Archive for the rant Category

“Friends… How many of us have them?”

Posted in friends, happyness, Life, Me, memories, music, quotes, rant on 08/10/2010 by asante

Above quote: Whodini – “Friends”. Bravo if you knew it without Googling it lol.

Who can you really trust these days?

Heavy question, I know, folks. But it’s one that personally, I keep on my mind on a pretty frequent basis. Call me guarded, but I keep very few friends. I have tons of acquaintances, which is the result of being a naturally outgoing person (I’m a Leo, what can I say lol). I enjoy the company of others, I’m rather personable, I can make nice with people easily and comfortably. But  that doesn’t mean that we’re “friends”.

It may seem callous, but I’ve had a lot of “friendly fire” in my history, and as a result, I make a point to distrust first. I am not the one to bond with a person immediately, at least not to the point where you get access to my inner thoughts and views and feelings without passing several critical tests. I’ll say it again, I’m guarded. Those friends who I have realized I can trust, I trust unconditionally. But It’s not like they got to that point easily. My inner circle is comprised of people who I have a natural ease with, people who I have known for ages, or people who have never given me any reason to distrust them.

Everyone else on the other hand… I don’t trust easy. I take small things to heart, because those small things between friends can really explode sometimes. Little misdeeds and tiny tells of disloyalty, those types of things are HUGE to me, because all it takes is one episode for me to realize that that person is not deserving of my trust.

Now don’t get me wrong, I would like to have lots and lots of people that I feel I could reliably depend on, but sadly, that’s not the way life works. Personally, people lose my trust much more easily than they gain it.  #truestory: people can be shady as hell.

Which is why my “inner circle” is so small. If  I had to count, I would have less than 10 people that I know would be there for me no matter what, through anything. And I love them more than they know. But at this point in my life,  I don’t really know that I could add more people to that list. Now that I’ve finally, recently become more aware not only of the person that I am, but the person I aspire to be, I realize that I need to be more discerning as far as the people who I unconditionally allow to get to that deepest part of who I am. And I’m not sure if that many of my acquaintances fit the bill.

Maybe I’m predisposing myself to some level of loneliness. But I dunno if overpopulating my life is worth having people in it that I can’t trust. (Does that make sense? Hopefully lol.) I don’t think it’s loneliness. Rather, I think it’s insurance that those precious few who I intend to maintain relationships with are the BEST, the cream of the crop, and those most likely to have my best interests in mind.

It’s just difficult for me to let people in I suppose. And beyond that, even more difficult to let people back in. I have a lot of difficulty forgetting, though I may forgive (or at least act civil) in most cases rekindling that relationship takes a LOT for me.

Maybe I need to be more open, more trusting, and maybe that will come with age, life, and experience. But at the moment, I’m too wonderfully aware of myself to deal with the uncertainty of others.

Advertisements

People can be SO rude.

Posted in beautiful, FML, happyness, Ink/Holes, Life, Me, rant, ugh. on 07/28/2010 by asante

Newsflash: I have tattoos.

5 of them, to be exact. And never before have I been so offended  for the simple fact of  having tattoos as I was this morning. It’s another chapter in “Asante’s Awful Marta Experiences”! lol. Let’s get some background.

The public transportation Gods do not like me. At all. My friend said it best: I have the worst luck on the MARTA. I meet the most offensive, rude, obnoxious people, and I don’t quite know what I’ve done to deserve it lol.

I’ve been sat ON. I’ve been pushed. I’ve been yelled at. I’ve had buses cruise past my stop like I’m invisible. I get inappropriate stares and comments by the bucketful. But the man I encountered this morning took the cake, people, let me tell you.  I’ll set the stage…

Scene: Southbound MARTA Train, approaching Civic Center station. Train is moderately crowded, there is an Impeccably Dressed Gay Businessman standing near my seat, by the door. As patient interaction at work is relatively low lately, I’m dressed more casual than normal: denim capris, white top, coral cardigan.

Train begins to brake.

IDGB: [Glances down at me, apparently catching glimpses of a few of my tattoos. Opens his mouth to speak, with a sneer and an obvious air of contempt.] “Well aren’t you… ‘decorated‘. Hm. I’m sure you’re not going to work today!”

A: [Silently glaring, obviously offended, secretly willing he trips and falls down several flights of  stairs in the very near future.]

Train stops, doors open, IDGB prances off into the station.

End Scene.

How rude is that?! I mean OK, I can understand the fact that people still aren’t exceptionally accepting of tattoos. I get that. And though IDGB may have had his reasons for disagreeing with my life choice, he had ABSOLUTELY no place to voice those opinions to my face, thereby not only making me uncomfortable, but basically assuming that he had a right to judge me for being myself.

Dear IDGB: Screw you.

Screw you for the brief second of self-doubt and insecurity you created in my head. For transiently making me think that my intelligence, my credibility  as a person, as a professional, and as a freaking MARTA customer is in some way diminished by the fact that I have chosen to decorate my body with tattoos.

Yes, some of my tattoos are rather conspicuous (my wrist, behind my ear, my ankle). Yes, I put them there after careful thought. No, I don’t regret a single one. You don’t have to like them. You don’t have to like me. You don’t have to like any person with tattoos, whether it’s some small design you can barely see or some obnoxious symbol across the center of their face. But you owe the person behind the ink the same respect you would give to any un-“decorated” person.

I think my tattoos are beautiful. I am extremely happy that not only have I managed to find designs that are meaningful to me, but that I can take pride in sharing and explaining them to others. Honestly, understanding people’s tattoos can be a really great way to get to know them. I’m sure the vast majority of people with tattoos will tell you that there is a lot more behind the ink than you could understand with a simple condescending glance.

So to those who believe that you are somehow better than me and the other inked ladies and gents of the world, hopefully you’ll step off that pedestal one of these days. Because tattooed people are freakin’ awesome.

And one day, when we’re old and wrinkly, we’ll be more colorful than you.

Apologies and Explanations and Catch-Up

Posted in catching up, F, FML, friends, Home, Life, Me, randomness, rant, ugh., vacation time on 07/09/2010 by asante

Tsk tsk tsk me. Bad blogger. lol

I manage to get all these new awesome fun readers and what do I do? Stop posting. lol. Sorry y’all, but my brain has effectively checked out, and I honestly haven’t been able to think of anything to write. So in an effort to make amends, here’s a definitive, visually-stimulating list of what has been occupying the space between my ears (since properly operating gray-matter is not exactly cutting it lately. lol. excuse the nerdyness.)

1. I’m going on vacation next week folks. And not a “visit people in other cities” type trip. I’m talking sun, sand, drinks, and nothing constructive expected of me other than deepening my skintone. And it’s pretty much consumed my thoughts. lol. I CANNOT wait, I really needed a legit break from life as I know it. *happy dance*

2. So as an aspiring academic, it significantly behooves me to be literarily productive. Unfortunately the snarky folks at a certain journal called “B_________P_________” (I probably shouldn’t publicly badmouth them… In case I need them in the future….) decided to reject my article submission. After a good rousing round of choice 4-letter words screamed within the confines of my apartment, I’ve done my best to get over it and start working on making it even more awesome than before. Take that, reviewers.

3. F and I had a minor-ish fight over the past few days, resulting from a few weeks of a veritable communication breakdown. Of course in any long term, long distance relationship, communication is essential, I think we both just needed a reminder about that. Thankfully all is well again, and things are back to normal. And he’s coming to visit soon!!! (Get your handsome self down here, ASAP, mister. lol. ♥ you :)

[Note: clearly the above picture is NOT me and F…. lol.]

4.

I’m movinnnnnn. Not any large move, jsut across town to a more affordable apartment. But it still requires the boxes and the trucks and the tape and the easily bribed male friends to pick up boxes and furniture and such. *sigh*. Maybe I should start packing… hrm…

Anyways, that is my lame attempt at a photographic explanation to why I haven’t written a significant blog post in almost a week. Here’s hoping I can continue riding the popularity wave from my “Freshly Pressed” post lol.

Anyways, I promise to re-insert my brain into my skull sometime between now aind July 20th. But most likely later than that. #whoops.

Later blogfriends!

“Someone stop the world…”

Posted in catching up, friends, happyness, hobbies, Life, Me, randomness, rant, revelations, ugh., weekend, Work on 06/16/2010 by asante

Ever get the feeling that life-in-general has just gotten ahead of itself and you just want EVERYTHING to pause for a few seconds so you can get back on your feet?

Yea, I’m so there.

There has been a LOT going on lately (not all of my life is blog-worthy, haha) and while a lot of it is good things (so I prolly should shut up and stop complaining) it’s just gotten to the point where it’s just exhausting and overwhelming and I just want to crawl into a hole somewhere by myself. My weeks at work either crawl or completely get away from me, and then the weekends roll around and I can’t help but want to be a loser and cuddle with my puppy in my apartment, alone, and not go anywhere. Not that I want to be a recluse or anything, I love going out with my friends, but it’s gotten to a point lately where I just don’t have the right mindset, and I end up making excuses half the time.

A lot of it may just be my overwhelming displeasure with Atlanta. I loved the city, but I think the spark has fizzled. I’m getting restless, I want to go somewhere new…. but I don’t know if I’ll be doing that any time soon (stay tuned).

I just need to get a lot of things back on track, so hopefully I can get my mind right sometime in the near future. Because when I’m in such a funky mood I can’t enjoy the things that are going well!! It all just ends up in a big messy jumble in my head and the chaos of it prevents me from seeing anything else about the situation, other than it’s chaotic. Maybe I should make a list…

  1. Get my finances back in order. They’re not terrible, but I know better, and they should be better. No more random spending…. (another nail in the coffin for my residing so close to Atlantic Station lol. Toooo much temptation.)
  2. Be more social. Not just hitting clubs with my friends either, I need to expand my circle a bit… I need to stop being such a punk about going places that interest me just because nobody wants to come with lol.
  3. Really focus in on my grad school future. Because I do NOT have a choice, I WILL get in. And I’m going to be awesome. So it’s probably a good idea to figure out exactly how awesome I plan to be. lol.
  4. Stick to my guns about who I do and don’t want around me. Just like I’ve been letting other little things slide, I’ve been letting my guard down a lil too much in this area and I’m not liking the results. Certain people come in and out of your life for a reason, I need to remember that
  5. Start doing more with my weekends! Take a walk with my dog and/or camera,  scout for art shows, festivals, meet, greet, enjoy, and LIVE a little. No more Asante-The-Recluse. I already am squirreled away at my cube for 40 hours a week, I need to take better care of my psyche in my downtime.

Ok, that’s a good start, I think. And I know I make a lot of lists, but I swear I do check them every now and again. lol. Glad you all can stomach my self-improvement rants from time to time.

Here’s to getting back on my feet, and heading back in the right direction :) *clink*

Death to Ignorance.

Posted in friends, Life, Me, randomness, rant, ugh., Uncategorized on 06/10/2010 by asante

I have a good friend back home with a racist parent.

My friend is white, and since he made the choice to have nearly all of his best friends be significantly “un-white”, you can imagine the complications of dealing daily with his father’s views. Now when I say his dad is racist, I don’t mean racist in the overt, shotgun toting, Bible Belt, “N-word” slinging KKK way. No, his is a special brand of racism that can only be born out of ignorance.

Basically he bases his opinions of “others” on outdated, stereotypical, offensive, and largely unfounded ideas. And in a lot of ways, I think that’s worse than anything.

Ignorance is a dangerous, horrible affliction that seems to be in the public view more and more these days. It seems like every day there’s another “Birther” or “Tea Partier” or “Westboro Baptist” or “Rush Limbaugh” spouting ridiculous views to millions of people that they don’t even bother to base in fact. And what comes of this? More blatantly ignorant lemmings are taking someone else’s ignorance to heart and spreading it farther. It’s a vicious, vicious cycle.

What is so damned hard with taking the time to let an issue roll around your cranium for a few seconds before you dig your heels in on one side of the line or the other? Personally I think that taking what another person says as pure fact without taking any time to actually think about it ON YOUR OWN is just irresponsible existence. Ever heard of that little thing called free will? How about common sense? If not, get some. Please. Goodness.

Ask a (respectful) question. Get a second opinion. Hell, form your own opinion, as long as it’s one that you can logically back up. The science nerd in me simply will not entertain people who don’t know how to expand their understanding. Being an adult means operating on FACTS, not your own personal brand of fiction. If you don’t know, let that be that. But don’t go around creating your own reality,  unless you plan to live solo under a rock somewhere.

It’s so tiring to see people arguing and clashing not because they have a difference in opinion, but because neither of them are bothering to think about the truth between their respective sides of the issue. In a lot of cases (at least politically, I’ve noticed) One person is trying to come to the table with a fact, and the other fires back with something ridiculous. I mean come on now, really? You can see it all over their face that they know how ridonkulous they sound. But the ignorance flares up and clouds all reasonable judgement. I just can’t deal with folks like that. Ignorant folks have a way of dragging you down to their level then beating you with experience lol.

So in the future folks, if you’re going to come correct with facts, well-founded opinions, and a respectful tone, lets have a conversation. I’m sure we’ll both benefit from the endeavor. The rest of you… Go spend some time on Wikipedia and enlighten yourself.

Knowledge is power. Ignorance is a blood-sucking parasite.

This is wrong.

Posted in Family, Home, Life, news, quotes, rant, sadface, The Wonderful Internet, ugh. on 05/21/2010 by asante

A few  years ago, if I had told someone where my family is from, I got a lot of confused faces.

“Oh Mali, right? So your family lives in the Sahara Desert?”


“Yea Kamkwalala does sound like a Hawaiian name. It must be awesome to go to Maui all the time.”


“….Where?”

I think you get the idea. But the times, they are a-changin’. NOW when I tell people I’m from Malawi, I get:

“OMG has your family met Madonna?”

And the most recent, tragic one to-date:

“What happened to that gay couple?”

If you haven’t heard yet, Malawi, my family’s country of origin has been freshly plastered across news source after news source for jailing an openly homosexual couple for “indecency and unnatural acts”. And I will admit, I’m extremely disappointed. Unfortunately, I’m sure a lot of my excessively conservative family members will agree with the appalling, hurtful messages and slurs that have been thrown at this couple, and it makes me SO angry. If ever there was a time to be convinced that Malawi is headed backwards, this is it.

As I’ve said in other posts, I am grateful for the Malawian-steeped upbringing my parents gave to me, rife with their cultural lessons and structure. I love being from Malawi, I loved visiting, I love my family there, but I cannot bring myself to accept this. This is wrong.

A quote from President Mutharika’s advisor hit me especially hard:

“Some of these rights are not good for our culture.” -Betsy Chirambo

You let the adherence to what is, in many ways, a backwards aspect of your “culture” (because I refuse to consider this hateful sentiment part of Malawi’s culture) infringe the rights of your people? As if they no longer have rights because they have decided to be comfortable and open about how they want to live their lives, together? Telling someone that their way of life negates their cultural heritage is not right. Are they any less Malawian because they’re gay? Why? Give me one good reason.

In my honest opinion, it is a ridiculous, colonial-era law that should have been removed from their constitution a VERY long time ago. Malawi’s culture is not and should not be one built on hatred, on intolerance. It is a violation of their human rights, and a painful, gut-wrenching reminder that Malawi, along with other African nations like it, with such socially stubborn legislations, are going nowhere fast.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: it is 2010. It is time for a lot of people to get out of their own way and realize that just because someone doesn’t do something YOUR way doesn’t make it wrong. It makes it different. “Different” is not bad, and certainly not worthy of 14 years in prison. (and might I add, I’d be very surprised to find out that the Malawian government does anything to protect either of these men from any onslaught they may recieve while incarcerated. You’re basically putting them in a shooting gallery.)

Who are they hurting by being themselves? It is a personal choice who someone loves, and the government–no matter how convinced they are that they’re protecting their “culture”–has no right whatsoever the interfere.

My heart goes out to Steven Mojenza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga. I hope you get the help you deserve to save you from this terrible situation.

[Sources: CNN, MSNBC]

Living a life of passion.

Posted in beautiful, F, happyness, hobbies, Life, Love, randomness, rant, revelations, The Wonderful Internet on 05/03/2010 by asante
Hey everyone :)
Today’s post was brought to you by:

1. The Book of Awesome, inspired by the website “1000 Awesome Things” a remarkably sweet and inspirational blog-turned-book that has revolutionized my mornings. How can you not smile first thing in the morning when pondering the everyday “awesomeness” of things like #520 “When a baby falls asleep on you”
or #990 Picking up a q and a u at the same time in Scrabble” or #816 When the late-night pizza order arrives really, really early or my personal favorite, #743 Taking your high heels off at the end of the night and walking home in bare feet. I read their daily entries every morning, and it’s a really fun way to remind myself that it doesn’t have to all be academic insanity all day every day, sometimes I can just step back and relate to the post and it brings a moment of serenity to me. AWESOME! lol. No seriously, check it out.

2.  One Week Job, a college grad’s excursion to find a job that he loves. His method? Take a different job for a week, every week, for one whole year. Practical? Hardly. Crazy? Possibly. But kind of exciting at the same time. Check out his journey here.

I’m sure EVERYONE who just graduated into this stinkpot of an economy has had that moment where they had to make that decision: take the job that pays the bills over the one that would make them happy and leave them living with their parents. lol. I consider myself fortunate that I’ve landed in a job that covers both my interests and my expenses, but sometimes I feel like it lacks passion. I mean when I get THAT patient interaction that really moves me and I can tell I made an important, if tiny impact on that person’s situation, I can definitely feel it, and it’s incredibly rewarding. However it’s not every day. I know I sometimes find myself thinking, is this it? If I choose this path, will it still inspire me the way it does today 5 years from now? 10 years? 20?

I did my best to help F through this a while back. It came down to a senior class that would look good on his transcript when he applied for work as a chemical engineer, which is what his degree is in, or a class that fell within the realm of psychology, an interest that rubbed off on him from me lol. He ended up taking both, and was really glad he did. I think it was the balance of doing what he had to do along with doing what he wanted to do that made that semester a fulfilling one, especially since by the end his interest in the psych class gave him the energy to muster through the engineering one. 

And when it comes down to it, that’s what I think living a life of passion is about. The majority of us are caught between what we want to to and what we have to do. When you dip too far into the side of what you have to do though, I think you lose a lot of yourself, in many ways. You always see cheesy movie endings where the stuffy politician has a orchestrally-accompanied change of heart when he remembers his childhood dream of being a rodeo-cowboy or something like that, a dream he lost in his money-hungry search for power etc. etc. Dumb example, I know, lol, but the message is in there somewhere. Somewhere along the line though, it can happen to all of us, I think. But it doesn’t have to!!

My message for today is to remember to temper the drudgery of your every day obligations with something that gives your life purpose, and imparts meaning. Take some time every day to do something YOU want to do. Because do you really want to wake up 20 years from now and look back on a wasted opportunity, years of unfulfillment? Life is full of things you HAVE to do. Take a break from the bills and the classes and the taxes and find a moment of happiness. Whatever it takes. Learn to play the sitar in Bora Bora or do cartwheels across Times Square or go swimming with some dangerous creature in some unknown body of water or learn to read some obscure language that nobody else understands or live in a tree in Ecuador or write a book about rodeo clowns or exclusively photograph the left ears of some endangered animal SOMETHING lol (I think I’ve out-randomed myself lol).

Find a way to divulge passion from your life. Before it’s too late.