Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I learned how to purl last night.

Last night I drove home and went to the gas station with the cheapy gas. It was filled with loud cars and I was separated from the station attendant by several inches of bullet-proof lucite. It was a box with two doors. The attendant opened the door ONLY after the customer closed their door.

I was wary of these conditions.

The gentleman in line in front of me answered the question I had in my head. He was sporting a long white t-shirt and jeans and speaking to a woman companion who had asked why the store door was closed before 9 pm. He responded that people were hella scared in Oakland in an ironic tone, sorta rolling his eyes at the gas station attendant. They were both Black and the station attendant was a very timid Asian woman whose first language did not appear to be English.

I asked for $2.50 on pump number 2. I returned to my car and realized I was at pump number 5 only after I tried to pump the gas and the pump wasn't working.

I returned to the window and the attendant at the Park Street ARCO station at 9pm last night indicated that someone pumped my gas and that I would have to pay for it again if I wanted to get gas. She then pointed to the handwritten sign saying that if you give the wrong pump number and someone else pumps your gas, it's your responsibility.

I could NOT believe it.

I was INCENSED. I had ONLY $2.50 to put gas in my car, which isn't even a GALLON, so it's not like I am BALLING on any level. I couldn't believe that I was in a place where there was SO little in the way of customer service. It made me mad that there are communities where suspicion trumps customer service, where the customer is made to feel like a criminal EVEN BEFORE MAKING THEIR PURCHASE.

I was UPSET because I was out $2.50 and whomever pumped my gas must have needed it more than I. I drove home on my fumes and wondered how many yogurt containers I could cash in the morning in order to get $3.00 of gas in my car to cross the bridge and have bridge toll money.

I got home and was in a HUFF! I checked my mail and my father's weekly envelope with $3.00 was there. Thank goodness.

As I stewed and sauteed some cabbage in sesame oil for a simple meal I thought about how disappointed I can be in humanity.

I spoke with Lara about it and life in general and in her infinite wisdom she made me feel much better. Yay.

I then decided to eat.

After munching on my cabbage I picked up the yarn and needles again. I undid my first piece and after talking with Megan on Saturday, I remembered to make BIG stitches. So I did. I remembered the casting on, and I made several rows of the first stitch (knitting). Then I turned the page in the book and looked at the illustration of the purling. It's like a reverse knit.

Hrm...and I s-l-o-w-l-y recreated the illustration. The loop came off correctly and I continued...and a row was made. So then I had TWO stitches...knitting and purling, and I noticed my rows of loose stiches were coming together in a nice pattern. Nestled in my bed I felt so satisfied. My eyelids became heavy, and though I tried to finish reading more of By the River Piedra, I couldn't. I turned on the BBC to listen to stories about the Pakistani protests of the killing of a tribal leader in the northern region of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan...and fell asleep.

Monday, August 28, 2006

511.org Makes Me Anglicize City Names and It P!$$ED ME OFF!!!

powered by ODEO
Listen and see if you get what I was feeling!

Happy Birthday, Elvis Costello

On Friday, one of my favourite artists in the whole world celebrated his birthday: Elvis Costello.

I first remember him and Daryl Hall doing a duet on some random Radio 1990 Saturday night. The video was so much fun.

Those Buddy Holly glasses, the wit of the lyrics.

My junior year in high school, I fell in love with Veronica, penned by Paul McCartney on the Spike album. He was painted like a Harlequin clown on the album cover.

I listen to the album over and over. The dark lyrics of "Let 'im Dangle" helped me through the first of my parents' many separations and being terrorized by my sister. I was a square, but inwardly there was a little punk/goth girl in me. My hair was poufy like Tootie's, maybe, but I was sporting a mohawk tinged blue at the tips and painting my lips black on the inside. It's a hot look when you're in a Catholic school girl uniform.

My next great memory of Elvis was rediscovering the early stuff in the 70s. The punk Elvis. I felt he was kindred.

Fast-forward a few years. On NPR there's a story about Elvis doing some classical stuff and a few years later I hear that he's collaborating with Burt Bacharach. Painted from Memory was born and I wore out 3 copies of that CD. He was one of the artists that eluded my ticket stub collection. I never seemed to catch him when he was in town.

But I played that album over and over, memorizing the lyrics, and letting tears roll each time that beginning solo violin opened "This House Is Empty Now." They were happy, moved tears.

And I finally got to see him in Portland last year. He was electric, live, and closed with "Allison." He played several different guitars and I drew and journaled every moment of it as I watched the show.

He's done Celtic tributes, classical, jazz, blues, rock, and always kept the same style. He's married to jazz vocalist Diane Krall. I was insanely jealous at the time. But I've come to a place of acceptance with that.

As long as he keeps the music going. 28 years of music and counting. Your aim is true excellence in music.

Happy Birthday.

Take Action, Get Action...

Hell, I feel like I was a pioneer of the online dating thing back in 1994. I met a doctor from Boston the semester after I dropped out of Syracuse University.

I even moved to California as a result of a relationship.

And ever since I have flirted with the online dating thing because that's what I KNEW.
I've met some people in person. Had short-term relationships, and have a decent track record of remaining friends with people when the romance proves not the most effective part of the relationship. But in all honesty, I haven't had a long term, in-person relationship REALLY since my first boyfriend, Dave from college.

And so here I am, about 16 years into my dating experience and a friend of mine sends me the link to Act for Love. It's a personal site for folks working for social justice. There are yentes for EVERY demographic. I SWEAR!

I have to say, I am NOT ready to pay my hard earned money to join a singles site. Since I work 5 hours to earn the Prix Fixe menu for 1 at Chez Panisse on Mondays (after taxes), I don't think it's worth the dough. In fact, I am trying the radical approach of meeting my partner in person, this way I get bang for my buck: I'm already out and doing something, so maybe the likelihood of my partner doing the same is high? Who knows?

A-Ha's "The Sun Never Shone That Day" is playing on Lastfm.com right now. I honestly can say I don't know this song. Now I'm in the mood for Icehouse's "Crazy" for some reason...oooh! But I found the video for "Great Southern Land" from the Young Einstein movie! WOOOOOOT!

No Time for Blog, Dr. Jones

My paper journal has been feeling my intense pressing into its fibers. The ink fills the grooves and lets my thoughts be recorded. It's a little bit of a challenge with the bounce on the bus and BART, but when you don't have web access in transit, you sometimes tech down to accomplish what you need to.

Thursday I took a day off after a long summer.

I hooked up with GRID Alternatives the previous Saturday to learn the basics of solar panel installation and Thursday and Friday I slated to help in Santa Cruz on a Habitat for Humanity build off Highway 1. The houses are beautiful and I was psyched to get atop the roof, use power tools, and make connections between the panels to start the process. A lot was going on...ditches being dug to make way for conduit and inverters purchased and placed on the houses. We set tracks down for the panels to lay on.

And I was taught all of this. It was awesome. I want a tool belt. I also want no reason at all to climb up and down a ladder. THAT WAS SO MUCH FUN. It reminded me of going up and down my treehouse ladder when I was a kid.

Friday night I went to see Al Franken. I think he's brilliant. My first knowledge of him was when he would do the one man remote on Saturday Night Live during Dennis Miller's Weekend Report. This was pre-Daily Show and Colbert Report, post HBOs "Not Necessarily the News". He was always brilliant in his silliness and made me laugh at the irony of the real news versus the highlights of the humor news. And since then he's written a few books and taught at Harvard. He's even thinking of running for Senator in 2008. Whoa.

So he basically intertwined his version of the Democratic agenda in with his comedic delivery. It was my first "political" event that really spoke of a party line. I don't consider myself a Democrat. I vote my conscience and I know there are more than 2 options on my voting ballot, but he had some good things to say. The event was sold as "Comedy for a Change" and so I bought the ticket. It was a good civic lesson and just reminded me of why these last 5 years of the White House have been so disappointing to me. But it also reminded me that my radical activism has pretty much been me spouting ideas in my journals - paper and online. I haven't put myself on the line for my ideas.

I put my money where my mouth is, but I want stability, and so won't go TOO far.

Sometimes this makes me feel wimpy.

Anywho...I came home and over many phone issues had a conversation with a former student. I became frustrated when my phone died in the middle of our conversation at 1 am. I conked out and hoped that a nighttime of recharging batteries would do the trick.

Saturday I planned to do laundry, say good-bye to a student, stop by Sara's end of summer event, and see The Tempest, and do more farewelling with Zeli at Little Baobob.

I ended up being invited to breakfast with Bonnie and she introduced me to Vik's Chaat House in Berkeley and we ate the biggest Poori I have ever seen in my life. It was the size of a watermelon, buttery, and served with AMAZING green mango pickle. we also scarfed down a lamb stuffed baida bread thing and wandered around the store next door when we began to sink into food coma.

The cases were filled with gorgeous Indian sweets, sweets I have come to love and realize will throw my insulin-resistant system into a major tail-spin, but I can have a taste.

Wow. I now know of another spot to get my spice-self on. It's good to know where the POCs hang. Places where brown faces dominate. Yay.

We then stopped by the Oakland Farmer's market to check out the flowers and it's become a bustling place with bouncy thingies for the kids and so many wares! I found a COOL Oaklandish t-shirt to send her off to NYC with and make her dormmates jealous.

I got home about 2 pm, napped and then called my student in Richmond who I was saying good-bye to. She's on her way to college in New York and I wanted to wish her well and show her one last look of the Pacific Ocean.

Richmond is a city of oil refineries. Some housing is interspersed among huge vats of oil and gated campuses of oil manufacterers. It's odd and seems unhospitable in many ways. I told her we were going to cross the Richmond Bridge and head to Mill Valley.

She had never driven that way before.

As we spanned the Bay and saw Mount Tamalpais I told her not to forget home. We noshed in Mill Valley and discussed the whole "selling out" perception when you're a person of color and you do well in school thing. I told her that as latinas we're blessed with being blended from the beginning. That she can be as much of a hip hop head as she wants and excel in her coursework, especially since it's on Bill Gates dime til she gets her graduate degree. There's no "either/or".

And I choked up as we pulled up to the Headlands and saw the Golden Gate, where the Pacific meets the Bay. I told her to take a picture of it and remember home.

When I said good-bye I felt a little break in my heart. She's one of my rays of sunshine that has shone on me for the past 4 years at GirlSource. And I will miss her.

After our almost 3 hour good-bye I was a little bit of a wreck. I missed Sara's party and I sure as hell was going to miss the Tempest, but I asked Megan if we could have dinner. And we did and over some fabulous Thai enjoyed girl time. And I was pooped.

By 10:30 I was settled into my bed at home, sleeping to recharge my batteries. Dancing at Baobob seemed so far away since I had woken at 5:30 am for the previous 3 mornings. Sunday's boating adventure would be no different.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


My energy level has been sooooooo lethargic lately. I am over my cold. But I have also not been on the Spicy Lemonade program.

This weekend was cool, but starting Sunday I noticed that after Ozomatli I was ready for a nap. We had been cradled by low-lying clouds (read: fog) all morning and afternoon and I just wanted to go back home and cuddle in my jammies, you know? It was the tail end of my cycle, so I am sure my iron count was a little low.

Monday I got into work and my students had MUCH to finish and one day to finish it. I felt myself moving at a Matrix pace. I could see the train-wreck of frustration coming, but I felt so at peace with it. I was available to troubleshoot and edit and offer tech assistance, but I can't do the work for them. It was really nice to come to a realization that I can't do everything. I won't do everything. I can do what's within my power. And I did just that.

I didn't stay on until a crazy hour of the night scrambling. I was home by the sane time of 10:30 pm. And I proceeded to Luka's to listen to dj Santero play and to scarf down a burger. Luka's makes a tasty burger. I justified eating one because I needed the iron to stave off my lethargy.

I didn't go so far as dancing on Monday. I danced my food from the bar to the main dance floor room. Funny. I watched the world cup in this room. I danced in this room. I said happy birthday and good-bye to O in this room. Luka's has become a part of my landscape. It's cool.

I noshed happily and Santero pulled out some awesome new tracks and some beautiful nods to the latin greats. Towards the end I picked up the Satanic Verses and let the music wash over me. Mmmmm.

I then caught the 851 Late Night Broadway bus into Alameda and walked to my stowed away car. My own personal Park and Ride is on the Alameda residential streets. So much easier to park and connect to the O and then to just have a quick drive home from there. I get enough bus time. This allows me to devour my daily dose of NPR and sometimes Dr. Drew on Loveline.

Slept came immediately Monday night.

Tuesday morning came early and I dressed in a pink, button-down shirt and long black, pin-striped skirt and boots for graduation. My hair is back in twists and I pinned them back. So much to do, but again the Matrix-like acceptance came over me.

My therapist has been on vacation, so it's been 2 weeks since I had her perspective. I miss her, but I haven't had a freak-out. That feels really great, actually. Thursday I'll atch her up on the goings-on.

Graduation came and went. Their video came out great. The certificates were fine. All fine. They didn't invite a lot of folks, so it was an intimate gathering and the board and my executive director thanked myself and my co-worker with calling cards. To reach out and call our families who aren't near us. Right now I am wishing I could just spend an hour or two on the phone laughing with my mom, so the gift is appropriate. I get to see her in two weeks. And I can't wait.

The Hezbollah / Israeli thing hangs heavy in my mind. I wake to the body counts and the cease fire agreement. This war thing confounds me. I hear it happening on a really local level with my youth and hearing about the latest shooting. I wonder if violence intended to snuff our life is part of our DNA or perhaps a defect in our need to have IMMEDIACY. I would hope that our conflict resolution skills are more sophisticated than "Waste the f*cker!!!!!" but it seems to come down to this. That saddens me.

Last night, while I was cleaning up in the office and chatting with Mike about which NPR star he'd hook me up with, and pining over Elvis Costello something fierce, I collected my things. It was almost 8 pm and I wanted to be home by 10. I got on the bus, absentmindedly. I took out my knitting needles and became engrossed in them. The puzzle I was trying to solve?
I wanted to get past the casting on row of stitches.

For some reason I picked up the knitting book I've had for a year or so on Sunday after the concert. And I was so pleased to wind a yarn ball! I had never done anything like it before. MY crafts have been collaging and some beadwork, but never any needle work. I would love to be able to reproduce the fishing nets that are decorative of Puerto Rican folklore. That will probably require a crocheting needle, but this is what I had and I took the skein of yarn and wound a beautiful blue acrylic yarn ball. Then I fiddled with the knot and beginning stiches. I barely got a row done on Sunday.

Monday I played more...I knit a cast on row, and undid it. Then I knit it again and I marveled at the row. Knitting is essentially a chaining of loops. I was trying to visualize the chaining of loops to begin row two. My mind didn't wrap around the illustration in the book. I brought the two tips of my needles together, but somehow the tail of yarn I left between them wasn't correct.

I puzzled and puzzled.

Then, without a thought, my second row connected on the bus yesterday.

And I found that I forgot my wallet in the office.

I had to walk back in the cold, get my wallet from my desk drawer, and then got back on the bus. It was a wait, but I continued my stitch. I was knitting and I got to 4 rows as I rode the bus to Alameda.

I was going to drive to Zeli's house to drop off the stuff from Sunday's pic-nic and debauchery (she had me drinking Limonosas at 10:30 in the morning! I have never done such a thing!) and we sat and talked about her move, about her ex-boyfriend, and I asked her about knitting.

Zeli is an amazing woman. She's a strong, dedicated friend with a list of talents that I feel compelled to share. She's humble about her accomplishments and an amazing mothering figure. She's 26 and she cares for me. Tough love to remind me that I am Puerto Rican and I AM worthy. She reminds me that is it my birthright to be proud of myself. We carried recyclables to the curb and then she filled my bag with food from the cupboards she's emptying. She made me tea and gave me a yema - a Puerto Rican candy that is sugared coconut. It's yellowish in color and looks like an egg yolk (yema). SOoooooooooo good.

And we spoke. Like sisters. Like cousins. And I marveled at how confident her words were. She sat in front of me, in her sweat suit and glasses and absolutely radiating strength and determination. And in her presence, I began to feel that about myself.

The hour grew lat, though. And I informed her that I was crashing on her couch. I was going to pull up the blanket and close my eyes and rise early in the morning. She tossed me the pillow that I refused in my martyrdom and I curled up to it. Of course I wanted it, but I always refuse. Why? To seem more polite? She sees through my Latina humility and offers me comfort.

I slept. And then morning came.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Weekend Outline

Thur & Fri : ProTools 101 Class with Christopher Willits @ BAVC. Excellent course. Lots to learn about audio in this program. Excellent teacher. And I got to hang out with two employees from Lucas Arts. Woot.

Tummy went completely ballistic and I was up in the middle of the night, searching my medicine cabinet for charcoal tablets.

Why? Because they absorb whatever is leaving the proverbial faucet on in your system.
Saturday morning started rough, but by mid-afternoon, I was good and able to eat solid food. Charcoal and potassium ensured I was okay!

Saturday: Training with GRID Alternatives. Learning how to install solar panels on low income housing. Partnership with Habitat for Humanity in Santa Cruz. After training had brown rice and peanut sauce at the Saturn Cafe. My server Danny was awesome. He was also very gracious and cute. And I was ashamed because I think I eclipse him by at least 5 years. But very cute. He had a POET t-shirt on that I admired and he made me the most PERFECT soy milk shake.

Saturday night: Mucho-crasho. I got home and listened to Selected Shorts on NPR and read a little bit of By the River Piedra I sat and Wept (the other book I have been tarrying to read) and fell asleep.

Sunday morning: Woke up. Zeli called. We prepped for an EARLY Stern Grove morning for Ozomatli. We got there at 9:10 and the place was PACKED. I could NOT believe it. Thank GOD Ameena and Ernie were there at 8:45 to get us some lawn.

We created a new bevvie: the limonosa, consisting of champagne and TJ's sparkling lemonade. I imbibed alcohol starting at 10:30 in the morning. We played Uno. Crew was called to let them know they needed to get their a$$es there EARLY, because the meadow was going to be closed.

The weather was typical Stern Grove - grey & misty. Like Stern Groves of old.

Concert came, Crown City Rockers ROCKED. I twisted my hair.

Ozomatli came on. They had a violinist with them.


I am tired, need to be on a bus for 2 hours. More show later.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

one BILLION dollars...

i guess when you're a Yank, then you buy the best and with cost overruns and so forth...it ends up costing a BILLION dollars. introducing...the NEW yankee statium!

p.s. i was raised a Yankee fan, but I have yet to step foot in the stadium...

A Scanner Darkly

Excellent film. Saw it at the Parkway. Cool animation. Interesting characters. I should see the film that was out last year about the pharmaceutical industry.

I love Robert Downey, Jr. Damn it, I wish I could get him off the drugs. He's so suave!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

monday night criollo

last night after work i was ravenously hungry.

i left my office and walked the 5 blocks along 11th street because the number 9 san bruno bus is unreliable. i figured i would get to mission before it came.

i was almost right, because it rumbled past me as i got to the corner.

i cursed the timing of the bus and proceded underground to the muni train to reach the embarcadero station.

as i descended the stairs and then sat, i re-entered salman rushdie's world of The Satanic Verses. The humor is beginning to grow on me, and I am imagining the "ch" dipthong in the chiding manner that the characters are speaking and that one of the protagonists is horrified he's rediscovered after spending time in Bombay in a stage production.

a few stops later and while i was admiring the concoction of a newsprint sari that the protagonist's mother used to wear. what the heck would that look like, i wondered? which newspaper? that actually might be really cool...

so far the two protagonists have been through several name changes. there's an evolution in the book i haven't quite gotten yet. i say evolution because i have grown up in judeo-christian america where we get the reincarnation thing as an afterlife boon. we don't travel along the karmic wheel until we get it right: we either get it right, pass pete, and chill in heaven or we get it sort of wrong and chill in purgatory (a spiritual time-out, perhaps?) until we get why we got it wrong and then pass pete, or we got it SO wrong that we're plunged into hell with a lot of other people who got it terribly wrong and live in fire and ice for all of eternity for these sins.

it was hard to explain to my non-christian friends in high school the whole christ-like figure/american lit thing. now i get that that perhaps i am needing a little primer into islam and hinduism to get some of the subtle-ties that are whooshing right past me in this book. i get that a pooja is a type of prayer and i am getting little hints about shuriya (sp? islamic law)...but there are the day to day things, like why i have an altar in my house and why i take it for granted to have symbols of saints and the cross and some pagan, jewish, and muslim symbols.

literature really is absorbed more if you have background about the story. which means i will be delving more into the world of encyclopedia. i want to get salman rushdie, dammit. and i will.

i got on the bus and continued to read. the fog-filmed evening enshrouded the bridge. before i knew it, the O transbay bus landed in Alameda, i requested my stop, and i stepped off, walked to my car, and figured out i would go to luka's to hear dj santero spin the world's music (focused on latin america). i also treated myself to a lovely appetizer of coconut thai mussels. the broth was excellent, spicy, sweet, and i sat reading my book, occasionally hypnotized by the disco ball and the light reflections off of it.

someone called my name.

i snapped out of it.

Shawna! She was coming back from the rest room and wondered if it was me.

So good to see her. She helped me begin to clean my apartment. Dad sorta finished her work last weekend for me.

We hugged, we'll connect next week, and I continued to read.

Next came a thai vegetable stew with jasmine tea rice.

Equally lovely. I wanted to be served and just escape into my book.

Erick came down from the dj booth and we talked about his return from NYC where he opened for Manu Chau among other gigs.

He's good peops. And it's always good to talk to him. His always glows positive.
We talked about the love you get in NYC just from the people, authentic.

It was good.

My stomach was stretched and I wanted to go home. It was almost 11 pm. I stood a bit at the bar before closing out my tab, drove home, and settled in to my bed with the Satanic Verses. Chapter 5. I am slowly getting through this book, very slowly.

Monday, August 14, 2006

weekend summary

so...i am still recovering.
friday saw the movie, went home.

saturday felt sleepy, megan called.
we hung out and sea kayaked!
the seals were SOOOO cute!
i almost got my voice back.

slept. still sick.

crashed til late sunday morning.
missed breakfast with diane, who i haven't seen in forever.

slept most of sunday to sleep off the rest
of being sick.
dinner? ate with sol. we have korean/vietnamese
and talk a lot about politics, tennis, and the best screensaver ever,
which features a woman with the bounciest breasts i have ever seen.


i drive home after warm soup along my vocal chords,
begin reading The Satanic Verses again and feel really stupid
not to be getting all the references and not understanding
what about this book made him have to hide forever.
There are a lot of pork references. And yes, it is written irreverently.

This reading is not going as quickly as 11 Minutes, which I read in about 2 days time (about 5 hours of bus time). I got lost in that book so easily.

Geneva came alive in my brain and I was a voyuer watching Maria in the sex trade, remarking on the mundane life of a prostitute, watching her make her plans for her real life once she was done making her money. I loved how strong her mind was and how she separated her business from her Self.

The moments in her journal made me think of my journal and I made an epiphany -- I am not how I earn my living. I am more complex than that. I am so many, as of yet, unrealized possibilities. And that I will find myself in a romantic, strange place of adventure, giggling as I write my book with my actions.

Perhaps it started when I was born, but I started my adventure this morning when I stepped off the BART and went to the surface street and entered Milan, Italy on a trolley car. The wooden benches along the side of the car were beautifully lacquered.
The lamps hung from overhead and the car was almost empty. Beautiful posters of Milan were in the car and an anti-smoking freedom flag advertisement asked me "When did smoking become part of us?" with statistics of how many people are killed by cigarettes. I entered into the realm of my new tome - The Satanic Verses and tried to imagine the diction of the characters. One who is trying to erase every bit of his Bombay origins by adopting everything English and causing a chasm between him and his father in the meantime. India and Pakistan have just begun their war to separate - Mother from Son? Perhaps an earthquake that needed to happen to illustrate sovereignty between two distince peoples?

I don't know. I walk slowly, sit, and let the sunlight come over my shoulder and I open the book and begin reading.

The car stops and characters come on, asking me for change, telling me I am pretty. Their voices are altered, sick, deepened with phlegm. Their faces are lined with age, colored with exposure to the elements. I put up my psychic shield and I am lost in my book, at least until the Civic Center Station where I switch to a 9-San Bruno bus and head to work. A few more stops and Bombay and London disappear and I am working with youth, helping them finish their web pages that are due in about a week.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Today I Feel Like...

whenever people call me whiny for feeling like a disenfranchised woman of color I want to scream.
I used to think I was paranoid. I used to think that maybe this kind of stuff just happened to happen to me and my family and my friends, but not to everyone.

  • My dad told me about the racist sergeant he had to put up with in the Air Force.

  • My mom told me about how they put her in the class for developmentally delayed kids when she came over from Puerto Rico because her first language was not English.

  • I have been denied service in restaurants more times than I have been drunk (4) in my life.

  • My brother has been stopped for driving in the wrong, or, excuse me, unexpected, neighborhood.

And now I have seen American Blackout. This film kinda reiterated the systematic disenfranchisement of voter blocks in this country. It focuses on the history of the African American vote, which is only 41 years legal, by the way. Ian Inaba of the Guerilla News Network followed Cynthia McKinney for three years as she gained office in Atlanta's district and lost office and regained it again. She recently lost the primary again after being painted as a crazy conspiracy theorist woman who attacked an officer at the Capitol.

Um...gosh. As if Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911 wasn't enough fodder to make me upset, here's a film to reiterate the fact that voters are disenfranchised in the United States of America. And it's right before '06 elections which can decide which major political party can dictate for the next couple of years.

I wonder who's doing the film about the Latino vote? the Asian vote? the Native American vote? the Arab/Middle Eastern vote? the African vote? the South Asian vote?

Not to mention the whole which-faith versus no-faith vote?

I pledged allegiance to the flag of the United States of America for so long. And I believe in the Republic for which is stands. I wonder what my next step in preserving this democracy is? I've been working to educate our youth, and that's been touching lives, a few at a time.

I want a critical mass to get pissed and do something.

Then we can all laugh while watching Team America afterwards, this time NOT to console ourselves for how the election turned out.

P.S. Voice update? I sound like Peter Brady or Julia Child, depending on the moment. Cool, right?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Heh...pic of me from 2001, with crunchy twists...

Been clearing the mailbox. Here's a shot of me 5 years ago. I have grown one grey hair on my scalp since then for every year since then. And I miss those earrings. I always seem to lose the ones I love a lot.

This is my lesson to let things go. Material doesn't matter.

And I am really digging Paulo Coelho's Eleven Minutes. I picked it up on a lark, and started reading it yesterday morning. I am more than halfway through it. Sometimes the book calls to you, you know?

And I think this one definitely wanted to be opened at the right time.

We're starting week 2 with the froggy voice. Not cool.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Peter Brady, It's Time to Change

Well, all...since I am still sounding like a frog, I was inspired to share....

Because I didn't get to squeak vocally the first time.

Monday, August 7, 2006

Gettin' Ill Wit' It

Wednesday I got sick
Thursday I got sicker
Stayed home
Did Laundry
Had Pho Ga
Got Hair Did
Friday I went to the store
prepped for Dad & dinner
Still sick
Napped a lot
My voice started to slip

I am now a whisper
But the weekend was a success.

People warmed my home
with food and laughter and stories
as I stressed out trying to finish last minute stuff
dad was like the retired WalMart greeter saying hello
We toasted Michelle & Joe
and Erin & Jason
and the new babies-to-be
And laughed til about 11:30 when we all became pumpkins.
Despite dad's heart problem,
we were TOTALLY dancing to Spanish Harlem Orchestra.
Thanks Doug & T for securing a good spot, since he and I got a late start.

No pictures. Unfortunately among all of us on deck for the weekend,
no digi-nerds.

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Haiku Achoo!

Wednesday I woke with
a fever and a sore throat
Phlegm and blood -- yucky!

Chills and fever meant
no work on Thursday so I
slept and rested well

Friday, still sick. Boo!
Dad flying in. No stress...
Got ready. He lands...

My fever broken.
Chills are gone, but still sore throat
Tonight is for friends!

Pasteles are made
Banana leaves and all mmmmmmmm
Comida to share!

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Spicy Lemonade

Ah, have you all heard of this little recipe?

It's got a little kick to it, but it's supposed to be really good as a tuneup for the systems.

Master Cleanser

2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
1 - 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup or blackstrap molasses
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
8 oz. of pure water

Drink 8 - 12 glasses a day. If you're sugar sensitive, reduce the syrup or molasses.
Rinse your mouth and teeth after drinking, because the lemon juice can erode the calcium from your teeth.

Lemon is a GREAT liver cleaner, which apparently, can help me process cholesterol better. Whoot!

I found this in Taste For Life's March 2004 issue.

Make Poverty History

Plug for One.org. I like the vision statement very very much.