Thursday, April 3, 2008

Elephant Painting

Tell me this isn't a display of intelligence and self-awareness. And we're killing them at an alarming rate. I wonder who the civilized one is now.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Civil Rights progress

There's an interesting thread over at another forum in which I'm an active participant. There was a news story about a high school student who shot another student because he wore a dress and make-up to school. One poster there believes that the cross-dressing student brought his murder upon himself because of what he wore. It's created good conversation.

The comment was also made that the sanitation strike was 40 years ago and that we've only made it this far in race relations. I believe we've made enough progress that most people are upset over this type of
behavior. Yes, there are a few Neanderthal out there who believe that
what we wear justifies us getting the crap beaten out of us or worse,

That we have many on that board who have effectively
shouted down those who believe the above statement tells me that we
have made progress. Yes, we have a long way to go but we're slowly
getting there.

I had a school/teammate in Jr. High that killed
herself because she couldn't accept her sexuality. She heard the talk
in the hallways. True enough, they weren't directed at her. Very few
knew her secret. I was one of them. But the talk about "queers" was
enough to affect her.

I have always maintained that those who
holler the loudest about "queers" are struggling with their own
sexuality. If you're secure in who YOU are then what difference does
it make what someone else is or does or says or wears?

getting there. But we--the gays and lesbians--have to take some
responsibility for our own progress. We have to come out. We have to
show our friends and co-workers and co-forum posters that we really are
pretty normal people and that the extremes (who seem to make the news
in disproportionate numbers) are not the norm. I am. My friends are.
We are Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers (and those numbers would startle
you), politicians, mothers and fathers. Our contributions to society
throughout history are enormous but they aren't being talked about.
Not like they should. Our contributions today aren't being talked
about because "gay" and "lesbian" still makes people uncomfortable.

have the same concerns that everyone else does. I worry about paying
for my kids' college if they go. I worry about making the mortgage
every month, paying my utility bill and gas bill while having enough
left over to buy groceries. I worry about having enough money for
retirement and taking care of my life partner. I worry about making
sure I have the right paperwork with me if I have to take my youngest
to the hospital just so I can make medical decisions for him. Do the
hets have to worry about that? I worry about having the right
paperwork so that I can make medical decisions for my partner of 20
years. Do married couples have to worry about that? I worry about
having the right paperwork so that if something happens to me, custody
of my oldest will go to my partner and if something happens to my
partner custody of my youngest will go to me. As current law stands,
the in-laws have more right to the children than we do. Do married
couples have to worry about that? If my partner survives me, she will
not get my pension. That doesn't happen with married couples. What
married couples take for granted, we have to plan for. There were 5
sets of legal papers we had to sign when we decided to have children.
I'd bet that most married couples don't have to go through that.

even with all of that, I still say we're making some progress. We
still have a long way to go. One day, we will be a none issue.
Probably not in my lifetime but hopefully in my children's. At least the conversation is occurring.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Don't mess with my child

There's a new coffee shop that's opened right down the street. Cafe Eclectic. I've been there once and had really high hopes for it but now, I'm not so sure. My oldest was encouraged to apply for a job there. He did. He was told by one owner/manager/head cook/head-whatever to come back that next Saturday for training. He got up at 6:00AM so he could be ready and there by 7:00AM. He shows up and someone there--a different head something or other--told him, sorry--this is for people with more experience. We'll work the others in later.

He was disappointed. As an HR Professional for 18 years, I was embarrassed for the management group. How utterly unprofessional. As a mother, I was furious and embarrassed for my 15 year old.

Just so happens, we know the person with the money behind this operation. It's someone that my oldest has volunteered with on MANY occasions. Someone who has seen first hand how hard he works and how dependable he is. She's very unhappy that he's been treated this way. As a mother, I smile. As an HR professional, I want to grind my teeth.

He receives a phone call and is told to report on a Saturday. He does. He works for almost 8 hours.

He has YET to receive another phone call or to be put on the schedule. As a mother, I'm furious because I happen to know that they've hired another teenager close to my oldest's age who is a liar and a thief. I know this from first hand experience. The cafe does not. Well, not yet, anyway.

As a mother, I'm furious and want to scream at them.

As an HR professional, I'm furious and want to scream at them. If they aren't going to put him back on the schedule, fine, but have the common decency and respect to tell him that so that he can make other plans. Even if it's just a letter. Christ on a stick with cheese people, just because he's 15 doesn't mean he isn't deserving of respect. Perhaps if we treated our teenagers with more respect, they'd be more likely to show it.

As a mother, I want to call them and tell them that when stuff starts disappearing I can tell you who is probably responsible.

As a mother, I know better and know that this isn't my fight.

Still, it sets my teeth on edge or several different levels.

I don't think I can support them. I haven' been back except for that one Saturday morning.

Dammit. And it's so close to home.