Coffee Rhetoric: questions
Showing posts with label questions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label questions. Show all posts

August 18, 2011

Spilling Open: Introspection

I haven't had the opportunity to spill open on here in a while. .. not in the fashion I'm accustomed to. "Diversifying" and introducing different elements to this blog has prompted me to sort of shut my personal self off. Since I can't afford the luxury of sighing and heaving to a shrink, I figured I'd get back to the middle and do it here. I miss spilling open here. The luxury of having my own forum and not restricting how I utilize my voice is a wonderful and freeing right to have. This very late and sleepless night, I choose to project in a very self-analytical way... for I'm the best, worst, most knowledgeable judge of me, myself, and I. 
Three days ago, I turned 34. I haven't had the opportunity to let the fact that I'm in my hardcore, mid-thirties, sink in until late last night and then now. I've always been an extremely leery woman, but it seems the older I get... the grumpier, more impatient, cut and dry paranoid I become about people's intentions (not to mention the insane hormonal changes my body is experiencing). My thoughts run a mile a minute... still... and my intuition goes into overdrive... The nights I can't sleep (which are often), I'm more in form and my emotions run the gamut.
Close friendships I've had for years are still intact, easy to maintain, and I cherish them. I also curse them for being so long-distance.  I'm finding that cultivating new ones is a difficult process for me. Sort of like the three times I've tried, to no avail, to care for and nurture organic  French lavender plants.  While I enjoy meeting their acquaintance, I don't trust people upon first coming into contact with them and schmoozing is a daunting task I'd rather avoid. My expectations of folks I fancy tend to be pretty basic, but high (within reason)... so when they generate a flaky outer-crust, I have visuals of them engaging in unsavory discussions about me when I'm not around and cackling at my expense after I've opened up to them (a la the movie, Carrie... when she flashes back to her mother mockingly telling her; "They're all gonna laugh at you!"). Mind you, none of the things I'm divulging charts the madness of an Angry Black Woman who's aging and coming undone. I've gone through some schtuff  over the years with people I considered friends, who eventually had no use for me once I stopped being able to provide them with the things they needed from me or who found someone more ride-or-die to guffaw and shoot the shit with. This is nineteen years worth of angst. I'm conflicted; sometimes  assholish when it comes to shielding myself... and so it manifests in a brooding, somewhat cold package ready to cut someone's jugular (or shutdown and close up shop, depending on the situation)- when I think I'm being compromised in some way. I stay solitary for the most part and actually quite enjoy doing things alone... In fact I find it gratifying and not unlike the scene from Catherine Breillat's French film, Romance... where Marie stalks her boyfriend to a sushi restaurant... chagrined by his flagrant pleasure in being alone eating his California rolls and reading his book ... without her... to which she mentally voices over that she would've rather found him cheating with another woman. 
While I dislike being a mercurial woman sans the desire to nurture deeper relationships with the opposite sex or entertain any new applicants for friendship, I've grown comfortable in my ... aloofness (for lack of a better term), as it's easy to just exist in a world unto myself and with people I'm comfortable with and who know me. But while my opaque and indifferent nature seems comforting and offers the protection I need from being inconvenienced in some way...  it's exasperating. 
Aging, learning how to deal with other people's personality quirks juxtaposed against my own, and fumbling towards my core presents an amalgamation of different feelings: perplexed, resistant, and frustrated ...
I understand that venturing outside the comfortable confines I've built around myself is a difficult but very necessary thing I need to experience more often... Despite it being so easy to withdraw and become self-contained... In essence, I just want to be left the hell alone; yet essentially I want to be happy having reached some sort of balanced medium... but I know this isn't a healthy or realistic expectation. What can I say?... I'm a middle child who embraces her right to err and grow. Stay tuned...

November 08, 2009

These and Those

... This, that, and the other. Much of the same. In the meantime, I'm researching how to create my own opportunity, implementing the things I truly enjoy doing, while these tired feet continue to pound the pavement. Yes, perhaps I'm tardy for this party, but sometimes it takes the rug being snatched out from under you for an extended period, to light a fire under one's ass. It's an ample ass... so I have a lot of brainstorming to do.

November 01, 2009


I've been out of the loop for the past few days and was in the midst of catching up, when I stumbled onto this sick and twisted story.
Since the depravity of it all speaks volumes in and of itself, I'll keep mine turned down low mostly because I'm rendered speechless and am perplexed by growing violence toward young women, somehow serving as a blueprint for budding manhood and coming of age, as well as the disintegration of healthy sexuality and precociousness. I will say that my stomach turned even tighter, because it reminded me of this disturbing film I blogged about, that I probably won't ever watch again.

April 04, 2009

Hormones and Obsessive Love

Friday was one of my worst, dark days. I haven't had one of those in a long time. Hormones. They were all over the place. Rampant mood swinging. I was extremely hot. Bloat, bloat, bloat. And on top of that, I had a horrible dry cough of meth head proportions My sinsuses were (and still are but not as much anymore) bothering me. Is this what happens when we (women) age? Do our hormones act ugly and randomly decide to shake us up for shits and giggles? A co-worker (after I expressed to him that I wasn't in the mood) leaned over and started singing Tomorrow, from Annie. That was the nail in the coffin for him. I went stone cold. My look sent in slinking away. I later sent an email apologizing, but reminding him that patronzing a woman while she is in the throes of hormonal shape shifting is a big no-no, especially after he'd been warned earlier. He realized his mistake and said he was only trying to make me laugh, but that he definitely understood that was NOT the time. Case closed.
I'm unapologetically human. I may seem otherworldly, but I'm not. I'm a human being whose emotions span a wide spectrum. Just so happened, I was caught off guard while a work, and not feeling well.
Been keeping a low profile this weekend. Relaxing, will probably luxuriate and have another Spa Day if I could peel myself off of this chaise lounger, and do something fun and exciting... like ummm... laundry. Oh goody gum drops! It's piling up. I hate doing laundry, but I need clean panties for tomorrow. Perhaps I'll make turkey bacon and eggs first though... as soon as I get up.
On a completely unrelated note, a few days ago while dusting, I came across a VHS tape of 9 1/2 Weeks which starred Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger. It has been a while since I've seen that flick. Even longer since I popped a VHS tape in a VCR. A highly charged erotic drama about obsessive love. How one man meets one woman, and instead of courting her in the traditional sense, and getting to know her, and caressing her tenderly... completely pushes her to her limit by exerting control over her through emotional emotional abuse, coercing her to engage in a series sexy, and eventually dubious and at times dangerous, sexual situations, and then he caresses her gently. Kim's character finally reaches her breaking point and dips.

Mickey professes his love, only after she decides she has had enough of his psychological games and quits him. His character starts going into an abridged discourse about his life and where he grew up as Kim's character packs her things, but it's too late. Kim wanted to know that stuff in the beginning of the relationship... before the sadomasochism.

I'm reminded of the book, The Story of O by Paula Reage and published in 1954, which explores the very same themes... obsessive love, dominance and submission. Themes that have always piqued my curiosity (not in a way that makes me want to partake). I've always wondered what prompted someone to become so lost in another person, that it manifests itself in an unhealthy compulsion. More importantly, what makes a person to submit his or her will, or to engage someone who is so infatuated with them or who essentially hurts them, and breaks them down psychologically? Kim Basinger didn't really submit to being dominated, not in the traditional sense of S&M relationships where it's usually consensual, and both parties understand the rules of that type of courtship.

She was sort of, bullied into submitting to Mickey's whims. Unlike many other women, Kim's character finally found her derring-do and extricated herself from the situation, when things got unhealthy. Healthy Love vs Obsession. Why, if he loved her so, did Mickey's character manipulate and play games, instead of simply making love to her and taking her as she was? I suppose Kim's character, recently divorced, was feeling vulnerable, just getting back into the dating world, and was somewhat subsceptible. Why do people manipulate and hurt their paramour if they love them so? I know women, who seemingly have their act together, but who are wittingly, well, unwitting participants in this type of obsessive, sadomasochistic relationship. No amount of encouragement seems to make them leave. While they complain about how unhappy they are, they seem comfortable wallowing in that sort of misery, despite how much they say they want to move on. Co-dependency plays a large part, I'm sure. I'm just curious about obsessive love... the takers and the willing participants. What's going on here?

May 04, 2008

Evermore Curiouser...

The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some time in silence: at last the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth, and addressed her in a languid, sleepy voice. `Who are you?' said the Caterpillar. This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, `I--I hardly know, sir, just at present-- at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.' `What do you mean by that?' said the Caterpillar sternly. `Explain yourself!' `I can't explain myself, I'm afraid, sir' said Alice, `because I'm not myself, you see.' `I don't see,' said the Caterpillar. `I'm afraid I can't put it more clearly,' Alice replied very politely, `for I can't understand it myself to begin with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing.' `It isn't,' said the Caterpillar. `Well, perhaps you haven't found it so yet,' said Alice; `but when you have to turn into a chrysalis--you will some day, you know--and then after that into a butterfly, I should think you'll feel it a little queer, won't you?' `Not a bit,' said the Caterpillar. `Well, perhaps your feelings may be different,' said Alice; `all I know is, it would feel very queer to me.' `You!' said the Caterpillar contemptuously. `Who are you?' Which brought them back again to the beginning of the conversation. Alice felt a little irritated at the Caterpillar's making such very short remarks, and she drew herself up and said, very gravely, `I think, you ought to tell me who you are, first.' `Why?' said the Caterpillar. Here was another puzzling question; and as Alice could not think of any good reason, and as the Caterpillar seemed to be in a very unpleasant state of mind, she turned away. `Come back!' the Caterpillar called after her. `I've something important to say!' This sounded promising, certainly: Alice turned and came back again. `Keep your temper,' said the Caterpillar. `Is that all?' said Alice, swallowing down her anger as well as she could. `No,' said the Caterpillar. Alice thought she might as well wait, as she had nothing else to do, and perhaps after all it might tell her something worth hearing. For some minutes it puffed away without speaking, but at last it unfolded its arms, took the hookah out of its mouth again, and said, `So you think you're changed, do you?' `I'm afraid I am, sir,' said Alice; `I can't remember things as I used--and I don't keep the same size for ten minutes together!'
-Alice in Wonderland, chapter 5: Advice from a Caterpillar

October 12, 2007


I've been busy trying to improve the quality of my life. Unfortunately this process doesn't involve marathon sex, fruity (but potent) cocktails adorned with fruit, Oxycontin, yachts docked on the Mediterranean, whippits, or having acquired a wealthy sugar daddy. In any event, in the midst of all this business I've noticed a few things that have left me-- well-- flummoxed. Firstly, while standing in my small kitchenette sipping a cup of coffee, I noticed the pot's instructions warned against holding the coffee maker's glass carafe over someone's head. Umm, is this a serious and common occurrence amongst coffee pot owners? Do people usually deliver a swift blow to the head, knocking their loved ones, cheating husbands, and philandering boyfriends unconscious? Sure offers another alternative to dumping a pot of hot grits on someone's lap. Whilst on the bus recently, I also noticed a small baby store in the heart of the inner city, called Half on a Baby. I'm speechless. R. Kelly aficionados will understand my dismay.

September 08, 2007

Re-birth of a Nation

"the greatest americans have not been born yet they are waiting patiently for the past to die. please give blood" -Saul Williams
During the summer of August 9, 2006 in Sound Beach on Long Island, a heated confrontation at a party- (where he was accused of threatening to rape a young white girl some months prior to the summer celebration)- prompted Aaron White, a 19 year old Black teenager to leave sans argument, after it was demanded that he do so. On his way home (nearby Miller Place, a predominantly white community), Aaron exchanged a series of angry cell phone calls with 17 year old Daniel Cicciaro, who alerted Aaron White that he was coming to his home. Drunk, Mr. Cicciaro with four of his friends in tow (all white), proceeded on with the threat of their presence. All five angry teenagers pulled up in front of the Whites' residence in two cars shortly after 11pm and were greeted by Aaron White and his father, John White via the garage. Father and son felt threatened enough to arm themselves for the impending showdown. Yelling ensued, in which Cicciaro and friends allegedly hurled racial epithets and refused to leave. At some point during the melee, Mr. White (father) shoots Daniel Cicciaro in the face with an antique handgun he inherited from his own grandfather. Daniel Cicciaro is felled by the gunshot, and is announced dead upon arrival to the emergency room. John White- who moved his family to their dream home on the North Shore in 2004- is described as a harding working "upstanding citizen" with no prior police record and who has never committed a crime in his life. He expressed deep regret and sorrow toward the Cicciaro family, claiming the incident was an "accident' and that he never meant to shoot the young man. That his only intent was to protect his family and scare his son's pursuers away from his home. John White was charged with manslaughter and criminal weapon possession. Internet users would then blow online news forums up with hateful racial epithets upon hearing the father's fate. Including cries for John White to be hung from a tree. While the outcome of the altercation is tragic, indeed. Can one blame John White for protecting his family and his son? The teens were unarmed, yes. But alcohol, bravado, hate speech, anger... Perhaps Daniel would be alive today, if he and his friends hadn't tried to recreate some vigilante style style of revenge. It's purported that during the 911 call and the race to get young Daniel to the hospital, his friends were overheard (through the phone) spouting off even more contemptuous race rhetoric. ...
Miles away, in Jena, Louisiana racial tensions are also brewing. Reaching their peak on August 31, 2006 after a black male freshman asks the Jena High School principal if he could sit under the shade of the "white tree" (where most of the white students usually convened amongst themselves). The principal suggested that students could sit wherever they wanted to. Three white students disagreed however, because the next morning three nooses were found hanging from that very same tree. The three students were later found to be guilty of the infraction and were up for expulsion... which the school board and superintendent promptly overruled. The superintendent would later trivialize the threat as a joke, as opposed to a threat against Black students' sensibilities. The school administration would later fail to report the incident to the police or the FBI (such brazen incidents can and should be reported as a Hate Crime). The decision and subsequent indifference would cause racial animus to reach a fever pitch. A series of disagreements, racially charged fights, and arson would soon occur over the course of three months. Black students would continue to grow disenchanted and slighted by the school's administration and local law officials. These disagreements would eventually culminate in the assault of a 17 year old white student named Justin Barker, perpetrated by 6 Black Jena High School students: Robert Bailey, Mychal Bell, Carwin Jones, Bryant Purvis, Theo Shaw, and an unidentified minor. Barker allegedly hurled racial epithets, a charge his family denies. Barker was taken to the hospital and treated for a concussion, bruising, and various other injuries and released two hours later, in time for a ring ceremony. The Jena Six, however were arrested and charged with aggravated assault. The overzealous District Attorney would then decide to increase the charge to attempted second degree murder which could result in the defendants being imprisoned past age 50. This blow prompted outrage from the Black residents of Jena, because the charges were disproportionate to the crime. On June 26, Bell's sentence would be reduced to aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated second-degree battery. According to my research, a deadly weapon would've needed to be used, to warrant being charged with such. The DA argued that Mychal Bell's tennis shoes he wore during the day of the assault and kicked Barker with, were deadly weapons. The all white jury agreed. The other defendants' charges would eventually be reduced, leaving Mychal Bell to remain in jail, facing 22 years in prison. All are waiting for their day in court, which will happen later this month. So many conflicting accounts and mishandling of this case. The public outcry and online groups supporting the Jena Six are warranted. The case has garnered national attention and has drawn the ire and support of black leaders and organizations. Jena's Black community are skeptical that the boys will receive a fair trial. I mean after all, their wariness is justified considering the glaring segregation and aloof attitudes toward the "noose" incident. The Jena Six should indeed pay if they assaulted Justin Barker. But they should pay with a sentence that matches the crime. Most murderers and repeat sexual molesters get off with with less time. How much responsibility do Jena High School administrators bear, by deciding not to address the root cause of the issue to begin with? They, in essence, instigated a terrible situation by choosing not acknowledge it. A prank is stealing the school mascot or the halls. Hanging nooses, racially charged graffiti, and the like are not mere pranks. It's hateful propaganda that has no place in the school system or anyplace else... not in this day and age. It's frustrating that in 2007, issues of race still abound. Technology, the current cult of personalities, media, and celebrity help exacerbate hateful language and inane rhetoric. The structure of most institutions and a dubious this White House administration continue to disadvantage many ethnic groups by fanning the flames of xenophobia, racial profiling, and not accepting that we're in the midst of the 21st century! A multicultural era, where we should be evolved by now. Instead, we're slowly regressing. Most of us are still scratching our heads over the outcome of Hurricane Katrina. As much as I'd like to think we'll reach some sort of resolution on race matters, the fact is, I don't think there will ever be a workable medium. Period. That would require cooperation from the powers that be. That would require those same powers that be, to relinquish some semblance of control by distributing justice and equality fairly and accordingly. Fat chance of that ever happening. Divide and then conquer. The most antiquated (and seemingly effective) method in the book. ... Why do hate and growing racial disparities still continue thrive and fester? The Jena Six deserve a fair trial plain and simple, and are being railroaded. P.S. I'm dying to hear Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly weigh-in on the Jena Six situation, if they haven't already.

January 25, 2007


Me at work looking haughty and British.
It has been an extremely busy and tiring week. For some reason, when I get home, I feel as if the life has been sucked out of me. Is it the frigid temperature? Or is it simply a sign of my getting older? Who knows, but I'm finding that I need to take naps now... I've always had an aversion to naps for some reason. Sleeping-in on a day off, is one thing, but taking a nap? I never understood the concept. Yes, I know they're useful, but I suppose when it comes to the matter of sleeping during the day, I'm like a petulant child who squirms, kicks, and screams until she eventually falls asleep. ... My fatigue has kept me away from my blog, but I have a few minutes to spare, and I'd like to address some questions I've had kicking around in my head... Firstly, I hardly ever give commentary about work or colleagues. We've had a shifting of the guard(s) at the museum I work at. We're in the midst of a lot of changes, one of the primary ones being, weekly meetings (as opposed to the once a month, 45 minute- hour long ones we've grown accustomed to). These past couple of weeks, I've had to sit in a series of (1 1/2 - 2 hour long) meetings where each department gives presentations about what their duties actually entail, so that we're all kept abreast- (we're an institution of mostly women, we can't stand one another most times, are petty, and don't communicate well, so many of us are never in the know about what others are doing, sometimes). During these carefully laid out, Power Point presentations, I noticed that certain people are balls out with the pretension. While some of the speak is boring and rather tedious, it is fascinating to watch some of my colleagues develop fake anglo accents. It's amazing how people suddenly become British, when they're relaying a long winded (but intelligent) discourse on their departmental projects and why they're branded with their respective titles. I've watched Madonna go from being crass and profane to developing a pretentious anglo accent... and I cringed listening to Gwyneth Paltrow in all her contrived, haughty, and aristocratic glory, refer to Anthony Hopkins as Antony- (the memory makes me shiver with disdain till this day). But watching my co-workers morph into snooty, gesticulating, British sounding bores is nothing short of, well, entertaining. Is this what happens when people try to project their intellect? Do they develop fake British voices? Do I? Am I supposed to? Is being an anglophile the new black? I found myself smirking during one young curator's presentation, and had to check myself. I guess I was smiling, not because she wasn't interesting, but because I don't recall her ever having said accent, during our random and brief "shoot the shit" conversations with one another. Am I missing something here? I am an admirer of people who speak concisely and articulately, and think I do just that... but I'm left wondering if I do it with a fake British voice too? I don't think I do... but now I'm left to ponder. Also, in other preguntas, why oh why do people deem it necessary to hock loud loogies during these cold, winter months? I realize cold, brisk air makes us susceptible to runny noses and post nasal drip, but really... I can't tell you how frustrating and downright disgusted I become listening to people bring up gurgling, thick amounts of phlegm from the backs of their throats... and worst of all, spitting it on the ground. Every area on the sidewalk, I see nasty, freshly spat, splatters on the ground in varying shades of thick white and yellow. Or during conversations with people, I hear that gurgling sound... and then they swallow... (I think I'm going to be sick...) *sigh* And while I'm on the topic of cold, frigid weather... I love seeing people stalk down the street, almost angrily, in light spring jackets; no gloves, no scarf, no hat, their sleeves pulled over their clenched hands for warmth, as they shiver and curse under their breath. Do people NOT realize we're in the midst of January. Yes, I realize we've had some mild temperatures here in the Northeast, but those days have gone... put on your winter gear and snap out of it... These are matters I pore over, while in the throes of mental exertion... among other things.