Roommates? I think not.

There’s been so much drama in my life lately and im not about this nonsense.

The worst of it all is baby daddy bullshit. Someone that used to be a very close friend to me, has decided to use my sons father for a place to live smh. Her and I stopped being friends months ago because I learned that I really cant trust her. About a week or so ago, I show up at Sams (baby daddy) to drop Joshua off for his day and Lexx is there.. weird considering they don’t know each other in the slightest. He pulls me aside and tells me that hes never spoken to her and that she randomly texted him and asked to come over. I knew this was trouble from that moment.. just cause I know lexy. Low and behold, 3 days later.. they are dating and shes moving in for good. HOLD UP! you just met this girl.. you know we had a falling out cause shes grimy and you know she got kicked out of her grandparents for stealing money… yet your letting her move into your home. where my son also lives? yea no. So I went and filed for custody and ofcourse, granted the situation I was given temporary emergency custody pending a court hearing. After telling Sam this, he finally gives into my compromise of not taking it to court, as long as lexy finds somewhere else to stay when he has Joshua there. This worked for a week… then Tuesday I called him and said that I decided to allow Lexy to be there Wednesdays since its only 3-4 hours before Joshua goes to bed anyway. but still no weekends with her there.

today he tries to tell me that shes going to babysit him next thurs and Friday so he doesn’t have to miss work. (Joshuas school is closed all week for Xmas vacation so I took off mon and tues and half day wed, the rest was his responsibility) uhmm.. no. I didn’t even trust her to babysit when we were actually friends.. he must have bumped his damn head. So now im just going to go back to the court house and continue with the custody and make it all legal. When the judge originally heard that he moved her in the day they met, he literally laughed and said he doesn’t stand a chance because he doesn’t know this woman living there. EXACTLY MY POINT! Every adult that isn’t his friend or his parents see how bad this is.. to sudden force Joshua to live with another woman AND another child. Now hes even peeing his pants again at school and even the school agreed it was because of this situation and are writing a letter as such for me to use in court. He doesn’t care about the wellbeing of his child which is what hurts me. Everything is “well she needs a place to stay…” well lets think about why she had to call a stranger that she didn’t know.. why couldn’t she call family, friends, anyone else. OH probably because she already fucked they all over so bad they wouldn’t allow to stay there. It kills me because I know this wont end well.. shes going to live there until the resource has ran dry. she will play love, play house.. because hes giving her a free place to stay. She unemployed, hardly takes care of her own child.. her grandparents buy EVERYTHING which means now sam will be. I know her well enough to know that this is all a very clever ruse. but he will find out in his own time.

truthfully.. I want sam to be happy. I know he has been in a rough place since our separation and he needs someone to brighten up his days a bit. But this is the one for him.. I know her too well and obviously I know him to well.. this isn’t the right move. But unfortunately.. hes going to stay with ANYONE that shows him attention and she knows the right cards to play to have a free place to live. this upsets me.. she doesn’t want him, she wants a house. Just like how she used and cheated on her fiancé of like a million years. I wish he would just find some nice girl, and settle down. Someone that would be a good stepmom to Joshua and help Sam turn his life around. but for now.. its going to be a custody fight.. well not really a fight cause the judge already said this is a joke. but you know.. the last thing I want to do is keep Joshua from Sam and vice versa.. we were coparenting so well and getting along. Even were hanging out as a family, getting dinner and did thanksgiving together.. just for Lexy to ruin it all. We will never be able to do family stuff together while shes in the picture. but I cant allow for her to uproot and change all of Joshuas life.. his standard is mommy and daddy.. not mommy and daddy and lexy and Ava and it wont be changing this suddenly. If sam and lexx were just dating then im so okay with that.. I hope they find happiness. But her living there will be a fight for months. This was a horrible parenting choice for sam to make and I just cant imagine and believe that he cant see how this is hurting him. hes losing his home to another kid.. and another female. hes losing his dad to another female. its a horrible situation. When did just dating become outdated? Oh … that’s right… because shes using him for a place to live.

I wish I could say I hope this all turns out well but I know it wont.. 1 of 2 things can happen here.. she can find another place to live and they continue dating and custody stays 7-/30 as its been. OR she continues to live there and I take full custody. I hate that option but she wont be a fulltime figure in my childs life until they have been dating atleast a few months and I know its real..

Last Nights Win (Recipe)

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Recipe
(Makes 1 loaf)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter (equivalent to 1 stick of butter), melted
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 over-ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, stir the melted butter and sugar together.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix well.  Set the wet ingredients aside.
  4. In a separate large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.
  5. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
  6. Add in the yogurt and the mashed bananas and mix until just combined.
  7. Gently stir in the chocolate chips.
  8. Spread evenly into a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan.
  9. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.  If you stab a chocolate chip, try again.  It might be done even if you have chocolate goo on your tester.
  10. Cool the loaf in the pan for at least 15 minutes before cutting into it.

Day 6

List 5 ways to win your heart.

1st. I don’t like this one.. I don’t need to give people the ideas of how to be fake to draw me in.. eventually the real  you will always show and you would’ve wasted your and my time.. im not about that life.. but for the sake of this writing challenge…

  1. Understand that before I am a  girlfriend or friend, I am a mother. If I have to cancel plans or reschedule something because of anything related to my child and you give me grief about it, the chances of seeing me again are slim. If you are understanding and respectful I will feel the relief I need. He is my forever, you aren’t a guarantee.
  2. Don’t have the expectations of changing me. Lets be honest, I don’t change for anyone. Im hard headed and stubborn and you wont be able to change that. So if you can love me for who I am, exactly the way I am, ill love you 10x harder.
  3. Show an interest in the parts of my life that don’t involve you. Ask about my day at work, how my kid is, how my friends are doing if ive talked about them.. these are all important aspects of my life and to show in interest in something that isn’t just our relationship shows me you could be around for the long run.
  4. Don’t make it about sex. Let me clarify this.. obviously sex is important in any relationship and a physical connection needs to be a strong one. However, for me to become fully involved with someone I need to know we can just be together, without being together. If we cant make it through a movie without your hands down my pants or if we cant cuddle without you immediately making the moves towards sex, then I wont see a long term thing going with you. Life gets complicated and things happen. I need to know that the person im with, can just spend time with me and still be just as happy.
  5. Be openminded. I hate to argue and to have to prove a point.  Its just not what im into. This means that I need someone who is open minded. I can have a different view than you, a different opinion, different morals and beliefs. Don’t try to “prove your right”, I don’t care. Im 28 years old and have made my choices for reasons. You wont change my views. So respect mine, ill respect yours and we will live happily.

“Pokémoning While Black”

((**NOT MY WORK**)) ((A REPOST FROM EVERY SOCIOLOGY))

Angelique Harris and Jonathan Wynn

Have you been swept up in the Pokémon Go phenomenon? For those of you who haven’t: Pokémon Go is a virtual reality game that uses real places and a cellphone’s GPS, and the goal of the (mostly) free game is to search for and collect different Pokémon characters: Doduos, Tentacools, Onixes, Smeargles, Drowzees, and over a hundred others. (We have absolutely no idea what these names actually mean.)

We didn’t know it was coming, but all the sudden people were out on the streets with their phones, pointing to street corners and talking with strangers.

On the one hand, this seems to be a fantastic way for people to get out and in the streets, interacting with strangers: There have been stories in the media of people meeting in uncommon places at uncommon times. This is what urban sociologist William H. Whyte called “triangulation:” when some external third thing, like a mime or a public statue gets two strangers to interact.There have been some interesting uses of the game. There is a social media campaign that posts pictures of Syrian refugee children with Pokémon Go characters to help bring attention to the over 11.3 million Syrian refugees who have been displaced thus far in the civil war. A Michigan Children’s Hospital quickly realized that they could use the game as a form of physical therapy for patients. (Other hospitals are less keen about the game.) TechCrunch offers another example of an animal shelter in Muncie, Indiana, that tries to get people to take a sheltered dog out for a walk while playing Pokémon Go.

Conde Nast Traveler notes that the game is pushing people to explore their cities, communities, and public facilities, and to interact with strangers. (Although the Holocaust Museum wasn’t thrilled with the use of the game in their building.) A game that getspeople out of the house and using public spaces, is likely a good thing too: almost 1/3 of the U.S. population is obese and only 27% of high school students get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day. It is clear that Pokémon Go creators intended for their game to be used to encourage players to interact with their physical environment as opposed to simply in a virtual one. Yet, a latent, or unintended consequence, of this game is that it makes us acknowledge that all gamers are not the same.

There are many things that were likely not taken into consideration during the conception of Pokémon Go. It appears that creators seem to take for granted that we all have the same access to and experiences within public spaces. We know that social experiences are shaped by everything from race, gender, and sexual identity, and they intersect with body shape/size and physical ability as well. And recent news has brought attention to the video game industry’s rampant racism and sexism. The controversy has been called “Gamergate.”

Let’s take a moment and think of those more traditional video games. Think of games like Mario Brothers and the Legend of Zelda to more recent ones like the Grant Theft Auto franchise, God of War, and World of Warcraft. Most of these games feature male lead characters with women playing either sex objects, victims in need of rescuing, or are basically ignored. (This isn’t even saying anything about the increased violence found in video games.) Although recent research argues that more people of color and women agree that there is ample racial and gender representation in video games, critics argue that games are created for and by the White male gaze, by that we mean that they were created for and from the perspectives and experiences of men, and mostly White men – what they like, what they have experienced, and what they might have access to. This is an example of what sociologists mean by structural racism. Although not always intentional, the privileging and normalizing of White experiences further oppresses and marginalizes people of color.

This brings us back to Pokémon Go, which gets us thinking about how these virtual concerns spillover into the lived domain, and how concerns about the offline world shape augmented reality. Anyone with access of Facebook and other forms of social media has seen that Blacks have routinely been assaulted or apprehended by simply entering public spaces such as playing at a pool party, riding a bicycle through parking lot, playing in park, or even holding a toy gun in Walmart. The Pokémon Go phenomenon illustrates how Black and Brown youth and adults do not have the same access to public spaces as their non-Black and Brown peers. As such, Pokémon Go should make us reconsider access to public spaces and our experiences within them.

However, access to public space isn’t just racialized. One of us (Wynn) has a forthcoming book chapter about how geocaching, another technology-meets-reality game wherein players hide secret “caches” of miscellany in public places, was deeply problematic in the post-9/11 New York City. People, including the Department of the Interior, were highly suspicious of men and women hiding small packages around the city at the time as in NYC, people are often told, “If you see something, say something.”

However, public spaces are not only policed by police officers, but also by everyday people. For instance, in the UK, police have asked people to stop calling them about their Black neighbors because they feel they look “suspicious” even if those people are either doing nothing or walking through their own neighborhoods. And there are a number of incidents of people of color being mistaken for criminals and assaulted for walking around their own neighborhoods.

Unsurprisingly, this fear of Blacks, and in particular fear of Black men, takes on new meaning when a game encourages players to wander in public spaces. If you Google “Pokémon Go While Black” you will see the scores of pages either cautioning Black men to not play the game or warning them to be safe while they played the game. There is, for example, the story of the Iowa football player who was stopped by police while playing Pokémon Go because he matched the description of a robbery suspect. He described his experience in a lengthy Facebook post, which later went viral, and warned people to pay attention to their surroundings.

In addition to the dangers faced by Black men who play the game, we also find reports that Pokémon Go characters seem to be less common in African American communities and spaces where Blacks would likely feel more comfortable. (There was a game called Ingress that predated Pokémon Go, and the Miami Herald points out how there are fewer stops in Black neighborhoods in Detroit, Washington D.C., and New York City.)

It is a phenomenon even more surprising and disturbing considering the obvious overrepresentation of Pokémon Go in urban areas. (Washington D.C. is an interesting case because, the Miami Herald notes, the downtown is minority-majority, but has more Pokémon Go locations than most cities because of the abundance of historical sites and monuments.)

Some have argued that this could be because of the lack of monuments and central sites in these communities where players can capture Pokémon Go characters. (This, in a way, means that Pokémon Go only indicates an even more serious concern: a lack of public resources in African American neighborhoods!) Others have simply noted that White players might not feel as comfortable going into these spaces, again, reinforcing the notion that these games are designed for White players.

It is certainly likely that the creators of Pokémon Go had no intention of the game igniting so many discussions concerning race and access to public space. However, the designers of a game that uses the real world ought to consider the non-virtual implications of these non-trivial social dynamics. Any sociology student could have told them: Society is so much more complex than any video game!