Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I come from a family that has generations of roots in the South, and I don't think I have to recall mounds of Southern history for you, e.g., slavery ---> racism, segregation, strict socioeconomic/racial divisions. Despite what anyone says, those things are still present in the U.S. Maybe segregation is against the law, but it still happens because of economics, education, and culture. And because of that separation, mostly between races, racism is brewing, and I think it is going to really bubble over sometime soon. What can be done about that, I don't know. There are many sociopolitical problems that I won't even begin to try to discuss. But there is one thing that I know must stop, and that is carrying on stereotypes.

Yesterday, I went to breakfast with my grandmother, and she was telling me about something she'd heard on the radio earlier in the morning. We have a radio personality who has a reputation for saying whatever is on his mind. He shares his thoughts as different characters; I'm not sure if this is to help him get away with the things he says. Yesterday morning he was talking about New Orleans and the reelection of Mayor Nagin (which I honestly think was a HUGE mistake, and I can't believe that THE PEOPLE HE HUNG OUT TO DRY VOTED HIM BACK IN!!!). And he was talking about the attitude and the behavior of the large black population there, and concluded his thoughts with "You can take them out of Africa, but you can't take the Africa out of them."

I have a low tolerance, even a hate, for ignorance, and that statement is the epitome of ignorance. I cannot believe that someone could say something like that on the radio and not get um...harmed later that day on his way home.

When I went to Senegal, West Africa, three years ago, I saw a lot of REAL poverty. Here we have homeless people, too, but the diffence between here and there is that we have programs to help anyone who needs it. People don't have to live on the streets here. In Africa, they don't have many programs to help people out, and off the top of my head, I can only think of international missions that offer things like medicine and the most essential nutrients to the people they can reach, i.e., the people who live in cities and easily accessible villages. Despite the poverty, I have never met happier, more loving, more accepting, more hospitable people in my life, EVEN in the South, which takes pride in its hospitality.

Maybe having pride in our hospitality is the problem. We are only as hospitable as our prejudice allows. We no longer invite the random stranger to eat dinner with our family. However, in Senegal, upon meeting ANYONE for the very first time, we would be invited to eat dinner with them in their home. It was likely they were only going to be eating rice and fish, and maybe there was only one fish to share among everybody, but they were happy to have less if it meant making us feel welcome.

Real jobs are scarce in Senegal, but it was rare to see someone out on the streets who wasn't working, even if all they did was sell bottles of peanuts that they'd roasted, peeled, and bottled themselves. Work was important to everybody; there were no freeloaders.

I have an idea of who the radio personality was picking on. There are many people in this country who survive on, and sometimes abuse, the welfare system, and many of those who receive the benefits of that system are black (but the majority of people receiving welfare are WHITE, people). Comparing the black people who abuse the system, as well as those who exhibit behaviors that are morally reprehensible, to the people I met in Africa is ignorant. The only thing African about most black people here is that we politically-correctly call them African Americans.

Saying sterotypical and highly racist things like, "You can take them out of Africa...," puts up a barrier between groups of people. It changes attitudes in negative ways. It destroys trust. It puts people on the defensive, where they will do whatever is instinctive to survive attack. It creates fighting words and wars. I don't think we need any more wars in this world right now, especially in our own communities. We have a moral responsibility to love one another, to build each other up, to watch what we say, to be part of this family of man that we and everyone else in this world belong to.

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Once upon a time, I would actually write stuff for this blog. I would spend a lot of time thinking about what to write and how to write it. But somewhere I quit doing that, and I started to just write little factual snippets that I can't imagine were fun for any of you to read even though the thing made me chuckle or cry or anger. I started writing anything just for the sake of writing something so that when you would come here to find something new to read, it was there. It would take you all of a minute to read it, and then you probably thought, "So what?" or "Next!" or nothing at all.

I apologize for being lame.

So from now on, I am no longer going to post for the sake of posting something. If I have nothing to say, I won't say it. You deserve more than random thoughts I have in the day. Accounts of random thoughts should AT LEAST contain whatever things led to the random thoughts so that reading a random thought could possibly be entertaining. This means that I may post even less often than I already do. Or maybe it means that I will be more diligent in doing this thing. Who knows? But I will give substance, by golly. Or maybe I won't. I'm not sure. What is substance? Anyway, there are so many other ways I could have told you that I am now "Kiki".

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I have a new name. This morning in my Human Physiology class, the professor announced that she was going to go through the roll of 80+ students so she could get the names we want to go by. I had never in my life seen this professor anywhere, and I know she doesn't know me from Adam. So I was sitting with my friends trying to figure out what I wanted to be called, and when she got to my name, I said, "Kiki". She asked, "With a C or a K?" "K", obvs. My friends were chuckling throughout the room. She probably picked up on it; regardless, that's my name for the rest of the semester...at least. Also, it makes me laugh.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I cannot let this day end...

...until I say "Happy Birthday" to my redheaded girlfriend.



And here is my favorite of her songs, Sugar.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Um...

This is pretty funny.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Making Sister Pearl

Sister Pearl had to go talk about visiting teaching to the few Relief Society sisters who would go to something called "Visiting Teaching Luncheon" on a Saturday morning at 10AM . Sister Pearl is a southern woman with a BIG southern drawl. Her last name is Wiseman, and she was born a long time ago...sometime before the Great Depression. She's really well preserved. She's calls people precious and whispers, "Mercy!" after every yawn she makes.





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Friday, August 11, 2006

The Monroe Ward Amazing Race

Of course, my team won! We were called "The Mexicans". I made t-shirts. We rocked.



Watch out for that tall girl laying down the law in the forward position for the BYU Lady Cougars this Fall/Winter. I'm not that short. She's effin' tall! Also, I have a retarded look on my face.

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The Cantaloupe Analogy







To you, that probably looks like me deseeding a cantaloupe so I can eat it, but to me, it's what I want to do to myself when I have menstrual cramps. The cantaloupe is me, the seeds are my girly insides, the knife is a knife, and the spoon is this much larger spoon I have on stand-by in case things get ugly.

Private joke moment: Jan, this one's for you.

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Help me! A friend loaned me the DVDs of the first season of Veronica Mars because I hadn't ever watched the show, and now I can't stop watching it. It is 6:30 PM and I haven't gotten out of my pjs or the darkness of my room yet.

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Saturday, August 05, 2006

That is a cat's paw, and that is a thumb on the cat's paw. My friend has a freak cat! It's the coolest thing ever!

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

A few things:

1. Windfall is a boring show, but I can't stop watching it. Please help me. Jason Gedrick is the new Tylenol PM, but I fight through the sleep to watch the trainwreck that is this show. STOP CHEATING ON EACH OTHER ALREADY!!! THERE THEY GO AGAIN!

2. When I was in Montreal, I was walking by the store, Lush (handmade cosmetics) when I was pulled in by the pleasant aromas. I was intrigued and grossed out that most of the soaps there looked like loaves of roquefort, chevre, gruyere, and various other cheeses that would never enter my mouth because of the pungent taste. Then I found the skin care products. The shop girl massaged my hands with Sel Océanique and then loved them with Crème de Rêve. My hands were so smooth and smelled so pleasantly lavandered that I bought both things and rounded out the purchase with Battement Citronné for my feet and elbows. My skin is happy and recommends all three products, but buy them from the USA store.

3. I'm a pretty calm person. I think it's funny and sad when people get enraged over menial things. For example, I have a friend who has road rage issues. If he gets cut off or someone honks at him, he goes berzerk and starts honking and driving like a madman possibly scaring and putting into danger the lives of everyone in the car and on that part of the road. My philosophy on things like that is this: "No one was hurt. We're still alive. It happened. That guy's a moron. I'm over it. Look at that tree." I just don't see the point in turning into a raging lunatic over it. In fact, I think it's more idiotic than being cut off or honked at. Just breathe.

4. I am not excited about still being in the Young Women's presidency under my third president. I want out, but apparently, people go crazy judgemental on your ass when you say no to a calling. Who wants that?

5. I had a big scare today. When I seriously think about it, my favorite thing in this world is music, making my iPod a very important part of my life. As I walked out the door today, I grabbed my keys and my iPod. I set the iPod, we'll call him Marco, in his cradle and turned on the stereo. As I was waiting for the menu screen to pop up, I was shocked by a sad face that told me to go to the Apple support page. I did all of this crap it told me to do which was basically trying to restore Marco's settings. Nothing worked. So then I checked into how much it would cost to have it repaired because that was the next logical step per the site. Well, $280 can buy me a new iPod, and I would MUCH rather have Marco 2.0 than an expensively refurbished Marco. But I don't have that kind of do-re-mi right now, so I decided to look online to see what others had done in my situation; I can't be the only one to have seen the sad face of sorrow and pain. I found a recurring remedy. Some people had thrown their iPod in anger, dropkicked it, slammed it down, and other violent pitchings, and the results were a working iPod. Feeling I had no choice, I grabbed Marco, stood up, held him out with a straight arm, and dropped him to the floor. He bounced and made a painful noise. I winced. I pressed play. Marco is good as new.

6. Here is the song I can't get enough of right now, and I've played it nonstop on Marco since I "fixed" him this afternoon. Fiona Apple - I Want You (live Elvis Costello cover).m4a sung at VH1 Decades Rock Live Elvis Costello. It's hot!

7. I hate when I'm having a good conversation with a friend, he abruptly asks if he can call me back, and then HE DOESN'T CALL ME BACK. I STILL HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY! CALL ME BACK, DUMBASS CRACKER!

8. I typed "ass" two three times in this post.

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