Monday, October 19, 2009

I'm Not a Racist

I work with an interesting co-worker. We'll call her Tonya. Tonya happens to be an African American, and for some reason, always finds a way to remind me of this fact. Now before you go calling the NCAAP on me, I should mention that her daily reminders are not the result of me making repeated racist statements towards her or her race. Instead, it's just that she makes bizarre statements that make me awkwardly go, "Oh yeah. You're black and I'm white. Cool. That's awesome." For example, I asked her why she always drinks chocolate milk when she gets to work. She answered, "Of course, I drink chocolate milk. Look at my skin." To which, makes me stiffly nod my head and say, "Oh yeah, I love regular milk...because I'm white." Another example: I asked her which cookie out of our pastry case she likes the most. She answered: "I like the chocolate brownie." And before I could ask why, she said, "You know, because I'm black." Again, I had to fight not scrunching my eyes together and saying, "Yeah, that makes sense. I like the cheese coffee cake...because I'm white."

I don't know what I'm supposed to do in these situations. Is she waiting for me to actually say something racist so she can say, "Ah ha. I told you I was black. I can't believe you said that!!!?" Should I say thanks for her believing in me and knowing that I don't see color or race? Do I start answering her questions the same nonsensical way? Like, when she asks me, "What did you do yesterday?" I answer, "I played ice hockey, ate crackers and danced really bad...because I'm white." I just don't know.

I guess the only thing I do know is that I will continue to ask her questions like, "Black or pinto beans with your tacos? Young Michael Jackson or old Michael Jackson? Coffee with cream or without? Jet magazine or Newsweek? Obama or Bush? Bengal tigers or panthers? Day or night? Black Sea or Mediterranean Sea? Salt or Pepper? I can only dream what her answers will be...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Episode

I wouldn't call myself a typical attention getter, but sometimes I just need the spotlight to be on me for once...So, on Thursday that's what I decided to do. Oh, and I should mention I didn't go the "standard" route of doing a little dance or singing a song. No, I decided in the middle of a busy work day, and at a public restaurant, I would pass out. I know, great idea! It was perfect. One minute I was loading boxes of drinks into the fridge and the next second I was seeing double and mumbling incoherent things.

Okay, since only my twisted sense of humor is finding this funny, I had a little episode on Thursday that involved me being sort of passed out for a few hours. The diagnosis was dehydration, but I'm shooting for over work because that's apparently what I told the paramedic when he asked me what was wrong with me. (I don't remember doing this, but apparently I pointed to my manager and said, "She works me too hard." Got to love that I still have a sense of humor even when I'm two sheets to the wind.) Don't worry you faithful readers (who must be faithful because I write about once a month) I'm doing great now. I'm hydrated, conscious and ready to be overworked this week.

Enjoy the video of me waking up after being passed out for a few hours. (Don't I have a loving husband who is always there to catch my highs and lows...)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Whatever Columbus

As I've discussed before I attend church with rather interesting people. For example, there's the woman who loves to make comments during Sunday school while wearing a napkin bib and eating mouthfuls of lunch. There's the blind lady who can play any hymn by memory. And there's the deaf old lady, who laughs out loud - of course not knowing she's doing it - in the middle of the sacrament. (She's sort of my favorite)

Now you would think I've become accustomed to the craziness in my church, but actually, I'm still surprised each Sunday by the new level of "colorfulness" my church can produce. For example, yesterday was what we call Fast Sunday. Once a month we as a church fast for the day, and participate in an open meeting where anyone can get up and say whatever they like. Typically, people get up to discuss faith promoting experiences and bear their testimonies of the church. However, in my church, we never know what is going to happen.

Yesterday, a woman got up and started to discuss the importance of the holiday season. At first, Dr. Feelgood (name has been changed to protect the privacy of my husband) and I thought she was talking about Columbus Day - because that was the closest holiday we could come up with. (Well, that and "Athletic Day" which apparently is being celebrated in Tokyo right now, but probably not on her radar.) Anyway, she sat down and we all nodded our heads in agreement that tomorrow (today) we would go out kill a Native American, throw them off their land and declare it for Spain. (Isn't that what you do to celebrate Columbus Day?)

After the meeting, we all shuffled into Sunday School and at the end of the lesson the Columbus Day Proponent raised her hand and announced she wanted to say something. The teacher, knowing this could be anything, tried to talk her out of it, but she insisted it would only take a minute. After hesitating for a couple of awkward seconds, the teacher gave her the podium, and with a bang of her hand, she announced, "Listen it's Christmas today and you aren't fooling me. You need to feed the homeless." Christmas? Homeless? I literally laughed out loud. I know I shouldn't have, but I couldn't keep it in. I mean first, how cool would it be to always think it's Christmas Day? I mean, that's the coolest day of the year. And secondly, who cares about Columbus Day? She's right. Forget the Explorer/Genocide Poster Child* and bring on the gifts...and feed the homeless.

*Sorry I'm still a little disillusioned from my college Genocide Class

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Something That Will Never Happen Again

Last weekend Usain Bolt (name has been changed to protect the privacy of my husband) decided he would run 26.2 miles. After a tough week of training, which consisted of working and sitting diligently at a desk, Usain hopped in the car and said, like a true Olympian, "Let's just get this thing over."

On Saturday morning, he woke up, ate an English Muffin, that would later come back to haunt him, pulled on his jeans (we forgot it was going to be cold) and climbed onto a cold school bus that took his fellow runners up the canyon. At 6:45, the gun went off, indicating the race had started, and everyone started to cross the start line. Ten minutes later, after Usain decided to pull his jeans off, give his last pieces of clothing away, and without stretching, because let's be honest whoever said that was a good idea, took off and started weaving through the "slower people." According to Usain, the first five miles were absolutely torturous. His delightful pairing of an english muffin and a gatorade started to swirl his stomach, his Ipod didn't work and a small cramp started in his calf. But, like the great Cake song, "He's Going the Distance" states,

The sun has gone down and the moon has come up,
And long ago somebody left with the cup.
But he's striving and driving and hugging the turns,
And thinking of someone for whom he still burns.

Cause he's going the distance.
He's going for speed.*

And Usain truly was going the distance.

Eventually, I was able to catch up with Usain at mile 18. He looked good, outside of the fact that he threw his Ipod and running belt at me, and shuffled on with a grunt. (Seriously, he looked like he was on mile 4. Later, he described that point as the "wall," but I couldn't tell.) From mile 18, I followed Usain into town. Lining the streets were marching bands, signs and cheering fans. Unfortunately, because of Usain's overwhelming speed, and me running through a crowd with a camera, video camera and bike, I missed him crossing the actual finish line, but I'm sure we all can imagine how cool that must have been.

When I finally found Usain he looked me in the eye, and with an exhausted face, simply said, "I'm never doing that again." I don't know if those were words of confusion, dehydration or of misguided agony, but I hope, like many of you, that I'll see the great Usain run one more time...