Let’s Talk About Paula Deen, Y’all

HOO-WEE!

Talk about your classic “take foot –> insert into mouth” scenario.

The Queen of Butter has officially given her brand a nose dive thanks to a lawsuit that asserts her recent usage of racial slurs and sexual harassment (c/o her brother) in the workplace. People are shocked and shaken that Walmart, Target, Smithfield Ham, etc have booted her from their endorsement deals.

Maybe I can help shed some light on this particular racially charged kerfluffle:

Paula has admitted to, and apologized (however insincerely some people may consider it) for her use of such language past and present.

Allegedly, while talking to a former restaurant manager, Paul described her perfect idea of a plantation themed wedding party for her brother–one equipped with “n*ggers” (Paula’s word choice) dressed in pre-Civil War era costumes as waiters.

Basically, slaves.

Slaves as waiters at a wedding.

This isn’t like Colonial Williamsburg where having paid actors perform as slaves helps educate the masses. This is a hypothetical event that wants to bring back the south’s “Glory Days” where blacks were oppressed into serving meals on silver platters to people that truly believed that they owned them. She’s romanticizing slavery.

Newsflash: RACISM IN AMERICA IS ALIVE AND WELL. 

She said it, admitted to it, and people are coming to her defense.

COMING TO HER DEFENSE:

“I get it, believe me,” Ms. Green [a patron of Deen’s GA restaurant] said. “But what’s hard for people to understand is that she didn’t mean it as racist. It sounds bad, but that’s not what’s in her heart. She’s just from another time.”

Y’all, she is an old Southern White Woman. What do you expect? <– is basically what that defender is saying. 

And I agree. I believe that for the older generation, and some of the younger, racism is ingrained.

But that doesn’t mean that all of the companies that hired her brand have to associate with that. I’d drop her like a hot tamale.

“Oh, but rappers say it all the time and black people say it to each other, too.”

1) I am insulted by your generalization–not all black people choose to use that pejorative term, and

2) Many people held Paula in a much higher regard than your 10 top rappers combined. Does that mean she should stoop to using racial slurs? No, because it changes people’s image of her and, in essence, changes our image of her brand, and

3) It’s all about context. Rappers claim to use that word in order to dull it’s meaning–to claim it as their own to lessen the sting when it’s used by racists. Youngin’s these days don’t remember a time when that word was hurled from whites to blacks more powerfully than a 90 mph curve ball to the gut. Paula meant it in it’s original form, and the fact of the matter is: it is NEVER ok for anyone to call someone a racial slur. So Paula does not get a “pass”.

I really do like this lady’s cooking shows and I don’t doubt that Paula Deen is a nice woman. However, being from the south, let me just clarify that it’s completely possible to be a nice person and a racist. Just like it’s possible to be a homophobe and a nice person.

Considering the Supreme Court’s recent decisions re: the gay community, what do you think the backlash would have been if Paul substituted the “N” word for “fa*got”? I am one to think it would have had the same results–as it should.

I happen to agree with the message all of her endorsement partners are sending: bigotry doesn’t sell.

Photo Credit | The Cagle Post

Photo Credit | The Cagle Post

Advertisements

The Perfect (Sh*t) Storm

I’m dubbing this week “The Perfect Storm” and I’m furiously praying that it doesn’t turn into a sh*t storm.

Batten down the hatches and brace yourselves.

First: I have a full-time job. It’s a great job, with lots of flexibility and I am THANKFUL to be employed. Anytime I start kevetching about that aspect of my life, everyone and their Uncle Mike remind me about the tons of people that are currently jobless and struggling on welfare.

So YES, I am thankful to be employed. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have its downsides.

One of those being that, in a city like LA, the salary I am currently making ain’t cutting it.

So, this morning, I’m going on an interview for a weekend position. Directly after my “morning meeting” with my current position, I have to fly like a bat out of hell to get to across town in time.

This morning, I had to run back to my apartment no less than 4 times from about 4 blocks away because I kept forgetting various and sundry things (including a print out of my resume for my potential new job).

After I stopped hyperventilating, I placed a call to my Life Coach (thanks, Mom) who talked me off of the ledge I was so precariously teetering on.

I’m doing a podcast tonight in support of my buds Kickstarter project that’s sure to be contentious and rife with passionate debate.

Later this week, the thing I’m particularly LOVE/Dreading is an interview with an agent. 

YES, that’s right! I finally got entrée into the offices of someone that can help me book the BIG auditions. I wasn’t told to prep anything, but I really should have a monologue or two in my arsenal to prove my worth.

Guess what I don’t currently have prepared.

Yep, a monologue.

Throw that on the monstrous pile of to-do’s, don’t even THINK about catching up on all of that laundry, and  remember to eat/breathe/sleep/shower, and I’m running on pure adrenaline.

And coffee.

Lots of coffee.

 

Photo Credit | Google Images

Photo Credit | Google Images

 

Suffering for Fashion: LA Style

Let’s talk about something for a minute.

My lovely Los Angeles roommate is diligently working toward busting her way into the fashion industry. She’s got impeccable taste when it comes to style and clothing–should I eventually “make it big” she will be solely responsible for dressing me.

Me–who thinks wearing jeans and a t-shirt every single day is enough of a fashion statement. It goes without saying that I know nothing of the intricate world of fashion.

I also realize that runway fashion is much more “out there” than day-to-day clothing, even for the incredibly trendy. Take, for example, this delightful getup:

ifliz

Masks to hide her real appearance | Photo Credit: urlesque.com

Or this romp through “whimsical” fashion:

Photo Credit: TheFrisky.com

Photo Credit: TheFrisky.com

This kind of fashion is entertaining but not something you’d usually encounter walking down the street (even in LA).

What I don’t understand is suffering in the name of fashion.

1. Is it hot in here? Or is it just me?

I walked into Starbucks this morning and stood behind a woman dressed like this:

1013037_10100177851765507_1314602139_n

This is LA. It is summertime. It’s really stinkin’ hot, even in the early morning. Why you gonna wear a thick sweater, lady? That on top of the hot beverage she chose ensures that she’s sweltering the moment she steps back outside.

2. It’s raining, it’s (not) pooouring:

Again, I live in Los Angeles, guys, which means it rains maybe once a month during the spring and almost not at all in the summer.

HOWEVER.

When it does drizzle, you’ll find many women sauntering around Beverly Hills dressed as such:

Photo Credit | HerCampus.com

Photo Credit | HerCampus.com

As soon as a hint of humidity is detected, they whip out full rain gear. These fools don’t know nothin’ bout rainfall.

3. Q: “How’d you break your ankle?” A: “Walking.”

I have actually witnessed these types of shoes traipsing around Hollywood:

Why? | Photo Cred: Polyvore.com

Why? | Photo Cred: Polyvore.com

Or these:

WHY? | Photo Cred: Google Images

WHY? | Photo Cred: Google Images

WHY?!! | Photo Credit: Google Images

WHY?!! | Photo Credit: Google Images

Why torture yourself for one hour of fashion? Hope you enjoy those back surgeries later in life.

Although it won’t land me on the cover of vogue, I’m stickin’ to my jeans and t-shirts. My health insurance isn’t that great. Who’s is?

To stay up-do-date on all of Short and Feisty’s posts, click the Follow this blog button at the top right of this page. 

If Kickstarter Was Easy, Everyone Would Do It.

Hey y’all, it’s been a while.

How are you?

Are your azaleas blooming nicely?

You get that raise you wanted?

AWESOME. Glad I asked.

SO, before I continue on with my awesome Hawaiian adventure, I’m going to take a minute to insert another kind of adventure into the conversation.

CROWDFUNDING.

this is sparta kickstarter 2

And, forreal guys, this adventure is way more unpredictable than the other.

I’m helping my friend market her campaign to get her children’s picture book published.

You should definitely. Check. It. Out.

NewTeal

Here is the link to her project. 

Watch the video.

Get your heart warmed.

Then pledge.

It’s pretty much the cutest video with one of the most wonderful ideas to introduce kids to a different kind of family structure. I’m going to be pumping her project all over the internet because I truly believe in what she’s trying to accomplish.

BUT I figured I’d share a few insights into the journey, just in case you’re interested in creating a similar project:

  1. Kickstarter is “ALL OR NOTHING”: if this project doesn’t reach it’s goal, no one is charged. So there shouldn’t be any reason for people to hesitate on backing a project. Even if she doesn’t reach her goal, pledging to the project is like giving an internet “high five” and you lose nothing.
  2. The “Green Bar” effect: Kickstarter, and other sites like it, used to be about people backing projects that they believe in. Now, people aren’t inclined to donate unless they know it’s a “sure thing”, or until the little green ‘progress bar’ is filled in. Why this is? I have no idea. But most people don’t “jump on the bandwagon” until the wagon is pulling out of the corral. I think it’s because they think they’ll be charged WHEN they pledge, which we (the educated few) know is incorrect. See item #1 for further clarification.
    • That’s why it’s crucial that we reach out to friends and family (yes, you are my blogging familia!) to donate first to get the snowball effect going. We’re working on that, now.
  3. Finding one’s audience ain’t easy: I’ve sent out many emails on this project’s behalf and even helped my buddy, Angela, write her press release. Getting media onboard has been TOUGH. Many nanny agencies and a few nanny blogs have jumped on board, though, which is incredibly nice to see. But we’re still searching for those backers.

So, now I’m asking all of you in cyberspace: when you’ve watched the video and made your pledge, will you contact me and let me know if you have any media outlets out there willing to give this project some face time?

Maybe your uncle’s 3rd cousin works at your local news station.

Or maybe my blog is a ‘guilty pleasure’ read for someone who works for the New York Times.

Or maybe you have your own blog and would be willing to spread the word (if so, let me know your email address in the comments and I’ll be sure to give you more information).

Either way, holla at me! This project only has 28 more days of life, and my gal pal needs some pledges NOW.

(HERE IS THE LINK TO THE PROJECT ONE MORE TIME. CLICK IT!)

To stay up-do-date on all of Short and Feisty’s posts, click the Follow this blog button at the top right of this page. 

Don’t Go Chasin’ Waterfalls…Pt. 1

Actually, this entire post is the opposite of that warning in the title.

Because on a recent adventure to Hawaii, that’s exactly what I did.

I haven’t updated this blog in a criminally long period of time, so I better get on this before I forget all of the minutia that went in to this once-in-a-lifetime trek. I’ll write more about my trip as a whole at some later date–for now, here is the most life-altering experience I’ve had.

Brace yourselves.

I went to Hawaii to visit one of my dearest friends from college, who also happens to be my sorority sister. STOP. I know what you’re thinking with me using the “s” word, but it wasn’t anything like you see in the movies or the media. Well…it is a tiny bit. But put a gaggle of women in any small room and there’s bound to be some cattiness.

ANYWAY, I digress.

K and her husband, A, were nice enough to put up with me for almost a week. Understandably, a few of those days K had to work so A was tasked with taking me on a hike through the tropical Hawaiian rainforest.

Now, before I take you on this journey with me, keep in mind that I’m more of an ‘indoor girl’ than a ‘nature girl’. The last bit of hiking I did before this trip was as a pre-teen in Girl Scouts. I’m a bit sissified, by anyone’s standards, and hadn’t adequately trained for this kind of recreational activity. Furthermore, whoever considers this recreation, and not hard/backbreaking work, is a bit loopy.

Next, throw in the fact that is a well-trained, well-seasoned Marine and I’ve just signed up for a doozy of a hike.

A drove me along some scenic backroads to get to Maunawili Falls. Hawaiian forest surrounded us as we chugged through canopies of branches and drove through one lane, two way streets.

A map of our trail

A map of our trail

We parked on a side street in front of a barricade that blocked cars from driving on to the trails. Signs of the previous day’s rainfall were evident as soon as we approached the ankle deep mud that was to be our path along the entire route.

‘What have I done what was I thinking how will I survive,’ ticker-taped across my mind as my sneakers squelched with each step.

I followed closely behind A and tried to carefully place my feet exactly where his had been to reduce my chances of slipping, to no avail. We were on the trail barely five minutes when I had my first wipeout. The entire left side of my body was covered in mud and my hand tingled from where I made contact with the ground.

“Are you ok?” asked with concern.

Through my hysterical laughter I managed to assure him that I was fine and got back to my feet. Falling down in the mud was oddly freeing. I didn’t have to worry about keeping my clothes clean anymore and once I realized that no bones were broken, I wasn’t afraid to wipeout again. Some of the other people around us seemed to be terrified of getting a little dirty. But what’s a bunch of mud to a hardened explorer like myself?

“Besides,” continued as we trudged along, “mud is one of nature’s best mosquito repellants.”

He wasn’t lying, either, because I only had one bite on my body when we left. But, back to the story.

We edged through the narrow trail when we came upon a giant tree trunk strewn across our path. There was a way to walk around it but turned to me and said, “It’s your first trip to the falls–you need to climb over it to be initiated.”

Not one to back down from a challenge, I quickly scurried over the gargantuan tree as if I’d just graduated from Squirrel Training School. “Hells, yes,” I thought to myself, I am making this hike my biotch!

Not long after, I wiped out for a second time. Cue: peals of hysterical laughter. Happy as a pig in mud, ladies and gentleman. (I’m done with the animal analogies for the rest of the post, I promise).

We encountered tress so tall and thick with roots so large that we guessed they must have been growing for hundreds of years. We crossed a picturesque brook and I marveled at how replenishing it felt streaming through my shoes. I was so happy to be crossing that stream and feeling like a real-life Indiana Jones (minus the artifacts, destruction of ancient ruins, and bad guys with guns).

On the other side of that creek, though, stood some of the steepest, longest, most intimidating, staircases of steel and mud steps that I’ve ever seen in my entire 25 years of life. The following was just the beginning of the ascent and doesn’t do it’s steeper brethren any justice.

maunawili-falls

A baby staircase

Did I mention that I was hiking with a member of the US Marine Corps?

DID I?!

Because I was.

Hiking.

With a Marine.

Screw all the trainers in Los Angeles, you haven’t had a workout until you’ve climbed never-ending staircases made of dirt and metal with a member of America’s finest. I’ve mentioned previously that I’m a very competitive person–I had no intention of beating to the waterfalls, but I wasn’t going to fall behind, either.

About a bazillion stairs later, more winding mud filled paths, a couple more close-call-wipeouts, and we’ve made it to our destination.

And MY GOSH.

Maunawili_Falls_by_X5_442

That picture can’t do it justice. My breath fled my lungs when I set sights on that little beauty. Since it’d just rained the day before, the water wasn’t as murky as it looks, either.

“We’re not done yet,” informed me. “We’ve still got to climb up the fall to the left there and keep going to a second fall on top.”

Short and Feisty is afraid of heights. Noting her competitive streak, what do you think she did?

TO BE CONTINUED!