Monday, October 31, 2011

Shame on You.....

Life, it’s pretty much a rollercoaster ride for all of us at some point.  My particular rollercoaster needs to be named, and I think I will call it infinity, because truly, it never seems to end.  As you all know we are STILL dealing with the lawsuit against the Otay Water Department, Eastlake Development, et al. Yes, still.  I know….four and half years later and it continues to go on and on!  Even though we won in a jury trial over seven months ago, here we are today dealing with appeals, cross complaints, cross lawsuits and a big fat MESS, otherwise known as our “justice” system.

Not only are we still being bullied by the big guys, I mean, Otay Water and Eastlake Development, but now more bullies want to join in on the fun.  Wells Fargo Bank, who carries the loan on our long ago closed store decided that they weren’t making enough money off the rest of the world, so not only did they sue us a couple of years ago for a loan on our store that was destroyed by Otay Water’s negligence, but now they have put liens against my home and my business partner’s home because the lawsuit continues to take too long.  Yes, you heard me….first they sued us for the loan and then they said to themselves, “Hmm, since we haven’t gotten the money from these people yet and even though we know they are still in the middle of a lawsuit, let’s put liens on their homes and crush the victims even more.”  Okay, they might not have said those exact words, but it sure feels like it!  I even wrote to the CEO of Wells Fargo back when they first sued us and explained the entire lawsuit.  I told him we had every intention of paying our loan when this was over and by no means were we trying to get out of any of our responsibilities.  They just needed to wait in line with everyone else until the suit was over.  The well is dry and the turnip has no blood left.  I guess the CEO needed some fast cash, because he didn’t want to hear it.  The response back was from his attorney to my attorney. Instead of having the human decency to contact me, he had his attorney do his dirty work.  How sad, how typical, how expected. I was hoping for more.  I was hoping for change.  Alas, the banks continue on with their greed even when the victim is being victimized.  Pitiful and just plain wrong!

There is no job title, position, or amount of money that makes it okay to destroy people’s lives.  I hope one day that companies find compassion, and people stop doing what they are told, and instead start doing what is right.  Shame on you- Otay Water, Eastlake Development, and Wells Fargo- for losing your soul’s to the system.  Will it be worth it in the end?  I wonder?

In the meantime, while we continue to fight the good fight, I refuse to let any of them get in the way of my dreams.  My husband told me that he married me because I’m one of the strongest women he knows.  So, that being said, I’m going to continue to grow stronger every day no matter how many hurdles continue to get thrown my way.

I am proud to say, not only am I writing my book, This is Me….Coming Out of the Darkness, while also working on a movie based on the same book, (thank you my dear friend Amy Ferris for the Director introduction), I’m also writing for the Shame Prom anthology AND I just signed a book contract to write the book; Divorce, Dance, or Dare.  It doesn’t end there.  Recently I was asked to be a partner….yes, a partner, in an amazing new company called Decision Point.  This is going to be a company that helps people during the biggest decision points of their lives. It’s what I live and breathe for.  It’s going to be incredible and life changing for so many, and I’m honored to be a part of it!

I’m pinching myself at how even during the darkest of times- with faith, family, friends, support and LOTS of hard work- dreams not only come true again, but they can be even more fantastic the second time around!

Monday, October 17, 2011

"Oh, You're Together?"

It's funny, when my husband and I are together, whether in a restaurant, standing in line somewhere, even at a hospital, people aren't quite sure if we are a couple.  A while back I was in the emergency room (that's another crazy story for another day) and we were waiting for the doctor.  When he finally came in and introduced himself, he shook my hand and then looked at Jamie, shook his hand and said, "You are?".......long pause.......I finally finished his sentence and said, "Husband."  He said, "Oh, well, you just never know these days." Yeah right!  We all know if Jamie had been white the doctor would have automatically assumed he was my husband, but since he was black he just didn't go there.  Funny don't you think!?  I’m so used to it at this point it hardly even gets to me, well, maybe just a little.  The same thing happens to us in restaurants when we are waiting for a table.  Unless we are holding hands or wrapped around each other, which we try not to do in public, it's always, "Oh, you're together?"  Really?  Are “we” such a shock?  This is southern California for goodness sake and last I checked it is 2011.  Isn't it?

One of the more comical "Oh, you're together moments,” was when I was having surgery years ago.  I woke up post surgery and asked for my husband.  I wanted him by my side, AND he also had my glasses so I couldn't see a darn thing!  No contact lenses allowed during surgery.  I was blind as a bat!  The nurse said she checked the family waiting room and he wasn't there.  I knew he was, because he would make sure he was there when I woke up.  That is just the kind of guy he is.  I asked her to check again.  She did, and she then went on to describe who was in the room and once again she was determined that he was not there. Well guess what "nurse ratchet," (I only say that because she got irritated with me) the black man you just described in the waiting room, is my husband!  She didn't even ask him if he was with me.  Imagine?  I kindly told her the big black man was my husband and after turning a few shades of red, she went back to the waiting room one last time, but this time she brought my hubby back with her.  I finally had him back by my side AND I could see again!  Hopefully, the nurse’s vision became just a little clearer that day too. 


Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Sculpture Garden SFSU

It's all about college tours at the Wise house right now.  We just returned from San Francisco State University, which is Tatiana's first choice for college.  She chose SFSU for many reasons;  The first being their dance program which is her major, the second because she loves the city, and the third because of the culture and diversity that SFSU offers. 

Prior to going to San Fran we visited a couple of other campuses.  One of the recent campus tours we went on was a total bust, and originally it was her second choice!  From the very first moment we drove into the parking lot Tatiana said, "I'm not feeling this campus at all."  The entire day went that way.  It was just a vibe that she had, or actually lack thereof.  Then we went to SFSU and her reaction was the polar opposite!  Tatiana stepped onto campus and instantaneously smiled from ear to ear.  She was home.  Jamie even said, "I can totally see you going to school and living here.  This is you."  At this point we had only been there for, oh, about five minutes!  It was like the campus had a heartbeat of its own.  It was full of life, color, music, laughter, beautiful architecture, people from all over and so much more!  Jamie and I were ready to go back in time and attend school with her.  She would be horrified and would quickly veto us, but it sure sounded like a good idea, at least to us!

One of the things that is not only important to Tatiana but important to us as parents of a mixed race child, is that she goes to a university that is filled with diversity.  To say that SFSU is diverse would be an understatement.  It lives and breathes diversity!  The students that attend SFSU are from every race and religion you can imagine.  We got a very clear picture of that when we walked to the heart of the campus which is called Malcom X Plaza. The plaza is filled with music and festivities and also houses the Cesar Chavez Student Center.  The more we walked and the more we saw, the more we fell in love with the campus and all it had to offer.  Notice I keep saying we.  We truly fell in love with SFSU right along with her and for her.  It is such an exciting time in her life!  The diversity clincher was when we were on the tour and the guide told us about the College of Ethnic Studies.  This is the only program of its kind in the nation and SFSU offers it.  Hello diversity!  

Needless to say by the time we were done with the tour and our day spent on campus, Tatiana was ready to move in.  Instead she did the next best thing.  She applied.  The applications for Fall 2012 opened up the following day, so she jumped online, filled out the application, went over it with a fine tooth comb and hit submit!  While she was filling out her info., this time I had a smile from ear to ear, not only because I was so excited for her, but also because I saw that she was able to choose two or more races/ethnicity's as her race on the application.  I was thrilled!  Back in the day when Tat was entering kindergarten I had to choose one race and one race only.  I will never forget how that made me feel.  Now, not only was there an option for two races, but when she got to the gender section the options were male, female, transgender, or non-gender specific.  How cool is that!?  I had never seen that on any application before. My how times have changed.  I love it!  Equality all the way around. 

That, my friends, is progress. 

Just as it should be. 

Thank you San Fran!