There's something wrong

if you can't figure out what damn day it is. I have to wear my kick ass Gul watch that my sis gave me to figure out what's the date and day. Ah! I can't wait until finals are over.


Only in Texas

would something like this happen.

It's times like this when I hate this state. I urge you to write or call your Senator if you live in Texas. If you don't, please pass on the word, maybe we can give 'em enough bad publicity that they'll quit acting like homophobic jack asses.


I hate when people say they’re going to do something and then don’t. It’s been almost a week since my conference experience and I haven’t shared. I do apologize.

The conference was not really what I expected. I’ve been going to these things since I came to U of H, I just never presented. So I sort of had an idea of what it would be like.

I was the first presenter, of the first table, on the first day. I was extremely nervous, but not as nervous as I thought I would be. After reading my story, I looked into the audience and half the people had this blank face as if they’d just been staring at the fluorescent lights for the last five minutes. Afterward, there were not questions for me. There was one guy that came up to me and told me he really liked my story so that was really cool.

I’m not disappointed in their reaction. I’m more disappointed with myself. I should have practiced. I should have memorized my story. I should have read it the way I wrote it, with all that feeling, but it all takes practice and that was the purpose of this conference. But all in all, it was a good experience for me.

I really like being in Edinburgh. It reminded me of El Chuco. I loved the color of their skin, hair, eyes, the sound of their voices, but mostly, I liked being around them. I felt at home. I liked that my shoes were covered with dust that the wind picked up…man, I really need to take a trip to EL Chuco.

Earlier this week, I believe it was on Wednesday, my sister gave me some mail I had received at her home. There were three letters, two credit card applications and one from the English department. I tore open the envelope of the one from the English dept. thinking it was perhaps a letter from my advisor telling me there’s some glitch in the system and I can’t graduate or they wanted more money from me. To my surprise, and trust me, this was a very big surprise, they were writing to let me know that I was cordially invited to attend a lunch next week to honor me because I’m graduating with honors. I was completely shocked; all I could do was blurt out, “I’m graduating with honors.”

My sister quickly came over and took the letter out of my hand and read it for herself and said, “Cool!”

And yet, I was still in shock. Actually, I’m still in shock now. I really can’t believe it. Needless to say, I’ve been busting my ass even harder studying for Comm Theory so I can keep my honors status.

More stuff has happened, but this is all I’ll bore ya with today. I want to get as much work done as possible, so I can go home and study more.


I've never heard this song but...

1985 by Bowling for Soup
"Where's the mini-skirt made of snakeskin?And who's the other guy that's singing in Van Halen?When did reality become T.V.?What ever happened to sitcoms, game shows?"
You took the bitter with the sweet in 2004 - and kept laughing.

What 2004 Hit Song Are You?


I'm Back

Thanks for all your good wishes.
My presentation went well. I was pretty nervous but I was able to avoid sounding like a sheep. I did a lot of writing, but I can't post it now.
Hope your week is off to a great start.



Wish me luck at the XVI Border Symposium tomorrow! I present @ 2:30. I hope I make it in on time!


Tia Socorro

Because I am trying to put together a collection of short stories, I don’t usually share the pieces I work on unless it’s my sister, roommate or my writing group. However, I think this piece explains my feelings in the last post. It's currently untitled. Anyway, here goes...

When my mom and I are visiting, we like to pull out the various photo albums we have accumulated over the years. Every picture has a story. Sometimes I know them and others I’ve never thought to ask. And the, there are some that I never get sick of hearing like the one of my late tía Socorro at my first birthday party.

My tía Socorro was my tío Kiko’s wife. Tío Kiko is my mom’s brother, he’s the oldest male in her family. When there was any kind of family gathering, Kiko, Socorro and the marabunta, their five kids, were sure to be there. My tía Socorro passed away when I was maybe 17 or 18. Gangrene eventually ate up her body. Even though their visits often got on my mom’s last nerve, she always held high respect for Socorro. There was a solidarity between them that was indestructible and I have always been able to sense it when my mom tells me the story behind this picture.

There is only one photo of this even which I now keep in my photo album under the skirt of my night table next to my bed. In the picture, I’m standing on a chair wearing a cranberry colored dress with a white apron. My pigtails are held together by bright red satin ribbons. Huddled around me are my brothers, sisters and my maternal aunts, uncles, and cousins. In front of my relatives and me, there is a table with a cake coated with white frosting and red accents. Around the cake are boxes of all sizes wrapped in flowery wrapping paper with large bows tied at the top.

I remember first hearing the story that went with this picture from my mom was five or six. The party was taking place at my Abuelita Maria’s house in Cd. Juárez. The table for the cake and the gifts had been set up near one of the grey brick walls that formed the court yard. Chairs were set up along the other walls of the courtyard leaving enough space for the kids to break the piñata and run around, and probably the most important, late night dancing by the adults.

I don’t know if we had already broken the piñata when the downpour began, but according to my mom’s version, she and my oldest sister carried the table with the cake and the present into Abuelita Maria’s kitchen before anyone else could get inside.

The kids were the last ones to leave their endeavors to shelter themselves from the rain. One of the games they were playing must have involved the broomstick used to hit the piñata because one of them dropped it on the cement floor and a loud “clack” was heard. A moment later, my tía Socorro who was in the doorway of the kitchen with her back to the courtyard, ducked and held the back of her head shouting, “¡Aye! ¡Me dieron cabrones!”

My uncle and others ran to her rescue only to find she hadn’t been hit. Apparently, one of my cousins had dropped the piñata stick near the street entrance of the courtyard.

As I grew older, I always wondered why this story was told so many times; but I never questioned it. Years later, I found out from my mom that it had been a bittersweet day for my family. My party was the last of its kind because the following day, as I sat next to my Dad in the dust covered white Checker Cab crossing the Puente Libre into El Paso, my mom and three of my sibling, lead by my tío Chuy, would be slipping through a hole in the chain link fence under the same bridge.

From that day until my uncle Chuy’s funeral four years later, my mom would not set foot in her native country. But because of my tía Socorro, we have one happy memory from that day.


Little Fish in a Big Pond and Immigrants

Friday evening, Dan the Man and I were sitting around putting together some coffee tables and watching television. After King of Queens, I turned it to one of the local news stations to hear the top stories of the day. They were reporting on the latest immigrant busts here in Texas. Well, they only reported on three.

Anyway, later, Dan the Man was talking to his mom saying, “Boy, they sure do live in a dangerous neighborhood. Since I’ve been here, there have been two murders and just a couple streets down, there found this motel with immigrants…”

Of course, I interrupted, “Welcome to the big city, and it wasn’t a couple streets down, it was on the other side of the loop, where the nice Target is. And it was in a one bedroom apartment, not a motel.”

Later, we got into it about the immigrants. Or maybe it was earlier. I said that it was so sad how there was one man in the video clips who was wiping off tears as he walked out of the apartment courtyard. I said, “Who knows what he had to go through to get here and now that he’s finally here, he’s caught.”

He said, “Well, they shouldn’t try to come into the U.S. that way.”

I had to bite my tongue so that I wouldn’t hurt his feelings. In a composed manner, I said, “Well, they don’t really have a choice. Even if they did ask for visa’s it’s not like any of them would get them.”

I think that’s when he left saying he had to go call his mom. He wanted to avoid a similar argument we had on Wednesday night about forced sterilization on minorities in the late sixties and early seventies. Sometimes I forget how sheltered he has been his entire life.

In any case, I’ve been thinking a lot about the immigrants. I recently read La migra me hizo los mandados and even though the testimonials are somewhat fictionalized, there is a lot of truth in them. Seeing those men filed out into Border Patrol vehicles made me want to cry. I could see the desperation in some of their faces.


No mucho que decir

It seems as though my computer at work doesn’t want me to update. Every time I try to pull up blogger, it freezes or does something weird. I could try to figure it out, but I really shouldn’t be working on this at work anyway. Bear with the font and all because I can't change any of it.


Anyway, I’m going through this period of thought at the moment. I’m seeing all these things in school, life, and work and my little mind is trying to pull it all together. I find that during these periods, I either write a lot or don’t write at all, and right now, I’m doing the latter. But don’t despair; I’m searching for a subject in which the outcome will be coherent.


Sometimes, I’m tired of being “the other.” Sometimes I just want to look like one of those generic brands at the store, and I don’t mean the Country Hill Brand, I mean like the yellow with black lettering Shurefine or the white package with black lettering kind. I want to be Jane Doe. But then, when I think about it further and I think about how I would be, how I would be bland without any kick or hint of jalapeño, I’m glad I am “the other.”


The Look parte dos

I don’t like how that last entry reads, but I had to write it because I needed to get the initial feelings off my chest so that I could keep digging through the issue. I don’t necessarily care what people think when they see Dan the Man and me together. It sort of shocked me to realize that we have in interracial relationship because I had never really thought about it before. He makes me feel like his equal in every aspect.

I think I only started looking around after my realization and after the aim conversation with L. L and I had coffee a couple months back. I argued with him over the use of the word Chicano and Hispanic and he pretty much believed I was some radical, crazy Chicana feminist who thinks the American Dream doesn’t exist. However, he still kept trying to keep in touch with me. I wasn’t really keeping in touch because I wasn’t exactly interested from the get go. I just wanted to make friends. Then around February, he said he wanted to take me out on a date. Of course, that wasn’t going to happen, but whatever. So when I told him the D and I had moved in together, he asked what D looked like. That made me laugh and I said, “Why? Are you going to look for him?” Then of course, I told him he was white and that was the conversation killer, as Billy likes to say.

After that, I noticed that a lot of Latinos were giving “the look.” It is a little weird, and I think a lot of them think I am a vendida, like the guy at Mickey D’s. (I never go to Mickey D’s, but the choice on lunch on Saturday was hairy Burger King or finger lickin’ Wendy’s or Fatdonalds, so I chose the latter.) I was standing at the counter ordering lunch. The guy behind the counter was evidently Latino, he had a tattoo scrawled across his neck, I didn’t really look to see what it said. Anyway, he was waiting for my receipt to print out when he noticed my Oaxaca t-shirt and said, “¿Eres de Oaxaca?”

“No, soy de Cd. Juárez.”

Then he mumbled something else, but I couldn’t hear him. I asked him to repeat what he said, but then he looked at me, looked at Dan the Man standing right beside me and said, “Ahorita sale tu orden.”

Cracked Chancla is right in saying that “people should understand that there are certain restrictions that cannot be place upon the heart.” Y como el DT, people will do a double take on us, and perhaps some will think that I’m a vendida like Cindylu wondered in her own experience. But this will not continue to bother me, I just needed to write about it before I bid the issue farewell.


Hablando con la Jefita

I just spent about an hour and a half talking to my mom. I always call her Saturday morning. However, I was busy this morning so I called her in the evening, but she wasn’t home. Since I know she stays up until all hours of the night, I went ahead and called her again at about 10 pm. She was home this time and caught me up on the week’s gossip. It’s so weird because it felt like I hadn’t talked to her in about a month because she had so much to say.

Last summer, during the poetry workshop in Mexico, Pamela read me a poem she wrote about her mom after I broke down when I wrote one about my dad. Hers was about how she missed the late night phone calls with her mother. It really made me think. Losing my dad was hard because of the messed up relationship was had, but losing la jefita is going to be a million times worse. I know I shouldn’t think about these things, but part of me wants to so that I can have a plan of action.

It’s hard to think that one day, I’m going to want to call and she won’t be around to complain about my brothers or to tell me the latest gossip on my crazy tía Lupe. Hasta entonces, que dios la bendiga y que haga que me dure a long, long time.

The Look

As I have mentioned before, I have been with Dan the Man for about four years now. We’ve always had an LDR. Last Friday, while we were sitting at El Fenix having dinner with his family, I looked around the table and realized that I was the only Chicana at the table. Actually, I was the only minority (if I can call myself that) at the table. I also, finally, realized that we’re an interracial couple.

On Thursday, as I walked to my car with some of my classmates after a presentation by one of our professors, one of the girls mentioned seeing that professor with a white guy. The other girl said, “She’s betraying us!”

I felt like saying, “I’m betraying you too.”

But I didn’t because I don’t think I’m betraying anyone. It’s not like I’ve never tried being with a Chicano or a Latino. I’m not with Dan the Man to “better the gene pool.” I’m with him because I love him and he makes me happy and I shouldn’t have to explain it to anyone.

However, it is sort of weird getting “the look.” You know, they look at you, then look at him and then at you and their face goes “huh?” I got that look at least three times this week and another time it was done verbally. Or maybe they’re just looking at us weird because I was wearing my custom made “Big Brown Girl” or “Mexican Jumping Bean” t-shirt.