Sunday, June 23, 2013
Seems as if I've fallen off my self-directed wagon already! why am I not surprised.
Let's see...Friday. I actually applied myself to some of my CE. I got through a long dissertation on a marginally interesting topic...and then failed to save it when I closed the program and lost it all. Figures. I was so disgusted I spent the rest of the day cruising around the 'net.
Saturday...it's hot here already, and Joe wanted to get some walking in, so rather than face the iffy weather at the flea market, we went to the mall. oooooo how I hate malls. I do like the wandering about, and IF there's any shops other than clothing, shoes, or jewelry to peruse, I like that. But I haven't seen many of that variety in a long, long time. Our local mall does have a Spencer's, which is a curiosity. I remember it fondly from many years past. It's not exactly like that now, naturally. But it beats the other stores throughout the mall.
Then, of course, there's the Food Court. =( I hate that. Mostly it's stuff I really don't even want, but the aromas tempt me. The little kiosks of soft pretzels drive me crazy. I think it's the salt. I get enough of the bread base after a bite or two, honestly. I haven't had one in probably a couple years, and yesterday was no different. I went past and drooled and longed for it and kept going. I can eat salt at home. I pride myself on passing the Cinnabon and Mrs Fields' on the opposite side of the corridor this time. Last trip, the mini cookies at Mrs Fields' snagged me. I won't do that again, after seeing the carb count AND the price paid for those bitsy nuggets.
So we went to a place I've never been before: Red Robin. From the storefront, it looks like just another burger joint. I suppose it is, on some level. The burgers did look awesome. If we go back, I'll try one out, sans bun and with a side salad (which also looked tasty) instead of the fries. They do have sweet potato fries. But I don't need fries. Yesterday I had their French onion soup (which was very tasty, although it came out pretty cool-ish), and fish-n-chips. The fish was battered in a light tempura, which I feel less badly about than the usual half-pound of breading you get on fried things. The soup was really good. When they came to see how we were doing and I mentioned the temp (even tho we'd already about finished the soups), she went back and got us another order...which was unexpected and unneccessary, but nice! Who'd expect that of a fast-food outlet? I didn't anyway. Of course, I couldn't finish a second serving. But they have take-away, and it's here awaiting dinnertime. The fish was very good. I kept eyeballing those monstrous burgers going by, though! They look like they might be made in-house, instead of coming in preformed. I don't know. They look intriquing, anyhow. Next time.
Today the plan is to hit the grocery before a sale goes off and use a coupon which is also due to expire shortly. My aforementioned friend is reluctant to go to this particular chain of grocery... I don't know why, really. She's funny about some things. If I want to go to this store, I usually just go by myself, which is okay because then I'm not constrained to the typical 2-hour circumlocution with her. I want to get out and back before the traditional afternoon showers begin though, so I ought to be working in that direction now...and you see where I am! LOL
I read something recently...some blog or newsbit or I-don't-remember-what... Paula Deen was the original topic. People posted following the story about her racism and various gripes and complaints. I suppose, if it's perceived as racist, I have a big problem with it, too. My friend isn't of my racial heritage (and it doesn't matter which is what, or what the other "whats" are). I don't have any issue with her in that regard, nor, from what I can tell, she with me. We are perfectly compatible (within limits, as I've discussed) on the sheer basis of personality. This seems to me as things should be.
I am a Southern girl. My family may well have been in the same, or similar, position as Paula Deen's family. I will probably unintentionally offend some readers by admitting to some fond memories of that genteel Southern style. My mother's side of the family traveled from Mississippi across to Texas by covered wagon. There were lots of stories from those times when I was growing up. Some of the remarks on the blogsite mentioned above were pretty hateful about the reason that Southern "charm" was possible - ie, that there were people in the background doing the labor and unpleasantries so the "elite" would enjoy a presumably artificial lifestyle. I suppose there's truth to that. I also suppose that we live in a very similar world today, with the exception that instead of room and board we have wages. I am fairly certain (KICK ME NOW) that there were owned people in the family prior to its emigration from Mississippi to Texas. I recall my grandmother in a great tearful state retelling to me how the staff they left behind (with a deed to the little farm and all its accoutrements passed along to those folks, on paper - legally) chasing them down the road and crying and begging to be taken along. They were family. They didn't want the farm, they wanted the family. But it wasn't to be.
I know very well that the vast majority of "relationships" of this nature were not benign. It was a Very Wrong Thing, and despite it *apparently* not being horrific in my family (again, a one-sided tale, who actually knows?), I feel some shame at having been associated in even this faint and distant way with those times. But, in light of the way it ended, I look back and think, well...the people were here. We didn't go collect them. They had a home, they had food, shelter, family. Yes, they had to work for what they got, I presume. They were, however, also given some education - at least enough to be able to enter into the legal contract of ownership of the farm. So far as I know - and I certainly can't "know" this, but I have to believe it - they were not misabused, other than the fact that they were obliged to work first for our family and secondarily for their own needs. It seems to me their needs coincided pretty closely with the family's needs...but that's debatable, I guess.
Is it different now? we're all still "indentured" by our social customs. Okay, so we have to bow and scrape to management, we're slaves to that paycheck. We get our room and board differently now. But while the details differ, it's still there. Of course I see that chosen employment isn't ownership! but it bears some similarity.
Like Paula Deen, I do have some fond reminisces of bygone time. I don't know how to describe it outside of the concept of "Southern charm." Gentle civility, an appreciation of beauty and nature...and yes, I suppose some "disconnect" from reality. I feel deeply guilty to have an appreciation of such things. Why is this wrong? I learn from all aspects of our current social environment that it is Wrong. I keep it to myself, except in rare instances like this...where I ashamedly admit to some nostalgic yearning.
Some of the comments on that page were that people who feel as I do are the worst racists, because they don't recognize that they are. Am I racist? I feel no negativity toward any group of individuals. I interact with people on a one-to-one basis. It's who they are, not what they are, that matters to me. Class or race or age or anything else has little bearing on my feelings for people. Consider that my friend was just a casual walk-by in Walmart, of all places! We spoke in a friendly manner for a moment and things just spiraled onward from that. I think, if I was racist, I'd not have spoken with her or ignored her or avoided her (?) from the first moment. On the other hand, I have these recollections and nostalgia from long-past times, and I'm told this is sorely racist.
I don't know how to reconcile these things, other than to keep it under wraps because I know I'd attract a LOT of negative response from folks inclined to be sensitive. I can't change who I am. I can prevent imposing it on other people, and I try to do that. But it's a concern, and it bothers me. And I can whine about it all I like, which doesn't much change the situation at all.
Meanwhile, the afternoon rains are coming. I'm going to be soaked if I don't get up from here and go to the store!