jesus is the biscuit, let him sop you up!

i loves me some latrice royale but i completely disagree with her when she said that gay unions should not be called ‘marriage.’ history will show that separate is not equal it seems that a few decades after we determined this and people have already forgotten. one minority should certainly show more compassion towards another for the exact reason that they have both experienced the exact same type of injustice rather than the former voting to take away the rights of the latter simply because they now benefit from the rights as part of the majority.

another history lesson on separation we need to take a look at is that of separation between church and state. people, especially christians, need to realize that this part of the constitution is designed specifically to protect their rights to practice their religions without the threat of punishment. it should not be used to take away the rights of others.

there’s been a lot of talk about the influence of the black vote on the recent gay marriage ban in north carolina. indeed, there’s been a lot of black church leaders speaking out against gay marriage (there’s been a lot of opposition to gay marriage from people of different colors and they all get their share of the blame too). i just really wish that history wasn’t so easy to forget and we uphold the dreams of people like martin luther king, jr. even his wife and widow, the late coretta scott king, fought for the rights of those in the lgbt community.

it makes me happy to see that there are strong black leaders, like rev. dr. otis moss III speak out for the equality and the distribution of civil rights for all people. below is an excerpt from his recent sermon followed by the video:

we have the fingerprint of the divine upon our spirits. there is no doubt that there are people who are same-gender loving occupying prominent places in the church but for the clergy to hide with a quick dismissive claim of poor biblical scholarship is as sinful as unthoughtful acceptance. when we make biblical claim without sound interpretation, we adopt doctrinal positions devoid of the love ethic. deep faith may resonate in our position but the ethic of love will always force you to reexamine and prayerfully reconsider your position. the question that you got wrong is the question that should be raised: ‘should all americans have the same civil rights?’ this is different than the question ‘does the church have the right to perform or not perform a religious rite?’ r-i-t-e. there is a different spelling between r-i-g-h-t and r-i-t-e. these two questions are answered in two different arenas. one in the pluralistic arena of civic debate and the other in ecclesiastical counsels. i do not believe ecclesiastical counsels are equipped to shape civic legislation nor are civic legislators equipped to shape religious rituals and doctrine. the institution of marriage is not under attack because of the president’s words. marriage was under attack years ago when men viewed women as property and children as trophies of their sexual prowess. marriage is under attack by low wages, high incarceration and lack of education. marriage is under attack by clergy who think nothing of stepping outside the bounds of marriage to sleep with ‘preaching groupies.’ same gender couples have not caused high divorce rate but our adolescent views of relationships and our inability as a community to come to grips with the ethic of love and commitment. we still mistake sex for love and romance for commitment. my father eloquently stated to a group of ministers the other day that our ancestors prayed for 389 years to get a president of color in the white house. we led over 200 slave revolts, fought in 11 wars, one civil war where 600 thousand people died, women’s suffrage. people were lynched for the civil rights bill of ’64 and the voting rights bill of ’65. he stated his father never voted and he rushes to the polls to pull the lever for every member of his family who was denied the right to vote. he said that he will not allow narrow-minded clergy or regressive politicians to keep him from exercising his right to vote and helping to shape the future of his grandchildren. the economic crash, foreclosures, and attack on health care were not caused by gay and lesbian citizens. poor schools were not created by people who desire equal protection. we have much work to do. to claim that the presidents of the united states must hold your theological position is absurd. he is the president of the united states–not the president of the baptist community convention, not president or bishop of the sanctified church. he is called to protect those who are jew and gentile; male and female; young and old; gay and straight. we, as a church, if we dare still wait from the noise of this debate will be able to hear the voice of the prophet to say that we are called to do justice, live mercy and walk humbly with god. gay people have never been the enemy and when we use rhetoric to suggest that they are the source of all our problems, we lie on god and cause tears to fall from the eyes of christ. i am not asking you to change your position but i am stating that we must stay and dialogue and not allow our personal emotional prejudices or doctrines to prevent us from clearly seeing the possibility of the beloved community. november is coming and the spirits of ella baker, septima clark, fannie lou hamer, a. philip randolph, james orange, medgar evers, and martin luther king, jr stand in the balcony of heaven raising the question ‘will you do justice, live mercy and walk humbly with god?’ emmett till and four little girls of alabama did not die for a sunday morning sound bite where you can show disdain for one group of god’s children. they died because of an evil act by men who believed in doctrine over love. we live today because of a man who believed in love over doctrine who died on a hill at calvary in the dusty plain of palestine.’

take us to church, latrice.

hallelujah, holla back.

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celine dion is so weird, endearing and naive. i love her.

oh here we go: celine dion made it back on the headlines with some crazy batshizz stuff. given how strongly the public is reacting to the death of whitney houston, celine’s statements are bound to land her in some hot water.

but let’s be honest here: we’re all thinking the same thing. she is just saying it out loud. what’s more, she’s saying it from a perspective of a mother who’s tried very hard to conceive. naturally, seeing a mother skirt her motherly duties because of drugs is going to hit a little closer to home with her. granted, now may not have been the time to be saying it. in fact, the time would have been 10 years ago…in a private conversation with whitney herself. not now. not so soon after her death.

but it’s celine dion–she arm claps. she says the word “lurve” and actually means it. she has a workout video (not really). simply, she is the best singer in the world. remember when she cried on larry king about sending kayaks, cash, blood and… cheese whiz? i don’t think she meant any harm or offense. in fact, she seems to actually have a lot of respect for whitney:

she just got caught up in all the whitney-ness of it all. and while we all pretend to have actually had concern for whitney all these years when in fact, we all made fun of her erratic behavior, celine chose to turn something tragic into something to learn from. and if that doesn’t work, she’s french canadian. give her a break.

so now i leave you with one of whitney’s songs:

i mean, what is bigotry, really?

ok so here’s the thing: i’m about to graduate from nursing school in may. throughout the program, we have been told time and time again to be careful what we put online because it can affect us professionally. this kind of scare tactic works so well that a person in my class stresses out about posting a harmless joke because it has the word “asshole” in it. now that we’re in our last semester and getting ready to apply for jobs, people are becoming more aware of what they’re doing online and being more discrete about what they say. i agree that if it’s something frivolous and offensive, then it may not be something you should let prospective employers see. i admit, i say a lot of things that people don’t agree with but if for some reason i don’t get a job or i get fired for who i am and what i stand for, then that’s an organization i probably don’t want to be associated with anyway. there is integrity in the things i say and i won’t be scared into not voicing my opinion.

so here it goes:
bigotry is bullshit. i’m sure i could have found a less offensive or more eloquent way to express that sentiment but it really wouldn’t communicate my exact feelings about the topic. let me say it again–bigotry is bullshit. it doesn’t matter if it’s against black, hispanics, christians, muslims, frenchmen, homosexuals or anything else. i think it’s bullshit.

the idea that this kind of behavior and ideology still goes on in 2012 in America boggles my mind! that you think your opinion of how i should live my life should have any affect on how i actually live my life is completely ludicrous! this delusion that marriage equality is somehow an injustice against family values or christian values not only flies in the face of what this country prides itself on, but it flies in the face of what your religion supposedly teaches and it flies in the face of basic human decency!

now, i understand there’s always room for growth and if it’s a matter of simple ignorance or lack of understanding of other groups of people and there’s a willingness to learn and be more open-minded, please feel free to voice this. however, i unapologetically call all the other bigots and bullies out on their shit.

take a look around you. we’re making changes in the world. and no amount of hatred, violence, fear-mongering and bullying you hurl at us will make us cower under our beds and let you rule our lives. and after we win this gay equality battle, we’ll take on the next.

Below is a video of howard stern discussing the recent events of ellen degeneres and jc penney’s run-ins with one million moms, rosie o’donnell’s problem with letterman and how michele bachmann and rick santorum should be spat on and shunned. enjoy!

oh no, she dih-int: trans rights and girl scout cookies

not that i wasn’t going to buy caramel delites anyway but i’m going to make sure to buy extra (and i’ve been known to order an entire case and more) just for this. isn’t it interesting how the inclusion of minority groups automatically equals injustice against the ruling majority? isn’t it interesting that more often than not, it is trans people who are bullied, victimized, discriminated against and murdered and most people don’t even bat an eye? (more here, here, here, here, and most especially here). isn’t it interesting how the inclusion of a 7-year-old transgirl to the girl scouts is a threat to the safety of a 14-year-old teenaged girl? this little girl and the parents who put her up to this should realize that whatever you put on the internet stays on the internet. she’s on the losing side of this battle and it will be to her detriment when she starts looking for opportunities in a few years and people will remember this act of bigotry. and even then, she will only experience a fraction of what the trans people have to go through.

image source

if you clicked on the “most especially here” link and watched the video, this one should tug at your heartstrings.

two-year-versary

  1. he got me new swimwear
  2. we had dinner at pappadeux
  3. he helped me make brandius‘ cajun bread pudding with praline sauce
  4. we watched finding nemo
  5. had brunch with rey, suzanne and tamsin
  6. i taught him a dance i invented called “the dancing bear”

and now i have another day left with him before he leaves on tuesday for his job for the summer. le sigh…

update: on the day of our two-year-versary, it has been confirmed that osama bin laden has been killed a week ago. it’s not relevant to our relationship but i just wanted to jot it down.

houston zoo, you’re dead to me

if you know me, then you’ll know that i love zoos. in fact a few years ago, i made it a mission to see the zoo of every city i visit. so far, i’ve been to central park zoo, the dallas zoo, the austin zoo and the houston zoo. my usual partner in crime is my boyfriend, who lovingly agrees to escort me on my crazy adventures.

my group even based one of our billboard projects on the houston zoo for copywriting class fall 2006

imagine my delight when, a few weeks ago, i find out that he got hired at the houston zoo as admissions supervisor! the weekend before he started, we even arranged for our zookeeper friend to give us a backstage tour and got to play with ernie the porcupine.

his first day was last monday and every day when he got home from work, i would ask him questions about what he did. he was really enjoying it and looked forward to being able to work outside. boyfriend is an active guy and anytime he’s not just sitting around being sedentary is a good time which made this job perfect for him!

but this is where things get dicey…

on tuesday evening, he received a voice message from his doctor about the results of his MRI and he asked him to come in the next day. on wednesday, boyfriend went into work hoping to ask his manager, whom we’ll call “doubles,” if he can leave early to go to the doctor. come to find out that doubles wasn’t there and wouldn’t be back until sunday. he talked to the other supervisors there and they were fine about letting him go. the two of us then drove to sugar land to see his doctor who told him that he had a full ACL tear, two meniscal tears and a bone bruise, which required knee surgery. being that his health insurance under his dad was set to expire two days later, they scheduled his surgery for the next day, thursday. as soon as boyfriend found out about his surgery, he called into work again to notify them. again, he was told it was ok and that doubles wouldn’t be back until sunday.

on surgery day, we get up at 5 am to get him to the hospital by 6. he went into surgery around 8 am and was on his way home by 11 am. he had a nerve block on his surgical leg, which meant that he wasn’t able to put any weight on it until it was removed three days later. of course, this meant that he was basically confined to bed until the nerve block was removed.

on friday, he called into work and got the same response: “it’s ok. call back on sunday when doubles returns to work. we’ll leave a note for her asking her to call you.” he called on saturday and did the whole thing. come sunday, doubles called him back and told him that she needs to speak with human resources about the situation. it is now monday and earlier this afternoon, HR called my poor, sweet crippled boyfriend to let him know that doubles no longer wishes to continue his employment with the houston zoo because boyfriend “just disappeared” and that she did “not like the way he went about the situation.”

excuse me?!?

how did he “just disappear”? he called every day, besides surgery day, to notify anyone who will listen about his surgery. you didn’t like that he talked to people who were actually at work instead of tracking your personal contact information down to let you know himself? NEWSFLASH: we googled you and facebooked you before his interview and you have no online presence. your name and number are NOT listed on the houston zoo’s staff directory. he had only been at work two days and wasn’t given any other numbers besides the one at the zoo. what did you want him to do–endure the excruciating pain of having had someone cut into your flesh long enough to pull a charlie’s angel and find out on which sofa you’re freaking bumming around? his pain meds made him delirious. he couldn’t exactly concentrate on much else besides recovering after surgery.

boyfriend has to use his continuous passive motion (cpm) device, like this one, 8 hours a day. it helps increase circulation, movement rate and degree of flexion

and when he tried to see if there was anything he could do, you refused to budge. why? who knows? he was under 90-day probation so you’re not legally bound to justify your actions. allow me to take a stab at it–you’re lazy. this is nothing but lazy management. you hired someone who, under normal circumstances, was obviously qualified to do the work you required. however, when he had to take time off for surgery, you refused to work with him because you might, oh i don’t know, actually have to be creative about how you can continue this professional relationship. instead of rising up to this challenge, you gave up. you’re lazy and there’s nothing anyone can tell to convince me otherwise. i wonder what your policy would have been if he had been in a major accident that required him to immediately take off work. it’s not like he got a nose job. it was knee surgery!

and this is why i will no longer be patronizing the houston zoo. don’t get me wrong–there are people who work there who have been great. but just as every good employee represents the zoo in a positive way, every bad employee represents the zoo in a negative way.

the irony, of course, is that the company i worked for, and dearly love, before going back to school had a close relationship with the zoo (i might end up ruffling some feathers over there, as well, as a result of this post). besides designing and building the zoo’s website and newsletters, they also maintained various updates that needed to be made practically on a daily basis. i know–i’ve done some of the work myself along with a slew of other people i worked with. the difference between the two organizations, however, is that the people i worked for believed in hiring quality people and finding places for them within the company. unfortunately, the zoo obviously has different hiring policies. they don’t need people; they need bodies and at the moment, boyfriend’s body is quite limited.

in the end, it’s still boyfriend who loses. it’s the zoo–how much damage could my own little boycott do to them? granted, i probably go to the zoo a little more often than the average person but so what? they averaged around 24k/day during spring break. we’re just two people. two people and a pair of crutches.

goodbye, houston zoo, it’ll be years before you see me again.

***update: the houston zoo put up a job post for boyfriend’s position today. really, houston zoo? bad form.***

spirituality in nursing school

i had a good discussion with my spirituality class today. i even got to bring up the following:

“If you take the Christian Bible and put it out in the wind and the rain, soon the paper on which the words are printed will disintegrate and the words will be gone. Our bible IS the wind and the rain.”

~Herbalist Carol McGrath as told to her by a Native-American woman.

and this concept from one of my favorite books, going home: jesus and buddha as brothers:

The same thing is true in Christianity. From time to time, you feel that you are very far away from your Christian brother. You feel that the brother who practices in the Buddhist tradition is much closer to you as a Christian. So Buddhism is not Buddhism and Christianity is not Christianity. There are many forms of Buddhism and many ways of understanding Buddhism. There are many ways of understanding Christianity. Therefore, let us forget the idea that Christianity must be like this, and that Buddhism can only be like that.

We don’t want to say that Buddhism is a kind of Christianity and Christianity is a kind of Buddhism. A mango can not be an orange. I cannot accept the fact that a mango is an orange. They are two different things. Vive la difference. But when you look deeply into the mango and into the orange, you see that although they are different they are both fruits. If you analyze the mango and the orange deeply enough, you will see small elements are in both, like the sunshine, the clouds, the sugar, and the acid. If you spend time looking deeply enough, you will discover that the only difference between them lies in the degree, in the emphasis. At first you see the difference between the orange and the mango. But if you look a little deeper, you discover many things in common. In the orange you find acid and sugar which is in the mango too. Even two oranges taste different; one can be very sour and one can be very sweet.

~Thich Nhat Hanh

a lot of people decided not to take this elective because they thought it was going to be hard. i actually wanted to take this elective because i know it will be beneficial. i hope to gain a better perspective and to grow because of this class.

a good way to end this post: