Thursday, February 23, 2012

Learn As If You Will Live Forever

Just learned about that quote. Once upon a time I had a fantasy about reading every book in a library. What I am saying, I still have that fantasy. Being open to new things and concepts is essential for me. I try not to let a day go by without learning something.

Anyway, I'm taking an on-line class on how to create a search engine. It is a basic introduction to a computer programing class. The students come from all over the world.

 So why would a 50+ something woman with a checkered arithmetic and math background take this class?

I'm brain starved. Learning helps keep me healthier. My day job doesn't do it for me and until I transition into something that does I need to diversify my skills.

I don't necessarily want to be a programmer but I do want to learn how to create different types of stuff that isn't being address by this current group of programmers.

I can't encourage women to take up tech if I won't step up and learn a bit for myself. I took a introductory class in the 1980s that was designed to weed out those of us that couldn't make heads or tails of the acronyms coming out of instructors mouth.

I wanted to learn but there was a techno - lingo barrier that the instructor felt we should have traverse from osmosis. Most of us got mercy C's in the class and my interest ended until the personal computer revolution.

So I take my fears and my curiosity and walk it down the hall to the frontier. I feel good about week 1 but who knows what I'll feel like in week 4.

Gotta try.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Trying to Understand Shamrock Socks in February 2012

I have no love for Valentine’s day. In this case, I mean I do not have any guy I’m going to be snuggling up to come February 14th. I am okay with that reality. At peace with the world. Tra, lah, trah, lah.

Okay, not not really.

It is Black History Month aka African American History and Heritage Month. The flag waving permissible issms are at a all time high and show no sign of dipping below the legal legal of sanity. The only grace I can take hold of is the the debates for the Republican contenders for the White House are taking the month off.

For the record, I am not associating the GOP contenders with Target.  The fact that the GOP contenders have tried to make people that look like me targets for their bile is beside the point.

And I do have one.

I was in Target. Target has black hair care products that I generally have to ride a bus three hours to get to a store that has the same stuff at a huge mark-up. I can get it $15 cheaper at Target.

Target has food, mostly processed food but the one near me has some fresh items. Target has clothes that fit potions of my body in a price range I can afford.

They have Valentine’s day stuff that is just about to go to half price. They have St. Patrick socks. Well, socks that have shamrocks on them.

I know what they don’t have. A decent affordable stand alone .mp3 player. A topic for another time. They also don’t have anything about celebrating African American History or Heritage Month. 

There are no banners. No placards. No streamers.  Not a balloon. Not fond of balloons anyway so that could be a plus.

I’m looking at those St. Patrick influenced socks and I am trying to figure out why are they putting the shamrock stuff out in February? I’m standing there internally scratching my head. 

Then it comes to me. Beer. 

On St. Patrick’s day everybody wears the green. Folks having no genealogical peeps from the island will be fixing corned beef and cabbage or at least reading about a heart healthy version in a magazine or newspaper.

There will be big parades that will be inclusive and exclusive. At least here in California. There will be beer drinking and some will even drink beer that is colored green.  Oh, and there will be green peppermint McFlurries and shamrocks on cookies.

You can sell St. Patrick’s day. 

You can’t exactly sell Black History Month. It is problematic.

If this was the 1970s you could move red, green and black socks.  It is not the 1970s anymore.  How about some “Remember the Dream” socks?  Well, perhaps not.

You could have posters in the stores with photos of historical ancestors but I’d be kinda worried which ancestor’s poster would wind up hanging in the toilet paper section.

Then you would have those folks that would complain. There is always somebody to complain but these particular people would complain that "there isn’t a White History Month so why should anybody recognize Black History Month?"

These same folks will be also be complaining through Women’s History Month, Latino/Hispano/Chicano/Mexicano Heritage Month and Asian and Pan Pacific Heritage Month. Some of those whiners will be debating again in March.

Really Not Picking on Target

We are told that everybody wants to wear the green for a day. Watch your local papers and advertising  circulars. A stereotypical green having nothing to do with living people to be sure but it is celebrated and sold with enthusiasm.

It involves food and beer and, well, that is about I know about the day.

Authentic Irish and Irish American history is fascinating, complex and is woven into the building of this nation. That isn’t what the commercial St. Patrick’s day is about but we do a strange form of let’s pretend.

Authentic African American history is fascinating, complex and is intractably woven into the building of the nation. It seems that folks would rather let the days go by.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Mikki Taylor Talks About Taking Risks

Just wanted to share this video with you. It is an interview with Mikki Taylor about how do you leave a 30 year gig and start again.

Yep. feel that 30 seconds of fear and then let it go. Trying to embed that in my brain.

There are two other videos of Mikki on Mediabistro TV's YouTube channel.

Monday, February 06, 2012

A Moment Inside of Old Navy

Old Navy has been good to me. It is one of the few stores that accommodates the back of my front. Once every other month I traps in and purchase from the clearance section. It is the least that I can do.

One day I was trying to decide between an electric green blouse or some stretchy pants when this young lady walked up to me and asked if I would take her Old Navy Gift card.

The woman was a 20 something. She was immaculately dressed. Hair, make up and contemporary cool clothing that did not come from Old Navy. I imagined this is a person that wakes up two hours early just to look arrange her equipment so that she can begin the process of being so crafted.

I said, "I'm a customer, not an employee."

She was a little pissed but kept the smile going.

"I know that, I got the card as a gift. I don't...I don't shop here." Here was pronounced as if she was trying to find a sweater in a cesspool.

I could tell, this woman read Vogue or something I flip through once every three years. She was in the devil's lair and she didn't like it.

"I don't understand what you..."

"Could you buy my card? It has $26 on it. We can go to the counter and verify that there is money on it."

I said, "No"

The immaculate one stomped away in a huff.

I will never be that artistically and fashion sculpted. I understand, A friend gave me a gift card for a tech store a few weeks ago and I had to work really hard to find something I could use.

Never occurred to me to asked some stranger in the store to buy my card.

I found out yesterday that in California if you have less than $10 on a card the store will give you the cash.

But you can't buy class.

Or fake it.