Tuesday, December 04, 2012

New EyeGlasses

For the coming year, I'll not have excuses to keep me from writing. My favorite until now has been: "My eyes are too tired. New eye rx should keep me focused. Ha
Write after I create a budget and work mostly at walking and writing things should be just great.

Peter Elbow sent me some of ongoing work which might help me with my organization issues. I write about hybridism created by cultures within one culture as well as the hybridism within one culture for there are many subcultures not only in USAmerica but around the world. After looking at some works by established authors in our field, I want to line the personal--my life with power relations between people of power and those without not too much power. In looking at my own life history I can and do contend that a kind of radicalization must take place to help the formerly disempowered person gain the kind of power necessary for the formerly submissive people integrate and gain his or her identification of personhood.
If my friends do not hear from me it may be because of my need to be very quiet.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Changes are Coming Again

By now most of of sound minds can reason that any of the real changes we seek must come from us. Each human being doing something even something small can lead to great changes in our country. I heard of the title of a book recently who Stole the America Dream.Suffice it to say that we are in a new cycle or wresting fairness from corporations which we foolishly allowed them to monopolize the house of representatives. In other words, the election is over but we must be ever vigilant that they not weaken middle classes further.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Nook Reading and Non-Nook Reading

I recently received a nook because I'm an avid reader and like to have something to do when going to doctor's offices or other places where waiting patiently is expected of one. I haven't been patient in the past, but books do soothe my soul. My readings include mysteries, histories, biographies or any old topic that catches my fancy. With the Nook I can have many books in one place and my poor tired book shelves can get a reprieve. Also, I don't have to decide which books to keep or throw away. Sometimes, however older books are not copied on to the nook format and so I am engaged with both Nooks and regular books. I like writing in books I use for study, and although I can make notes on the books in Nook, I can't always remember where I made the notations. Must learn about that.

I also belong to Good Reads where one is supposed to write about one's readings. I'm not faithful to that process as I usually move from one book to the next. Frequently, as I near the end of one book I start several others to see if I can find a new friend with which to engages my mind.

So I'm reading Dust by Martha Grimes but have ordered an anthology of Daphne du Maurier's works. This anthology contains one book I have been wanting to read for many years--Frenchman's Creek. My reason for wanting it is that the movie version ended in a more puritanical ending and my understanding is that the book did not end with Dona staying home with hubby and kiddies. I love reading about strong women--women who took chances I have taken or have wanted to take. The vicarious thrills one has with books well written and engaging is better than eating. :)

Also, it is great to see that there have always been strong women who defied patriarchal norms. In history one reads about them from time to time. Catherine the Great and Elizabeth Tudor are just two. I am about to get more women from the middle ages who found ways to do what they wanted despite the limits on women during their lifetimes.

Title: Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard Von Bingen, Author: Mary Sharratt is another book coming my way as well as the Teresa of Avila and Juana Ines de la Cruz. Women who used church restrictions to create their own lives. There was an earlier Juana de la Cruz who was in Spain. She escaped the Inquisition by the mere fact that she died before it gained Church Authority in Spain.

Some writing will come of all these readings and its interesting to me that my life has been tangled with such a diverse group of nuns and women--both through books and real life encounters. Nuns contributed to my growth as my parents sent me to boarding schools at a very young age. I related to them differently than many of my friends who went to parochial schools or day schools.

Well I'm off to polish off another book so that I can get other work done around my home and my writing.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Things Keep on Rolling

I love to read and sometimes the books I read make commentary on the times before, during, and after the major wars in which the United States engaged. Currently, I'm reading books about JFK and his brother Robert Kennedy. It is fascinating that all of the major problems affecting our political processes today were evident in John Kennedy's lifetime and presidency.

Perhaps because we once had a warrior for peace I feel distraught over the seemingly unending wars in which our country engages. Also, it saddens me to see that progress in education, women's issues, poverty, rebuilding and strengthening our infrastructures are orphans left to the whims of the current Republican party.

In the past I did not fear the possibility of a Republican take over of all branches of government because the GOP was diverse in the political philosophies which various senators and congress people held. This is no longer true. No matter how often nonpartisan facts are presented to these ideologue Republicans they don't listen. In my understanding of the science and art of politics there must be give and take and compromise. Otherwise, the tyranny of the few will harm our country and its people. This should not take place.

It looks like the Citizen United Case has really opened a Pandora's box that will lead to corporations taking over our fragile democracy.

I've decided to help with local elections because those folks in DC I just won't listen.

On a personal note, (I suppose the planets are aligned to wake me from the stupor I've been in for the past five years), and I'm taking charge of my life again. I've decided to work on my life history for my family and others, and I'm feeling better about the work I'm doing. I'm writing, leaning heavily on Judith Ortiz Cofer and Esmeralda Santiago and Maria Lugones.

I want to inject some of my own poetry and old essays. Who knows, I may get something useful accomplished.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Rejuvenating My Brain

I am not getting any younger and will go onto "the" other side sometime during the next decade or two. With Luck I may live even longer. Interestingly I bumped into a PBS program on brain health and prior to last Sunday had ordered the first free book and dvd lectures from the great courses school. So I'll be working at dancing around the house, not letting FEAR rule my life, letting go of that which I cannot control anyway. It sounds "new age" but it makes common sense. Now if I can become obsessed with loving myself enough to develop a routine I stick to I'll be here until my grandchildren grow white hairs. :D

Friday, May 18, 2012

My Aunt Antonia Rummler

While my aunts had imposing names like Clementine or Clementina, Eufemia, Felicitas, Antonia and my mother Escolastica, each was stuck in cultures that did not provide them the outlets for their talents, intelligence and creativity. Such were the conditions of many women who lived before the last wave of feminism in the 70's and 80's. Nonetheless, I know that each contributed greatly to my life.

My Aunt, Antonia Oquendo Otero viuda de Rummler was laid to rest yesterday. Her life was a long one and a full one. After completing nurse's training in Puerto Rico she joined her adventurous family to New York. There she met and married William Arthur Rummler. He'd recently returned from World War II and like many GIs of the time headed west to find work with the major airplane makers of the day. Through the GI bill they were able to purchase a good three bedroom house on a large lot. I especially remember the barbecue pit in the back and a wonderful peach tree that produce large peaches--most were the size of softballs. And my Auntie made great pies, upside down cakes and jarred the left over peaches for use when the tree took its rest from producing those wonders. She had two sons who delighted her--most if the time.

She continued working in her field as a Registered Nurse and all seemed wonderful. Certain evens led to problems but being an Oquendo woman meant persevering and moving on

Below are some pictures I took at the church services which show the trajectory of her long life. She'd lived for 89 Years.
I could upload but one picture so I'll wait for another time. :D

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Benefits of Bilingualism


I sometimes think I'm pretty smart. Today's NYTimes let me know one possible answer which was found in a discussion of studies of bilingual people. I sensed the need to manage more than one idea and challenge Hercules Poirot's little grey cells' superiority with mine.

More and more we find that the English Only people have fewer reasons to be adamant and ignorant of the benefits of knowing multiple languages. The anti-intellectualism among groups who fear immigrants are in fact creating what has been called the dumbing down of USAmerican education and civic discourse. People who have political clout, use it to keep the fearful and ignorant upset with what Simone de Bouvier and Edward Said have called "The Other." This fear keeps many from interacting with new arrivals to our country. Sadly during economic downturns people in fear of losing their jobs and positions of perceived power agitate against new arrivals unless of course the new arrivals look somewhat like themselves.If people do not know and understand that although customs and other outer distinctions differ, underneath we are all human and that the scapegoated people are really not to blame for all the difficulties in our world.

The politics of fear in this country fend off any possible benefits for the poor or immigrant peoples that inhabit the country because leaders highlight play into the biases of their constituents.

In a world rapidly growing in commerce population and the people in power work against an increase in the number of languages we speak--expecting all others we trade with to know English because the poverty of many of our schools do not provide language and cultural enrichment which would have us expand our knowledge of others and our brain's capacity to make the computations listed in the article in the NYTimes.

It seems I can't avoid seeing many of our problems through a prism of political dysfunction, greed, and ignorance.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Getting Focused

I think I suffer from adult onset of ADD. However, since I need to accomplish a few things in my life before I leave for another experience, I'm making lists again. I'll have to do more than chronicle the less than exciting or interesting things I do. For example, how I almost got clobbered by my mattress when I undertook flipping it to another side--this is good for one chuckle or two but it was a bit scary at the time. I keep forgetting how much I've shrunk. I never really thought of myself as short though in my prime I was 4'11 3/4" tall. I must have gotten down to 4'9" and so it goes. Aging certainly has its challenges. In a lifetime of challenges, this is nothing new to me.

Part of my focus is on my health. Another is writing my biography for my family. I need to include stories that my son has mangled in his version of things. Having studied a little psychology and some reader response theory, I'm aware of the ways people in the same room, witnessing the same events can come away with very different understanding of the events they witnessed.

I suppose I do not want my remembrances of Mom and Dad's stories twisted. Plus I have some sweet memories of them from long before I grew up and had children. Those were such special moments that I know they helped me with my character and psychological nature.

Although it sometimes creeps in to my mind, I try to avoid my Mom's negativity. My Dad did not look at the world quite as negatively as Mom and he certainly was more calm. He hoped I could maintain that calmness which he claimed was a gift from the Rodriguez side of his family.

I'll focus on that one positive quality as I begin to write my memoirs.


Saturday, January 07, 2012

A New Year's Start

2012 began with my family near me and many happy times. Soon a mere week, I came down with either a neurological or orthopedic disorder which leaves me in great pain. Nonetheless, I have begun an orderly writing project--ME or my biography.

Things are at the very beginning but I have plotted the organization. I have several short snippets of writing to place under the various categories, and I've actually begun to write an introduction of sorts.

When next I write in this blog, I'll have more accomplished despite my pains.

The political scene is terrible. But what can be done? I'm not ruler of the universe. :) Who knows if a lot of prayers, good wishes for our future and other positive thinking can help humans to be selfless and aware of helping one another.