I want to note first that Elaine has started her site and it's called Like Maria Said Paz. This is my first time online since I learned she'd started her own site so I'll add her to the blogroll tonight.
Wednesdays are really church nights for me and it's pretty much impossible for me to blog most Wednesday nights. But Elaine and I were talking and she said that since she's not blogging every day, she'd be happy to grab Wednesdays. So on Wendesdays, you can always expect something new at Like Maria Said Paz.
That really is a relief for me because I'm not sure what this site is going to be like. And I did feel like I would be letting people down more than lifting them up. Elaine's last Friday blogging, I had called her after I read her kind words to everyone. I knew she was thinking about doing a site (but I didn't know she decided until I read Mike's interview) and we were talking again about blogging and how I believe in Kat's attitude: write when you have something to say. But how I also feel bad about knowing that on hump day each week, it's unlikely I'll ever have anything to say. So when she offered to grab Wednesdays, it really was a relief.
And I want to tell her and the community that she need to just blog when she has the time. I love C.I. and The Common Ills but C.I.'s always posting. Several times a day. Then you have Rebecca and Mike who do it Monday through Friday each day. Then you have The Third Estate Sunday Review that only blogs once a week but it's mulitple things each week. Poor Betty's trying to like crazy to do her novel twice each week. That's what Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man is, a novel. She's got to be creative and think of things that other people don't have to worry about. She puts in a lot of work on her site. Then there's Kat and now me just writing when we have the time and something to say. And I hope everyone will understand that Elaine's got a lot going on in her life and a demanding job (she's a psychologist).
So if you find yourself thinking, I wish she'd write more, realize that's a good thing. Better to want more of Elaine. I love the look of her site and I love her stuff.
Now about my homey Mike. Next Wendesday, he'll have an interview with me at his site Mikey Likes It! We're going to do that on Tuesday because I won't have time on Wednesday but that's just to make sure everyone knows.
Mike is crazy in the best sense of the word. He's like this ball of energy. He's always tossing things around in his head and he's just an amazing man.
My neighbors think I'm a dope head because of Mike. I'm not joking. Last week, we all worked on a roundtable at The Third Estate Sunday Review and it got lost and didn't post. But one thing that happened in it was Mike wanted everyone to think of one thing we could each do for the environment. I recycle and a lot more so I didn't think there was anything more I could do which shows you how stupid and complacent I can be. But Mike said finally, "What about air freshners? You use air freshners?"
Course I do. I don't want to be fouling up the crib. So Mike's talking about how the can itself isn't reused and how the spray is bad . . . I said, "I'm not letting my place get stinky." I'm good about a lot of things except carrying the trash out nightly. There's at least one night a week, usually Wednesday, when I'm just too tired to bother. I'll come in the next evening after work and with the trash sitting in the trash can and the air conditioner off all day and the whole place just baking, it will smell awful and I always reach for the can of air freshner.
So people started tossing out ideas and one idea was pou porri. I don't like that stuff. I have an aunt who put some out three years ago and the same stuff is still out. It's dried out and I don't like the smell from it. So then someone suggested scented candals. Then Mike said incense and Kat had a long list of fragrances I might like.
Incense is really big at Mike's house and that was interesting to me because to me it's always just been something people use to cover the smell of drugs. But for Mike, who's Catholic, it can also remind him of his faith. I've never been to a Catholic church and Mike and Kat were telling me about all the rituals involved in Christmas Mass.
Too late to type "long story short." But I bought some, and sniffed the box like Kat suggested to make sure I'd like the smell, and so on Thursday I come home and there's the smell. I was tired because I visited the guys at the nursing home but I took the trash out right away. Smell was still there so I lit a stick of incense and burned it and it really seemed to wipe out the smell. Ever since, I've been lighting sticks like crazy.
Got an e-mail from Blue and he told me he loved the new look here and that he thought it was awesome that I linked to The Chicago Defender. I agree that The Defender is an excellent paper but I need to give credit where it's due because I'd never heard of it until C.I. linked to it at The Common Ills during the John H. Johnson thing where the mainstream was acting like it was no big deal that Johnson died. Since then, it's been noted at least once a week, usually more, at The Common Ills and C.I. put it on the blog roll over there. It's independent media and it's Afro-centric so I wanted to note it too. I've learned a lot of resources thanks to The Common Ills so I wanted to back up that attitude by noting some here. I hope people will check it out but, if they don't, if they just know it's out there, I think that's cool. In June, I didn't even know there was a weekly black newspaper in Chicago. Now I find myself visiting it and I think they've done a really great job with their coverage of the hurricane. I also think that they present a strong African-American voice and that we need those.
I don't mean Bill Cosby who I found kind of offensive. It seemed to me and a lot of my friends like he was trying to score on the backs of blacks, trying to score with white people. The Chicago Defender seems to have common sense as well as a strong sense of purpose. And we need to know about the resources we have out there. Starting today, I'm going to try to link to something from the paper every week. Today I want to suggest that you read Jesse Washington's "Katrina Inspires Unprecedented Outpouring Of Aid In Black America" which is an important story about how African-Americans are digging deep to help out the victims of Hurricane Katrina and the Bully Boy.