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Monday
Oct292018

Oh, Hey. I Found My Password. That I Never Lost.

Oh my god, y'all. It took me like twenty minutes to get back into this blog.

This is like when you avoid calling someone you were close to for a long time, and you're afraid it's going to go badly:

Me: Oh, hey, Friend Who I Haven't Talked in a Long Time and Totally Don't Have an Excuse for Not Calling, this is Faiqa!

Friend Who I Haven't Talked in a Long Time and Totally Don't Have an Excuse for Not Being Better About Calling: I'm sorry... Faiqa? I don't know who that is.

And, you know, with a name like "Faiqa", they clearly DO know who I am, but they act like they don't because... THEY HATE ME NOW.

That's never happened to me, but I am terrified that it will. Anyway, this is how it was when I was trying to log in to my blog tonight. 

I type in my login.

I type in my password.

It tells me it doesn't recognize me.

MY BLOG DOESN'T FREAKING RECOGNIZE ME, Y'ALL.

Anyway, then, I go to the Customer Support thing for Squarespace and it's all "DOMAIN NOT FOUND."

I am looking at the website. It's right here. It exists. 

I KNOW I STILL EXIST ON THE INTERNET, SQUARESPACE.

I go through what feels like an infinite loop of asking questions and trying to email customer support until... I find the answer! LEGACY PLATFORM.

Apparently, I have to go to the back entrance of Squarespace because I'm that irrelevant on the Internet now. Like, hey, the front door is only for people who have still have a Twitter account and would never bother to follow Taye Diggs back. 

Anyway, here I am at the back entrance, and I've only kept up with my blog the way one keeps up with vacuuming the coils under one's refrigerator. FTR, one vacuums coils under the refrigerator when one's refrigerator keeps freezing all the vegetables and the refrigerator repair dude comes over and charges one $85.00 to tell one that vacuuming coils is even a thing.

Yes. I am that level of grown up now. It has been a while, Internet.

I read an article yesterday that sort of tipped me over the edge on getting back into blogging regularly. It was an article called "Can Blogs Rebuild America" on Parent Hacks which is curated by author/blogger Asha Dornfest.

(Are they still called articles? Do you still curate content? Is everyone just an "author" now? They did not give me a guidebook to terminology on the way in through that back door. All I got was shame and confusion. Like my childhood).

Asha writes about creating community once again through blogging in order to transcend social media strictures and identity lines in a way that inspires change and connection: 

I don’t think it’s unrealistic to say that if we did this [started blogging again], with the influence we have now, it could light a spark that could eventually make a difference in the state of our country. Idealistic? Yes. Naive? I don’t think so. Actually, I don’t care. America is fractured, and I’m willing to throw ideas at the wall for fixing it. Let’s bring an experimental mindset to this. Ask ourselves, what if? 

I will not kid myself into thinking that I have enough influence to make any significant impact. I am, after all, someone who just arrived through the door embarassingly marked "LEGACY PLATFORM," but I think I can make a little bit of a difference.

Like, enough of a difference.

I can maybe connect with people again without the Facebook algorithm deciding whether I make it into someone's consciousness or they make it into mine. Maybe I can be heard if the people who are listening actually WANT to listen to me. Maybe I can connect with someone who would never show up in my social media feed.

So.

::DEEEEP BREATH::.

I'm going to blog every day until November 30th.

In case you're wondering, no, I do not have time for this, and the ruminations of why I don't care about not having time in and of itself will take up about three blog posts so that's good. The writing and content over the next thirty days are going to be so baaaaad most of the time.

Pictures of the dog.

Leaves changing colors.

Family vacation.

Stupid food pictures.

Boring stuff that probably matters to, like, three other people besides my family members who are too scared to say they don't care. 

But, sometimes, it is going to be good.

And that might matter. 

 

 

Monday
Aug072017

My Summer Vacation and Facebook Brag Photos

Agra, IndiaIf we're friends on Facebook, you know that I traveled A LOT this summer. I went back and forth about sharing lots of photos on the page. I didn't want to appear to be a braggart. (Ew. Who even uses the word "braggart"? Apparently, I do.)

I think it's fairly universal -- that feeling when you see someone doing something awesome in a photo on Facebook and you're just sort of sitting around watching Netflix and, like, it's not even good Netflix - maybe the later seasons of Criminal Minds where it's basically the first five seasons with different characters-- and you think "Wow, this photo of this person doing awesome things is kind of making me feel bad about why I'm not doing awesome things." I can only speak for myself when I say that if I am not doing awesome things it's either because I'm physically tired or having one of my anxiety/depression/closeted introvert recharge moments. Did I say moments? Oops. I meant "weekends." So, I get it if you hated all of my vacation pictures, I totally do. But hear me out.

I promise you the sharing was not an effort to flash my "I'm so awesome" badge.

Seriously. Promise.

I posted the photos because I think international and transoceanic travel needs some normalizing these days. I can't count how many people greeted my travel plans with, "Really? Gosh, be careful."  The world is so incredibly crazy right now. It's not abnormal for someone to get anxious about boarding a plane for another continent. I was anxious. The anxiety isn't some out of the blue feeling either. It's grounded in a reality that anything could happen. There are people in this world who are so committed to their (skewed) ideology that they've crossed over to that place where they aren't exactly human anymore. They don't care about the collatoral damage that's associated with a news story. They just want to terrorize people. It can be hard to make the decision to leave your house in a world like this much less your country.

My iPhone regales me every day with news about terrorists and demagogues hell bent on creating a fractured humanity that is destined for peril and destruction. It reminds me daily that more and more humans seem to be becoming less human each day. While I don't dispute the accuracy of my iPhone with respect to specific stories, I do doubt the presentation of the proportionality of "awesomeness in the world" and "really terrifying shit that's happening."  If my every day has so much beauty in it, surely the rest of the world exists in a similar beauty.

So, the decision to travel to Oahu, Paris and New Delhi was a decision to push back against the narrative that the world is a dangerous place filled with inhumane people trying to kill us all. The decision to share these journeys on Facebook wasn't aimed at showing how I, personally, am awesome but reminding you that this is a world worth seeing

While I would not ever seek to diminish the violence that is done to innocent people daily, I know that hope lies in the knowledge that human kindness and beauty is still an actual thing all over the world. I didn't post the pictures to brag. I posted them so you would know that the world is still beautiful despite the dangers, injustices and unkindnesses that are present. I feel like if we forget that then maybe we might be in danger of being a little less human, too. 

Sunday
Feb122017

This is Totally Normal

I realize it's been a while since around November 8th when John Oliver crafted the #ThisIsNotNormal thing, but I continue to have thoughts and feelings about it.

You guys, this racist bullshit that you are experiencing that's masquerading as the executive and legislative branches of the government?

IS TOTALLY NORMAL FOR AMERICA. I'm over here rolling my eyes at people who are sharing these posts of people being detained at airports and hashtagging it with #thisIsNotNormal.

FOR YOU.

This is not normal FOR YOU, BRO.

Two months after 9/11, my dad was taking a flight to North Carolina. He was pulled aside, detained and questioned. This was a domestic flight from Florida to North Carolina. My father, at the time, was 67 years old, had lived in the U.S. for thirty two years and had been an American citizen for nearly fifteen years of those years. Since then, between my parents, in laws and extended family, this family has had over half a dozen encounters like this. 

THIS IS NOT NORMAL FOR YOU.

This is totally normal for US. 

So, why? Why bring this up in the first place? 

Well, look, there's two major kinds of racist/xenophobic/discriminatory paradigm:

1. Superiority Based Racism/Xenophobic/Discriminatory Paradigm: This says, "America is amazing and wonderful, white people made America, foreigners are terrible, gays are deviants, the only black people that get shot by the police are criminals, blow all of those sand people up and we'll be safe, etc."

And, then, there's:

2. Cluelessness Based Racism/Xenophobic/Discriminatory Paradigm: This says that the current climate of racism, xenophobia and discrimination is some sort of aberrant occurrence and totally ignores the pesky yet relevant fact that this triumverate of bullshit (racism, xenophobia, discriminiation) is somehow NOT woven into the tapestry of the American story.

So.

You know.

I like John Oliver.

But let's not forget John Oliver is the great grandson of an Imperialist Britain which used racism, xenophobia and discrimination to dominate over half of the world's population in throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

And then let's not forget that all those people who are using #thisIsNotNormal are the great great great grandchildren of people who appropriated North America from native peoples with their slaves in tow captured from Africa all of which was justified by racism, xenophobia and discrimination.

Barack Obama, our great hope, our American dream... was not normal.

This guy? P45? Is totally normal.

And he will never NOT be normal if you don't own him as a product of who we have chosen to be as a people for two hundred years.

 

 

Thursday
Jan262017

Another Tap, Tap, Is This Thing On Post...

Maybe this one will stick. I make no promises to the seven people who seem to be visiting here every day. Why? What are you being so persistent about?

I've noticed that a lot of people are either talking about blogging again or actually blogging again.

I looked over the last few posts of mine and it's like I've been wanting to get back to doing this, and I just haven't had the attention span. I think some of us old-timey bloggers just hit a wall when our heads got stuffed with brand identities and all that weird SM marketing based stuff. I've written about that before. I guess since I started this blog nine years ago, it'd be safe to assume I've written about most of it before. I've been blogging long enough to know, for example, that I should probably have backlinked to a few times that indicated the wide span of topics I've covered over the past nine years. Maybe it's not even attention span, maybe it's that I've lost the will to appear interesting to others. Maybe I'm at the point where I'm thinking that if someone doesn't find this sort of high school dairy writing interesting, that this is not my concern.

Let's see... back when I blogged, you wrote about interesting stuff you did. I really wanted to say "shit" there. But I just couldn't. I'm growing up, Internets. Anyway, I did some interesting stuff. I marched in the #MemphisWomensMarch last weekend. That was amazing and rejeuvenating. (If you're interested in my marching experience, you can hear about it on the HTMH podcast that I co-host with Mike Scheinberg. It's available on iTunes or you can just listen from our website at heythatsmyhummus.com)

I did notice that the march was incredibly, er, monochromatic in terms of melanin given that Memphis, like it's slightly dirtier, sluttier sister New Orleans is pretty chocolate. I imagine that most of the some 600 sister cities have their own explanations for why their cities might not have been able to brag about diverse populations at their respective marches. I assume that the diversity factor has to do with who is organizing the march and how committed they are to building inclusivity.

This is the thing about having to build inclusive environments in America: we are a nation of communities who have solid, historically based reasons not to trust each other. So, people have to go out of their way not only to include but to show that they are committed to rebuilding trust. And, oh, also acknowledge that they are aware why trust was lost. It's hard work, and the diversity of your march basically shows how up for working on that you are. I would like to brag at this point that the group of friends that I marched with...very diverse. 

I took some nice photos with my phone at the march, you can check that out on my Instagram account if you don't already follow that.

Okay, I'm done not appearing interesting now. See you later, Dear Diary.

 

Tuesday
May102016

This One is Out of the Way.

There are just going to be those days when you simply get through it. I know you know this, but I think one of us needs to say this out loud. A lot of days are just going to be holding one's head above water and hoping that the people who don't matter don't notice. Because, you know, the people that matter don't mind that you're holding your head slightly above water. It's those pesky people who don't matter, right? They're always over there not mattering and ruining everyone's self perception.

Anyway. Some days are just going to end with a long sigh that says, "Well, this one is out of the way." I'd like to think that I'm doing a-okay if the number of days that are "out of the way" are less in number than the days that end with "Ahh, today was a good one."

I don't really have much more else to say than that.

Except. Maybe.

This one is out of the way.