Friday, December 01, 2006

November Recap

Hey gang,
Apologies, first off! It's been a hectic, stressful, emotional rollercoaster month and I'm glad it's over. But for those who were curious about all that happened when I couldn't find the time to write, here you go!

Old Friends and Old Ghosts revisted
It gets strange, belonging to so many places. After a while, it starts to feel like you don't really belong anywhere.

As you know, I had to head back to the States to get my fiancee visa. Of course, I met up with as many friends as possible during that short visit.
Traveling back and forth to various places I used to live, to see friends hurts my head sometimes.
I constantly have to re-adjust my reality; speak in American terms again, wait out Sunday pro football and not complain when we head for another chain restaurant to eat too salty, over-fried fatty crap.
Happiness is closely followed by nostaglia and finally, sadness. I love and hate the phone calls from my people, telling me how much they miss me.
It's hard to see them for a lunch or a dinner--maybe once or twice before I leave again. I often feel furthest away from them, when we're out clubbing or I'm sitting across a table, play catch up and "who's seen who since..." game.
I want to steal them and tuck them away like a teddybear. Then, when I'm lonely or miss them or need them, I just bring out and hold them close.

We always have to talk about the good ole days. And with that, the old ghosts come back to haunt--and they feel just as real as when I knew them last.

I needed to go (back to my new) home and be away from my old life and walk in my new one. It's becoming to hard to distinguish my old friends from my old ghosts.
Both can be so bittersweet.

Entertainment and the N-word
Even I heard about all the hub-bub over Michael "Kramer" Richards. He's a comic who lost his cool during his show because some men heckled him. Even if you want to believe he's not racist, his anger drew upon something he knew would attack and demoralize another human being.
That was conscious thought in action. And really bullshit apology is going to make it better...especially when he chooses to explain the "fifty years ago we would have had you upside down with a fork in your ass" comment.

It's for examples such as Richards that so many people want to banish the word right out of the English language.
Course, that's not possible or even realistic. The erasure of the word won't wipe away the deep-seated problems we (and I meant WE) have with race and racism in the world.

What's most perplexing is that comedy has often been the safe-space to dredge up controversial, explosive issues.

Onto the other side of the pond: Last week, BBC radio called me to participate in a conversation with others,featuring Reginald Hunter having to explain (or defend) his reason for using the n-word in the title of his standup show, I mentioned that I saw his posters everywhere promoting his show in Edinburgh back in the summer.
I did catch the show, which incidentally, had little to do with the title. Apparently, this show title has caused some tensions and the On air, last week, he explained that he sees no reason to hide from the word--that it does not make someone not racist if they still hold such beliefs but choose not to use the n-word.
Here are some of Mr. Hunter's own responses to various questions and complaints from people black and white expressed via phone and email messages throughout the show:

Reg: “I understand. I’m not too surprised. I don’t want that word having power over me. If you want the word to lose its power then remove it from its special place.”

T is in Detroit: “I disagree with the use of the word. Not everybody may have the strength he does to not let it get power over them. He’s from a Southern state – I don’t get it. Not everybody is capable of using common sense. . . .

Reg: “There’s a reason why people can’t use common sense is cos there’s an unofficial reaction we’re supposed to have.”

Reg: “Hearing a word uttered doesn’t give me the right to get with piissy with someone.”

Reg: “I’m not upset with TFL’s (Transport For London) decision. That’s part of your job to keep the peace. My pov is a more artistic mandate, Through comedy I like to point out certain things in society.”

Reg: “There is a thing sometimes about American black imperialism. Anyway, the irony for me is that I know people who are racist but who would never say the word nigger. People think by not saying the word racism will disappear. That’s just not so.”

An email from a listener: “Did you do this for publicity?”

Reg: “It was genuinely an attempt to do a piss-take on Jane Austen. Sometimes you forget other people don’t have your sense of humour. I am quite surprised at what’s come back.”

My First Thanksgiving in Britain
Wow! I didn't think it was going to happen. I love Turkeyday! It has none of the stress of Christmas time. You are simply required to give thanks for what you have and eat as much as your stomach can handle.
But there would be no cheesy Macy's Day Parade to watch as I prepare all the courses. Everyone would be working Thursday and so what would be the point?

Andy, ever sympathetic and loving, demanded we do Thanksgiving to take away a bit of my homesickness. We scheduled it on the Sunday after the real Turkeyday to guarantee patrons.
This is Britain and thus, we hit a few snags along the way. Finding a turkey before Dec. was a chore! But thankfully, a few large chain grocery stores understand that there are 1 or 2 ex-patriots living in the area and stocked 2 frozen birds. We grabbed one and ran! (Well, we paid and all but you know what I mean)
2 snag--Britain does NOT make pies in the same way we do in the US. We searched high and low for the proper pie dish for my sweet potato souffle pie.
Andy was so sweet...almost annoyingly so, trying to track down the right size, shape, and depth for a dish.

"What about this one?" he asked.
"That's a cake pan," I muttered.
"What about this one?" he tried again.
"That's a TART pan," I gritted through my teeth, barely containing my anger and frustration.

He went online to Amazon and found something like a pie dish and had it shipped the next day. A darling of a man.
It was...ok. Not really what we use. But one adapts so I made one in that dish and a larger one in a tart pan.
A success, despite the changes.

We invited two couples and the 6 of us feasted on a delicious free-range turkey I kept in a brine solution for 24hrs. The typical fixings were there: corn, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans topped with hollandise sauce and bacon bits, stuffing.
My stuffing was amazing: brioche base, with carmelized garlic and onions, mushrooms sauteed in Marsala wine, pork and herb sausage.
An amazing combination!

For everyone but myself and one other Brit, it was a first time event for the others. I was a bit surprised how excited and curious everyone was about the tradition and layout of dishes. The dessert was certainly something new for them as well.
What a shame that most Brits just don't know the esctasy of sweet potato pie.

Everyone drank a ton, conversed over intellectual to stupid topics, and stuffed themselves silly!

It was a success. And as exhausted as I was after 2 days of preparing and cooking, I was happy--even more so, cause Andy did all the dishes!

My final word: some of you were told personally by me; some of you guessed; and now the rest of you can know that I'm knocked up. I'm four months along with possibly Britain's first Haitian Highlander baby! So, next up: my 1st wedding!!


At Dec 3, 2006, 1:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peggy, congrats. We just produced a progeny last wednesday (boy, 8 lbs). It's really something different.

At Dec 5, 2006, 5:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats to you too John! And Peg, good update. That black girl in your pics is so hot! ; )

At Dec 8, 2006, 9:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

congratulations or felicitations i should say to improve my wack french. such great news. keep us updated with all the going's on.

and on a note about going to the US, it is naturally going to be sad but you are opening a new chapter in your life. and keep writing in it!

At Dec 10, 2006, 6:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny,I heard that "Haitian Highlander" was the next movie in the Highlander series...

Keep us posted on wedding dates...TJ & I are up for a UK visit (actually, TJ was in Leeds in Novemeber, but it was ALL business).

At Dec 12, 2006, 5:03:00 PM, Blogger Courtney Desiree Morris said... put up our picture. We miss you, too and totally understand the bittersweetness of seeing people you love and moving forward into your life. Just know that you do so with all of your love and support and you are always welcome to crash here, reminisce, chill, or just laugh about the good ol' days and the beautiful new ones.


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