Monday, February 25, 2008

Some Women in the South have JOBS... even interesting, challenging ones!

I am very irritated...

I think it is very commendable for a woman to want to stay at home and make that their full-time job. I do not currently belong in that group. That may or may not change, not because I am too good for it, but because staying at home with kids is harder than any job I can imagine.

I currently work, in an office, like many men (with many men, even some who call me for help), after being in traffic for a while, wearing my best business casual attire. I even do some work in a very interesting, challenging field which some consider male dominated. Dare I say, I excel at it and my superiors would tell you this in a heart-beat? Then, why is it that when we spark up casual conversation you ask my husband what he does for a living and ignore me? Am I not worth asking? Are you just not interested in my life? Are you assuming I am a stay at home.. what... because I have no children and when you see me at church with my husband this is clear so clearly I am not a stay at home mom! And if I was a stay at home mom then what? Would my duties of raising the world's future not be worthy of such a question as well?

And there is no pride in working for THE MAN other than that of a job well done. But there is a lot of arrogance in your assumption that it is not worth asking what I do for a living. Or perhaps a lot of cowardliness? Are you afraid I have a better education as I wear a Tech shirt and you sport your red and black? Are you embarrassed of your job? Why should it matter? It sure did not matter when you decided to ask my guy? How come you don't want to know about mine?

There is no financial pride in my irritation, if we had too much money I wouldn't work... I do not know anyone who works as hard as I do without needing the money! There is pride however in what I have achieved in my life and you DISCOUNT my worth to society when I become just an accessory to my husband as demonstrated by your disinterest in my life, REGARDLESS OF WHAT I DO OR DO NOT DO. It is RUDE for you to discount my life in light of the man standing next to me no matter what I do or want to do! No matter North or South of the Dixie line!! Did you not learn that in school?

I am not saying I am the same as a man, or you should respect me in the same way, that is your choice. I am saying don't carry your pretty leather Bible to Church listen to the sermon about loving people (all people mind you... if my husband is your neighbor... so am I), caring about people and discount my life. Hypocrite Southern man!

I just don't know what "Southern manners" you learned.... I am not sure what Bible version you read... and I would not make the assumption that this post is about just ONE person... because more than one of you are guilty of this. Women and men roles are different, but never was one life worth more to God than another and never was one role valued over another by the Creator.

So when you ask my husband about his life (which happens to include me), why must you always ignore mine? What are you afraid of? Why is his life important and mine not? Why must you edge me out of conversation? Did you miss him searching for his keys while I approached you with a question?

Friday, February 15, 2008

First Impressions

I have been working for my current company for 2.5 years or so. I started travelling for work about 2 years ago and so far have been to a number of cities and rural towns. Achieving the most despicable yet covetable achievement, Medallion Status.

Here are some first impressions as I think back on the last year alone (Delta's history does not go back to the first year):

Long Island, NY--Not a bad place, the greatest part of it being how close this is to NYC.

Rochester, NY--I saw the most snow here that I have ever seen, as in total up how much snow I have seen in my life (not a whole lot considering I grew up in the Caribbean).

San Juan, PR--It is always a pleasure... no, seriously, I only go there for pleasure but I am hoping for some customers there some day.

Winston-Salem, NC--The smokiest town I have ever been in. It is nice, good places to eat and close to the university, but the whole town, restaurants and even the customer site are just smoky. Not a big surprise considering the origins.

North Lawrence, NY--I made a post about this place earlier. I was not aware there were rural parts to New York, or even Indian reservations, but there I was, 2 days in the land of the Mohawks.

Montreal, Canada--My first trip to Montreal in 1999 definitely was a better trip. This trip to Montreal in April put me up in a smelly Comfort Inn Hotel, driving was confusing and the food was pretty boring. I did get to drive accross the border from North Lawrence so I got to see some other parts of Canada, but...

Rockland, MA and Boston, MA--Boston deserves all the recognition it gets. This is truly a melting pot, not in the same way as New York, but in a heightened cultural sense. You have to be there to understand, but you should not die before experiencing Boston. I had the chance to see Plymouth which is worth the trip! I also visited Sommerville (I forget how to spell that) and MIT. Getting to see my old roommate Michelle was awesome!!

Milwaukee, WI--I want a summer house in Milwaukee. Just the thought of Milwaukee makes me smile, relax and feel happy. Boston is nice to visit, but Milwaukee is perfect if only it was not cold.

Houston, TX--It is just sticky and dusty there. Ughhh, I am going back near there in a week and while I wouldn't trade it for a trip to Yuckabama (our neighbor state to the west), I may be willing to return to Saskatchewan (yes, a real place in Canada) over Houston. I got to see an old friend there and pig out. Karoline knows the absolute coolest places to eat.

St. Louis, MO--This is certainly not a clean looking place. Just a few minutes there was enough to determine nothing should be left visible in the car. However, St. Louis was nice. The food was awesome. I got to see Tope shortly after she arrived for school and that was very cool! I had a good time and it looked pretty friendly, only one of 3 places I have seen on business that I would consider moving to.. until I read about its position on the dangerous city scale (see previous post).

Indianapolis, IN--Can we say corn? Just corn. Straight roads, can't remember the name of the town I was in, but I do remember ever present corn, even around my hotel. The customer I visited there makes the best double-dipped chocolate peanuts of which I had about 4 party sized bags. If you like M&M's let me tell you what is better than candy coated chocolate covered peanuts... uncoated double-dipped ones. I was next to the Frito-Lay factory which was cool but unsurprising considering how much corn these people have. If companies push for Ethanol, I will buy some land in Indiana, because I am pretty sure corn grows the spontaneously.

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan--I always thought Saskatchewan was just some made up word kids used to name a really far away place.... until my boss told me I was going there. I thought he was kidding for a while, but he wasn't. Nothing much to be said really. I was only in the industrial part which is why. I did get to see the museum for one of the tribes Winneskuwan (sp?) but only the outside, because they closed at 4pm. The museum is in the middle of nowhere... but literarilly, not figuratively like most of the time when people say this. I won't be running back... the change of colors from the air as we flew over Minneapolis was a sight though! Almost as good as Milwaukee (Minneapolis that is).

Baltimore, MD--These folks really know how to season their crabs. I probably ate a pound or more on my own. At the end of dinner I saw a roach on the table... that was a downer, but I just took my dessert home with me. The crab place name is Bo- Jacks. I can see why people live here. I am not sure it is for me though. But I will be visiting again.

Las Vegas, NV-- WOOOHOOO!!! This place is larger than life and bigger than any TV screen can capture!!! Absolutely awesome!! And I cannot wait to go back!! I got to see the Hoover Dam when I left, the strip was cool, the Belagio Fountain was awesome... this place deserves a post of its own, which I meant to do but didn't. I have pictures, and I may show some (want to make sure what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas). Legends in Concert is a really cheesy sounding show that is absolutely awesome!! My customer there does some really cool work with diamonds and it is most likely the most interesting operation I have been involved in.

Paramus, NJ--Hmmm... New Jersey is just exactly as uneventful and uninteresting as everyone says. I had good company, but I am not rushing back there either.

Anywhere, Alabama--Then there is Yuckabama.... sigh... I know many people live there and love it, others grew up there and miss it. I have a hard time seeing either. I respect people's love of it and Sweet Home Alabama is both a good song and a good movie. That said, if I don't ever go there again I won't really long for it. Just thinking about it makes me depressed and frustrated. Everyone I have worked with there and who I know from there is very nice and polite, but sigh...

St. Petersburg, FL--The drive there from Tampa is nice. I did not get to see a whole lot of St. Pete because I had an awful 24 hour funk/bad luck/series of unfortunate events there. No opinions can be formed, but I did get to see my friend of 16 years (that sounds old though--I think it is 15 not 16 though), Elba. My St. Pete funk was to become a post of its own, but the seies of unfortunate events lasted into much later in the night than expected so when it was all done I was out of there in a flash. People in St. Pete were very friendly and made me feel right at home. I got cookies for everything there.

Philadelphia,PA, Cherry Hill, NJ and Camden, NJ--I visited the corner of PA and NJ which apparently is on the east side of PA not the west side like I thought. My customer there had a neverending supply of snacks and it doesn't get much better than that. I scraped ice from my car for the first time there... then I gave up and hitched a ride with the Project Manager. I almost slipped a number of times. I got to see Camden, NJ in the only way someone like me would...accidentally. Will come back to PA, but will skip the Camden/Cherry Hill bit except for the hotel rate in Chery Hill is good.

I will try to post some pictures I have later. They are not good pictures though, since most of them where taken from the car driving at 40MPH.. by the driver. At least I wasn't talking on my cell phone and driving though... :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

I survived Camden, NJ...

...By the grace of God alone.

Last night, sometime between 9 and 10 PM, I got lost in Camden, NJ. I didn't even know where I was. It was only after reviewing the route I took and discussing with the locals, that I found out where I was. I knew it was scary and dark and I also knew the guy in the big Cadillac slowed down to check me out. I also knew enough to make an illegal U-turn at the entrance of the darkest road I have ever seen. Today, I found out locals consider Camden scary. If you have ever been to New Jersey, then you know that the whole place is scary, so Camden being considered a bad area is insane.

I was starting to feel pretty lucky and somewhat brave about the whole thing (even though I had nothing to do with not getting shot on my drive from the Philly airport to my hotel... all God there). I had Jamil go on a scavenger hunt for information on Camden. I like scaring him with bad experiences once I have survived them. It is funny, but of course there is nothing funny about it while I am in the situation. He looked it up and it all had the expected reaction. Camden was the number 1 most dangerous city in the U.S. for 2005 and 2004 and third in 2003. I was having fun...

Then, I read the wikipedia article about Camden. Looking in the crime section, I realized that not only had I been to no. 1 for 05 and 06, but I have been to no. 1 in 2006 St. Louis. Now, that is the scary thought!!! I actually enjoyed St. Louis. I didn't feel totally safe, but it was no Camden. There is nothing scarier than not having been scared when I should have been.

Del agua mansa libreme Dios, que de la brava me libre tambien....

Peace out!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

We got a puppy

Jamil has always wanted a dog. I like puppies but I am afraid of dogs (mostly big and/or yappy ones). We have had him for about 8 weeks now.