Sunshine Blogger Award Nomination

When I learned that I had been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award the very first thing I did was put my sunglasses on. (A single cough is heard followed by silence) Hello, hello (taps microphone)…is this thing on? I know you’re out there! I can see you leaving!

Anyway, many thanks to imayormaynotkillmyself whose unapologetically candid blog displays the necessary bravery it takes to share her personal struggles in a world that continues to stigmatize, punish, and deny people who suffer from mental illness the opportunities to feel and be treated as normal. A big online (((HUG))) from me to you and know that you are not alone.

Now, on to the questions!

 

  • What’s you’re favourite song and write a lyric from it that makes you love it so much. I listen to all sorts of music and there are lyrics in the song Old Man River that is timeless and accurately sums up the Black experience in America: 
    Ah gits weary
    An’ sick of tryin’
    Ah’m tired of livin’
    An’ skeered of dyin’,
    But ol‘ man river,
    He jes’keeps rolling’ along.
  • If you could change your name to anything what would it be? Hughman Bing for obvious reasons.
  • Would you rather fly ,be invisible or be invinsible? Yes.
  • Finish this sentence ” I would never ever try to ……pick up women at a funeral…again.
  • If you only had 24 hours on this earth who would you spend it with? Somebody other than myself.
  • Which 3 words would you use to describe yourself? Handsome, smart, and delusional…in that order.
  • which 3 words would you think others would use to describe you? A threat, dangerous, and expendable…if the “others” in question are the police.
  • Truth or dare? Okay.
  • Tell the truth now have you ever cheated on a test? Yes, I cheated on a driving test once by cutting corners. (Silence) I know, I know that was bad.
  • I dare you to write a quirk that you have. I talk to myself a lot.
  • If you could let others know one thing about you what would that be? I don’t watch BET.

My Sunshine Blogger Award Nominations are:

Sonali
Tobenna
Piinkdiva
Yessica
nspiercreation3818
Dolce Speaks
Reclaiming My Time
Camila
Aini
Kasalea
Blog posts from the edge

My questions for you:
1. What are your thoughts on Donald Trump?
2. What should I do about Rihanna stalking me?
3. Do you think leg warmers will ever make a comeback?
4. Why do you think people should read your blog?
5. What are your thoughts on feminism?
6. What is your guilty pleasure?
7. What causes you to be outraged?
8. Have you ever been part of a protest?
9. When do you feel the most afraid?
10. When do you feel safe?
11. Do you ever see yourself as beautiful?

Sunshine Blogger Rules:

  1. Thank blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog. (check)
  2. Answer all 11 questions the blogger asked you. (check)
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to recieve the award and write them 11 new questions. (check)
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog. (check)
  5. Mic Drop! (check…WAKANDA FOREVER…PEACE!)

 

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Blogger Appreciation Award

(Feedback from a microphone is heard.) This is so unexpected…sorry I didn’t dress appropriately for this momentous occasion. But suffice it to say I am wearing underwear. Umm…I’m not sure how this works so I’ll just sort of piggyback off of the blogger who nominated me.

Thank you, Blog post from the edge for taking a chance on an unknown blogger and for the Old School rap song reference in one of your recent posts, for your love of lawn gnomes, and for your wonderful sense of humor in nominating me for this award. And if you ever find yourself in El Paso then you’ve probably been kidnapped. A big online hug to you from me (though I’m not sure how that would look).

baa

Something Positive About Yours Truly

Let’s see…I only wear glasses when I put them on. Oh yeah, I possess the unique ability to make women laugh though it’s always usually after we’ve had sex. Not really. I’m kidding…about the having sex part. I never hardly ever get that lucky. But seriously, I love blogging, writing, just being creative. I also love reading other people’s blogs because I believe everyone’s voice is important…except for telemarketers, used car salesman, and those annoying robocalls that sound like I’m being pranked by Stephen Hawking.

My Blogger Appreciation Award Nominee:

I nominate Cynthia for her refreshingly honest, slice-of-life blog makingpeacewiththewrongsideof40. She’s good people and she sent me a really cool handcrafted dusting mitt and she actually knows a person named Rude Ass and her husbands name is Sunshine and they have a dog named Mollie. I consider her a friend and a continued source of inspiration. (A sometimes surly and profane source but it’s all part of her charm.)

Blogger Appreciation Award rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link back to their site. (I think I screwed that up.)
  • Use the award image. (Check!)
  • Write a paragraph of something positive about yourself. (Check!)
  • Nominate and notify as many bloggers as you wish. (Check!)
  • Mic drop (I’m out! WAKANDA FOREVER! PEACE!)

Some thoughts on Black Panther

This past Friday I arrived alone at Sunland Park Mall’s cinema and bistro an hour early before the afternoon showing of Marvel’s highly anticipated Black Panther movie because I wasn’t sure if it would be sold out. Turns out, there was no need for concern, as I paid the $5.40 admission and made my way to an empty theater choosing a seat centrally located and near the front in row C.

Soon, I heard the light chatter of other moviegoers as they started to trickle in from outside where a country was still reeling from yet another recent school shooting. But minutes before their arrival, a young white male, maybe in his late teens, wearing a t-shirt with a large Batman logo on the front sat several seats to my left in the same row.

Perhaps, he was trying to get a reaction by openly supporting the caped crusader. Or maybe he was unaware that Marvel has been wiping the floor with DC even with the box office success of Wonder Woman. I didn’t know and I didn’t ask. Then I thought that maybe he was waiting to see how many more Black people would show up before he went full-on James Holmes. Which, I think, is not out of the realm of possibility these days.

I, myself, was proudly sporting a Marvel Secret Wars graphic tee displaying the comic book cover of that particular issue on the front. And I and possibly-James-Holmes-part-two sat in row C alone with no one in front of us for the duration of the movie inside a theater that was nowhere near packed.

But after the movie was over I was disappointed and, no, not because of the film. I was disappointed because when I stood up to leave as the lights came back on I turned around to see that there were no Black faces in the theater other than my own. And it wasn’t just that. It was that we had just finished watching a phenomenal, history-making movie that managed to only produce a few laughs and some giggling from those in attendance.

I guess, I just really wanted them to see what I saw–Blackness being represented in such a positive light on the silver screen. I was overjoyed and swelling with pride watching people who looked like me, like my family members and friends inhabiting leadership roles that required intelligence, strength, wisdom, discipline, who were more than capable of governing a technologically advanced civilization that is Wakanda. There were so many moments where I just wanted to stand up and clap, shout out my appreciation. But I restrained myself not willing to disrupt the masterpiece that was unfolding before my eyes.

Because it’s not so much what I was watching but it was about what I didn’t see. Absent were the “magical negroes” sacrificing their own happiness for the good of the “White savior”. There were none of the well-worn slavery narratives as though we need reminding of America’s criminal history where the culprits who legalized our suffering, unpaid servitude, and dehumanization were never punished.

Black Panther put Black humanity on full display performing at its uniquely powerful best and also, tragically flawed worst. It was Black humanity with its varying shades of beauty moving gracefully, fighting skillfully, strutting with supreme confidence. It was Black humanity with all of its angry, vengeful, misguided hatred, and blinded by its own inhumanity. But most of all, Black Panther is a movie about Black humanity that demands equity, not just equality and not only from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) but the real world at large.

A world that still considers us the threat when we occupy White spaces. And a country that continues to criminalize our very existence and incarcerates us at extremely high rates even when the majority of the mass killings in the United States are committed by White males, even when the overwhelming evidence of the majority of historical violence and bloodshed inflicted on non-Whites speaks to the contrary. Because America would rather believe that we are more like Killmonger than T’Challa.

So, do I believe the movie Black Panther will change America’s negative perception of Black people? Judging by the audience member’s reaction on Friday, no. Not anytime soon, anyway. Because most non-Blacks in America have been conditioned for years to view us through a White supremacists lens which is often reinforced by media bias. They’ll never understand why this movie is so important to African Americans. Instead, there are those like the Roaming Millennial and Ben Shapiro who believe we should’ve been culturally satisfied with movies like Catwoman with Halle Berry and Blade with Wesley Snipes.

To them, I leave a video from my favorite rap group of all time. The “prophets of rage”, Public Enemy’s Burn Hollywood Burn.

Breakfast With Pop

Yesterday, my Pop and I stopped at a nearby Village Inn to have breakfast. He was famished (though he wouldn’t admit it) after having fasted the night before to have his blood drawn at a local diagnostic facility earlier that morning.

It was just the two of us–a father and his son, nothing unusual to the customers sitting in the surrounding booths and tables. But we weren’t always close. At least not until my grandfather, his father passed away. He was 91 and he had Alzheimer’s.

And Pop would often tell me about the brokenness of their relationship when I was younger, a pathetically low benchmark that he and I had yet to reach at the time. Still, their relationship did improve somewhat through the years but never would achieve that necessary bond between father and son. Especially after my grandfather began to wander away from his home in San Antonio and had to be re-introduced to my parents and his seven grandchildren each day of our visit from El Paso.

And I saw my grandfather’s death as a warning, a cautionary tale, and eventually an opportunity to repair the damage to mine and my father’s once-fractured relationship. That I had to accept Pop for who he is and not punish him with my bitterness, resentment, and neglect for not being the kind of father I wanted him to be–the kind of father that never existed in his own life when he and his siblings were growing up.

So we began to talk to each other more, listen to each other more, respecting our differences of opinion and learning to find common ground. We even began to treat each other to movies (I loved his unwanted, running commentary during whatever movie was showing, countered by the shushing of annoyed theater patrons) for our respective birthdays and to a meal afterward.

But now he’s a retired bus driver and at age 78 his health has deteriorated to where he can no longer do what he loved to do–drive. He’s had cataract surgery on both eyes. He functions with one kidney, an enlarged prostate, and a pacemaker. He also has COPD and after visiting one of his doctors this morning we learned that the nodules on his lungs have increased.

But he loves to talk. Reminiscing mostly about the poverty of his childhood. His days in the Coast Guard. Regretting that he wasn’t a better father to his children. And then it happens. He’ll ask me the same question that I just answered moments before. I immediately think of my grandfather but I quickly remind myself that the neurologist said Pop doesn’t have dementia. That memory loss happens with age. But I’m also reminded that the neurologist is older than Pop, as the list of instances where he forgets rapidly grows.

Our breakfast yesterday was one I’ll never forget, a moment that I’ve decided to document with this blog post for obvious reasons. While, this afternoon, Pop struggled to remember that we had breakfast at Village Inn yesterday until he realized (with some prodding by my sister and me) that he not only ate his stack of pancakes but mine as well. Then I asked myself will that be my future? Is that what I have to look forward to?  And I become fearful of tomorrow.