I have a lot going on in my life as of late so it has been difficult to sit down and write.
But no, that is not wholly true.
It is difficult to compose, not write. I am having difficulties with my thought processes, so although I can think about complex topics and pontificate on them endlessly to anyone
unlucky silly enough to come into my orbit, I cannot take these thoughts and coherently reproduce them effectively on the page.
I also get how that last paragraph seems to contradict itself.
But the thoughts I want share are way too cool and way too deep to just be thrown onto the page. So they will have to wait till I can untangle the rat’s nest settling into my mind at the moment. It is partially due to the medication I am on. I have been on low dose prednisone for about a week, which is probably the source of the following irritations. There is a long story that goes along with this, so I will save it till I can write it out to my satisfaction.
So instead I offer you a few choice rants from my life at the moment.
- My accountant and I had a humorous conversation this morning about how last year a man who had never met me before had somehow determined that I needed advice on what computer to buy. As I was leaving her inner office, I was asking her about any special tax considerations that would make it preferable to buy a new laptop in 2008 instead of waiting till 2009. So it was a tax question, not a technical question. She had responded that I should buy it in 2008. She asked if I wanted to take her copy of Consumer Reports to figure out what I needed and I said no thanks since I was planning to buy another Mac Pro laptop.
And that is when this complete stranger began telling me all these reasons why I should not buy a Mac. At first I just stared at him as he went on and on, then I said I was familiar with computers and had made up my mind. That is when it became really strange. Lets just say, I ended the conversation abruptly by flipping open the magazine and displaying how Consumer Reports agreed with me and brusquely left.
This year, I shared with my accountant just how outrageous it had felt to me at the time. She was unaware of the details of my career as a telecommunications engineer, hardware engineer, system designer, smart phone technologies researcher and national expert, international video/caching/gateway/multicast protocol standards expert and internet architect. I became a web designer because I thought it would be fun to work with the easy stuff for a change. I still laugh at how Starhawk keeps referring to me as a software engineer. I used that title back when folks could not figure out what I did for a living as an electrical engineer.
I bring this up because yesterday Rose looked me straight in the eyes and asked me sarcastically if anyone had ever told me that I was a geek. I at first laughed very hard. She made the comment because Amazon had sent me an email listing all these mathematical books that were on sale and I was checking them out with interest. But then I stopped and thought about it. No, actually most people have no idea just how much of a geek I really am. That is why I usually have to bring it up. I am frankly tired of being a stealth geek. I want folks to know that this is what a geek looks like. I think maybe I need to make a T-shirt or at least a button.
Then I read Wil Wheaton’s critical comments concerning a web campaign to enhance the perception of geeks. And I have to agree with him with one caveat. I was always the cool one, I was always the tough one AND I have always been a geek. So like him, I completely resent the implication that we need anyone else’s approval but I also feel that being a geek is not mutually exclusive with being a bad ass. Just saying …
- I have also never liked how the media continually portrays black inner city culture. I get how contemporary culture is defined more by what is “in” with young people rather than say us fifty-year-olds. But give me a break. I grew up in the ghetto, ran with gangs, been in a few fights and even use to carry a gun. But the entire time I used complete sentences, wore clothes that fit, did my homework, showed up for work and school on time and paid my bills. I am mentioning this not to assail the so-called unruly youth but to stop folks my age from acting like complete idiots in an attempt to pretend they are young again. If I see one more adult male over the age of forty wearing baggy pants and talking like a rapper, I may have reached back to *my* youth and stomp his ass. Just saying …
- My last issue is with my hair. I keep holding off coloring it because without the grey all kinds of people seem to want to write me off. So let me just say this last bit as a public service for the majority culture – you know who you are.
Different people age differently. Many women of color look much, much younger than their white counterparts. Do not assume that I am appreciably younger than you. You can tell how old we are by noting several clues. Clothes, mannerisms and language are what we use to determine who is the elder in a situation. Notice who the black people are holding doors open for and follow suit. I know it is subtle, but we have spent our entire lives learning all about you, now it is your turn. Again, just saying …
Man, these pills are making me feel more than a little bitchy. Hopefully I will be back to my normal eloquence and harmonious mood sooner rather than later. Hope, hope, hope …