Friday, December 28, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Women leaders who represent what is good in human kind are rare in the rarefied atmosphere of international/world politics. Women, who like me, work toward making their ideals a reality are rarer still because idealism interferes with the status quo of acquiring and keeping power to the detriment of people one is supposed to lead, guide, and help. Despite the contradictory comments about Bhutto's political history, I tend to honor her. After all her history is frequently transcribed by men whose own attachment to power and corruption is challenged by women such as Bhutto. May she be at peace. May her family feel her strength and love in the months and years ahead, and may the many decent people of Pakistan get leaders worthy of their support. That is my small prayer from Tempe Arizona on a day such as today.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Just the other day while doing a very Latina thing (at least in my family--I was getting my nails done) I met a very bright and attractive Muslim woman who went on to disparage the undue influence of "Jews" in this country. While I understand the reason why she would think this, I understood that there are other elements for the relationship between the United States and Israel that have nothing to do with Israel being a "Jewish" state, but everything to do with evangelical fervor for the coming of the end of days.
So I cannot support discrimination of Jews because a nation that is almost a Jewish theocracy is heavily supported by the United States.
I do understand other kinds of relationships that are going on to tie the US to Israel.
So do we need an evangelical neo-con in the White House? I think not and I pray that fair minded Republicans will not allow the man from Hope Arkansas to go to the White House. Of course, I'm not hoping for the wife of the other Man from Hope Arkansas to make in to the White House again.
Obama or John Edwards seem to me to be the likeliest to win although I hope they pay attention to Bill Richardson and Joe Biden when they win the Donkey's trophy.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Maureen Doud's column from the NYT helps crystallize the notion that I am not alone in my opinion. I'm a feminist and say so proudly, but as I did not use my natal last name for many years for fear of being perceived as someone who sought favors or entry where I was unqualified to be, I do not believe Mrs. Clinton should use her association with William Jefferson Clinton as the primary reason to support her run for president. I can't think of one thing she's done on her own, without his connections that would merit support for her presidential ambitions.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Amber Rodriguez is off to college. Fortunately for us, she'll be in the northern part of the state which means long weekend trips for me. My first granddaughter has done well so far and I pray she continues to blossom on her life's journey.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
I never thought that I'd be so ashamed over the behavior of a person who came from a Latino/Mexicano background; however, the shameless behavior of Alberto Gonzales and the president who runs his life comes close to shaming many of us. Thinking members of society can see the arrogant misuse of power conducted by this administration in many areas.
Where are the so called "values" these people tout? I think that power has corrupted the souls of Bush, Gonzales, and many others in the administration. The delusion of the public seems complete for it does not rise against the administration's misconduct and of course the underlying reasons are that too many people like what power they derive from the administration. No one it seems takes their oaths of office seriously, for no one person considers the needs of the country.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
The Guadalupe campus of South Mountain Community College is really cool. I liked it and the people I met there.
Filled out papers at the main campus of the college and am set to work beginning 8/21/07.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
It's been a long time since I traversed the road between San Bernardino and Hemet California. Traffic moved at a good clip until we arrived to the 215, 60, 91 interchange. Construction is evident. Amazingly, the construction began ten years ago and only now seems to show the promise of bridges and overpasses that will separate the three hwys.
My aunt looked good although considerably frailer than I'd remembered. My cousin looks good and I suppose that is some compensation for the care he gives my aunt/his mother.
Dinner with friend Maureen and Anne went well although as always I was somewhat chatty. I suppose being in a situation where I do not have access to like minded souls makes me too eager to chat and visit.
I've worked on my paper a little and do hope to make some revisions tomorrow morning. My scatter gun thinking must get under control. If I fix this paper I'll post it on the google document page and that'll help me revise the gallina paper.
Friday, June 15, 2007
I have been reading a new book on the Kennedy brothers which highlights as I never understood when they were alive how committed to peace these brothers were. I believe the quote above signals this insight.
FlyLady.net has been useful in setting up a regular routine which I find gets me more motivated. I can clear the chaos that sometimes envelopes me so that I can read and take notes for the writing I must do. Turning off the news has helped dramatically too.
I'm supposed to go to a conference in NY an must reconsider. I have materials for the workshop but not the cash to fly out and stay over in Troy. Perhaps next year I'll be in better shape financially.
Tempe has been really pleasant for me as a town to live in. I've shared the library photos earlier and find that getting there is easier than sticking around here. But now that I'm decluttering the place where I live, staying here works out well too.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Many of the stories we share have a bit of the mystical or magic realism because there are beliefs from indigenous and European origins that meet, blend, and create new views of the world or rather explanations for experiences. Belief in angels lend themselves to belief in spirits for good or evil in either European or Indigenous cultures. In books on the conflicts experienced by Latinas, the gendered role create huge impact on women. USAmerican Latinas have many conflicts but we have many choices too.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
I am grateful for many teachings of the church--especially its ecumenical teachings which I received long before Pope John's call to "open the windows of the church" in the late 50's. I admire those who attempt to practice Christ's teachings over the teachings of ideologues and people with a need for "power" over the minds and thinking of others.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
I have old photos of relatives recently arrived from Puerto Rico in the 50's when we all looked a bit strange. These pictures will need to be scanned so that they can be preserved and shared. Looking at myself I see that I've always been short despite the fact that I always see myself as taller than I am. Does this mean I have a little bit of an ego problem? Perhaps so but not much of an ego as lately I'm trying to restart many of my life plans and outcomes. Nonetheless, this business of sorting through pictures has helped me be more accepting of myself.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
I just received this bit of information from a colleague. Whereas the current department of defense was known as department of war during WWII and before that era, it is important to be "proactive" in developing and continuing peace in our world. Thus it is important to develop a cabinet level Department of Peace. Thus Williamson's call for a Department of Peace and all the monies and divisions that would serve peace in our country and world. Given the events of 4/16 in Virginia, it is evident that we need a Cabinet level Department of Peace.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
In recent days, Imus in the Morning has been canceled for comments not deserving of anyone on the public airwaves.
But this interview shows a side that he should have pursued more often and then perhaps his difficulties would not have taken hold and destroyed his career.
Please note the wonderful writing detail which is a mark of a truly gifted writer.
I hope everyone is well. Here is a picture of me and Mr. Wonka himself, Gene Wilder. He was on a book tour at the Washington Press Club, promoting his new book “My French Whore: A Love Story.” He’s as soft-spoken and nice as you would assume.
Tidbits gleaned from his short interview:
1. His favorite movie is Young Frankenstein (he wrote it). Marty Feldman was a very shy and “unique” guy (read weird but likeable). In the scene in YF where Dr. F is introduced to Frau B., Mel changed the lines that weren’t working. So they became Dr. F asking about carrying his bags and Marty Feldman replying ‘you carry the blond and I’ll carry the brunette”. Something like that—the point was it seemed to be the best cast to work with and he had a great time. (Also, he really liked Richard Pryer.)
2. He was supposed to play Harvey K's role in Blazing Saddles, but wanted the Waco Kid. The 2 actors who were to play the kid bowed out (one was exhausted from another movie and the second had a drinking problem and literally began foaming at the mouth on the first day of shooting), so he got the role he wanted, and Harvey go the bad guy role.
3. He likes J. Depp but won’t watch the new Wonka movie because Burton made it so dark. (I think he was being nice. I’ve seen parts of it on cable and Depp looks like a pedophile and the rest of the movie isn't very good.)
4. He worked in an Army psychiatric hospital after school.
5. His mother was sick every day of her life, so he spent hours in compulsive praying for her and wondering why she was sick but he wasn’t. This lead to years of counseling, as detailed in his memoirs.
6. He really loves his current wife, who, BTW, looks absolutely normal for a woman in her 60s (no trophy wife, yeah Gene!)
7. He just had a cataract fixed in his eye (hence the redness).
8. The interviewer asked him if he was an animal, what kind would he be, and he said a deer because they appear outside his house and eat and bring their fawns (I thought this was a lovely answer as I hate that kind of question!!)
9. He was in a movie with Anne Bancroft and as he says, “horribly miscast,” and he kept wondering why bad things were happening to him. Then in her dressing room he gets introduced to Anne’s boyfriend, Mel Brooks, and off went his career. (This idea of good things coming from bad things is a theme he writes about.)
10. When first meeting Mel, Mel was wearing a very nice pea coat. According to Gene: “I said Mel, you look very handsome in that pea coat. And Mel responded, ‘They used to call them ‘urine coats’ but they just didn’t sell’.”
Two weeks ago I also went to a book signing by former Sec. of State Madeleine Albright. She was very cool. She even dealt well with the weird woman who made some inappropriate comments.
Madeleine looked at her, said OK, and kept right on going.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Friday, April 06, 2007
While living in Chicago, I witnessed the process of "gentrification" a process wherein the old houses are remodeled and made fit to live in and then rented out or sold to new owners at prices too steep for poor people to live in.This issue is important because as we've seen in our cities and in hard hit places like New Orleans where clean up is hampered by the desire of some to take, condemn or otherwise lay claim to areas where the poor normally live so that developers can rebuild and turn a nice profit. While I am by no means a person without appreciation for the things that money can bring into people's lives, I seriously believe that the US's over accentuation of the capitalist system over the lives of people is repulsive and denigrates the ideals so many people spout. What's the point of being free to be nothing more than a worker bee for others' profits and loss of those things that make community, families, etc enjoy the less material things in life.
One of the reasons I like Edwards. He pays attention to Blue Collar needs as well as the needs of middle classes. That spells a president for all of us. His positions mirror many of my own. I know I've been called an idealist, but then I follow the tenets of Christ's teachings that we care for our fellow human beings. In a land as wealthy as our own, it is a sin to ignore the needs of the poor, the sick, the under educated.
In the interest of helping myself get into a better physical condition, I thought I'd save this exercise to my blog so that when I log on to it, I can stop, get that ball and practice this exercise. Who knows, it may actually help.
OReilly and Lou Dobbs are two reasons why it is dangerous to be Hispanic and without papers in the United States of America. Even those of with papers will stand a good chance of being stopped while "Brown" if nonthinking public conversations such as this one keep taking place.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Friday, March 30, 2007
Elizabeth Edwards' ordeal with cancer shows Americans a brave woman who chooses to continue to support her husband's presidential campaign. This has been questioned by those who would like to see Edwards end his run for president.
She shows however that people can be productive despite a cancer diagnosis. I hope more of us can follow her example. We may not all have cancer but surely comparisons with other conditions can be made and thus her example is a wonderful one for us to emulate.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
3/31/07 Have returned from the conference and must comment on some of my experiences. New York as always is great. Of course it is as I was born there. However, the unexpectedly cold weather had a lasting effect on me. I still cough and hack. The side trip to Miami was interesting as it presented me with the opportunity to travel alone to an environment I had never experienced. It was great to hear lots of Spanish with Caribbean accents. The people were friendly and that part of the experiences was wonderful.
The environment in Miami Beach, however, showed me a dirty, over built beach area. It looks great from afar but when you're down on the street the filth is there to see. It's great for younger people who want to party and I know that if I were such a younger person I wouldn't notice dirty streets and beaches too dirty to swim in.
I did get to attempt to conquer the cold that I picked up in New York but as yet am still wheezing, coughing, etc. If this keeps up, I'll have to see a doctor. Ugh!
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
In the HuffPost the preceding link demonstrates the reason for not hiring people without values of our country's founders. Of course, there have been liars and con men in our government previously, but for a country who claims to mete out justice and base its judicial system on the rule of law, the current scandal is serious indeed.
Friday, March 09, 2007
Friday, March 02, 2007
These recurrent attacks on language and literature stem, in my humble opinion, from total ignorance of the lives and cultures of others of those people who don't look like what I'll label "white bread" or bland USAmerican culture. I'm excluding lots of great people from my definition in order to zero in on the kind of thinking that seems to go into fear of changes in language and in the literatures of people whose lives differ from that portrayed in the Fun with Dick and Jane kind of literature so prevalent in my early years or in the cute and always entertaining but popular to mainstream Americana such as Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew whose families resembled the nuclear families we were all told were the ideals to which we should strive to attain.
Citing Bill DeGenero's comments: I must concur. Bill points out the following: "What are the three books? Erin Gruwell's "Freedom Writers Diary," Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye," and Richard Wright's "Black Boy." Yes, all three books are about people of color. Yes, two out of three are written by people of color."
I cringe at the thought that stories that touched me, particularly Morrison's The Bluest Eye should be defamed by such an attack. I say this as a fairly light skinned Puerto Rican woman who has had experiences not that different from the central character in Morrison's book. MORE not FEWER works that point to the abuse of children. the abuse of cultural conflicts. and the power in balances that create the kinds of situations in which children of color often find themselves should be written. Better than that, after being awakened to the facts of these dreadful situations more not less should be done to prevent further abuse of children. And in Morrison's book, the abuser, himself a product of lack of love and of abuse, is also to be understood in the context of his environment and life. There are some abusers who need redemption because the contexts and horrors of their own lives lead them to reach out for love in a most inappropriate manner. So the Breedloves will again be "dumped on" instead of understood and the abuse they experienced will be relegated to the pyre of obscenity and high school students will not understand that people outside their immediate cultural milieu live different lives that require a different sensibility and perhaps a diffeent approach which will allow for understanding and the kind of outreach that leads to healing as well the personal growth we seek when reading literature that represents lives like and sometimes different from what we live.
It seems as if no matter where I land--here, Chicago, Detroit, or California someone finds me and I'm expected to be or do something. It seems as if old roles are hard to drop totally.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
It wasn't until I returned to school many years ago that I discovered that writing was work and that it was valuable to communicate and explore ideas as well as stories, events etc. If those of us who are bilingual/cultural do not speak/write our stories we condemn ourselves to having others speak for us. I have added hometown.aol.com/xcolumn/myhomepage/ website to my links because this husband and wife team spend time doing that which I was discouraged from until a relatively short time ago.
Now I am encouraged to keep on with my readings and writing to see if my historical tour will lead to new insights. So now I return to Sor Juana and Mother Juana for this night.
The advent of technology has widened and deepened our ability to write as witnessed by the upsurge in the numbers of blogs created in the past five years alone. I teach and have come to find the benefits useful to discuss with classes.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
As to my doings around here, I finally began the process of becoming an "Arizonan" by getting a local library card. I live in Tempe Arizona now and finally went off to the library. The library in Tempe is awesome and I predict many happy escape moments there. While this apartment is quite commodious, the light at my writing station is good for only so long. The library does not suffer from such inconveniences.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
"feeding frenzyThe wall-to-wall media coverage of the death of Anna Nicole Smith would have surprised even Andy Warhol. This media moment assumes its place alongside the O.J. car chase and the Long Island Lolita as an "event" surely to inspire multiple made-for-tv movies, a tabloid moment that seems to have some longevity. . . ."
It seems that our society has devolved to the point of finding entertainment from gossipy stories about politicians, entertainers, and people from afar. Yet the people who are supposed to participate in a democracy/republic called US are less attentive to the underlying motivations of their elected officials, or less attentive to the competence their officials actually have to get work done on people's behalf. This issue of citizen inattentiveness and action is costing people lives, opportunities for their futures, and one of the basic promises of the the constitution of the United States: a right to pursuit of happiness, for how can we be happy if we are under educated, poor, have to ride miles to work each day and thus limit the time for other pursuits of happiness and responsibilities?
Friday, February 02, 2007
I live on the edges or margins of many parts of our society. Yet women like Ivins demonstrate strength every bit as valuable as the characters in Alvarez' or Cofer's novels. More importantly, by speaking to and about those in position of power, Ivins and other women writers help me consider my place in the world.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Monday, January 08, 2007
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Let's see what tomorrow brings.
Monday, January 01, 2007
I'm creating a new page for myself on either the yahoo or gmail sites. I've yet to put together ideas for colors and ways to market myself and my ideas for a small consulting business. Will see what comes of these explorations in the weeks to come. My creative process is impulsive and I need to save drafts for a while before publishing them. My blog space will allow for all of my impulsive explorations as the medium--language is one in which I feel comfortable. Working with colors and other materials and media will need me to adjust.
Will see what the morrow brings or births.