Dos noticias un post

Dear All:

I have two things to share with you . . .

The first is that I am officially employed. I got the keys to my room today. I’m going to have the clothesline in my room. I can’t wait to go in there and move desks around and create my reading corner and library. I also can’t wait to move my big ass desk to a less obtrusive place and put up all the things I’ve scored as door prizes.

The other news is that there’s someone new in my life. Her name is
Dori. You can view her here if you click on “Polar White.” Never in my life have I ever had a new one. I owe it all to a certain older sibling out there who always saves my ass. I really hope I can do something great for her soon.

Well, that’s all for now. I miss writing in here! But alas, I have to get to bed. Early mornings aren’t my favorite thing in the world.


La Browngirl



Jeez Louise, long time huh? To say I’ve been busy is an understatement. The other day, I was at work and my eyes felt like raisins with all the fluorescent lights I’ve been exposed to lately.

I’ve been having cohort training at least twice a week, program training Friday and Saturday for the last week and this week, H.R. stuff like insurance benefit meeting and there’s an upcoming appointment to get my “paperwork” done, and I’m still working at the Press.

Don’t get me wrong, I like being busy. I just wanted to let you all know that I haven’t been slacking on this here blog “just cuz.”

I have been having fun. Last Wednesday at my friend MTV’s house eating and talking. She let me borrow her Believer magazine. I need to make some time to read it.

We’ve been getting tons of books at our training sessions. I also need to make time to read that. Plus, I need to write the letter to the kiddos’ parents, figure out which “getting to know you” activity I want to do, do my “getting to know you” activity so I can run it by someone before the first day, figure out how I want to decorate my classroom (any ideas?), and . . . I don’t remember the rest of the list.

I’m also looking for an apartment on that side of town. Most of them are not too nice, but I think I’ve found some that are affordable and meet my “no roach or mold” requirement. I might go look for a new car tomorrow. For the last year or so, I’ve been driving this beat up 92 Bonneville. The ac went out at the beginning of the summer and I’ve had to buy two tires for it. I’m riding on my spare, so I really have to buy a third tire for it. The alignment is way off, but well, food and rent take precedence over that. I don’t know how it’ll be able to handle the long drive for the next month or so and my sis is pretty worried about it. So she talked my brother-in-law into helping me out tomorrow. I have crap credit due to stupid choices when I was younger, but we’ll see what happens. Credit stuff makes me nervous.

Well, I better get my ass back to doing my homework for tomorrow. I really like the lady who’s in charge of me. (She’ll be visiting my class a couple times a year trying to figure out if I’m coming along as an educator.) Anyway, I’m almost certain she had a lot to do with me getting the position I was offered so I want to live up to her standards. People set high standards for me so easily, I hope I can do the same to my huercos.

How are you all doing?


Interviews by Gwen

If ya'll don't read Gwen, she recently had an entry in which she answered five questions and then you could request an interview. So here are my answers. I'm not great at interviews, but I guess I could come up with some questions if anyone is interested.

1. (This is something I've been wanting to ask you for a while, since I know you're a Latina who could easily be mistaken for a white person.) What's your most annoying experience with being mistaken for a white person? If you have one. If not, please excuse my bitterness and just tell me your fave color.

I've spent all day thinking of this. I knew there had to be one and I've finally got it! There was this one time I was at Helios throwing back a couple of 7 & 7's and I got to talking to the bartender. First, she asked me if the girl I was with was my partner. I said no, because well, she wasn't and isn't. I'm on the straight side, although for the gal in question 3, I would change that. Anyway, the conversation went on and I must have said something in Spanish or about my origins because the bartender said, “Oh my God! You're Lah-tin!” She spent the rest of the night asking if I knew how to make tamales among other Lah-tin dishes. There weren't many people in the bar, so I couldn't really run away from her. And on top of everything, she was the only bartender that night.

My favorite color is pink. ¡Tan grandota y tan niñita!

2. What's the worst thing about living in Houston, besides the heat?

It has to be the drivers. I've quit counting how many times I've been thisclose to having my brains turn into asphalt art.

3. Who, in your opinion, is the most beautiful woman on Earth?

Geez, this is hard because there are so many. But right now, I'd have to say Liza Snyder from Yes, Dear. I've told Dan the Man, if I can hook up with her, I'm dumping his ass.

4. Describe the crappiest restaurant you've ever been in.

The crappiest restaurant I've ever been in has to have been in Juárez. We went there during my grandmother's funeral service. At that time, I was going through my anorexia phase so I generally thought food was bad. However, this food was bad. I ordered a carne desebrada burrito. It had watery beans that made the meat look gooey and stringy. I had nightmares about the burrito coming to life and chasing after me.

5. For your birthday, you can have anything you want from the Galleria. (Ritzy mall here in Houston.) What will you probably pick? A diamond necklace? Designer bag? Piece of furniture?

Hah, the Galleria. I only go there to please out of towners. But if I could have my pick of the litter, I'd probably want a pair of Dickies from Torrid given that they fit and don't give me a jelly belly overhang. (Side note: Are they ever going to start making fashionable pants that aren't low rise? I'm sick of the belly issue and having to look at other chick's thongs.) If not, I'd totally go for a fancy diamond. If I wasn't too captivated by it, I'd sell it once I got out of there and buy myself a car with ac.


Madrugada Visitor

I couldn’t sleep on Friday morning. Aside from having to wake up earlier than usual to be on the other side of town for training, the rain kept pouring down. All I could think about was, “how bad is the flooding going to be?”

I got up ten minutes before the alarm went off and the first thing I did was reach for my glasses to come online to check the weather. Turns out, the television is much better for this. However, as I was reaching for my glasses, I noticed that I wasn’t tired or cranky even though I’d only slept a couple of hours. In fact, I was kind of happy.

My dad came to visit me during what seemed like my last leg of sleep. He came to ask me if I wanted to go on a trip with him, his brother, my uncle Sam, and uncle Sam’s family. In the dream, I wasn’t home and when I got home, I was a little sad that I had missed him. So I called him.

He proceeded with his invite and I had to turn him down because I had to attend training. I was feeling down that I couldn’t go with, but in a very understanding voice, he said, “its okay m’ija, I understand.”

“Thanks Dad. . . Dad?”

“Yeah, m’ija.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too m’ija.”

And that’s when I woke up. I swear all the “m’ijas” didn’t sound this cheesy.

I think what made me the happiest was that I was able to tell him “I love you.” I’m not a terribly affectionate person. In fact, I turn tomato-red when I have to be affectionate. The tone of his voice when he said it back was so genuine and heartfelt that it helped mend some of those lifelong wounds.

When I woke up, I thought, “I’m not gonna tell anyone about this dream because he came to see me.” But when I got in the shower, I started thinking that maybe I should tell people about my dream. I wanted to shout with glee. I wanted to tell the world. I thought I could tell my sister about seeing Dad and yet I haven’t. I haven’t told anyone.

Sometimes, people don’t like when you dream about the dead. Sometimes people will just say “huh. That’s weird.” Other times they will say, “Ave María Purisima, resale unos Padres Nuestros.” And sometimes, people will not say anything.

Now that I’ve written about it again (first time was in my personal journal), I’ll probably tell my mom since we always tell each other about our dreams. In the meantime, I still have a big smile on my face and curiosity about what kind of trip they were taking in an Amish-style carriage.


The End of an Era

Friday marks the end of an era at Arte Público Press. When I return to work on Monday, the office will be Linda-less.

Throughout my years at the Press, I learned so many things from Linda. She taught me how to do my job, be resourceful and that there’s always a shortcut. She taught me about Chicanismo and that I could have my own voice. She encouraged me to follow my dreams and pushed me along when I didn’t want to budge. If it hadn’t been for her, I probably wouldn’t have the teaching job.

After tomorrow, there will be no more “Ma’am” followed by a question or instructions and then a “Who were you talking to?” from Gabi.

Her stack of Chicano/Latino/Hispanic art books will be snuggling up next to their brothers and sisters on the bookshelves in the different UH libraries. The necessary ones will be on the top bookshelf of what used to be her desk.

The array of current titles, upcoming reprints and art sample files on the floor of her “office” will be in the large four drawer metal filing cabinet that provides a makeshift wall. Her desk will not be muddled with ongoing projects.

Her Santa Fe style sweater will be gone. There will be no, “Don’t go buy anything for lunch, my sister made (insert fancy dish here) and we had lots of leftovers.” Nor will there be a “You do know that’s my seat” when someone is sitting at the head of the table in the kitchen. Afternoons will be quiet, and there won’t be anyone to say, “Ma’am, do you want to go get some root beer so we can make some root beer floats?”

I will no longer wait around until 5 P.M. so that neither of us has to walk out alone.

But most importantly, there will be no one to ask, in the whiniest voice I can summon, “Linda, how do I . . .?”

I really don’t know what it will be like on Monday except maybe quiet.

What I do know, is that when I left the office today, there was a lot of sadness. Although I am extremely happy for her and wish her the best at her new job, I’m still sad, for the press and myself. And while these changes hurt, they’re also exciting. I can’t wait to hear about all those great things that I know are going to come her way.

Thanks for everything LMG.


Teaching and the Minute Men

Gee, how long has it been? A week?

I’ve been incredibly busy and training hasn’t even started yet. I now have a cohort. I always heard Cindylu use this word, but I never imagined I would be using it. My cohort starts training tomorrow. It’s only six days out of the month, so it’s not too bad. I don’t know how it will be next month since school will have started by then.

Work actually starts on the 1st of August. Although I only work seven hours a day, I have to be there by 8:00 A.M., I haven’t had to get that early since . . . my Wal-Mart days. Gah. And the commute for the first month or so will be very, very long, so I’ll have to get up earlier. But it’s worth it. This is the job I wanted.

Last week was pretty busy. On Thursday, I met with some of the other Language Arts teachers. It was fun. I’m not missing any opportunities to meet with my co-workers because I really want to get to know them and sort of get ideas for my curriculum and all that stuff. Tomorrow, I get to see my classroom and I’m going to see about taking the textbooks. I’ve got some idea of what to do, but I’ve still got a ton of questions. I guess it helps that I’m going to have two mentors.

Anyway, enough of the work stuff. The other day I was watching the evening news, and guess what? The minute men are coming to Houston. WTF? They’re going to be recording the day laborers that stand down the street from my apartment. On Saturday, as Dan the Man and I were driving down Westpark toward the bank, I said told him about the Minute Men.

“What? We should do something! We need to stand out there with signs!”


“Yes. And make flyers, in Spanish, so they know what’s going on.”

“Yeah. We could stand in front of them so that they’re filming us and not them.”

“Yeah. And we can call those Minute Men murders…Look at what you’ve done to me! I didn’t even care about these things.”

He’s come a long way. I need to do some research and see if any of the immigrant rights activists in the area are planning any protest of any kind. I’ve round up a handful of people. If you hear anything or want to join us, please let me know.


I got it!

Gracias a todos for your good wishes. As the title says, I got the job. I'm so excited, I can't wait!


Dear Diary/Blog

Hi everybody! I hope everyone is having/had a great holiday weekend. Mine was pretty good.

Friday was Dan the Man’s birthday, but he had to work so we didn’t really celebrate until Saturday. We went to the Galleria and watched people ice skate, walked the entire mall, and I stared and laughed at all the Quinceñeras with their crew walking around strutting their stuff.

After the Galleria, we went to Ross, Marshals, Borders and Lane Bryant because I needed an outfit, at least a nice jacket, for my interview this morning. I originally had my heart set on the fashions of Torrid. I imagined myself strutting around in some cute paint suit, turning heads and feeling as sexy as the girls on the Torrid website. But no such luck. In the end I did find a nice jacket at Lane Bryant. Anyway, enough of the trials and tribulations of a fat girl’s shopping adventure.

So yeah, I had an interview this morning for a sixth grade language arts and reading position. I was accepted into the alternative teacher’s certification program. They told me on Thursday but I’m trying not to talk about it too much because I don’t want to get my hopes up too much. But the interview this morning went well. About forty-five minutes after I left the school, the assistant principal called me and asked me if I was available for a second interview. It’s tomorrow and there will be four people there at one of the ladies’ homes. I hope I’m not as nervous as when I first arrived today. My hands were shaking a bit and the principal noticed. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow. In the meantime, I’m doing more research on pedagogy and the thematic approach and such. I’ll keep you all posted.

In other news, my sister arrived from El Chuco today. My mom moved out on her own this month and my sis went to help her with the transition. To say that she’s an angel is not only trite, but not enough to express how great it is that she was there for the move. I went over to see her because I had to drop off her keys and because she had some stuff for me like the flag that was drapped over my dad’s casket, a doll that my dad’s oldest sister made, a tape of me being hypnotized, and my journals from when I was a little kid. After some delicious bbqed hot dogs, I sat at the dinning room table and read them. Man, I was one crazy kid. Dan the Man is reading them as I type this and laughing.

Gee, this is starting to sound a lot like those journals. Hehehehe