Let’s have a party


Ironic that they didn’t want to pay the higher tax on imported tea. And our new POTUS is considering imposing a higher tax on imported avacados, tomatoes, and other fruit. And car parts, and so much more…    
Time for a tea party, Boston-style?

Christmas is here.

The United States is a melting pot. We have folks here from every which country in the world, of every religion. And many non-believers.

And yet, our holidays are so one-sided.

People complaining about not being able to say merry Christmas, in early November. But there’s no denying that Christmas is all around us. It starts around the first week of September in the stores. All the pine trees are decorated, not for Winter Solstice or Hanukkah. No one calls them pine trees – they are called Christmas trees.

I don’t get a day off work for Diwali, like we get at least 2 days off for Christmas and Thanksgiving. There’s a LOT of prep work (cooking, cleaning, decorating) to do for Diwali. No one gives us a single extra day off to prepare for this huge holiday. So much cooking needs to be done. Rangolis need to be drawn. But we’re expected to pull it off in our time after work, in sprints of 6-9pm leading up to the night. While still doing regular household duties. But you don’t hear me complaining about it. You don’t hear complaints from the almost 3 million Indian-Americans in the US.

Meanwhile we have stations & places playing 24 hrs of Christmas music for the 2 months prior to Christmas. So, calm down with the “attacks on Christmas”. There’s no war on Christmas.war-on-christmas-jkglolas

I’m going to China!

I have big news – I’M GOING TO CHINA!china-attraction-map

I’ve been dating for a number of years now, and met a wonderful man, “E”, about a year ago. We were both on dating sites, but different ones so we never would have met that way. However, our paths crossed here in Columbus. He moved to Columbus from out of state about a month before I did. We were friends, and it slowly evolved. We’ve been dating since January, and he mentioned non-nonchalantly about going to Hong Kong. I responded that I’d always wanted to see China.

Well, last month, he said “let’s do it”. Which is crazy talk.

C’mon, it’s really crazy talk. I mean, there are logistical constraints. We’d need a visa to go to China. To get a Chinese visitor’s visa, you need to send your plane ticket and hotel confirmations with the exact dates. That means we need to buy tickets — non-refundable tickets. And book all our hotels. If you know me, it takes me forever to book a hotel. I need to read all the reviews, plus we need to make sure it’s in the right location with an English-speaking concierge.

But we did it. Well, mostly. I just got my visa returned to me today, and E’s visa will come back (hopefully) in time for our departure.

We will be going to Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong; for 10 days. I can’t wait!

Respectable athletes: Megan Rapinoe

megan rapinoe kneeling

In the National Felon League, you can carry out all sorts of morally corrupt behavior (murder, beat your wife, fighting, swearing, etc), and no one bats an eye.

But in American Women’s Soccer…. IT’S TOUGH.nfl what you can't do tweet

This summer, US Soccer suspended (& then *terminated*) the contract of someone because she called the opposing team ‘cowards’. US women’s soccer said they won’t stand for bad sportsmanship. Bam, she’s gone. In the NFL, of you say something against the rules, you get a small, negligible fine.

But man, when Megan did it, she did it better than the NFL guys. No doubt. Kaepernick was in the 2nd or 3rd row? Megan went in front of everyone, out on field. Front & center. Say it loud, say it proud. With strength. Love the unity with Colin Kaepernick, and her execution!

That’s why I think it’s a STRONGER statement that Megan Rapinoe knelt during the National Anthem. It’s important that white athletes join those that are oppressed. It makes it people supporting people. Because when one is oppressed, we all are oppressed. But her being on a zero tolerance sport team? It makes that statement even stronger.

the right way to protest

There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to protest something.

Some people will have a ‘silent protest’, some will ‘boycott’, others will have a ‘hunger strike’. Some will rally, with signs and/or chanting. olympics 1968

Few will remember the iconic 1968 Olympics photo of the 2 black athletes who, during their medal ceremony held up their fists in a ‘black power’ salute. They did this to bring attention to the civil rights issues facing America, this was during the time that MLK Jr. was assassinated.

Yes, sometimes it can happen that a protest can come off as disrespectful to others.

Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, didn’t stand during the national anthem. And maybe to some, it came off as being disrespectful. And maybe he was being disrespectful. To those that see the flag as a symbol of what they fought for, a symbol of the freedom & privileges afforded to them. But what of those that lost their brothers and sisters to a system that legitimizes the over-reaches of our criminal justice system? Those that are fed up with hearing daily that another black (wo)man has unnecessarily been murdered by one that is sworn to protect their community?

People are so worked up & upset that this man didn’t stand for a flag. But do these same people feel agitation when a black man is shot egregiously in public?

Think for a moment that every time you pass a police car on the side of the road, you wonder if they are going to follow you. And if they do follow you, and pull you over, will this be the end for you? Will you ever see your family again, or is this how you die? That may sound extreme to some of you. But that LITERALLY goes through the mind of a black man every time they see a cop car in their rearview mirror. IT IS EXTREME.

And maybe that is why it is important for Colin Kaepernick to sit during the national anthem. Because maybe he’s disrespecting a piece of cloth. But he’s showing some respect for those murdered on the streets.

usa-flag-abstract-david-g-paul

Update: Colin Kaepernick did meet with reporters today, to discuss his actions from Friday:

(on why he chose to sit during national anthem during Week 3 of preseason) “People don’t realize what’s really going on in this country. There are a lot things that are going on that are unjust. People aren’t being held accountable for. And that’s something that needs to change. That’s something that this country stands for freedom, liberty and justice for all. And it’s not happening for all right now.”

(on his message to members of the military) “I have great respect for the men and women that have fought for this country. I have family, I have friends that have gone and fought for this country. And they fight for freedom, they fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice, for everyone. That’s not happening. People are dying in vain because this country isn’t holding their end of the bargain up, as far as giving freedom and justice, liberty to everybody. That’s something that’s not happening. I’ve seen videos, I’ve seen circumstances where men and women that have been in the military have come back and been treated unjustly by the country they fought have for, and have been murdered by the country they fought for, on our land. That’s not right.”

(on how his teammates have reacted to him) “The support I’ve gotten from my teammates has been great. I think a lot of my teammates come from areas where this might be the situation. Their families might be put in this situation. It’s something that I’ve had a lot of people come up to me and say, ‘I really respect you for what you’re doing and what you’re standing for.’ So to me that’s something that I know what I’m doing was right, and I know other people see what I’m doing is right, it’s something that we have to come together. We have to unite. We have to unify and make a change.”

(on his comments to the team in a player’s only meeting) “It was a conversation. They asked me to talk and just explain why I did what I did. And why I felt the way I felt. I had an open conversation with them. I told them why I felt that way and looked at things the way I do. A lot of it has to do with the history of the country and where we’re currently at. I opened it up to all my teammates. Come talk to me if you have any questions. If you want to understand what I’m thinking further, come talk to me. It shouldn’t be something that should be hidden. These conversations need to happen and can bring everybody closer.”

Pho Friday

Things I learned while eating pho at lunch today.

  1. I should always eat pho by myself in a quiet corner. Because while I love pho, I don’t know how to eat it.
  2. I should always wear a bib when eating pho, since all the slurping I do results in dots of broth all over my front (which today was a dress). This will help reduce dry cleaning bills, which will afford me to buy more pho.