Don't Label Me Anti-American

Because I am a proud Chicana, a lot of times I get labeled as "anit-American" or "unpatriotic." This really bugs me. I say the Pledge of Allegience, out loud, every day with my students. When 9-11 happened, I was just as shocked as the rest of the country. I went out and bought ribbon to make bows and put on our fence and I also light candles for those lost in the attacks and the soldiers that have died. However, at the same time, I will wear an anti-war t-shirt and I won’t support Bush.

It breaks my heart that young kids, who can’t even have a beer, are dying for this stupid cause. As I told my friend Shelley the other day, this fight is over an abstract noun, an idea. It’s like if I were to go on a rampage to end Catholicism. Sure, I can burn down churches and bibles, smash saints, and kill priests and their followers, but will I ever really end it? Probably not.

Would I prepare care packages to send to the troops? Drive them home if they don’t have a ride? Cook them meals? Host one in my house? Of course I would, but will I support this fight against terrorism? Hell no. Quit wasting young lives and really protect our country by bringing them home. Take care of them when they come home and they can’t sleep because they’re remembering the horrors of war. When they get sick ten years down the line due to something they were exposed to when they were in your war, don’t schedule their appointment for six months later or pass it off as something they probably got somewhere else.

And now, the irony of it all, illegal immigrants, the ones that we don’t want in this country because they broke the law to get into this country and we will rally together to get them all out, are giving up their lives for this idiotic war. They’re proving that they, indeed, want to be part of this “American dream.” And hey, why is not making the news? Why is the only place I can find a link to this is on a Spanish-speaking news station? Oh, and if they die in battle what about their illegal wife and/or child? Will you give them amnesty? Perhaps after a long, drawn out fight, right?

So if I don’t wear the U.S. flag on my sleeve right now or applaud the monkey for the way he handled 9-11, don’t call me anti-American. It’s just really hard to support the administration that has made me lose hope in the U.S., a very difficult chore.
Thank you President Bush.


Lo que quisiera...

Ricardo Arjona
Adiós melancolía

Tengo un domingo en stand by, por si algún lunes te deprime,
Y en la cartera un ánfora que guarda olor a ti,
Tengo boletos de primera fila, para verte despertar por las mañanas,
Tengo la firme convicción, de que si estás me consolido,
Y la sospecha de que ni sospechas cuanto te amo,
Tengo tu foto puesta en la pupila,
Y con tu voz baila el estribo, el yunque y el martillo.

Tengo risas, tengo llantos, tengo un termostato,
Que me enciende cuando estás,
Y que me apaga si te vas
Pa` no morir de la nostalgia.

Adiós melancolía,
Gracias por la compañía,
Pero aquí ya no hay mas sitio para usted.

Adiós melancolía,
Le agradezco la poesía,
Que entre versos hoy me deja confesarle a esta mujer,
Que me saque la lotería cuando la vi.

Tengo una dosis de perdón, por si haces algo que me duela,
Y una canción de más por si algún día la echas de menos,
Tengo un stock de besos sin estreno,
Y un camión de amor del bueno, para ti.

Tengo risas, tengo llantos, tengo un termostato,
Que me enciende cuando estás,
Y que me apaga si te vas
Pa` no morir de la nostalgia.

Adiós melancolía,
Gracias por la compañía,
Pero aquí ya no hay mas sitio para usted.

Adiós melancolía,
Le agradezco la poesía,
Que entre versos hoy me deja confesarle a esta mujer,
Que me saque la lotería cuando la vi.

Hoy cuelgo mis sueños en el pearcing de tu ombligo,
Mientras la melancolía observa y es testigo,
Quiere estar segura, un poco por ti,
Un poco por mí, un poco por celos.

Adiós melancolía,
Gracias por la compañía,
Pero aquí ya no hay mas sitio para usted.

Adiós melancolía,
Le agradezco la poesía,
Que entre versos hoy me deja confesarle a esta mujer,
Que me saque la lotería cuando la vi.

Tengo agua de mar en la bañera, y en la cama aire de cordillera,
Tengo sol de mayo en la nevera, y flores de abril en la escalera,
Tengo un cuarto lleno en primavera, y un beso esperando en la trinchera,
Un jarrón que llora cuando espera, y te tengo a ti por donde quiera.
Y te tengo a ti por donde quiera.


CNN You Tube debate

I was unaware of the debate yesterday. Since I haven't been on You Tube in a while and CNN is not my preferred news channel, it sort of makes sense. I did, however, see an article about it on AOL of all places. Fortunately, CNN is a cable/satellite channel which means reruns.

CNN is treating this thing like MTV treats all of their awards shows—there has been much dialogue, amongst their anchors and pundits, which has spawned from this. I only watched the post dialogue coverage because I was interested in seeing how they rated the different candidates.

One thing that they all keep saying is that it was such a great format and that it could be the wave of the future. Really?

I thought it was really cool that people were able to submit their questions via You Tube, but really, it was just another debate. It didn’t change my mind. They were all still up their in monkey suits and Hillary in her pink coat trying to appear “more female.”

They know better than us, what’s going on. They know what to say to try to convince people to gain their vote. My callousness is sort of surprising. Perhaps it has something to so with the fact that I watched Sicko recently.

I had a lot of hope that this upcoming election would bring the change that the country needs. However, I don’t know that anymore. Yeah, the question format was innovative, but is this going to make people who wouldn’t normally vote go out and vote?


Summer Soundtrack and Books

Earlier this summer, Cindylu posed an important question, “What songs will be playing on your summer soundtrack?” Originally, I had stated that the summer had just begun and there was still time to choose. My summer is almost over, and my summer soundtrack has remained the same.

I don’t think I’ve really added anything new to my music collection. In fact, the things that I have added aren’t anything new, but rather old school songs that allow me to reminisce about the past.

Sometimes I worry when this happens. I start thinking I’m getting old. Having turned 27 this summer and witnessing the invasion of the canas, it became a real worry. I tried listening to the radio to get some good ideas, pero tocan lo mismo all of the time. And music shows on TV drive me nuts. The ADD (I self diagnosed) kicks in y ya estuvo, I start flipping through the milieu of channels we currently have.

I also tried listening to the music they play at Barnes and Noble when I’m there finishing projects, but I get annoyed by all the, “Oh my God! Let’s get some coffee!” from the teenagers trying to be hip and the conversations from the loud asses that congregate there thinking that by being around books will automatically make them smarter.

Maybe this isn’t the summer of music. At least it’s been the summer of movies, writing, and books.

Speaking of which, I wanted to comment on a couple books I’ve read recently. The first is The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Even if you don’t have kids, you will enjoy this book. The format of the book is awesome. It’s a huge book, maybe 500 pgs, but a lot of it is pictures. Anyway, the story is that Hugo’s dad finds this machine; it’s the bust of a man and can write a message. It’s busted and the dad is trying to fix it, but he ends up dying and Hugo ends up living in the train station in Paris. So then, Hugo continues to try fixing this machine and ends up making a couple of friends along the way. I swear the story isn’t so cheesy, but I’m afraid to give away the story. It’s so well done.

I also read an upcoming APP title, Chicken Foot Farm (no linky link yet) by Anne Estevis author of Down Garrapata Road. It’s a sort of coming of age story about Alejandro and the farm where he grew up. The stories are so cute, not at all maudlin by any means. She also doesn’t pigeon hole the story to Tejas. I can’t wait to get a copy of this to share with my students. I don’t know if it’s going to be a Piñata book, but it’s safe for middle schoolers and above.

The other book I want to comment on is Fun Home. I found a review for this book in one of Dan the Man’s comic book geek magazines. It’s by Alexis Bechdel who illustrates and writes Dykes to Watch out For. The novel is a graphic memoir about her coming out and the death of her father. It’s a really quick read, tons of allusions, and I love the ending. It’s a little emotional, but so well done. But my favorite thing about the book is the humor. The descriptions of her dad are way funny, but the funniest thing was reading and seeing illustrations about her OCD.

Anyway, on queue I have Dante’s Ballad, which was done in Spanish first. I'll most likely get started on this tomorrow in hopes of getting it done by Monday. I also have a couple of school books I need to finish reading. Maybe Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile this Sunday will put me in the mood for The Westing Game.



Last night was a bad night for me. I stayed up until this morning. I believe I finally made myself go to sleep at 5 AM. All day, I’ve been dragging. I knew a nap would really help, if only I could make myself take a nap. I was flipping through channels trying to find something entertaining yet mind numbing enough to make me fall asleep. On MTV, there was some show that talked about pranks kids did in high school. I was sucked in to this show. I believe I saw two episodes, and at the end of it, I was fuming.

In one, this group of guys and a girl that plotted to shut down the school for a day. One of their friends’ mom, who worked at the school, handed over her keys to them so they could get inside to make phone calls and even game them the secret password needed to cancel school. They got busted and as a punishment, their mothers were to go to school with them. Two of the mothers ended up in the same class. They began talking during instruction and thought it was funny that they’d upset the teacher. They all thought it was a huge joke and that their kids had pulled off a great prank.

Then, there was another group of kids that took over the senior and faculty parking lot. They forced the faculty to park in the junior parking lot. When the pulled up to the group of kids (apparently, they’d gotten the entire Senior class to participate), they would jump on their cars, bang on their windows, squirt water at them with water guns, and tell them to go away. Only after school had started did the district police show up.

Being on the other end of this, it really upset me. It baffles me that parents and society wants to place all this responsibility on teachers and then allow behavior like this. These kids were proud of what they had done. I understand where they’re coming from, but this isn’t anything to be proud about.

I know that if I had pulled some kind of prank like this, my mom would have skinned me alive. I would have been grounded, and my school would have probably pressed charges.



One of the coolest things this summer for me is that I've actually had time to watch movies. Normally, Dan the Man and I watch a movie a week, but having extra time off allows us to watch more, plus, it’s been raining tons so fishing, going to the beach, swimming, or taking a drive isn’t much fun.
Here is a list of what we’ve seen so far in no particular order:

Hard Candy-this was a really interesting film. It’s about an internet predator.
Quinceañera-I thought this was a little cheesy but kind of cool. A young girl is planning on celebrating her quince, but winds up pregnant. I love the character of the older uncle.
Alpha Dog-I saw the trailer for this last summer and had wanted to see it in theaters, but didn’t get a chance. I really liked this movie. I think Justin Timberlake did an excellent job in it.
Running with Scissors-I found a copy of Augustin Borrough’s copy at the Half Price Bookstore and had been intrigued with it since. I didn’t buy the book. Later, I did get another of his memoirs (Dry.). I thought it was kind or quirky and cool. I might read the book now.
Man of the Year-This was another one of those that I wanted to see in theaters. Dan the Man wasn’t too interested in it. The political commentary was good. I laughed quite a bit. However, if you’re not into politics, this might not be a movie for you.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer-Ah, it’s aight. I liked the fist one better. The Silver Surfer was cool though.
Pan’s Labyrinth-I’d wanted to see this movie for a long, long time. I was so glad I finally did. I loved it.
Knocked Up-I was amazed at what a chick flick this turned out to be. I thought this was going to be more of a comedy. Still liked it though and I would watch it on video again because at the end of the movie there are bonus kiddie pics from the cast.
The Godfather-“I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse” now I know where that line came from! I still think I like the second part better. Al Pacino was good looking when he was young.
Love Actually-Another chick flick. I really enjoyed this one though. I like when movies tell many stories at once.
Bobby-This was an excellent film about RFK. Again, this movie involved following many different character’s lives. Even though RFK’s assassination happened a couple decades ago, the issues still remain.
The Holiday-Total chick flick that had me gushing the whole time. I didn’t know it was possible.
Ocean’s 11-Mmm Brad Pitt.
Ocean’s 12-Mmm Brad Pitt again.
Ocean’s 13-Mmm Brad Pitt yet again. I liked all of the Ocean’s movies. Only in the movies do they convince you to cheer for the bad guys.
1408-I couldn’t wait for it to be over.
Blood Diamond-I’d read the abridged version of this film in one of many magazines Dan the Man likes to waste money on. *Spoiler alert* I was glad DiCaprio’s character died. I really hope it makes people stop spending insane amounts of money on diamonds.
Transformers-Tons of action, but there were some very disturbing remarks about women. Also, the Puerto Rican guy keeps being told to stop speaking Spanish and is wounded and never heard of again.

Here’s what I’m planning to see later this summer:

The Godfather III
Requiem for a Dream
Run Lola Run
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Almost Famous
The Queen
The Last King of Scotland
Music and Lyrics
(I’d like to see it, but I don’t know if it’s going to happen)
Hotel Rwanda
The Simpsons Movie
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
The Bourne Ultimatum
A Mighty Heart

I’ve also been reading. Maybe I’ll post an entry with all the stuff I’ve read.



After a two hour wait at the Saturn dealer and a long excursion through Harris and Montgomery counties, we finally found a place which seemed conducive to our activity for the day: fishing.

It was ironic to me that being in an area with so much water; we couldn’t find a place to fish for free. We weren’t intending on keeping any of the fish since neither of us really knows how to gut them and Dan the Man only has a vague idea of how to filet one taken some from memory and the rest from the packaging of the filet knife.

We finally ended up at the Sheldon Lake docks when I followed my instincts and turned right on a road. The only drawback of this lake is that it’s infested with alligators and water moccasins.

Despite the gators, heat, and not getting even a nibble, it was pretty neat. I learned how to cast my pole. Maybe next time I'll actually catch something.