Sunday, April 22, 2007


I've spent a great deal of time sorting through some pictures that I downloaded. Next I'll be sorting through pictures that should be scanned for the family to share at a website. I'll be using both google and webshots. Afterwards I'll use picassa to edit and play with photos on the computer.

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

Department of Peace

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

Harry Connick Jr. Interviewed On Imus

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.

My Friend Meets the Original Mr. Wonka

I'm copying the particulars surrounding this picture of my friend Lisa-Anne and Gene Wilder. I've appreciated the tales of her exploits in Paris and other parts of the European continent and of China, too. This time her story takes place near her new digs. What follows is a copy of her email explaining this encounter.

Please note the wonderful writing detail which is a mark of a truly gifted writer.

Hi All,

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.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Old Training

Had my sewing machine service/repaired. It's time to go back to some old skills and sharpen them. Since I'm at home more now, I may as well work at making things that will improve the appearance of things around here. I just hope that I can relearn sewing as I haven't touched a machine, pattern, or other major project in a long time. Let's see if I can follow directions as well as I can write a note.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Gentrification: John Edwards at GenerationEngage

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.

John Edwards - Bennett College

This video shows a family man running for president addressing needs of college students.

John Edwards - CWA Legislative-Political Conference

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.

Complete Ab Workout Video

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.

Bill O'Reilly and Geraldo Rivera huge angry fight

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

Hispanic Nation Part 1

Reading the book, Hispanic Nation by Geoffrey Fox and finding it crystallizes many of the ideas on identity formation and some of the politics behind it. I'm also perusing Brown by Richard Rodriguez. Each book is useful in my revisions of a two year old essay. Rodriguez is poetic and his writing this time around meanders much like my own does. I am enjoying the conversations he has within his imagination with books and authors he's read in the past. It's true that authors we read become a part of us of who we are. I like that. He finally discusses his ideas about hybridity. Much of what he's saying if familiar to my own ideas except for the specific experiences. This kind of reminds me of Victor Villanueva's shared experiences in his writings. The difference there are the ones created by gender and public versus private schools. Sometimes the grass does look greener in other people's lives or gardens. I suppose that one could look at life as a garden in the process of becoming. In Rodriguez' and my cases the books and authors would be the particular flowers in it, alongside our family members and other significant others.