Man's Guide To Understanding Black Women


In the post, Black Women Have Dropped The Ball, the woman in the video explained how black women have failed the black community, this has me thinking about Shahrazad Ali. She wrote a very controversial book back in the late 1980s, called "The Black Man's Guide To Understanding Black Women". She did the talk show circuit and there is tons of video on her from this time. In her defense a few years later she came out with "The Black Woman's Guide To Understanding The Black Man".


I am going to go tabloid style and show an old interview of Shahrazad Ali on Sally Jesse Raphael:



This gives you the most controversial views of this woman:

  • Black women have smaller brains than black men and cannot compare to the conscious black man's brain

  • If a black woman ignored the black man's authority, the black man needs to take control and slap her in the mouth

  • Black woman have secrets to keep black men control

  • Black women in society are above reproach and we have been insulated and no one would dare attack us.

  • Black women buys hot clothes and shoplift

  • Black women bully black men

  • Black women relate to black men like white women relate to white men and we cannot do this because black men are different


You can watch the rest of this interview here, here, and here. There is also discussion on interracial marriage in this interview as well. Don't be surprised to learn she is against interracial relationships.

Here is a more legitimate discussion, but still heated:



You can watch the rest of it here, here, and here.

For the most part, I believe her books were rejected by black women due to the controversial nature and somewhat sexist nature of her books. A lot of black men did embrace her book, although many as you can see in at least one of the interviews did not agree with the message in it's entirety.

My question is this: When will there ever be a book or a discussion in which we say black men have dropped the ball? Why is there a tendency in the black community to protect the black man, but expect the black woman to handle it all and get blasted and blamed for all things wrong in the black community? That is how I feel the black community currently treats black women, and not just black men do this, but black women do this to each other .

I definitely understand black men have had a hard time during slavery, segregation, lynchings, etc., but hasn't the black woman endured these things as well? I understand with the advent of Affirmative Action it is viewed that black women get treatment over black men in positions because to hire a black woman is a "double minority". The facts to me don't present this view. Personally I think black women get hired at higher rates than black men because for the most part black women, have sought to advance their educations in higher numbers than black men. More education means more opportunities for the most part, and black women are more likely to get a college degree or advanced training beyond high school. So why are black women, who are perceived to be more successful than black men the scapegoat for the black community in general? I know one big thing people tend to mention is the feminist movement as it relates to black women. The feminist movement for the most part in my opinion did more to benefit white women than it did black women. The reason I say this is because black women in this country were never in the situation of being happy homemaker or expected to stay pretty, black women have always worked outside the home. We didn't have to fight to make money, we had to take jobs, along with black men because of the inequality black people faced on a daily basis, including in the workforce. We fought for equality in the workplace, but never did we ever have to fight to get a job.

I think the "strong black woman" stereotype, although to some extent rooted in truth is our biggest downfall, and causes us to be a scapegoat in the black community (Shahrazad Ali believes this as well, but with completely different reasoning). It is no secret that black women are more likely to be single mothers than other races of women. I believe that black men who have fathered children and chosen not to be actively involved in their lives has fallen for this stereotype. They know the kids will be cared for if they are involved or not because the "strong black woman" handles it all. In terms of even IR relationships this can be the case, many white men have said their attraction to black women has been their strength, but I also know of white men who have said they date black women because they feel they have less expectations than white women. To an extent this is true because I think in most households, the black man and black women had more of the whole concept of 50/50, both worked outside the home, whereas the traditional "American" (i.e. white family), it was expected the man work outside the home, the woman worked inside the home, cleaning and taking care of kids. Black women as a whole or on average are never raised to look for a man to take care of us, we are told to fend for ourselves. I think this causes us to beat ourselves down, as we know or feel there is no one there for us, but ourselves, and this can be overwhelming and a bit depressing in my opinion. I think this causes SOME black women to be OK with the concept of man sharing and feel that black men are good for nothing, and are failures, as it appears the black community is the only one in which this message is wholeheartedly embraced, and if you compare and contrast and look at things on a whole instead of on an individual level this can be truly disheartening.

I do believe that black women are the backbone of the black community, but the community is made up of men and women and we have to look at BOTH men and women, and also acknowledge the strengths and failures that black men have bought the community, if we are going to address the failures of black women and how they pertain to the black community. It is a 50/50 deal, black women don't make babies by themselves, they don't exist without black men.

2008-05-04

Don't you just want to beat his little ass?*



I swiped this from Happy Nappy Head


Just to recap this story:

-He got mad at his mom, so he took his grandmother's car
-He met up with another 7 year old, who smokes cigarettes, where the hell are the adults in this situation?
-It is fun to be bad and do hoodrat stuff
-Punishment should probably be not playing video games all weekend.
-The boy hit four cars, and sideswiped a sign, and wrecked his grandmother's car
-The boy himself is interviewing with the news station, it appears no parents are around, and the boy is still alive to interview with said news station.

Let me go get my birth control prescription refilled ASAP.

*I do not advocate child abuse or actual beatings. I do believe in discipline and I am not opposed to corporal punishment, as I was raised on this myself, but I do not advocate actual beatings.

2008-05-03

The Truth About Marriage


Next month me and my husband will have been together officially NINE years. In November we will have been married 5 years. Looking back upon that time, I am reflecting on my relationship with my husband. I love him to death, and at this point and time cannot imagine life without him. He is an awesome guy, who really does a great job in taking care of me and having to deal with my crazy ass. Most men would have bolted by now. I am going to tell you my personal views of relationships and wedded bliss, the good, the bad, and the ugly.


Let's start with the good:

-There are days when I wake up early in the morning and just watch him sleep. He is the most adorable thing when he sleeps, it doesn't help he looks about 12 years old.

-He always attempts to make me laugh. He thinks he got jokes, but he ain't really funny, I just smile and laugh to keep from hurting his feelings :)

-He has always supported me in my life, no matter what I do. From going back to school, to quitting and/or losing a job, he is the first to make sure I don't worry. He is the first to encourage me and support me even when others don't.

-He stills thinks I am pretty. He tells me this even when I have a cold and I am wearing grandma underwear and a ratty t-shirt to sleep in. Of course there have been some ratty t-shirts that mysteriously disappear over time. Even on my ugliest days he still tells me I am pretty, and I can get really ugly looking.

-He hates it when I am sad and tries to fix things for me, even when he can't

-He still lays in bed and cuddles with me and doesn't always expect sex, even though now I have to make him do it or throw a temper tantrum.

-He puts up with my temper tantrums. I have a slight temper at times and he is good at looking at me crazy and telling me to calm down. Except when I have road rage, no one can calm me down when I have road rage, I can rant on and on about that. I have quit flicking people off and honking my horn. I have replaced my middle finger with a thumbs up, it is a sarcastic thumbs up, but it is better than the middle finger right?

-He listens to me talk crazy with my wild and crazy ideas

-He will take me to see foreign and independent films even though he hates them. He will make fun of them for days on end, but he will take me.

-He still gets jealous when he thinks a guy likes me, even if said guy is gay and has no interest in anything with a vagina. (this can be both a positive and a negative, I will touch on that in the next section)

-He still takes me out on dates.

-He hates animals, but yet lives with two dogs and a cat. He even went so far as to start the animal trend, the pitt mix was the first gift he ever gave me. He got it before we moved in together and the pitt actually lived with him a good month before I moved in.

-He never hesitates to tell me he loves me.

-Our arguments never last more than an hour because he is always the first to apologize because he knows I am stubborn as hell.

The bad and ugly:

-In a marriage you go through phases, ups and downs. Sometimes there are days I am not willing to kiss my husband with morning breathe, I get grossed out, sometimes it is kicking, but a good teeth brushing and I am ready for duty.

-There are times I feel regret for not having lived life on my own longer. I have been with my sweetie since I was 23 and for the majority of that time I was living off of mommy and daddy. I basically went from living off of them to him, and it would be nice to know if I could really make it on my own for a long period of time.

-There are times you wish you were still single when you see your single girlfriends having fun and partying it up. Traveling whenever they wanted, without a care in the world. No scheduling vacations to accommodate someone else. You go and do what you want without compromise. Going out staying up late, not having to check in or ask permission to do things. No having to account for your whereabouts.

-In marriage you work as a unit, but there are times you feel that you have lost your individual self. I have changed significantly over the years. I think it has been due to growth and due to accommodating each others interests and ideals.

-You quit learning how to function on your own. I used to have no problems going to a movie or restaurants by myself. Now I act like an invalid and when I do have to eat somewhere by myself I do it talking to folks on a cell phone, yeah I know it is rude, but I feel so weird otherwise.

-Folks let themselves go. Sometimes you don't have to impress the person you already got them, so jeans, a t shirt , converse, a ponytail, and no make up become the commonplace at home outfit. You forget to wear the heels, put on the make up, and do the hair. Or at least just look like you put forth effort. My hubby is guilty of the same thing. There are days he is trying to obtain a ZZ top beard (which he can't even get, he can go two weeks without shaving and it looks like 5 day stubble). He also goes through phases where his common outfit is his Iron Maiden t shirts, jeans, and old ratty Adidas, even though I buy him really cute shirts, they just stay in the closet all sad. I also have to convince him to clip his toe nails, as I don't like being impaled by talons while laying in bed.

-Sometimes temptation is hard. I swear as a married women I get approached now by attractive men than I ever did when I was single. When I was single it was jerks, assholes, and men who had twenty kids with twenty different baby mammas. Now on occasion attractive men approach me and all I can do is run away.

-You have to work at sex. I never thought I would say that. When I was single, I don't think I would ever think I could get tired of sex, but on occasion you do. Sometimes he is in the mood and I am not, sometimes I am in the mood and he is not. Just part of life and you gotta work through it. You gotta change things up and put effort to make it interesting.

-Sometimes he and I take each other granted. We get frustrated at each other for not seeing things from the others point of view, get mad for silly reasons and say things you don't mean because you always know they will be there waiting around, and I have had to work on that because at any time, truth be known we could walk away from each other, split the difference, and call it a day, but we don't because we do love each other, but honestly that love is the big thing that keeps us together. Divorce comes a dime a dozen these days.

-The jealousy thing. I feel sometimes I hold myself back so not to anger and upset him, and I am sure he does the same for me. Over the years I have let go of people close to me to not cause complications between me and the husband. Folks of the opposite sex, people I considered my best friends I left drift away because I wanted to not cause friction, and at time I regret it. My only contact with them for the most part is email and myspace, which a true friend should be more than that.

Overall, this is my marriage, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and I don't mind it at all. I do have things I can work on, but honestly I think our relationship is good, but sometimes you have to write stuff out to figure out what makes stuff work and why it works. Day to day you sometimes forget or stick this in the back of your mind and don't always step back in amazement to think that you actually have someone who loves you.

2008-05-01

Stereotypes Proven True

Oh Man,

The story below hurts my feelings. I always fight this stereotype. I can swim, I love to swim, it is part of the reason I went natural. Chlorine and Relaxer is a bad combo if you swim often during the summer, and no one wants to wear the dorky swim cap. I always talk about how my father was able to swim across lakes during his boy scout days, and how my mother is the only one in our family who can't really swim all that well, even though she has taken lessons. Part of the problem is she won't leave the shallow end of the pool. This is the type of swimming pool my mother is comfortable in:




She really wants to wade not swim, which is explains her weak swimming skills.

I wonder why so many black people don't know how to swim, or at least take swimming lessons? I know with women it is a hair thing, but wouldn't you want to swim in a non polluted clear water ocean or lake (I have been to Galveston and as a child I swam there with no problems, not realizing the rainbow spots in the water were dangerous)? You only live once, and you hair can get done at another time. You can always rock a weave, or ponytail to get you through? What about kids though, don't they love to swim? I remember dying to go to the pool so I could jump off the high diving board. I remember swimming in dirty lakes with fish flipping up in the air, and water moccasin snakes abound and not giving a damn.




New study: 58 percent of black children can't swim

By DAVID CRARY, AP National Write
18 minutes ago
Nearly 60 percent of African-American children can't swim, almost twice the figure for white children, according to a first-of-its-kind survey which USA Swimming hopes will strengthen its efforts to lower minority drowning rates and draw more blacks into the sport.

Stark statistics underlie the initiative by the national governing body for swimming. Black children drown at a rate almost three times the overall rate. And less than 2 percent of USA Swimming's nearly 252,000 members who swim competitively year-round are black.

To alter the numbers, USA Swimming is teaming with an array of partners — local governments, corporations, youth and ethnic organizations_ to expand learn-to-swim programs nationwide, many of them targeted at inner-city minorities. One of the key participants is black freestyle star Cullen Jones, who hopes to boost his role-model status by winning a medal this summer at the Beijing Olympics.

USA Swimming's motives are twofold, executive director Chuck Wielgus said.

"It's just the right thing to do — making an effort so every kid can be water-safe," he said. "And quite frankly it's about performance. We're something of a niche sport and for us to remain relevant, considering the changing demographics of the population, it's important we get more kids involved at the mouth of the pipeline."

As part of the initiative, USA Swimming commissioned an ambitious study recently completed by five experts at the University of Memphis' Department of Health and Sports Sciences. They surveyed 1,772 children aged 6 to 16 in six cities — two-thirds of them black or Hispanic — to gauge what factors contributed most to the minority swimming gap.

The study found that 31 percent of the white respondents could not swim safely, compared to 58 percent of the blacks. The non-swimming rate for Hispanic children was almost as high — 56 percent — although more than twice as many Hispanics as blacks are now USA Swimming members.

The lead researcher, Professor Richard Irwin, said one key finding was the influence of parents' attitudes and abilities. If a parent couldn't swim, as was far more likely in minority families than white families, or if the parent felt swimming was dangerous, then the child was far less likely to learn how to swim.

Irwin said this means learn-to-swim programs in minority communities should reach out to parents.

Among black children, the study found that girls overall had weaker swimming skills than boys and were less comfortable at pools. Irwin said this might justify experimenting with single-sex swim programs, comparable to single-sex academic programs now spreading through some schools.

The minority swimming gap has deep roots in America's racial history. For decades during the 20th century, many pools were segregated, and relatively few were built to serve black communities.

John Cruzat, USA Swimming's diversity specialist, said these inequalities were compounded by a widespread misperception — fueled by flawed academic studies — that blacks' swimming ability was compromised by an innate deficit of buoyancy.

"There are people who still give credence to these stereotypes, even in the black and Hispanic community," said Cruzat, who wants to break the cycle that passes negative attitudes about swimming from one black generation to another.

"These long-held beliefs are still so potent," he said. "If you don't teach your children to swim, you're putting your grandchildren at risk."

Cruzat was pleased by one finding in the new study — that most black and Hispanic children do not disdain swimming as a "white sport." The study also found that swimming ability, regardless of race, increased in relation to parents' income and education.

The findings will be used by USA Swimming to fine-tune its steadily expanding Make a Splash program, in which it teams up with local partners to offer lessons and water-safety classes. Programs are starting this year at YMCAs in Philadelphia, Omaha, Neb., Raleigh, N.C., and San Jose, Calif.

Wanda Butts of Toledo, Ohio, is participating in the program. Her 16-year-old son, Josh, drowned last year in a lake as he played with friends on a raft despite his inability to swim.

Butts, 54, said her father once witnessed a drowning and passed on a fear of swimming to her, and she in turn never made efforts to have Josh learn to swim.

Butts now travels periodically to preach the importance of learning to swim — in fact, she's taking lessons herself. She's also launched an initiative called the Josh Project, which ensures that lessons are free for families unable to afford them.

"The best way is to start the children as young as possible," she said.

Olympic hopeful Jones is the highest-profile Make a Splash campaigner. In 2006, he helped break a world record with the U.S. 400 freestyle relay team. He hopes to qualify in July for the Beijing Games, and knows that winning a medal there in the glamorous 50 meter freestyle would be a huge boost for the efforts to lure more black children into swimming.

"There are African-Americans who swim, but they're in the background," Jones said. "People only pay attention when you're in the limelight."

He still hears skeptical comments sometimes from adults in the black community, even from some of his relatives — but he sees little hesitation in the children he mentors in the pool.

"I've done lessons with white and black kids — there's no kid out there who doesn't like jumping into a pool," he said. "When you're 6, you are fearless. That's the time to teach them."

Among Jones' admirers is Pablo Morales, a son of Cuban-born parents who won Olympic swimming medals in 1984 and 1992 and now coaches at the University of Nebraska.

"He can have an amazing impact," Morales said of Jones. "I cheer for him — and hope he can stay on top for a long time."

But Morales acknowledges that swimming diversity has improved only marginally since his first Olympics.

"Has progress been made? Yes," he said. "Has it been as extensive and as quick as we'd hoped? Definitely not."

___

On the Net:

http://www.usaswimming.org/

Vicious Dobermans and Pitts




For those who don't know I own two dogs. A pitt bull mix (we were told she was a lab mix as a puppy, surprise, surprise) and a doberman pincher. For the most part they are docile and the pitt bull mix is very submissive, she bows down to chihuahuas. The doberman it is hard to tell, at the dog park they usually kind og pack together and hang out and if one dog likes a new dog, they both do and they end up playing in happy harmony. These angels are innocent no more.

My dogs went from this:






To This:




I did my usual letting out of the dogs to do their business in our backyard. I hear some barking and immediately let them come back in, as a dog barking at 5:30 in the morning does not make for great neighborhood relations. The doberman starts pacing, his cue to go back outside a couple of hours later. He avoids outdoors like the plague, so I wonder what is outside that makes him so antsy. I go to let them out, and both dogs bolt for the middle of the yard. I go over to see what they are looking at, and I see red, white, and brown. A bunny has been decapitated. No head, just a body, and two dogs excited as hell they got a dog treat. Now I am used to seeing rabbits in this manner, as my dear departed Trixie, the gender bending super cat was an avid hunter of rabbits and birds. He would often bring his surprises to the door to show his pride of killing innocent birds and rabbits. For Easter once, he left us a half dead baby rabbit on the doorstep. My husband was not. As I went to go put on shoes and gloves to handle this delicate situation my husband comes outside grossed out and freaked out the dogs would do such a thing. Although grossed out I am not surprised as there is a reason folks bring dogs with them for hunting, not that I am for hunting, but dogs are good at chasing things, namely rabbits.

Me and my husband are surprised the dogs can even catch a rabbit, the pitt is slightly plump, the doberman has arthritis. Needless to say the only assumption I can make is that the rabbit was sick or injured, or came to our yard for it's final resting place, as they could never actually catch a healthy rabbit. This now means trips to the pet store and to the vet for ring and tape worm applications, a bath, and happiness in the fact we partake in ongoing heartworm preventative and rabies shots.